Walking Through Life God's Way

Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday Funny - You are not alone

I found this short little funny story and as a brother, I can relate and it brought a chuckle....
Mary, a typical teenage girl, was having a tough day and had stretched herself out on the couch to do a bit of what she thought to be well-deserved complaining and self- pitying.

She moaned to her mom and brother, "Nobody loves me ... the whole world hates me!"

Her brother, busily occupied playing a game, hardly looked up at her and passed on this encouraging word: "That's not true, Mary. Some people don't even know you."

So, if you are feeling a bit out-of-sorts...don't worry, not everybody hates you....

Don't forget to smile at the cute children and fun costumes, laugh at all the weird-ohs that dress up for All Saint's Eve, then turn your clock back an hour. Fall back in the Fall...

You know it - Don

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Blended Worship Service IS???

Park Chapel Christian Church has a Blended Worship Service...we call it Solid Ground. What do I mean by "blended worship" service?

Well, let’s start with the word “worship”. Many books and articles (perhaps deliberately) do a poor job of pinning down what they do and do not mean by that word. On one end of the spectrum are definitions like “a complete liturgical event for which the people of a church regularly gather”: greeting, singing, preaching, praying, the kid’s moment, it’s all part of “worship”. On the other end of the spectrum is “participation in the singing of a particular type of song of adoration towards God, usually to soft, melodic, contemplative music”. While we all agree that “worship is important”, we have wildly different notions of what is and is not a part of that important thing. Worship is simply, "declaring how much God is worth with a physical response."

For the purposes of this blog, I’m going to use “worship” to refer to those times when the gathered church sings and prays aloud together (whether en masse or one-at-a-time). An alternate definition which will work just as well is those things in which the gathered church participates in perceptible ways with the intent of engaging with the presence of God in and among them so as to respond to our Creator by declaring He is worth more than anything else.

So what is “blended worship”? Simply put, it is the use of songs and prayers from radically different streams of the church and cultural genres, in their conventional forms, within a single worship event. Imagine a choir-sung Lutheran hymn, a neo-punk chorus, and a Gregorian chant as back-to-back songs within a single service and you’re starting to get the idea.

Notice that an otherwise-traditional church service in which a single “contemporary” song is performed by a singer (”special music”) is not blended, and neither is a rock-ensemble worship band covering a hymn; each of these is an example of one style co-opting the other, but using it on its own terms.

Therefore, in the Park Chapel Solid Ground service, we make it our goal to please our Creator by offering ourselves to Him in many diverse offerings...blending many facets of our abilities and gifts together so as to declare to anyone and everyone that we praise, adore, and love a creative Jehovah that has blessed us beyond our imaginations.

Genesis 2:3, "
And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that He had done."

All thoughts are welcome...you know I love ya - Don

Monday, October 26, 2009

Words to encourage...

“Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”- Ephesians 5:19-20
Speak to one another is the first mark of a Christian who is being matured by the filling of the Holy Spirit: “...Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns, and spiritual songs.”

In other words, these Christians are addressing one another in a way that encourages their mutual edification. Even in their conversation with one another, their desire is to edify, to build up, to encourage. It’s addressing and exhorting and encouraging one another—in this case, he says, with scriptural songs, or songs that are scriptural and spiritual—so that we’re moved to adoration and confession and thanksgiving, and petition and intercession.

An elder at Gethsemane Church of Christ is particularly good at doing this. Any time I got a note from him, he almost always began it by quoting a long passage of Scripture before he then moves on to a word of encouragement. And even sometimes when I was talking with him, he’ll start the conversation off by quoting Scripture, and then we would move into the substance of what it is that we’re going to talk about. And very often in his prayer he would quote Scripture first, verbatim, and then move into lifting up the specific praises or petitions to God. Cleveland Bosher will always be a good and encouraging example to me.

Yesterday, I was talking to one of the mothers of the congregation as she walked into the church, I was reminded of another manifestation of this speaking with one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. She was talking about the importance of parents encouraging their children to read the Bible, and to ask them what they’re reading, and what they’re learning from the Bible, so that their conversation is filled from time to time by talking about the things of the Lord, naturally; that we would desire to have that as a normal part of our interaction with one another in human relationships, whether parent and child, or friend and friend.

Well, the Apostle Paul says the person who’s being Spirit-filled has a conversation which is filled with the truth of God’s word in a way that encourages or edifies our brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ. That’s one mark of a Christian who is being matured by the Holy Spirit.

Lord, Help me to have encouraging words today! Amen.

I am sending encouraging words your way - you know I love ya - Don

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday Funny - The Birthday Wish

It is Friday, so lets laugh....

A man asked his wife, "What would you most life for your birthday?"

She said, "I'd love to be ten again."

On the morning of her birthday, he got her up bright and early and off they went to the theme park. He put her on every ride in the park...the death slide, the screaming loop, the wall of fear, and so on. Everything there was, she had to go.

