Worship made worship better

Yesterday I arrived at church somewhat ready for worship. I guess that is to say, I was coming off a week where I think I made strides forward in my relationship with God, which still definitely includes a generous amount of grace from above in those moments I come up short of the target. I walked in and grabbed a seat, the band started with one of my favorite hymns, “Holy, Holy, Holy.” Bang! Worship has begun!

posture-worship

not my picture, got it here

But then something even more awesome happened. There was a particular row of folks in front of me, and a guy I didn’t know sitting to my right, a couple of seats away. The row of strangers along with the guy next to me made me fall even more into an awe of God, if that can somehow make sense. You see, when I’m in church, I don’t typically raise my hands, or move around too much. I would love to be that kind of person, but it’s not really my personality. I am more inward as far as that goes. So when I can be around people that are outwardly expressive, I LOVE IT. I love witnessing someone showing passion for the Lord that way.

Yesterday I was encouraged and my worship was even more personal ,somehow, by being near this kind of genuine worship. It made me think, yeah, I feel that way, too! And I might have even swayed a little ūüėČ

-Out of the Wilderness

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10 more signs a Christian guy is into you

via-quickmeme.com_A¬†while back I published my first lighthearted and completely unreliable¬†post¬†for how to tell a Christian guy is into you (click here for that list). Well, it’s time for another. Just as lighthearted. Just as unreliable. Enjoy!

10. You comment that his man-bun reminds you of Samson from the Bible. He responds by flexing for you.

9. He invites you on a coffee date… to the coffeeshop in the east quadrant of your mega church.

8.¬†He uses this lame-o line:¬†I’d be pretty bad at mission work, ’cause you’re the only “miss” I’d have my “i on”.

7. He says he’d totally “leave and cleave” for you.

6. He doesn’t want you to be a MISSionary. He wants you to be a MRSionary.

*Take a break and check out one of the worst dates I’ve ever been on. It was embarrassingly funny! Click this link.*

5. He brings two sets of ear plugs when the two of you attend the contemporary worship service.

4.¬†He loves that you’re learning Greek but he still wants to French with you.

3. He wants to stomp grapes with you just so he can wash your feet.

2. He tells you he has a sensitive side, which includes being seeker-sensitive.

1. He says you put the ‘angel‘ in evangelical.

 

Has anyone ever told you…

There are many ways to¬†finish the title of this post. Has anyone ever told you…

…you look great tonight?

…you look like Keira Knightley?

…you’re smart?

Those are just a few, and they’re all compliments. Of course, there are also less positive ways to finish the question…

you smell?

you have a “kick me” sign on your back?

you need a haircut?

Well, I’ll let you guess which of those happened to me this very weekend! Here’s how it went down. I attended a local church yesterday morning. Whilst chatting with a couple of friends, forming a triad not easily penetrated, a churchgoer clutched my shoulder. This person was outside the triad of trust so she was clearly determined to deliver her message. I turned to her and, along with my two friends, heard these words from her mouth:

Has anyone every told you you need a haircut?

Who does that? This woman was older, maybe in her 70s so my explanation for her actions was that she was just being a grandma. It’s something grandparents say to their grandkids, right? The thing is, I’ve no recollection of ever seeing this woman in my entire life, much less being her grandchild! I thought it was funny. The rest of the triad was taken aback by it and had a few ideas of how I could’ve responded. I’m never good in the moment so I think I remember just laughing and¬†admitting it’s a little out of control.

We probably could’ve had a longer conversation about it, but she had to prepare for her role as choir member.

Awesome!
-Out of the Wilderness

The day I almost fainted

Deep breaths.

Adjust your legs.

Sweaty forehead.

Tingling.

You might think I’m describing how it feels to be meet Kate Beckinsale, which might be true, because I was feeling faint yesterday. It wasn’t because of the famous actress, though. I was running a camera at church with a tight shot of the pastor while he preached. It’s something I’ve done dozens and dozens of times before. But this time I felt different about halfway through the sermon. I pulled the sleeves of my fleece¬†to keep me cool. That helped some but whatever was happening kept getting stronger. A quick prayer.

Lord, please don’t let me fall. Please don’t let me fall.

I don’t like a lot of attention so can you imagine how frightening it would be to fall down in quiet room?

My body was starting to malfunction. Blurry vision. Sweat on my forehead, and my arms. It was not looking good. But thank God the pastor tossed to a video which meant I could be “off” for a second while it played on the screens.

The dizziness was in full affect as I cautiously bent down to find a seat on the edge of the platform. Phew! I made it. As I sat there the dizziness went away. I swiped my forehead to clear the dripping sweat. I removed my jacket to cool down.¬†It was bad! I seriously think if I were standing for 5 more seconds I would have blacked out. I don’t know what happened. I wasn’t sick. I felt fine the day before and that morning, despite staying up too late.

