You know the Doxology, right? It’s a hymn of praise sung by Christians, and it’s been at the top of the church charts (both contemporary and traditional) for who-knows-how-long. The lyrics are simple. If you know them, sing along. (No really… sing along.)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
Praise him all creatures here below.
Praise him above you heavenly hosts.
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
We sing this song every week, just after the offering. We raise our voices as Colby carries the plates to the altar. And last week, as he was making his way to the front, the words really took root.
I have an awful lot to be thankful for (or “for which to be thankful” if you are reading this Mom). To the left of me was Jude, trying his best to keep up with the recitations of the liturgy, always a quarter note behind but trudging along anyway. Ian was to my right, drawing three crosses with a house in the shadow of the smallest cross on the right. (He would later tell me that our house sits in the shadow of the crosses.) Isaac stood in front of me, arm around Amber’s waist and head on her side as she sang harmony to the Amen. Titus sat in the floor of the far aisle, cuddled with his blankie.
And if it were just my family singing together in church, that’d be enough. But surveying the room, I beamed at our congregation. They’re a small band of misfits and miscreants, but they’re my misfits and miscreants. We’re led by a priest with a penchant for Star Trek (rest in peace, Mr. Spock), and a deacon who’s daughter calls out “MAMA!” from the back while she’s leading the Creed.
I dig these people. I love my church. Praise God from whom all blessing flow.
Welcome to the weekend! And while we’re here, let me share a few of my favorite things.
I didn’t always love the Church. In fact, I once kept a crockpot of church hatred simmering. I haven’t written about those days much. But if you’d like to read the story of my coming clean from church hatred, pick up my friend, Nish Weiseth’s book, Speak. In Speak, Nish shows how the power of stories can change lives. In fact, Nish shows how my story of falling in love with the church (again) changed hers. What’s more, her book is a good read on the power of story.
Are you keeping up with the persecution of Christians at the hands of ISIS. If not, it’s time to get up to speed. Follow the links for some good information, and a few thoughts on praying for our enemies.
“Let us Not Forget Our Enemies, Also Known as Our Brothers,” by Erika Morrison;
“When the Way of the Cross Calls us Higher,” by Deidra Riggs;
“The Wake up Call That is ISIS: Who in the Church is Answering,” by Ann Voskamp.
I’m growing into a huge podcast fan, and I’d like to share two of my favorites with you.
Neighbors: Jakob Lewis is a master story teller and Nashville resident, and he takes the phrase “get to know your neighbors” literally. The result is the “Neighbors” podcast, which is sometimes poignant, sometimes humorous, but always fresh. Listen to his episode, “Bringing Wes Home” (warning: it will have you in tears).
Something Rather Than Nothing: Preston Yancey has been testing his chops at the podcast medium, and the result is something special. Listen to his episode, “Cover Your Privates (Or, Maybe Modesty Isn’t About That.)” I think you’ll find it thought provoking.
Did you catch this photo of my friend Chris Marlow on my Facebook page? Check it out. His statement on the role of women in ministry in relation to his daughters is beautiful. (Oh, and by the way, have you given my page the old thumbs up yet?)
Let’s jump in the way-back machine; shall we? Here’s to the Traveling Wilburys! This video only gets better with age.
In this month’s Tiny Letter (my once-a-month, insider newsletter delivered straight to your email), I’m discussing the Lenten season, the darkness of my heart, and the discipline of quiet reflection. If you sign up today, you’ll receive a FREE DOWNLOAD of the song “Train Wreck.” It’s a song I wrote about pain, loss, and the love of God.
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