More than Eyes can See
September 2009
Key Topics: God's Love, Generosity, Salvation


 

"Worship is giving God the best that He has given you. Be careful what you do with the best you have. Whenever you get a blessing from God, give it back to Him as a love gift. Take time to meditate before God and offer the blessing back to Him in a deliberate act of worship." - Oswald Chambers

Hi Friends:

You don't have to live life long to discover that our world is good at "taking". Whether it is a briefly unattended purse in a shopping cart . . . or the shopping cart itself . . . or a credit sales draft in a garbage can . . . or personal information found via the Internet . . . or a personal reputation . . . or especially any number of Honda car models from the later 80's to mid 90's.

A fellow human being with nothing but selfish intent is more than prepared to snatch, abduct, appropriate, blackmail, burglarize, carry off, cheat, cozen, defraud, despoil, divert, embezzle, heist, hold for ransom, hold up, housebreak, keep, kidnap, lift, loot, make off with, misappropriate, peculate, pilfer, pillage, pinch, pirate, plagiarize, plunder, poach, purloin, ransack, remove, rifle, rip off, run off with, sack, shoplift, snitch, spirit away, stick up, strip, swindle, swipe, take, take possession of, thieve, walk off with, withdraw . . . apparently we need hundreds of English words to begin to "capture" all the various nuances of thievery that resides on good ship planet earth.

Frugal Charity?

On the other hand, "giving" is not free of it's own challenges. Whether tainted by being motivated by political correctness or hope for a return favor, one can not be sure that those who appear to be generous in word and deed are necessarily sincere. We do know that the vast majority of the wealthiest people in America (including church attenders) are the among the highest percentage of frugal charitable givers.

And what about giving on a relationship level? We all know what is to be in friendships where "time generosity" is measured at best from the other end while many of those same friends find an abundance of time to "talk" about their own life on MySpace, Facebook and the like . . . the "look at my life" generation has never been more numerically connected, and never more spiritually and relationally disconnected from friends and family right under their own nose.

From Dregs To Diva

Which is what makes lives who have moved from rags to riches and are more generous than ever such an inspiration . . .

This well known artist was the youngest of fourteen children, raised in a poverty-stricken, but, by her own account, happy home in Charlemagne, Quebec, Canada. Music had always been a part of her family. From an early age she had dreamed of being a performer.

Today, Celine Dion is the best selling Canadian artist of all time and her album, "D'eux" is the best selling French-language album of all time. In 2004, after surpassing 175 million in album sales worldwide, she was presented with the Chopard Diamond Award at the World Music Awards for becoming the best selling female artist. In April 2007 Sony BMG announced that Celine Dion had sold over 200 million albums worldwide.

Never forgetting her humble roots, Dion has actively supported many charity organizations worldwide. She has promoted the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CCFF) since 1982 and became the foundation's National Celebrity Patron in 1993. In 2003, Dion joined a number of other celebrities, athletes and politicians, including Josh Groban and Yolanda Adams, to support "World Children's Day", a global fundraising effort sponsored by McDonald's. The effort raised money from more than 100 countries and benefited many orphanages and children's health organizations.

Dion has also been a major supporter of the T.J. Martell Foundation, the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, and many health and education campaigns. She also donated $1 million to the victims of Hurricane Katrina, and held a fund-raising event for the victims of the 2004 Asian Tsunami, raising more than $1 million. After the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, Celine Dion donated $100,000 to China Children & Teenagers' Fund and sent a letter to show her consolation and support.

An Extreme Heart-Makeover

Celine's generosity, along with scores of other celebrities and successful business leaders is remarkable (at least on a financial level). However, many will sit back and observe that it is easier to "throw money" at problems than it is to become vulnerable, accessible and invested in lives in all the intangible ways that go way beyond relief organization bank accounts, medical research foundations . . . even church planting and mission enterprise.

