Thursday, September 30, 2010

fantastical night one

I am sitting in a hotel room in Waco, Texas tonight for a "Fantastical Church Music Conference" put on by the David Crowder Band.  Night one did not disappoint.  Some interesting, very enjoyable music.  Welcome Wagon, which I can only define as The Swell Season with Norah Jones on the piano (but the piano player is actually a larger white middle aged dude, so it's a sonic reference)...  Then Gungor played later, and were very impressive with their instrumentation, arrangements, skill level...  A LOT of talent, coupled with heart and creativity.  I'm a fan. 

But the highlight of the night wasn't musical.  It was Francis Chan.  He's a passionate, young(er), very authentic in front of people guy.  And almost every word he said resonated deeply with me.  The scriptures he quoted and preached from are scriptures that have been rolling around my head/heart for the last week or two... maybe longer.  So it was amazing and very impacting to me to hear him share them to a room full of worship leaders.

The main one was out of the book of Amos, and we read in our twenty-ten reading last week, I believe.  Amos 5....

18 Woe to you who long
       for the day of the LORD!
       Why do you long for the day of the LORD ?
       That day will be darkness, not light.

 19 It will be as though a man fled from a lion
       only to meet a bear,
       as though he entered his house
       and rested his hand on the wall
       only to have a snake bite him.
20 Will not the day of the LORD be darkness, not light—
       pitch-dark, without a ray of brightness?
21 "I hate, I despise your religious feasts;
       I cannot stand your assemblies.
22 Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings,
       I will not accept them.
       Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, 
       I will have no regard for them.
23 Away with the noise of your songs!
       I will not listen to the music of your harps.

Wouldn't that be a striking word to receive from the Lord?  But so important for all of us to remember.  God's perspective is not man's.  Just because your singing, doesn't mean He's listening...  

He also mentioned the verse in Matt 5:23/24 where Jesus tells us to let our sacrifices wait, until we reconcile with our brothers.  Another one on my heart this week, as a reminder I need to give as a worship leader (and remember as a worshipper).

And I'm not quick to endorse people who sit around and point out flaws in the church.  Scolding, negative tones...  Cynicism and pious accusations...  That's easy to do.  I always wait for the solution.  For the challenge.  And his was great.  Would your life fit in His Book (the Bible)?  Would it seem normal, in a truly biblical paradigm?  Apart from cultural differences...  Your level of commitment, your level of faith, the way you handle your relationship with Christ in your life...  Would it be able to be listed in Hebrews 11, or alongside Peter, Paul, Elisha, Elijah...  They were all human too.  Would your story even be worth recording?  Good thoughts...

Even made me write....  inspired, kind of flow of consciousness poetic scribbling.  Felt really good, and really uncomfortable and challenging at the same time.  If I get the guts, I might share some of the scribbles.  later.  For now they stay in the notebook...

Saturday, September 25, 2010


I don't know what this is called, but I just read a great, short (which is closely related to good for me, in blogs, movies, reading, etc) blog from Mark Driscoll.  Taking an objective look at what we do, think, and say to discover our own heart behind the words, thoughts, actions is such an important practice...  We are so prone to self-deception and unawareness that we need to take an objective look at even our prayers sometimes...

Here's the original post.  (copied below)

Throw Away Your Resume

by Mark Driscoll on Saturday, September 25, 2010 at 12:00am

But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-14).

Forgetting What Lies Behind
Whenever I read Philippians 3:13-14 I think “forgetting what lies behind” means the bad things I have done or my personal shortcomings that have resulted in undesirable outcomes. But that is not what Paul is talking about when he mentions “forgetting.”
What he is forgetting is his past righteousness. He is moving past anything that might give him a standing with God apart from Jesus Christ: like being a Pharisee of Pharisees, or having incredible zeal for God. Earlier in this chapter he has called all of his former righteousness dung, and now he says he is forgetting it.

Look Away From Yourself 

This couldn’t be more refreshing. I tend to get historical with God when I don’t get my way:  “God, I have served you wholeheartedly,” or “I have sacrificed a lot to serve you.” And any time I say these thoughts in my heart, what I am looking for is past obedience to secure a future good.  I am counting on my righteousness to secure blessing from God.  
That is exactly why I need to forget it. My eyes have swerved from Christ right back to myself.  And I cannot press towards any goal with my eyes on myself. But when I look at Christ, I see the righteous One who went to the cross because of my disobedience—to pour out spiritual blessings in spite of me, not because of me.  
When I see that grace, I can finally live free of the resume.