Thursday, July 31, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
It is the Word of God in the heart languaged that brings healing -- yes, by the power of the Holy Spirit. THe Word - living and active, like a double edged sword, able to divide bone from marrow. This is the tool that God uses to cut out the cancer of hate and the infection that is a grudge so that healing can begin. This is a story for all of us.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
For my whole life I've listened to conversations (sometimes arguments) about worship. When I was a kid, one particular Christmas musical program we did used drums and that about split the church. Or so it seemed. At the very least, it made some people really cranky.
I've seen this issue split churches. I've also seen it turn otherwise relatively sane human beings into crazy people at times. I sat in a church business meeting where someone was making their point about the leadership's bias toward one style of worship over another by noting the number of minutes in each worship service which were given to those different styles. (Great use of the digital watch's stop watch feature, wouldn't you say?)
I'm afraid I've gotten caught up in some of what I think now are the silly arguments...er...discussions around this topic. In the heat of the moment, I've made some pretty ridiculous statements. I own the fact that I used to think more about worship style as it would potentially impact visitors (calling them "seekers" did make it sound more spiritual in the midst of the discussion). Now I wonder how much of that was my Boomer need to appear "cool" or to be accepted.
Worship is an intimate expression of adoration and submission and celebration from the Bride (the Church) to the Bridegroom (Christ) and so what guests think or feel about it shouldn't ultimately matter. In fact, it is likely that they won't understand it all. And while that doesn't mean we should use that as an excuse for making our worship inaccessible to those who truly are seeking God and beginning a relationship with him through his church, it does change the way I think.
Lately I've been thinking more and more about what we should pay attention to when "evaluating" worship and realized that the primary question to ask is whether God accepts it as worship and is himself pleased. He has given us some clear direction on that matter in His Word.
Then I consider whether the worship is a thoughtful and meaningful expression by the worshipper (Scripture tells us to worship in Spirit and in Truth, with a clear mind and an engaged heart.) What does that look like (And doesn't it all look different?)
And then those things are somewhat complicated by the reality that corporate worship is different than private worship. Somehow when a group comes together to worship, there is value in harmonizing our voices -- yes, literally, but even more so figuratively.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Of course I couldn't resist and have created a bit of a logo for "Bob's Lanai" and, from that, have created Flair (available upon request -- of course, if you are not aware of what Flair is and you don't have or want to have a Facebook page, don't ask for it).
Then there is this photo of Bob...not really on his lanai, but with a "fake" background (from a photo a friend shared with me from their vacation to some island in the Caribbean) and, of course, Bob is wearing the "Bob's Lanai" button that looks like the Flair.
So, what is it about all of this that amuses me so much?
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
When young Townsend tried to sell Spanish Bibles in Guatemala in 1917-18, he discovered that the majority of the people he met did not understand Spanish. Neither did they have a written form of their own language, Cakchiquel. Townsend abandoned his attempts to sell Bibles and began living among the Cakchiquels. He learned their language, created an alphabet for it, analyzed the grammar, and translated the New Testament in only ten years.
Concerned about other minority language groups, Townsend opened Camp Wycliffe in Arkansas in the summer of 1934. Named for the first translator of the entire English New Testament, the camp was designed to train young people in basic linguistics and translation methods. Two students enrolled.
The following year, after a training session with five men in attendance, Townsend took the five to Mexico to begin field work. From this small beginning has grown a global Bible translation movement that birthed a number of organizatins including SIL (Summer Institute of Linguistics) and Wycliffe Bible Translators.
Saturday, July 05, 2008
The second internal response is CASH MONEY. That usually gets a laugh, but I'm serious. I have a jar of coins from all over and from different eras. No, not like a "collector" in the technical sense -- but yes, a collection. I have Italian coins from when my uncle was there in WWII. I have coins from almost all of the places I've visited and a lot of places my friends have visited or lived. Those coins are kept in a glass cube on my desk at home.
In a hand-carved wooden box I also keep a collection of paper money from many of these same places and friends. I love the variety of images and color and even sizes of the money. Often things about the nation and it's cultures are revealed or represented on the bills. I think that one or two of the bills i have may be worth a couple of bucks, but most of them are valued at less.
So yeah, if you ask me what you should bring me when you come from where ever you live in the world or from some globe-hopping of your own, the answer is easy. Cash money. No gift wrap required.
Friday, July 04, 2008
The photo at the right is of a man playing a traditional 2-string Ncam guitar.
The blog entry you'll be taken to by clicking on the title is about the Lokpa's recent Scripture celebration. It includes photos and video.
Sandy barely remembers when we first met -- and I really am okay with that -- in Kuala Lumpur at an International Communications gathering back in...a few years ago. We at lunch together (as you do when there is a conference and a buffet line and many tables) one day. I remember thinking that I would like to know her, but at the time she lived in ASIA and I lived in the STATES and our jobs were not ones that would cause our paths cross. You know how that stuff goes.
Last year at the Wycliffe USA Delegate Conference we met again -- and this time we had a few conversations. I thought the same thing, though with a bit more "hope" as she'd recently moved to Dallas for a while and that meant our paths could cross more easily. Finally we did have lunch one time when I was over there for other meetings... Then my Spring 2008 travels and her Spring 2008 travels put us in two places at the same time with some time between things to let a friendship have a chance to start. It did.
She is up for an adventure most of the time. She can even goad me into joining the fun -- for an example of that, I refer you to the balut video.
She is a coffee snob (I'm okay with that). I'm sort of one of those too...
While we seem to have a lot in common in our "wiring" -- similar Meyers Briggs profiles and dIsc profiles (and we both have short blond hair), we are also different in ways that have helped us to understand each other's "stuff" pretty quickly and still have another perspective to share.
What inspires me most about Sandy? Her desire to follow hard after God -- and her willingness to struggle toward that when it's not easy. Her abiding love for Christ that shows even when she's having a hard time hearing his voice in the clutter of life. Yes, those things. Those and the laughter...I love that too.
Happy Birthday, Sandy! I'm glad our paths finally paused in their crossing long enough for us to become friends.