Category Archives: Worship Legacy

Rest and Connection

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Yesterday I sat with a gifted young man who is about to embark on an exciting  new adventure — he’s getting married!

This is Brock from McMinnville. We haven’t had many chances before yesterday to sit and enjoy conversation. In recent months we’ve served together on the same worship team, first Sunday of each month. Brock is a brilliant drummer with an elegant musicality.

During our collaborations, I’ve been able to observe one of his great super-powers — he carries peace. I don’t just mean that he is not argumentative or quarrelsome, which he isn’t. It’s deeper than that. He has the ability to infuse peace into the people around him. The Peace Quotient of any situation rises upon his arrival. People feel comfortable to try things they would not have tried otherwise, to take risks they might otherwise avoid. He has a calming effect on those in his presence.

How is that a super-power?

See, in the beginning, back in the garden, before the law, before grace, before the need of grace, there were two things built into the source code of the world: Marriage and Sabbath, a.k.a. Connection and Rest. All throughout our story, the enemy, the world, call it what you will, has mounted a vicious campaign against those two foundational elements of our heritage. If he can keep us from Rest and Connection, keep us off balance, distracted and disconnected, he won’t even need to defeat us; we’ll simply self-destruct.

Upon careful observation, you may notice a campaign for busy-ness, a seduction into stress, an agenda for anxiety, an onslaught against marriage, family and relationship, a diabolical intentionality leveled against those moments and spaces that allow us to catch a breath and share our gifts. Seems we have exactly enough time to do everything except be what were made to be.

In what ways are you besieged by Distraction and/or Disconnection? Where do you see the foothold of these two deviants in your life and style? Top of mind for me is the smart-phone addiction that I see all around. I see us sitting together at tables not talking to each other, texting superficial factoids to anyone and everyone but the people in front of us or next to us. I see how it sends the message that “you, sitting here, are less important to me than just about anyone. In fact, I’m going to spend this time building a facade of connection with someone who isn’t even here, rather than a real connection with you — that’s how unimportant you are to me.”

What? Too blunt? I totally agree. I just wish we were that blunt, because then we’d hear ourselves say it and realize what we are communicating non-verbally. Use your phone like you use a lawn-mower — turn it off when you’re in a conversation.

Anyway, back to my friend Brock. His ability to exude tranquility facilitates Isaiah 30:15. Quietness and trust that give strength. By aiding others in coming to stillness, he allows them to experience Psalm 46:10.

I see him building teams of people into families and communities. I see him leading leaders. Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.

Here’s to you, Brock PeaceMaker; thank you for your quiet strength.

 

 

Grand Synchronicity

“This is what faith is to me. It’s a belief in something bigger than us. It’s a confidence in a bigger plan and a synchronization of the world beyond our comprehension. It is not logical or tangible but is the essence of hope, love, and joy” 

— Ronald P. Culberson, ‘Do It Well. Make It Fun.’

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This week has been action packed, just like every week before. A friend once told me I was trying to live 20 lives in one lifetime. There’s some truth in that. I have also learned to balance my work ethic with a value and a practiced rhythm for rest and, more importantly, restoration.

I maintain several Daily Disciplines. One is reading 10 pages from a good book that equips me for my mission. Today I am reading from ‘Do It Well. Make If Fun,” by Ronald Culberson.

Worship Legacy team (the worship team I lead in McMinnville, Oregon) is growing rapidly, not in numbers, but qualitatively in unity and harmony, in leadership and love. I am so pleased to say that leaders are emerging and connecting with one anothers’ strengths to elevate the entire community. A rising tide lifts all boats.

In times when growth is evident, just as in times when it cannot be seen or felt, we rely on the assurance that there is a plan, that the world and our lives are part of a grand synchronicity, that a Creator is working in dimensions beyond our current ability to sense.

I remember the lyric of a song from my childhood:

“Many things about tomorrow,

I don’t seem to understand,

But I know who holds tomorrow,

And I know who holds my hand.”

Darlene and I are having very real, honest conversations about current events that scare us both. It’s good timing for me to read about faith on day #461 of the Alliance.

Daring Greatly

VulnerabilityI’ve heard a lot about Brene Brown from my wife and from other people in our church community. Until this past week, my only experience of her ideas was this video of her TedX talk, which taught me a lot about the importance of being vulnerable and how that allows us to move past shame.

Last Thursday on my drive to Guitar Center, I started listening to one of her books titled Daring Greatly. Then today I listened to a few more chapters on my way to and back from Portland. I’m in chapter 5 of 12 and already this book is changing my life and allowing me to dispel shame simply by putting words to it. I am learning so  much from her. Here’s a sentence that really stuck out to me: “Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like Courage.”

If you don’t listen to audiobooks often, I recommend the app Audible. Here’s a link to the audiobook Daring Greatly: https://www.audible.com/pd/Self-Development/Daring-Greatly-Audiobook/B0096BOG04

Another Brene Brown book that I’ve heard good things about is Rising Strong. I’ll move to that one after I get through Daring Greatly. Lots of time on the road, perfect for listening and learning. Andi Duli refers to his car as his university on wheels. I’m using my car that way too. I’m getting smarter by the mile, or at least becoming more vulnerable.

Do what makes you come alive!

What Makes You Come Alive

“Do More of what you love, less of what you tolerate, and none of what you hate” — John Assaraf.

When I first read that statement, I thought, that’s not realistic. You can’t live that way. Everybody has to do some things they hate, right?

I can’t explain it, but these days I find myself doing none of what I hate doing, less of what I tolerate, and more doors opening up with amazing people inviting me to come do what I love to do in their community!

I think Grace is amazing, and Favor is beyond explaining, and I think those are available to everyone. But why do some of us believe and step in, while others of us remain skeptical? I was skeptical and scared for years.

There are still times (like this morning) when I’m afraid that the dreams in my heart are too outlandish. But with every new door that opens, I believe a little bit more that it is the Father’s good pleasure to give us the Kingdom. And that’s not a spiritualized deferment for a heavenly place to come. I’m talking about life and Joy and Excitement and Enthusiasm right here, right now.

Ironic that I’m writing this at this moment, since this is a mindset I had to fight for today. I spoke promises and affirmations and declarations until my mind was right. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Let this mind be in you that was in Christ. Say what you need to say until you believe enough to come alive.

Believe again if you must. There is a great deal of difference between still believing something and believing it again.

Have an amazing day!

 

#Lion1

 

Just Do It

img_2366I don’t blog much, pronounced “at all,” anymore, because I’m too busy living life to sit down and write about it.

Wait, that’s not entirely true. I don’t have time to sit and write the perfect, well-thought-out, highly-impacting, carefully-crafted piece that I would like to deliver. So instead I write nothing, since it can’t be perfectly planned and executed with brilliance. Does that ever stop you? Can’t do it perfectly so you don’t do it at all?

My challenge to myself this year is to stop and share an insight in the most polished form that I can muster inside of 10 minutes. The point is that even an unfinished thought expressed carries more power than a perfect thought unfired.

This is taking me to a song I learned when I was but a wee lad (who says that?). I think this off-the-cuff writing may reveal far too much about me, and now it is too late — the ship has sailed, the train is rolling.

Here’s that song that I learned over 30 years ago, and it made such an impression that 3 decades later I don’t need to look up the lyric, it’s still written on my heart:

Brighten the Corner

Do not wait until some deeds of greatness you may do

Do not wait to shed your light afar

To the many duties ever near you now be true

Brighten the corner where you are

 

Love,

Lenn