Thursday, January 28, 2016

A whisper

I was reminded this week that God doesn’t always show up accompanied by fanfare and flashing lights.  God can show up in the smallest things that are right in front of me.   If I will just open my eyes to look and open my ears to hear, He will be there.   I have written in the past about Ben Smith.  Ben is a worship leader at his church and has now released his first album.   In one of his songs, he cries out to God, “Whisper, whisper, whisper in my ear.  Tell me words I thought I’d never hear.  Illuminate what’s right in front of me.”  If you have a few extra minutes, listen to him perform the song with his wife, Kelly, here.  If you have more time, you can join him for a night of worship at Serenbe on Saturday evening.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Safe saves

In this week’s post at, I talked about Project Safe.  Project Safe is an Athens, GA organization whose mission is to end domestic violence and support those who have been affected by it.  So many times I wonder, “what on earth could I do to help?”  Volunteering time or donating money is always an option, but Project Safe recognizes that we may know people who have been affected by domestic violence.  If so, we may be able to help directly just by noticing and intervening when appropriate.  The Project Safe website lists these other ways to help.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Composer

If you know me or have been following this blog at all, you will know that I love music.   My wife, Caroline, and I played in high school band together, got married right out of college, and are now playing in an adult band together, The Georgia Wind Symphony.  We get to play some great music.  One of my favorite composers is Alfred Reed.  We played one of his works, Russian Christmas Music, at your December concert.  I have to work hard to prepare my one little part on the stand in front of me, playing one note at a time.  I marvel at the ability composers have to first “visualize” (audialize?) the work in their head and then begin to flesh out the entire piece – with all of the variations and the scoring of the individual parts - the weeks, months and sometimes years of work to get it just how they want it. I can imagine it would be tough to ever be finished.   When I think of my God, the Creator, I like to think of him in these terms.  First visualizing the finished product and then building it carefully step by step.   And knowing from the beginning that He would need to come to Earth as a man to complete the work, so that He could one day proclaim, “It is finished.”  The Great Composer, indeed.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Fatal attraction

The Vine Church started a new series last week entitled “Exponential”.   As a church, we are reading through Proverbs this month.  There are 31 chapters, so that will help to keep us on track.  King Solomon wrote Proverbs, and Chapter 7 deals with lust and sexual temptation.  I couldn’t help but think of the movie “Fatal Attraction”.   Michael Douglas’s character gets lured into a sexual relationship that doesn’t turn out well for him, or his family or his pet rabbit.   The consequences that he endured were natural consequences (on steroids) associated with his infidelity.   We think of the current cultural sexual explosion as being something that has developed recently, but Solomon confirms that this has been a problem for at least 1000 years, and probably much longer.   While the natural consequences for infidelity may vary from situation to situation, the separation from God that it creates is inescapable.  I am not sure if our pastor is going to focus on this subject in this series, but Andy Stanley had a great sermon series a few years ago called Guardrails.  He offers practical recommendations for how to avoid all of this.  I watched the first one again today.  I hope you will too.