“In ultimul timp am inceput sa-mi pun intrebari pe care nu mi le-am mai pus inainte. Cand eram tanar, mai mult alergam, fara sa intreb prea multe in viata. Acuma, de la o bucata de vreme alerg mai putin si ma gandesc mai mult. Stau si ma uit la oameni si am vazut multe fete, unele triste. Am vazut oameni veseli. Am vazut oameni care sunt imbracati bine, arata frumosi. Am vazut oameni care stralucesc in conversatii. Am vazut oameni la care alti oameni privesc si spun; Ce om, ce realizari. Ma gandesc in aceasta seara, oare dincolo din ceea ce se vede, nu o fi mai mult de atat?…” Florin Ianovici
So while I’m outside putting down massive quantities of ice melt, a young kid walked through the parking lot headed west. He asked me how far it was to 10th and Sherman.
I told him it was quite a way away. At least 6 or 7 miles. I suggested that he would be far better off on the bus then on foot, especially in all this ice and slush. He thanked me and continued on.
He could have asked me for money for a bus. In fact I quite expected him to. He didn’t. He just started walking.
15 minutes later, as we were driving down 10th street to head to Strange Brew, we saw him still waking down 10th. He was not yet to Franklin Road.
I told Colleen Roux to pull over, and I called to him to get in. As we were driving, we asked him about his journey.
Jhaquiel was waking from 42nd and Post to an interview at 10th and Sherman. For a potential (but not guaranteed) minimum-wage job. In this weather. Walking, because he couldn’t afford the bus. He had actually planned his time well and the interview was still 2 hours away.
We drove him to 10th and Sherman. He was extremely thankful and said so. I got his telephone number and told him to keep his interview, but I would see if there was a way to hire him, so his daily trek to work would be 3 miles instead of 10. I also asked him if he had eaten today, and he said he hadn’t. I gave him money for lunch and dropped him at the 10th and Sherman Dairy Queen. I think he was in shock.
So, he doesn’t know it yet, but he starts with us on Monday. It’s been a while since I’ve met someone so young with a work ethic like that!
And the next time somebody hands me a sob story about needing money for this or that, because they really want to make their lives better… I hope to be able to introduce them to Jhaquiel. 🙂
A well-known speaker started off his seminar holding up a $20.00 bill. In the room of 200, he asked, “Who would like this $20 bill?” Hands started going up. He said, “I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this.”
He proceeded to crumple up the $20 dollar bill. He then asked, “Who still wants it…?” Still the hands were up in the air. “Well,” he replied, “What if I do this?” And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty. “Now, who still wants it?” Still the hands went into the air.
“My friends, we have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20. Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We may feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value.
Dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to those who DO LOVE you. The worth of our lives comes not in what we do or who we know, but by WHO WE ARE.
You are special-Don’t EVER forget it.” If you do not pass this on, you may never know the lives it touches, the hurting hearts it speaks to, or the hope that it may bring. Count your blessings, not your problems.
Write by Stacey Mae and posted on her Facebook on January 5, 2013
Write by Douglas Small on February 20, 2013
Recently, in a meeting of prayer leaders, I began to share regarding our ‘familiarity’ with God, the use of intimate language without any reference to God’s ‘otherness’ – and I will never forget the look of shock that registered on faces. It was as if I was saying something they had never heard before. In fact, as I persisted with the idea of approaching a God who was ‘past finding out’ it became clear that I was taking some of them into new territory.
Frankly, we have become too familiar with God. Intimacy is in; reverence is out. Listen to the praise music. It is almost completely devoid terms that describe God’s transcendence. The wonderful and rich theology of the old hymns is rarely heard, at least in Pentecostal churches. It is forty-minutes of ‘everybody on your feet, and put your hands together for Jesus.’ It is not a worship service, but a ‘pep rally.’ YHWH is now presented as ‘daddy’ God; and Jesus as our buddy – or lover, who is greeted with a ‘sloppy wet kiss.’ Ron Auch, a prayer leader, who I dare not impugn with this article, noted in a conversation, that the level of intimate language in praise music, language which we should note as, at least in some cases, inappropriate or border-line so, is a manifestation of people who are attempting to do publically, what is only appropriate privately. Public worship is attempting to compensate for the almost total lack of a private regular prayer life. Prayer does involve loving God and letting Him love us; there is a level of inexpressible intimacy in our relationship with God. Some things appropriate in private prayer and worship, are not necessarily appropriate in public worship. Bottom line – there must be a ‘private’ component to ‘public’ worship and prayer. Together, we sing declaratively, we affirm our theology, we offer praise at a different level. Privately, God deals with us in ways that break our hearts; or cause us to exult in passionate personal worship.
We now have a one-dimensional and almost exclusively emotional connection with God reflected in only in our public worship and prayer; and it is far too shallow. Worship must involve the heart and the head, as should prayer. Worship is not a matter of our feelings; it rises out of Scripture, and lays hold of God’s action in history. What is happening now in the praise and worship movement is promoting a less than reverent view of God. It is promulgating cheap grace. Few take off their shoes and tip-toe. We lift up unclean hands. We sing through unsanctified lips. We rush into a house of worship without the preparation of hearts and minds, as if we running by Grandpas house on the way to the lake, with little or no lifestyle impact. We kiss God, tell Him we love Him, thank Him for still being around, and rush off to the important matters in our life. Church services assure us by songs and sermons that all is well – God loves us, no matter how unfaithful and naughty we have been. Truth is dead; love has smothered it. Even Santa Claus keeps a list; but not the modern God. He has chronic amnesia, to our benefit. But does He?
This superficial, single-dimension of God is deadly. It is the essence of worldliness. It is a religious drug to which we are now culturally addicted; and it keeps us from seeing a whole God – one who is both love and truth, and utterly holy; and therefore we are prevented from understanding the full picture of justification and sanctification; of consecration and sacrificial service. So we have brushes with the Spirit, rather than transforming encounters in the Spirit, patterned on the Bible. We are numbed with the superficial lyrics and feel-good praise music. It actually prevents us from feeling real conviction and being motivated to get well spiritually. On this drug of superficial and syrupy worship, the Church is starving and dying; too anemic to do battle; and yet falsely feeling too well to get help.
Romanian evangelical gypsies singing Hallelujah at Marius and Rebeca’s Wedding(Gypsy Language)
“Am preferat întotdeauna prietenia celor care greșesc încercând prea mult și dorind prea tare, decât să stau în compania celor care, de teama de a nu greși, preferă să nu încerce.” DANIEL BRANZAI
“Dumnezeu este judecatorul meu si El la vremea Lui va judeca. Eu ii binecuvantez pe fratii mei care au ramas in Metanoia si le doresc propasire in lucrare, la fel cum ii binecuvantez pe fratii din Uniunea Baptista multumindu-i Lui pentru ani frumosi de colaborare, iar pe cei care imi vor raul, fie intentionat sau involuntar, ii las pe mana Domnului, rugandu-l sa se indure de ei, sa le lumineze mintea si sa le calauzeasca inima spre lucruri care sunt de zidit nu de daramant, facandu-i pescari si nu vanatori de oameni.”
Cristian Barbosu, Arad, 17 February 2013