So, I’m sorry I haven’t blogged in a while. I read something in Oswald Chambers over Christmas vacation about how God uses silent seasons in our lives to speak to us, or to draw us into waiting dependence. Sorry, that doesn’t necessarily mean new blogs are going to be terribly profound…
Last night Flogging Molly played a show at the Senator, but I couldn’t go because it was sold out. I saw a friend at Worship Generation tonight and she told me she had a ticket but didn’t go, so I totally could’ve gone! Dangit!
This morning I played fiddle and mandolin for worship with Sam and Kevin. It was the first time I’ve played with them since I stepped down last summer. It’s so good to be back!!! I got new D’Addario Helicore violin strings yesterday for the occasion. I know, I’ve been using Dominants for almost 20 years, but they didn’t have any full size Dominants in stock, and these were 10 to 15 bucks cheaper (still $40). They have a stranded steel core instead of synthetic gut like Dominant, but they sound really good. Apparently these are the strings bluegrass players use, and they’re suitable for electric violins as well. I think they produced a more even tone plugged in this morning than Dominants do. Good stuff!
Lifehouse recently released their new single. It’s an old song of Jason’s from the FKA days when Jon and I used to play with him, so I got a little bit emo about it. But God used the situation to deal with me. I read Chapter 9 in Chuck Swindoll’s The Grace Awakening last week, and it appropriately dealt with the kind of stuff I’m dealing with, with old church split issues, old broken relationships in Scotland, old broken band dreams, etc. It’s called “Graciously Disagreeing and Pressing On”. Chuck has some really good “Insight” (get it?) on Paul and Barnabas’s split, and how it’s sometimes God’s will for such things to happen–that it’s sometimes God’s way of moving his people “on to another dimension of ministry” (p. 195).
I highly recommend this chapter, especially the section on Paul and Barnabas, but if you can, read the whole thing.
He draws the illustration of Paul and Barnabas into the points he made in an earlier chapter about the fact that an argument usually consists of an objective truth, and then two subjective viewpoints, and it’s important for a person in an argument to make a differentiation between what the objective truth is and what the personal viewpoints are. Chuck says Paul and Barnabas both had equally valid viewpoints when it came to the issue of John Mark’s dissertion. Both of them were in the right when they chose the path they chose, but it was a very bitter split because they couldn’t compromise at the time. However, later in life, Paul still spoke affectionately of both Barnabas and John Mark in his letters.
Many people today emotionally are sitting in dark rooms, eaten up with bitterness because of an argument that they had with someone a long time ago. They feel they were humiliated or they feel they weren’t listened to. How many are living out their lives with their spiritual shades drawn, thinking to themselves, I’ll have nothing more to do with the church because of an argument they witnessed or maybe participated in? We need to be people who can disagree in grace and then press on, even if the disagreement leads to a separation. (191-2)
Here’s an important point Chuck makes a couple pages later, and it really resonated with me:
There was a time in my life when I had answers to questions no one was asking. I had a position that was so rigid I would fight for every jot and tittle. I mean, I couldn’t list enough things that I’d die for. The older I get, the shorter that list get’s, frankly. (194)
That’s an important breakthrough for young Christians who enjoy their theological arguments. Chuck also talks about how Christ’s body is One, though there are many parts, and, Calvinists, covenant theologians, charismatics, pre- or post-millennial, pre- or post-trib– “We disagree on certain points of doctrine, but we’re on the same team. We’re going to spend eternity together. We’re going to meet the Lord in the air (whether they believe it or not!). So we might as well enjoy each other’s company on earth” (p. 193).
While I have your attention, I want to point out what Oswald Chambers had to say today. Here’s an excerpt: “Without the sovereign hand of God Himself, nothing touches our lives. Do we discern His hand at work, or do we see things as mere occurrences?” If you don’t have a copy, you can read the full entry online.