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Four Totally Unrelated Things... or Maybe Not

Posted May 16 2010 12:15pm
I really should be doing work emails to follow up on this weeks visits, or an expense report, or my itinerary, but a few things have moved me lately to the point that I need to blog about them even though they are kinda unrelated. And if you see the length of this and decide to skip it be my guest. Nobody is REQUIRED to read EVERY word I write. (But you should be reading most of them).

I am a passionate person. And no, we aren't talking about passion as in what happens in the bedroom, but passion about an issue. My first passion was Christian Higher Education. I LOVED working with young adults who were on that brink of adulthood and who were so able to be influenced. I liked the idea that maybe I was making a difference in the lives of people.

My second passion was Mexico and her people. Or maybe this was my first passion as I grew up in a Mexican-American neighborhood in Denver, surrounded by that culture. When I returned from Mexico where I served as a missionary, I attended La Puerta Abierta , a church in St. Paul. I then founded a program, after we were married, to help migrant farm workers. I was reminded of this passion after spending time with my friend Bob at lunch yesterday who works at the New America School and I was reminded of my passion for immigrants and their unique issues.

My third passion, that I discovered almost 14 years ago, is getting kids adopted from foster care. I'm also beginning, after this trip, to consider those kids who will not or cannot be adopted because they are not legally free. I am anxious to develop some new presentations and learn some more about this group this morning.

And finally, I am wondering if some day I might transiiton to a fourth passion after hearing the Minnesota Teen Challenge Choir sing at our church this morning. Obviously I am a bit emotionally drained and tired, but I teared up over every song. A choir of about 40 people who had been addicts or alcoholics stood in front of me for an hour, telling their stories and singing four very powerful songs.

The first one, a Chris Tomlin rendition of Amazing Grace, has these words
My chains are gone
I've been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy reigns
Unending love, Amazing grace.

The tears were rolling down my face as I saw these people sing this song ... people who were fresh and alive with hope for the first time because they finally believed that God could change their lives.

The second song, I'll Never Be The Same Again, has these words
I will never be the same again,
I can never return, I've closed the door.
I will walk apart, I'll run the race
And I will never be the same again.

I will never be the same again,
I can never return, I've closed the door.
I will walk apart, I'll run the race
And I will never be the same again.

Fall like fire, soak like rain,
Flow like mighty waters, again and again.
Sweep away the darkness, burn away the chaff,
And let a flame burn to glorify Your name.

There are higher heights, there are deeper seas,
Whatever you need to do, Lord do in me.
The Glory of God fills my life,
And I will never be the same again.

Fall like fire, soak like rain,
Flow like mighty waters, again and again.
Sweep aways the darkness, burn away the chaff
And let a flame burn to glorify Your name.

Fall like fire, soak like rain,
Flow like mighty waters, again and again.
Sweep away the darkness, burn away the chaff,
And let a flame burn to glorify Your name.

I will never be the same again,
I can never return, I've closed the door.
I will walk the path, I will run the race
And I will never be the same again.
And I will never be the same again.
And I will never be the same again.


The third song, "Mighty to Save" has a chorus saying

My Saviour, you can move the mountains,
You are mighty to save,
You are mighty to save.
Forever, Author of Salvation,
You rose and conquered the grave,
Yes you conquered the grave.....


And finally, they sang the old Ray Boltz Song, "Thank you, for Giving to the Lord, I was a life that was changed...."

OK, so now, if you share my faith, you're bawling your eyes out at the thought just like I was....

So I share all that to say this.

Maybe my passions aren't all that different. Maybe my passion is stepping into messy worlds, getting my hands dirty, asking God to "Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God." Maybe my passion is to meet people where they are and help them to move beyond where they are. Maybe all the things fit together.

The Teen Challenge choir stayed afterwards to eat and then to visit with us. I was nearly intoxicated by their enthusiasm and hope for their futures and their immense faith is a big God. Maybe someday I'll find myself directly working with people in that capacity.... but maybe now I am working to prevent people needing to end up in that kind of treatment program by finding them homes.

You didn't need to read through my rambling, but if you did you'll see my progression or maybe not. But the morning was so powerful I needed to share with with someone who wasn't here. So there you have it.

Now, back to the things I SHOULD have been doing.
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