Lent, a somewhat odd spiritual practice of some of the more liturgical denominations, has come around again and I have decided to partake of it this year. I decided this year would be a good year to give up pop, more specifically caffeine, and see if I can go 40 days without it. I have admitted to myself several times that I am a caffeine addict and lent has given me an excuse to try and get over my addiction. The hardest part in all honesty is going to be after lent is over. I am fairly certain I can go 40 days without a pop, but it’s the time afterwards, what do I do with pop now that I’ve gone without it?
I know I’ll still enjoy pop and a large part of me is sitting here waiting for the Monday after Easter to come so I can go buy a Dr. Pepper and enjoy it like I never have before. But is that really what I want or should be doing? Lent is a time where we reflect on life and see how something that we physically do can interfere with our relationship with God. If I have gone through the practice properly and I see that pop for whatever reason is interfering with my relationship with God, should I really go back to it after Lent is over? Am I giving it up for the right reasons?
Lent really is an extended fast from certain things. I don’t agree with some of the weirder rules about not having to fast on Sunday’s and such. Fasting really is a time where you can remove something from your life and focus instead on God. But what happens when you discover that that thing really is interfering with your life?
I think in an ideal world you would be able to completely give it up. Unfortunately, we live in a fallen world. I know for me personally, I don’t think pop directly interferes with my relationship with God but it can indirectly affect things. It can cause me to gain weight and not be as healthy as I could be. Not to mention, spending money on pop is not the best way to spend my money. How better could it be used? Could I use it for things like tithe for church? Maybe put it in savings? I’m sure I can find much better uses for money I would normally spend on pop.
So here’s to 40 days (or more) without pop. I am excited to see what God will show me about myself as I go through this journey.
While life is rough apart from Theresa, things are getting better. I’ve got a job interview on Wednesday and I will hopefully soon be employed by the Geek Squad!
I was able to randomly see Theresa this weekend which was great! It made me really happy that I got to see her. Made getting homework done extremely difficult but I was glad to see her. I didn’t realize how much I was in need of seeing her until she walked through the door. Thankfully she’ll be back down here in a few weeks for her birthday.
I also am hopeful about the church I went to last night, interestingly enough called “Door of Hope.” The pastor of the church is the lead singer/songwriter/guitarist for the band Telecast. The church itself is only four months old and it’s a very open and welcoming place. I enjoyed it quite a bit. The pastor, Josh, preaches a theology I believe of Christ in you. Overall it was a good experience. I plan on attending again and looking for God’s direction more than anything else.
I have been waking up a lot for the past few nights. Not certain why, but I keep waking up early in the morning and I’m unable to go back to sleep. Today I was up two or three times between the time I fell asleep (midnightish) to now (approx. 5:20am). I am not certain why that is but I’m not terribly concerned. I’m going to try to take advantage of the opportunity and spend some more time in God’s Word getting to know who He is.
That has become one of my biggest struggles, getting into God’s Word consistently. I’ve always struggled with things that I know are supposed to happen consistently. It’s very tough to be stuck in the place of wanting to but never doing. I constantly feel like I’m not a good Christian because I don’t want to spend time growing my faith. God knows I need to figure this out, now more than ever. With the likelihood of Theresa and I moving to Portland soon so I can go to school, I’d like to have already established some good habits about prayer and scripture studying. I know I can’t do it on my own though. I need to find a group or someone to keep me accountable. If I don’t find that here, I pray I find that at school.
Here’s to a new day, a day full of amazing potential. I hope I don’t waste it.
So life just kinda blew by and I haven’t taken the time to update this here blog of mine.
Here’s a fun list of things that have happened in the last two weeks:
- Celebrated the two year anniversary with my wife
- Flew to Las Vegas and celebrated the wedding of Matt & Amanda Johnson
- Spoke and lead worship at the retreat for Christian Heritage School
- Drove to Seattle and was best man in my best friend Arick Olson’s wedding to his wife Jessy
Needless to say it’s been a busy few weeks. I’m leading worship this Sunday (the 13th) at church. Our roof is being redone and so because of it we’re having the services in our fellowship hall. It’s time for me to go to bed. More substantial posts incoming. I promise.
This morning was an interesting worship service. It was a bit of a learning experience. I learned that “Good To Me” is a great song from my childhood but it really doesn’t have a place in a church worship service. I was convicted by God during communion, that that song needed to not be sung. It did not fit in anyway with the service. The reason I say that is because it’s a song about me and not about God. I don’t want services to be services that worship me or us as people. I want any worship service I’m a part of planning, to be a service that worships God and His amazing grace. “Good to me” doesn’t do that.
I almost changed the song during the service. But I decided not to do it and God confirmed that that was not a song to be played anymore. After the first service, Theresa, my wife, suggested “It is well.” Having heard Pastor’s sermon for the day, it fit with his theme on prayer and how the response to bad situations is to be in prayer.
That was the right song. While it was talking about us, it magnified God and what He has done for us as mankind. It also spoke about when trials come, we are OK because we have faith in God. I love when songs sing about the attributes of God. Trying to find songs that sing about those and not about us is a challenge. I hope some day that God will bless me with the ability to write those kinds of words.
I’m leading music at my church again this weekend. Which means time to start planning and putting a bunch of music together. It’s such an awesome process. To think about putting music together so that people can corporately praise God. It’s an amazing time to sit down and think about the words of songs and their meaning and how they can draw people into God’s presence.
Whenever I do try to plan worship, I try and think of a central theme that can be sung throughout the music. In an ideal world, the music would say the exact same thing as the message being preached that day is saying. Unfortunately that doesn’t always work. So through prayer and the leading of the Holy Spirit, I pick songs that I believe God is leading me to.
I am not certain yet where God is leading for this week of worship. We will find out in the next few hours, hopefully. My personal goal would be to have all of the music at least picked out by tonight and e-mailed to Armida at church by the morning. We’ll see if that desire matches up with God’s plan for this week.