Sunday Night Thoughts

Summer’s Here

The Memorial Day Weekend typically signifies the unofficial beginning of Summer.  While the official season of summer is three weeks away, the weather around here is very summer like.  We have had popcorn type thundershowers/storms almost every evening this week.  In fact, since I bought a sprinkler for our new lawn several weeks ago, we have had a fairly steady progression of thunderstorms and rain.

This afternoon we were invited over to a “summers here” picnic.  It was a great time of fellowship and swimming.  The water was a little cool yet, but with weather like we have had it won’t be long until the water warms up.

FLAME Gives Back

This week begins a week of preparation for the “FLAME Gives Back” missions trip to Keam’s Canyon, AZ.  We will be leaving on Friday, so that means getting the worship ready for the Sunday I will be gone and working on the service for the Sunday I return.  Since I will be getting back late on Saturday, that needs to be completed this week.  In addition, I will be leading times of worship during the trip during our evening chapels.  We will be in some very primitive conditions so I need to prepare songsheet/songbooks for our team.  I am really looking forward to this time, even though I am not much on “roughing it.”  My idea of roughing it, is a hotel room 🙂  We are going to help a Christian brother and sister who is in need — we are going to be the church’s hands and feet.  I would covet your prayers for both myself and the team of 20 or so as we travel.  Because of the primitive conditions, I will be “off the grid.”  That should be an interesting experience in and of itself.  No technology except for what can be charged (think digital camera and video camera)  There will be no wireless service, running water, or electricity.  If I get the chance (which is probably very slim) I will update you.  Otherwise you will have to wait till I get back.  So this space may be quiet for awhile.

Speaking of “Off the Grid”

Tonight is the first night since we moved to our new house that I have internet at home.  It is strange because I am connected to the internet via a G3 network.  I am completely wireless and even used the laptop the other night in the car (BTW — I was not driving!)  That was a new experience.

Father, Spirit, Jesus

Today was Trinity Sunday in the church year.  It was tough to find songs that referenced the Trinity.  As I was writing this, I remembered the Casting Crowns song I listed above.  We used a great hymn of the church, “Come Thou Almighty King.”  Wow! did the congregation sing or what this morning.  The Holy Spirit is moving among us on a weekly basis.  It is amazing to lead worship in an environment like that.  I am grateful for what God is doing.

Closing Thoughts

Today the sermon at church was about Job.  Our pastor is doing a summer series on Bible Super-Heroes.  I am looking forward to each installment.  During the sermon, he referenced a line from a song that we sang this morning…”You give and take away, my heart will choose to say, Lord blessed be Your name.”  So many times it is easy to praise God when we are being blessed, but what about in the hard times?  Is it just as easy for you to worship God?  It was for Job, even though he had lost everything.  As you go through the week, remember to praise God in the good times and the bad — blessed be Your glorious name!  Carp Diem!

Sunday Set List

May 30, 2010
Trinity Sunday


Call to Worship and Invocation

Romans 5:1-5

Songs of Worship

Come Thou Almighty King (Anonymous/Giardini)

Shout to the Lord (Zschech)

Glorify Thy Name (Adkins)

Worship Through Prayer

Songs of Worship

Blessed Be Your Name (Redman/Redman)

Mighty to Save (Fielding/Morgan)

Giving Back to God

Special Music – Enough (Tomlin)

Worship Through God’s Word

Bible Super-Heros

Job’s Great Discovery

Job 1:1-22

Song of Committment

It Is Well With My Soul (Spafford/Bliss)


On Leading Worship…

“If leading worship is just about bringing a group of people into a room so we can get goosebumps and sing songs together, there’s not much value in that. But if leading worship is a means to an end, that we leave this place as a different kind of people, as part of a new humanity that God wants to create… then that matters.”

– Michael Gungor

Running Update

The Short Version:

Today I got back out and ran 3.1 miles in Gypsy Hill Park — this was over the same route that is used for the regular 5K races in the park during the summer.  I still need to replace my watch, so I don’t have any idea how long the run took.  Pressing On!

The Video Version

Weekly Lectionary Reading

Trinity Sunday (May 30, 2010)

  • First reading and Psalm
    • Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31
    • Psalm 8
  • Second reading
    • Romans 5:1-5
  • Gospel
    • John 16:12-15

1 Listen as Wisdom calls out!
Hear as understanding raises her voice!
2 On the hilltop along the road,
she takes her stand at the crossroads.
3 By the gates at the entrance to the town,
on the road leading in, she cries aloud,
4 “I call to you, to all of you!
I raise my voice to all people.

