The new Refrain


I was looking for a “Dead Sea” Revival
I was exiled a long time ago
I’ve been crippled by the need for survival,
Lord help me to let it all go- it’s time

I’m looking for the road to redemption
I hate to mention it on this open road,

I’m in a pickle here without an ounce of prevention,
Lord it’s getting old. Spy’s in from the cold- my new refrain.

I’ve been down for the count
I am off of my game
I’ve been off of my guard
I’ve been seeking my fame,

I’ve been living in self doubt,
I’ve been building a new frame,
I’ve chosen my hard and I’m calling out your name- in this refrain,
The new refrain.

I’m a man with a plan with intervention
and I am intending to sing your song again

I’ve reached for the door with every good intention,
Lord have mercy -I can’t take it no more- what’s in store?

Bridge: I’m sorry for my hurts and I want to forgive
I want to be a man of promise,

I won’t desert where I live, I just want to give it,
one more shot- and a chance to out doubt, doubting Thomas, no doubt!

I’ve been down for the count
I am off of my game
I’ve been off of my guard
I’ve been seeking my fame,

I’ve been living in self doubt,
I’ve been building a new frame,
I’ve chosen my hard and I’m calling out your name- in this refrain,
The new refrain.

I’ll be promising love to the woman you have given
I’ll make this vow, a trust, we will be living for you,
I thank you for the chance of a life now forgiven , Lord won;t you help me balance on the narrow road. I’m a man on a new road.

‘ve been down for the count
I am off of my game
I’ve been off of my guard
I’ve been seeking my fame,

I’ve been living in self doubt,
I’ve been building a new frame,
I’ve chosen my hard and I’m calling out your name- in this refrain,
The new refrain.

From Brokeness to Breakthrough


When the winds came they destroyed all of the man-made idols from the stadiums to the museums and from the coffee houses to the grand hotels that are in some of our most Cosmopolitan Cities. While Rome wasn’t built in a day, it was destroyed in one New York Minute. Still standing is the church. Still working are the people, the amazing wind that destroys strongholds, flows through the nostrils of the faithful, and builds bridges to new infrastructure to the our cities. We waited in the waiting room and now that the wind has subsided one of the men asks, “What are we waiting for?” Everyone laughs and moves from the garage out towards the causeway that leads us to the bridge. This is where Jim; Joseph; Simon and Jude leave their jobs and became mentors to men. This is where the boys become men and they have some stories to tell as they move toward the causeway.

Saul: Someone will pay for this destruction, the City of New York will not tolerate what the insurance companies call “An act of God!” Meanwhile these men of Brooklyn who were at the garage went out to the neighborhoods of Bed-stuy; Coney Island; Canarsie and Flatbush and people who were hurting were healed. The men gathered in front of Borough Hall near the Bridge and they increased in numbers in this outreach. There was a press conference on the steps of the hall:

Peter: I will make a statement and then I will take some questions. We are being called to account today for acts of kindness that we showed to the cripples, the in-firmed, to the special needs and the disabled. You asked how we do this? And I want to be clear, we do this in the name of Jesus Christ. We were broken and he was too. We were looking for a breakthrough and he taught us that we need to be broken to experience breakthrough. Look out towards the Brooklyn Bridge. It is a wonderful sign and a bridge not from Brooklyn to Manhattan (though physically it is) but this bridge is a breakthrough that we might cross to reach people with the gospel of Christ. You know and I know that he was ‘the stone you builders rejected, which now is considered to be the capstone!”

Reporter: By what political party are you a part of.

Peter: I am not from any political party.

Reporter: Will you be held for practicing medicine without a license?

Peter: You decide. Do you judge what is right in God’s sight or by your own set of laws?

Reporter: There is a report that you will seek a plea bargain and to be released you agreed to stop this healing.

Peter: My understanding is that was a warning. People witnessed the healing of this man and know what happened in the garage will be talked about for many years to come. You can’t stop prayer!” They can threaten but they can’t stop us and they can’t stop God. (Scattered applause) We have gone from being broken with Christ to experience His forgiveness and His love and that is a breakthrough.

Baptism
When we first met the man at the pump, we were merely mechanics. We were baptized underneath the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge and now we were baptized by the power of the Spirit! Our highway became the road we followed. His story became our Causeway. Why do you rage against us? Why do you start rumors and why are you trying to keep us quiet? I know why–but do you? You would rather keep the blind men blinded, and the crippled-lame. You would rather stew in your own dead sea of laws than be healed yourselves. You can’t stop us because it is God who is on our side.

Bridge Over Long Island


We’ve been together and we’ve been apart, so many years now, starts and restarts,

I’ve been a long time gone, from Long Island.

