Tag Archives: carmen

Make Some Noise

Make a joyful noise, all ye people

You know how certain people in churches (preachers) complain that other people in churches (slackers) will go to football games and scream and yell and cheer when their team (the Broncos) are playing for 3 or 4 straight hours?  Then they’ll tell you (with grave disappointment) that you need to be cheering for Jesus because He made the ultimate touchdown when He came to earth to die for our sins.

No? You’ve never heard that?  Oh, must just be my tribe (aka my own particular people-group/slice of ecclesia-pie), I guess.

Anyway, especially back in the days when a true test of righteousness (or “churchianity” perhaps) was going to be about whether you attended the Sunday night service on Super-Bowl Sunday, the topic would come up.

{I may have even used this particular brand of “worship-motivating” my-pious-self in times past, *gulp} Shhhh….don’t tell.

If the speaker was really fired up, he might add, with a slight hint of disdain, “There aren’t three people here who would stay for a three-hour sermon, let alone get on their feet and shout,” hoping, I am sure, that the whole crowd would suddenly erupt in cheers and actually start acting like they were at a football game, doing some sort of spiritual wave.

A few vigorous “amens” would shoot back to get points with the pastor, those Sunday-night-faithful-head-bobbers letting their fellow-pew-dwellers know, Well, I’ll never stay home to cheer sports teams on a Super Bowl Sunday night when I can be here cheering for the Son of God!.  Uh-huh!

Since Sunday night services have gone the way of sawdust floors and dinners on the ground, we have all been set free from that particular law of sin and death associated with cheering on our football teams so zealously and then failing to do the same for the pastor, er,  for Jesus on Sundays.  Whew, thank-goodness!

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The Broncos won Sunday!

Just in case you missed it, the Denver Broncos had a good Sunday.  They won a play-off game which means they’ll face their arch nemesis this week to see who goes to the super bowl.  The devil is coming to town in the form of a man named Tom Brady and his merry band of Patriots, and all true Coloradoans loathe him with a passion.

Home runs

I don’t really even like football and I don’t understand a lot of the details (I DO know getting home runs is important….JUST KIDDING, simmer down.  I know they’re touchdowns).  Please don’t bother trying to explain it to me, I’m fine with the little I know.  I know enough to cheer for the guys wearing the right colored uniforms…usually.  Sometimes I do have to ask Dave which uniforms we are cheering for that day.  But I digress.

Sunday’s game was right here in the Mile-High City.  That works in the home team’s favor, generally, I think.  One thing the fans did really well was make a lot of noise.  And when our team was doing great, it was “joyful noise” and happy cheering, for sure!  But they also made some strategic noise and LOTS of it when the other team had possession of the ball.  From what I could tell, it made it very difficult for the opposing QB to execute a good play against {my} team, (go, Broncos!).  And so, in the case of this particular game, a certain quarterback actually threw a bit of a fit and his team got a penalty for holding up the game.

Now, I know this is a little simplistic because I don’t totally understand the game, so I am going by what the talking heads were saying, but, think of it – the Denver Broncos, the team – they are on the field doing everything they know to do in the face of their opponents  who have come to crush them.  And maybe that would be enough.  But then these crazy fans in the seats become so loud, so uproariously vocal and physical, clapping their hands, stomping their feet – they actually send  the opposition into a state of extreme confusion.  The thunderous roar of the crowd threw the “enemy” off his game.  The fans in the stands were so loud – they confused and confounded the plan of the opposing team!  How cool is that?


The Bible is actually full of incredible stories of sound and noise being part of winning battles.  The sound of Judah  sending up praises at the front of a battle meant a victory at the end.  And who can forget the Walls of Jericho, a city God promised to His people? They marched around that city once a day for 6 days, then on the 7th day, they marched,  but the priests started blowing those ram’s horns and the people were told to SHOUT.  They did and those walls came down, God’s promise was theirs!

