Friday, February 24, 2006

27 Great Years Together!

Today marks 27 years of marriage with my sweet wife, Karla. Where did the time go?

So, after getting a much-needed haircut this morning, I realized that flowers were a really smart thing to pursue on this special day. I was next door to Publix (not the greatest place to purchase flowers), but I did anyway. I got tulips and lilies. Can you believe I am even writing about such a thing? I realize, though that flowers mean a great deal to Karla, and therefore they mean a great deal to me.

It was interesting that when I got home with a grocery sack full of flowers (literally), Karla was thrilled, and then began to remind me that the color of each flower has a meaning. We had a wonderful time with that, especially when she pointed out that orange communicates "anger or hatred", while purple means "remembering". The "remembering" part was appropriate considering we are looking back on 27 great years together. The "anger/hatred" part actually became a laughter moment when Karla said that it was probably appropriate considering possibly year 11......(we will leave that one alone......)

All this to say that with everything our culture is telling us about marriage, and and with Seth getting married this year, I just have to say that marriage and second (and third, fourth, fifth, etc....) chances are gifts from God. Gifts to be given and received. The past 27 years have provided more than I deserve of receiving from a beautiful and charming woman. What a privilege to share this life with a true companion, counselor, advisor, lover, and best friend.

I love you, Karla Ruth Cox Worley! I would love to experience 27 more years with you!

Friday, February 17, 2006

The Second Chance

Tonight I took my youngest son, Ben to the premiere of the new movie entitled, "The Second Chance".

Besides having friends who wrote, directed, and starred in it....besides some of it being filmed at my church........besides my choir being on the sound track recording with Michael W. Smith.......besides my oldest son, Seth being in the movie and creating a video/TV commercial that appears in the movie......besides my dear friends' son editing the film........besides my best friend's funny "cameo" appearance in it (pay attention or you will miss it!).........and besides the obvious things we all deal with after viewing any movie (did you like it - what did you think?, etc..), I want to do all I can to encourage you to see this movie THIS WEEKEND!

Steve Taylor is a wonderfully creative filmmaker. I want him to be able to make more films, and if you and thousands of others will go see this movie THIS WEEKEND, then Sony Pictures will expand the release next weekend to more cities, theatres, and ultimately more people will see the movie.

For more information, go to click here

I will refrain from saying anymore. The website will tell you all you need to know, then you need to decide to spend a few dollars this weekend supporting something worth supporting. I am taking my entire family back on Saturday - hope to see you at the theatre!!

Happy Fandango"ing"!!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

There's Nothing Else Like It On Earth

One of my most interesting "church experiences" (and there are many) happened somewhere around 1990. It occurred on a typical Sunday morning when after I left my adult Sunday School class, I went to pick up our then 6-year old son, Seth from his Sunday School class so we could then attend the "11:00am worship service". As we were leaving, I told Seth that we were now headed to "big church"! At that point, in typical Seth style, he proceeded to fall to the floor, lying flat on his back, whining at the top of his lungs making a huge scene and abruptly blurted out (loudly for the entire crowded hallway to hear), "but I don't want to go to big church - I hate big church - it is SO boring!"

At this point, I did what every good Baptist parent would do - I picked him up and took him on to big church. The painful part of this story is that I agreed with him. At that time in my life (and obviously Seth's), big church was boring to me as well.

Fast forward to today. I am out of town, so this morning I visited a church in the area to experience their worship service. I was amazed at how many people come to this church on a Sunday morning (many, many thousands!). I was amazed at how many kids I noticed walking into the building and not one of them was whining - not one of them seemed to be being dragged by their parents. People seemed genuinely excited about coming to this church for whatever reasons.

Bill Hybels says that when the church is functioning properly, there is nothing else like it on earth. I so much agree with that, but for too long I have observed and experienced the church limping along, arguing over stupid things, focusing on insignificant issues, hurting one another, ignoring the "lost", putting on a "good face", saying one thing but being another, and quite honestly failing (often miserably) at who and what we are supposed to be.

I want to have hope - I want to be the "glass-half-full" person when it comes to the church. After all, I am in full-time church work. That puts me on the front line of helping to make the church function at its best. I was encouraged this morning by what I experienced first-hand at the church I visited and also by what I watched on the internet (my church's worship service). I am not saying that these two churches "get it" nor do they have it all together. I know better, but today, well, it was encouraging.....

Maybe 15 years ago (when Seth "did his thing") served notice for me - church does not have to be boring, and I need to do something about that.......I'm still working on it......