Sunday, November 23, 2008

Family of God

Adam spoke this morning in church on the family of God. It was really good, he was really blessed of the Lord this morning. As he was speaking a song came to mind by Casting Crowns. I've always loved this song because it makes me think. If you haven't heard it or even if you have, maybe it will make you think about getting real with the family of God.

Stained Glass Masquerade

Is there anyone that fails
Is there anyone that falls
Am I the only one in church today feelin' so small

Cause when I take a look around
Everybody seems so strong
I know they'll soon discover
That I don't belong

So I tuck it all away, like everything's okay
If I make them all believe it, maybe I'll believe it too
So with a painted grin, I play the part again
So everyone will see me the way that I see them

Are we happy plastic people
Under shiny plastic steeples
With walls around our weakness
And smiles to hide our pain
But if the invitation's open
To every heart that has been broken
Maybe then we close the curtain
On our stained glass masquerade

Is there anyone who's been there
Are there any hands to raise
Am I the only one who's traded
In the altar for a stage

The performance is convincing
And we know every line by heart
Only when no one is watching
Can we really fall apart

But would it set me free
If I dared to let you see
The truth behind the person
That you imagine me to be

Would your arms be open
Or would you walk away
Would the love of Jesus
Be enough to make you stay

Chorus (x2)

But if the invitation's open
To every heart that has been broken
Maybe then we close the curtain
On our stained glass masquerade

Is there anyone that fails
Is there anyone that falls
Am I the only one in church today feelin' so small

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veteran's Day

Out of all the holidays we celebrate as a nation, I find Veteran's Day to be up at the top of my list. Memorial Day would probably have to be tied with it. These are two days out of the year that we truly honor and remember our heroes of wars present and past. It was announced on the news today that there are still a few (it may actually be only one or two) surviving veterans of World War I. Can you imagine the things they have seen? They witnessed the first world war when everyone thought the world would end, only to witness a second world war, when again, everyone thought the world would end. (Matthew 24:6) Since then, numerous other wars have been fought. I have had the great privilege of knowing several World War II veterans. Each has a different story to tell. And slowly, members of this generation are "fading." My dad preached the funeral of two gentlemen this past week, both of whom we discovered later were serving in the India/China/Pacific region of World War II at the same time. He quoted General Douglas McArthur in his farewell address to Congress after returning from the war:

"Old soldiers never die; they just fade away."

We owe a tremendous amount to our soldiers, past and present. Our nation would not be what it is without their faithful, selfless service. We owe the very protection of our freedoms to each and every one.

I was touched today by the post on's Field Notes:

You can find stories here that won't make the headline news, but are most certainly worthy of reading. This post highlights the sentinels that guard the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetary. If you have ever been and watched the changing of the guard, it is an experience you will never forget. But, reading this article I learned some new things about the guard. For example, everything is done by 21 (21 steps, 21 second pause, etc.), because 21 is a perfect number in the military. Each sentinel also spends an additional 4-6 hours simply shining his shoes for the next day's 2 hour shift. They stand by perfection. And they honor those who lost their lives in the call of duty, and were simply labeled "MIA", because their remains were never found.

So, although late in the day, remember the veterans you know, and those you don't. Say a prayer of thanksgiving for their service. And honor them not only today, but every day.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

I Beat Them to the Punch

Yesterday, my dad installed his speakers for our computer. It's basically surround sound for our computer. We've had them for a couple of years now, but they haven't worked properly until now. To celebrate, he brought me downstairs to listen to "Christmas with the Rat Pack".

Dean Martin's silky smooth voice echoed throughout our basement singing, "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm." Then, "Baby, It's Cold Outside", followed by my request, "White Christmas". Dean Martin had a voice unlike any other, and dad and I talked about how Frank Sinatra was great, but his voice couldn't compare with Dean's. Dad said when Dean performed, it was just "effortless". It didn't look like he was even trying. "Frank was more popular and sold more records, but Dean...Dean was the singer."

So, this morning, November 2nd, I woke up and started singing in the shower. Not completely unusual so far. But this is how I beat "the man" to the punch...I was singing Christmas songs. On November 2nd. Barely into the month of November, and I'm singing "White Christmas" and "Joy to the World" in my shower. Before all the stores, before all the radio stations. At least as far as I know. I win this year. I'm in the Christmas spirit before everyone tells me I'm supposed to be in the Christmas spirit.