Thursday, December 31, 2015

When the lies speak louder than the truth

A couple weeks ago we were singing at our church's Sunday gathering, and I don't remember anything else that happened that day, but I jotted down this line from one of the songs:

"When the lies speak louder than the truth,
Remind me that I belong to you."

I wasn't familiar with the song, but that line slapped me upside the head and stopped me in my tracks. Yes! What a great prayer.

I had to google the lyrics to find out the song is called "Sons and Daughters" - apparently written by Brett Stanfill from North Point Church. (Lyrics and chord sheet are HERE).


Maybe it's just me, but I think more than anything else people need reminded of who they are... Or WHOSE they are. I vividly remember hearing that from Rich Mullins at one of his concerts. In fact, wasn't that a major part of the tradition our faith was born from - people telling stories and passing down reminders to one another of where they came from and who they belonged to...

Awhile back I read a fantastic little book by J.R. Briggs called "Fail: Finding Hope and Grace in the Midst of Ministry Failure." I don't think I blogged about it much, but it was such a good and timely read for me because, yes, I am a ministry failure.

One of the best parts of the book was in chapter 11 ("Rhythms"). Briggs had decided to hold a series of 'Epic Fail' Pastors conferences, and he wrote this about the first one:
After singing a few worship songs, we were just about to end the first evening of one of our Epic Fail Pastors events when I saw a hand in the back. A young church planter was so burned out he looked crispy around the edges. He leaned back in his chair and said, "This may be way off topic, but we sing these songs about Jesus and I don't even know who Jesus is anymore or what I believe about him."

He paused. "Can someone tell me the gospel again? I need to hear it." After a long silence a pastor across the room cleared his throat and shared the outlandishly good news of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. When the pastor was finished speaking, the church planter looked up, smiled and said, "Thanks. I needed that."

It was a sacred moment - and it most certainly was not off topic. In fact, it might have been the most significant three minutes of the entire event...

Oh, man, I love that story. I don't know how many times I used to wish something like that would happen. I was probably too scared to ask, and I was never overly confident anyone would answer even if I had.


I was walking around Barnes & Noble bookstore the other day while waiting for a movie. I briefly thought about browsing the religion section but... I don't know... I just didn't have any interest in looking at books. I mean, is someone actually going to have a new idea?? Plus I am really tiring of everyone having an opinion solely to disprove someone else's. It's like, no matter what you say, someone can disagree and it doesn't have to have anything at all to do with the truth.

I have nothing against books. I also hope I'm not getting so cynical that I want to stop learning. However, maybe what we need more than anything is to simply remind one another of the truth. The world is full of lies and liars. I almost think a person could make a ministry out of reminding people of the Truth; reminding people who they are; and whose they are.

"When the lies speak louder than the truth, remind me that I belong to You."

I dunno... Maybe it's just me, but I think that is a beautiful prayer to end the year with, and start another.

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly." -Jesus (Mt. 11:28-30 The Message)