Monday, March 31, 2008

Hello on Monday

This week is Spring Holiday week for the Miami-Dade District School System, and that fact is noticeable when considering the much easier traffic. In fact, the sort of peace that has settled on the community began on Friday, when the school holiday began, and it lasted through the weekend into this morning.

And why did the holiday begin on Friday? The Spring Holiday is a sort of living fossil of Easter holidays, and so, of course, on Friday the system was closed. (Wasn't that a good Friday, now?) Will the time come when nobody will remember why the school system's Spring holidays begin on a Friday? That time, I am sure, is already here for many people.

We had some late-middle aged people visit our church Sunday for the worship service. Lynn particularly welcomed them (they were otherwise strangers), and found that they were refugees from University Baptist Church, one of the relatively few semi-mega churches that we have in Miami. They were looking for a church with traditional music, and I guess we looked as though we might be that church from the outside. Sorry. Lynn invited them to stay for the light lunch that we have after our service, but I saw them head for the parking lot right after the service. They are not interested in what our community of faith looks like; they are interested in the music. Now I would feel uncomfortable at UBC, I think, but it would be because I wouldn't know where the sub-communities are in that large assembly. But if I hung in there, I might find some real faith centers. But the canary in the coal mine must be "Just as I Am", all stanzas, at the end of the worship service. If it's not there, the bird is dead, and I'm out of here.

Not that I particularly like the Praise Music. What it must have is constant refreshing, in my humble opinion, and at our church we recycle the same songs each Sunday and have been doing so since Macon introduced such music as our worship leader the summer before his marriage to Kellsey. Now and then we get something new, but the genre itself has such a consistently low quality output, as most popular music does, that the potential classics are few and far between. I do like what is being done with some of the old hymns, and I hope we will have more of those old wine vintages in (oops) new wine skins.

The other thing about "the Contemporary Service" idea is that it needs to be upbeat with some excitement and pace. We need to "feel" the Spirit. It must be diverting and emotional, and, may I say it?, entertaining. Somehow the Holy Spirit really must come when we have just the right combination of beat, song, and caffeine, and some good looking people up there, preferably younger ones, with good voices.

(I must apologize for all that. Moving on.)

This is a busy week, as Carol and I are trying to get things fastened down so we can go to Spain on Friday and be able to forget the office for awhile.

You should see Macon's photos on his Facebook page, especially of Honor and her doll. Macon, would you put that one up over here? (I don't know if you can access Macon's Facebook page - that entire site is still something of a mystery to me.)

Short takes: The Davidson-Kansas game was exciting, but bittersweet at the end. I finally saw The Bourne Ultimatum. I'm sure the small screen diminished it's impact, but my reaction was "ho-hum", especially to the third act. I'm reading a terrific piece of non-fiction, Marine Sniper: 93 Confirmed Kills, the story of Carlos N. Hathcock II, a Viet-Nam era scout/sniper. He makes Jason Bourne look like a school-child, a cardboard school-child. (But would Jesus read that book? Or is that question impertinent?)


Anonymous said...

Hi Paul. Ditto on the Bourne Ultimatum for me as well. I didn't see any of them in the theater and just finished going through the DVDs over the past 4 months whenever I could get them from the public library (for free of course). I think the first one was the best.

Regarding praise and worship music check out the web site of Keith and Kristyn Getty. Keith Getty has a mission to write modern hymns. You may have heard "In Christ Alone" which he co-wrote with Stuart Townend a worship leader from the UK. You should check out "The Power of the Cross" which is one of my new favorites. We sing it at Calvary Chapel to try to balance out all the Chris Tomlin songs. :o

Paul Stokes said...

I like Stuart Townssend's work: In Christ Alone I have solo'd; I have always liked Give Thanks, but we have oversung it our church. But he's a good one. Thanks for the suggestions!