Sunday, October 26, 2014

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

One of my favorite hymns is Great Is Thy Faithfulness. In fact I have just worked up a guitar arrangement to play at my Church. It is a wonderful reminder that God has been faithful to me in all that I do.

I may not be wealthy, I may struggle with my daily life, my health is not as good as it was in earlier times, but my God is faithful and has always provided for all my needs.

Thomas Obadiah Chisholm
This song was written as a poem back in 1923 by Thomas O. Chisholm as his expression that God had been faithful to him throughout his life. The lyrics refer to Lamentation 3:22-23 Lamentations 3:22-23 from the New International Version “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

Chisholm was born in 1866 in a Kentucky log cabin. At age 16 he became a teacher. Eleven years later he had a life changing experience during a revival led by Dr. Henry Clay Morrison where he devoted his life to following God through Jesus Christ.

Chisholm went to work as a Methodist minister, but this only lasted for one year. His health was failing. We are not certain how he supported himself for the next 16 years. We do know that he was editor of the Pentecostal Herald which was published in Louisville Kentucky. At age 43 he began a career selling life insurance in New Jersey.

In 1923 he wrote the poem Great Is Thy Faithfulness. During his lifetime Chisholm wrote over 1200 sacred poems.

Chisholm retired to the Methodist Home for the Aged in Ocean Grove New Jersey and died in 1960.

His poem, Great Is Thy Faithfulness, was submitted to William M. Runyan at a time that Runyan was affiliated with the Moody Bible Institute.

William M. Runyan
Runyan was born in 1870 in Marion New York. His father was a Methodist minister. At 14 years of age the family moved to Marion Kansas.

Runyan had a wonderful talent for music and served as the organist for his father’s congregation. William Runyan was ordained as a Methodist minister at the age of 21 and pastored several congregations throughout Kansas.

During the years 1895-98, Runyan furthered his education at Northwestern University. In 1915 Runyan began writing Gospel songs with the encouragement of D.B. Towner of the Moody Bible Institute. Runyan soon moved to Chicago.

From 1924 to 1926 Runyan was affiliated with John Brown University in Siloam Springs Arkansas and was pastoring the Federated Church and editing the Christian Worker’s Magazine. He moved back to Chicago in 1926 to work for the Moody Bible Institute and become editor of Hope Publishing Company where he co-edited “The Service Hymnal” with Gordon Stanley.

In 1923 he was presented with the Thomas Chisholm poem Great Is Thy Faithfulness and he set it to music.

In 1948 Runyan retired from Hope Publishing and received an honorary Doctor of Letters from Wheaton College. He retired to Galveston Texas and then later returned to Pittsburg Kansas where he died in 1957.

For a time in his life Runyan served as a professor at Baker City University. His children attended this institution and endowed the Rev. William M. Runyan Endowed Memorial Scholarship with royalties from the hymn Great Is Thy Faithfulness.

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee,
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not,
As Thou hast been,Thou forever wilt be.

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see..
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided.
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above;
Join with all nature in manifold witness,
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love.

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see..
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided.
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own great presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today, and bright hope for tomorrow.
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside.

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see..
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided.
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!


Friday, October 24, 2014

Adam and Eve

I've Been Insulted - Blessed Am I When...They Revile You...

I saw an enlightening video on Youtube recently regarding jihad. It was a response to someone complaining that Christians started all this trouble in 1095 when they started fighting the wars for God known as the Crusades. 

The video showed that the Crusades were actually a response to the jihads or wars that had been started over 400 years prior to this by Muslims invading Europe. In World History class, years ago, we learned about the Ottoman and Byzantine Wars and the invasion of Gaul. We learned about the Moors in Spain and Italy. We were never presented with any information about jihad or a caliphate. These were foreign words in the 1960's.

So I remarked about the video and I got this response and thought this is not only blog-worthy, but invokes the Scripture from Luke 6, "“Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man!"

