Tag Archives: Worship

This morning in Exodus

This morning in Exodus, I read of Moses’ trips up and down Mt. Sinai, dwelling in the presence of the Lord.  In response to the commands that Moses receives from the Lord, the people say, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.”  (Ex. 24:7.).  We know, through reading the rest of the Old Testament, that these words were not so simply lived out.

Something in their lives was not fully submitted to the Lord…maybe it was because they were impatient about getting to their destination.  Maybe they’d become too comfortable living in Egypt, or maybe, they just got tired of a God they couldn’t see, so in the case of the Golden Calf, they replaced Him with one they could see.

This morning, I reflect on how it’s easy to say we’ll be obedient and do everything the Lord says and how there’s a huge disconnect between believing it in our hearts and believing it enough to do it.  The other night with the teens we talked about how a disciple isn’t just someone who believes their teacher, it is someone who follows the teacher’s example and does as the teacher does.

So a logical question is, “Where in my life are my actions not lining up with my beliefs, and am I going to change my beliefs to fit my actions or change my actions to fit my beliefs?”

Patty, Buddy, Pike Place: Maundy Thursday in Seattle

Last night, Husband and I went to see the ever-wonderful Patty Griffin and Buddy Miller at the Moore.  On Maundy Thursday, Patty’s haunting covers of gospel standards (from her most recent album Downtown Church) were quenching parts me I didn’t even know had dried up.  She wasn’t necessarily trying to facilitate worship, but for me, that’s what it was…a quality of music that transcends anything I can normally experience during worship, and no one was up there trying to manage how I should be feeling…I was just able to experience it.

Beforehand, we grabbed dinner at a hole-in-the-wall in the International District, played cribbage at Starbucks, and took some pics at the market at dusk.  I’ve been messing with the manual features on our Nikon D60 lately, because it seems sinful to own such a great camera and keep using it as a point and shoot.  No pics of the concert, but a few snapshots of the streets of Seattle on a quiet Thursday night.

Crazy Heart and Worship

Husband and I went to see Crazy Heart the other night.  I have to pause every time I go to utter the movie title, because I always, almost say Crazy Horse, which reminds me of this, which reminds me of traveling 2000 miles on I-90 with Brother in Summer 2004, which has nothing to do with going to see a movie with Husband.  This digressive train of thought has, thus, made it difficult to reflect on Crazy Heart, a movie starring Jeff Bridges and Maggie Gyllenhaal.

It’s Sunday morning, and I’m in between worship team practice and choir practice before Sunday morning service.  As I was getting ready for church, I was reflecting on worship, and somehow the reflection on worship led me to 2 nights ago watching Crazy Heart.

Crazy Heart is about a seemingly washed-up, alcohol-soaked musician/songwriter, who has arrived at 57 fueled by addiction, and without any touch points of  responsibility and intimacy.  His longing for intimacy and his fear of himself leads him to rehab, where he allegedly shapes up and cleans up.

What I’m thinking about this morning is how Bad Blake makes sense of his world through song.  Songwriting is the place where he has a raw and honest voice, one that can cut through the whiskey and emptiness to find significance.

As I prepare to lead worship this morning, I pray that my words would not be empty.  Probably three weeks out of four in any given month, my mind is somewhere else during the bulk of the weekly church service.  My mouth opens and closes singing words on the screen without ever really filtering them through my consciousness.

This morning, the image I’m struck with is Bad Blake, sitting on his porch strumming his guitar after Buddy and Jean leave.  His words are an offering, for him, probably not to God, but to the world, to music, to Jean, or to life.  Regardless, the painful fullness of it feels like a kind of worship…one I desire to emulate, by searching for that place in my own life and drawing it out as an offering.  It’s from that place, the bottom, the place of despair, the deepest recesses of the soul, from which I long to sing this morning.