After the video played I stood up again to control the camera. Those final minutes of the sermon went by without a hitch. I did notice the pastor had a shine on his forehead as well, so maybe the room was simply too warm? He and I were the only people standing for the entire sermon, so I wonder if he was feeling the same thing I was feeling?

Either way, I’m so glad I made it through without drawing an embarrassing amount of attention to myself by falling off the small camera platform.

Happy dizzy-free Monday!
-Out of the Wilderness

Breaking wind

I might be the only one who does this, and it’s why I sometimes think I have an¬†odd personality. Don’t get me wrong, I love my personality, but is anyone else concerned about walking through someone else’s breeze?¬†bad smell

Let’s say you’re at the gym. You walk¬†towards the water fountain and someone passes you going the other direction. Do you hold your breath? What are you thinking¬†in that moment you feel their wind breeze past you? Most of the time it grosses me out. But not just at the gym. It can be walking down a sidewalk. Crossing paths with someone at church. Moving through crowds at Disney World.

There’s a moment when you know you’re about to feel a gust of wind and you have to decide, do I stop breathing for a second, breathe through my nose, or breathe through my mouth? So many decisions need to be made in a short amount of time. It can be overwhelming. As can the scent. Sometimes it smells like an unwashed towel. Other times, if you’re lucky, it’s perfume or cologne. Then you’re like…
dancingPlease tell me it’s not just me!

-Out of the Wilderness

I tuck my shirt in on Sundays

I visited a nearby church recently and loved the chapel where we met for worship. It was small, beautiful with an exposed wood beam ceiling, stained-glass windows, almost a relic of the past. It reminded me of the baptist church in Monticello, Florida where my grandparents went. A handful of every age group in the congregation. Traditional hymns but with an acoustic guitar instead of an organ. I enjoyed it! There was a picture of an eagle (a little random, but who doesn’t love eagles, right?) in the pre-service Powerpoint loop, and I overheard a lady¬†behind me say something that is now the quote of the week:

“I’m glad that’s our bird and not a turkey.”
IMG_20150809_103110072IMG_20150809_103126151IMG_20150809_103103854_HDRIMG_20150809_103017091_HDR
-Out of the Wilderness

Flood, Pain and Prayer

It was the summer of 2010 and Nashville just experienced a 500-year flood that devastated houses and families.

There were many opportunities to get involved with the clean-up effort; through churches, charity efforts, and even places of employment encouraging employees to help by lending a hand in the hardest hit areas. The building where I work lost power for the entire week after the flood so once I caught up on my own long overdue yard work, I volunteered in neighborhoods needing assistance. At one house, I helped¬†pull up soaking wet carpet. At another I helped with a washer/dryer extraction. One task was simply sweeping water out of a kitchen into the backyard. Joining in with some other folks, I helped take torn up drywall out to a trash pile near the street. At this house, we had two wheelbarrows, one with a flat tire. Some may say it’s because I’m awesome, others may say it’s because I’m double awesome, but I used the one with the flat tire, without gloves¬†and pushed it up hill in the snow. That makes me a triple threat guy. Ok, I had gloves. And there was no hill. Or snow.

The wheelbarrow rolled well enough until the flat tire hit a hole in the ground and immediately came to a halt. The problem was that I kept walking. My¬†shin was pierced by a¬†screw from the wheelbarrow. Yes it hurt. Yes it bled. A friend nearby had a first aid kit and was more than willing to attend to my new wound. Here’s how it went down before she applied ointment:

Me: Is this going to hurt?
Her: Yes.
[pause]
[pause]
Me: Ok, go.
[cuss word]

In the few seconds between anticipation of pain and actual pain, I was able to prepare for what would happen next. And if it pleases the court, I’d like to make clear there was no cuss word, that was a joke.

That experience has finally served as a good example of how to handle the storm I’m currently in the middle of. This little storm started and I didn’t have time to prepare, just like my leg and the wheelbarrow. But as the rain falls and the thunder rolls, I’ve made time to seek shelter. If nothing else good comes from this storm, I can at least¬†treasure the shelter and perhaps remember that the Lord loves me enough to carry my burden when all I can imagine happening is me crumbling. There will be resolution to this storm, the suffering will pass. It says so in the Bible: “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” Either this statement is true, or none of the Bible is true. So I’m going to, again, take my chances that once the storm passes, it will still just be a storm. But me? I’ll be restored (which is enough) but then I’ll also be stronger, more firm, and more steadfast than ever before. That’s where I win and the storm loses. So when the next¬†one comes, guess what my prayer will be?

Me: Is this going to hurt?
Lord: Yes.
[pause]
[pause]
Me: Ok, go.
[cuss word]
[just kidding]