Tuesday, November 15, 2005

No U-Haul behind a hearse

The old saying goes, 'There's no U-Haul behind a hearse.' True enough - we don't take anything with us when we die...

Recently I attended a funeral for my friend's mom. There WAS something behind her hearse. A line - a LONG line - of cars full of people! It stretched for over a mile as we drove from the church to the cemetery. It struck me that this was a picture of her legacy, that she had affected so many lives to the good that they would honor her memory by spending a perfectly gorgeous fall afternoon in a cemetery!

I did not know this woman well, though I had met her. She was someone's "Mom", someone else's "Gran". But her life of praying for, nurturing and investing in others' lives paid a bonus dividend in the character and the love of the women she influenced. Her legacy is in people. And people last forever. Things don't.

Her funeral was full of laughter and tears, mingling on the faces in the church. Laughter when her grandson's cell phone went off in the middle of his testimony! Tears when we saw her family praising God in the midst of grief, relief and somehow, joy. A recent study in Ecclesiastes brought this memory back to me...

Eccl. 3:14
I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere Him.

If I could pick a legacy to leave behind, that would be it...

from our home to yours -

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Back-up Singer to God

This past weekend, I had a sterling opportunity to worship and not lead. (Any of you who do lead worship on a regular basis understand what I mean by that...) At any rate, I enjoyed the moment to focus on the God of my music, and not the tempo, dynamics, how many reps, closing out, etc.

The worship leaders were wonderful! Let me explain why:

  1. The rhythm section: They were tight. They were totally TOTALLY in sync. I think they even breathed as one! They were so "together" that it seemed totally natural. That only happens with a group that has spent many hours working on music together. They were not imitating each other - they WERE ONE TEAM.
  2. The visuals: They were designed to focus my mind on the words themselves, to engage my brain as my mouth was moving. Outside of that novelty (there - I said it first!), there was also the beautiful nature shots that were backdrops to the sung and spoken Word of God.
  3. The back-up singers: They fit in with the lead singer, supporting and giving color to the words and melody. They did it so carefully, you had to actually listen with a discerning ear to find their melodic line. Their parts could not stand alone. They were simply depending on the Lead.
These three aspects of the worship team led me to ponder my heart attitudes towards leading worship.

  1. The rhythm section: Am I tight with God? Do I know without any reservation what He wants from me, and where He is leading me? Am I clear on His Words to me?
  2. The visuals: What do I show others? Does it distract or point them towards the main message of my life - Jesus Christ? Do I encourage and lift them up?
  3. The back-up singers: Am I content to be used however God asks - - even if it is not what I really wanted to do? Does my part blend with the Lord's so perfectly that you don't see "Deb", you only see "Jesus"? That is my desire above all else!
I have much to learn and a long way to go...

and you should hear the angels sing
all gathered round their King
more beautiful than you could dream
i've been quietly listening
you can hear 'em now, i hear em now...
- david crowder

From our home to yours,