Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Everything Laudable

I have an Elijah complex. It could be a Moses complex or David or Jeremiah. I was reading a portion of Bible Study Fellowship notes this week that reminded me of that.

I have never understood it. I was discussing it with my husband the other day. Why did these people with the gift of prophesy find themselves in despair shortly after every huge movement of God in their lives? How did Oswald Chambers deal with this after every sermon as he said he did?

This complex led me to start a journal where I record every prayer answered and every movement of God I see.

Today I was given a revelation. We are allowed to witness the glory of God by hearing, by sight, by fellowship and it is what we crave. That means to me that the moment we are not in that is not just a moment of calm. The moments of not hearing or less than the fullness we know are not just a lull in the conversation. They are tragic to us. They are filled with despair. He is all we want. We yearn for Him. We desperately reach out for more... and we know yearning because we know that emptiness is anytime we do not have all of Him we can handle. We realize our forms are but dust and do not want to know ourselves, even for a moment, wthout Him.

He is everything laudable. I want more.

Monday, February 26, 2007


I keep pondering the idea that people induce labor for convenience. I have read over and over every verse where God Himself opened and closed the womb. Are we not trusting the One who opened the womb to open it again? Shy of a medical emergency I am confused as to how we have all been convinced this is normal.

Will I bring a child to birth, and not let him be born?"
says the Lord.
"Will I, Who gives birth, stop it?"
says your God.
Isaiah 66:9

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

She Blooms

Have you ever received a pot of dirt as a gift? I have. It reminded me of the scene from Meet the Parents when Gaylord gives Jack Burns (supposed flower enthusiast) the bulb in the pot. So, from that we dubbed our bulb in the dirt the "Jerusala Tulipuzi." In reality, it is an Amaryllis. They bloom 5 days out of the year. It is fascinating to wait so long for a few moments of startling beauty. I would compare it to giving birth or watching someone you have discipled do something extraordinary and out of their character (as they assume Christ's). I would say that when God sends us people they are much like a pot of dirt. Only God knows the exquisite nature of what lies in the darkness.

Terrible Beauty.

I happened to look up the word terrible in the dictionary the other day. (I created this "terribly" interesting blog because I loved the idea that God is terrible.) One of the definitions said formidably great and another excites awe.
I decided to use excites as a verb more after reading that.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Love Jones

Today is Valentine's Day. It is the day of love. It happens to be one of my favorite days of the year. I say that because I am so in love and I love love. I love an excuse to give stuff to people. It is terribly fun.

I have been seeing a consistent idea around me wherein people dumb things down to make them less than they are. First, I heard baby einstein "do" classical music and I wanted to throw up. I told Denbigh I think they butchered Schubert. People love it. They love double time music that has been slaughtered by a xylophone. Me, I love strings and wood winds. I love the passion and the fluidity of the original. Does anyone see where I am going with this?

I love the original. We have so far dumbed down everything for the world coming up that they will not be able to recognize it in the generations to come. They prefer the dumb down version of everything (except themselves). Today, I wondered what it be like to love a lesser version of my husband had I settled for such a one. That got me thinking about the beauty of God that is in Christ. We have dumbed Him down to a ridiculous misrepresentation. Derek Webb uses the terminology that we settle for lovers so less wild. Then, I say we are so less ourselves.

I have been attending a Bible study this year that has a teacher that dumbs down the beautiful, strong, tender, poetic message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This week, I was horrified by her heresy. She explained to us that there were no longer prophets (people that tell us God's Word). She was preaching the cessation of gifts. The very person she was teaching on is the same one who explains these gifts of the Spirit in the New Testament. I sat there, mouth agape, sad, angry, and wounded that the Word would be adulterated in such a way. I realized also, that no one (besides Emily) in the room with me even noticed. We have so dumbed down the Gospel in our churches that no one recognizes the lie. It has devastated me. I urge you, seek out the original. May you be desperate for the sound of strings!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Guest Blogger Ryan Green

Ryan wrote this paper about Denbigh for a class at Texas State. I thought I'd share.

"Character of Lao-Tzu
Music is a world of its own. Every state has to have population,
territory, permanence, political organization, and sovereignty. A band is just the same. The population is the band members, which can either be ruled by a monarchy (the leader makes all the decisions) or a democracy (the members have a say). The territory is all the different places you play. While it may not be as physically permanent, when you play somewhere, that place is as good as home. Permanence is return business, but instead of the client returning to you, you return to the client. Political organization is the administrative side of a band, such as contracts, how much each member gets paid, etc. Sovereignty means that other "countries" recognize you as a country. In this scenario, it can be compared to critics of your music. If they say you are a band, you are in. Every band has a leader, just like a country. Some bands have a set-in stone leader, others are flexible. Personally, I know of a leader that brings qualities from both sides. Denbigh Cherry is an example of such a leader. In both the music and administration sides of a band, he uses Tao-like philosophy. There are three facets of being in a band: finding places to play, band member relationships, and, of course, the music. Denbigh shows Taoism in all of these.
Being in a band is useless unless you have places to play. Contrary to popular belief, people don't just call you and say, "Hey! Come play here tonight and I'll pay you whatever you want." These things are planned for months in advance. Sometimes you get a call from a place and you have to say no, because of many reasons like money, distance, and overall quality of the place. Denbigh's attitude towards these things is dramatically different than many other band leaders. Most leaders get everything done themselves and just bring others as employees. In our band, all members find places to play and connect the band with people who can be beneficial in the future. In effect, Denbigh is just another member of the band. "When there is no desire,/ all things are at peace" (Lao-Tzu 25). Denbigh is not interested in becoming famous or anything of that nature. He just wants to play the music. This is good for the resolve of the band because if there are no goals there is no disappointment. Everyone is happy exactly where they are.
Another big and sometimes complicated facet is the relationships between the band members. When conflict arises, Denbigh is not the kind of leader who yells like a bad parent until the conflict is doused, but has everyone sit down and wait until someone says something. Therefore, solutions come from the members, not the leader.
The third and most obvious facet is the music. From picking songs to playing them, Denbigh demonstrates the Tao in many ways. All the members pick the songs to play, not just one. Anything can be selected, within reason. Also, the authority of what to play in each song is in the hands of the population. If anyone has a suggestion, they speak up and the group decides. "The Master sees things as they are,/ without trying to control them./ She lets them go their own way,/ and resides at the center of the circle" (24).
Spirituality is very important to Denbigh. He is a Christian worship leader, traveling all around the world leading others in worship, a very spiritual calling. Everyone in the band is also a Christian, making for a very spiritual group. The Tao emphasizes that spirituality is important, no matter what kind it is.
As you can see, Denbigh Cherry encompasses many of the principles described in the Tao, and more. If he were to shift his focus to politics, I'm sure that he would do well in any position of authority, no matter how big or small. Also, he is about to be a father, and in my experiences talking with him about the child, his philosophies he brings to the band will be put into action with his baby, and I'm sure that the child will turn out as fresh and exciting as his ideas as a leader. He lets the people rule themselves, emphasizes non-action, and is an advocator of spirituality. He encompasses most of the philosophies of the Tao, and many more. He is a great example of a leader.

Works Cited
Jacobus, Lee A. ed. A World of Ideas. Bedford/St. Martin's, 2005"

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