Our Eternal Thirst (Psalm 42)

I’m starting a podcast of my sermon audio so this will be the first entry. I preached this past Saturday at LifeSign on Psalm 42, which is a psalm that I have a long relationship with. I actually rapped my own translation of the psalm as part of my sermon, which I had already shared in a different post. Please don’t laugh. The audio of my voice without any reverb or the full mix to hide behind is not super-flattering. On the surface, Psalm 42 appears to describe a state of spiritual desperation, but it is about someone who does not despair “as those without hope,” because David has eternal living water from God to carry him through even the desert. So here is the sermon “Our Eternal Thirst”:

Kayal ta-arog (Psalm 42 in hip-hop)

Kayal ta-arog al afike mayim is how you write “As the deer panteth for the water” phonetically in Hebrew. That familiar heartwarming hymn has its place to be sure, but if you read the remainder of Psalm 42 from which it draws the first line, then you see that its tone is off. The psalmist says tears have been his food and his enemies’ taunts are crushing his bones. Those sorts of images call for a hip-hop song rather than a churchy sounding hymn. I’m preaching on this psalm this weekend. I will be rapping my own adaptation of it too. Lyrics are below. Here’s the recording: Continue reading

Engaging Spiritual but not Religious #1: God is a three-letter word

We’re starting a sermon series this weekend called “Spiritual not religious.” I’ve been a little bit sheepish to share this on my blog, since it’s about as cool in Christian circles as being a Vanilla Ice fan in 1994. Hating on “spiritual but not religious” people is obligatory in the Christian blogosphere. I’ve done it; everyone has. But I thought about trying a different approach. I googled the phrase “I am spiritual but not religious” and a site came up with testimonies of people who identify that way. So I figured I would start a series engaging some of these testimonies on somewhat neutral metaphysical ground instead of just making fun of the label in order to prove my legitimacy to other Christians. Continue reading