Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Saturday, December 11, 2010

An Old Song, Good Friends, and Sweet Memories

Allow me a moment to reminisce, okay? I ran across an old cassette tape the other day while rummaging through some boxes, and it turned out to be 10 "lost" songs from the acapella (sp?) high school quartet in which I sing back in the early 80's. What a jolt to hear those! I remember well singing with those friends - Steve King, David Adkins, and Mark Siers. We'd practice in stairwells and in gyms, then sing often in church, at school functions, retreats, graduations...just about anywhere anybody would listen.

Don't get me wrong -- we really weren't that good. Listening to it now, I wonder why no one ever told me how flat I sounded sometimes. But we were all 17, loved to harmonize as best we could, and were just trying to use what God gave us to make a difference -- our voices.

I don't know exactly what the other three are doing now, but I thought it fitting during Christmas to put up a couple of the Christmas songs we recorded. So I did the best I could to take the old tape and digitize it. Hang on, it ain't nothing fit for "Sing Off" ... but it does take me back a bit. Bring on the Geritol!

"Silver Bells/White Christmas" (audio only)

"I'll Be Home for Christmas" (audio only)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Way to Go, Dr. Mo!

As a former youth pastor and current parent of four, I whole-heartedly agree with this post by one of my favorite speakers, Dr. Al Mohler.


Friday, December 3, 2010

Thursday, December 2, 2010

What it Means to 'Welcome One Another'

We all have our own ideas of what it means to be welcoming, and usually it centers around physical hospitality. However, Paul takes “welcoming” several feet deeper in Romans 15 and shows us it has further implications than we might expect.

The command to "welcome one another" is to the point (15:7). But understanding what it means is best seen in the six verses preceding the command where it is further and logically explained in five facts that we'll state in a backwards fashion.

a. Welcoming’s goal is to glorify God together with one voice (v 6). Remember - it's unity not uniformity! In a word, harmony (like a beautiful symphony)!

b. God is glorified when there is harmony based around Jesus. (v 5)

c. This kind of harmony takes God’s Word and our work. (v 4)

d. Being selfless is the best way to work at harmony. (vs. 2-3)

e. Selflessness is first the responsibility of the strong. (v 1)

Succinctly, welcoming one another is pursuing peace in the middle of differing preferences.

In the text then, it was cultural and ceremonial; those were the differences in view here (not moral ones that Scripture speaks plainly on).

What we learn today is this -- when it comes to secondary issues, Paul makes it clear that we should strive to be a people of harmony and peace ... a called-out group that, even with our personal differences, genuinely gets along!

As was once wisely stated, in essentials unity. In non-essentials, liberty. In all things, charity.