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Showing posts from January, 2007

Acceptance and Approval

All my life I've wanted to be "special".

(No, not that way.)

I remember going through flip book after flip book with the special education teacher back in the first grade. And I tried so hard to get them all right. I wanting nothing more than to be set apart. I wanted her to choose me as one of the kids who left the regular classroom for a while, to go to this mysterious place where more magical flip books I could conquer. I wanted to be part of that group. I never was. Of course, now I realize what it all meant and I'm glad I wasn't part of that group.

During Kindergarten nap time I would lie frozen, desperate to be chosen by the teacher to get to wake everyone up. We got to use a wand (it was sparkly with a star on top) and as you were nudged with the wand, it was your permission to wake up and the signal that nap time was over.

My mom first put me in front the church to sing at the age of four, if memory serves. I might have been five. After that, the music commit…

The Heart of Worship Song Set

How great is this?

Below is the copy of an email I got last night from the radio host of the nationally syndicated show The Heart of Worship. I listen to the show as religiously as I do my NPR every morning as I do my hair and makeup. The show is on Sunday mornings and times perfectly with getting up, ready and my 40 minute drive to church. It's often where I discover new songs to start including in our services.

One of the features of the show is they allow listeners to create a worship set of songs - and if they like your set, they will play the set during the show and you get a free CD you can choose off their list. Free CD! Woo hoo!

(I would feel a bit of a failure as a worship leader if I couldn't create a good set, huh?)



--- The Heart of Worship < @theheartofworship.org> wrote:

Hi Stephanie,
Your worship set has been chosen to be featured on "The Heart of Worship". You can hear these songs this weekend. I'll get the CD out to you this week.

Congratulations…

Heroes

I hate war.

Bring them home.

Censoring at it's Best

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Kansas Bob alerted us to this recent event regarding the movie The Queen.

All mentions of God are bleeped out of a version of the film distributed to Delta and some other airlines.

Jeff Klein, president of Jaguar Distribution, the Studio City, Calif., company that supplied the movie to the airlines earlier this month, said it was a mistake, committed by an overzealous and inexperienced employee who had been told to edit out all profanities and blasphemies.


The dichotomy in this is amazing. An intern exercising freedom of religion by using censorship? (Of course, this is based on a speculation of the intern's motive, not on a known fact...) It's not like this kind of censorship's never occurred before, but it's usually by extreme conservatives on a banned book brigade, ready to torch the pile and fine the networks.

Maybe it's just the thought that someone would consider the word "god" blasphemous. It makes me chuckle.

I'm about to be struck down now. I ca…

Praise God From Whom All Blessing Flow

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I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!

-Galatians 2: 20-21

Ego Stroking

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Musicians. *rolls eyes* *shakes head*

Oy.

As a worship director, I have the sometimes daunting task of dealing with... well, "different" personalities. As my mother repeated to me over and over as a child "Music people are funny." Not funny ha-ha. Funny weird.

I know I should be insulted, but she's right. We're weird.

I work with about 22 different musicians on a regular basis, with around five-six substitutes that pinch-hit when needed. I have two regulars on keys, and one of them? Seem to live to make my life harder.

Last fall she was approached by two neighboring churches desperate for an organist. She doesn't get much organ time at our church anymore, so she ask me if she could schedule herself twice a month to play at the other churches. I had some reservations, but after talking to the Senior Pastor, we agreed to change our usual schedule around so she could do this. I had to do some switching of team members (if I tried to explain why, if would get e…

Peaks and Valleys

Sometimes it sucks being a girl.

I'm sad tonight, and I have no idea why. I feel as though at any moment I could burst into tears. Far as I can tell, there is absolutely no reason for it. So in my head, I shart checking off a list:

Is it because a good friend told me last night she's moving back to the east coast?
Is it because I'm frustrated with a situation at work?
Is it because my favorite sweater is almost too worn to wear?
Is it because I feel stuck in one place in my relationship with God?
Is it because I gave up soda?
Is it because I listened to Over the Rhine's Drunkard's Prayer album all day?
Is it because when I was sorting my groceries on the conveyor belt tonight I was reminded of a friend (who taught me to do that) whom I no longer talk to?
Is it because a job I was once passed over for is now available and I'm too afraid to try again?
Is it because I doubt that he is suffcient for me and that makes me feel guilty?

Is it because I've realize I simply don…

Some Things that Bug

What is it about the blogging community that can simultaneously bring out my self-esteem issues and my rage at the same time?


There is the self-righteous blog, too good for anyone with a differing opinion.

There is the high-horse blog, that if you disagree, they won't post your comment (or delete it), despite the absence of interesting discussion.

There is the weirdly absent blogger, who posts thought-provoking articles, only to never show up again and let the rest of us opine without him/her.

There is the uneducated blog that thinks it's smart and only succeeds in looking ignorant, stupid and hickish.

There is the "I'm too smart for my own good" blog where the author clearly tries too hard by forming sentences that while sound smart, manage to say nothing at all.


Having posts rejected, affirmed, deleted or spur one another on creates a push-pull on our egos. Sometimes we respond to annoy the author, sometimes we respond to gain the author's respect, and in both th…

The Weight of Sin

Last Monday I had a heavy, heavy heart going into my small group.