So here is the response I received from someone who goes by the pseudonymn calpurnpiso and does not have the cojones to use his own name as he calls me...

"A typical ChristPsychosis infected imbecile extremely IGNORANT of HISTORY. Notice he says "Classical Civilization". This stupid Zombie God Belief infected Ignoramus doesn't realize Classical Civilization was PAGAN, tolerant, amazing intellectuals civilization of the VAST ROMAN EMPIRE. Its destruction begun when criminal ChristPsychotic Psychopath Constantine I, a CHRISTUS ( anointed savior) in 325 ce, made the Zombie God belief (Christian Cul of Caesar) the ONLY religions accepted in the Roman EMpire, initiating the disintegration of the Roman Empire, the Dark Ages, they BURNED books, embrace ignorance deluded neurologically retarding GOD belief crap. Intolerance, neurological stagnation had begun.

This ChristPsychosis infected idiot doesn't realize, he was created by an act of coitus, his brain, obviously defective emerged blank.
Archeologists will laugh at his deluded version of History, due to his Zombie God Schizophrenia, base on Bible Mythologies. I bet this deluded idiot believe the Holocaust never happen, Ancient Aliens build the Pyramids, Noah's ark could hold all those animals. This demented deluded idiots ought to get the true salvation he seeks by seeing a mentally healthy aka atheist Neurologist to fix his defective BRAIN, then he can study Science and REAL ancient history.
Defective SICK BRAINS can only produce defective SICK deluded nonsense like he is spewing here fooling only those as ignorant, deluded, ChristPsychosis infected as he is.

Science facts talks, demented irrational Zombie God induced bullshit walks.
This idiot has ZERO EVIDENCE of what he says, while real historians, scientist can BURY his sick ass with EVIDENCE that proves him WRONG. This man is a ChristPsychosis infected moron stuck in the 12th Century. Sad, he forgets this is the 21st."

Have your brain check, really!! You suffer from ChristPsychosis. Where did you go to school, the churches at Disneyland? Get a BRAIN before talking to me.
Didn't you know there are 8,000 languages spoken on this planet. I speak 7. The BRAIN creates the MIND, it is a product of coitus from the PENIS of our DADS when it spit SEMEN DNA int the COC  ( cave of creation) of our mothers.) 
Learn SCIENCE stupid ignorant Christian Theotard. ( retarded because zombie god belief)

Parents brother and sister by any chance? Sorry the truth I present hurts. How many times must I repeat the fact you were created when a woman suck PenisChrist of a man, the creator resurrected and spit defective CUM-DNA in her COC ( cave of creation) and 9 months later a baby with a defective BRAIN emerged,YOU, before the TRUTH sink in?

Attack the presented SCIENTIFIC and HISTORICAL FACTS, not me, moron, I am simply the MESSENGER.

So, stupid ChristPsychosis infected imbecile, go to your Progenitor, kneel engulf his PenisChrist with your lips, and if you are good, the Creator will bless you with the same CUM-DNA that created your defective BRAIN. Got it?

Get a Brain. Want to see a true Bozo with a retarded BRAIN? Look in the mirror..

Now go suck your creator's GOD which is his Cock. ( Rooster, Bird, penis,Snake, horns are some of the 8000 WORDS defining the DNA SPITTER creator god)  

Cock Bless you asshole. You post crap attacking me and I'll ram SCIENCE FACTS up your ass.

ENJOY the truth presented in this video but watch it 100 times so it sinks in…Sorry truth hurts….and yes imbecile I SHOW my FACE with my healthy aka ATHEIST well educated finely tuned BRAIN, yours, deluded, IGNORANT ChristPsychosis infected imbecile so I can point out its Neural array defect  and schizotypy…Please see neurologist.

So Calpumpiso, you are talking a lot about zombies, which are popular science fictional characters that young folks seem to be interested in these days. You can write, although poorly and illegibly, and because your thoughts are sort of scattered and you have a lot of conviction; (we used to call this pith and vinegar). This leads me to believe that you are of college age. You are arrogant and know everything. So yes, you are definitely college age.

