Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Double Shot of Jesus

For the last year and a half, I have been playing in the "Book of Life" Christian rock band doing the Life Teen services at a Roman catholic Church. I had initial reservations about how well a 57 year old guy would be received by the teens. As things progressed, I was aware of many adults attending the Life Teen services also. My reservations evaporated, when after service one night, one of the Alter Girls not only complimented the band, but informed me that all the teens thought I was so cool! Wonders never cease, but then again, they are seeing me at what I do best, and at my best with the Holy Spirit pouring out of my guitar. The satisfaction I get from playing the Life Teen services spurred me on to explore other venues to further my musical ministry. One night at a service, the theme of the night was how God was using various people from many walks of life. The Preist spoke first, describing his life changing decision to be ordained. Then a nun got up and also presented her biography, depicting her evolution unto God's work. My friend who is studying to be a deacon gave a wonderful dissertation on his calling, as well as the Youth Minister. Both the deacon, and the Youth Minister are married and explained how their calling effected their spouses' lives and how they sorted through the important issues that would impact their lives from then on. Then the church admin. Director got up and spoke. Her story made a huge impression on me. She made the decision to give her life to the Lord, as a single woman, using her talents in the name of God. She spoke very quietly about her life, and I found myself leaning forward to catch every word. All of these people said the same thing; that the decision did not come over night, that they never dreamed they would be contemplating what would change their lives forever, and that with prayer, God opened the doors and revealed possibilities to turn their prayers into reality. The night was a real eye opener for me. I went home, and prayed hard. I prayed to be used. My gift from God is my music, and I prayed that I could expand my musical ministry to gorify his Holy name. The very next morning, I noticed an add on the internet for a guitar player for a Gospel band. I found myself clicking off to respond to the posting almost automatically. I got a response back, and an invitation to their services at the Walk of Life Christian Center. If I told you I did not have trepidation about driving to the inner city, I would be telling a lie. But, this is one of those classic cases where one must rely on faith, rather than sight. Even as a visitor, I was welcomed by all. I explained to the Pastor about my calling, and wondered if they really understood. They do. I play there , the only white guy, twice a week. I have introduced songs from the Life Teen band to them, and in turn brought songs back to Life Teen from them! Its been five months now, and I continue to pray to be used further, and thank God for this chance to do his work. What I did not expect (though I don't know why) was the spiritual effect the Walk of Life has bestowed upon me. I know now! I cling to the words of the Pastor, and they ring in my head all week. Then I go to the catholic Church and play. The Preist's message is geared for the Teens, of course, and is simple, short, catchy enough to keep their attention, and I found that I too, take each week's simple word home, and reflect on all week.

Hold me Jesus, for I am weak I hunger for your presence
Seeking the Rock to plant my feet How glorious , my Savoir
Wrap me in your warming cloak I'm shivering outside it
Only you wash clean my stains my precious Lord, my Savoir

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