Thursday, September 27, 2007

Bono on Worship Music

My fellow blogger and pastor Bob Franquiz has this great quote from U2's Bono.

“All music is worship. It could be worship of self, of women, of God, but it’s all worship."

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Of life and Roller Coasters

What is your favorite part of the roller coaster experience. Most of us enjoy the entire ride, except for the sudden jolt of the stop at the end which we can make a metaphor for death. But before you continue reading ponder your favorite part. Here are 4 for your consideration. 1. the Climb 2. The Free fall 3. The Recovery 4. The twists and turns.

We love the climb because it is full of anticipation. As in life anticipation is a great part of the joy. This is the essence of dreaming and planning. With each clink of the chain we climb higher and higher getting a better view on our way to the summit.

The free fall is fun because is scare the mess out of us. Our bodies and mind are suffering from sensory overload and we are overwhelmed with the realization that we are not in control nor are we going to be for some time.

I love the recovery as you come to the end of the free fall and have weight again. Everything suddenly comes back to normal and although there are twists and turns ahead, at least we can catch our breath and gain our composure.

Twist and turns can be anticipated but not overcome, they have a way of throwing you from one side of the car to the other and either being close to the one you love or way to close to a total stranger. Such are the twists and turns.

Do you have a favorite part of the coaster? Do you have a favorite part of the roller coaster that is our life? Life is full of ups and downs, of twists and turns and I must admit that I prayed that if God would stop this roller coaster that I would gladly get off. You see, roller coasters are no fun for those who are afraid of them. My wife is one who can't stand them. She has ridden some with me, but in the process would close her eyes for the entire ride. We all know that closing the eyes just makes it worse, but those who are afraid don't agree. There are those who ride life's coaster with fear. Closing their eyes as if ignoring the ups and downs will miraculously flatten them out. I feel for them. I know that life is difficult for them, and I long for them to enjoy the ride. There are also the screamers. These are the ones who mock the fear by screaming at the top of their lungs. Their yells are not an expression of their fear, but the denial of such.

Like it or not life is often a roller coaster and therefore we have to treat it as such. It is my goal for you to enjoy the ride.
Let the
climb bring anticipation and faith in the heights that your journey might take you. There is no telling how high God's plans are for you.
Let the
free fall help you understand that you are not in control. That long before you got on this ride that a designer planned for your ride. Respond to those free falls by holding on tight to the grips if you must, but those with great faith in the designer have learned to raise their hands even during the free fall.
Let the
recovery build your faith in the designer. And with every recovery from every free fall, may you grow in your knowledge of His design and plan your the ups and downs in your life. Let it help you to regain your composure and prepare for the twists and turns ahead.
Finally, let the
twists and turns in life bring you into closer contact with the ones you love, let it pull you together as you laugh and scream in tandem. On the same note, if you happen to be going through this ride with a total stranger, you will likewise laugh and scream together and will go away from that shared experience with an unusual bond.

So for all you Cars fans out there, life is not a highway, it is a roller coaster and Oh what a ride.

Afraid of Ghosts?

October is just around the corner and it seems that Halloween will be just as big this year if not bigger than last. I have been thinking a lot of what we fear in preparation for a new message series to begin in October called fearless. I have found that the greatest source of horror film fodder centers on two close, but vastly different things. The first is ghosts or spirits without bodies as in the movies ala Sixth Sense and Poltergeist, and secondly the opposite, namely of bodies without spirits such as Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and Frankenstein.

Now track with me here as I go deep theological on you. What is horrific to us as humans is the separation of the natural body and spirit combo. For those of us living on this earth, we fear the separation of the body from the spirit and therefore fear either one without the other. This is born out of a world view that is based on the natural world as we know it. Philosophers may refer to it as existentialism or to a lesser extent humanism. I am not by any means saying that to fear ghosts or zombies is in some way a conscious philosophical decision, but I am saying that our fear of them is the natural result of our world view.

As Ricky Ricardo would say "Let me splain." If I choose the world view that this life is all that there is, that we all evolved in the past in order to dissolve in the future then I have nothing greater to fear than the evidence of that dissolution - ghosts and zombies. On the contrary, if I believe that there is a Creator God who is spirit in form and dwells in heavenly places. And I believe that our physical bodies are just the temporary shell until our spirit is released to be with Him for eternity, then I do not fear the separation of the the spirit and the body. In fact, I embrace it.

So what should we fear? As people who have accepted Jesus Christ and His world view as put forth in the Bible, we do not have to fear death. For those who have not accepted Christ they must fear death because death is the eternal separation of body and spirit. However, Jesus kicks it up a notch in the book of Matthew chapter 10 when he says...

Matt. 10:28 (NKJV) And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Unbelievers also have God to fear because God is able to kill the spirit for eternity in hell.

Today I pray that you will overcome your fear. That God will help you to accept His world view. And that as a result you will be able to be fearless.