Yep. And. Both.

Lately those are a few of my favorite words to help me describe my faith.
I’ve been saying I don’t know a lot.
But that is always hard to spit out.
Like I should know and just don’t.
And a lot of time Christianity is presented in a fashion that makes you feel like you should know.
Sermons with three perfectly alliterated points.
Programs with steps to work and follow.
Books with checklists, bullet points, and flowcharts.

Way back before I had this blog I went to a show at the Ridglea theatre in Fort Worth.
It is a pretty popular live music venue.
But this particular night, there wasn’t a band.
The house was packed and bartenders stood by to take your drink order.
On stage, instead of an elaborate band set or lights was just a simple white board and a few black markers.
Right on time, a man dressed very plainly (but with really cool glasses) walked onto the stage and started scribbling on the board. And talking.
For hours this man talked and it was a different kind of sermon than I had ever heard.
He made a million great points but one of my favorite moments was when he held up an overhead marker. Had the crowd look at it head on, and asked us what shape we saw. Since you could only see the lid from this angle it looked like a circle. Next, he turned it sideways and asked what shape we saw. From the new angle it was a rectangle. He then asked the crowd if it was a circle or a rectangle.
We were puzzled.
So he answered for us.
I think we were expecting some big fantastical explanation about other dimensions, perspective and angle.
And he just said, “Yep.”

I have thought of that over and over again. I love to throw out a “yep” anytime I can. Anytime where a yes or a no doesn’t quite cover it. Or maybe sometimes your yes and my no can both be right. Or sometimes when we are missing the much bigger picture or even asking the wrong questions altogether.

In college, I loved the band Waterdeep ( and they are still great).
I heard them live a handful of times and they were always a band that like to ramble.
To tell the story behind each song.
One song that I had never paid much attention to on the album was called simply “And”.
Before they played it each time they would talk about how important the word and is to the gospel.
I’m still not sure I get it. But I’m starting to.
The chorus:
And is the juice of the joints of the motion of life
And is the love that is between God and his beautiful wife
And has two hands and two feet and a long, lovely side
And rose three days after he was crucified

It isn’t just the father. It is the father and the son and the holy spirit.
He wasn’t just nailed to a cross. He was crucified dead and buried and rose again.

If those ands weren't there it would be a much shorter story.

I started paying attention to the word AND in scripture, particularly what kind of things came after it. When you see the word AND it means there is more. That the story isn’t over. Sometimes it is even a call to action. But best of all, and connects and shows relationships and brings things together.
Here are just a few of my favorite ands.
1 John 4:11-12, Matthew 28:20, Micah 6:8, Isaiah 40:31, Galations 2:20.

I think maybe I am a little tough on the church in this blog sometimes.
The truth is I love church.
I love communion.
I love singing praise songs off key.
I love coffee and donut holes afterwards.
I love connecting with people.
But sometimes I still write my shopping list in the bulletin.
Sometimes I’d rather sleep in.
Sometimes I do sleep in.
Sometimes I wish pastors didn’t try to fit Jesus into three key points.
Sometimes I wish that the guy up there in the front of the room would occasionally say he doesn’t know either.
Or just “yep”.

And the other night, the pastor asked us to write a verse down.
“work out your salvation with fear and trembling", Philipians 2:12b
And then he talked about how our salvation is always presented as this free gift.
And it is.
But here is Paul asking us to work out our salvation.
And then he finishes the sentence with verse 13.
for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.”
And then he asked us, so is our salvation a gift or a process?
Is it something we work out or God works out?
And he answered for us.

Which sounds a lot like “yep” to me.

Bigger Picture Moment
This post is part of bigger picture blogs..........and attempt to find the bigger picture in our crazy week and look for faith along the way. Check out some of the other posts Melissa's blog.


Brooke said...

Very thoughtful post...I especially like the 'and' section. You gave us a lot to think on!

Young Mom said...

Alot of the same questions I ask. I like your answers.

Corinne said...

I've got nothing except a big old "yep"
:) Thanks for linking up today.

Anonymous said...

An honor to be referenced in a post with Rob Bell...

This Heavenly Life said...


I love the way you approach your faith. It makes me feel better -- not wrong or confused -- about how I approach mine :)

Melissa said...

thanks for linking up! I really enjoyed reading this, it gave me a lot to think about.