1st Church Guitars is back on stage, Sunday, July 6. We will be providing music during our Church Family Pot-Luck Lunch in the Family Life Center following the 10:10 AM worship service, the only worship service we will have that day.
Some new stuff we have worked on includes: Surfin' USA, Route 66 and Gimme 3 Steps.
We do seem to prefer to play songs for a slightly more "mature" audience.
Heck . . . now a days, all these songs are "classics." Maybe we are "classics" as well!!!!
I so enjoy everything about VBS. And today, this year's VBS, the absolute VBS best ever, will come to an end.
And I know why I have enjoyed it so . . . It's because I am an extrovert.
I am energized when I am around people who are engaged in an activity like worship, Bible study, or some other shared interest, or in support of some event or cause I have interest in. Usually after VBS, I have to crash for a week for mental and physical recuperation.Not so this year. I came into VBS with a different attitude. I worked out getting ready for it. I rehearsed singing and playing the worship songs I lead.I had my daily schedule pretty well organized.I paced myself . . . and treated the actual VBS experience like a workout, knowing in the end that it was ALL going to be good for me.And it has all been good!We touched a lot of lives for Christ this week in ways that were redeeming, and which built peopl…
I saw the cloud, but hadn't checked the PM weather report . . .
A little less than halfway through our walk, it started to rain and thunder. We made it back to the Euless Main Street bridge over the trail . . . then made a mad dash to a big gazebo, then another dash to our car.
Sipping, soaking wet! And get this . . . I actually jogged. Yep, I actually jogged about a quarter of a mile or so. The old knees seem fine right now. We will see in the morning. Think an extra dose of supplements is in order tonight. Didn't know that 61 pounds lost makes that kind of actual real difference.
Our poor dog was drenched . . . but he seemed OK. We were soaked, and laughing.
I felt like a little kid . . . except for the lightning.
Lesson learned . . .
When we go on any kind of walk . . . the day pack with rain jackets and water bottles go with us. And if it rains . . . we will do the smart safe thing and seek shelter . . . and then keep laughing.
Music time . . . craft time . . . story time . . . play time . . . snack time . . . worship time . . .
Adult leaders . . . adult teachers . . . adult and teen guides . . . teen helpers . . .
We have the best volunteers at this church . . . seeing them serve just confirmes to me that the Spirit is moving in a good way among us.
Oh, how I so enjoy VBS . . . I always have . . . and I know I always will.
Even having lost 60 pounds this year . . . and being in decent shape for the first time in a long while . . . I know I will be exhausted by the end of the week . . . and I have to write a sermon as well . . .
But my heart is going to be so full of God's love and spirit!
This may come as a surprise to those of you not living in Las Vegas, but there are more catholic churches than casinos.
Not surprisingly, some worshippers at Sunday Services will give casino chips rather than cash when the basket is passed.
Since they get chips from many different casinos, the churches have devised a method to collect the offerings. The churches send all their collected chips to a neargy Franciscan monastery for sorting. The chips are taken to the casinose of origin and cashed in.
This is all done . . . . by Chip Monks!
Sorry about that . . . but VBS started today . . . and I am already having too much fun!!!
Do more than exist, live. Do more than hear, listen. Do more than agree, cooperate. Do more than talk, communicate. Do more than grow, bloom. Do more than spend, invest. Do more than think, create. Do more than work, excel. Do more than share, give. Do more than decide, discern. Do more than consider, commit. Do more than forgive, forget. Do more than help, serve. Do more than coexist, reconcile. Do more than sing, worship. Do more than think, plan. Do more than dream, do. Do more than see, perceive. Do more than read, apply. Do more than receive, reciprocate. Do more than choose, focus. Do more than wish, believe. Do more than advise, help. Do more than speak, impart. Do more than encourage, inspire. Do more than add, multiply. Do more than change, improve. Do more than reach, stretch. Do more than ponder, pray. Do more than just live, live for Jesus.
My best friend, Floyd, caught me again . . . I had contradicted myself.
We have shared two long emails in the past few days on spiritual practices and the recent Evangelical Manifesto which came on my birthday, May 7.
In writing back to Floyd, I realized that I am an extrovert at heart, and long to explore even more spiritual practices for extrovert people like myself.
Let me define what I mean by spiritual practice (sometimes referred to as "Devotional exercises" by others). A spiritual practice is in an act or activity which helps me draw closer to, or into, the presence of God.
And, in listing the "extrovert" practices I enjoy to Floyd . . . I realized that yes, I am an extrovert, but I am also more introverted than I realized.
