Friday, October 2, 2015

Still plugging Away




1960's and 70's --- Jesus people movement.
That's a few years back.
Few more miles on the life....
Few more friends that are no longer with us...
Yet the fire hasn't dimmed at all.
The passion is still there even though the body might move at a slightly slower pace.


The one thing I am so grateful for is the number of people God has allowed me to meet in this journey. Musicians, songwriters, just folks that love to worship God. The common denominator that I see among them all is that they really don't have grandiose ideas about their own self worth. They are not really hung up on who they are. Very humble people who have been gifted with extraordinary talent and ability. Such talent could probably have been directed entirely into making a living in the "big time" music world.

For what ever reason, they chose to follow Jesus.To answer a call that was heard with the heart. They chose to become part of a larger group of wandering worship leaders, singers and musicians who hone their craft under the watchful eye of God's Holy Spirit. Their hearts beat to a rhythm that is not of this world. They see and understand the power of music. They recognize that God is the creator of notes and chords, harmony and tempo. As such, these musicians have answered a call to write and play the heart of God as their songs take shape.


God's songs were not bound by style or genre. They were not relegated to Sunday morning meetings. They were unleashed upon a generation who was driven by the music. A generation that was seeking its own voice and identity. The world defined my generation with the word "Rebellion". God defined us with His Holy Spirit. If you study the history of the music of the 1960's, you'll see that 1967 has been called "The summer of love". The Hippie movement that was prominent on the West coast was in full swing. Flower power, peace, love not war, was the slogans that identified this movement. While the intent was good, it was not something birthed in the heart of God. It came from the heart of man and, as such, was merely a symbolic attempt to create a society that would never be possible outside of God's help. The summer of love....the Beatles said, "All You Need Is Love"....and then they broke up. That was a quote from a Larry Norman Song. While the air was filled with lofty ideas of peace and love, God was at work on the West Coast birthing a revival. A full blown---knock your socks off---real deal revival. And it came not to the church, but to those who belonged to the counter culture....the Hippie. It spread from them to others. Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel became the pastor that was deemed the Father of the movement. His church became ground Zero for this movement. 

These new hearts who had run into God during this revival, sought to express themselves in music. So the songs that were written were honest and fresh and not relegated to the old style hymns. This was the birth of a new voice that would proclaim that there was only "ONE WAY!". Hands raised with the index finger extended became the sign of this generation...."one way to heaven, and that way is Jesus Christ."



Why have I written about this particular subject this morning? Because the fire of that revival has not gone out. The Hippie may have fallen by the way side. The counter culture may have grown up and become assimilated into mainstream society, but the hearts that were changed are still out there. Still burning for Jesus. They hair may be gray...and the face may look a little craggy and weathered, but the heart is still filled with that same drive and verve that defined the movement. There are those who still load up their vehicle with gear and drive countless miles to sing of God's love. Hours upon hours traveling to share the story of what this God has done to and for them. The venues aren't massive stadiums or concert halls. They may be found in coffee shops or at restaurants. They may visit other churches or set up in living rooms. The place doesn't matter as long as they are those who do not know our Jesus. 

So here's to those who haven't quit.
To those who still move to the rhythm of Grace.
Whose pen still brings forth songs that reflect the heart of God.
May God bless you this day with one more place to play.
May you be encouraged that your faithfulness to your craft and call has made a difference in the Kingdom work of God.
Thank you for giving yourself to all of us.

Here's to Danny and Randy...
To Keith and Mark....
To Don and Honeytree...
To John and Marie.....
And the list goes on and on....

God on you...
michael b.

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