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29 September 2010

Real-Life Notes: Downtown Rescue Mission Graduation

You can probably tell, but I decided to cut the series on eternal security short. While it's very important, and what we believe on it influences us far more than we'd anticipate, it's not something that I'm led to continue pursuing in an open forum.
Leaping in a new direction, I had the privilege of leading music last night with my friend Dave Bannister. We were invited to a graduation celebration service at the Downtown Rescue Mission in Huntsville, AL by another good friend, Kevin Marsh.
An incredibly diverse crowd is always in attendance at these services; this is the third one I've had the privilege of playing for. Because of the diversity in race and apparent... errr... social status (that's not judgment on my part; it's simply evident whether I like it or not), selecting songs is a real head-scratcher in theory. However, I've found a commonality -- those in attendance embrace and participate in music that lifts up Jesus Christ. Outward thanks to God and faith in Him are in abundant supply there. We sang these songs:
  • Nothing But the Blood (Traditional)
  • The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power (Andre Crouch)
  • I Must Tell Jesus (Traditional)
  • Thank You, Lord (Paul Baloche and Don Moen)
  • I'll Fly Away (Alfred Brumley)
The last song was especially fantastic. The hope and happiness found in it by believers (especially when the whole room is clapping and singing) is incredible!
The most striking thing to me last night was the number of people who are actively engaged in leaving the old behind and focusing on what lies ahead, specifically in the form of "Celebrate Recovery." This is a program that leads people to freedom from addiction -- drugs, sex, alcohol, you name it. One by one, people's names were called. Their sobriety/freedom length ranged from 30 days up to a full year. This is no small feat. And along the way, many have been intentionally growing in a relationship with Christ. For some this is a new relationship, and for some it's learning from real-world experience that God really does care, and when we come to Him in repentance, He forgives even when we've intentionally left Him.
It was a phenomenal evening. Seeing the commitment and love in those being helped by the Rescue Mission is priceless. Seeing the commitment of the staff and the many, many volunteers at the Rescue Mission is just as encouraging. I left with a huge smile.
I think I'll post an update on personal life soon. I know you're all anxious to know wassup lately. You are, aren't you??


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