Today's Devotions

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Showcase: Assorted Treats

  • All Things Working To the Glory of God: Stephen’s Martyrdom +

    God works in mysterious ways– Read More
  • God's Love For Us +

    The well of love God has for us is deeper than our imaginations can grasp-- Read More
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Despite my alarming lack of funds, I have managed to acquire tickets to what promises to be an A-MAY-ZING show tonight... Here's the skinny from the Red Hat Amphitheatre web site:


Two albums are as
familiar to me as
my own prayers.
LP TOUR with Big Head Todd and the Monsters, The Wailers, Soul Asylum and Matthew Sweet: Matthew Sweet will open the show and perform Girlfriend in it's entirety, The Wailers will perform Legend next, Soul Asylum will then perform Grace Dancers Union and Big Head Todd and the Monsters will close the night out with Sister Sweetly.

soul asylum grave dancers union 1992Now, the dishes highlighted in RED TEXT are hot and spicy. I mean, that's what I'm excited about. I have mentioned more than once both Matthew Sweet and Soul Asylum, so this is a dream bill for me. It's an added bonus that they are performing particular albums and therefore, JUST songs that I know like my own prayers. That's right... no obscure tunes or pesky songs off their "new album"... Only music that has already romanced my stony heart...

So, in preparation for this sure-to-be-sweaty night in downtown Raleigh, I've immersed myself in the records that Matthew Sweet and Soul Asylum are scheduled to play. And earlier today I was driving along listening to Grave Dancer's Union and wondering what to talk to you guys next, and this thought occurred to me: Each of these songs is a blog post waiting to be written.

matthew-sweetMatthew Sweet
In fact, I could just cut and paste the lyrics from one of those (questionably accurate) lyrics web sites and that would be that. For instance, rather than writing about the startlingly slow pace of my spiritual development and my acknowledgement that at least I'm going in the right direction... or I could just give you the lyrics to Growing into You.

Or I could annotate or otherwise comment on the lyrics for you. Yeah – that's what I'll do... Buckle up for this bumpy ride... this (debatably) fascinating exploration of songs in the key of my life...

First up, Grave Dancer's Union Track 1:

Somebody to Shove

Grandfather watches the grandfather clock
And the phone hasn't rang for so long
And the time flies by like a vulture in the sky
Suddenly he breaks into song

I'm waiting by the phone
Waiting for you to call me up and tell me I'm not alone
I'm waiting by the phone
Waiting for you to call me up and tell me I'm not alone

Hello, speak up, is there somebody there?
These hang-ups are getting me down
In a world frozen over with over-exposure
Let's talk it over, let's go out and paint the town

I'm waiting by the phone
Waiting for you to call me up and tell me I'm not alone

Cause I want somebody to shove
I need somebody to shove
I want somebody to shove me

You're a dream for insomniacs, prize in the Cracker Jacks
All the difference in the world is just a call away

And I'm waiting by the phone
Waiting for you to call me up and tell me I'm not alone
Yes I'm waiting by the phone
I'm waiting for you to call me up and tell me I'm not alone

Cause I want somebody to shove
I need somebody to shove
I want somebody to shove me
Yes I want somebody to shove
I need somebody to shove
I want somebody to shove me

may30-soul-asylumSoul Asylum
In my crazy brain, this is about a person "Grandfather" who longs for a word from God – for evidence that He exists and that He's FOR us – a place I've been countless times. In his desperation he wails out a song, much like the guy in the Psalms who cries out for God to hear his prayers (ex. "Hear my prayer, LORD, listen to my cry for help; do not be deaf to my weeping." Psalm 39:12). Or when Bono sings, "How long to sing this song?"

And how about this line: "You're a dream for insomniacs, prize in the Cracker Jacks"... because insomnia is quite often the setting for any contemplation of God that I might do, ("As I lie on my bed I remember you. I think of you all night long." Psalm 63:6). And then, "prize in the Cracker Jacks" = the pearl of great price. ("Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a trader who was looking for fine pearls. He found one that was very valuable. So he went away and sold everything he had. And he bought that pearl." Matthew 13:45-46)

van-halen1Go ahead and jump!
I also think about the way that at times there might be something I KNOW I need to do... from the first confession of Jesus as Savior, to big life decisions, to everyday good deeds. I do find myself sometimes sitting around waiting for a "sign" or a direct communication from God to SHOVE ME, as the song says.

That first big leap of faith is the most frightening. I've been on that precipice, known people on that precipice. Now that I've jumped, I know that just being at that point... well, THAT's your sign... that you've recognized and are pondering the "God-shaped hole" inside you. Of course this is easy for me to say on THIS SIDE of that decision. But's that's just the way of it. You can't really know till you dive in.

And again, even once you're on THIS SIDE, you will still experience times when you have no idea what's going on and you long for communication from One Who Knows Everything. You'll have all kind of dark nights of the soul and groaning on your bed days. It's hard, but I guess you just have to remember that these times of longing and despair are a gift of God... an assurance that God longs for YOU... if that makes sense.

In my opinion, the desire to hear from God is a gift from God Himself. He gave that to us. There's your shove... now JUMP!


Reflections to Consider

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Audio & Video

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  • Eat This Book, Eugene Peterson +

    Eugene Peterson’s book, Eat This Book gets its name from Revelation 10:9-10 when John asks for the scroll containing God’s Read More
  • Martin Luther’s Quiet Time, Walter Trobisch +

    Martin Luther had a barber named Peter Beskendorf who asked his world-famous customer and doctor of theology, "Dr. Luther, how Read More
  • Storytelling +

    Eugene Peterson discusses his influences as a writer, as well as how and why he created the Message translation. This Read More
  • Life as an Alien +

    Timothy Keller, the pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC, provides an inspiring portrayal of what the church is supposed Read More
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Hidden Blessings

  • Separated Unto the Holy Ghost (Andrew Murray) +

    Below is chapter 3 from the book, Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray, a South African "Now there were in the Read More
  • The Human Body and Spiritual Growth: Dallas Willard +

    In Christian Educator's Handbook on Spiritual Formation, edited by James Wilhoit of Wheaton College. "Spiritual formation" is the process through Read More
  • January 28 Devotional: Oswald Chambers +

    Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? —Acts 26:14 Read More
  • Coupla Things by Julie Moore +

    It has occurred to me that maybe more people would read my blog if the posts were shorter. I'm not Read More
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