Dylan

We All Serve Something or Somebody

Bob Dylan wrote some powerful songs about his faith journey in the late 70’s. One song he composed popped up on the music feed recently. “Gotta Serve Somebody” simply says that no matter how independent, self-sufficient or in control we might try to be we still serve something or somebody. But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed You’re gonna have to serve somebody Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord But you’re gonna have to serve somebody That lyric struck a spiritual chord because it reminded me of some seriously head and heart messing stuff I have been reading from Tim Keller. Keller wrote a thought provoking definition of idolatry and how we can substitute even good things for God. “Sin is building your life and meaning on anything, even a very good thing, more than on God. Whatever we build our life on will drive us and enslave us. Sin is primarily
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The God of Second Chances

Joni and I love going to the Gentle Zoo in Forney, Texas. It is a fun and kid friendly place where you can feed animals by hand. Our grandson’s favorite animals to feed were the goats. They were sweet and gentle as they took the food out of your hand. Not so nice was an overbearing Llama that forced his way into every feeding opportunity. We were warned that this critter would spit in your face if you made eye contact with him. That sounded too much like a couple of people I have encountered recently so we avoided him. What caught my eye was a sign posted around the grounds. That made the trip more special to know that many of the animals had been rescued from abusive or neglectful situations. It even allowed me to give a bit of grace to the spittin’ Llama (but I still kept a wary distance). I related to the second paragraph. “Many
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What Should Christians Tweet?

A song from my (much) younger days triggered the musing for this week. The song Easy to be Hard was written for the musical Hair but it became a big hit as a cover for Three Dog Night. The lyrics could have been written last week about the interactions on Twitter, Facebook and other platforms. How can people be so heartless How can people be so cruel Easy to be hard Easy to be cold. I could sing those lyrics almost anytime I cruise through the comments section on Twitter. The dialogue is often mean, unforgiving, and disheartening. I get particularly distressed when people of faith descend to that level of discourse. People who have proudly labeled themselves in their bio as followers of Christ use language on social media that once would have made a sailor blush. Regular readers of my musings know I am not a purveyor of guilt in my writings. I am just asking a question.
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Things I Wish I’d Known in High School

1.    I wish I had known that my high school years did not define me for life My teen years were a mixed bag of memorable highs and incredible lows. Now I realize that I am grateful for what I once considered some of the worst moments of my life. In many of those spiritual valleys you could not have begun to convince me that God was molding me or that those experiences could ever be of value. I have developed a heart of compassion for those who are wounded. Why? God gave me the privilege of being wounded early in my life. That sounds crazy as I read back over that last sentence. But I can now see that my struggles as an overweight, geeky and often outcast adolescent molded my heart to empathize with those who are hurt and ostracized by their peers. Had I been the coolest guy or the best athlete I most likely would not have developed a
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Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven…Eventually

Country music just seems to be a gold mine for topics to muse about. A catchy song called Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven  caught my ear. Kenny Chesney sings that everybody wants to go to heaven but they are just not interested in going any time soon. I am aware that Chesney is not a theologian so I am not throwing him under his tour bus but there is some shaky theology in this song. For example, these lyrics reflect the beliefs of many people and churches in this nation. It used to be mine. Preacher told me last Sunday mornin` Son, you better start livin` right You need to quit the women and whiskey And carrying on all night My issues might not have been whiskey and carrying on all night but I had plenty of my own. And that was my church upbringing. Preachers telling me I had to do better, shape up, quit sinning and live right.
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The Cost of Freedom

With the political rancor in our culture I fear we are losing some of the foundational things that used to unite all Americans. Memorial Day was special growing up and not because of cookouts and the end of school. My generation had fathers who served in World War II and Korea. We were told about the sacrifices made on foreign soil. We believed that freedom was worth whatever cost needed to be paid. We knew someone who had lost a husband, brother, or friend in combat. A song from Five for Fighting  called “Freedom Never Cries” is timely for this holiday. Writer/singer John Ondrasik writes personal and powerful songs that resonate with me. “Freedom Never Cries” is a song about how we take freedom for granted. Ondrasik talked about the song in an interview posted at liveDaily. “It was definitely a statement song that has a point of view. I think it kind of speaks to the fact that, I know at least for
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Only Here for a Little While

Regular readers of the Monday musings know that I love the power of musical lyrics to inspire thought and meditation. I was driving home from Newton, Texas after attending a beautiful memorial service for legendary high school coach W.T. Johnston. I thought about the amazing impact Coach Johnston had in only 54 years on this planet. A song popped up on satellite radio from the Righteous Brothers. If you believe in forever, Then life is just a one-night stand. I do believe in forever and those two lyrical lines reminded me that whether you only have the 54 years that W.T. Johnston got or you are given 100 years this existence is still just an eternal blink of the eye. Clearly your significance is not how long but how well you live your life. Not long after that I was cycling through the stations and a song called “We’re Only Here for a Little While” pops up. I kid you
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