Friday, February 26, 2010

Boring Worship--100 Words--Part 5

[Today, I conclude a mini-series on boring worship. When I began this series, I didn’t know how many blogs I would write on this subject. I think, for now, five is enough—oh no, don’t think that I believe I’ve covered it all. At this point, I’ll just put a semi-colon down and will come back to it again another day. Thanks for reading! As always, your comments are welcome.]

Boring worship.

Today’s Friday. But, Sunday’s coming.

Is that a good thing? Or something to dread?

With every fiber of my being I want to say that approaching Sunday with a good attitude is a great thing.

But, how often do we approach Sunday with dread? Be honest. Not excited about worship service? Afraid that this Sunday will be no different from last Sunday or the Sunday before that.

Oh God! I cry out to You.

May none of us approach Sunday with dread or despair!

May worship break out before Sunday begin.

May worship break out now. In me.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Boring Worship--100 Words--Part 4

[Today, I continue a mini-series on worship. Truthfully, I don't know how many blogs I will write about this subject. Maybe four, maybe more. I'll just let my heart and mind be my guide. As always, your comments are welcome.]

Boring worship.

Why am I struggling so much with this?

I’m not sure.

Maybe it’s age. Or, I want something better for my son than I’ve known.

But, it’s more than that. It’s about the audacity that believers have to limit the praise due God.

Lead worship in almost any church and go five minutes over the normal quitting time. See what happens. Watches beep. People close their Bible. A murmur begins. There’s an uncomfortable shuffling of feet and chairs.

Five minutes! We can’t worship for five more minutes? We can’t await the moving of the Spirit?

How dare us!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Boring Worship--100 Words--Part 3

[Today, I continue a mini-series on worship. Truthfully, I don't know how many blogs I will write about this subject. Maybe three, maybe more. I'll just let my heart and mind be my guide. As always, your comments are welcome.]

Boring worship.

Boring worship can be found in Baptist churches. Methodist churches. Non-denominational churches.

Boring worship can be found in new churches. Centuries old churches.

Boring worship can happen in churches where a lot of screaming and yelling takes place.

It can happen in churches where the liturgy wouldn’t allow screaming to take place.

Boring worship happens.

When you put lipstick on a pig, you have decorated pork chops and bacon. Nothing more.

I don’t care what clerical lipstick you put on worship, if it’s not about worshipping Jesus Christ as Savior, you have nothing more than a cheap show.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Boring Worship--100 Words--Part 2

[Today, I continue a mini-series on worship. Truthfully, I don't know how many blogs I will write about this subject. Maybe two, maybe more. I'll just let my heart and mind be my guide. As always, your comments are welcome.]

Boring worship.

Boring worship is not caused by a pipe organ rattling chandeliers and stained glass windows.

Nor is it caused by drums deafening everyone on the front row, or 20th row.

It is not caused by sermons being read by a pastor who never makes eye contact.

Nor it is caused by sermons carried by satellite to a distance campus site.

Boring worship is more of an attitude. Worshippers gathered to praise one another instead of the King of kings. It comes when the focus isn’t upon the appropriate Personhood of God.

Boring worship is caused by apathetic worshippers.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Boring Worship--100 Words--Part 1

[Today, I begin a mini-series on worship. Truthfully, I don't know how many blogs I will write about this subject. Maybe two, maybe more. I'll just let my heart and mind be my guide. As always, your comments are welcome.]

Boring worship.

That’s an oxymoron if I have ever heard one.

It shouldn’t exist.

It shouldn’t be accepted.

Not by ministers, nor church members.

In a Christian church, we often talk about the “gospel.” In simplest terms, the gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ—His birth, life, death, resurrection.

When believers gather for worship, we gather in celebration of that gospel.

What can be boring about that? How can we make it boring?

Yet, somehow we do just that.

I’m not pointing fingers. I’m just exhausted with it.

I’m ready for a revolution in worship.

How about you?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Fixation--100 Words

[Not our real closet! Not mine. Not the wife's. Borrowed from Google.]


(n) fix-a-tion.

Def: “An obsession or preoccupation.”

I have a tendency to fixate. More than I should.