You can blame it on weather, you can blame it on art, but the tears that have fallen, come from my heart,

I’ve been a long time gone, from the island,

But when I follow through down on the avenue, there’s a whole lot of me going on,

But when I look to the sea, I can say, “get behind me,” and when I do I hear your response.

There are better starts ahead when I get out of bed, and you and I will never be apart,

Thanks for turning the page, you are on Center Stage- It is you Lord.

Erosion can’t be seen until you see the sandy means and I am washed away.

Our lives have so many scenes, but they smell of mediocrity, but I want the next  stage to reflect your face! All over the place.

Well there are a million little stories that surround your fame and glory, and I want to have a small part,

I want to reflect that art to every nation. There’s a mission trip involved, and I’m coming back to you, Long Island.

 

The Bridge/ Center Stage


The Man at the Pump meets the Woman at the Well was where intermission meets the next stage of our lives and our journey. There is little doubt that what we found in the garage was a chance at a “better start.” Our lives are like a series of little trilogies, of a larger Trilogy! There are thousands of stories of our failures, our false starts and our beginnings, middles and ends. There is also a record of what we think, study, and what we are good at. Who we are in relationship with, fellowship with; and who we are doing life together with. If that’s what we find in the garage, what do we find as we approach the Bridge?

Stuck in the Middle With you

If I have to be stuck in the middle, I may as well be stuck with people like you. Yesterday’s story where the woman at the well has an encounter with the man at the pump serves as a good Biblical reminder of what is at our center, our core, and our middle. Do we have an eroding, rotting core? Or a vibrant, life-giving center? This is such an important choice. We may not be able to choose our parents or our circumstances but we can choose what is in our center and how we choose to live the everyday parts of our lives? Are we the self-center, the arts center, the financial center, medical, science, student, law or are we Christ Centered? The self centered chooses a different route and doesn’t dare cross the bridge. They choose what they think is the easiest way, the fastest way, the my way or the highway-way. The arts center worships the art and not the creator. Man-made-ingenuity and genius is the route. Art Centers don’t need to cross the Bridge, they are already “deep enough,” tall enough, smart enough and they can always get a grant for their work. The medical center, the science center, the student, the business and the legal center all have the same problem. If Jesus is absent from the center and the middle of our stories then we are off center! At the Christ Center, Jesus is central to everything you do. At the Christ Center your approach to life is following Jesus in all we seek. In the Trinity Jesus provides the central character traits in our lives. He is the Bridge over troubled waters; over our art, over our education, over medical decisions, our legal decisions, our creative decisions and our life decisions. While God meets you in the garage and provides the tools to fix what is grieving you; gets you back on the road that he had in mind for you; and then fuels your  journey; It is Christ who is the center of your journey.

Broken to Breakthrough

You were broken and ailing in the garage and God loved you enough to provide an everlasting repair. God gave you the means of staring down the denial, the escapism, the anger and depression that disabled you. God provides the fix to your brokenness by fueling your life to approach the Bridge where the Christ Centered Life can provide what God has in mind for you and me. That is a breakthrough and that’s the road that we will approach as the curtain opens to the second act of our trilogy.

The Woman at the Well Meets the Man at the Pump


I saw it with my own eyes, it takes a lot to pull one over, but I was surprised at the transformation I saw at the pump today.
I’ve been stuck in this old place, financially destitute and fear in my face, and I don’t live for tomorrow, but for the day.

He told her everything that he knew. He knew every single chapter, from happy to the blues.

CHORUS: When the woman at the well met the man at the pump- the chains fell off and the woman got unstuck, she was heading now where real slow. But ever since that day- the light turned- GO. (Git -Gat-Go!)

Well I’m kind of lucky, when I see his kind of scene, I know I am evil and my streak is kind of mean, but ever since that day, I swear I’m gonna change. Well maybe that fuel rubbed off on me, maybe it’s more than I can see, maybe she got something for you and something for me.

CHORUS: When the woman at the well met the man at the pump- the chains fell off and the woman got unstuck, she was heading now where real slow. But ever since that day- the light turned- GO. (Git -Gat-Go!)

Tag: Are you ready for the cross, over the bridge, under the rainbow and a view from the ridge? Are you ready to go, after all this time? New suit, new shoes, new set of wheels- new line.

Stuck is a state of mud


Before we can cross the BRIDGE we have to see how deep the mud is and we have to figure out a way to get unstuck. There are so many areas of life where we get stuck and seemingly stay until we correct the problem, rise to the challenge and then are compelled to change. I am reminded of a friend of mine who had everything going for him. He had the business sense, the business plan, but he got stuck on demanding that forms be filled out and faxed to him before he did business. This alienated a lot of people and his business eventually folded because he was stuck in a frame of mind that gave customers and clients an uneasy feeling of mistrust. He was stuck in the state of mud.

