"Shout, shout, let it all out
These are the things I can do without
Come on, I'm talking to you, come on"
Music can make one shout, jump for joy, live in the moment, change a mind and invoke Spirit.
Perhaps by the time you get this it will be a Monday, but no worries. You won't hear from G tomorrow as the dental chair has my name on it for about a half a day -- then I will most likely be taking a nap.
I got to thinking about a thing called tithing today; it is Sunday after all. It was a fleeting thought, or so I thought -- as it keeps calling my attention back. I realized that we are accustomed to giving God a mere ten percent, while the Government takes what? Up to 35% income tax...plus state taxes if you got them....plus property taxes if you own...plus estate taxes if you die...plus sales taxes if you buy, which for California is currently at 7.75%. And recently, the Californian legislature approved the pillaging of every paycheck, to the tune of 10%; even though they claim it will be returned -- that it is just a loan -- the unauthorized unilateral decision to usurp its powers and just take seems suspect, to say the least.
But my point, is that it is customary to give GOD only 10% -- how distorted and foul is it that we give to government, as wasteful and fraudulent and unworthy that it remains to be, so much more than God, the Most High!
Oh my, how did we get here?
Fate and Free Will at play by chance?
I'm not sure how many of you caught the SEC Championship game on Saturday -- between Florida Gators (#1) and Alabama Crimson Tide (#2). To coin a phrase from the Clique Series (one of my girl's favorites) ehmagawd...
oh what the heck, I might as well give a short and sweet full shout out -- if you can believe it, the author Lisi Harrison even produced a "Cliquetionary" available now to learn how to speak Clique with ease -- love the creative brilliance there, like nine books later ehmagawd. The book gives a quick witted explanation to everything Clique so that you don't become an LBR (Loser Beyond Repair).
Anyway, back to the game -- it was a huge rivalry to be sure -- and really, since I normally have no interest in college football on any given Saturday, I'm not even clear why I was drawn to it in the first place. The weather was cloudy, I didn't feel like getting out of my jammies, and in the back of my head I had Fox News' Shephard Smith carrying on about it for quite some time -- in his sweet southern drawl that it is -- I guess fate found me channel surfing and G settled in to see what the fuss was all about.
Great story line really. The quarterback that Alabama really wanted actually played for Florida; they ended up with a Greg McElroy -- don't even ask me how or why. There was also all this chatter about the Heisman worthy nominations between Tim Tebow, the Gator's quarterback who Alabama originally really wanted, and Crimson's Mark Ingraham -- all I can remember is that he is #22 -- have not a clue to his position as we speak. Go ahead, tell me I'm a LBR and we can move on...
Anywho, as the afternoon wore on, Alabama ended up kinda spanking Florida 32 - 13. Even though the Gator's quarterback, Tim Tebow, is still in a position to ultimately take home the Heisman, he didn't take home the win yesterday. Fighting back tears, he answered a few questions and said "God Bless" in his final two seconds on camera -- it made me want to cry -- but I had to stop and take note of the boy's last words. No wonder he wore under his eyes the smudge of John 16:33 which begins "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace...take heart!..."
I was also struck by Mark Ingraham; first chance at the mic, he SHOUTED out with such joy "...foremost, I want to thank God [screaming actually]...just had to let go and let God [even louder]..." For a good long sixty seconds of a three minute interview -- he spent it on God -- praising Him, letting God take all the credit, sounding as if Ingraham didn't do a thing! But the effervescence and elaboration to owing it all to the One Most High was unmistakable.
Tebow finishes the game seeking God for strength and peace, much to the poignancy of choice in bible verses; while Ingraham finds himself looking on high to give thanks and praise. What a day and what a moment to witness for people of faith -- kind of gives you chills doesn't it? And what an outcome, so unexpected, for the Crimson Tide to revel in a win for awhile -- at least for a couple of days -- before preparations of the next big game.
Of course, as luck or fate should have it, Joel Olsteen was shouting a sermon of praise this morning. No, he really was -- it was all about SHOUTING our praise to God. In a page from the contemporary Christian Preacher's playbook, his message was clear -- the more we come together in loud voice and revelation to the Lord, the more God wants to pour favor unto our world. The more we demonstrate our faith, the more God's Power is revealed to us. The more we tear down walls and break through obstacles, the more God and Divine Providence responds -- sending waves of good favor, abundance and healing unto the world.
Certainly, it's not as if God is a Genie in a bottle; that wasn't his point -- for then, how could not all football games end in a tie. What becomes the magic formula is simply the connection to God; living a life from a place of Spirit, lifting our hearts up instead of living in defeat when life doesn't go our way. As Joel puts it, "magnify God, not the problems." It is from this place that we find peace when we need it; or true joy and rapture when life sends us a blessing or the winning game.
The greatest analogy Joel used was actually looking at the position of the cheerleaders at a football game; even if the team is down by three touchdowns it's not like any of them are going to start shouting
L - O - S - E -R - S
I just had to laugh at that.
The cheerleaders keep the faith and keep the fans in the stands on the edge of their sit hoping to pull out a miracle, perhaps a Hail Mary or two or three...
And speaking of the fans, if you caught any of the Saints vs. Skins game today you would have had a flash of something that looked like three kings or misplaced Vatican bishops cheering the Saints to victory. There they were in full gown and head piece, giving the sign of the cross as the camera's caught their act. The display brings all of G's ideas full circle.
If you watched the game, you would have been witness to a win from behind like none other (okay, its been done before, but this one was pretty fun to watch); they had to come back three times in a row -- including one of the strangest plays of the season when the ball goes from Saints to Skins and back to Saints again, all within about seven seconds. You had to be there.
But since the Saints kept coming on back time and time again, it sure makes you wonder if the bishops in the bleachers had something to say about the final field goal to victory (which had to be kicked twice -- again, had to be there). It was some kind of wonderful -- unless of course you were a congressman watching your team fall from grace, oh the irony in that one.
Honestly though, given that Drew Brees was the Chargers Quarterback for quite some time, I guess I should feel a little fan envy, but I'm not. I would have to go all the way back to Dan Fouts and Air Coryell to find my heart hanging on the Chargers; truth be told, I'm an Indy Girl through and through and my pom poms shake for Peyton Manning and the Colts. That is some kind of yum, that team. But I digress.
It is interesting that our weekends find us shouting for all kinds of things, least of which is the team to beat, while the greatest of these is the Love and the Peace that passes all understanding -- God.
I do believe that as a nation, giving more to a flagitious government than God is ill advised and unwarranted. Perhaps if we all tithe 10% to God -- church, community charities and compassionate organizations of our choice -- and even less to the lofty and misplaced aspirations of our politicians and the federal chokehold -- America would find herself in a position where her priorities were more in the right place. I'm just saying.
No, I'm just SHOUTING!
Make it a Good Day and Make some NOISE will you, G
I'm guessing tomorrow, after my weekend of cheering for the best team to win, and after shouting my little blog out, the dentist will see that my tonsils were a bit busy when I say ahhhhh.