As you get older and reality and responsibility slap you in the face you will learn that the wisdom of youth is way overrated. I sincerely hope you one day outgrow your "healthy aka ATHEIST well educated finely tuned BRAIN" and become someone that will actually make a contribution to life instead of spewing negativity.

Embrace diversity; it keeps us real.

My hope for you is that God will bless you my friend and someday give you conviction in your heart to learn The Truth.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Grandma's Invitation

Grandma's Invitation (Priceless)

Dear Family,
I'm not dead yet. Thanksgiving is still important to me. If being in my Last Will and Testament is important to you, then you might consider being with me for my favorite holiday.
Dinner is at 2:00.
Not 2:15.
Not 2:05.
Two. 2:00
Arrive late and you get what's left over.
Last year, that moron Marshall fried a turkey in one of those contraptions and practically burned the deck off the house. This year, the only peanut oil used to make the meal will be from the secret scoop of peanut butter I add to the carrot soup.
Jonathan, your last new wife was an idiot. You don't arrive at someone's house on Thanksgiving needing to use the oven and the stove. Honest to God, I thought you might have learned after two wives - date them longer and save us all the agony of another divorce.
Now, the house rules are slightly different This year because I have decided that 47% of you don't know how to take care of nice things. Paper plates and red Solo cups might be bad for the environment, but I'll be gone soon and that will be your problem to deal with.
House Rules:
1. The University of Texas no longer plays Texas A&M. The television stays off during the meal.
2. The "no cans for kids" rule still exists. We are using 2 liter bottles because your children still open a third can before finishing the first two. Parents can fill a child's cup when it is empty. All of the cups have names on them and I'll be paying close attention to refills.
3. Chloe, last year we were at Trudy's house and I looked the other way when your Jell-O salad showed up. This year, if Jell-O salad comes in the front door it will go right back out the back door with the garbage. Save yourself some time, honey. You've never been a good cook and you shouldn't bring something that wiggles more than you. Buy something from the bakery.
4. Grandmothers give grandchildren cookies and candy. That is a fact of life. Your children can eat healthy at your home. At my home, they can eat whatever they like as long as they finish it.
5. I cook with bacon and bacon grease. That's nothing new. Your being a vegetarian doesn't change the fact that stuffing without bacon is like egg salad without eggs. Even the green bean casserole has a little bacon grease in it. That's why it tastes so good. Not eating bacon is just not natural. And as far as being healthy... look at me. I've outlived almost everyone I know.
6. Salad at Thanksgiving is a waste of space.
7. I do not like cell phones. Leave them in the car.
8. I do not like video cameras. There will be 32 people here. I am sure you can capture lots of memories without the camera pointed at me.
9. Being a mother means you have to actually pay attention to the kids. I have nice things and I don't put them away just because company is coming over. Mary, watch your kids and I'll watch my things.
10. Rhonda, a cat that requires a shot twice a day is a cat that has lived too many lives. I think staying home to care for the cat is your way of letting me know that I have lived too many lives too. I can live with that. Can you?
11. Words mean things. I say what I mean. Let me repeat: You don't need to bring anything means you don't need to bring anything. And if I did tell you to bring something, bring it in the quantity I said. Really, this doesn't have to be difficult.
12. Domino's and cards are better than anything that requires a battery or an on/off switch. That was true when you were kids and it's true now that you have kids.
13. Showing up for Thanksgiving guarantees presents at Christmas. Not showing up guarantees a card that may or may not be signed.
In memory of your Grandfather, the back fridge will be filled with beer. Drink until it is gone. I prefer wine anyway. But one from each family needs to be the designated driver.
I really mean all of the above.
Love You, 

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Brennan Manning

Ragamuffins are the unsung assembly of saved sinners that are little in their own sight and aware of their brokenness and powerlessness before God. A ragamuffin knows he is only a beggar at the door of God's Mercy. ~Brennan Manning~

