Tag Archives: Ed Dickerson

Who vs How

I’m reading and enjoying Ed Dickerson’s book, “Grounds for Belief.” He writes about some of his coffee shop style meetings with young adults and how they share their faith. Early in the book, Ed makes it clear there is a difference between faith/belief in God and religion. He calls faith in God the “Who” and religion is simply the “how.”

When it comes to a worship service, the Bible has little to say about the how and a whole lot more about the Who. While it is true that “how” can give us structure and so forth to help us function better in order to reach more folks about the wonderful “Who” we serve, our faith loses something when it becomes primarily about the how.

One of the things my husband would love to change about the church worship service is what he calls the “pontifical entrance.” He explains that the Bible doesn’t record anywhere that Paul told all the people to sit down and then wait for him to go behind the door and then march in the room in a very solemn like manner to indicate church was now about to begin. Reverence, yes of course we need reverence. Just read a few stories about people that got a tiny glimpse of God and fell flat on their faces. He is awesome! But if we get hung up on church can’t start because it takes three men to have the pontifical entrance and one is gone on vacation – we are more worried about the how instead of the Who.

I think of it this way: our little family of five – we’re in this together. We often say we live and die as a family. So we have chore charts, menus and schedules to keep track of what needs to be taken out of the freezer and put in the oven and who needs to be where at what time. But that’s not our family. Those things help our family function, but it’s not our family. They make getting through life each day easier, balancing everyone’s schedules and dietary needs – but the people are the family. When the chore chart, menu planner or weekly schedule become more important than time for a tickle or reading a story together – our focus is off.

If God intrigues you, but religion turns you off – you might want to consider worshiping with a group of folks that focus on Who instead of how. It could make all the difference.

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Filed under Family, Spirituality

Sweating Like a Pig

The moment I walked in the door I realized I had a decision to make. I could suffer in the heat and get what I came after, or turn around and run away! The little building last night was full of other people coming to look at books, just as I had. The heat was already unbearable and I saw someone in charge turn off the ceiling fan. I guess they figured they might as well make us suffer as much as possible.
But there he sat, the beads of sweat forming on his face in no way hindering his smile or willingness to talk to whoever came by with a book to be signed. We talked about his books and I decided to purchase both of the ones Mr. Ed Dickerson had there last night. Then I came back to the line around him and let him scribble his encouraging note and signature in his books.
Later that night, I recounted the experience to my oldest. I was heading for the shower (pity me here, five people and only one bathroom) and told him I was taking over the bathroom for a while because I had been sweating like a pig.
“Actually, pigs don’t sweat.”
Faster than your leg pops up after the doctor tests your reflexes was my son’s response. I had to laugh and chase him around the kitchen for a moment, making him laugh as well. Michael is one of those special people who find it enjoyable to sit down and read a book on random facts and cherish each one as if it were a favorite picture of a childhood friend. So if he spouts off some random fact, I believe him.
It did make me stop and wonder, why do we say the words we say and do we really know what they mean or if they are even accurate? “Eating like a bird,” is another favorite saying for people who barely eat anything, maybe only picking at their food. But the phrase is inaccurate as most birds consume large quantities of food in proportion to their body size.
I know what is going to happen now. Every time I read one of Ed Dickerson’s books, I’ll think of Michael’s spewing forth of random facts he has digested over the years, but I’ll also think of how important it is to make sure we watch what i say. I’ll think about how important it is to mean what I say and make sure the words I”m using are an accurate portrayal of the point I’m trying to get across.
Especially when communicating with those you love, your spouse and your children, extended family and close friends; take the time to choose your words carefully, for you are sharing your soul – a form of intimacy with those you love.

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Filed under Community, Family, Marriage, Parenting