I fixate on work. Or sports. Or the jerk in the car in front of me.

Or Facebook. Or blogging.

Do you do that?

Fixate on all the wrong things? The crazy things that won’t matter one bit tomorrow? And, if truth be told, don’t really matter right now.

Yet, I do it. Maybe we all do it.

But, that doesn’t make it right.

If I could only learn to fixate more on Jesus and His Word.

Now, that would be good.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Unaffiliated--100 Words

Unaffiliated. Apolitical.

Until recently, I would have considered myself Republican.

Not that it matters in Alabama. Heck, in Alabama even dead people have been known to vote early and often. So, party affiliation has never meant much to me.

I’ve voted more with my heart than a card in my wallet.

Things are different now.

I wouldn’t classify myself as Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Socialist, or even Tea Party member.

I am a citizen of the United States of America first. I believe in protecting and defending the US Constitution.

Numbers like me are rising.

So politicians. Get with the program!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Fees--100 Words


Last night, I received a note saying that a credit card would soon have a fee associated with it.

Unless I charged an outrageous amount to it each year.

I don’t think so.

I’ve only used this card in case of emergency. It was used for travel. Or only when necessary.

Now, they want to charge an annual fee.

Call it a result of the 2009 credit crisis. Call it banking in today’s world.

Call it what you want.

I called it ridiculous.

So, I stayed on hold for 20 minutes to opt out.

Not going to pay fees.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Birthdays--100 Words


As children, they seem to come about every decade or two.

As adults, they come almost monthly.

While birthdays may be celebrated, ignored, or even forgotten, they are still important.

Birthdays are great days to celebrate life. The life given to us by our parents, and Father.

Today, I celebrate my wife’s birthday. It’s a special birthday. Then again, all birthdays with Tonya are special.

She fills life with joy and fun, excitement and love.

She is the joy of my heart. And life.

Today, we celebrate. However, because of you, every day is a celebration.

Happy Birthday Sweetheart!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Love--100 Words


Not all 4-letter words are profane. But, this one is certainly profound.

Not difficult to say. But so difficult to do.

How do you love someone more than yourself? How do you put their needs first?

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day. Named after a Catholic saint.

Is such a day really necessary? Seriously.

Or, is this just a plot to sell more greeting cards at Hallmark?

I’m a fan of capitalism, but if it takes a “holiday” to remind us to love someone else, isn’t something wrong?

Shouldn’t we simply love. Today. Tomorrow. Next week.

When you love, you love.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Tone--100 Words


Tone is difficult to read.

Whether in a face-to-face conversation. Or, email message. Especially when you tweet or post on Facebook.

143 characters isn’t enough. Sometimes an entire book isn’t enough.

Is he angry? Is she frustrated with me? Did I hurt her feelings? Does he realize I didn’t like what he said?

Does the other person even care about my feelings?

My heart?

You have to wonder sometimes. Or, at least I do.

Maybe I am overly sensitive. I don’t think so.

Maybe I am not smart enough to understand their humor.

Or, maybe they are just rude.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Promises--100 Words


In theory, when someone gives a promise, you should trust them. Believe in what they say because they say what they mean.

That’s theory.

Unfortunately, theory and reality don’t always match.

Who among us believes a promise from a politician? He or she may mean what they say—until a large donor comes along or someone who can enhance their career in politics.

Then, the promise is out the window.

Too often, I have to ask myself if I am any better than that politician. Do I keep my word?

Do I mean what I say?

Sometimes. Not always.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Complaining--100 Words


Okay. I’ll admit it. I complain.

More than I should.

Or, more than anyone wants to hear.

For some reason, it seems to come naturally.

More naturally than, let’s say, singing praises.

Or shouting victory.

Or celebrating life’s greatness.

What’s really sad is that I don’t have much to complain about.

As a matter of fact, I have so much more to be happy about than I do to complain about.

Yet, I still complain.

What good does it do me? What benefit does it bring?

Simple. Complaining does no good. None.

I want to stop. I will stop.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Bald--100 Words


No matter how you try to part it, when you are bald you are bald.

Oh. I’ve seen the bad combovers.

