Monthly Archives: April 2014

The Love Really Did Come Down!

It was so good to see a full house each night.

It was so good to see a full house each night.

Love was the theme of our Good Friday Blues services this year and those who came really did show God and us the love in so many ways. Both nights were sold out to enthusiastic congregations that sang, clapped (on 2&4!) prayed, cheered and gave.

All these little slips of paper were carefully removed from the cross and burned.

All these little slips of paper were carefully removed from the cross and burned.

I was moved by the number of people who nailed their blues to the cross and was grateful to hear from a few folks as to how meaningful that was. Thanks to Art Janzen, Laureen Andreas and Marlene Friesen for helping people at the cross and for  being available to pray with folks.

John Dawson delivered a brief message, reminding us that if love came down, then the world would know that we are followers of Jesus by our love.

John Dawson delivered a brief message, reminding us that if love came down, then the world would know that we are followers of Jesus by our love.

Several people also mentioned their appreciation for the original poem by Adam Roper and the sermon delivered by John Dawson. Our thanks to both of them for contributing in such a powerful way.

What really “blue” us away was the response to Cyrus Centre. Good friends of ours offered to match all donations up to $2500 and when folks heard that, they responded! Over the two nights, we brought in $4080 in donations (matching cheque included) – that doesn’t include the ticket money, which was over $1000 – so we reached our fundraising goal as well. WOW!

Back row: Steve, Dan, Aaron, John, Chris, Byron Front row, Matthew, LaVern, Angelika, Benita, Lando

Back row: Steve, Dan, Aaron, John, Chris, Byron
Front row, Matthew, LaVern, Angelika, Benita, Lando

After all the song-choosing, reading-finding, long rehearsals and stressing over whether or not it would sell out – we have to say that it was worth it. I (Angelika) personally want to thank the band members for their hard work and dedication to this event. Half the band plays in other bands and take time out from that experience to give to this for which I am so grateful. It’s just such a wonderful experience to share a stage with such accomplished musicians who are so passionate about these services. Thanks Aaron, Benita, Byron, Chris, Daniel, La Vern, and Steve. Thanks to Matthew Janzen for being an awesome sound guy.

We also want to thank Lando again for opening up his sacred space at House of James. He and his wife do a good thing in Abbotsford with their little shop – show them some love, support them with your business, buy local!

And finally, thanks be to God, for the gift of Jesus, for loving your creation and never giving up on us.

Here’s a few more pics of the evening, courtesy of Al Friesen.

Aaron, singing his heart out

Aaron, singing his heart out

Angelika and Benita

Angelika and Benita

Byron and Chris - i think these two guys have been making music together longer than any other band members - even Angelika and Benita. pretty cool to see that friendship last and last.

Byron and Chris – i think these two guys have been making music together longer than any other band members – even Angelika and Benita. pretty cool to see that friendship last and last.

i know, right?

i know, right?

Steve - super chill.

Steve – super chill.

our rock&roll faces... well at least some of us...

our rock&roll faces… well at least some of us…

April 2,3, 2015 – Good Friday 4.0? We’ll see!

 


Join us tonight!

good friday (B.C.) 1

Well friends, we’re almost there. The first service stars tonight at 7:30 pm and there’s still a few tickets left. Find some friends and come! Tomorrow’s service is sold out. We’re looking forward to sharing our songs with you and feel so blessed to have the opportunity to worship together using this wonderful genre of music.

Remember that this is a fundraiser for Cyrus Centre, a ministry for street-entrenched youth in the Fraser Valley. Cyrus Centre is open 365 days a year, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day and receives no government funding – they rely completely on the generosity of donors to operate their ministry. We have good friends who have told they’ll match all donations for Cyrus Centre up to $2500 – which means we could bless this street ministry with $5000 this weekend. I really believe we can do this – come join us, bring your friends – heck, buy a ticket for a stranger – and let’s worship together and do a great thing for youth in need.

See you tonight!


I Believe

My beautiful picture

…He made a way for me (I believe, I believe, I believe)
Ya, when He died on Calvary (I believe,)
I believe just what He said

He broke off all o’ my chains ( I believe, I believe, I believe)
All the guilt is gone away (I believe,)
I believe just what He said

I used to be absolutely sure about things. Yup. Most everything was either/or, good or bad, black or white.

