i'm a quester

I love my church. I've found myself having to defend it fairly often. We're an odd lot at Quest. When we gather it's not your traditional hymns - announcements - offering - sermon - benediction type service. Our style of worship is not everyone's cup of tea. Sometimes it's not even mine. Our band plays lively music and the worship team leads us with energy and passion from one joyful or intimate moment to the next. I love the old songs of the church I grew up singing, and from time to time I'll enjoy visiting the services at one of the other, more traditional churches here in town to hear them again. I appreciate their worship just as much, and I value the heritage they honor. I'm glad there are places for all of us to meet with God in the way we enjoy most. But I really love my church.

I know there are other congregations like it, but I've never seen a more eclectic mix of humans who gather week after week all because they want to know God better. Before you ever get in the building you can tell something is up. Shiny, high-dollar sports cars, luxury models and SUVs are scattered among the muddy Jeeps, ragtag jalopies and family vans in the lot. The bumper stickers say a lot too. Some for Bush. Some for Kerry. Some for saving the whales. Some for saving the babies. A PETA and an AFA were parked side-by-side today. Somebody drove each car into the lot on their way to meet with Jesus. Then you get inside.

I just love looking at the odd assortment of people-types in this place. Two weeks ago I noticed a very clean-cut sixtyish gentleman with groomed silver hair, a tailored suit and a big bible sitting next to a younger guy with radical hair, ripped up jeans, a wrinkled tee-shirt and a piercing or two (or three). They sang the same songs, read the same passage of scripture and lifted themselves up together as the worship grew deeper and more personal. It was a beautiful picture; four hands in the air - two trimmed, two loaded with rings and scars; two voices - one singing properly in tune, one making nasally attempts; four feet tapping - two in designer Aldos, two in stringy flops; two hearts beating - one in love with a Redeemer that saves from complacency and pride, one melted by a God that wanted a loner on the run. Two men in worship. God saw two men. Nothing else.


welcome little abby

I was at the hospital this week. My niece Whitney delivered to my parents their first great grandchild. Her name is Abigail, and she is an obvious Bishop. I was able to stop by the hospital and visit with baby, mom, dad, grandma and a room full of friends for a while. Tiny, new life really inspires me - and frightens me.

When I see the itty-bitty fingers, the speck of a nose, hair with the texture of cotton candy, and know that her heart is the size of my thumb, I'm aware that her little personality will develop traits along the way that reveal who she is beneath her skin and that her little heart will learn the values that matter most. I get excited about the future she can control and concerned for the parts that will be left to the world around her.

My prayer for little Abby is this: "Father, you have blessed us with a brand new opportunity to mold a creation of yours into a child of opportunity, a youngster of ambition, and an adult of contribution. Please give our family the wisdom, patience, understanding and compassion to do it the way that honors You most. And let us see the world a lot like her innocent and inexperienced eyes do - without cynicism, prejudice or hatred. Help us rely on You as she relies on us for her very life. Make her Your instrument. In Christ's name. Amen."



Is your email box loaded? It seems mine always has a steady supply of messages waiting to be read and responded to. I promise myself I'll get to everyone of them at some point - and I will - eventually. I love hearing from folks, and if someone takes the time to write, I should do my best to holler back when I can. Then there are the forwards...

Like everyone else with an email addy, it seems the "FWDs" fill much of my inbox space. Being totally honest with you, I don't read most of them. Between hellos from friends, encouraging notes from strangers, and business mail that has to be tended to, my time at the 'puter would be endless if all of the forwards got full attention. And some of them probably deserve it. Some of them are witty, some are strange, some are cute and some should've ended their tour of the cyber-world long before they found their course to my box - for the third time. Then there is the one that I do take the time to read (for some reason), that speaks something honest, simple and magnificent. Now I wonder what I've missed by not parking it for a while longer and taking the time to read them all.

by: Maya Angelou

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not shouting "I'm clean livin'."
I'm whispering "I was lost,
Now I'm found and forgiven.
" When I say... "I am a Christian"
I don't speak of this with pride.
I'm confessing that I stumble
And need Christ to be my guide.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not trying to be strong.
I'm professing that I'm weak
And need His strength to carry on.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not bragging of success.
I'm admitting I have failed
And need God to clean my mess.
When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are far too visible
But, God believes I am worth it.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I still feel the sting of pain.
I have my share of heartaches.
So I call upon His name.
When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not holier than thou,
I'm just a simple sinner
Who received God's good grace, somehow!