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Here is another amazing Namibia photo taken by Greg Beaudoin. I love the contrast of the road against the sand.

I had a bit of a meltdown on Sunday night during worship. We were singing the words, "All I need is You, Jesus." Well, everyone else was singing them and I was just standing there, mute in front of the microphone, trying to stop being distracted and focus on God, when I again heard these words..."Do you believe it?" Argh, so often I get in a spiritual setting and am surrounded by all these faith-filled words, especially in songs, and I do desire to utter true things and the things that I hope for and believe in, but no, I cannot say things lightly and really, don't want to. So anyway, Awa (the worship leader) had given me permission to sing out anything spontaneous and when I found my heart stirred, and saw her encouragement, I started to sing. It was a bit of a mess as I floundered, singing that I wanted to sing the phrase but the word ALL was just too big and I didn't know what it meant and could not describe it because it was not me (whatever that means) and then had no idea what came after that, so asked God to help my unbelief and then I was empty, I had nothing left to sing. Interesting. Usually I find myself singing these wonderful inspiring things about God and love and nice stuff, so this was a bit strange.

The room was silent for a good while after that, except for one woman crying out at times, and several people were kneeling and no one said anything for a long time. I was kind of clueless and didn't know what was going on, but hey, I can sit silently and wait on God. So I did. I told God I was sorry for the words that might not have been all that clear or worshipful in my song but I really didn't know how to sing and MEAN the world ALL. I wanted to, but I did not know how. And then I was reminded of the songs of David, full of heartfelt longings, beratings at his shortcomings, and even strong words for his enemies. David did not withhold himself when he came before God in worship, you always saw the real man and his struggles, not just a man who had come through the hard times and learning times and was smiling on the other side of them.

Then Frank spoke on God being our shepherd and we need to know 3 things: We need to hear his voice. He knows us. He calls us to follow. Yes, I can hear God. He knows me and is okay with who I am right now before I am fully mature. I will follow him.


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the songs we sing

NOTE: I am going to make some pretty strong statements below, but understand that it is my way of taking an honest, hard look at my own worship experience and practice. My desire is not to be overly critical, but to open up dialogue by questioning things I have assumed were totally fine and appropriate. In other words, I am preaching to myself. Feel free to listen in.


When I am in a church meeting during the singing time, I sometimes find myself silent, unable to get the words past my lips. At times I just need a moment of stillness, time to listen, but other times, the words make me pause because I don't know that I can sing them honestly or with integrity. This is a good thing. We should never mindlessly or heartlessly sing songs just because everyone else is. We should care deeply about what we say in our sung, communal worship.

At their best, songs sung by the gathered body of Christ call to life what is already in us: the hope, the truth, the longing, t…

comedic timing

One of my favourite jokes goes like this:
Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Interrupting cow
Interrupting cow w---

Timing is important in both drama and comedy. A well-paced story draws the audience in and helps it invest in the characters, while a tale too hastily told or too long drawn out will fail to engage anyone. Surprise - something which interrupts the expected - is a creative use of timing and integral to any good story. If someone is reading a novel and everything unfolds in a predictable manner, they will probably wonder why they bothered reading the book. And so it is in life. Having life be predictable all of the time is not as calming as it sounds. We love surprises, especially good surprises like birthday parties, gifts, marriage proposals, and finding something that we thought was lost. Surprises are an important part of humour. A good joke is funny because it goes to a place you didn't expect it to go. Similarly, comedic timing allows something unexpected …

singing lessons

When I was a young child, a visiting preacher came to our country church. He brought his two daughters with him, and before he gave his sermon, they sang beautiful duets about Jesus. They had lovely voices which blended well. The preacher, meaning to impress on us their God-given musical talent, mentioned that the girls had never had any singing lessons. The congregation nodded and ooohhed in appreciation. I was puzzled. I didn't understand how not learning was a point of grace or even pride. After all, people who have natural abilities in sports, math, writing, art, or science find it extremely helpful to study under teachers who can aid them in their development and introduce them to things outside their own experience. Being self-taught (though sometimes the only option available to those with limited resources) is not a cause for pride or celebration. Why? Because that's just not how the communal, relational Creator set things up.

I have been singing since I was a child. …