Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Face of Christ

I haven't blogged for a while, and as much as I have wanted to, I have been selfish with the short time we have to spare. But now, as we sit occupying the tables of a McDonalds, I prepare this blog.

Last week, we were blessed to go to a homeless shelter. The lyrics of Chris Rice's "Face of Christ" was stuck in my head constantly during our time there. I want to share some of those words with you all:
"He shares a room outside with a dozen other guys
And the only roof he knows is that sometimes starry sky
A tattered sleeping bag on a concrete slab is his bed
And he's too cold to talk tonight, so I just sit with him instead and think….

How did I find myself in a better place
I can't look down on the frown on the other guy's face
'Cause when I stoop down low and look him square in the eye
I get a funny feelin; I just might be dealin
With the face of Christ

So you had no choice which day you would be born
Or the color of you skin, Or what planet you've been in
Would your mind be strong, Would your eyes be blue or brown
And if daddy would be rich, Or if mama stuck around at all

So if you find yourself in a better place
Don't look down on the frown on the other guy's face
You gotta stoop down low and look him square in the eye
And get a funny feelin; you just might be dealin
With the face of Christ"

Wow is that a good reminder. God has put us where we are (whether rich or poor, in any circumstance of life) so that we may bring glory to Him. It's sort of like something we talked about in our CTI prep-training, though slightly different context: It is like trying to jump to the moon (which can represent God for this example - without getting theologically critical). Say that the person next to me was born shorter than me, so when they try to jump to the moon, they can't jump very high at all. I could either stand there snickering in pride that I can jump higher…or realize…Even if I can jump higher, what is a couple feet compared to the distance to the moon.

God loves you, me, and the rest of the world just the same…unconditionally and perfectly. The more I understand that, the more I am just blown away with who God how indescribable He truly is.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Shopping Carts and Humble Hearts

How many shopping carts would it take to hold all of your earthly possessions?

On Thursday, November 15th we had the opportunity to play for Mel Trotter Ministries, a homeless shelter in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan. We got there pretty early, so we decided to walk through a display called "A Walk in Their Shoes" - run by the ministry. The display took us on a walk through the different "stages" of a homeless person's life, including living out of a car, taking shelter in doorways, finding warmth near trash can fires or exhaust grates on buildings, and why so many homeless use shopping carts. At each different exhibit there were reflection questions to get us thinking about ministry to the homeless. Questions like, "How do you feel when you see a homeless person sleeping on a park bench?" or, "Do you think it's their fault that they are homeless?" and, at the exhibit describing the importance of a shopping cart to a homeless man or woman, one of the questions was, "How many shopping carts would it take to hold all of your earthly possessions?"

As we continued through the afternoon and evening at Mel Trotter, that question stuck in my brain. I have a pretty good idea of the answer because it was only three months ago that Brad and I packed up our whole apartment to head out to Minnesota. I thought about how much I have been given and how much I have been entrusted with, and I really thought about the way I'm using what I have. Am I using it to build up my "kingdom" or to build up God's?

Later that evening we played a concert for the women that are housed at the shelter. It was such a blessing to play for these women. They received our ministry with open hearts, many had tears in their eyes as we worshiped. During the Dare You to Move drama they cheered loudly every time Jesus defeated the demons. I had the opportunity to give my testimony, and as I was speaking I felt so much love radiating from their faces. We went there to minister to them, but they ended up being so much more of a blessing to us because of their love for the Lord, and their excitement about what He has done for them, even though they faced really hard circumstances. It was a really humbling experience. A line from our song Hallelujah says, "Whatever's in front of me, I'll choose to sing Hallelujah." These women were such an awesome example of that decision.

- Renee

Friday, November 09, 2007

Update and November Tour

Hello to all!

We have spent the last week and a half "debriefing" (it's a CTI buzz-word) our experience from Singapore, as well as learning 8 and a half new songs and gearing up for our November tour. Thanks to all of our Singaporean friends for a fantastic month of October!

We are preparing to head out to do some concerts in Illinois, Indiana, and (wait for it)... CANADA! We are going to cover a lot of ground, and have several long driving days. But we have at least one concert a day (minus Mondays) for the next 3 weeks! Please keep us in prayer as we utilize the many tools and experiences that we learned in Singapore, as well as the new music we have been handed. The Lord is faithful, and He will provide!

Thanks to everyone for prayers and for reading. See ya!


Monday, November 05, 2007


I accidentally loaded the wrong video...try this one...

To Our Singapore Brothers and Sisters...

Yes...this is our welcome home gift. Burrrr!!! We miss you all and I am sure missing the warm weather too.

God bless!


Thursday, November 01, 2007


Just a quick note to let you all know that the team has made it home safe. We're doing debriefing with them today in Willmar. Tomorrow will be a much deserved day off!