Memorable Moments Knowing Merl Judy

     I was very upset to hear of my friend Merl's passing away this last week. I was out of the loop and didnt know about the whole situation until the last few days and very sad.  I personally heard from my parents about his death  and last day with us here. I also read some comments on his Facebook site as the reality hit that he had passed and services were Saturday.

     I was just reminisching today as I remembered being in high school and my first time getting to know Merl. He was attending a CIY conference with our youth group in Adrian Michigan. Believe it or not I was being a rebel that year and was giving every youth leader including Merl a run for their money. (which I paid for later when I returned home that week). For some reason I still have this picture in my head of a day there on campus when I, another youth groupee and I believe my brother were trying to climb into our dorm window which was on the second floor, with a rope. (just one of the many stupid and crazy events that  I was involved in that week) My brother was half way up and I was coming behind when all I remember is out of the blue, Merl popping his head out of the window and with hands gripped on the window sill and a look of  I mean business written all over his face saying two words......


My brother part way up fell and landed on a bush and was hanging there as a branch hung him by his shirt and I let go of the rope and in fear, took off running along with whoever else was with us. Im sure there were many other episodes like this that year but this is the one I clearly remember.

Not too long later I do remember getting to know him better on a more personal, civil level. I not only respected him as our youth leader but also started doing his lawn over the summer. I'd show up weekly. We'd have a chat. Id mow his very hilly yard and have a glass of lemonade and talk some more. This was just the beginning of our simple relationship. I later went on to college, moved away, came back to BCC every so often and would see him there and catch up on life and everything going on.  He was always committed to doing something around the church, praying for me and helping how he could, serving, greeting, finances, youth, you name it. Of the many people Id always try to see while visiting he was definitely one of them. Often the first one as hed be there greeting at the door.

Its obvious he had a heart for people, a passion for God and was dedicated to his family and church. Many are greatful for all the awesome things he was and did. I will miss seeing him at BCC when I get back there but he's just another example of a person with a positive Godly influence on many who were ever around him. Including myself.


The power of Psalm 91

I read this Psalm a couple weeks ago and have been continually amazed by the power in it and reading it every day since. The Message version of this is my favorite. I highlited the key parts in black. Read this for yourself. Pretty incredible.

"God, you're my refuge. I trust in you and I'm safe!"
That's right—he rescues you from hidden traps, shields you from deadly hazards.
His huge outstretched arms protect you under them you're perfectly safe;
his arms fend off all harm. Fear nothing—not wild wolves in the night, not flying arrows in the day.

Not disease that prowls through the darkness, not disaster that erupts at high noon.
Even though others succumb all around, drop like flies right and left, no harm will even graze you.  You'll stand untouched, watch it all from a distance, watch the wicked turn into corpses. Yes, because God's your refuge, the High God your very own home.

Evil can't get close to you, harm can't get through the door.
He ordered his angels to guard you wherever you go.
If you stumble, they'll catch you their job is to keep you from falling.
You'll walk unharmed among lions and snakes, and kick young lions and serpents from the path.

"If you'll hold on to me for dear life," says God, "I'll get you out of any trouble.
I'll give you the best of care if you'll only get to know and trust me.
Call me and I'll answer, be at your side in bad times
I'll rescue you, then throw you a party.
I'll give you a long life, give you a long drink of salvation!"

All this is a promise if we "hold on to God for dear life".
He'll get us out of any confusing times.


Rockin at Sunshine Rescue Mission

I ended my day today playing with Mo, Zac and Jackson from the Northpoint worship team down at Sunshine Rescue Mission. I counted well over 50 people hanging out there in the courtyard enjoying a cook out while we rocked out acoustic style on a Cajon the me on the DJembe and a couple acoustic guitars. It was pretty amazing how powerful it was just to play for a couple hours and worship with some great songs. Every now and then you could see some of the guys there at the mission really connecting with the music and listening to the words. In between a few drunks and random break dancers throughout the set.

You never know how many lives you touch in a setting like that... or even how many people you might reach out to through the set in some positive way. People stopped by passing through downtown Flag, riding bikes, tourists, passers by from nearby shops and stores. It was the perfect night, the perfect set and a great evening to jam outside while the sun set over Flag.

We got to eat with the guys, chat and hear some life stories. I love these moments. The guy I sat across time at our table shared some powerful stuff and how he had been inspired by the committment the band had to play music and why we were there sharing these worship songs. We agreed everything in life is for a reason and even the fact that we had crossed paths that night was for a reason. I told him I thought it was to encourage him, even tho 58 and feeling life had let him down. I shared that maybe this time was a way to inspire him to step up his interested in getting involved and doing something out of the ordinary to influence someone else... whatever it may be. It was a great time.

In the middle of our discussion a couple of the guys passing through had joined our worship pastor playing guitar, one rapping, one on harmonica and the other playing percussion. Everyone joined in on a great time of music and meeting new people.

Ironically I didnt get any pics of this night however there was a video taken of the song done the guys there at the shelter that is absolutely hilarious to watch. Im going to post it soon.


Jesus & Nothing = Everything

As I was doing my daily morning excersize routine today I popped on my headset to listen to a message from Pastor Jud at Central Church in Vegas. The series was on satisfaction and about finding complete satisfaction in life through honoring God in everything. He mentioned this quote that I recently heard and have been thinking over.

 "Nothing + Jesus = Everything"

When you find yourself with nothing left, if you have Jesus, you literally have all you need. That's the appetite we all need to have to find complete satisfaction in life. No matter what the case. When we find ourselves with nothing, stripped away from everything, we are given another chance to rebuild, refocus and tune in with God himself. Finding time like that is rare and an opportunity you don't want to miss out on.

Luckily my ultimate daily focus right now and life story is just that. Time alone with God praying, growing and waiting on His plan. Amazingly and ironically, there is nothing like it.

"Trust God from the bottom of your heart, don't try to figure out everything on your own.  Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go. He's the one who will keep you on track."   Proverbs 3:5-6, The Message

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"The Gathering"

I've had the honor to be a part of the music at the Gathering down in Prescott over the past year now on Sundays. Ive been helping out doing the worship there over the past month or so.  Here is a pic of my long time partner in crime Jay Reeder ( the official leader) myself and some of the guys that help out each week. Pretty awesome to see how God does His thing each week and uses a simple message and a coffeehouse church setting to reach lost people right off the streets of downtown Prescott.