What is it? We sang it today in one of my favorite older hymns..
All to Jesus, I surrender; All to Him I freely give; I will ever love and trust Him, In His presence daily live.
I surrender all, I surrender all, All to Thee, my blessèd Savior, I surrender all.
Surrender means giving up control. Today I surrender ALL to Jesus – I choose to freely give Him all. Today I let go of me and the things I hold onto. I give up control and ask Christ to take command today.
Is Christ sitting in the command and control center chair of your life? Is He your captain, your chief, your leader, your director, your superior, your ______, ______, and ______?
“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.” (Matthew 16:24-25, New Living Translation)
Join me in worship during Lent at Riverside Community Church in Oakmont. Mondays-Fridays from 5:45-6:30 a.m. and Saturdays from 7:00-7:45 a.m. These daily Live|Dead Worship Encounters will take place from Ash Wednesday through Good Friday. Hope to see you there. Visit the Facebook Event Link HERE.
Recently I watched a crowd-sourced documentary film titled “Life in a Day” produced by Scott Free Films and the YouTube video sharing site. This film captured life around the world on a single day – that day being July 24, 2010.
This documentary was the first of its kind because the raw footage was shot by average people across the world and uploaded to the YouTube video sharing site. In all there were over 4,500 hours of footage submitted in 80,000 clips from 192 countries.
Director Kevin Macdonald told The Wall Street Journal that the project was initially conceived as a way to commemorate the fifth birthday of YouTube, and that he wanted to “take the humble YouTube video, … and elevate it into art.”
I would say his mission was a success. The video captures the essence of humanity in a single day. It broadened my perspective – you know, that perspective that we are really bigger and more important than we actually are.
As the film comes to its final “hours” of the day – it appropriately reflects on fears that we as humans collectively share.. The fear of being lonely.. The fear of losing what we hold onto the most.. The fear of sickness and death.. The fear of this short life coming to its closing hour.. The fear that we will not have made a difference in the world, that our existence – as brief as it is – will not be remembered.. The fear that our lives will have been lived in vain.. The fear that there is no God and that when this life is over, nothing will remain..
Director Kevin Macdonald said that the film focused on a single day “because a day is the basic temporal building block of human life—wherever you are.”
We live by the clock and the calendar. It’s a mathematical mechanism – this brief time here on this rock called Earth. With each passing hour and each passing day, our time reserve lessens but our experience and memory tank fills. What does it all count for? What does it all end up as? What will we feel in our closing hours?
I pray that you and I would spend each day, each building block, for a greater purpose.. Not that everyday is special because of something out of the ordinary – but that we would find something special in the everyday ordinary..
JoePa… an icon of College Football and of Penn State..
JoePa… the winningest coach in Division I College football history..
JoePa… 62 years of coaching at Penn State University (the last 44 as head coach)..
JoePa… at age 85 dies just three months after diagnosed with lung cancer and also just 3 months after being fired from his long-time position as head coach by the board of trustees at PSU for his failure to report sexual child abuse to more than just his athletic director..
JoePa… after setting a record for most wins by a college football coach watches his lifelong career come to an abrupt end in horrible terms; but with great humility defers his own feelings about his situation towards the sympathy and sorrow that he felt for the children who were abused..
JoePa… while his legacy will not exclude Sandusky’s name; he will be remembered by more than that.. He will be remembered by all the good that this imperfect man had done throughout his lifetime.. He will be remembered by making a difference in so many others’ lives.. He will be remembered as he had hoped to be remembered..
JoePa… in his words said as pictured behind his statue above, “They ask me what I’d like written about me when I’m gone. I hope they write I made Penn State a better place, not just that I was a good football coach.”
JoePa… you will be remembered fondly by many.. Even though as humbly as you came into life you humbly left it – this is the kind of humility that allows us to see Christ..
We enjoy a day off of school or from work.. We don’t mind that bills don’t arrive in our mailbox today.. We appreciate one of the greatest leaders from the previous century in Martin Luther King, Jr.
If you live in Pittsburgh, like my family, you may or may not already know that there are beautiful murals around the city that honor MLK (click here).
But do you know what MLK stood for? Have you told your kids about him? Has your heart been pricked by the realization that this man gave such a call against the injustices that plagued our society against minority peoples only five decades ago?
He captured the essence of this in what was has been ranked the top American speech of the 20th century, MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech delivered by Martin Luther King, Jr. himself to over 200,000 civil rights supporters on August 28, 1963 from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
So here it is.. The video of MLK’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech and a portion of the closing text follows.
I Have A Dream (closing portion)
By: Martin Luther King, Jr.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning, “My country, ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.”
And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!
Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!
But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”
I, too, have a dream.. That one day we’ll have to look up the word injustice because we no longer see it played out in our world. That one day freedom will ring not only for the USA but for all peoples, everywhere. I, too, have a dream that one day you and I will stand before a great God and give an account for the ideals that we’ve carried out in our lives and He will say to us, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”