Month: January 2012

“Asleep in the Light” sung by Marc Martel

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Marc Martel

The old Keith Green song, “Asleep in the Light” gets a new audience with this amazing video by Marc Martel.  Marc came to prominence via YouTube recently when he recorded “Somebody to Love” as an audition tape for a tour with Queen.  There have been over 5.6 million hits on that recording on YouTube!

What many may not know is how his music also has been devoted to honoring Christ.  Hope you are blessed by his amazing talent, but more so by the message of this powerful challenge from Keith Green to step out there for Christ and serve Him with our words and actions!  Here is Marc’s version…

Devotions for Week Fifteen

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Dads Words of Wisdom Getting to know someone without ever spending any time with them is impossible.  How is it that so many followers of Christ never set aside time to spend with the Lord?  When do you do that and has your son seen you do it, heard you talk about it, been taught how to do it?   Perhaps something to talk about with him?

Click on the “For Dads” tab on the upper right hand corner of this blog to go to the “Dad’s Words of Wisdom (Chapters 14-20)” page and scroll down to the last entry.

Locomotion the Old Way

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Durango to Silverton Run, Colorado, 2008

Any Baby Boomers Out There?

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Here we are–2012!  The first year of baby boomers reach the new retirement age!  From 1946-1964, a generation of people were born in the United States as a big jump in the birthing of babies accompanied the return of the troops from their fields of combat in World War II.   They have the distinct pleasure of being called Baby Boomers and those born in that first year, 1946, turn sixty-six this year.  Over the course of the next two decades, an average of over 10,000 baby boomers will reach retirement every day.  In fact, some already have due to changes in the retirement age.

Many of these boomers are looking for a place to park, having paid their dues, earned their stripes and fought their battles.  In spite of the data supporting the conclusion that the decade of the sixties is the most productive in your life, many boomers have dreamed of sitting down, cutting back, finding leisure and letting someone else run the world upon which they have put such an indelible mark!

But something happened to the dream!  With certain exceptions, many baby boomers are now finding themselves feeling the weight of responsibility for four generations, whether a perceived or actual weight is unclear. But consider this.

    Aging Parents.  If you are a boomer, it is highly likely that you are now caregiver for aging parents and face tremendous difficulties in knowing how to do right by them.

    Adult Children.  Also, you now have adult children, with their own lives of course, but you have not figured out how to love them without getting mixed up in their lives!  Double incomes are needed for young couples to try to care for their kids, pay for their overpriced, oversized homes, figure out how to stay married and what they have to do to survive till tomorrow…and you feel you must help somehow.

    Grandchildren.  Then there are the grandchildren!  How many boomers do you know who are now rearing another set of kids, this time the kids of their kids (and in some cases great-grandchildren!)?

So if you feel worn out, stressed, frustrated, confused and uncertain about what to expect next, it is very likely that you are surrounded by peers in your generation who feel the same way.

What I would like to ask you to do is this.  I am exploring writing a book on the boomer experience with all the issues I noted above, and as only you know, many others besides!  If you are not a boomer, would you pass this request on to someone who is?

Here is the request…would you send me your stories, tell me about the problems you are facing, if possible the solutions you are finding or if not, the answers you are seeking?  How is being a boomer facing retirement age different from what you once thought?  What have you found most helpful in dealing with the multi-generational responsibilities?

We will start by asking you to include your thoughts in a comment to this post and if we need to do so, set up an email account to which you can send your more extensive thoughts.  I need your help, but if I can do this project well, we can help each other and perhaps the younger half of the boomers with what we discover.  Please don’t let me down!

One important note…retirement does not actually appear as a biblical idea.  We run the race well all the way through the tape, according to Paul.  But the pace of the run does change, but what we value in the run should never diminish–we are running for the glory of the God who created us.  Thanks in advance for your help…and remember to comment whether you have a story or not, and then pass this on, forward it, ask your friends to help you help me!

Choosing Life…what are we to understand?

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With the recent passing of the anniversary of Roe v Wade, it is widely acknowledged that the policies and laws of the land have authorized the aborting of approximately 50 million individuals.  The impact that has had on the culture is incalculable as we will never know what kinds of leaders would now be coming of age, how much creativity would have introduced positive change to society and how many of them would now have become followers of Christ.  On the negative side, it is true that by the same reasoning we can never know how many villains never emerged, how many more jobless and homeless people there would be and so forth.

But those questions are not really the issue at all.  At the center of all the discussion is the simple question that continues to stir debate–whose life is more important, mother or child?  Although there are some who still try to argue that the baby is not human until born, that point of view has been discredited by the amazing technological advances that allow us to see the baby in the womb and know that it is a living human being.  The debate over the value of one over another is at the heart of the matter and 50 million human beings never got to speak to the issue!

