Saturday, October 24, 2009

Reflections on the Tennessee Loss Against Alabama

After 2 hours to cool off, here are some thoughts and nuggets on the game:

  • Tennessee (3-4) outplayed the #1 team in the country and it took two field goal blocks to beat us.  They were good blocks no doubt.
  • Tennessee has without a doubt THE BEST all-around coaching staff in the nation. To do what they have done to some of the best teams in the nation and to do it with far inferior talent (for this year anyway) points directly to coaching, game planning and scheme.
  • The #1 team in the nation did not score a touchdown... And Tennessee did.
  • Alabama is deserving of their number one ranking. They are solid in most aspects of the game. However, the play calling on that last drive in the first half was horrendous. They had pounded us for 60-65 yards on the ground with the Wildcat package to get the ball down inside the 10 yard line. Then, amazingly, they try to throw the ball on us. Not good.
  • The much maligned Jonathan Crompton outplayed Alabama’s McElroy. Many, including myself, probably judged too harshly when there were many factors that contributed to the early season woes.
  • Ingram is a “beast” of a back. He ran for 246 yards last week against South Carolina. He ran for 94 tonight.
  • Tennessee’s on-sides kick was the first successful on-sides kick execution by any SEC team this year.
  • The best thing to come from the game was the sight of Nick Saban on the sidelines pinching button holes in his britches trying to eek out a victory and realizing how many recruits were on hand to watch. Go Vols!

Posted via email from Tiger's (Pre)Posterous Ponderings

The 3rd (4th) Saturday in October at the Brooks home place.

-Tiger Brooks
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Posted via email from Tiger's (Pre)Posterous Ponderings

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Worship: Do We Truly Care?

As I have been reading through the Pentateuch on the B90X plan, many new insights and thoughts have sprung up. Among them was the thought of how much care we put into the worship of God or perhaps the lack thereof. Have you read through the last half of Exodus or Leviticus lately? It goes on chapter after chapter detailing God’s instructions for the construction and provisioning of the tabernacle. Intricate details are given as to the types of materials and colors to be used, as well as, the design of the different implements and even the apparel worn by the priests.  

As I read about the building of the Ark of the Covenant for the umpteenth time, it finally hit me that God wanted the INSIDE to be laden with pure gold. Nowadays we would say, “Why waste money on gold for the inside when only a few choice servants will ever see inside it? Just leave the bare wood exposed.”  Because God sees it. It is for Him and His glory and it is not about us.

Now juxtapose what you have just read with what goes on at your church. Is there that level of detail and care given to the worship of God?  I am not talking about formality or styles or music. However your church worships, wherever you gather, whatever you do, is there dogged attention to detail?  I fear that, as a minister, I too often treat my worship time as routinely as sitting down for a meal or going to Wal-Mart. I fear as a worship leader that I don’t concern myself with the environment and implements utilized in the place where I am leading.  Are things cluttered or are they in good order? As a worshipper am I doing everything I can to prepare myself for worship? I was very much convicted by the realization that I am far too callous and cavalier when it comes to worship.

We should certainly adopt the attitude that God lays out in His word with respect to “praying without ceasing” and basically doing everything we do with an attitude of worship because we do what we do to the glory of God. However, I think we should also treat those special times that we gather corporately expressly for the worship of God as if they are truly special--- or do we just not care?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

"What We Have He-yah, Is A Fail-yah To... Appreciate."

"What we have here..."

That is one of my favorite movie lines to quote. But what we have here is wake up call. This post is a combination of an email I received which was so fascinating it prodded me on to further research to locate a video of the event described herein. Some of you may already have seen this or read this somewhere previously, but its worth another look. I will editorialize a bit after you watch and read the following.

A Washington, DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007. The man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time approx. 2 thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.

4 minutes later:
The violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

6 minutes:
A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

10 minutes:
A 3-year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception, forced their children to move on quickly.

45 minutes:
The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.

1 hour:
He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition. [Tiger- obviously one recognized him at the end, but I chose to leave this email intact]

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before, Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

This is a true story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities.

The questions raised:
  1. In a common place environment at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?
  2. Do we stop to appreciate it?
  3. Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?
One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made.

How many other things are we missing?

