Loving the San Francisco Bay Area... Community development, urban ministry, trying to defeat poverty, faith, religion, politics, good music, the quest for the perfect pizza, the Yankees, motorcycles... All in a 'day's life'

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Lyrics & Influences Changed my life

Still in a nostalgic mood. Every once in a while I have to remind myself I'm a child of the 80's.

I don't know - I guess I've been thinking about what changed me and made me think as I do. I came across some old disks of the Resurrection Band from Jesus People USA (JPUSA). I know in late years they have come under some scrutiny - I have no comment about that. All I know is that Glenn Kaiser and Rez Band / JPUSA changed the way I look at faith and Christianity. They used to have a magazine, "Cornerstone". Each time it arrived it was like a breath of fresh air. They were one of the first influences on me to think of social action in an evangelical context. Today I came across some lyrics that I vividly remember from my youth. God really used songs like this to change me. I'm deeply indebted to JPUSA for the influence they had on me. Read the lyrics below - tell me they aren't great!

Stark/Spare 3:50

Rez Band - Mommy Don't Love Daddy Anymore - © 1981

Stark/spare and barely there
The ghetto moves beyond the knowledge
Or even consideration
Of the upper-middle riddles
That just don't care
Stark/spare an' tell me who cares
Slumming ain't the answer
To the cancer poverty
That so many of the poor
Slip into degree
Jesus walked among them
Pausing to refresh
Finally giving to the point of blood
To share their emptiness
Mark and Teresa (Mark Buntane and Mother Theresa)
Godspeed to you
Suffering in love
When you don't have too
And God have mercy
On the rest of us to
'Cause when we shut out the poor
Lord, we're shutting out you

Jesus walked among them
Pausing to refresh
Finally giving to the point of blood
To share their emptiness
And we must walk among them
For we can do no less
Than what the Saviour taught us
By his life and by his death
For the truth is on our tables
The crumbs are on our floors
We must give while we are able
Both Lazarus and our judge are at the door

From their third album, "Colours" I came across the below song. As I listened to it today it reminded me of the struggle against sin and for holiness in my life. This song impacted me in my teens, and still does now. How many of us live in the struggle - like the Apostle Paul recounts in Romans 7? Trying to find the balance between the struggle of sin and redemption/ freedom. Romans 8 waits for us declaring that there is freedom and release for those of us who are living the Kingdom life.

The Struggle
Rez Band - Colours © 1980

Sometimes You scare me by what You cause me to see
And I'm afraid of knowing who I am
Although You've changed me there's still a whole lot of old wineskin
And to open up would destroy the me
I'm afraid to show
One part of me doesn't want to grow
But I'm tired of this lingering winter
Tired of ground so hard and cold
Plow Your way through, I'm asking You to, Jesus
Lord, You're my only hope

Without You . . . I can't face myself

My pride wants me to hide inside myself
But I love You an' I don't want our love put on the shelf
I'm tired of fighting to be who I am
Jesus, make me what You want me to be
Because of You I desire reality
A love for You is what I'm dying to receive
Though I hate what I am I understand what You've promised me
You've promised me freedom in the truth
But I can only face myself when I've faced You
An' I'll be ready to face myself when I face You

I'm thankful for JPUSA, Rez, Keith Green, Loren Cunningham, Dan Sneed and others who made such a difference in my life. Also for old friends like Vann Hardin and Randy Zacharias (RIP) who turned me on to JPUSA, Keith and others who showed me how to be a 'New Kind of Christian".

1 comment:

  1. Now, the student has become the master. It is I who should learn from you. Wishing you and your family all the best Johnny! Our days together were some of the very best in my life..