Here are some thoughts that have been passing through my mind for the last several months that I thought I would share with you . . .
The Keurig Coffee machine, along with a large flat screen HD television (with Apple TV) – at least for me – represent some of humankind’s greatest achievements. They have changed my life. But – I’m not sure for the better. I am drinking way more coffee and watching way more television than I have in years.
There are some things I like about getting older. I like losing the emotional ability to get upset over things that I have learned don’t matter. I’ve even lost the desire to even comment on some of the stupid things I see and hear because I’ve learned that what I say doesn’t make any difference to the people saying or doing stupid things. I like the confidence – or calm – that experience brings. A close pastor friend told me one time, “Once I hit 50, I just lost the desire to try to please everyone and I was perfectly content to do what I knew in my gut was the right thing to do.” I’m 48 and starting to get it.
I am such a blessed person. My family and the people I work with every day are incredible.
We are going to be “empty-nesters” in a few months. I’m not sure how I feel about this and I wonder what life will be like. It’s good to know everyone goes through this. It is funny how some couples describe it as “the greatest thing that ever happened” while others find it a gut-wrenching, dark night of the soul. Stay tuned . . . maybe I’ll know in a few months what I think.
I worry that I have not been, nor am I now, a good parent.
People come to church a lot less than they used to . . . including church members. My upbringing was built on the basis of “church first, then everything else”. That is over. I think part of it is that people have a fuller understanding of grace vs. law – they know that God is more concerned about the condition of their heart than He is about their attendance chart. But – we must be honest and admit that “the things of the world” have an increasingly powerful pull on people and priorities have become misplaced for many believers. Just take a look at Facebook. This attendance trend makes ministry very challenging.
Observation: A lot of really popular, effective new worship songs are AWESOME in the context of a corporate worship experience and also – are just a BEATING to rehearse. A half note or whole note, repeated over and over is not a melody – it’s a chant. Ending a song on the IV or V chord is not cool anymore – or, anyway, I wish it weren’t. Never underestimate the satisfaction of a good strong resolution!
ALERT: Bold statement coming: Some churches are getting rid of choirs and orchestras because they feel led to worship in a different musical style. Many more are using this excuse while the truth is that it’s just a lot more hard work to minister and organize all of those people as compared to maybe 10. And – when you factor in what I said earlier about people attending less, being less committed . . . it makes that choice much easier.
I love Sunday mornings. I have my whole life. I can be tired, distracted, whatever . . . but when I get in the atmosphere of a worship service and we begin to sing together, I experience a lift in my heart and spirit that can only be the Holy Spirit . . . because I realize it is coming from a place I cannot manufacture on my own – I know the difference. I am so grateful to God for this!