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I had one of those weeks last week. It’s tough because Sunday is coming whether we are feeling creative or not. Preaching is no easy task and the work of sermon preparation is difficult even when you are feeling creative.
Sunday came and God showed up like He always does. Over the week I learned some things about working through weeks like these. I pray that these things will help you when you’re in a creative funk like I was.
For the past decade, “How Great Is Our God” has been one of the most popular worship songs in the United States.
The song’s success helped to make Chris Tomlin the world’s top worship leader, and turned his co-writer Ed Cash into one of the most sought-after Christian music producers in Nashville.
It also helped launch what former members are calling a cult.
I want the blessing and the joy that comes with obedience, with conformity to Christ. The question is, do I want it enough to endure temptation for it? I like to obey when obedience is easy. I like to obey when obedience is a matter of a quick and simple yes or no or when it is a matter of refusing those things that are not much of a temptation anyway. But what about those times when obedience requires endurance? What about those times when the blessing lies on the far side of a long, alluring temptation? That’s exactly when I am tempted to quit.
Maybe that’s what caused a sold-out crowd of a 1,000 people to gather in downtown Dallas last month, where we listened to a group of four poets stand before a mic and shake us to our core for two hours—using nothing but words.
Permanently retire your perception of underground poetry recitals featuring beret-donning beatniks playing bongos and waxing about the way the number eight feels. Imagine instead the most hard-hitting sermon you’ve ever heard—then imagine it rhyming. You’ll start to get a sense of what we experienced that night.
Religious liberty is always a tricky subject. People clearly have the right to worship, and what you’ll find in an increasingly secular society is the desire to reduce the right to “worship” God in your head as being the new and acceptable form of religious liberty.
However, the right to practice our faith involves more than believing in our heads, and the new frontier for religious liberty will actually be around issues of zoning.
It is finding the lost that necessitates the endeavor of missions. It’s easy for us to deceive ourselves into thinking that no one is lost, and one way of doing that is to distance ourselves from the search—that is, to make sure that we keep ourselves uninformed about the needs of the lost, to insulate ourselves from knowing what is really going on in the world. For instance, we don’t go out of our way to understand and learn about all of the people who are starving in this world. When we are confronted with it, our consciences are pricked and we are moved to action. But we don’t go out of our way to find misery; we think there’s enough misery in our own lives, without looking for more.