Hillsong music has had a profound influence on my faith journey through the years. As someone said in the upcoming movie highlighting the history of Hillsong…for many of us they are “the soundtrack to your faith.” I listen weekly to their songs and find great encouragement from them. I love that Spotify has all of their tracks and today I was listening to one of favorites from back in 2000: “Believe.” The song expresses well my heart…check out some the lyrics and the full video is below if you want to check it out.
I say on Sunday how much I want revival
But then on Monday, I can’t even find my Bible
Where’s the power
The power of the cross in my life
I’m sick of playing the game of religion
I’m tired of losing my reason for living
I’m not content just to walk through my life, giving in
To the lies, Walking in compromises now
Ever say something that instantly you wish you could take back? Early yesterday morning as I woke up going through my normal routine, I was watching the TODAY show and learning more about the shooting in Canada. They shared how the shooter was Muslim. After saying a few things to the TV, I pulled out my phone and tweeted: “The shooter in Canada was a Muslim? Shocking.” Even as I got into the shower I knew that wasn’t probably the wisest thing to say. By the time I got in my car to go to the gym I got called on it by an intelligent High School senior who I respect greatly. I deleted the tweet. Sadly as with reckless words, only 20 minutes up there and the damage was already done.
As I’ve reflected on it, I realize that my tweet doesn’t even reflect how I feel towards Muslims…they are not all violent and willing to perform acts of terror. My tweet reflected how I felt emotionally in a moment…not how I feel when my heart and mind are engaged. This is not what I have taught in my ministry to students the past 18 years, nor is it what Jesus taught…and after all isn’t my highest calling to be an ambassador for Christ? (2 Corinthians 5:20) We must condemn all acts of terror and the people who commit them…but never fall into the trap of attaching broad labels to all members of a particular religion, race or country.
Going to do more processing on this situation to learn from it…part of me wants to shutdown and delete all my social media accounts and not chance a similar situation in the future…but I’m not sure that’s wise either. I’ve decided to turn off comments on this post as I don’t want a debate to take place here as this tends to be a polarizing issues. If you have thoughts, comments or questions you are encouraged to contact me directly.
The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. – Proverbs 18:21
Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too well pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we have dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.
Disturb us, Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.
Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wider seas
Where storms will show your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.
We ask You to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push into the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.
attributed – Sir Francis Drake -1577
Beautiful duet…reminded of how great the lyrics are to this song before that Humane Society commerical ruined it.
We did this song in church for the first time this weekend and I loved it. No doubt I have areas of my life which I need to be more brave in…and this is a good reminder of how God can give us courage to face absolutely anything.
Started a new book that is challenging me in a good way…check out this quote from the introduction:
American pastors are abandoning their posts, left and right, and at an alarming rate. They are not leaving their churches and getting other jobs. Congregations still pay their salaries. Their names remain on the church stationary and they continue to appear in pulpits on Sundays. But they are abandoning their posts, their calling. They have gone whoring after other gods. What they do with their time under the guise of pastoral ministry hasn’t the remotest connection with what the church’s pastors have done for most of twenty centuries.
A few of us are angry about it. We are angry because we have been deserted…. It is bitterly disappointing to enter a room full of people whom you have every reason to expect share the quest and commitments of pastoral work and find within ten minutes that they most definitely do not. They talk of images and statistics. They drop names. They discuss influence and status. Matters of God and the soul and Scripture are not grist for their mills.
The pastors of America have metamorphosed into a company of shopkeepers, and the shops they keep are churches. They are preoccupied with shopkeeper’s concerns–how to keep the customers happy, how to lure customers away from competitors down the street, how to package the goods so that the customers will lay out more money.
Some of them are very good shopkeepers. They attract a lot of customers, pull in great sums of money, develop splendid reputations. Yet it is still shopkeeping; religious shopkeeping, to be sure, but shopkeeping all the same. The marketing strategies of the fast-food franchise occupy the waking minds of these entrepreneurs; while asleep they dream of the kind of success that will get the attention of journalists.
The biblical fact is that there are no successful churches. There are, instead, communities of sinners, gathered before God week after week in towns and villages all over the world. The Holy Spirit gathers them and does his work in them. In these communities of sinners, one of the sinners is called pastor and given a designated responsibility in the community. The pastor’s responsibility is to keep the community attentive to God. It is this responsibility that is being abandoned in spades.
From the introduction of Working the Angles written by Eugene Peterson.