God treasures the lives of both mother and child.  He values life and created each one for His glory.  Assuming the right to make a choice of one over the other presumes too much!  Therefore, it is essential for followers of Christ not to be swayed by sentimentality either way, nor for them to depend on their own reason to formulate a response.  God provides what we need to know in His Word.

Several years ago, I laid out what I believe we need to understand as followers of Christ.  You can find the full outline of that message in a new tab at the top of this page devoted to more extensive articles and teaching outlines that would take too much space on the front page of the blog.

Read it, share it, pray over it if you will.  Taking a biblical approach to this and all controversial issues we face as Christians in a culture with a different trajectory toward the future will help us understand and speak with truth and grace to people all around us lost in the verbiage and in need of a word of reason based on God’s Word of revelation.

Speaking of worship videos…

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Sometimes you just run into things that stir up your passion for worship.  Not sure what I was looking for on YouTube when I ran into a series of worship recordings from Brazil.  Probably I am among the last to discover these but the group leading these worship events have done an excellent job of recording the music and capturing some of the dynamic of what it must have been like to be there with thousands upon thousands of young Brazilian believers singing praise to the Lord.

I finally found one with English subtitles that I want to share here so that you can enjoy not only the music and the images but the message…in this song a simple one…”I want to live my life according to the vision You, Lord, have for me.”

By the way, the language of Brazil is Portuguese, in case you couldn’t understand what you thought might have been Spanish!  The worship leader is Ana Paula Valadão (Pictured on the right).

Devotions for Week Fourteen

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Dads Words of Wisdom What kind of leadership are you teaching and modeling for your son?  Servant leadership is a unique concept in a world full of assertiveness and aggression, but the Scriptures call us to take the low place even when we are in a leading position. Something to talk about with your dad…your son?

Click on the “For Dads” tab on the upper right hand corner of this blog to go to the “Dad’s Words of Wisdom (Chapters 14-20)” page and scroll down to the last entry.

Glory be to our great God!

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“Our Great God”  Such a great worship song!  Could not get it out of my head after we sang it in worship this morning, came home and found this version by Fernando Ortega.  The gentle melody and powerful words capture the heart for worship.  Enjoy it once again as you remember that He alone is Lord and there is none like Him!

Protection and Patronage from the Culture

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Ruins in the City of Ephesus

When the church of the Lord Jesus Christ finds its peace and sense of well-being from its protection and patronage by the civil government more than from its confidence in the power of the Lord, we take a serious step into peril.  I have heard so many Christians bemoaning the loss of privilege and good opinion for the church in the public arena.  The not-so-subtle implication is that we need to be accepted by and provided for by the good graces of governmental rulings and authorities to have the kind of influence and impact we should be allowed to have in the surrounding culture.

G. Campbell Morgan speaks to just this issue in comments he made about the passage in Acts 19, an account of a near riot in Ephesus against the testimony of the church in that ancient city.  The grave danger to the church, he says, was not the voices of opposition, the shouts of defiance in the amphitheater, but the single voice of the town clerk advising the crowds to back off and allow the civil courts and normal governmental processes handle the presence of advocates for this new religion which exalted Jesus Christ.  The town clerk cared nothing about the followers of Christ, but he did care about public order…restoring quiet to the city.

“Quiet in Ephesus was everything to him, but in the moment in which these Christian men passed under the protection of the town clerk, they were in more danger than when Demetrius’ mob was howling about them…the Church of God is in her gravest peril when a town clerk protects her.  Let us be very careful that we do not waste our energy, and miss the meaning of our high calling, by any rejoicing in the patronage of the world.  It is by the friction of persecution that the fine gold of character is made to flash and gleam with glory.  The Church persecuted has always been the church pure, and therefore the Church powerful.  The Church patronized has always been the Church in peril, and very often the Church paralyzed.  I am not afraid of Demetrius.  Let him have his meeting of craftsmen, and let them in their unutterable folly shout a lie twenty-five thousand strong.  The truth goes quietly on.  But when the town clerk begins to take care of us, then God deliver us from the peril.”   (G. Campbell Morgan, The Acts of the Apostles, p. 465)

While we do not pretend to want to invite persecution, we would do well to ask ourselves what is more frightening to us…to be pacified and patronized and ultimately poured into the mold of the surrounding culture, or to be persecuted and and threatened but ultimately empowered because we have dared take the gospel to the surrounding culture, disregarding the cost?  The church in Ephesus eventually deteriorated and was absorbed into the city in such a way that there has scarcely been anyone to name the name of Jesus Christ in that vicinity for centuries and the city itself is in ruins, a silent sentinel to a past that once was a thriving center of the Christian faith.  The church in the twenty-first century does not need the approval of the world to be the light of the world.  The commission and calling of Christ is all we need for that!

Coolest Bear Ever!

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Koala Nap Time, Sydney, 2004