Thank you so much to John West and Lance Parrish! I’m finally back on my own computer (a new one. Drats!) in my own office! I’ve been unable to do with pictures what I’ve wanted to for the past week. But today’s the day. We’re back up and running with lots of catching up to do.
Remember a couple of weeks ago in a blog about Scripture I wrote about the practice of reading the Bible out loud. For a couple of years now I’ve been doing all of my Bible reading — my sermon and class prep, my morning devotional readings, all of it — out loud. And it’s completely changed the way I “hear” God and God’s people speaking to me. I hear the passion. I hear the conviction. I hear the joy. I hear the promises in a way I never did reading silently to myself.
Psalm 40:6 refers to “ears thou hast dug for me” in speaking to God about what he desires. The RSV translates it “thou hast given me an open ear;” it’s “my ears you have pierced” in the NIV; and the KJV version says “mine ears thou hast opened.” But the Hebrew phrase is literally “ears thou (God) hast dug for me.” Look it up. You probably have it in a footnote. David sees God swinging a pickaxe, digging ears in our granite blockheads so that we can hear, really hear, what he speaks to us. The primary organ for receiving God’s revelation is not the eye that sees but the ear that hears. Again, look it up.
Reading Scripture out loud intentionally focuses on the living Word — listening and responding to the voices of that great cloud of witnesses telling their stories, singing their songs, preaching their sermons, praying their prayers, asking their questions, and following their Lord.
I asked you to try it for two weeks. Read your Bible out loud. And then get back with me. Share with us how it’s changed your listening to God. Several of you said you would. Today’s the day. How’s it going? Give us some feedback on this. Just click the “comment” box at the top of the page and start writing.
Today’s the last day for VBS at Legacy and we’re expecting our biggest crowd of the week. What a fantastic past three nights! Over 500 kids, teens, adults, teachers, and helpers each night. And what a blessing it’s been to me and my family. Last night was especially wonderful. The special effects of the fire and the rain with the projection and the screen behind and in front of the huge mountain set was fabulous. In fact, one of the great climaxes of the show last night was when God finally made it rain. The flashing lightning. The roaring thunder. And all the ladies and teens moving up and down the aisles throughout the auditorium, hiding behind giant rainclouds, and squirting water from concealed water guns up into the air. The misting effect on the crowd while watching Elijah get drenched on the stage was really a special touch.
But I got touched harder than everyone else.
When I first got “hit” I turned to Carrie-Anne and said, “Oh, that’s cool. It’s raining.” But then I quickly noticed I was getting repeatedly drilled in the left side of the head. Four or five times, right in the ear. I turned that way and saw two ladies with water guns, hiding behind their cloud, crouched down in a gunslinger pose, and just absolutely nailing me. And laughing. It was so dark I couldn’t see anything. And I couldn’t look directly at them because I was getting shot in the eyes. While the rest of the audience was getting misted once, I got two whole waterguns completely emptied in my head. I think I’ve got swimmer’s ear. I’m probably going to need an antibiotic. Regina and Teresa. You’ll get yours.
I found it interesting that we had to use Brock Paulk, the youth minister at the Heritage Church, to be our voice of God during the show. It’s interesting that with all the people at Legacy, Kipi apparantly looked around and said, “There’s no God here.” Is it bad that we had to outsource God? Brock’s a nice guy and all, but his God voice sounded like a weird mix between Santa Claus and Big Tex.
It was also interesting that as the angel in the Mount Horeb scene with Elijah, Shanna’s halo broke.
No further comment on that.
There are 36 days left until football season. And 36 in the countdown is another of the best college football players ever. Steve Owens was a two-time All-America running back with the great Oklahoma Sooners teams of the late ’60s. He won the Heisman Trophy in 1969 and finished his college career as the #2 all-time rusher and the #1 TD scorer (56) in college football history. He made All Big-8 three times. He was the Big-8 Player of the Year twice. And at one point he ran for over a hundred yards in 17 straight games.
Owens went on to play for the Detroit Lions, becoming the first back in that team’s storied history to rush for a thousand yards. His NFL career was cut short by a knee injury after just five seasons, his lone Pro Bowl year coming in 1971.
Finally — and this may be the best news of the day — the construction trailer has arrived and is parked and set up on the west side of the Legacy Church grounds. We’re finally underway with the building of our 1,500 seat worship center that’s been in the works for over five years. Suzanne has told us repeatedly for weeks and months now that when the trailer arrived she’d do a happy dance out on the church lawn.
And she did.