It's Good to Have Things Like This...

I remember the first time I used PowerPoint in making a presentation to an area preacher’s meeting years ago (it must have been years ago because we haven’t one in years). After my presentation, one of my (alleged and so-called) friends said, “Well, I guess if you can’t preach, it’s good to have something like that.” That was an accusation of the worst kind… a true one! Yesterday I used not one but two YouTube clips in my sermon (if you can't preach, it's good to have things like that). And most of the comments I received were about the clips and not about the sermon. Since people asked about them, I thought I’d post them here to make them easier to find.

The first clip is of “excessive celebration” during a ping pong competition. (Notice carefully the zoom-in on the scorer’s table at the end of the match.) The point of the clip is that most of us don’t have to worry about being flagged for excessive celebration during our worship before God. Getting carried away in the joy of the Lord isn’t really our biggest problem. You can watch the clip here (the embed code was disabled for this one).

The second clip come from the Tyler Perry feel good flick “Daddy’s Little Girls.” (Tressa brought it over for me to watch while I was recovering after my surgery). This is the story of a hard-working guy named Monty who tried hard to do right thing raising his three girls alone and dreaming of owning his own auto repair shop. His life comes apart when he loses custody of his girls to his ex-wife, who is the mistress of a drug-dealer and a truly horrible influence on the girls. The harder he tries to do the right thing, the more his life falls apart. He is about to give up when he goes to church and hears a word from God. OK, I know the actor who plays the preacher here is “Bishop” Eddie Long who has become just a bit controversial as of late, and I certainly don’t recommend everything he preaches. (Hey, I don’t even recommend everything that I have preached). But what he says in this movie sermon spoke to me and I think it spoke to some of our folks as well. (Again, I showed a much shorter version of this clip).

We sang twice as many songs yesterday as usual (most of them only one verse) and they all had to do with the joy of the Lord.  Sometimes we sing those songs because our hearts are bursting with the joy of the Lord. But sometimes we sing those songs because we desperately want to be reminded of the joy of the Lord that seems to be temporarily overshadowed by struggles and hardships and pain. Sometimes we rejoice because we know God’s joy; sometimes we must rejoice because we know that we will know it again if we hold on to our hope and refuse to give up or give in.  Either way, we need to sings those songs of joy!