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Wednesday, August 04, 2004

I hate the smell of cigarette smoke

BW3 is great, but I can't stand smelling like an ashtray after leaving. Still... the Bass and wings were worth it.

Devona's been on my case to post. I think I've been waiting just to drive her nuts.

I've been mulling over a lot of my modern evangelical experiences lately. Specifically, I keep trying to figure out what exactly modern praise and worship services tried to accomplish. I played in numerous church bands, led hundreds of worship "concerts," etc.

The idea's been in my head that these modern worship services -- though often well intentioned -- often become replacement "sacraments" to their participants.

Think about it: There's always some shade of "means of grace" in the language used to describe these things. People talk about feeling the presence of God in the room, having grace-filled moments, experiencing forgiveness anew, etc. It's obvious that most think there's something more than emotions going on. Under the surface God must be doing something to their hearts during those 30 minutes. Isn't it strange that He always speaks the loudest as the song reaches its crescendo?

Well, not always. Sometimes the music isn't right. The worship leader decides to reprise with the Wild Thing version of Lord I Lift Your Name on High, rather than an accapella Sanctuary.

Worshippers are also distracted pretty easily: I remember sweating bullets the first few times Devona and I were in worship together. Neither of us could concentrate on the words to the songs. I remember thinking is "Geez, she's hot. Er, God's hot. Erm, holy... holy, holy."

Of course, this is terrible stuff. The emotional energy of the individual, the worship leader, or the group becomes the barometer for the presence of truth. If the mood didn't feel right, the teaching probably wasn't right to begin with.

Things have gotten a lot better. It's really great that God gives me the grace to cling unwaveringly to the His presence in the Word and Sacrament -- no matter the mood of the pastor, the really bad chord in "This is the feast...", my hot wife standing next to me, or how easily I'm distracted by her.