Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wal-Mart Trumps Us Again!

The Wal-Mart store closest to us is being remodeled. We ran in last night, and just inside the door is a huge banner telling us that Easter is just around the corner. Hanging off that Easter announcement was a sign intended to say something about the ongoing renovation of the store. What it says, though (right under the news that Easter is coming) is "The Wow is coming very soon!"
I'm pretty sure I don't want to reduce the Easter message to "the Wow," but I do wish there were some way to communicate the Good News we have as well as Wal-Mart communicates theirs.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Even a Calvinist Gets a Day Off When the Queen is in Town!

I've tried to be faithful to my commitments during Lent this year. I'm chipping away at the books and articles I said I'd read. I've tried to work even harder than usual to preach faithfully and creatively during this important season. I've prayed more faithfully and more specifically than I have in a long time. I know that the Lenten season and all the benefits it brings are good for me.
But last Friday night, I took the night off. At Christmas, Deanna and Kyle had given me tickets to see Aretha Franklin at the St. Augustine Amphitheater. At Christmas, that date seemed so far away. The winter in Florida has been unusually dreary and dank this year. But on Friday night, the Queen was in town, and none of that mattered. We don't do concerts much. The frugal Calvinist in us just won't let us spend money on things like that every often, but this time it was Aretha!
We heard all the things we expected to hear--"Chain of Fools," "Think," "Pink Cadillac," and an encore performance of "Respect" that was worth the wait. We also heard a couple of things from her new CD which were great. The best part of the night, though, was when she stopped singing a lighter piece and said she was going to change the program a bit. She went to the piano and sat down to play "Bridge Over Troubled Water," an anthem for any of us children of the '60's. What a joy!
I'm back to my hard core discipleship efforts now. Working hard to make Palm Sunday a meaningful time for our congregation. But in a very real way, I went to church on Friday night. Did my soul good. And I'm thankful.