For me this weekend’s message felt like a bit of departure from the flow of the series on WORSHIP, From Consumer to Consumed. But as I look back and reflect, it’s impossible to do justice to the message of the Bible without talking about “Idols”. It seems obvious that there is more said in the Bible about the object of worship, than there is about defining it or talking about “how” (esp. true of you factor out stuff about the tabernacle construction in Exodus and the sacrificial cultus in Leviticus).

One of my working assumptions when reading the Bible is that we share a common humanity with people throughout the history of the scriptures, that their temptations, the core of them, are the same as mine. So it’s fair to say that there isn’t so many warnings, admonitions, commands, rebukes and arguments against idolatry because we don’t have a problem, but because we do.

The challenge of the message for me was to be specific enough that people could apply the idols in the heart idea of Ezekiel 14, but not so specific that we fell into some kind of list spirituality or legalism. We can relate to ANYTHING IDOLATROUSLY!

Linda, overheard one guy at church say to his wife as he handed her the baby, “you hold idol number 2 while I go over to promise land and pick up idol number 1. Too funny! I think he got it.

PRAYER FOR THE PERSECUTED CHURCH: We had a powerful video story from people actually living & working in repressive nations. Wow! It concludes with the brother, whose life is on the line asking, “Who can have victory over God?” No one! Jonathan Cervantes, who leads our prayer ministry for the persecuted church called, Bound With Them, led us in prayer.

ANSWERED PRAYER. I was praying on Saturday that my friend, colleague & boss, Mike Burns would be well enough to be able to come to one of the services on Sunday. It was awesome to see him there. God is getting him through. Keep praying.

BEING NEAR THE DYING IS GOOD FOR ME. Someone asked me to come & pray for her mother who was dying after the service. Greg & April King, good friends who serve on our prayer team agreed to go with me. Mary Lou is 88 and has stage 4 melanoma. She’s in and out of consciousness and coherence. But she still has a wit and humor that I can tell must have made her entertaining to be with just a short while. She loved us praying for her. She loved the passage in John 14 about Jesus preparing a place for us, the place we were created to be in. Honestly, I always wonder if I said the right thing in these situations. Did I make sure she really understood grace? I didn’t really know her till yesterday. Should I have tried to explain more about faith in Jesus? I’m glad I was there. It is good for us to number our days.

OC, MOM & HUGE BURRITOS. On Saturday I drove up to see my mom. We went to her favorite place to eat lunch & she ordered a burrito the size of a nerf football! It was good to see her and maybe the greatest work of God I saw over the weekend was the 5 with no real traffic there and back. IMG_0821

GOODBYE TO AN OLD FRIEND. On Monday, instead of surfing, I had to go through all the rigmarole of turning in my old gross-polluting truck to Arnold. I bought it in Fresno from a friend Leo. It drove & drove. David got it when he was about 17. That was the end! It lasted a couple more years, couldn’t pass smog, needed front-end work, yada yada. Odd how the things associated with memories take on some of the emotional value of those experiences.

Still thinking about my previously promised post on last week’s desert retreat.

It was a beautiful evening (as in late afternoon) tonight – 70 & wispy clouds.