Rest

Rest

When I started out in music I was 13. I started with drums and I played loud and often. I started playing in a garage band in high school and we wailed. All the time, every time. It was a frantic, disgusting wall of sound that assaulted and offended your ears. We freaking rocked. One mark of an experienced musician is that they know when NOT to play. It’s easy to play all the time; to wear out yourself, the song, and the band. In music, if you are deliberately refraining from playing, it’s called resting. Resting creates space. Space that allows the parts you do play to have more power, impact, and beauty. It allows space for others. It allows you to appreciate what is going on outside of yourself. My life is crazy and set to get even crazier in about a month when my second child arrives. There is no discernible rhythm to my life right now. I have a full time job and a part time job that I put in another 25 hours a week at. I need to find rest. My wife needs me to find rest. My family, my job, my health, and my walk with Jesus depend on it. Rest allows God to speak to you. To restore you. To refresh you. He designed it and He wants it for you. Psalm 62:1-2 “My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be...
Don’t Trash The Waiting Room

Don’t Trash The Waiting Room

I went to a new primary care physician last week. As always, I had to wait in the waiting room until the doctor was ready for me. I showed up on time with paperwork already filled out and still had to wait past my appointment time. I watched other people who got there after me and were late for their appointments get called before me. It didn’t seem fair. So, I picked up a chair and threw it through the window of the office. I then tore down the TV and smashed it over the head of the guy next to me. I cursed out the nurses at the front desk, and demanded that the doctor see me immediately. Not really. I read a magazine that told me that celebrities are just like us, because they also drink coffee, waited until they called me, and then went back and saw the doctor. I didn’t trash the waiting room. I waited patiently for the Lord. He turned to me and heard my cry. -Psalm 40:1 It’s been a tough year. We’ve been in a difficult season of life and are getting anxious to be out of it. We pray constantly that God would bring us out of it and we hear almost nothing. There can be a tendency to become frustrated, bitter, and sinful when we feel like we’ve waited too long. It begins to affect not only ourselves, but those around us. We watch other’s success and blessing and wonder when it’ll be our turn. We ignore the blessings already in front of us for the ones we don’t...
To Build Or To Tear Down? That’s A Dumb Question.

To Build Or To Tear Down? That’s A Dumb Question.

I had the privilege of leading worship at a conference for worship leaders this morning. It was awesome. When the session ended and I was milling around talking to people, one person told me thanks and then proceeded to critique my key choices for the songs I’d led. Not “Great job! We were very blessed to have you!” Or even a “Nice guitar man, is that a Gibson?” Nope. Just a comment on my key choices. Too low for him because he’s a tenor. (At 8:30 am, nobody is a singer and I always err on the side of too low.) I’ll most likely never see that guy again. The only thing that he will ever speak into my life is criticism. He had a great chance to say something nice, something encouraging, and he blew it. I do that all the freaking time. I miss out on opportunities to be encouraging, give a compliment, put someone else’s needs before my own, and I blow it. Proverbs 16 says “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”  Positive is better than negative. Positive beats negative 100 times out of 100. Positive words change the speaker and the listener. Positive words bring healing, hope, and life. Don’t miss those opportunities that you have every day to speak encouraging, positive words to someone. Do it and watch it change you and the people around...
Vestiges

Vestiges

Sometimes there’s a lag between the calling and the change. A disparity between the heart and the mind. The spirit loses to the flesh. How long did it take Peter to become the rock upon which the church was built? How long did it take Moses to free Israel from captivity in Egypt? Peter actually knew Jesus. He walked with, talked with, joked with, drank wine and partied with the Living Word. He knew this guy: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. (John 1:1-3) After meeting The Word and walking with Him, Peter denied knowing Him to avoid sharing in His fate. Not once. Not twice. But three times. Our salvation is instant, but our sanctification is not. It’s a process. A daily battle against ourselves to stop living according to our fleshly desires and live according to the law and will of God. To trust God more than we trust ourselves. To let go of the things that we cling to and approach God with open hands instead of a clenched fist. Psalm 1:1-3 says… 1 Blessed is the one     who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take     or sit in the company of mockers, 2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,     and who meditates on his law day and night. 3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,     which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—     whatever they...
Pot Roast and Anticipation

Pot Roast and Anticipation

But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation My God will hear me. Micah 7:7 My wife makes the best pot roast. Seriously, it’s the best. It cooks in beer all day and fills the house with the most amazing smell. Whenever I walk by the kitchen, I can smell it and my mouth begins to water. I count down the hours until I can devour one of God’s greatest gifts to mankind. I anticipate. I expect. I know what is in store for me and I cannot wait to enjoy it. That’s just pot roast. Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you. -Joshua 3:5. The Israelites had come to the Promised Land. The land God told them would be given to them. Moses was dead, and Joshua now lead them. They came to the Jordan River, the boundary to the Promised Land and wondered how they were going to cross it; how they were going to defeat the armies on the other side. Joshua said “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.” God stopped the flow of the Jordan River, allowing the Israelites to cross into Caanan, terrifying their enemies who knew that God was with the Israelites. Joshua wanted the Israelites to expect God to do something. Not to doubt, but to believe, anticipate, and have courage. On Sunday mornings, do we expect God to work? When we gather as his church, do we anticipate that we will meet with him and that lives will be changed?...
Unsupportive Support

Unsupportive Support

It seems that many people have the idea that support and agreement are synonymous; that to be supportive means being in total, unquestioning agreement. I disagree. I take the long view of support. The view of support that is more concerned with long term, overall goals. Sometimes it’s better to support the destination more than the journey. If I’m being supportive of my wife, my friends, and my team, I’m invested and interested in where they want to go, what they want to accomplish, who they want to be, and where they want to end up. Sometimes this means saying no or disagreeing in the short term so that the long term does not suffer. Jesus said no to his disciples plenty of times and it certainly cannot be said that he didn’t support them. Are you willing to support people in your life, even if that means saying no? Do you have people around you who love you enough to tell you the same when...