there’s something more to worship

there’s something more to worship than songs
than words
than actions.

it takes more than intent or presence
more than simple motion.

just as knowledge is not understanding
simple participation is not worship.

worship –
true worship –
needs more than mechanics.

it requires passion.

we come before you

we come before you a prideful people,
a sinful people,
full of our own desires and wants,
distracted by a thousand things
as we enter into the most holy place
of worship with you.

we come
wanting to feel good about ourselves,
to stroke our own egos,
to put in as little as possible
while stealing as much from you
as we can.

Forgive us.

For our pride,
Forgive us.

For our reckless pursuit of self,
Forgive us.

for our ungrateful hearts,
forgive us.

For our failure to yield our lives to you,
forgive us.

Humble us, o God.

Create in us hearts of compassion
of reverence
of humility
of justice.

Open our eyes, Lord
to the people around us
remind us, God,
of Justice.

do not allow us to sit by
as people in our city go hungry
as people in our state are out of work
as people in our nation live without homes
as people in our world die in wars without name
as people everywhere do not know you.

do not let us sit by
do not let us be silent
while there exist thouse without voice.

force us, God,
to cry out in their defence.

Cleanse us, Jesus
cleanse our hearts,
our minds,
our souls.

As we enter into the very presence
of your Spirit
cleanse us and make us worthy.

in this time
make us yours.

the poor

so unlike many of the things i write on here, this is not polished or edited – just a random string of thoughts.

i encountered a poor, possibly homeless man in san antonio on the riverwalk this weekend. he was nice enough, and looking for a meal… whether he actually was looking for the meal or not is not my concern. God does not require that the money i give the poor be used in a certain way. the giving is my responsibility… the using is theirs, and we will each be blessed accordingly.

none the less, as i drove home, i felt disappointed in my actions. certainly i felt as though i’d acted out of a sense of charity and compassion… i truly did feel sorry for the man, and i gave cheerfully without wanting anything in return, though he offered to send money in the mail.

i suppose what bothers me the most is that if i’m honest, i think i just tried to buy him off. i wasn’t really interested in how i could help him. i didn’t care what his problems were, or why he was in the situation. i didn’t take the time to listen to his story. i don’t even know his name.

instead, in the busy rush to go get coffee that cost more than what i gave him, i passed by a hurting soul who needed jesus.

what a waste.

would you like to get well?

“When Jesus saw him and knew how long he had been ill, he asked him,

‘Would you like to get well?'”

A simple question.
Are you here to be healed?
Yes or no.

Instead, he makes an excuse.

“I can’t, sir, for i have no one to help me into the pool.”

Here stands the man with all power – the master healer not only of sickness but of souls – a man asking “Do you want to be healed?” – and all we can do is make excuses.

My prayer is that when confronted by Jesus,
when offered healing,
I would not make excuses,
but bow at his feet

“Lord! If you are willing…”

the funeral

A place of beauty – adorned by plain dirt floors, citronella candles, a small bouquet of roses, simple, hurting, grieving people, sitting in the warm night weeping, remembering their friends taken tragically. People questioning, not understanding.

The church, too small to hold all the people and the service held with the porch as a makeshift stage, the podium placed beside the intricately carved double wooden doors. Some were seated on under hastily raised tents, but most sat on plastic chairs under the tars, stretching into the street, effectively blocking traffic. It was no occasion for traffic, a scene so captivating that a passer-by might linger for just a moment to breathe the intoxicating citronella incense and listen, if only for a moment to the stories of life lived fully and without regret – to hear pain and confusion, but also beauty and hope, to watch the expression of beautiful, simple people, many of whom had nothing to offer but their tears and time, hoping to find peace and hope in the company of others. Young and old, rich and poor, it was the essence of community, drawn together because of a common faith and hope – a faith in a Savior who promises a hope for nights and places such as this – a hope that overcomes despair – a hope of life abundant that leads to life eternal.

the eucharist

The Eucharist is not only about the cross.

It is not simply about the death of Jesus or his glorious resurretion three days later. It is not about thirteen men who gathered together to have a passover meal not so unlike many they had eaten before.

The Eucharist is about all of those things, but it is so much more. It is a celebration of the life of Christ. It is an anticipation of the life we will live with Christ eternally.

But it is also a reminder that we live daily with Christ in the present moment – that our lives intersect his in a real and intimate way such that we become one – we eat his flesh and drink his blood.

So as we come to the body and blood of Christ let us not empty our thoughts of all save the cross, but rather fill our minds with the rich and fertile life we have – now – in Christ Jesus.

The Eucharist is not only a place for us to reflect on our shortcomings and Chrsits’ perfection, but to embrace our unity with a perfect and joyous Savior who asks us not to hide our lives, but bring them to his table.

The Lord’s table.


I wonder what Judas was thinking.

Did he know his betrayal would lead to death?
Did he know at the beginning the final result of his road?
Did he think the authorities would flog Jesus,
just to get him back into line a little bit,
and then release him?

Could he have ever truly grasped the depth of the role he would play in God’s eternal plan?

Part of me thinks the betrayal of Judas wasn’t quite so sinister as we often believe.
Part of me wants to think that Judas thought it wouldn’t be “that bad”.

But at the core I am troubled
because my betrayal of Jesus
sometimes seems very innocent.

When I betray him
it doesn’t seem “that bad.”

And I wonder
if that’s what
Judas thought too.

the body of Christ

“the body of Christ, broken for you.”
“the blood of Christ, shed for you.”

Such old, simple words;
yet words that convey a depth of meaning and personality to a sacrament as old as Jesus himself.

And each week we take comfort
in a body broken
a blood shed
for me
and for you
for each and every person
who would come forth
and receive it.



sometimes we’re quick to write people off, to say thay’re beyond help and hope. we disregard the good they’ve done and say that because of some mistake or sin they are no longer useful or worth being saved.

how unlike Jesus.

the great Gospel message – the Good News that is for all people – is that no one is beyond redemption.

and when people stumble
and when people fall
like Jesus
are called to be in the business
of redemption.

would anyone really notice?

If we weren’t here
would anyone really notice?

If our city set on a hill became overgrown with trees and vines, would it change the way people thought in the valley?

Is the measure of our effectiveness
bodies in pews
successful programs
comfortable budgets?

Or do we measure success
one person at a time?

If we weren’t here,
would anyone really notice?

Would they feel a bit less condemned
a little more respected?

If we weren’t here
would people miss
our television preachers?
our moral majority?

Is it possible that people be able to see God a little more clearly
if it weren’t for his followers?

Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.