Then life happened and suddenly things got a lot grey-er, less certain. I found I had more questions than answers. I began to realize there was more Mystery to God than I thought – imagine that: me thinking I had God figured out. Ha!

maze

Now that I’m older (and maybe a little wiser) I am becoming more and more comfortable with my questions, I embrace the Mystery – hunger for it, even.

Still, it’s not all vague wonderings. There are still things of which I am absolutely certain. That’s because I believe.

I believe in God – Creator of the universe and all that is in it. Including me, more’s the miracle.

I believe in Jesus – that he walked this earth fully human, fully divine (there’s that mystery again…) and that his mission was to reconcile God’s creation back to God, even though it meant dying – and rising – to make that possible.

I believe in the Spirit – breath of God, in and around me.

breath of God

I have no empirical evidence for any of this and while there is much that will always be in the realm of the mysterious and the question, of this I am absolutely sure: It is in Christ that I live and move and have my being

By faith I will know it, by faith I will show it
By faith I will bear it and now I declare it
I believe just what He said!

Jonny_Lang_HB_3913

Yes, faith… the confidence in what we hope for and the assurance of what we do not see (Hebrews 11) This powerful gospel song is a DECLARATION, people. It is a song and a half and if you’re not clapping your hands and singing “amen” by the end of it… well then you’re not human, I think. There are several versions of it but we chose to do the Jonny Lang version. Lang has quite an amazing faith story to tell – he basically had a Damascus Road experience and it changed him immediately and profoundly. His conviction comes through in the singing of this song – we hope to do it justice next week.

That’s right – next week! Have you got your tickets yet? Remember this is a fundraiser for Cyrus Centre – and here’s something to be excited about: a friend has said that he and his wife will match all donations to Cyrus Centre up to $2500 – that means we could be giving $5000 to a fantastic ministry that serves street-entrenched youth. Can we do it? I believe we can. Yup. I believe.


Never Said a Mumblin’ Word

Word-art from the great website eyekons.com

Word-art from the great website eyekons.com

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. – Isaiah 53:7

 

They crucified my Lord

They nailed him to a tree

They pierced him in the side

The blood came tricklin’ down

He bowed his head and died

And He never said a mumbalin’ word

Not a word, not a word, not a word…

 

In Phillip Keller’s book A Shepherd Looks at the Lamb of God, he describes a sheep being shorn:

Sheep hate to be sheared. They are terror-stricken but silent in their fear and apprehension of the ordeal. When taken in hand, they rigidly stiffen their bodies, arch their necks, then bury their heads in the midriff of the one who bends over to shear them.

It’s hard to imagine Jesus being afraid and yet he was fully human as much as he was fully divine. The night before Good Friday he had prayed that this fate would be taken from him – prayed until he sweat drops of blood. I bet there was some fear there; the fear of being fully divine and yet bearing the weight of human sin.

Friedrich Peter's the Suffering Servant

Friedrich Peter’s the Suffering Servant

And then it all happened: betrayed by his friend, taken before the priests, then Herod, then Pilate. All of them asking questions and Jesus said so little, didn’t defend himself. They tortured him, beat him, rammed a crown of thorns on his head, and nailed his body to a tree and he didn’t defend himself.. He didn’t say “you’re gonna regret this.” He didn’t call down fire from heaven to swallow them all up. He didn’t use his divine power to exact revenge on those who wrongly accused and tortured his human body. Instead, he bowed his head and died and he never said a mumblin’ word.

This song originates back to the days when the U.S. endorsed slavery. Like so many African American spirituals – it tells two stories at once: that of Jesus and that of the slave experience. Crucifixion wasn’t exactly the preferred form of punishment for slaves but it’s no secret that slaves were treated cruelly and unjustly. They had no voice. How strongly they must have identified with Jesus, who was treated the same way, but never said a mumblin’ word.

In re-envisioning this song for our service, Daniel Wagner, gives it a groove and always comes back with that tag: he never said a mumblin’ word, a constant reminder that Jesus bore injustice in silence, knowing there was a greater purpose for his death.

How do you respond to Jesus silence in the face of death?