Thursday nights, you can generally find Susan and I at the local Celebrate Recovery meeting in Glens Falls (CR for short). Although I have the privilege in the leading the worship, its not my only reason for being there. Susan and I are on mutual recovery paths for various struggles (individually and as a couple) and are blessed to have a Christ centered recovery group to attend locally.
This past Thursday, I taught Tim Timmon's song 'Cast my cares' to the group. The song really connected with me, and connected with those in attendance. I shared a little bit of what I know about the equation of Tim Timmon's life story with our group.. If you don't know the equation - here's a quick summary.
Tim Timmons' ministry -
Living with cancer + filled with the joy of the Lord + writing songs = blessing others.
After the meeting - a guy approached me to let me know how much the song blessed him. We struck up a conversation about the song, and it's relevance in and for our modern church culture. After the conversation, I realized that I need Tim Timmons' example today.
In Tim's first single, "Starts with me" - the first lyric is "What can I do to leave a legacy?". The bridge lyrics are "I really wanna change the world... I really wanna sing Your song... but I know revival's gotta start with me.." (English teachers - please show grace... this is songwriting! Moving on..)
I've been in a lot of prayer meetings, and have led them. It's a recurring theme in a prayer meeting to hear others pray and cry out for revival. I used to do it myself. When I was young in the faith - revival was a word that I associated with conversion in masses and holy living on such a large scale that it affects various sectors of cities, states, and if possible, the nation to turn to God (remember the Ninevites & Jonah?)
But if I may, there seems to be something in our church culture that's holding back revival.
People celebrate Halloween once a year, and many in the church are demonizing them for their participation. But a lot of us are wearing masks all year 'round (strike 2 with english teachers..)
It hurts my heart to know that many people in the church come in through the doors week after week, portraying a neat, and tidy life on the outside... when on the inside, they're struggling to hold things together and not let anyone else know what pain, difficulties, and struggles they are facing. I know because I used to be one of those people.
But over time, I think I've learned at least 3 reasons why this is not healthy (for me anyway). It could be one of the primary reasons that personal revivals are on the decline...
1.Wearing a mask is lonely and isolating
2.Wearing a mask disallows friendship and trust building with others
3.Wearing a mask blocks God from bringing full restoration and healing to our lives.
But presently - God is elevating Tim Timmons to be a more prominent and visible figure in Christian worship. Could it be, that God is actually responding to Tim's prayer right before our eyes?? "I really wanna change the world.... What can I do to leave a legacy?... Revival's gotta start with me.." Is it that God is making his life more visible to be an example to us. Is God telling us through Tim to take off our masks??
Check it out - Tim doesn't have a choice about his cancer.
But he did have a choice whether or not to hide the pain of it, the difficulty of it, behind a mask - by writing songs that are not as open hearted and honest as the music he chose to write.
But he is choosing to step out in faith, with no mask, baring all - and it seems to me that God is sending a powerful message to all of us who are watching and listening. His music is connecting with people on deep levels. People are being comforted with the comfort that he is receiving from God (in real time). People are being challenged by his example (well at least one guy is - me).
Any way - glad we could do life together again today in the blog-o-sphere.
Now do one of the following...
a.Eat candy corn
b.Go to a Saturday night church service
c. Watch Tim Timmon's video for "Starts with me" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pslWA2VRmxg