Sunday, September 30, 2007

Worship this morning...

So, yesterday, I got to spend time with my buddy Eddie Baker, who is awaiting lab results from a biopsy done last week on a tumor in his brain. It was an incredible blessing to hear Eddie's heart as he shared what he's been learning during his journey through the fire. (aside: for more on Eddie's situation go to this blog)

Then, this morning in church, we sang a couple of my all-time favorite songs. Both were written during challenging times in the lives of the writers. The first is "Heaven" performed by Bob Carlisle. To get the proper groove, this is a slow song best sung by an incredible tenor with great range, like, well, Bob Carlisle...or Dr. Brett Valentine who sang it at Temple. The second is "Days of Elijah" which is much more upbeat & grooving, as performed by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir...or the Temple Baptist choir with a very soulful female singer like our Jennie Bounds.
If I check out before you and you come to my funeral, plan on hearing "Heaven"...(but let's hope that's not any time right away...)



There are moments in this life
When it's hard to carry on
When I think about my father
And all the loved ones that are gone
Friends and close relations
Somewhere on the other side
They've passed into forever
But the love has never died

Sometimes this tired old world
Starts bringing my heart down
But you've got to bear the cross
If you want to wear the crown
I often get impatient
As the time keeps dragging on
I've waited through the darkness
Now I'm ready for the dawn
I'm ready for the dawn

I want to see Heaven
Where the faithful carry on
I want to see Heaven, Oh Lord
I want to see Heaven
Where the pain of sin is gone
In Heaven, Oh Lord
I want to see Heaven

So if I'm living every moment
As if this day was my last
I'll put my treasure where my heart is
And forget about the past
And if Jesus comes tomorrow
I'll be ready to depart
As He leads me to my mansion
I'll be following my heart
Following my heart

(Repeat Chorus)

Well, I try to go the distance
But it's more than I can bear
They say there's no more crying
And no more dying there
I've held on to the promise
Whosoever will believe
Would have life that's never ending
I believe...I believe

(Repeat Chorus)

(Wipe tears from eyes & swallow deeply to remove lump from throat...)

Days Of Elijah

These are the days of Elijah,
Declaring the word of the Lord:
And these are the days of Your servant Moses,
Righteousness being restored.
And though these are days of great trial,
Of famine and darkness and sword,
Still, we are the voice in the desert crying
'Prepare ye the way of the Lord!'

Behold He comes riding on the clouds,
Shining like the sun at the trumpet call;
Lift your voice, it's the year of jubilee,
And out of Zion's hill salvation comes.

These are the days of Ezekiel,
The dry bones becoming as flesh;
And these are the days of Your servant David,
Rebuilding a temple of praise.
These are the days of the harvest,
The fields are as white in Your world,
And we are the laborers in Your vineyard,
Declaring the word of the Lord!

Behold He comes riding on the clouds,
Shining like the sun at the trumpet call;
Lift your voice, it's the year of jubilee,
And out of Zion's hill salvation comes.

There's no God like Jehovah.
There's no God like Jehovah!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Any Given Saturday... they say.

#1 USC - up by only 3 over Washington at the half.
#2 LSU - struggled early with Tulane. But then reality kicked in & they won handily.
#3 Oklahoma - lost to Colorado on a last-second field goal
#4 Florida - losing to Auburn at FL 17-3 in the 3rd quarter
#5 West VA - lost to #18 South FL last night 21-13
#6 Cal - beat #11 Oregon 31-24
#7 Texas - crushed 41-21 by Kansas State
#8 Ohio State - beating Minnesota 23-7
#9 Wisconsin - barely beat Michigan State
#10 Rutgers - lost to Maryland 34-24
#11 Oregon - lost to #6 Cal
#12 Boston College - beat U. Mass 24-14
#13 Clemson - thumped by Ga Tech 13-3
#14 - U of Ky - thrashes Fl Atlantic 45-17
#15 - U. of GA - thumps Ole Miss 45-17 (close for 3 quarters, but alas...)
#16 - South Carolina beats MSU 38-21
#17 - Va Tech beat U of North Carolina, but only 17-10
#18 South FL beat #5 West VA
#19 Hawaii - pounded Idaho 48-20
(ahem) #22 Alabama lost to FSU 21-14

Man, I love watching some college football!! One never knows...

Friday, September 28, 2007

Are you an evangelical Christian? Do you want a challenge?

Then read Professor Wayne Grudem's Presidential Address to the Evangelical Theological Society in 2000. The article is found in pdf form here.

I've long been a fan of Grudem's; had the incredible pleasure of taking a class on "The Doctrine of God" from him some years ago out in CO. Harvard undergrad, Westminster Theological Seminary M.Div., Cambridge Ph.D. Author of books and over 100 journal articles. Very thoughtful. Brilliant scholar. Great teacher. My copy of his Systematic Theology is well-read and marked up. (aside: systematic theology is basically the approach of saying "Let's look at everything the Bible says about ________," which is, of course, the preferred way of addressing the problems facing the church & society.

In this article, he's addressing the premier academic society in evangelical Christianity. (Note to some: there are, in fact, very good academic scholars who would be very comfortable sitting next to me in church this weekend in terms of beliefs) Basically what he does in the address is challenge these scholars to take the Bible seriously and treat it like they say they believe. The article is not short, and it takes one through some deep waters. Again, it's addressed to Bible scholars. But the challenge Grudem presents is very direct. And at some level, it applies to all of us who claim to take the Bible seriously.

Take some time to read it. You'll be challenged. And, I hope, changed.

That's it for tonight.

the beach bum

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Monday, September 24, 2007

Jehovah Shammah

In Hebrew, it means approximately "God Who Is Present." One of my favorite biblical names of God. Why a blog post about it, you ask? I'm glad you asked.

2 friends of mine are utterly relying on His very presence today. I would ask you to pray for both situations.

My friend Eddie Baker is awaiting lab results from a biopsy last Thursday on a tumor recently found in his brain. He is very upbeat and positive, and he would say that his attitude is not his, but granted by the Lord. For more on Eddie's situation, go to

Another friend, Carl Fortenberry, has a young son Max who is about to undergo heart surgery. When I say "young," I mean 2 1/2 years old. So, they're out in Houston in a hotel awaiting a bunch of medical tests followed by serious surgery for Max. Meanwhile, their other 3 older kids are back home with an aunt. Again, Carl & Courtney--and Max--have great attitudes about the situation, though Max is caught up in the thrill of it all...which thrill will likely end decisively today as the tests start. For more on their situation, go to

Jehovah Shammah. He is present. Which is pretty incredible to ponder.


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

And, once again, I'm back...

Long time, no post. I know you're disappointed. (or not...)

Go here Eddie is one of my dear friends, who is facing a rather serious medical situation. Go, and pray as you will.

That's it. (more later...)