Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sunday, October 18, 2009

pet peeve

I try to avoid manipulative people. Sometimes I don't see it coming. The worst kind of manipulators I've come across have been fellow Christians. They want you to worship they way they do, believe the way they do, or just do what they want you to do. These are believers that use witchcraft in the name of God. 'Christian' manipulators apparently don't believe in free will. I really try to avoid these kind of people. It's not that I think they are evil, but rather they wore their welcome out with me many years ago. I am weary and wary of them. I'm just of the belief that God desires people to come to Him, pursue and serve Him of their own accord and FREE WILL!!!!

I do not mind doing good deeds for people, giving to people, going the extra mile - but I do not like to be played by someone who is just trying to get their way. I cringe and retreat when I see someone scheming and coercing in the name of God.

I can't stand manipulation by guilt. Those kind of manipulators are met (by me) by a stone wall or by getting laughed at. Both responses are quite appropriate. Usually guilt manipulators don't know when to stop - so I usually just have to just walk away and let them say what they will about me. I just don't play the guilt game anymore. They can think and say what they will - I'm out of there. The guilt thing was such an effective tool the enemy used against me for so many years of my youth - that I clearly see it coming these days. Guilt is no longer my Kryptonite.

As for favors and causes...I do free stuff all the time. Every once and a while, a serpent slips beneath my boundaries. I give of my time and talent a lot, so it's easier to fall for this kind of manipulation. I am just thankful that I see them coming - most of the time Well, it happened to me recently. I was taken in and had to constantly make my way through the web of simultaneous seemingly innocent and coincidental coercement. Well, I ducked here and there, but still got tangled in a few snares. I eventually I fulfilled my obligation and made a mental note to steer very clear of that person again.

This subject reminded me of a big time manipulator that used to hang around our coffeehouse back in the late eighties. He called himself The Balloon Man. Anyone remember that character? He was always wanting something from me (not little things mind you) but full time Christian service for him. One night he approached me and said to me (get this), "David, I am looking for someone who will serve me as I serve God!" I of course declined his generous offer. Another Saturday evening he announced to me, "David, I was praying to God last night and he told me that you would help me by becoming part of my ministry!" I politely told him that I had also been talking to God last night and that He mentioned nothing about it. The Balloon Man was an easy one to handle - always so full of himself (which was mostly hot air). Eventually, this guy got the message that I wasn't going to follow him or serve him as he served God. I am sure he came to believe that I wasn't a very good Christian. I never regretted popping his balloon.

So I am ever watchful and sensitive about such people and circumstances. In the future - what ever the great cause - I will avoid any endeavor organized by serpents. I know, there will be times I'll slip up.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


This is a clip for David Zucker's 'An American Carol' that came out last year. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

about free

nothing is free
there is a cost
maybe you
maybe someone else
someone has to pay
nothing is free
there is a price to every gift
given or received
never let anyone tell you
that a gift is free
nothing is free
there was a terrible cost
to the greatest gift of all
our atonement
paid in full
our life through His death and resurrection
free to you and me
but a cost nevertheless
the blameless life of someone else
absolutely nothing is free
so when a stranger offers you candy
there's always a cost
sooner or later
a price to be paid
when offered a gift
consider the giver
consider the cost
nothing is free

Monday, October 5, 2009

high church on a shoe string

I drove down to Helena, AL to lead worship at Coventry Anglican Church yesterday. Katie wanted to go with me, so I woke her up before the sun rose. We had a wonderful day together. The Coventry Church moved from Alabaster to Helena about six months ago. Though this wasn't my first time I've lead worship for the fellowship - it was the first time at their new location.

Katie and I got there very early. I allowed myself extra time so I could find the place. I drove straight to it and so we had plenty of time to walk around town. There's not much to Helena - which I think is part of it's charm. Very few people were out when we got there, so Katie and I walked up and down the small sidewalks and talked about this and that.

After our walk, Katie and I settled under the eaves of the storefront church and I tuned my guitar and went through some of the worship songs. It was a very pleasant experience to worship a little before the doors were unlocked. The service went well. It's a very small close-knit fellowship. Their new location suits them well. It seems to me that it's a great little area for a church to grow. There are lots of subdivisions around, with plenty of through traffic.

Father Russell says that they do have visitors, but not everyone can seize hold of the Anglican way of worship. It's a little different for me too. Nevertheless, I appreciate the pursuit of their worshiping God in a sincere and time honored tradition. It's wonderful to experience the lithology - traditional Christian worship from a people that are not exercising religious habit - but true worship. Sunday's service, as with the other services I've experienced with them, is very refreshing and meaningful.

At present I am Vineyard. I was raised in the United Methodist Church. I've spent much of my youth in an interdenominational coffeehouse ministry. Through out my life I have come to know many brothers and sisters from all denominations - all appendages of The Body of Christ. I never understood the division. Usually the theology differences are very minor. All have their calling and purpose - their own way of serving and worshiping God.

I always found it humorous when the thumb boasts of having more than the big toe (or the other way around). All members of the body bring something to the table. Again, I appreciate the richness of what is Anglican worship. I believe that God enjoys all the passion expressed from The Body as a whole.