Saturday, March 04, 2006

One Wild Show . . .

On Thursday night Karen and I went to the Dave Crowder and Third Day concert at The Palace. The main attraction for us was the Dave Crowder Band, however, they're the opening act for Third Day's tour.
Mac Powell, Third Day front man, was very entertaining and personal throughout the show. He continually talked about the Louisville show being unique and different like none other show ever. Mac definitely made it a reality.
Two Highpoints
Anyone that has ever been to any show has heard that one guy scream in all of his gusto with all of his passion, "FREEBIRD!" Many bands today ridicule that guy and sometimes even the audience that condones the request. Maybe some of you have been that guy. I have played my part in this ritual as that guy. But you don't really expect a band to do it; it's more of a rite of passage that makes a show - A SHOW.
Well, Mac surprised the rest of the band and said they would do a request. You know the request that I'm talking about. When he said what it would be, there was a few screams and many questions. Nonetheless, Third Day played Freebird, not all of it, but they played it - AWESOME!!!
Third Day brought the Dave Crowder Band back on stage for a little help. Before any music roared from the stage, Mac and Dave had some witty banter to exchange. Anyone that has ever seen David Crowder knows he is an interesting character. Check this out. Mac highlighted his features, and in a complimentary way (?) said he had the features of a Kung Fu Master. Dave Crowder laments it is not the case because he's a pacifist. Somehow the next thing that happened was an INDIAN LEG WRESTLE CHALLENGE!!! Now Crowder had no idea what this was, and once they were both on their backs preparing for this epic battle they both admitted, "this is a bit awkward." Awkward but once again awesome! Dave Crowder and Mac Powell locked legs laying side-by-side heads at opposite ends. Crowder quickly took advantage and plunged his leg and foot to the floor flipping Powell. They showed great sportsmanship after the bout and sang a bluegrass favorite for many in Kentucky - Saw the Light.
This show was like none other.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

John Piper's Cancer

John Piper is the pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He has been a faithful pastor and preacher there since 1980. Piper has done a great deal to help many Christians in his church and abroad through his writings beginning with the watershed book Desiring God.

He was recently diagnosed with cancer. Click here to read his thoughts on the eve of his surgery.

The Monkey's Paw

I remember reading The Monkey's Paw when I was in eighth grade. The story capitalizes on the fantasy to have any three wishes. Although, this story is quite different than the genie in a lamp wishes. Each time a wish comes true something horrific happens - so horrific that the wish turns into tragedy rather than a celebration.
I also remember hearing evangelist Sam Cathey declare from the pulpit that one should never pray for patience because you don't want to go through what God has in store for you to receive that spiritual gift. He said it numerous times and I've heard since then by numerous preachers, but even at such a young age I knew that he was wrong. I didn't know precisely why, but I knew he was wrong.
I stand on many promises that God has spoken to me through His Word. First and foremost, I have a relationship with Him because I have faith that Jesus is the payment and satisfaction of my sins, He gives me peace, and He intercedes for me to God the Father. Living for God means trusting in His provisions. I read about the character of God throughout the Bible, and He is the same God of love and justice in the Old Testament and the New Testament. I know that God is infinitely perfect in every single way. There is no evil about Him in any way, shape, or form. Therefore, when God says that I should bear fruit for Him, and patience is included, then I want to bear fruit for Him.
The apostles gave us the inspired Word from God to prepare us for a harsh life in this foreign world: James (1:2-4) says, "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing;" Paul says in Romans 8:18, "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us."
This glory that is about to be mine is indescribable. Paul was the one who said it. Remember what he went through and yet still looked forward with such determination to live on for the sake of others: 2 Corinthians 11:24-28 Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; 26 on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; 27 in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. 28 And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. That blows me away every time I read it.
But I am not like Paul. The sad reality is that I have become a consumer. I have dichotomized my life. Church and spirituality are only a part of life. The church is dying because leadership and members (I fit in both categories) are not working as Paul did pleading, reasoning, urging others to come to the Kingdom. We have to live our whole life seeking the Kingdom first (not my words).
Hell is more than a bad place that we don't want people to go to. Our relationship with God is our motivating factor that drives us to give excellent efforts in everything we do. Pursue God. We don't have any groanings the Spirit can offer to God because we don't spend any time in prayer or in the Word (cf. Rom. 8:26-27). How much time do you watch TV, spend in front of the mirror, talk on the phone, eat, or workout? How much time does God receive?
Paul wished himself damned so that his loved ones would know Christ. Who do you love that much? Paul was a driven man that did as much as he could to bring as many people to God and train them to be a daily follower of God.
God is not a monkey's paw that tricks us or connives us. Every good and perfect gift is from God, the Father. He has called me into a relationship with Him and I believe that He will complete that calling. In the mean time, I want to depend on Him through the toughest, saddest, and depressing times because I know that trust in my Father will lead to the most amazing earthquakes I could ever imagine.