She staggered out of the park five hours later, her head reeling and her stomach upside down. He takes her to McDonald's, where she was given a Double Big Mac with extra fries and a strawberry shake. Then off to a theater to see a replay of Star Wars double feature with more snacks of candy and popcorn and soft drinks.

At last she staggered home with her husband and collapsed into bed. Her husband leaned over and asked, "Well, dear, what was it like being ten again?"

One eye opened and she grown, "Actually I meant dress size 10."

Keep smiling and have a great weekend! - Don

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Orionids Shining Bright

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life—in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So you too should be glad and rejoice with me. - Philippians 2:12-18

I woke up last night and had an opportunity to look out the window and witness the Orionids Meteor Show. I did not see too much. Our neighbors had their bight spot lights on and the sky was not as dark as it could have been. I did get to see four shooting stars. One really bright, and three the were much shorter in duration.


I thought of this verse in Philippians. We live in a world that is flesh driven. Too many people are living the crooked and depraved life. It is shows in the amount of depression, arrogance, and immorality that is everywhere. Just yesterday, I had to deal with good Christian people, that made some foolish decisions and then acted as if they were "holier" then the other good people that were hurt and truly diminished as a result. The world influences us in many ways, it is our (my) job to hold tightly to the "Word of Life."

There is not other way to live in victory over the world unless you hold on tightly to the Word of Life. I believe Jesus is the word of life and the great blessing to holding on to the word of life is that He is unable to let go. There is no way Jesus can let go of us when we hold on to Him. It is not in God's nature to let go, therefore the absolute truth of an absolutely wonderful God is "He unable to let go."

I want to shine like the stars...Lord, help me to hold tightly to you and may others see me shine brightly. Display me like the Orionids I saw last night so that others may know that you are truly God and God Alone. Amen

You know I love ya - a fellow star

Monday, October 19, 2009

Response to a Detour!

Moses answered the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still." Exodus 14:13-14

We can let fear dominate our life or we can choose to be strong and courageous. I say we can “choose” but have you noticed in today’s verse it is a command? Why would God do that? Why would He command us to be strong and courageous? Because we NEED it and He is WORTHY of it! However, we do have options. We can let fear grip our heart and influence our decisions. We can rationalize why we can’t be strong or courageous. We can justify why we should be discouraged and drown in self-pity and yet what does God command? “Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Today, I am deciding to obey the Lord by being strong and courageous in everything I face.

When you are facing a detour…. Remember Jesus desires to walk the journey with you…do not be afraid and stand strong in your faith…then keep your eyes open during your detour because you will witness an Almighty God that will...

Part the Red Sea,

Bring the walls of Jericho down,

Slay the Giant with one little stone,

Keep you alive in the belly of a fish,

Bring fire down and burn a wet alter,

Be born in a small stable

Make the lame walk, the blind to see, and the deaf to hear,

He will cast out the demons

He will rise from the dead…

I am keeping my eyes open and looking for great things to come. You know I love ya, Don

Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday Funny - Wives!

Men in Heaven - Who is the Head of the Household?

At the end of the age when all the believers were standing in line waiting to get into heaven, God appeared and said, "I want all the men to form two lines. One line will be for the men who were the true heads of their households. The other will be for the men who were dominated by their wives."

God continued, "I want all the women to report to St. Peter."

The women left and the men formed two lines. The line of men who were dominated by their wives was seemingly unending. The line of men who were the true head of their household had one man in it.

God said to the first line, "You men ought to be ashamed or yourselves. I appointed you to be the heads of your households and you were disobedient and have not fulfilled your purpose. Of all of you, there is only one man who obeyed me. Learn from him."

Then God turned to the lone man and asked, "How did you come to be in this line?"

The man replied, "My wife told me to stand here."

I love my wife and always want to please her by doing what she tells me....well, most of the time. Happy Friday, Don

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Buddy Walk 2009 Pictures

It was a great Buddy Walk in Indianapolis 2009. Lots of Fun and worth every step!
Around 2,300 in attendance!





You know I love ya, Don

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Detour through the Red Sea!

"And when the Israelites saw the great power the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in Him and in Moses His servant" (Exodus 14:31, NIV).

Stuck! The Israelite's enemies were in hot pursuit, and in front of them stood an enormous expanse of water. What were they to do? They needed a detour through the Red Sea. If they turned back, their rivals would surely kill them. To venture into the Red Sea meant certain death as well.

Understandably, they turned to their leader, Moses. "Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die?" they cried. "What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn't we say to you in Egypt, 'Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians'? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!" (Exodus 14:11-12).

Like petulant children, the former slaves turned to the man in charge and whined. And before I go any further, I must admit I've done the same thing. When I go through God's detours, I complain and whine.

There I am. Stuck. My enemies--self-doubt, fear, depression--are pursuing me. In front of me is the deep darkness of grief. To go forward requires a faith I don't have. To go back means losing all I have learned. So I complain.

"Lord, why haven't you answered my prayers?" I cry. "I thought you blessed those who seek you. I've been asking you for the same thing for months, even years. Don't you hear my prayers? It would better for me if I had never been born than to go through this pain. Didn't you hear me when I said I'd had all I could bear? How long will you let me go on like this?"