And if we need rags to riches to motivate us to be over-the-top in how we give of our lives, Jesus Christ raises the bar to just that level. He understands the poverty of our soul and unavoidable eternal consequence if we don't mercifully experience an extreme heart-makeover provided through the cross of Calvary,

"I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich." (II Corinthians 8)

There it is . . . a test . . . the one question? Will we be content to do the necessary, the dutiful, the appropriate? . . . having the appearance of Christian goodness? . . . or will we be so lost in gratitude to the unimaginable heaven-sent soul rescue, that we will search for the grace and strength to love with time, talent and treasure in a way that goes the second mile? Check out this inspiring video reminder:

http://www.thesecondmilemovie.com/

More Than Eyes Can See

Patrick Henry Hughes has answered that question with clarity and determination. Patrick was born March 10, 1988 and is an American multi-instrumental musician from Louisville, Kentucky who was born without eyes and unable to fully straighten his arms and legs, making him unable to walk.

Patrick Henry's national fame began in 2006 while a student at the University of Louisville. At the suggestion of Louisville's marching band director, Dr. Greg Byrne, Patrick Henry joined the marching band, playing trumpet while his father pushed him in his wheelchair through the marching routines. This visible commitment attracted increasing crowd and media attention throughout the fall football season, and the pair of "Patricks" were featured in a variety of television and newspaper coverage.

Patrick Henry was subsequently invited to play piano and sing in musical performances throughout the country, including two performances at the Grand Ole Opry, and onstage performances with Pam Tillis, Lonestar, Lane Brody, Chad Brock, Faith Hill, and Bryan White. Also in 2007 he played solo trumpet on stage in performance with the Louisville Orchestra.

Hughes graduated from Atherton High School, where he participated in the International Baccalaureate program and was a member of National Honor Society. He has continued his education at the University of Louisville, where he is majoring in Spanish and plays trumpet in the marching band.
In November 2007, the members of the Hughes family were chosen to be the recipients of a complete home renovation for the show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. The episode aired on February 15, 2008.

While there is no question Patrick has benefited from having a home that is much more tailored to his physical needs, he realized years ago on an even deeper level that there had to be more to life than what pleasures and gains could be experienced here on earth. And to gain an eternity with a Savior Who can give him eyes that will never go blind, Patrick would need an extreme heart makeover. His sin-stained soul would need to be transformed from rags to heavenly riches.

Patrick today speaks and performs in front of audiences all over the world . . . he is going the second mile, equipping and energizing others with the courage to overcome obstacles and excuses that would keep them from making a difference in a "takeaway world". His life serves as a challenge and reminder to you and I. If our focus is bent on how we have been let down or ignored or pushed aside.

If we are wondering why family, community and society as a whole don't line up more consistently to meet our needs and validate our life-path . . . if our interest in the success of others is measured, conditional or virtually non-existent, perhaps it is time we recognize the need for an extreme heart-makeover . . . perhaps it is time we come to Life . . . Life that is about . . .

way more . . . than eyes can see.



"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship . . . Love must be sincere . . .Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality . . . Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn . . . Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited." (Romans 12)


Artist's Corner

To view Patrick Henry Hughes going the extra mile for His Savior, please click on the link below:




"Believe" by Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn:


Old man Wrigley lived in that white house
Down the street where i grew up
Momma used to send me over with things
We struck a friendship up
I spent a few long summers out on his old porch swing

Says he was in the war when in the navy
Lost his wife, lost his baby
Broke down and asked him one time
How ya keep from going crazy
He said I'll see my wife and son in just a little while
I asked him what he meant
He looked at me and smiled, said
I raise my hands, bow my head
I'm finding more and more truth in the words written in red
They tell me that there's more to life than just what i can see
Oh I believe

Few years later I was off at college
Talkin' to mom on the phone one night
Getting all caught up on the gossip
The ins and outs of the small town life
She said oh by the way son, old man Wrigley's died.

Later on that night, I laid there thinkin' back
Thought 'bout a couple long-lost summers
I didn't know whether to cry or laugh
If there was ever anybody deserved a ticket to the other side
It'd be that sweet old man who looked me in the eye, said
I raise my hands, bow my head
I'm finding more and more truth in the words written in red
They tell me that there's more to life than just what i can see

I can't quote the book
The chapter or the verse
You can't tell me it all ends
In a slow ride in a hearse
You know I'm more and more convinced
The longer that I live
Yeah, this can't be
No, this can't be
No, this can't be all there is
When I raise my hands, bow my head
I'm finding more and more truth in the words written in red
They tell me that there's more to life than just what i can see
I believe
Oh, I
I believe
I believe
I believe
I believe
I believe

 


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