Same old same old
Then there’s a woman who stops for gas at the garage each day. She painstakingly fills up her car at the same pump at the same time everyday. She has to work because everyman she has ever been in a relationship with has left. She is living with a man now, who is unemployed and is abusive. She drives a lot for work, and picking the kids up from school. She is stuck in a routine and a lifestyle and she can not cross the bridge until a chance meeting with the man at the pump. Her name is Sandra and she has been pulling into the garage for almost a decade. She has seen gas prices move upward and she can’t afford a new fuel efficient car, so she has seen the price for a tank of gas go from $55 to almost $120. She comes mid-day, every day in hopes that the prices would be lower and that she might hit the lottery. Today I see her in the full size SUV and she looks discouraged.

The Man at the Pump
He was scraggly and he was parked in front of an old Ford pickup. He watched her pull in and he asked her. “Miss, could you fill my tank?” She nodded her head and said, “You’ve got a lot of nerve, buddy. You are a man and I’m a woman and you want ME to fill your tank?” The man smiled, “If you knew the gift and who is asking you to fill his gas tank , you would have asked for the grade of gasoline that never goes on empty?” “Who do you think you are? You have that old truck and that God’s gift to the world attitude, and then you say that I am the one who benefits from filling YOUR tank? Give me a break!”

The fuel that fills the tank

“Everyone who gets gas from this pump will need to fill up again. But what I am proposing is a kind of fuel that only needs filling once.” She laughs and sarcastically replies, Oh then by ALL MEANS , that should save me a few hundred dollars a month!” The man at the pump smiled and nodded that he understood the sarcasm. “Listen, go get your husband, tell him about this fuel, I’d like to meet him.”

“I’m not married.” “I knew that. The fact is you have been married 5 times and the man you live with now is not your husband and has no intention of marrying you.”

There was a long pause and then she said: “Okay buddy, how do you know all of these things? Are you my friends on Facebook?” “Do you know Phil?” “Did the girls at work put you up to this?” “Or could you be prophetic?”

Fuel Source

“I am the only source of fuel that you will ever need. You won’t find true worship in the men you live with. You won’t get unstuck by the busy work they pay you to do. You won’t find riches in a scratch ticket from the lottery, you’ll only find it by seeking the Messiah.” True worship and the fuel that will keep you running is the fuel of truth and spirit. That is the only way for you to get unstuck.”

Ready for the Cross

Sandra was less defiant and sarcastic. There was something about this man at the pump. “I always have believed since my first communion that the Messiah is coming. I don’t know where I lost that. I do know that when He does come that he will explain everything. But who am I kidding He would have nothing to do with the likes of me.” Both tanks were full at this point, and the man at the pump smiled. “This ones on me.” “You’re kidding, but I was so mean, so jaded, so suspicious of you.” “Your heart has kept the faith, don’t lose it. And the man you were looking for? It’s me! And what I told you is the truth, and I have a good feeling that you just got unstuck.”

Declaration/The Causeway


Here I am alive-from the hole I am in
Name your drug, name your sin,
it is where I have been.

There you are, towing me back to a place,
there’s no downsizing pace,
and no reference to race,

I declare out loud to the world
I declare to the nation
I declare to the press and my friends
This declaration to the cross.

Here I am once dead in my sin,
from this hole I am in, from the places I’ve been.

Then you came with a hand up and out,
I was save from my doubt
that’s what I’m talking about!

declare out loud to the world
I declare to the nation
I declare to the press and my friends
This declaration to the cross.

And this is the only choice I will make
past the voice that scream from the crowd.
And I will raise my voice, as I cross this bridge,
I will sing it out loud.

Ya see that man, he once was depressed,
his pursuit was dressed in the world’s happiness.
Ya see that guy, down in a ditch, an elevator pitch,
and asleep at the switch.

declare out loud to the world
I declare to the nation
I declare to the press and my friends
This declaration to the cross.

I once was lost, but now I see,
I declare I will cross, Once was blind,

I count it gain not loss, Amazing Grace!

declare out loud to the world
I declare to the nation
I declare to the press and my friends
This declaration to the cross.

THE CAUSEWAY

A Capella: There was a time, I was among the wounded. There was a time I was among the angry. And there was a time when I could meet the press, somewhat down and depressed and still smile.

But no more. I’m not gonna do it, there’s nothing to it, I’ll ride the causeway. And up in the horizon I can see my day rising, through the ashes that I want to leave behind.

(Turn me around) There are holes to be filled in my neighborhood, there are bridges to build and people to be saved. There are polls to be answered and songs left to sing- God will you bring it to me.

There was a time, I was among the wounded. There was a time I was among the angry. And there was a time when I could meet the press, somewhat down and depressed and still smile.

I’m riding the causeway, I am on the road to THE WAY, I am on the Kings highway to the cross and I count it all gain – not a loss.

END OF ACT 1