Intriguing to ponder, isn't it? I am regularly reminded by the conviction of the Holy Spirit how often I go through my days, busily going from one thing to another, failing to pause and take in the many things that God has blessed me with daily.  I very much doubt the social scientists and journalists from the Washington Post involved in setting this experiment up were motivated by their faith in Jesus Christ, but the overwhelming thought I had was, "How dare I judge those people in the metro station when I am as guilty as they are."

Even as the hectic pace of the world continues to increase, my prayer is that no matter what I find myself doing or where God leads me, I would never be so wrapped up in "my world" that I forget to appreciate the beauty of the one He allows me to occupy- the one He created for us- until He bids us, "Come."

Monday, October 5, 2009

Reflection From Today's #B90x Reading

As I read how the children of Israel continued to multiply and spread out (Exodus 1:12) despite the best efforts of the Egyptians to the contrary, it made me think about a few things. Throughout Scripture, and life in general, we see an undeniable truth repeatedly played out.  That is the fact that there is a strong correlation between persecution and perseverance; oppression and strength.  Sometimes I think we are too quick to pray for God’s deliverance when it might behoove us to pray for His continued sustenance and provision in the midst of our trials. We sometimes confuse tests and trials.  The strongest, purest metals are forged in the hottest fires.  The most valuable diamonds result from intense pressures.

Little doubt that the hardships endured by the Hebrew children prepared them for their sojourn in the wilderness on the way to the promised land. May we be ever mindful when we find ourselves in the wilderness of life, perhaps God has a new land He is preparing us to enter as well.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Few Random Thoughts From Day 1 of B90X

Genesis 1-16
  • Satan's modus operandi from the very beginning has been to (1) counter truth with a lie and (2) appeal to man's fleshly desires in order to drive a wedge between God and man. Some things never change. Ex: After the serpent's conversation with Eve, the tree was "good, pleasant and desirable"
  • Fears are brought on by sin (3:10)
  • Finger pointing begins (3:12)
  • God appoints another seed through Seth (4:26) "Then men began to call on the name of the Lord." God will always raise up those who will honor Him!
  • "But Noah..." (5:8) the whole world was going to Hell in a hand basket... but Noah. Oh that it could be said of me someday... "But Tiger..." Whew!
  • (11:1-9) So the people were satisfied to stay together in one place and begin to build their city to the Heavens.  Hmm?! Does this sound familiar to anyone?
  • Abram's first recorded act of faithlessness (12:10-20) God had already made promises thereby assuring His care for Abram and Sarai.
  • When at first it appeared that Lot got the sweetest real estate deal (13:8-18), God shows up and rocks Abram's world by granting him the land in every direction. God, in His timing, always lavishes blessings on those who obey and are found faithful. 
  • At 15:6, I got a cold shiver... Genesis 15 is a pretty big deal.

I'm Taking The B90x Challenge. Are You Up For It?

About two months ago an interesting tweet floated across my twitter. Pastor Steven Furtick from Elevation Church in Charlotte (one of the fastest growing churches in America), challenged his staff to take the B90x Challenge. B90x (obviously a play on the P90x fitness DVD craze) is a Bible reading plan to take you through the entire word of God in 90 days. Here is part of the "sales pitch":

"B90x is a revolutionary system of intense, truth-absorbing, brain-busting Bible reading that will transform your understanding of Scripture from intro to nitro in just 90 days!"

Being a sucker for great wit and great ideas, I found this to be exquisite. All of the sudden, I started noticing more and more #B90x twitter hashtags (forgive my social networking jargon). Last night, James "The (former) Intern" Eaton, tweeted (I just can't stop myself) that he and several others were stepping up to the challenge. I figured it was about time I read through it again, so I decided to go for it. Can you ever read it too many times? So I ask you, why not join us?

It is October 1. Start now and by New Years Day you could be prepared to enter the new year armed with a much broader understanding of God's word and spiritual insights that will assist you as, together, we storm the gates of hell in 2010! Then you can get started on your other resolutions (kidding).

Here is the link to the B90x reading plan so you can print it out for yourself- B90x

If you are into Twitter, when you complete your daily reading, remember to tweet the #B90x hashtag so that you can be held accountable. And if you decide to do this with me, please drop me a note so that we can keep each other going.

I hope to share some insights in my blog on a regular basis. No promises.

So come on, people! Who's with me?