“So the people shouted when the priests blew the trumpets. And it happened when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat. Then the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.” Joshua 6.20

There are other examples in the Bible where just a thundering sound or some major noise caused enemies to flee.  Like the story in 2 Kings 7 of the lepers who were starving to death and decided to just go to the enemy’s camp and ask for food, figuring they were going to die one way or the other.  But God caused such loud noise to surround their entrance, the sounds of many horses and chariots reverberating throughout the valley, that the Syrian army just took off as fast as they could, leaving their camp and supplies and food intact.  That is crazy!  That is a win!

And I was just thinking, maybe, as the Body of Christ, we should be watching out for each other, for those times the opposing team, aka “the enemy of our souls,” comes marching in to our home field.  And maybe when we see the thief coming to steal, kill and destroy, when we see a strategic offense being mounted against  “our team,” aka our brothers and  sisters in the Lord, our family from the Household of Faith, well, maybe we should just start yelling and screaming and stomping and shouting the house down.  Maybe we could be making some holy battle-noise to drive the devil back, confuse and confound his plan against one of our people!

I was thinking I’d like to be a person like that, a person who will stand up for others facing huge obstacles by making such a fuss, resisting so decidedly that the devil runs the other way, flees like a frightened chicken.

Well, don’t be surprised if I start screaming like a banshee the next time I see the enemy picking on you.  I am, after all, a Pentecostal preacher’s daughter.  I should try to put that to good use, shouldn’t I?  I’d even show up on a Sunday night to be a part of something like that!

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Little bonus: Yes, I seriously raised my kids on this – listen to the whole thing, no kidding!  Just came to my mind as I was about to publish!  :)

Jericho: The Shout of Victory, by Carmen

Oh, and GO, BRONCOS!




The wreaths, the candles, the colors and other Advent mysteries

I told you the other day I looked up something about Advent from a Catholic site and they had used Wikipedia’s definition of it, which is…odd.  But anyway…I have not come to criticize, I have come to try to figure out the traditions of it because it is fun.  And I have started my own tradition this year – songs.  :)

amelie belle and santa

Amelie was glad to discover her old friend is back today

Anyway, in the 80s we lived in a small Nebraska city and there was a strong liturgical bent and I followed along, observing customs like the Advent wreath and lighting candles and basically just did whatever everyone else was doing.  But I’ve decided to try to understand the value of it in my old age, because I like things with meaning, and I find that rituals and patterns in our lives offer a rhythmic order that keeps our steps steady, day in and day out, season by season…

be merry

So, this morning I wondered, “Now what exactly are all those purple candles and the one pink one about???”  And found, after just clicking through a few sites on my Google-search: that explanation varies greatly!!!  Proof: {{click here}}. 

Pick a meaning, any meaning.  What?  Am I going to have to attend seminary to sort this thing out?  I don’t think so.  I am choosing for the week following the second Sunday of Advent to be about Peace (which is one of the options listed.  Last week, hope.  This week. peace.).  So let’s just agree that yesterday’s Advent candle (which I did not light) began a week looking forward to Peace.  Yes, Peace on earth, in the world, OK.  But Peace inside us, too, in our homes, where we go, as we drive (with all the maniacs on the road), in the decisions we make and the conversations we have: Peace.

And since for whatever reason, I seem to be on an 80s kick today (as evidenced by my Twitter posts), I shouldn’t have been surprised by this song coming to mind when I said, “God?  Give me a song for my Advent observation.  Something in the peace-genre,”  as if He is just spinning discs on request for me.  I waited for something spectacular to come to mind.  Then, just as evening fell, I heard Carman’s voice in my head.  From the mid-80s: Fear Not, My Child.  It isn’t actually a “peace” song, but it reminds me of Jesus’s words in John 14.27

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

I think if Jesus says He is giving us HIS peace, we can safely kiss fear good-bye.    It isn’t helping us at all, anyway.  So, it’s 6:40 pm and I am going to listen, in the light of the tree (yes-TV is off!)…join me…

Today’s Advent Song…Fear Not, My Child

He knows how to take care of what is causing us fear.

So 80s!  Love it!