October 14, 2009


Our final sermon on common biblical words. If you were not present, you will notice a time when I talk with members of the audience. I am speaking with Lloyd: who is a recovering drug addict, KB: who leads a medical mission to Zambia each summer, Rebecca: who was baptized the week of the sermon, and Duane: who is recovering from an extremely serious motorcycle accident. This may help give you some context.

2009_09_20 Power.mp3

October 13, 2009

You Too

I experienced many firsts last night. It was the first time for me to be in a crowd with some 80,000 other people. It was my first time at the new Cowboys stadium (pretty cool, but difficult to maneuver in because of all the VIP sections). And it was my first time seeing U2.

Now I suppose there are things to quarrel with. I am sure in a smaller arena or outdoor setting the sound would have been better. There were a couple of new songs I could have done without and a couple of old ones I wish they would have played (they could simply play the Joshua Tree straight through and I would be happy). And the tickets could have been cheaper (but I am such a cheapskate they would have to be giving them away to suit me, and then I would gripe about the cost of gas to get there).

All that may be true. But it means nothing. In the middle of "Sunday Bloody Sunday" I turned to my wife and told her it was all worth it just for this moment. I jumped up and down to "Elevation", "Vertigo" and "Beautiful Day", was moved by "Stuck in a Moment" and "One", belted out the words to "Mysterious Ways" and rejoiced with "Where The Streets Have No Name". It was a real-life spiritual experience.

U2 did a superb job of mixing their world-concerns with their music. They kept their politics positive, choosing to talk about lives saved and how people could get involved rather than dragging individuals or political parties through the mud.

And there was religion. Whether it was Bono belting "Amazing Grace" or Archbishop Desmond Tutu introducing "One" the undercurrent of God and humanity ran through the show. I mean, has any band written a better or more honest spiritual song than "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"?

Someone might say that it was a spiritual experience, but it was U2 who was worshipped. For some I suppose that is exactly what it was. But I didn't worship Bono, Larry Mullen Jr., Adam Clayton and The Edge. No I worshipped the one who put the songs in their hearts.

Included below is a video from the concert (just to get a taste). For those of you who don't really know U2 this will be a poor introduction. Instead, ask me for a CD and I will burn you one with my favorite U2 songs and you can see for yourself. Really. Ask.

October 4, 2009

Too Much Time on my Hands

Time is on my side, yes it is... (The Rolling Stones)

What is your relationship with time? Now that is a strange question. You may think that I want to delve into the philosophical meaning of time or explore the physics of the space-time continuum. Perhaps dabble in the meta-physical nature of time and wax poetic on whether God is outside of time or chooses to constrain himself by living in the linear. But no. I just want to know what your relationship with time is.

Is time your friend? Are you always running out of time? Do you have too much time on your hands (Styx)? Is time flying too fast?

I have no doubt that our relationship with time reveals so much about how we view ourselves and the world around us. At the end of an average day some of us are left with a feeling that we didn't accomplish enough, while others feel overwhelmed that the things that matter are being pushed aside for all the things that have to be done. I know personally that I went through a long period of feeling torn about time. When I was at work I felt guilty for not giving my family the time they deserve, and then when I was at home I often watched the clock and thought of all the things I needed to be doing for my job.

Being home this week and "accomplishing" nothing has once again shown me my ever-changing relationship with time. I have done very little this week. I mostly stayed home. I played with the kids. I held the baby. I ate. I watched a movie. But I did almost nothing for my job. I did very little to serve anyone else. I didn't do something to bring in some money. I thought about mowing the yard, but didn't. I have felt twinges of guilt. But only twinges. They completely disappear when Savannah looks up at me.

I believe our relationship with time isn't about whether we think we should accomplish more or change priorities. Our relationship with time comes down to how we view ourselves. So much of how we chase time is about others, or filling up something missing in us. But a Godly view of ourselves says that I am worth a little time. I recognize my humanity is a gift from God. The being tired and needing some time off is the way God made me. That accomplishment does not effect love one bit. That time can be useful (like everyone knowing when to gather for dinner), or time can rule me.

I have thoroughly wasted time this week. Looking back on the past seven days, it was a glorious and holy time.