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Crazy Week!

May 29, 2008 Leave a comment

I apologize for not posting very regularly this week.  My plate has been full.  It has been great, but busy.  Our church worship team had the honor of providing worship music for the Laurel High School’s Baccalaureate service.  Things went very well.  It was a bit unnerving as I actually work for the school district.  Most employees know nothing of my guitar hero alter ego.  They simply know the mild mannered computer geek.  Well, maybe it would be more accurate to say that they did not know that their cranky computer geek plays guitar.  Anyway, I cannot shake the computer geek persona, even while wielding a Gibson axe.  Oh well, I was only asked two computer questions that night…

Wednesday night, our church’s drama team, Illuminate,  performed in Westover, MD.  I was asked to play two songs for the event and participate in a drama, which involved me playing the part of the Devil and getting beat up by a teenager.  My two daughters participate in the drama team.  They performed excellent!  Would you expect a different review from a proud dad? 

One of the dangers of having great talent in your church is that you start to get used to it.  We see dramas by Illuminate on an almost weekly basis.  I have watched them grow from a handful of people with an idea to a full team of adults, teens, complete with an entourage of around thirty people.  I have seen them move from trying really hard and doing good to working really hard and invoking real emotion and deep thought by those watching.  I have started to get used to it and even expect it.  The church in Westover was not used to it.  They were moved to shouts, praises, laughter, and even a few tears.  Our drama leaders should be extremely proud.  The team performed the best they ever have.  When you come to expect excellence, it is good to be reminded that it stands out. 

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What A Sunday!

May 18, 2008 Leave a comment

The day started out quite different from most Sundays.  We have a tradition that we follow almost every Sunday.  My dad, who is also my pastor, picks me and my children up and takes us to get a bagel (or muffin when the mode strikes).  This morning, dad called and said that he was not feeling well and would meet us at church.  My children expect their bagels (or muffins).  I am simply unbearable without mine.  So my wife joins me in taking the family to get breakfast.   We were running late.  I’m grumpy.  My worship leader has been attacked by a evil band of traveling heyfever monkeys.  Church starts at 10 and all will be okay, right?

At 9:40, all plans changed.  I was brought outside where I met my dad still sitting in the vehicle.  His blood pressure was very elevated and he was not in any shape to be standing and speaking on this morning.  My father, the preacher, was unable to preach.  No big deal, I’ve done this several times before.  I could take Jay Leno’s job without any problem.  Dad writes the material and I deliver the message.  All I need is about 30-40 minutes to go over the notes and I will be good.  Did I mention that church starts in 20 minutes?  Oh, and all of dad’s notes are conveniently stored inside of his pounding head.  I now have a powerpoint and 15 minutes to pull together a 45 minute sermon.  No problem. 

We quickly adjusted.  Elbert overcame his heyfever.  I overcame my grumpiness, and my wife began to pray.  Hard.  Really hard.  We printed the slides from the powerpoint and I began to read them.  They were all scripture references.  That was it.  No other thoughts or ideas on what dad was going to say. 

I cannot fully describe what came over me while we were leading worship.  It was like adrenialine and peace all at the same time.  I have felt the power of God before, but never like this.  Working in the IT field (and being a pastor’s son), I am used to dealing with stressful situations.  Food Network has a show called “Dinner Impossible” where a guy has to meet ridiculous demands in an incredible short time period.  At work, we call that Monday.  I am used to putting aside emotion and dealing with the task at hand, but this thing was different.  It was sweet, comforting, and exhilerating all at once.  I wanted to go into the octogan for three rounds  and then sit down and have Sunday brunch. 

On top of everything else, my daughters were performing a drama to the song “Can’t Get Away” by Rush of Fools.  This was especially exciting because they designed the entire drama themselves.  My daughters are 9 and 7.  As much as I needed to read over those scriptures, my eyes were glued to the front for the entire four minutes while they danced and acted out the words to the song.  With all that was going on this crazy Sunday, for those four minutes, my heart was filled with great joy.  I know I’m biased, but it was beautiful! 

Showtime!  Between the time before service and offerings and two extremely short testimonies, I have now prepared for 20 mintues.  The entire church was watching.  Yet, there was no fear or anxiety.  This was the quintisential public speaking nightmare.  Yet, I had this wonderful sensation running all over me.  48 minutes later, I was closing in prayer.  Sure, I stumbled a few times here and there, but it was amazing what God brought to my mind as I was speaking.  By the time I was done, there was even a central theme and a few main points.  It was beyond exciting.  Beyond thrilling. 

God knows what he is doing.  He chose to speak through a computer geek today.  Why not, He used a donkey.  I hope that someone else got something out of the sermon because I was seeing the power of God in a whole new way.   Today, I drank from the deep and it was good.