Saturday, September 17, 2005

The Joy of the Lord is My Strength

Many characters in life appear strong!!!! Samson, Rambo, King David, Arnold Schwarzenger. Whether one has the hair, muscles, wit and strength that these people exhibit-true strength comes from relying on ones inner resources from God. Not always easy to do-especially when one has feelings of loneliness or isolation. But that is why it is great to have verses hidden within ourselves that allow for quiet meditation.
Joy is something common within the yuletide time of Christmas. A newborn is a cheerful addition to a family. For those first few months, members of the family make frequent visits and take careful note of the child is progressing. In our faith as babes in Christ, how frequently do we take note of how others are progressing as we do when around infants. Not that we will remain immature but that we grow into the full measure of His fullness.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Mercy Me

Walking down a narrow country road welcomed my friends into the Ives Concert Park in Danbury. It was for a long awaited Mercy Me concert that evening. The park is tucked above the road and is part of Southern Conn. state University. While there, I met my friend, Phyllis. I said ,"'Hello, Good to see you again" and gave her a hug. The park is surrounded by a forest of trees and as we approached its entrance, there was a ticket booth enclosed within a gazebo. No flashy neon lights-just a quiet approach.
Before the concert began, my friend Gary kept saying, "glad we're going to be early."' He ordered 2 cheeseburgers, a hot dog and a large soda and fries. Gary said, "How I am going to carry all this. Here take my soda and program."
We were surrounded by 4,000 others that were dancing and standing by their seats offering praises to God. The first singer, TammyTrent hopped up on one of the speakers to get a closer view of the audience. The stage was on a small island connected by a small covered bridge. Tammy shared her life with us and allowed us to sing and enjoy some uplifting music and how that can change and affect ones life. Her story contained tragedy of the loss of her husband but spoke of how her life remained full despite her loss.
As I looked out at the park lawn, I saw many of my friends gathered. I saw children sitting on their parent's shoulders and some kids twirling lit wands in the air. A festive atmosphere with energy. I heard the cicadas dancing to their music-humming in the darkness. Looking above, I saw the outline of a tree surrounded by the dimly lit sky and saw the light from several fireflies in the distance.
The second group was a latino band, Salvador from Texas. They had the audience get up from their feet and sang many tunes from the Latino tradition. The beat was lively and got me into the music. As the second group was ending, a little conflict ensued with Gary and his staff friend who realized his medication was not with him. I looked on in sadness knowing that they could not enjoy the remainder of the concert before us. Looking back, I only wished that I more clearly communicated that night and his need for his medicine. So, I said goodbye to them and had two empty seats next to me for the remainder of the night.
The last group was Mercy Me. There were five men on stage and behind them ,three lit squares had neon messages highlighted in white and blue . I remembered some of their old songs from their cd.remembered by me. They sang choruses that I was familiar with too. I joined in and felt part of their choir. One of the songs that they sang, I can only Imagine is one that I often dance to at work whenever I hear it. It makes me feel alive and am full of energy when I do that. It makes me look forward to a time of hope and a time for peace.
I missed my friend Gary not be able to hear that part of the concert but it gave me the time to reflect on our friendship and the funny things that Gary says and dreams about. If only those things could happen of allowing others who are handicapped and less fortunate to experience a great night like this and to be a part of a community also. So the song I can only Imagine flowed through my mind and I continued dancing.
Having time to look up into the nighttime sky and hear those cicadas and all of us in unison raising our voices sure is a community. of nature and man united in an ideal and surreal backdrop to the world we live in.

Monday, September 05, 2005

The Arts are coming alive

In my city, it is good to see an effort to give life again to the arts. It is a good step in a direction that will bring vitality to the creative spirit of the area. It is starting to happen and be a great asset to the city when it finally brings life to our city and other dormant cities in the country.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Hope in our troubled times

Five days have passed since the unthinkable has happened in the southern part of our country. It would be great if our nation would pull together and lay down their racial lines and prejudices and see that at the core of our humanity is a brotherhood and sisterhood that needs to cooperate and work together. It is at this core that we will have more peace on earth. The extremes of the heat and lack of needed supplies can create a real tension but with a cooperative spirit, our world can go much further.
I am reminded in the passages of scripture of several accounts of Jesus being surrounded by a large crowd of people who are hungry. A little boy in the crowd brings to Jesus some fish and loaves of bread so that the crowd can have something to eat. It would be great to see the world come together and give whatever they can to relief organizations to ease the suffering that the world is facing right now. That would be a great miracle if that could happen.