Have you been there? Most likely, God allows us to get to a "Red Sea" in our lives in order to show His glory to us, as He did for the Israelites.

Like many people, I hate waiting. And I'm sure the Israelites didn't like Moses' response to their little temper tantrum. He said: "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still."

Can't you just see their astonished faces and hear their incredulous replies: "What did he say? Be still? A lot of good that will do!"

And we act the same way. God tells us to "wait," and we decide that's not good enough. So we make ourselves miserable trying to solve the problem (infertility, financial difficulties, marriage troubles, illness, and disease) ourselves.

But God provided a detour for the Israelites, as He is for us today. He sent a mighty wind, which blew back the Red Sea until it made two walls. Then He commanded His children to "move on." And one by one, they resolutely set foot into the bottom of the ocean, marveling at the incredible sights on either side of them.

So when you are faced with a great detour, stand back and watch. Allow the Lord to blow back the sea and astonish you with His miraculous deeds. God will make sure you arrive on dry land, and in doing so, He may slay a few of those enemies you've been running from.

Lord, give me the courage to be still and let You work in my life. Amen

You know I love ya - Don

Friday, October 9, 2009

Friday Funny - a dying wish!

An old preacher was dying. He sent a message for his senator and his congressman, both church members, to come to his home.

When they arrived, they were ushered up to his bedroom. As they entered the room, the preacher held out his hands and motioned for them to sit on each side of the bed. The preacher grasped their hands, sighed contentedly, smiled, and stared at the ceiling. For a time, no one said anything.

Both men were touched and flattered that the preacher would ask them to be with him during his final moments. They were also puzzled; the preacher had never given them any indication that he particularly liked either of them. They both remembered his many long, uncomfortable sermons about greed, covetousness, and avaricious behaviour that made them squirm in their seats.

Finally, the banker said, "Preacher, why did you ask us to come?"

The old preacher mustered up his strength and then said weakly, "Jesus died between two thieves, and that's how I want to go."

This is a bipartisan joke, so take it against all parties....

Gotta laugh out loud once in awhile...try it at work. People will think you are crazy. I am going to today, at least once. You know I love ya, Don

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

God and Luck!

God and luck. Did you know that the word "luck" never appears anywhere in the scriptures? Odd, in a way, since it was a popular concept in the ancient world. Pagans were always ascribing things to the fates, those women who sat at their spinning wheel in the heavens and, when their thread broke, so did the lives of some poor mortals here on earth. Our lives, said Homer, are mere playthings of the gods. It is all a matter of luck, fate, chance. And what can anybody do?

Sometime back, the National Safety Council urged news organizations to stop speaking of "accidents" on our highways. Rather, they thought it more accurate to speak of "crashes." If you are doing a hundred and ninety on Route 9 and have a wreck, is this really an "accident?"

Luck is often perceived as a gift from God. Does that mean being unlucky is God's way of punishing us? Absolutely not! We have the freedom to choose. A true Christ-follower intentionally steps out on faith and allows God to control and work His providence. Many times God takes us on detours around our plans to mature and mold us into His plans. I am pondering on Joseph's response to His brothers in Genesis 50:19-20, "Don't be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives."

I like God's truth...when we stand in faith, many of our detours that often make our journey longer, truly enhance the journey and draw us closer to the God we love. So, I am going to plan on enjoying the journey, even the detours.

You know I love ya - a fellow journeyman.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Sincerely Forgiven!

15 When Joseph's brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, "What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?" 16 So they sent word to Joseph, saying, "Your father left these instructions before he died: 17 'This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.' Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father." When their message came to him, Joseph wept.

18 His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. "We are your slaves," they said.

19 But Joseph said to them, "Don't be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. 21 So then, don't be afraid. I will provide for you and your children." And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them. (Genesis 50: 15-21 NIV)

Joseph wept at the message from His brothers. He had already sincerely forgiven them, yet they still feared Joseph's wrath...even many years later. I can see why he wept.

God has sincerely forgiven me, yet I forget how sincere God was while He was on the cross. He said "Father, forgive them, they do not know what they are doing." The great part of today is that He is still saying that for me and you. He is sincerely forgiving us and interceding for our benefit. I am reminded of the old saying, "I am not perfect, but I am forgiven."

You know I love ya - a fellow forgiven Christ-follower, Don

P.S. - I am preaching in the Solid Ground the next two weeks and we are going to talk more about detours in life and Joseph is the first. For the story of Joseph read the last ten chapters of Genesis.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Friday Funny - a test of wits!

They did not offer physics in Bible College....hummmm?

One day the professor was discussing a particularly complicated concept. A pre-med student rudely interrupted, demanding, "Why do we have to learn all this stuff?"
"To save lives," the professor responded quickly, and continued the lecture.

A few minutes later, the same student spoke up again. "So, how exactly does physics save lives?" he persisted.

"It keeps the idiots out of medical school," replied the professor.

Gotta Laugh - enjoy the Friday ahead of us! You know I love ya, Don