What Do You Expect?

I thought this was interesting…and tiring.

The Rev. Warren Carr of Durham, North Carolina, prepared a questionnaire asking his congregation to tell him how much time that they thought he should give to a list of specified tasks. The members of his congregation were shocked to discover that the average work week indicated by their answers was 82 hours. One answer proposed a schedule of 200 hours–32 more than there are in a week. —Life Magazine, August 20, 1956, p.102 (quoted in Shepherding God’s Flock, Jay Adams, 39)

I wonder if some of the sheep have lowered their expectations 51 years later. Based on some recent conversations I’ve had and blog posts I’ve read, I don’t think so.

Winners vs. Losers

My dad shared the following poem with me when I was a kid and I’ve never forgotten it. It was written by Pat Williams, a former NBA General Manager. I shared it during a sermon I recently preached on Men at Work while illustrating the seriousness of taking responsibility. Since numerous people asked me for a copy after the message I thought it might be good for the entire void.

Winners vs. Losers

When a winner makes a mistake, he says, “I was wrong;” When a loser makes a mistake, he says, “It wasn’t      my fault.”

A winner works harder than a loser and has more time; A loser is always “too busy” to do what is necessary.

A winner goes through a problem; A loser goes around it, and never gets past it.

A winner makes commitments; A loser makes promises.

A winner says, “I’m good, but not as good as I ought to be;” A loser says, “I’m not as bad as a lot of other people.”

A winner listens; A loser just waits until it is his turn to talk.

A winner respects those who are superior to him      and tries to learn something from them; A loser resents those who are superior to him      and tries to find chinks in their armor.

A winner feels responsible for more than his job; A loser says, “I only work here.”

Always the Bridesmaid, Never the Bride

My props go again to Mijah (Micah James) for today’s blog.

Wednesday night he shared with me the new solo project by Derek Webb, “She Must and Shall Go Free,” an entire cd dedicated to the Bride of Christ, the Church/church. On this album Webb does some hard-hitting, right-between-the-eyes talking to the church. Some of the songs made me downright uncomfortable, and I think that’s the point. You can check out the whole thing for yourself.

But I thought I’d share the lyrics from the final track on the album today. (Who would have ever guessed that with less than 20 total weblogs to date, I’d have TWO whole entries devoted to music?! Maybe I’m not a music hater after all!)

This is a song that opposes Christian individualism (if that is really even possible). It confronts the immaturity of some who ignorantly presume their own importance and who inconsiderately pursue their own interests rather than humbly identifying with the whole Body and sacrificially loving the Bride, the church, just like Christ Himself.

May God give us grace to never live like individualists (Romans 14:7), to never be unfaithful to our Fiance (Revelation 19:7), and to never love a bridesmaid more than the Bride.

The Church

i have come with one purpose
to capture for myself a bride
by my life she is lovely
by my death she’s justified

i have always been her husband
though many lovers she has known
so with water i will wash her
and by my word alone

so when you hear the sound of the water
you will know you’re not alone

(chorus)
‘cause i haven’t come for only you
but for my people to pursue
you cannot care for me with no regard for her
if you love me you will love the church

i have long pursued her
as a harlot and a whore
but she will feast upon me
she will drink and thirst no more

so when you taste my flesh and my blood
you will know you’re not alone

(chorus)
there is none that can replace her
though there are many who will try
and though some may be her bridesmaids
they can never be my bride