January 2010

I’ll admit it: I give Oprah a hard time.  And I give people who watch Oprah a hard time.  But I’ll give the Great O this: she understands worship.

Nope, not true, biblical worship, but worship nonetheless.  She understands that worship is participatory, not performer-centered.

I’m not sure how I’ve missed this video that’s been floating around these here internets for a while, so if you’ve seen it, forgive me.  But take a moment…or six…and watch.

The setup is this: for the kickoff of her 24th season, Oprah threw a concert for all of Chicago featuring the Black Eyed Peas.  What she didn’t know is that her production staff brought in a choreographer to work with the crowd of thousands for hours before the concert.  In the front row is a lone girl, dancing herself silly.  All around her are people standing still.  And then…

…well, see for yourself:

Choreographer / director Michael Gracey said, “There’s something really special when you take an audience and instead of just being passive and watching, you invite them to participate.  That’s why it was so magical for both parties.  Two groups of people came together to create something that neither of them could have done alone.”

The takeaway for us churchy folk is obvious: worship is not a spectator sport.  And while we have to be careful with the “create something that neither of them could have done alone,” the fact is that when we come before a living God and worship him in a living way, life happens.  Majesty is recognized.  Sin is revealed.  Glory is known.  Awesome stuff happens.

This Sunday, worship like Oprah taught ya.

Hey guys, Valentine’s Day is coming up (no seriously, check the calendar!), and no doubt some of you have wives who will be celebrating a birthday soon.

That’s why I’m glad to bring you the following idea via MyFoxDC.com…

Iowa Man Spells Out Wife’s Birthday Message In Manure

Snarky commentary and suggested captions begins…now:

  • Nothing like celebrating your number one with a little number two.
  • “So honey, I was just looking at all of this manure, and I thought of you…”
  • “Just as the moo-moos had a movement, so does your life move me.”
  • Happy birthday to poo!
  • Happy birthday and all that cr… um, stuff.

BaptistMessenger.com just named our own Pastor J.D. as one of the Top Ten Pastors To Watch in 2010.

Truth be told, we’ve been watching him for a while now.  That extra slice of pizza on your lunch plate?  It won’t be there long.  Sticky fingers he has.

But truly, this is a high honor, and leads the Summit to a high calling.  Just as sure as evangelicals are watching our pastor, you can be sure that ol’ ugly himself is watching as well.  Satan loves nothing more than to see a leader fall, to ignore his family, to compromise his leadership…so would you join me in praying for Pastor J.D. this year?  (Heck, you can do it in 2011 too if you’d like.)

Pray Magazine offers a list of scripturally-based prayers to pray for your pastor.  I’m going to be using it, and I’d invite you do to so as well.

Like many of you, I rang in the new year by watching the celebration in Times Square.  It seems that December 31 isn’t complete until we see Jennifer Lopez in a gold onesie or Dick Clark proving that he’s still somewhat alive.  The good news this year is that we celebrated in the Central Time Zone, so I still got to sleep by 11:15.

Every year I’m reminded of the curious nature of the new year event.  Millions worldwide view it as a clean slate, an opportunity to rid our minds and lives of previous wrongs, grudges, and failures.  It’s as if January 1st hearkens some sort of rebirth – both physically (check out all the fitness equipment on sale), organizationally (how many started the year with a brand new calendar / day planner / etc.?) or spiritually (church attendance, anyone?).

But scripture reminds us that a new start doesn’t have to wait until New Year’s Day.  God promises in Lamentations 3:22-23 reminds us that ” The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

Every day, his grace is new.  Every day, his faithfulness is renewed.  Every day, we get a fresh start.

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