Archive for Gospel

All My Tears

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , on August 6, 2012 by Alex

One of the men who inspired me to start this blog (Dan Phillips) posts a YouTube music video every Monday and calls this slot in the week “Music Monday.”  Now out of respect I’m not sure I could this sort of post such a thing, but I will happily link you guys something.  Heck, maybe it could be called “Media Monday.”  That way I can link you cartoon clips.  But today it is in fact music.

There are many good renditions, but I like this one in particular because of how rustic and raw it feels. Our path to Heaven begins and carries on through steps of repentance.  Joy is certainly what draws us, but we leave tears in our wake.  Heck, this cover by the Gordons might be so appropriate because of how thankful and mournful it sounds.

It reminds me of…Seattle.
The place I got baptized, the first place I heard this song (albeit another version), and a place I remember God had used me to bless another.  I didn’t see it coming at all.  I didn’t plan any of it.  I hadn’t meditated on the words beforehand.  But I remember walking through a college campus when this young man of maybe 19-20 stopped me and asked for money.

He said his dad had drunkenly barged into his room the previous night and demanded that he leave.  I noticed he had severely inflamed knuckles which I could tell he probably chewed on front time to time.  I guessed he was on drugs.

But God had put some extra food in my backpack and I gave some to him.  He was very appreciative and told me “God bless you.”

I asked him what he meant by that.
“Well…I’m a Christian,” he said caught back unaware.

“What does it mean to you to be a Christian?”

I don’t remember his exact response.  But I do remember walking away from the conversation that he wasn’t able to explain the gospel to me.  I offered to pray over him and gave him a hug.  I exited the hug with the words, “You know, one day he’s going to wipe away all our tears.”

I started walking away and he called back “When’s that happening?”  What I found so peculiar was his face.  It was very red and he had tears gushing down his face.

I raised a finger into the air and said, “In the end!”

These things don’t happen often. For some of us, never.  But I know that God was there and found a way for me to bless the man.  To feed him both physically and spiritually.  And those words…woh.  God just gave them to me.

Don’t you know, dear reader, that He is coming back?

 

I don’t know when Christ is physically touching down, but as you rest on your pillow realize that you could pass right into eternity.  Or when you’re in your car.  Or when you’re speaking to someone.  Or in the shower.  Or eating lunch.  Once here and in the twinkling of an eye gone.

And if you belong to Him, all your tears will be washed away.  All of them.

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A Wrecking of the Soul

Posted in Bible, Trinity with tags , , , , , , , on July 2, 2012 by Alex

So we went through some major restructuring last weekend at work.  We migrated all the data from one machine to another.  The process was long and I had to come in on Saturday evening.  It did not go smoothly.

Monday morning we found some major errors.  Our salesman were not able to search through their contacts.  And some people weren’t able to clock in for their shift.  We found a band-aid solution and, eventually, the source of the problem.  Quite simple.  It only takes a tiny hole to sink a submarine.  Or a human soul.

This day (read: the whole weekend) was absolutely awful. I want to emphasize that.   But this is the passage that gave me a tremendous source of comfort.  You don’t have to read it all if you don’t have time.  I’ll bold the most memorable part that stuck with me.  I include the rest for the sake of context.

30 The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. 31 And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 32 And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves. 33 Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. 34 When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things. 35 And when it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the hour is now late. 36 Send them away to go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” 37 But he answered them, “You give them something to eat.” And they said to him, “Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give it to them to eat?” 38 And he said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.” And when they had found out, they said, “Five, and two fish.” 39 Then he commanded them all to sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in groups, by hundreds and by fifties. 41 And taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven and said a blessing and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the people. And he divided the two fish among them all. 42 And they all ate and were satisfied. 43 And they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. 44 And those who ate the loaves were five thousand men.

45 Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. 46 And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray. 47 And when evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. 48 And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them, 49 but when they saw him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost, and cried out, 50 for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” 51 And he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, 52 for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.

~Mark 6:30-45

What kind of teacher would tell you to go ahead in the only boat?  What would you ask?  Heck, how would He have responded? “It’s fine.  I’ll just walk there.”  What kind of teacher is obeyed by the wind?  What kind of teacher walks on water?  Seriously, what kind of teacher could do that?

I look at this passage and find tremendous encouragement in it.  God puts us through these trials so that we might know Him more.  In the case of the apostles sitting on the other side of the resurrection, none of it made sense.  But on our end, it’s very clear.  God is here and He has provided Himself as the Bread of Life.  And the comfort from knowing that is truly heavenly.

What was it that made today so stressful?  It was a rotten day.  But it became a joyful thing to know I find my sustenance in Him.  Not in whether our server is leaking binary all over the floor.

I think there are plenty of times to cry and to worry.  Let’s not forget how Christ suffered immense spiritual trauma on the cross.  But we can’t be given over to it.  We just have to know Jesus is here.  And take heart in that sustenance.  He is much more than just a good teacher.

My question for you reader, how is Jesus sustaining you?