Sunday, May 25, 2008

Don't Worry...Seek the Kingdom

In Matthew 6:24-34, Jesus reminds us "Don't worry, it doesn't add to living." Our savior goes on to remind us that God will take care of us, because God cares for the birds and flowers. It's tough not to worry, but through the Holy Spirit's infusion of faith we seek out God's kingdom and share the good news.

In the mid to late 1990s, "Touched by an Angel" did an episode with Wynonna Judd titled "Psalm 151". The story line is about a single mom whose son is dying of CF and her struggle to finish a hymn of praise she began on the day he was born. The completed song has a refrain I find inspiring and remind me of my call: "For as long as I shall live I will testify THE LOVE, and be a witness in the silence when words are not enough. With every step I take, I will give thanks to God above, for as long as I shall live, I will testify to love."

Below are some clips of the show I found on Youtube with some key elements of the show. It's a powerful witness that God provides in times of need.

Finishing the Song

The song is performed

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Famous Lutherans

Some may recall Adam Sandler's song about famous Jews in the world. Not to be out done, the Lutheran musical group, Lost and Found, has done a version check it out at this link:

And now for something completely different and totally silly Martin Luther does the Chicken Dance

Monday, May 12, 2008

Spirit Scale

Yesterday we celebrated Pentecost and the gift of the Holy Spirit. In Acts 2:1-21, we hear how the Holy Spirit came like the sound of a rushing violent wind. I consider the Holy Spirit to be the Rodney Dangerfield portion of the triune God; it gets no respect. To help us recognize the powerful, peaceful Pneuma (Greek for spirit) in our life here is the spirit scale. It is a cousin to the Beaufort Wind Scale

Calm: we experience this when the Spirit leads us , equips us, and gives us peace. This is the gentle breath of Christ as he comes to his disciples and says “Peace be with you” Then he breathed on them and said “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

When the spirit scale reads “Calm” we are given a sense of peace, we know we belong to God. Amazingly, it is possible to experience spirit scale calm even though it seems that our lives are being pounded by hurricane force winds.

Strong Wind: The creative qualities of the Spirit lead to surprising improvements and dramatic new directions in our lives. This is when we say "Yes" and wonder how on earth we can accomplish what we just agreed to be a part of. The Bible is filled with images of this strong wind empowering individuals for specific tasks: the 70 elders helping Moses, Saul and David experienced the pushing power of the Spirit, Esther standing up to the King. Whenever we head into a situation where new directions, fresh opportunities and unlimited possibilities face us, we look to the Holy Spirit to empower us according to God’s will

Gale Force: Here we discover the power of God to break unhealthy patterns and to shake up the status quo. This is the student rejecting the "everybody's doing it argument" or when you decide to bring blankets and sandwiches to the homeless at midnight. It's when the addict decides it is time for recovery, or a neighborhood decides it's time to unify at look out for one another.

Hurricane: This is what hit Jerusalem on Pentecost around 2000 years ago and it turned the lives of the disciples upside down. They were reoriented from looking inward at themselves to looking outward toward a world in desperate need of the good news. They were transformed from timid fearful apostles to fearless evangelists…spreading the word to unfamiliar and unknown lands and peoples.

When a hurricane force Spirit-wind blows across the landscape of our lives nothing is ever the same the power of the Almighty God breaking down barriers of culture and language is a powerful sight. These Spirit Hurricanes reveal the power of the Almighty God filling and transforming the timid into powerful witnesses.

Whether it is a calm breeze, strong wind, gale or hurricane, the Holy Spirit constantly blows through our lives. One day it is providing order in the midst of chaos just as it did at creation. Another day it’s providing the courage to change the world making it better for all people still other days it’s blowing through our lives providing a sense of peace when we need it most.

May you feel the winds of the Spirit today and always.