Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Christ in the City Bar

Here is a post that takes none of my own initiative, but the story is powerful. Take the time to read this and engrain the message in your heart.

Credit for the work below:
Written & Performed by Trans-Siberian Orchestra
CD: Christmas Eve & Other Stories
Song: Old City Bar

"Every light can be a star
Just depends on where you are
And the distance that you're looking
Past the places you have been

In an old city bar
That is never too far
From the places that gather
The dreams that have been

In the safety of night
With its old neon light
It beckons to strangers
And they always come in

And the snow it was falling
The neon was calling
The music was low
And the night
Christmas Eve

And here was the danger
That even with strangers
Inside of this night
It's easier to believe

Then the door opened wide
And a child came inside
That no one in the bar
Had seen there before

And he asked did we know
That outside in the snow
That someone was lost
Standing outside our door

Then the bartender gazed
Through the smoke and the haze

Through the window and ice
To a corner streetlight

Where standing alone
By a broken pay phone
Was a girl the child said
Could no longer get home

And the snow it was falling
The neon was calling
The bartender turned
And said , not that I care
But how would you know this?
The child said I've noticed
If one could be home
They'd be all ready there

Then the bartender came out from behind the bar
And in all of his life he was never that far
And he did something else that he thought no one saw
When he took all the cash from the register draw

Then he followed the child to the girl cross the street
And we watched from the bar as they started to speak
Then he called for a cab and he said J.F.K.
Put the girl in the cab and the cab drove away
And we saw in his hand
That the cash was all gone
From the light that she had
wished upon

If you want to arrange it
This world you can change it
If we could somehow make this
Christmas thing last

By helping a neighbor
Or even a stranger

And to know who needs help
You need only just ask

Then he looked for the child
But the child wasn't there
Just the wind and the snow
Waltzing dreams through the air

So he walked back inside
Somehow different I think
For the rest of the night
No one paid for a drink

And the cynics will say
That some neighborhood kid
Wandered in on some bums
In the world where they hid

But they weren't there
So they couldn't see
By an old neon star
On that, night, Christmas Eve

When the snow it was falling
The neon was calling
And in case you should wonder
In case you should care

Why we're on our own
Never went home
On that night of all nights
We were already there

Then all at once inside that night
He saw it all so clear
The answer that he sought so long
Had always been so near

It's every gift that someone gives
Expecting nothing back
It's every kindness that we do
Each simple little act"

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Faith in different ways

Why is it so difficult to take a step of faith with regards to my career, but it is so easy to trust God with the eternal destiny of my soul?

So here is my initial response to that question. It seems to me that in life I am surrounded by "the now", and it is "the now" that takes precedence above everything else. So, "the now" of my career seems very daunting. The direction I choose could potentially enhance or degrade my life. One mistake could mess up so many of things.

Yet with regard to my soul it always appears to us as people that we have time, death is not a pressing issue. Therefore the eternal place of the soul can be put on hold until it becomes of immediate concern then i will really need to worry about my faith in God in that area.

The truth is I think it shows how small an issue we make our eternal destiny. Even as a Christian believer I can be very much lulled into a place where my soul is on the waiting list of priorities. My conclusion at this time is this: As I ponder how I trust God with the eternal place of my soul how much smaller a thing is it to trust him in take blind steps of faith towards a career that is honoring to him. The Lord directs the steps of the righteous and those that fear him. I need to keep my fear directed towards honoring God and not towards fearing a mistake

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

a blessing reminder

Deut. 12:7 “ Feast there in the Presence of God, your God. Celebrate everything that you and your families have accomplished under the blessing of God, your God.”

Too often we forget that all we have and all we have accomplished is b/c God has allowed us to do so. As a Christian I need to always be mindful that everything accomplished is done so under the blessing of God. Therefore I need to be always giving thanks and praise to God; forever sharing with everyone around me the message of the blessing of God.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Celebrating God's Unstoppable Plans

Tomb, thou shalt not hold Him longer;
Death is strong, but Life is stronger;
Stronger than the dark, is the light;
Stronger than the wrong, is the right;
Faith and Hope triumphant say,
Christ will rise on Easter Day.

Phillips Brooks

Thursday, March 01, 2007

This joke came through my inbox and it made me think instead of laugh...

Two boys were arguing when the teacher entered the room. The teacher asked, "Why are you

One boy answered, "We found a ten-dollar bill and decided to give it to whoever tells the biggest lie."

"You should be ashamed of yourselves," said the teacher.
"When I was your age, I didn't even know what a lie was."

The boys gave the ten dollars to the teacher.

How often does an authority figure overstate the case and in the end miss the opportunity all together and lose credibility.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Disservice by the Church pt. 2

I am seeking to try to understand the entertainment phenomenon that is sweeping the North American church. What do rock climbing walls and coffee shops have to do with worship of God. How did first century churches manage to spread the gospel far and wide w/o these types of things? How does the underground church of China and North Africa continue to grown in believers?

I honestly believe a whole mess of churches have missed the point are allowing the members of our churches to tell how to run the church. I also think our affluence has led us to trust in our money and our fancy programs and brochures as opposed to times of discipling one another, worship together quietly, and seeking to hear God's voice.

Lord please forgive us, turn us back to you. Have mercy on us, but do not be so kind as to not firmly rebuke us for our sins

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Disservice by the church

Lately there has been a nagging issue in my heart. What nags at me is the fact that is seems as though churches are becoming primarily judged on the basis of entertainment and felt need. Maybe I am wrong, but over and over I hear people talking about how churches are not doing this or that well enough. As I talk to these people and as I listen to the stories I think "Do these people really think that is the point of a church?"

So the next few posts will explore some reasons why I think this is happening and how the North American church needs to respond. I would love to hear what you think about my observations and feel free to point other people to this blog to leave their feedback as well.

My first observation about how this became a problem is this; the church of North America did this to itself. Okay so maybe that is a slight overstatement, but I am not sure it is too far off.

First I believe the church bought into the worldly idea that "size is success." In doing so they church became just like any other business aimed to bring people in. The church is now driven by its consumers. If they want coffee, they get coffee and coffee breaks. If they want entertainment the youth departments put in big screen tv's and hold video game tournaments with using the latest hit video game. (even though it involves graphic violence and murder) The church did this to itself. Even if your church is not involved in the latest fads of pop culture can you not honestly see places where the church is making huge accommodations to people who are complaining about some minor issue in the effort to keep as many people in the doors as possible. Weak leadership has led us here.

more later, but how am I doing so far.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Wisdom of Lincoln

Here is a gold mine of truth in what otherwise looks like a rock on the side of the road.

"God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb... in other words, that He renders the worst human conditions tolerable, while He permits the best, to be nothing better than tolerable."
- Abraham Lincoln

as quoted in With Malice Toward None - Stephen Oates