22 “The Lord formed me from the beginning,
before he created anything else.
23 I was appointed in ages past,
at the very first, before the earth began.
24 I was born before the oceans were created,
before the springs bubbled forth their waters.
25 Before the mountains were formed,
before the hills, I was born—
26 before he had made the earth and fields
and the first handfuls of soil.
27 I was there when he established the heavens,
when he drew the horizon on the oceans.
28 I was there when he set the clouds above,
when he established springs deep in the earth.
29 I was there when he set the limits of the seas,
so they would not spread beyond their boundaries.
And when he marked off the earth’s foundations,
30 I was the architect at his side.
I was his constant delight,
rejoicing always in his presence.
31 And how happy I was with the world he created;
how I rejoiced with the human family!

Sacraments 2

How many sacraments?

To figure out how many sacraments, we will have to decide which denomination’s sacraments. The Catholic Church has seven sacraments. “Why seven?”  because Christ instituted seven sacraments. A sacrament must be “instituted by Christ.” The Church did not invent them: she only defined and defends them.  “There are seven sacraments in the Church: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Penance, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Order, and Matrimony. This is defined doctrine:  ‘Adhering to the teaching of the Holy Scripture, to the apostolic traditions, and to the consensus… of the Fathers, we profess that the sacraments of the new law were….. all instituted by Christ our Lord’” (Kreeft, 2001)

Luther denies that there were seven sacraments, and for the present maintains that there are but three: baptism, penance, and the bread. All three have been subject to miserable captivity by the Roman curia, and the church has been robbed of all her liberty. Yet if I were to speak according to the usage of the Scriptures, I should have only one single sacrament, but three sacramental signs. (McGrath, 2002)

I contacted a friend of ours, Michael Trolly, who is an Anglican priest to find out what the Anglican Church believes of the Sacraments.  “Their Articles of Religion talk about the sacraments.  They approach it by emphasizing the importance of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper in the Christian life-these are the two sacraments that are directly commanded by Christ in the Gospel  that every Christian is supposed to receive. The section on the Articles goes on to speak of things that are “commonly called sacraments”, saying that they are generally an appropriate part of the Christian life, but that they aren’t as the other sacraments. (Trolley, 2010)

The distinction is a little bit theoretical, in the sense that –in practice- the other things “commonly called the sacraments” are very much part of what it means to have a Christian life that revolves around Baptism and the Eucharist.”

Most of the Protestant Church believes that there are only two sacraments; they are The Lord’s Supper and Baptism. Protestants have placed priority on the Scripture – preaching the pure Word of God. Thus, the argument that the public reading, preaching, and study of the Scriptures is one of the chief means of grace of God uses to sanctify His church will not have much difficulty in persuading Protestants. Many Protestants consider Scripture something of a sacrament – a sacred place where God has chosen to meet His people and convey grace to them.  While it may not be formally listed as a sacrament in our doctrines, most Protestants treat scripture as if it were God’s chief means of grace.  (Drury, There Is No I In Church, 1984)

Running Update

The Ups and Downs of Running

Believe it or not, it has been almost 10 months since I have started running.  Over the past few weeks, I have been working on progressing (going faster and going longer.)  Today was another of those going longer days.  I am hoping to be up to seven miles before I go out to Arizona to serve with the FLAME Gives Back missions team.  I’ll be getting plenty of exercise there and with the heat, I won’t need to run — besides no one would want to smell me and we won’t have showers.

Today I went 6.5 miles for the first time.  My legs are really feeling it.  I don’t have a time because my watch bit the dust.  I create quite a bit of sweat while running and this watch wasn’t up to the task.  My best guess was that it was in the hour and fifteen to twenty minute range.  Pressing On!

Worship Is God’s Doing…

Worship is God’s doing. . . . It is performative. That is, it does something for those who do the work of proclaiming and enacting God’s work. It transforms them. . . . Every Sunday is a “little Easter.” Every Sunday of the year is a celebration of the Easter event. The work of the people in “doing the Christ event” through memory and hope is the source for personal and corporate formation into resurrection spirituality.

Robert E. Webber, Ancient-Future Time: Forming Spirituality through the Christian Year (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2004), 152-153.