It's one I've been part of two years. The leaders are people I trust. The other there are those I love. It's hard to ignore your sin in front of people who mean so much. And while we spent the two hours talking about the study, I kept thinking about this one particular sin. How awful and dirty it made me feel. And how hypocritical of me to talk to those who help keep me accountable as if nothing was wrong! I felt chains wrapped around my heart and my mind.

This heavy heart is one common thread among all my most personal sins - the deep down dirty rotten ones. These are the sins that peal away at your defenses, leaving open wounds just begging for another attack. These are the sins that seem to stay with you forever, and sometimes often the easiest to ignore because they aren't outward. These sins aren't in the limelight; they are hidden in the dark recesses of our souls.

So after our study, I asked for…

i repent

i repent, i repent of my pursuit of america's dream
i repent, i repent of living like i deserve anything
of my house, my fence, my kids, my wife
in our suburb where we're safe and white
i am wrong and of these things i repent


i repent, i repent of parading my liberty
i repent, i repent of paying for what i get for free
and for the way i believe that i am living right
by trading sins for others that are easier to hide
i am wrong and of these things i repent


i repent judging by a law that even i can't keep
of wearing righteousness like a disguise
to see through the planks in my own eyes


i repent, i repent of trading truth for false unity
i repent, i repent of confusing peace and idolatry
by caring more of what they think than what i know of what we need
by domesticating you until you look just like me
i am wrong and of these things i repent

-from Derek Webb's album "i see things upside down"

Top Ten Myths About Christians - Part 2

Read Myths 10-6 here.

Myth #5 You have to go to church to be a Christian.

How does the old saying go? "Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in the garage makes you a car." So what does make a person a Christian?

Our involvement with God's revelation doesn't put us right with God. What it does is force us to face our complicity in everyone else's sin. But in our time something new has been added. What Moses and the prophets witnessed to all those years has happened. The God-setting-things-right that we read about has become Jesus-setting-things-right for us. And not only for us, but for everyone who believes in him. For there is no difference between us and them in this. Since we've compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gif…

Top 10 Myths About Christians - Part 1

The inspiration for this post came from the link attached to the title of this post. I enjoy reading churchhop.blogspot.com each week. It's a chronicle of a brother and sister attending different churches each week and sharing their experiences. Although I'm not sure about Brandon, Erica considers herself an agnostic and a while back posted a thought-provoking question and a link to an article entitled "10 Myths About Atheism". So I was inspired, and here I am in my feeble attempt to dispel some myths about Christians in what I hope is a relevant, humble and honest way. I am not a scholar; I am just a searcher who is passionately devoted to Christ.


Sidebar: I have intentionally kept this list about Christians. Myths about Christianity would be significantly different in my opinion.


Myth #10 Christians are not allowed to enjoy themselves.

Jesus told this simple story, but they had no idea what he was talking about. So he tried again. "I'll be explicit, then. I a…

The Storm

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I haven't said anything about the major ice storm that hit our area (the second one) New Year's weekend. There are still several people without power that I know of, and they are being told up it could still be two more weeks. I took these photos last Thursday, after the ice had melted in 40-50 degree weather for three days.


Some bushes coated with ice.




One of the many tree limbs in my front yard that cracked under the weight of the ice





A randon piece of ice that fell off a tree limb. (Remember this is after melting in 40-50 degree weather for three days.)



A tree split in three parts. It's kind of amazing


These links show a lot more because they were taken on a sunny day. They really give you a taste of how bad it was here.

Why I Was Without Power Last Saturday and Sunday

Ice Coating a Fence

Ice Coating on Wire

A Shocking Amount of Ice

Fallen Power Lines

Good Old Highway 34

Several More Freaky Pictures Here

Enjoy the beautiful destruction of ice...

Silence

Do they make heavenly earplugs to drown out the world? 'Cause I could use some.

Scranton Party

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Yes, I'm on a YouTube kick. This is a shout-out to my dear friend Steph who sent me this video after I gave her this T-Shirt for Christmas.



Enjoy!

E.T. Recut

Do you know they used a 12 year old legless boy to play E.T.?

The Post I've Been Avoiding

I've been avoiding this entry for a long time. But I've decided to finally face the music, suck it up and just type.


Do I want to be a pastor?

I've been asked that a lot in the last several months. Since I was in high school I've had a few church members tell me they think I should be, so sure, it's always been in the back of my mind. But just because a few people told me that years ago? And a few people are telling me today? Does that really mean anything? I don't know. But as I continue to dialogue with those closest to me, I am being pushed further and further and deeper into the meaning of this question - the meaning of this calling.


Do I want to be a pastor?


Since those few church members mentioned the possibility to me all those years ago, my gut reaction was always "no". And as I'm being asked the question more recently, my gut reaction is kicking in and I am once again saying "no". I've put this post off because for several weeks…

Oh, Please

Pat Robertson's Big Mouth


Say it with me, ya'll.

Shut it, Pat.

Cotton Bowl

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It's on, baby!