I don't mean to down introverts . . . but it may have come across that I do not value traditional spiritual practices, which in my opinion are more for introverts than extroverts. I do value introvert qualities, very much so . . . and some…
Warning! The following written comments should be read within the context of a discussion about the spiritual practices I engage in as part of my extrovertive devotional life. There are certain orthodox Christian beliefs that are, in my heart, non-negotiable. My comments that follow are not about those non-negotiables. RM ><>
Being an extrovert . . . I enjoy participating (introverts may call it "dabbling") in several spiritual practices.
My worst enemy in life . . . is me. Especially when I become "set in my ways" about something. Creativity and freshness are essential in order to help me pay attention to something with all of my senses.
"Variety is the spice of life!"
I am the face on that campaign poster.
That is why I tend to embrace change . . . albeit slowly. Change is a challenge . . . because change causes me to stretch . . . especially when it comes to spiritual / devotional practices which help to strengthn my relationship with God…
Being the extrovert I am (and knowing that Mark Winter will submit a comment or two about this particular practice he and I both share) . . . gardening has become a way for me to draw closer to God.
I have two flower beds in my front yard, and larger flower bed in the back yard, along with a small vegetable garden, and an area where my wife and I have about a dozen potted plants that love shade.
Second only to singing . . . I find that watering my garden every morning is a very peaceful and contemplative time . . . as I tend to the plants, I find I understand better, in my own particular way, what stewardship of the land can mean.
When I water or fertilize my plants . . . I always seem to think about God's grace falling on my life, and the nourishment and strength God's grace gives me.
Don't know if I hear God's voice like I do when I am singing . . . but I sure feel his presence. Most of my flowers are hostas and other shade loving plants. However, I do have some T…
In the past 8 days, I have helped or officiated at 3 funerals (2 of them were "big" funerals), officiated at a wedding, preached twice at another church, installed a ceiling fan for my kids at their home, and had to climb up a ladder twice to get my cat of my roof.
I noticed yesterday that I felt like I was running on empty. At lot of what I do in ministry isn't necessarily phyiscal in nature . . . but a lot of it is emotional. A lot of what we do in ministry is emotionally draining.
I felt drained . . . fatigued . . .
So yesterday, I got out my Martin D-15, and played and sang for about 2 hours. And the songs I sang were as hodge-podge as ever . . .
Call me eclectic I guess . . .
-Route 66 (Asleep at the Wheel) - Is there a better highway song? -To Love Somebody (Bee Gees) - A good song to sing to God. -Let Your Love Flow (Bellamy Brothers) - Another good song to sing when you need a connection to God. -Gimme Three Steps (Lynyrd Skynyrd) - I do a bluegrass version of this song.
In light of how many people, church friends and blogging friends, whose lives must now deal with the physical, emotional, relational and spiritual battles that are part of living with "cancer" . . . the following words seem to be those drawn from faith. I appreciate them very much.
My life flows on in endless song;Above earth's lamentationI hear the sweet, though far-off hymnThat hail's a new creation;Through all the tumult and the strifeI hear the music ringing;It finds an echo in my soul -How can I keep from singing! -Robert Lowry
I officiated at a funeral today at a local funeral home located just two blocks from our church. The deceased was a 91 year old mother, grandmother, great-grandmother who had lived an exciting, wonderful life. Only about 15 people came to the service, as she had out lived most all of her friends.
As I finished the service, and a second or so after I had just finished saying the benediction . . . May God give us the peace and strength to walk out those doors as witnesses to the world that Christ has overcome death . . .
When BOOM! . . . a transformer not 90 feeet behind the funeral home blows up . . . and all the lights in the building go out.
The grandson of the deceased says out loud . . . "Now that's one way to know that the service is over!" If I am lying, I'm dying!
Rueben Job has a new book out. $5 at Cokesbury or Amazon.com (hardcover). The book is titled: Three Simple Rules: A Wesleyan Way of Living.
Wesley's three rules were:
1) Do no harm. 2) Do good. 3) Strive to love God more.
Sometimes you have to watch out for "small" books. Soemtimes they have a great impact of many people.
Bonhoffer's The Cost of Discipleship is a small book. Small as it may be size wise, it shook up many a theological student before, during and after I was in seminary.
Another small book, The Prayer of Jabez, has had a profound effect on many people. A friend of mine who lives down near Waco has prayed this prayer daily for over 5 years, and his testimony is awesome to hear.
And, I've lost count over the years of how many copies of the Gospel of John I have given away.
However, it has been a while since a "small" book grabbed me.
Three Simple Rules has taken hold of me and has not yet let me go. Please do not construe this as some sort of cosmic …