Saturday, March 15, 2008
Last night, my wife and I were watching TV and scoffed at a commercial that advertised a new quadruple-layered chocolate cake apparently available now at Publix. It's not that I'm the picture of health; my scoff was, rather, a response of disbelief at the blatant advertising- and America's shameless acceptance- of what was, perhaps, the most deadly-looking mass of gluttony I have ever seen. The commercial woos you in: the icing, thick and smooth, slowly caressed by the knife of a baker whose fiendish grin betrays his secret knowledge that this will most certainly kill whoever eats it. Everyone knows that Americans have horribly unhealthy eating habits, but are we even trying to hide it anymore?
With that said, allow me to be a complete hypocrite: I love Five Guys Burgers and Fries and will glady stare death in the face if only I can taste one of their fresh, juicy, double-stacked burgers with a side of cajun fries. As a matter of fact, I would eat there every day if it weren't for the nagging aches I get in my chest when I'm finished.
If you haven't been to Five Guys Burgers and Fries... seriously, go. Take a defibrillator, but go. Experience the best burger for your buck anywhere. For those of you in the Ft. Lauderdale area, there's one in the 17th Street shopping plaza (East of US1) near Moe's and another in the Publix shopping center on Atlantic Blvd. and Rock Island in Margate.
Indulge yourself. Try their double-stacked burger with all the free toppings you can fit in your mouth, a beverage, and their famous cajun-style fries (the regular fries are good too, but I promise you'll like the cajun better). Whatever you do, DON'T click this link before you go: http://www.fiveguys.com/Images/Nutrition%20Fact%20Spreadsheet.pdf
Monday, March 10, 2008
If you've seen the show recently, tell me if you feel the same sense of abandonment from father Bob, or if you disagree with me entirely. Maybe I'm being too hard on the guy, I don't know.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Below was my response. I hope it makes sense out of context. I invite your comments as well.
Not to over-simplify the problem, but for the sake of brevity, it seems to me (and playing off of many of the responses already given) that this “divided church” is the result of 1) misguided worship leadership, and 2) selfish worshippers. That’s not to say that all churches “divided” operate in those extremes, but I would argue that all churches gravitate toward these poles- some, by the grace of God, less or more than others. Leaders forget their followers for their own idea of what’s best and worshippers forget the body of which they are a part; that is, Worship Pastors can tend to view the quality or style of the music (for example) as more important than the people they are leading, and the worshippers can tend to forget that Sunday morning is not intended to be their own, personal “in-the-closet” time of worship. There’s a sense in which the corporate worship experience is a selflessly shared responsibility between the Worship Pastor and the worshipper, where each one sets aside his or her own “preferences” for the good of the body. I think this is what [Nancy] was getting at...
[Our unity in worship] is easier said than done because it really has very little to do with the content of our programs and everything to do with the Holy Spirit breaking pride and selfish motives in our hearts. Thus, the conversation continues- not as a quick fix, but as the Holy Spirit slowly works sanctification in each worshipper's heart.
With that said, I also wanted to weigh in on at least one of the other questions raised:
Saxophone? Drums? Electric Guitar? Saying nothing of preferences: “Yes, yes, and yes.” For every vile memory the Enemy has attached to those instruments of death (before knowing Christ), our Redeemer intends to use those same instruments now to cultivate life (since we know Christ). Isaiah 2:4 says, “He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.” It’s a picture of God turning weapons of war into tools of the harvest (as opposed to simply throwing the sword away in an effort to forget that the war ever happened).
If the electric guitar was, in a sense, a sword of the Enemy when you were at war with God, then God’s desire is to turn that “weapon of war into a tool for the harvest”- to see many come to know Him. God has a heart for redemption; He loves to take the standards used by the enemy in our past and to raise them again to new purpose for His Name. So, with that in mind, it seems appropriate not to discard the music that came out of the 70’s, but rather to redeem it for God’ Name.
Thanks for including me in this discussion. I look forward to growing in my knowledge of Him through our conversation.