Burning books has never appealed to me; so I'm glad the guy in Florida relented after his 15 minutes.
Though I sense his need for the spotlight after losing the war on abortion and moving into the archives of news reporting, I'm not into ripping pages out of books like Operation Rescue's founder; though it was fun to watch a friend rip out the vita at the end of my latest book at my last installation about five years ago to make his point in consonance with 1 Corinthians 1 despite there being no need to humble me any more than the sales of that book had already accomplished.
On the other hand, I poop-canned over three decades of sermon notes, manuscripts, published essays/columns, litanies, prayers, and other evidences of my life and ministry just before going to the beach last summer; 'cause, well, uh, geez, gasp, gulp, sigh, I needed to expand my wineskin for the fresh inspirations of prayer and study.
I've been making a lot of, uh, amendments (euphemism for changes) to my ministry lately.
After almost four decades, I wore an open-collared shirt while presiding at all three services last Sunday.
I wore brown shoes and khaki pants.
God knows what I'll be wearing next...
It's just that I found myself caught in my old ways of seeing/doing things; and needed to escape from that self-imprisonment.
Besides, if I'm gonna tell folks to expand their wineskins, then, by way of example, I've got to...
It hasn't been easy.
I don't have any canned stuff to rely on in a pinch anymore; but as I've wondered why I've felt the time had come to make more room for Him at my expense, I keep recalling an inspiration/indigestion that happened right in the pulpit so many years back.
While praying the prayer prepared on Friday afternoon for the three services that Sunday, I think I heard Him scorn, "Bob, didn't we go over this on Friday?"
It's like my old buddy Tony said to a very traditionally religious woman who criticized his colloquial way of praying: "Listen, lady, I wasn't talking to you!"
I feel like I've just stepped out of the boat and...it feels pretty good.
Maybe that's why I think most churches need to poop-can those hymnbooks that they use that were published back in the...
If God is still alive and active among people who love Him and say they want to be more intimate with Him - being rhetorical here - isn't it time to recognize He hasn't stopped inspiring new songs?
Uh, doesn't anybody remember the repeated references to "new songs" in Psalms?
Yeah, it'll rock the boat; but, c'mon, boats don't move unless they're rocked.
It's like the little sign under a model ship that I saw in Boothbay Harbor, Maine about 40 years ago: "Ships are safe in the harbor; but that's not what ships are built for!"
I don't like to stretch; but I feel so much better after stretching.
That's getting back to His metaphor about wineskins.
Yeah, I know it's common to long for the way things never were or maybe were but are no more.
I do it.
I remember those nostalgic nano-seconds after ordination in Lackawanna Presbytery so long ago when I thought...
Those were the days, my friend, we thought...
Backward-looking is so, uh, backward.
I'm so tired of looking at my behind.
I prefer to trust Him for what's ahead: "Behold, I make all things new...even you!"
Blessings and Love!
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