New Words To Old Songs

Sung to the tune of "Where Have All The Flowers Gone"
With apologies to Peter, Paul & Mary

Where have all the Baby Boomer Christians gone, long time passing?
Where have all the Baby Boomer Christians gone, long time ago?
Where have all the Baby Boomer Christians gone?
Gone for coffee everyone.
Oh, when will they ever reach out?
Oh, when will they ever reach out?

Where have all theBaby Boomer Christians gone, long time passing?
Where have all the Baby Boomer Christians gone, long time ago?
Where have all the Baby Boomer Christians gone?
Gone to recliners everyone.
Oh, when will they ever rise up?
Oh, when will they ever rise up?

Where will the BBCS walk alongside the youth, long time passing?
Where will the BBCS walk alongside the youth, long time ago?
Where will the BBCS walk alongside the youth?
Gone to walk with everyone.
Oh, when will they mentor them?
Oh, when will they mentor them?

Where have all the prodigals gone, long time passing?
Where have all the prodigals gone, long time ago?
Where have all the prodigals gone?
Gone; and disillusioned, everyone.
Oh, when will they return?
Oh, when will they return?

And now, with apologies to Bob Dylan....

The answer my friend is inside of you;
The answer is inside of you.
Yes the answer is inside of you.

Which One Are You?

The other day I was thinking about how different different people are. I can hear you thinking..well duh...thats a no brainer. I know. But you see; I was thinking about a friend of mine who is a Mary Kay Beauty Consultant. Part of her job is to hold skincare/glamour classes. Well, I'm not much on make -up/skin care products but somehow she convinced me to host one of these events. Now I hear you laughing! Anyway, I noticed that there are three types of women who attend. The experts, the novices and "I just came along for the ride" group. So, in these classes, skin types are analyzed and the products which best suit the needs of the individual are placed before each participant.. Everyone gets to apply the product. After the skin care session; the group moves on to the glamour segment where she aids the women in choosing and applying cosmetics. I'm laughing just thinking about this! Ok, lets move on to the real subject of this essay...the three types of people. The experts, of course, are the ones who use skin care products and make-up daily and have done so for some time. They know exactly what to do and how to do it. These women can hardly wait for the less experienced ones to finish so they can go on to the next step. The experts can usually be found perusing through the cheek color, eye shadow, and lipstick samples to find their colors. On the opposite end of the spectrum are the novices. These ladies are those who rarely, if ever, use make-up or skin care products. They usually need help choosing colors and applying eye shadow and mascara. The novices ask lots of questions of the consultant and spend time watching the experts apply their make-up. Because these women are unaccustomed to the process, they tend to be much slower and unsure of their actions. Last but not least, are those who came to get out of the house. Most of the time they aren't interested in trying the products and will readily admit they just came to visit with their friends. I remember one lady who came with her friend was 85 years old and legally blind!! She was able to participate in the skin care portion of the class but declined to try on make-up as she didn't want to go home "looking like a clown." She did, however, purchase some bright red lipstick because she could see it to put it on! So...which type are you? One of the experts who know their stuff, a novice making your debut, or, one of the visitors who make the class entertaining? Me? I am a visitor! Oh, by the way, I only hosted one class...that was enough for me!

