October 9, 2014

Football and Worship

Every week at South, the worship team comes out to begin the worship gathering. The beginning of the first song signals to everyone in the lobby that it is time to come in for worship. In the time of one worship song, the droves of people join the handful in the handful of people already in the room. Normally everyone is quick to engage. This week was slightly different.

As the first song came to an end, about twenty people clapped. In a room with over two hundred people in it, twenty people clapping sounds like you would expect it to sound….dismal. And, for the record, let me state that people clapping after a song has nothing to do with us on the stage getting accolades. We aren’t there for that. We are not rock stars. We are there worshiping along side those gathered with us. Our focus is revering God with our singing and music. I felt the need, as the worship minister, to stop the worship train and challenge our people. See, the MSU football game was the night before. It started at 8:00pm and went way late. I know this because I was up watching the almost self destruction of the green and white in the 4th quarter. I was there, frustrated, yelling, cheering, and so on just like everyone else. Understandably, everyone was tired and reserved the next morning.

Which leads us back to worship. We finished the first song where we were just singing about how God’s creation shares in our worship of the Creator. Our response was extremely lack luster, “Yeah God, for being the creator of everything….where’s the coffee…who is clapping…stop clapping!”

My challenge to our people was that we must have perspective on life. Staying up late and yelling/cheering at a football game pales in comparison to us joining together to worship God, the creator of everything. He who gives us breath to breathe should receive much greater accolades than a football game or team.

Now, understand. I’m not innocent in the matter. I don’t know that I clearly communicated that last week when I paused our singing (and I will probably address it again this week). We will get emotional and fired up for just about anything like a hockey game, a new apple product, the beginning of the new fall TV schedule, America, a new app, hunting, eating, exercise, or even our Facebook feed. This list is endless. It doesn’t even have any bad stuff on there like porn, gambling, drinking, money, power or whatever else we crave. Our attentions are continually distracted from the one who created life and gave redemption.

Our struggle runs really deep in our souls. How many of us have made time in our schedules to make sure we can watch the game each week, yet struggle to find anytime to read God’s word or pray? What’s the first thing you check on your phone each morning? Twitter? Email? The scores of last night’s game? Would we be embarrassed if we tracked how much time we spent on Facebook or playing video games and compared it to the time each week that we mentally engaged in our spiritual lives? We are a mess and in continual need of our Savior.

Like I said above, I am not innocent in this matter, not in the least. The question for us is this: How do we change so that our Creator has the top spot in our attention all the time?

Maybe you need to schedule God time each day. Maybe you need to delete some apps off your phone. Maybe you need to quit doing some things. Maybe you need to read Job 38-42 or Psalm 104. Then go spend some time out in nature, taking in God’s creation, seeing the beauty in it. Stand in awe of it, in awe of the Creator, the giver of life, the only one who can rescue us from ourselves.

Lord, help us to lay aside our idols so we can truly be your children.

October 1, 2014

Testing Again

I am testing to see if will work on my ipad in a browser. It seems to be. 
Technology amazes me sometimes. I can have conversations with people on the other side of the world with simple technology now. I can talk face to face with my siblings with my phone. The rental car I am driving helps me see where I am backing up with cameras, lights, and guide lines on the screen in the dash. My phone helps me not get lost when going from here to there when away from home.
I can type here on my iPad, have do its magic, and eventually post to my blog without having to fight format issues and the such. We have it so good.
I read articles on the internet, save them to my Pocket to reread later. Then I file them to Evernote. Of course, all of these resources are available on my phone, my ipad, and my computer on my desk. I am completely mobile and able to do just about anything from anywhere. AND, when I need to do something heavier, I can log into my home base computer in my office and control it from my phone and my ipad, as long as I have an internet connection. 
While all of these things are great, they still involve one thing. Me doing things. The enable me to be more productive from anywhere, but I still have to be productive. I still need to be engaged and do something.
Isn’t that always our problem?
Spoke too soon….wasn’t able to fully get it to work. Bummer. Now I have to move this over myself. Ho hum.