Richard Francis Xavier Manning, known as Brennan Manning (April 27, 1934 – April 12, 2013) was an American author, priest, and public speaker. He is best known for his bestselling book The Ragamuffin Gospel

Manning was born and raised in the Bronx section of New York City during the Depression years. He finished high school and enlisted in the US Marine Corps, and fought in the Korean War

After returning to the United States, he enrolled at Saint Francis University in Loretto, Pennsylvania. Upon his graduation from the seminary in 1963, Manning was ordained a Franciscan priest. In February of 1956, while Brennan was meditating on the Stations of the Cross, a powerful experience of the personal love of Jesus Christ sealed the call of God on his life.

Charles de Foucauld
In the late 1960s, Manning joined the Little Brothers of Jesus of Charles de Foucauldreligious institute committed to an uncloistered, contemplative life among the poor. Manning transported water via donkey, worked as a mason's assistant and a dishwasher in France, was imprisoned (by choice) in Switzerland, and spent six months in a remote cave somewhere in the Zaragoza desert.  

In the 1970s, Manning returned to the United States and began writing after confronting his alcoholism.  Singer-songwriter Rich Mullins named his band, A Ragamuffin Band, after one of Manning's books. Warren Barfield's music is also often inspired by Manning, as is the work of singer-songwriter Matthew Perryman Jones. The following quote appeared in the prelude to dc Talk's song "What if I Stumble?" It also appeared on an intro track for the Christian metalcore band War of Ages on its album Fire From the Tomb. Manning added: "That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.  

"The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyle."

Brennan Manning died Saturday, April 13, 2013, at age 78. As a Franciscan priest who struggled with alcoholism, helped the poor and was voluntarily imprisoned. He later left the priesthood, married, later divorced, and wrote many books, including one that radically altered the way I think about God, Jesus of Nazareth, and many aspects of this life and what is to come after.

For all the broken among us, Brennan left us with this story.

“ A public sinner was excommunicated and forbidden entry to the church. He took his woes to God. ‘They won’t let me in, Lord, because I am a sinner.’

‘What are you complaining about?’ said God. ‘They won’t let Me in either.”

In one of his final books, Brennan Manning reminds us, "John, the disciple Jesus love, ended his first letter by saying, “Children, be on your guard against false gods.” In other words, steer clear of any god you can comprehend. Abba’s love cannot be comprehended. I’ll say it again: Abba’s love cannot be comprehended."

Monday, October 06, 2014

Ragamuffin - Rich Mullins

I grew up in the Cincinnati, Ohio - Northern Kentucky area. Some of the important years of my life started in 1970 in an era known as "The Jesus Movement."

everything old is new again
Now this was nothing like the "Muslim Movement" that we are currently existing through.

No one was beheaded or killed because they were not a Christian, as is the case today in the Middle East. In fact back then we called them Moslems.

Back in that day, there were some Black Folks that said they were Muslims. They dressed up in suits, wore ties and sold Muslim newspapers, which were actually Muslim propaganda, which they sold on city streets.

The Muslim women dressed up in something called a dashiki and the men wore little hats. I am not sure if this is actually a Muslim fashion or sort of an African fashion.

As Christians we gave out free newspapers, that were really Gospel tracts. We usually wore T-Shirts with a Cross emblazoned on the front or a very Anglicized picture of Jesus' face. We also wore blue jeans and had long hair and wore sandals. The men wore beards and sometimes did not wear shirts.

So it was in this era I ran across Rich Mullins. I had written some Christian songs and I sang and played guitar. There were a few venues around town and many churches and schools where I talked about The Lord and the Jesus Movement and played music with my guitar.

The Cincinnati Jesus House
One of these places was The Cincinnati Jesus House. I had many friends that attended their Saturday night concerts. This is where I first met Rich. Rich was a very humble and shy sort, but put him in front of a piano and he became incredibly animated. He had such a wonderful touch on the piano. The rock players of the day could just eat his dust. I often sat in awe of him while he coaxed music out of the big green ancient and out-of-tune upright piano and sang his songs at The Jesus House.

