“Now we are His portion and He is our prize, drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes. If His grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.”
I have a lot of favorite songs from a wide range of genres, but all of my favorite worship songs revolve around the lyrics. Perhaps my favorite worship song is one written by John Mark McMillan and covered by David Crowder Band (among others), “How He Loves.”
I will admit that with David Crowder Band being one of my all-time favorite groups, I’m probably a bit biased towards their songs, but with this song it’s really the second verse that stands out to me.
The song, as John Mark has expressed, is a crying out from agony in worship that God loves us through all things and will provide comfort even as we might feel none. He wrote the song following the death of one of his best friends, and his original version includes a third verse (not sung in the covers) that talks about how God met him through his breaking following the tragic event. It is not a tidy song, but rather a raw release of emotional awareness of the power of God’s love that He has for us
I can’t imagine life without Facebook, YouTube, Google or my smart phone. That’s really weird when you consider that all of those are only about 10 years old (some much less), so I can distinctly remember life without them. And I enjoyed life without them.
I’ve written before on all the positives and negatives I see in Facebook and the impact it has on our relationships. I know older generations point to video games and the explosion of television shows as a cause of the decline in imagination. For me, the biggest shift has been the loss of memory.
I have a really good memory, at least when it comes to random things that most would argue should not hold a place in our brains. Song lyrics stick with me almost effortlessly, as do random movie quotes. Bible verses used to be the same way.
Back in the day (wow, I sound old), I was really good at memorizing Bible verses. That sounds weird, like a weird combination of pride and boasting about a book that teaches humility. But (at the risk of once again taking my nerdiness beyond what anyone thought possible) I really was.
For six years between third and eighth grade I participated on Bible quizzing teams, which is exactly what it sounds like. And anyone who knew me back then can verify that I was pretty much always one of the “strongest” (Of course, I mean physically strongest – I can’t believe you would even feel the need to ask after reading this far) members of the team. They could also probably verify that I was a total brat.
Last week one of my friends started talking about the impact of memorizing passages of scripture. She mentioned the power of being able to have verses come into your head in key moments, and not just one or two phrases but full paragraphs, chapters and books. She mentioned it as something we should strive for, and it started to trigger my own memories.
My love for many things Disney has been well documented. While most people have seen classic Disney movies maybe a couple times in their lives and most recently many years ago, for me a “long time” between viewings consists of a few months or at most a year.
It was with this approach that I went to see “Beauty and the Beast” in a movie theater Sunday afternoon. I was excited for many reasons.
First, that is by far my favorite Disney movie for reasons I probably have explained numerous times and will do so again many times in the future.
Second, the theatrical re-release of Disney classics provides an opportunity for new generations to more fully experience the joy of a Disney childhood. A couple months ago I went with a group of guys to see “The Lion King” in 3D, and the movie theater was packed with ages ranging from little kids to adults like me. We were sharing a unique childhood connection, and I heard numerous kids leaving the theater after loving the movie. They had clearly just experienced it for the first time, while everyone my age was reliving that exact experience nearly 20 years later.
“Beauty and the Beast” hits an even more personal note for me because, as best as I can remember, it was the first movie I ever saw in a theater. Sunday marked the second time I’d seen it in a theater, and I am proud to say that this time I did not have to leave the auditorium after being frightened by the beast (I was four years old the last time, and the beast is really scary when he gets angry on the big screen…) Continue reading
This afternoon while I watched the first play of overtime in the Denver Broncos-Pittsburgh Steelers playoff game, I thought of Jesus’ words to his first two disciples as recorded in John’s Gospel.
According to John 1:35-39, they had been following John the Baptist when he referred to Jesus as “the Lamb of God.”
Naturally, when you’re following someone and clinging to his every word and you hear him announce that someone is vastly greater than himself, you’re going to move along to follow this greater person. That’s exactly what these two men (believed to be Andrew – as mentioned in verse 40 – and John, the author of the gospel) did.
And naturally, if you’re going about your business and two people start following you, you’re eventually going to turn around and ask what’s up. That’s exactly what Jesus did.
Jesus asks these two men what they want, and they choose to use the riddle method (never a good idea when you’re dealing with the creator of the universe, but whatever). They answer Jesus’ question with a question of their own, asking where he is staying.
Jesus’ response sums up everything I’ve come to love about his character and everything that I’ve so often fallen short of emulating as a follower of Christ. He simply says, “Come, and you will see” (v. 39).
Jesus doesn’t seek to give them the easy answer; he gives them the choice to be a part of what he was about to do. Too often we long for the simple answer and dismiss the opportunity to take part in the journey. In the end, actions will speak far louder – and have a far greater impact – than words.
Everything about Tim Tebow supports that cliche.