If worship leaders only worship when they lead, they are not worshippers. They are mere musicians. – taken from Bill Johnson’s Facebook page.
CD Play-along Update
I thought I would just offer a small entry into what is happening with the project so far. Well, the CD is nearly complete. Steph Macleod was in the studio with myself and engineer Frazer Knox for vocals, and next week the final touches of electric and acoustic guitar will be added, leaving only a few vocal and piano parts left. Nearly complete! Also, the book is making headway and transcriptions are on track, and both should be finished by mid-January. As for the DVD, the filming will take place in the last weekend in January, leaving only the post-editing and production to be done. There’s still a lot of work to be done, as well as the overhaul of this website, a photo shoot and graphic for The Church Drummer itself, but we’re on our way!
The Homeless – Do we really care? 20/11/11
And so an interesting day for me as Christian. Kingdom encounters, that is. I didn’t pray for it specifically (not today, anyway), but it just, well…happened. Firstly an international student I met a few weeks ago came to Church with me and enjoyed it ( it was not my home Church in Edinburgh, but Carubbers Christian Centre), where we then discussed the new-atheism, post-modernism and Christianity’s response throughout the world (from the apologetic wisdom of William Lane Craig to charitable work to persecution to Heidi Baker and miracles). And then I met two homeless people. Firstly, James, who swore and asked for money. £4.70 to be exact. I gave away £2 and asked if I could pray for him. He seemed to not care, as Christians “do this all the time,” he said. I said a wee prayer of blessing and off he went. I didn’t know if he genuinely needed the money for accommodation or drink, but whatever, I trust God’s blessing upon his life. He said he found the existence of God “laughable” and I said in response something along the lines of “I can understand where you’re coming from but God has a plan and purpose for you’re life.” Very typical Christian response, and a Biblical one at that, based on Jeremiah 29:11, the often-repeated Bible verse for wedding, birthday and bereavement cards. But when he said what he did about God, it begged the question to me: do we as Christians really care for people? I mean, really? Are we content with our modern Churches with their big screens and fancy-dan microphones? We sing our songs, lift our hands, engage with each other, and, for many of us, go home and that’s it. No mention of the Holy Spirit intervening. Just read the Word and off we go home to a lovely home, great food and TV. That’s me anyway. I’ll pray and read and learn and ask for God’s help and ask for Kingdom situations, so perhaps I’m being too harsh, as everyday life brings its own struggles, financially, Spiritually and all the rest. Getting through the day can be hard enough, but, Jesus said not to worry (Matthew 7:24)! And he mentioned the Kingdom of God more than anything else. But we each have our own part to play evangelistically, and in many different areas. And yes, I know Christians do a lot, and some of us are better at evangelising than others, but we each have our part to play surely. And of course its okay to rest and to enjoy ourselves, but surely there’s a balance too?
But back to the homeless, do we care? Jesus did. More than anyone else it would seem, no matter how they tried to rip them off. And Jesus slagged off the atheists of the day to their face, taking no rubbish thrown at Him. He kicked their asses (see Psalm 81 for OT reference). I can only hope that other Christians meet James and truly use the Holy Spirit inside of them to impart some true God-fearing and God-loving wisdom so that he will actually care. I just felt like another Christian in a long line of ones who had prayed for him. However, I kept mine short and sweet, non-religious and asking God to help him find a bed for the evening. And off he went.
The second man, Thomas, gave off quite the different story. Coming to me on one crutch, looking dishevelled and nervous, he asked me to help him for a bus fare. A bit resistant, I tried to claim that I had basically done my quota of giving and evangelism for the day and was therefore “holy.” However, I asked him if I could pray for him. And tears came from his eyes. He told me that he met an Episcopalian minister of late and that this was God tapping him on the shoulder again. Now, you may think that by the slight sarcastic manner of my writing tone here that I wasn’t in the mood for homeless people or anyone to be in my way this night. Not true, to be honest, I believe God should be allowed to intervene whenever and however He pleases. But you still can’t be prepared! So this guy began to tell me stuff about himself, and I listened in. I asked if I could pray for him because I believed that God loves him. So I did, and asked God would heal him (he mentioned a few things wrong with him) and before I left he chatted again and I asked him if I could hug him. He vocally said “yes!” and we embraced there, him more than me. Yes, he wasn’t in the best of nic, but who gives a monkey to be honest. And he left, basically shouting “God bless you, Brian” more than I was to him. It seemed he no longer cared that I had not given him the full bus fare he needed, but rather he had encountered God.
Now before you think I’m some sort of Tony Campolo wannabe (or maybe you don’t because you’re about to put me down because you haven’t read my previous post haha!), but shouldn’t this be a vital part of Christian life? Yes, Church is there to strengthen and encourage, but let’s actually “do the stuff,” as John Wimber so often said. Let’s learn about what the new atheism is saying so we can respond, but let’s also remember the simple message of the Gospel and what it means to us. Let’s be “good Jesus’s today and everyday,” as Tim Chester writes. And let’s pray for James and Thomas, and others like them, and others not like them.