Skip to main content

A&L&L



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.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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…

theology from the margins: God of Hagar

Our contexts have major implications for how we live our lives and engage with our world, that much is obvious. However, we sometimes overlook how much they inform our concepts of God. For those of us occupying the central or dominant demographic in society, we often associate God with power and truth. As a result, our theology is characterized by confidence, certainty, and an expectation that others should be accommodating. For those of us living on the margins of society, our sense of belonging stranded in ambiguity, God is seen as an advocate for the powerless. Our theology leans more toward inclusivity, and we talk less about divine holiness and righteousness and more about a God who suffers. On the margins, the priority is merciful and just action, not correct beliefs. 
There are significant theological incongruences between Christians who occupy the mainstream segment of society and those who exist on the margins. The world of theology has been dominated by Western male thought…

the movement of humility

We live in a context of stratification where much of society is ordered into separate layers or castes. We are identified as upper class, middle class, or lower class. Our language reflects this up/down (superior/inferior) paradigm. We want to be at the top of the heap, climb the ladder of success, break through the glass ceiling, be king of the hill. This same kind of thinking seeps into our theology. When we talk about humility, we think mostly think in terms of lowering ourselves, willfully participating in downward mobility. This type of up/down language is certainly present in biblical texts (James 4:10 is one example), but I believe that the kind of humility we see in Jesus requires that we step outside of a strictly up/down paradigm. Instead of viewing humility as getting down low or stepping down a notch on the ladder of society, perhaps it is more helpful to think in terms of proximity and movement.

Jesuit theologian, James Keenan, notes that virtues and vices are not really…