…Let me let you in on a little secret. My ushers like to send me notes in the offering plate. When the crowd is especially good (and it’s been great), on the top of the plate that I receive when singing the doxology I get “the count.” And when the crowd's down, the card's nowhere to be found.
I try not to make a big deal out of it. Any preacher who says that he or she does not care how many people are in worship on any given Sunday is a liar. So, on April 8, Easter Sunday, I knew it was good. Even without the hyperbolic preacher count, I couldn’t have guessed how good. The card read 293.
Now for those of you from mega churches, you feel free to scoff at that, make light of it, go ahead. For those of us who have long believed that God was about to do a new thing with the remnant of Saint John’s, it is confirmation that God is doing something remarkable with us – may we be response-able to where that calling takes us.
…Four years this week I was in Jackson, Tennessee, with my band, Glad River, recording a CD we would call PEACE. All the dynamics at play in getting the band together, to record again - the intensity of the experience, done in five days bordered on grueling. In between takes, or when one of us had laid down our track and we had a brief moment to veg out, we were transfixed on the television. Our country was at war, and Baghdad had fallen. Even then I never doubted our capacity to run roughshod over whatever army Iraq had. My worry then, as reflected in my writings at the time was that we would have trouble winning the peace. It’s not that I’m super smart on such things, it was just a feeling.
I wrote the liner notes for that album for the band - without going to grab one of the several hundred copies of the cds that live my garage and copying word for word what I wrote, the gist of it lingers – “As we record this week our country is at war. We pray that our children will learn the lessons our actions teach and that they will resolve their disputes with something other than bombs and guns.”
I guess I’ll have to keep praying.
…. Don Imus, a radio host who’s been around forever (and that may not be metaphorical), used profoundly offensive language on air when talking about the Rutgers women’s basketball team, college kids, who made a heck of a run in the Women’s NCAA tournament.
While his radio and television networks conspire to determine how much punishment to mete out while not losing the services of the cash cow this guy must be, and, having the appearance that they’re sensitive and tending to one of their problem children forcefully (while really only proffering a token appeasement of those folks who want him fired), the I-Man has been on the mea culpa trail to apologize for his lack of judgment (By the way, my grammar check tells me that the previous sentence is way too long – but I’m going to keep it anyway).
In response to an angry caller who was really nailing him, Imus employed that “you don’t know me” defense by saying that he is a good person who said a bad thing. He may be. I don’t know him.
God knows that more than a few things have come out of my mouth that shouldn't have. I'd like to think that my character is more than the sum total of what was emerged from my cake hole over the years.
But no differently than Newt Gringrich can say he’s not a hypocrite despite his affairs during the Clinton impeachment, you can’t say you’re good, or a hypocrite or not – I can’t really even say that I’m a Christian - my actions do that for me.
Despite what you say, what do your actions bespeak of who you are?