I even tried it myself.

No one (but me) was really convinced I had hair.

A combover only accentuates the baldness you are trying to hide.

So, guys, quit trying.

Women really don’t like combovers anyway. They really don’t.

Be yourself. Your folliclely-challenged self.

I started going bald at 21. I blame my grandfather for that.

Look at it this way. Going bald has advantages. Takes less shampoo. Less hair spray. Less effort.

Life Rule #23: Be Yourself!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Aging--100 Words


Somewhere from the time we are two to when we are grown, we lose the excitement of growing up. As adults, we especially lose the joy of birthdays.

What 10 year old doesn’t want to be 20? But, what 40 year old can’t wait to be 50?

None that I know.

Who wants to get the “Official Welcome” to AARP?

Who is excited about the aging process?

Even Christians, who say that know they’ll head to heaven after death, seem to be in no hurry to get there.

What about you? Aging is good? Or, aging can wait? Why?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Future--100 Words

The future.

What does the future hold?

Wish I knew.

Wish I could predict your future. I’d probably be rich. Don’t you think?

But, I’m not sure I’d waste my predicting on your future. I’d be selfish and focus on mine.

I’d like to know about retirement. Then again, maybe not.

I’d like to know where I’ll be next year. Maybe not.

I’d like to know about next month. Next week. Tomorrow.

Maybe not.

I suppose God knows best by not letting us see into the future.

We’d spend so much time there, that we wouldn’t live in the present.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Fake--100 Words


Our world is filled with fake.

We have fake eyelashes. Teeth. Sugar. Boobs. Butt enhancers. And, slimmers to make our butt smaller.

We have fake tans. And fake smiles.

Our world is filled with fake.

Christians have filled the church with fake as well.

We mouth words to songs without singing. We close our eyes while others pray, yet never utter a breath of prayer ourselves. We sit back while others preach, yet never proclaim that Jesus is our Lord.

Jesus said, “I’d rather have you either hot or cold. Not fake. I’ll vomit fake out of my mouth.”

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Son--100 Words

3:43 PM.

At that exact moment, you entered our life.

Wrinkled. More than a little bloody. Unhappy to be here. Naked.

And, nine days early.

That’s how Evan William Heartsill came into the world.

Two years ago today.

Life hasn’t been the same for his mother and me since then.

A lot less sleep. Money spent on baby food and diapers. More time thinking about the future. Preparing for you to grow into the man God wants you to be.

Trying to be the parents we are called to be.

Happy Birthday Son! Your Mommy and Daddy love you!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Posing--100 Words


A friend shared a Beth Moore illustration with me. Beth has a friend who is a model. The model said it is impossible to “pose” for long in a natural-looking pose. You can’t do it. It’s difficult to look “natural” for long.

As people stand and gawk into a casket, they often say, “Doesn’t he look natural!” I want to shout back, “No! He looks dead! Dead doesn’t look natural.”

Natural-looking is being alive. Upright. Breathing. Laughing. Moving. Eating. Burping. Tripping over your own feet. That’s natural.

Not posed by a photographer. Or undertaker.

Today, stop posing. Be natural!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

God's Hands--100 Words

God’s hands.

“Let’s put it in God’s hands and see.”

That statement was recently made to me by a complete stranger. This stranger had asked a question of me and after reading my response, the person wrote those words.

The question asked wasn’t easy, nor was my reply back to it.

But, I was literally blown away by the response!

If you knew the question and my answer you’d better understand my shock to the stranger’s reply.

Gracious. That’s what the response is! God-filled is another way to express it.

Seldom, do I hear a reply like that. Too seldom.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Moving--100 Words


I’m moving on.

I’m no longer going to sit back and do nothing.

I’ve tolerated it for too long and just accepted it as normal.

No more.

Today’s rant is brought to you by the word “religiosity.” Know the term?

Well, I won’t bore you with a dictionary definition. Let’s just say that the term is all about religion and nothing about a personal, committed walk with God.

Religion is fairly easy to do. It is often worn proudly as a shroud for the nothingness inside.

Religion and genuine faith aren’t the same.

No matter who does the wearing.