Archive for Faith & Religion

Lent Observance 2009

Posted in Faith & Religion, Life, people, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 25, 2009 by Rick

My pastor, my boss and my brother-in-law (all the same guy) has asked that our church staff observe Lent together this year. We will do it in preparation for Passion Week and the recognition of Jesus’ death burial and triumphant resurrection. We will also do it to take a page out of Jesus’ personal preparation manual. Jesus fasted forty days to prepare for His Earthly ministry. We at Fellowship have a new ministry to lead as we look to open a new, second church site in downtown Memphis. So, starting today, each of us on the Fellowship Memphis staff will implement fasts and particular abstinences for forty days leading up to Resurrection Sunday.

There are hundreds of ways to do this. The most common is a meat fast or skipping meals during daylight hours. I’ve been dieting since January so I felt the food fasts would not have the same impact on me spiritually because starving myself is old hat now. So I have decided to abstain from a few other things that will surely cause me to feel a since of longing and sacrifice and ultimately cause me to lean more heavily on God.

I have started by steering clear of purchasing new music. That may seem inconsequential to the average audiophile but I gravitate to new music like moths to a bug zapper. Sometimes I get zapped! It’s rarely enough for me to get the new albums, I have to be one of the first to review them. I almost hate to have a CD recommended to me. I feel like I’m out of touch in some childish way. I am not bragging as much as I’m confessing. I have hundreds of discs and downloads some of which I’ve only listen to once or twice, formulated an opinion on and moved on to the next record. Sometimes I’m content to say boastfully “I have that!” regarding an album that only has one palatable tune. So I will miss the much anticipated release of albums from U2, Gavin Degraw, Busta Rhymes, Mandisa, Ciara, Lionel Richie, New Found Glory, Static X and Chris Cornell. This will spare me from having to endure the sounds of former American Idol Taylor Hicks’ new album, sure to be blaring over Memphis record store speakers.

I hope my music lust looks like this in April

I hope my music lust looks like this in April

There are two other fasts I’m observing that I will post another day. To God be the Glory!

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What if…?

Posted in Early Death, Faith & Religion, Family, Life, people, politics, Tragedy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 21, 2009 by Rick

That’s a question my father always asked when explaining to my siblings and I the travesty of abortion. He was conceived as result of date rape. In 1957 his young mother was faced with two unpopular options. She could abort my father, justifiably by many standards. She was young, severely underemployed, and the victim of rape. Her other choice was to have the baby, knowing its father would not be around to support it, and place a heavy burden on her lifestyle and those that loved her. Praise God she chose the later. My father was raised with the support of his mother, grandmother, aunts and uncles, and some close friends of the family and he lived to play significant roles in the lives of his mother, his birth-father, everyone that helped raised him, his eight siblings (papa was a rolling stone for REAL, but found redemption and reconciliation before death) and countless others. My father is now a devout Christ-follower and  a successful husband, father, church elder, friend, brother and business man. His story of triumph in adversity is not an anomaly, but the testament of millions like him who were given a chance to live despite the odds. It all started with mothers’ selfless decision to say abortion is not the only answer to unwanted pregnancy. Granny exercised the audacity of hope.

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SOME of the family

Today I saw a video that my friend Ben Washer posted on his blog after seeing it on BET. It’s not sponsored by a political party, person or organization but by the Fidelis Center for Law & Policy through CatholicVote.com.  I don’t know if it is marketed beyond BET but when I saw it I thought, “What if…?” Like dad, I pondered “What if this man and his unique path had never been actualized?” What would that mean socially and politically in America?

It’s painful to think that our new President, with my vote, will push legislation allowing mothers to snatch hope, potential and possibility out of the hands of deserving lives.  The unborn won’t have the opportunity to follow  in his footsteps. It’s like getting to Heaven and closing the door on those behind you. On this issue, I pray his political rhetoric was just that.

For the record I am not a one-issue-voter. Had the election outcome been different this post would be on a different yet equally painful attrocity in government.

Dr. Rick Warren-Respectfully and Lovingly Uncompromising.

Posted in Life, politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 20, 2009 by Rick

Rick Warren’s Inaugural Invocation
January 20, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Almighty God, Our Father, everything we see and everything we can’t see exists because of You alone. It all comes from You, it all belongs to You, it all exists for Your glory. History is your story. The Scripture tells us, ‘Hear, oh Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one’ and You are the compassionate and merciful one and You are loving to everyone You have made.

Now today we rejoice not only in America’s peaceful transfer of power for the 43rd time, we celebrate a hinge-point of history with the inauguration of our first African American president of the united states. We are so grateful to live in this land, a land of unequaled possibility, where a a son of an African Immigrant can rise to the highest level of our leadership. And we know today that Dr. King and a great cloud of witnesses are shouting in heaven.

Give to our new president, Barack Obama, the wisdom to lead us with humility, the courage to lead us with integrity, the compassion to lead us with generosity. Bless and protect him, his family, Vice President Biden, the Cabinet and every one of our freely elected leaders.

Help us, oh God, to remember that we are Americans. United not by race or religion or by blood, but to our commitment to freedom and justice for all. When we focus on ourselves, when we fight each other, when we forget you, forgive us.

When we presume that our greatness and our prosperity is ours alone, forgive us. When we fail to treat our fellow human beings and all the earth with the respect that they deserve, forgive us. And as we face these difficult days ahead, may we have a new birth of clarity in our aims, responsibility in our actions, humility in our approaches and civility in our attitudes—even when we differ.

Help us to share, to serve and to seek the common good of all. May all people of good will today join together to work for a more just, a more healthy and a more prosperous nation and a peaceful planet. And may we never forget that one day, all nations, all people will stand accountable before You. We now commit our new president and his wife Michelle and his daughters, Malia and Sasha, into your loving care.

I humbly ask this in the name of the one who changed my life—Yeshua, Esa, Jesus (hay-soos), Jesus—who taught us to pray:

Our father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

See it Here:http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2009/01/rick-warrens-inaugural-invocat-1.html

Prayer Answered

Posted in Faith & Religion, Life, politics with tags , , on November 7, 2008 by Rick

God,

I’d like to thank you for a very peaceful and well-run election day. No vote tallying controvercy and no violent demonstrations. I am reminded of your sovereignty during this whole process. Thank you for your trancendence.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen