Start Praying Now

Ok, we just irrigated Luke’s cecostomy, which basically means he just received an enema. Now we will see if his colon is working. Could y’all pray for God to “wake up” Luke’s colon, so that things begin moving through it and out. It would be cool for you to pray now and then read the rest of this later.

Last November, I wrote this post and I am copying it here again.

This idea of Luke’s intestines “waking up” make me think of two things: The Gospel and the TV show “Lost”. There was a period of time in America called The Great Awakening (1730-1740′s). From Wikipedia, “Pulling away from ritual and ceremony, the Great Awakening made religion intensely personal to the average person by fostering a deep sense of spiritual guilt and redemption, and by encouraging introspection and a commitment to a new standard of personal morality.” Two dead dudes (they were not dead at the time) that God used during this time were George Whitfield and Jonathan Edwards. What Jesus did through these guys was nothing short of the miraculous. Basically, religious people who thought they were Christians, were struck by the preaching of Whitfield and Edwards, and came to the conclusion that they were not Christians and responded to the gospel of grace with faith and repentance. They repented of their “churchianity”, something that needs to happen here in the American South.

Much like The Great Awakening, Luke’s colon needs a “great awakening”.

I also thought of the last season of “Lost”. If you haven’t seen “Lost” (and you need to, go ahead and put it in your Netflix queque), these clips may not mean much, but when I saw them last May, I was struck with how they parallel with the Gospel. The whole point of the Gospel is that our hearts need to be “awakened” with grace. Without grace, our hearts are dead and cold, so we need Someone from the outside, Christ, to come and awaken our hearts and remember who God is and who we are. Notice in these clips, that someone’s “awakening” happens when someone from the outside touches them. We are unable to spiritually awaken ourselves. That is what these clips are about (note: the pluralistic theology of the writers doesn’t quite fit with historic Christian orthodoxy, but the point of being awakened still stands).

To continue this theme of “awake” here is a little Mumford and Sons:

Quick Update

I am writing tonight from the 8th floor of Brenner’s Children’s Hospital in Winston-Salem. We’ve been down this road before (today was Luke’s 4th surgery in our journey of his colon disease). Everything went as planned today. The first day is always the hardest on Luke. He is very sad. As the week progresses, he will become more himself.

There is not much to report tonight. As Tom Petty says, “The waiting is the hardest part.” That is what we will be doing for the next 5-7 days. Waiting for a bowel movement. Not sure yet what we will do if that doesn’t happen.

I will have more to write about as the week progresses. I will leave you with this one nugget though. In my sermon yesterday at Grace Foothills, I gave an example of not believing the gospel when we are not showing loving-kindness (hesed in the Hebrew) to a waitress or someone in customer service when they are not serving us all that well. Wouldn’t you know it, that as we were checking into the Ronald McDonald House last night, the weekend manager was extremely condescending and rude to me (very atypical of the Ronald McDonald House, by the way). How did I respond? Let’s just say that for a moment, I was not believing the gospel for myself. I was not kind to this woman. What went down in my heart reminded me of this:

I had forgotten God’s pervasive love and grace for me. Worst of all, my kids saw my response. What was it that the Apostle Paul said? “Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7: 24-25).

This Sunday, I will begin a new sermon series at Grace Foothills for the summer. We will be looking at the book of Ruth for the next 8 weeks. Here is the intro to the series that we are using:

“Whether they are thrilled by the love story of Ruth and Boaz or encouraged by a happy ending for Naomi, many people are drawn to the book of Ruth. But though the story is indeed charming, Ruth is included in Scripture for more than our entertainment. Ruth’s message is theological, rooted in God’s oversight of the movement of redemptive history that climaxes in the person and work of Christ.”

Should be a very cool sermon series. Since this is a love story, I wouldn’t be surprised if this clip didn’t find itself in the sermon:

Beautiful Mess

Last Saturday, I was hanging at Harmon Field, which is THE place in Polk County to be on a Saturday. There was lots of activity and one of the highlights of the day was seeing the new band in our community, Beautiful Mess. You may be asking, “Beautiful Mess? Haven’t heard of them.” Do you remember the first time you saw U2 perform on TV? Here they are in 1980:

And now:

It got me thinking about Beautiful Mess’ first performance at Harmon Field last Saturday. Here it is:

What if Beautiful Mess were the next U2? Am I overreaching? Probably. But, hey, a dude can dream.

Their performance made me think of the first time I saw Glee cover the best song in the whole history of music:

I knew after I saw that the the creators of Glee were on to something.

I am already tinkering with my text for my next sermon, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil (Matthew 6:13).” As always, there is plenty to say about these passages in the Sermon on the Mount. As I was surfing the net tonight, this song jumped out to me as a potential sermon illustration for this passage: