Seeing God When He's Silent

A cool thing happened to me this morning. I went for an early morning run before work. It was still dawn (I was going to say “twilight” but I didn’t want to distract you and cause you to think the movie Twilight and then wonder if I believed in vampires - which I don’t, btw). The sun was beginning to rise over Boise’s foothills but not enough to give much light.

I like running in the dark. It keeps me from looking at how far I still have to go and instead forces me to focus the steps in front of me. I’m not distracted by the scenery around but look solely at the path in front of me.

It was peaceful and therapeutic.

Life’s been rough lately and the world’s craziness makes it even harder to find peace. God tells us in the Bible not to be anxious about anything but that is easier said than done.

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A Psalm for My Community

Three years ago, in a very desperate place, our Mika community took a week between summer and fall to pray and seek God together in an intense way.  This has become a precious tradition that has since been part of our rhythm of life together.  This past week we started with a day of praise and thanksgiving, recalling  all that the Lord has done for us.  We ended the day each writing a psalm of praise and reading them out together.  This is the psalm I wrote for our community:

 My Psalm

I praise you God for you are GOOD.  

Your faithfulness is our shield and guide

Your provision has become our song

When we were young and unexperienced, You led us with wise counsel

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Worship Lyrics and the Hidden Narcissism

Since the advent of the praise chorus, there has been debate over the lyrical content of Christian worship songs.  The initial (and sometimes continuing) issues have centered on the depth of content.  Worship choruses were lyrically simple, hooky, and repetitive by design.  And in the early development of the praise chorus, I think that was the point—to create songs that were easy to sing and more emotionally evocative, not necessarily weighty in theology.  So in contrast to hymns, worship choruses—infusing contemporary folk and rock sensibilities—were composed that were sincere, singable, and hopefully meaningful.

Thankfully, the hymn-versus-chorus debate is largely a thing of the past these days.  In many churches, hymns and choruses peacefully co-exist in the expression of corporate worship.  In a real sense, the traditional vs. contemporary worship wars were as much a cultural issue as they were a style issue.  And culture evolves.  Of course, the culture wars continue, but they look very different these days.

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