Rich had written a bunch of songs including the one that inspired Amy Grant called Sing Your Praise To The Lord. Rich was an amazing musician. But like I said he came off as a humble and quiet kind of guy.

During those days Rich was attending The Cincinnati Bible Seminary (which has since been renamed Cincinnati Christian University.) This was a Church of Christ sponsored school. And for those of you who are not familiar with this denomination, they are extremely conservative. In fact there are a few sects that are so conservative that they do not allow instrumental to be played in their churches or by their members.

French Lick Resort
You would think this may have been a problem for Rich. But, most members relished Christian music. They loved to sing. In fact every year there was a convention of membership that was held at a local resort which included swimming pool baptisms and a talent show.

The school also had an annual talent show. Rich played at the talent show and was an instant hit with the students and most of the faculty.

I ran into Rich periodically at coffeehouses and parties, but we never were friends, just acquaintances. However he was very close to many people that I knew. So I honestly knew little of his personal life.

Sadly he was killed in 1997 when the Jeep he owned went out of control. He died and I believe his friend that was riding with him was injured. It was very sad. He was a young man and beloved by many throughout the Christian world. His school had a memorial service for him.

During Rich's career he decided to live on the income that an average person would make. He set aside his other earnings including song royalties into a trust that was divided up for various charities. He never knew the exact amount of his income.

I have to say the movie of the story of his life, Ragamuffin, was a real shock to me. For years I had issues with 'assumptive behavior', that is to say I assume everyone had the same likes, dislikes and lifestyle that I have. But thinking back in time, I ran across so many folks in the Jesus Movement that were coming to terms with very dysfunctional situations. Not me. I was pretty much your average guy who loved the Lord and didn't drink, smoke, chew or hang out with those who do.

As it turns out Rich had issues with alcohol and smoking. Sex or sexual suppression was also an issue, but these were the years when most all young folks are full of hormonal rage. The movie did not go into depth about this issue, however Rich spoke about it during his concerts.

I had no idea that Rich had all these issues with addictive behavior. In spite of this people loved the man for who he was and for the wonderful music he created and all the things he said during his concerts.

On the other hand, I was attending a church that was packed full of my friends, and was in the early stages of marriage and parenthood. This church I attended was non-denominational, but the clergy were Church of Christ trained pastors. My wife grew up in the Episcopal tradition and eventually became Catholic. In all honesty I should have grown up Catholic, but for some issues that my Dad had with the Church when his Mother passed away. The Church hurt him badly. My Church was about to do the same with me. My wife wanted to start an intercessory prayer group and announced this one morning at Church when the pastor was out of town. When he returned he contacted me to talk about this offense that my wife committed.

I was told to get her in line or else. After meeting the pastor at a restaurant and talking for about a half hour, myself, my wife and my children; my children who were consecrated in the Church and the membership promised to watch over them, we were all given the Left Boot of Fellowship and told not to come back.

So 47 years later I watch a movie and find out that one of the beloved of my church had so many issues, but was welcomed and I was not. That hurt.

But you know what? ~Maybe I should insert one of Jesus' parables here~ After years of brooding about the pain that my Church caused to my heart and my soul, I came to the realization that those people did not deserve such a good and true friend as myself or any member of my family. Their loss was my gain. I had quit attending any Church for fear of being hurt again. I had a great time sharing my music, but once again if they never heard me play songs for The Lord again, it was their loss. I still sang them as prayers. Currently I've arrived at peace and attend a wonderful Anglican Church that is full of souls who have been hurt by the Church. I once again can share the gift of music that God has given to me.

I truly do believe that if Rich had lived beyond his 42 years on this earth, he would have been at peace with this life. Despite all of his problems, his heart was always set on God and His Son Jesus. I know Rich would have finally left it all behind and set his feet on the right and righteous road.

It was an honor to meet him and sit on the floor listening to his wonderful, blessed songs of praise.