Something We Will Never See In The Media

Sunday, May 06, 2007, 1:00:49 PM Caleb Gage
“The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.” - Tertullian
This quote from Tertullian has been proven true yet again. My last post was a letter from a Church in Turkey about three men who were martyred. (If you haven’t read that post yet please do so now) This post is what happened just recently at their funerals…
“On Wednesday April 18, 2007, the fledgling Christian community in this nation of 70 million Muslims, suffered a devastating blow, when three of its finest, were brutally murdered for their faith. One German and two other Turkish brothers were found in the print shop, in south central Turkey, where they published and sold Bibles. They had been tortured, stabbed repeatedly, and bound with their throats slit. Sadly, it was at the hands of five trusted young me, who had claimed to be seekers of our Lord. The murder was skillfully pre-meditated and ruthlessly carried out. Needless to say, as members of the Body, we have been deeply grieved by this terrible tragedy. Yet, what appeared to be a victory for the enemy has since resulted in the most open declaration of the gospel this nation has seen since the Apostle Paul! Therefore, we rejoice that not one drop of blood shed by these dear sains has fallen to the ground in vain.
“Last Saturday, approximately 500 believers gathered in a demonstration of solidarity, to honour the lives of these colleagues. Despite the heavy police and media coverage in a country that is 99.9% Muslim, each of us had determined that it was worth the risk and exposure, to stand together for our Lord. After all, it seemed a small sacrifice, compared to the loss experienced by the wives, children and fiance’ of the deceased.
What we witness has forever changed our lives. As the body was carried into the courtyard, high upon the shoulders of our Turkish brothers, spontaneous applause burst forth! I leaned over to my national friend and queried, “Is this normal for funerals in your culture?” “No,” he asserted, “it’s because he’s a martyr!” As the casket continued its journey toward the front, eternally beautiful worship music erupted - somewhat reminiscent of Gregorian chant. Then everyone joined together in the singing of Turkish praise songs. However, what followed nearly took our breath away! Approximately ten Turkish leaders proclaimed openly the gospel in front of television cameras, newspaper reporters, police officials, the Deputy Governor of Izmir and several other improtant officials. Fearlessly, yet with gentle strength each shared his faith in Christ, and his forgiveness of those who had committed the heinous murders! Additionally, they shared that Christ had won the victory, and at this very hour the martyrs were standing before the very throne of God! Several mentioned that the lives of these men were perhaps the seeds that must be planted in order for the harvest to come forth. One pastor passionately exclaimed, “We will spread this message, God’s Word, because we are children of the Word! You may kill us all, but we will spread this message, because we love you and because Jesus loves you! We forgive the attackers, because we too, have been forgiven.” Powerful applause, “Amens” and “Hallelujahs” erupted from among the scores of nationalities represented there! It was asesome!
However, what happened next…can only be explained by the supernatural love and strength that God alone can give. Spontaneously, in an unplanned moment– Necati’s wife asked if she could speak. “Amid her tears she spoke of her forgiveness of the very men who had tortured and killed her precious husband, and the father of her children! In an emotion filled voice, she asserted: “I know my Necati was praying for the, even while he was being tortured.” She also spoke of the wonderful love they shared as a family and their joy in serving the Lord together. Lastly, she stated, ” I loved my husband very, very much—but, I love my Jesus even more. And that is how I can face tomorrow.” Again thunderous applause burts forth! We were spell bound!
In the closing moments of this incredible service, one of the pastors shouted “Afferin Necati!!! Afferin Tilman!!! Afferin Ugur!!!—Which translated —”Well done, Necati!! Weee don, Tilman!! Well done Ugur!! We are certain the Lord echoed those same sentimentsm as he received those precious men into his heavenly kingdom!!! Then, as Necati’s body was lovingly ushered onward to it final resting place, applause and praise resonated throughout the garden! As we looked up, we noticed that the media stood utterly dumbfounded! We were quite certain they had never witnessed anything like this before. Yet, as believers were knew we had been in the very presence of the Lord! It seemed as if we had observed church history in the very making. Most importantly, we believe that the precious blood of these saints was not shed in vain, but will be used to further God’s kingdom in a manner that has not occurred since the time of the apostles! So let it be written—so let it be done!!!”
Now if that isn’t encouraging then I don’t know what is! The Kingdom of God spreads and stands firm no matter what the enemy does! The blood of the martyrs is definately not in vain! Amen!

Facing Facts

Last week a tragedy occurred. One of my co-workers committed suicide. Fortunatley for all of us it didn't happen at work. But still it was very impacting. Counselors were brought in. We all questioned ourselves...what could we have done...why didn't we see this coming...what could be so bad in a person's life that would cause them to kill themselves? It was a very quiet, introspective week. I, having experienced the affects of a family member who committed suicide, felt immediate empathy for his family. I know what they are feeling. I know they blame themselves. I know with time they will heal. My prayer is for healing to come quickly. I wrote an essay a number of years ago regarding my brothers death. Actually; it was for a class I took. Anyway; I am putting it on my blog in its original state. Maybe it will help someone in their own recovery.

Many families experience grief and heartache. My family is no exception. One of the tragedies that we have seen was the suicide of a brother. We grew up with a stepfather who was an alcoholic and was also abusive, both physically and verbally. My half brother John began to take on those characteristics. Fearing that he was becoming like his father, John took his own life. The impact of his suicide is still with us today.
It has been ten years since my brother killed himself. Most of the family has yet to come to terms with that fact. My mother, for example, still maintains the belief that he had gone camping and took a wrong turn(he drove off a cliff on Mount Lemon). She refuses to acknowledge the note he had left which stated his intentions. For her, it is easier to deny the truth rather than face reality.
Soon after his death, John's sister(my half sister) distanced herself from the rest of the family both emotionally and physically. She blamed the family for his suicide and then moved halfway across the United States. She now lives somewhere in Kansas, is married and has a child. Her goal, according to my mother, is to live happily ever after.
For me, it took several years to accept the fact that John was dead. I thought I had seen him several times at the grocery store, the Post Office, and on the street. We had a special relationship. He was my little brother and although we had different fathers we were very much alike. I went through a lot of pain and anger because of his actions. In the last year I have been able to face the facts, deal with that pain and anger and forgive him. It really has been a time of healing for me.
Nearly everyone experiences problems or loses in life. Some people can deal with this better than others. Suicide was my brother's way of escaping. Even though it has been several years since his death, most of the family continues to feel the after-affects.