Thursday, April 26, 2007

i don't want to be a coco puff

It looked okay but when I bit into it tasted...strange...bad... well, just wrong. My best friend in he school had a Mom who was a real kind lady. But unfortunately kindness doesn't make one a good cook. In this case it doesn't even guarantee that a person can make French toast. But she was so nice I even feel a little guilty saying anything about this. But the powdered sugar she put on our toast tasted bad. That was because it was corn starch. It was early and she grabbed the wrong container, and we paid the price. Did I mention how nice she was?

I am thinking about prayer. I think too often we view prayer like a blind folded reach into the cupboard. We might get what we're looking for but we fear (because we think there's a 50-50 chance) we might just get the corn starch instead. This creates a crazy kind of prayer life. It creates a prayer paranoia that reduces prayer to magic.

You see, in magic you've got to say the phrase exactly right or you may not get what it is you're asking for. And in the worse case, saying the wrong phrase could turn you into a coco puff. That may be how it is in magic, but praying to the living God is not like that. (He prefers captain crunch). Some of this hocus pocus theology comes intertwined in phrases like, "pray specific." Now I suppose it is a good idea to be specific with our requests to God. But specificity in our prayers is needed for our clarity not God's. After all it’s not a toddler we are speaking to. I believe the author of the universe has pretty good grasp of the difference between corn starch and powder sugar.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

thoughts on Virginia Tech

the stories are just starting to come out...the sad stories of lives lost, of hopes shattered, of friendships cut short... "why" does not even begin to give voice to the depth of our questions. but still we ask it, and still we hope the answer (the partial answer) to why will help our dismay and dispair. days like today, we ask ourselves when will it end? when will the crazy, random, idoitic, infuriating violence end...when?

And today we pray...with our questions, with our anger, with our tears, we carry them all with us to God in prayer. and we yell with the rage of a grieving mother, "WHY". and in place of answers we get his hand, his comfort, his tears that mix with ours, and for the moment we hope it is enough...

Monday, April 16, 2007

rainy servants

servant sunday was perfectly rainy! yesterday our church cancelled our morning services and went out to worship jesus through serving. if worship is about surrender and service to jesus, i think we may have worshiped more than ever. the weather wasn't pretty, but i was convicted by the thought....what kind of service am i offering if i only offer it under ideal circumstances?...or only if the photo will turn out nice? i was inspired by the 100 or so who chose to serve regardless, and i'm grateful for those who will be giving of their time in the coming weeks to serve our community. yesterday we were not serving instead of worshiping, we worshiped through our serving....and jesus was lifted up.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

i weed wacked the easter bunny

i use to like mowing the grass. not so much anymore. i hit a baby rabbit with my weed eater last year. they don't like me to mow the grass either. today i had to mow the grass. so far no casualties and the grass looks pretty good. the way, it was an accident.

Monday, April 02, 2007

clean hands

people lined up to wash their hands in a small basin of clear cool water and dried them with white towels that were sitting on the altar. yesterday was a powerful worship experience for me and for others i think... my heart thumped with emotion as I, along with other followers of jesus, responded to the story of towel and the basin (john 13) by allowing god to wash them, and by picking up the towel of servanthood. yesterday we came closer, closer to being able to answer jesus' question, "do you understand what i have done for you?" do i understand? not completely. But I'm getting closer, we are getting closer.... and that feels good.