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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Wee Me

Yup. That's a wee me. You can't hold a lightsaber and have a stack of books, nor a Guinness and a sword, so I had to choose - but it's kind of fun. Try it! Hat Tip to Anna.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


A few weeks ago, I was able to spend some quality time with my oldest son when we attended the Newsboys concert together. He was actually more excited to see Kutless and Stellar Kart. It was quite a hit on the budget, but as toddlers, school and work dominate so much of my time, it was a worthy investment to spend some time with him. We also brought one of his buddies with us.

Stellar Kart opened, and they were fun, with a lot of energy. Kutless was as well, although their main musical genre is not the songs we typically hear on our local radio stations – they tend to hard rock, which suited the boys fine. Between the Kutless and Newsboys sets, Paul Coleman (formerly of the Paul Coleman Trio, now the lead guitarist for the Newsboys), came out and made a presentation about a missions group they were partnering with called Global Tribe. The layout of the venue and the sets resulted inmost of the view of the video being obscured, so the pitch was essentially verbal. Paul isn’t a gifted public speaker, so you bought what he said or you didn’t – no emotional draw aside from the details. He said that He believed that 100 people would commit to the Global Tribe her in our area, but when he asked for people to raise their hands to take a form, my son said, “Dad, there’s only like five people raising their hand.” I was one of them.

This is unusual for me. I have been supporting children in Sri Lanka since 1996, and consider my box checked when it comes to charitable giving outside the local church. Every Christian concert I have attended has a connection to a missions organization of some kind, and I have never felt compelled to respond. Why now, when my income is at its lowest, and my non-discretionary budget at its highest percentage ever? Some might say that it was because Mrs. Hammer wasn’t there to stop me, but I attribute it to a “Spirit Thing”, to quote the ‘Boys themselves.

So, we went back to join the Global Tribe, and the lady at the desk asked me how many were with me. I told her two boys, and she handed me three backstage passes to meet the Newsboys after the concert! Nifty!

The Newsboys portion of the show as awesome – sure, I enjoyed the music, but during the rendition of “I Am Free”, Peter (the lead singer) began quoting a lengthy section of Isaiah 40 (which I knew from a recent 45 day meditation upon that chapter). How often does that happen in a Christian concert? It flowed well with the song, and was quite a blessing. He spoke for a while as well, which is not uncommon in such a setting. Other Christian concerts I have attended also include the artist speaking at length about Jesus and God – that God loves you, can help you, is there for you, etc. However, this was the first concert I heard the words “lake of fire” used. (Revelation 20:15, John 15:6) Smokin’ – in more ways than one!

When I met the band, I thanked them for the blessing I received through them, and I thanked Peter for preaching the whole gospel. My son had them sign his Newsboys drum sticks he bought. Checkout the Global Tribe, waging war on spiritual and physical poverty, when you get a chance – as well as the Voice of the Martyrs to see what the price of true faith is on the edge of the fires of the gospel.

(Curiously, I thought I always had VOM linked here. I have no idea how it got missed.)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

A Burden Carried

A letter written and not sent.

A language read but not understood.

A stroke observed and not overcome.

A miscarriage with complications but without a baby.

A passage exposited and not taught.

A gospel preached and not accepted.

A man wounded and not willing to heal.

A woman in fear but willing to trust.

A mission of hope but not peace.

A word heard and yet not quite believed.

These are the things that have dominated my mind and my time the past 45 days or so. It hasn't been quite as dramatic as it sounds, but it has been dramatic enough. Perhaps I will be able to tell of some of it - but if I am to write, it is not of trials, but truth. Sometimes, though, the two dwell in the same place.

" Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes;
and I will keep it to the end.
Give me understanding, that I may keep your law
and observe it with my whole heart.
Lead me in the path of your commandments,
for I delight in it.
Incline my heart to your testimonies,
and not to selfish gain!
Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things;
and give me life in your ways.
Confirm to your servant your promise,
 that you may be feared.
Turn away the reproach that I dread,
for your rules are good.
Behold, I long for your precepts;
in your righteousness give me life!"

Ps 119:33-40