Saturday, February 27, 2010

Don't Forget to Groan, 2/27

At 3:34 am local time, today, February 27th, a devastating magnitude 8.8 earthquake struck Chile, one of the strongest earthquakes ever recorded. According to Chilean President-elect Sebastian Pinera, at least 120 people are known to have been killed so far. The earthquake also triggered a Tsunami which is right now propagating across the Pacific Ocean, due to arrive in Hawaii in hours (around 11:00 am local time). The severity of the Tsunami is still not known, but alerts are being issued across the Pacific.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Since I'm not really in a blogging mood today...

Justin Taylor writes:

"I think it’s possible to avoid mocking people and at the same time to enjoy the foibles of everyday folks."

You be the judge:

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pop Quiz

In an otherwise excellent book by a well-known Christian writer, there is a discussion of the perfect world that God created, which was then marred by Adam and Eve's rebellion against God in the Garden. The writer then says:

"God now saw his world ravaged by sin. He was unwilling for it to stay this way, so he devised a plan. It would take thousands of years. It would mean harnessing the forces of nature and controlling the course of human history, but he could do it. From the moment of the Fall, for generation after generation, he controlled everything so that someday he could fix what had been so horribly damaged. Into this world, at just the right moment, he sent his one and only Son."

What's the theological problem with this paragraph?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

What's Your Favorite Bible Verse?

Last night we opened our small group by sharing with one another what our favorite Bible verses are. Mine is Romans 8:32,

"He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?"

Do you have a favorite verse or passage? Leave a comment and let me know...

Monday, February 22, 2010

How I Want to Live and Die

During devotions this morning I read these two passages, which gave me a great picture of how I want to both live and die. I jotted these short prayers in my journal:

Acts 15:2-3 -- Paul & Barnabas are embroiled in sharp disagreement and dissension, but on their way to debate doctrine they are bringing joy everywhere they go. I want to live like this.

Genesis 50:24 -- "I am about to die, but God will..." With his last breath, Joseph is trusting in future grace. I want to die like this.

Joseph's Missional Life

(Disclaimer: I am aware that this lesson from the Scriptures is for me, first and foremost. If my life had to be spotless in an area before I could speak, write to, others about that area, I'd never have anything to say.)

Back in the fall I introduced my church to the term "missional living". I loosely defined it as "looking for and taking advantage of opportunities for the gospel everywhere we go." In other words, to live with a missional mindset means to be on the lookout in even the most mundane, daily activities (like going the grocery store or taking a walk in your neighborhood) for gospel opportunities.

I saw a great illustration of this as I was reading through the book of Genesis last week. Joseph had been placed in an Egyptian prison and had every reason to sulk about what a bad hand he'd been dealt. But when he saw a baker and cupbearer for Pharaoh looking downcast, he resisted self-absorption and took an interest in them, asking why they were upset:

"When Joseph came to them in the morning, he saw that they were troubled. So he asked Pharaoh's officers who were with him in custody in his master's house, 'Why are your faces downcast today?' (Genesis 40:6-7)

From that simple question, Joseph found out that it was a pair of dreams that were troubling these two men, and he went on to share with them how his relationship with God enabled him to address their need.

What a great reminder: it doesn't take anything earth-shattering to live missionally. All it takes is enough love for God and compassion for people to ask others how they're doing when something appears to be troubling them. Just showing simple concern for another hurting person could create opportunities to bear witness to the glories of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sermons on the New Birth

Today my friend Anthony Zurlo preached a great message from 2 Corinthians 4 about the New Birth. For those who want to think about that subject some more, here is a 16-week series that John Piper preached toward the end of 2007 on the regeneration.

The series was turned into Piper's book Finally Alive, which can be read in its entirety for free here.

Eschatology Discussion

I posted this back in October, but for those who are interested in thinking more about the millennium, you might find this two-hour discussion helpful. John Piper, Sam Storms, Doug Wilson, and Jim Hamilton weigh in on the different schools of thought regarding Christ's return. In it, the three views I mentioned in the last post are defended by three different theologians, with Piper mediating the discussion.

If you watch it, let me know your thoughts...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Millennium

The millennium of Revelation 20 has been on my mind lately. Does anyone out there subscribe to a particular view of the millennium (premillennial, postmillennial, amillennial)? Has anyone devoted serious study to this subject?

Leave a comment and let me know...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

"I've Given Up Everything for This"

At the Gospel Coalition blog, Chris Tomlinson has an excellent meditation on Olympic glory and the Christian's race for an imperishable wreath.

Tomlinson's conclusion:

Congratulations to you, Lindsey. May you find Jesus as your imperishable wreath when the glory of your triumph begins to fade. And may we all see your inspiring example as a reflection of the higher call we have on our lives. May we run the race with single-mindedness, exercising self-control, disciplining our bodies for the sake of the gospel, and persevering through suffering, all so that we might obtain the prize we seek: eternity in the presence of the One whose glory never fades.

Read the rest of the article here. The only thing I'd add to it is to highlight the fact that while Lindsey Vonn "gave up everything" for her perishable medal, it is Jesus Christ who emptied Himself and gave up everything to purchase for us our imperishable one. Lindsey got what she worked hard for and earned. We get what we did not earn and do not deserve, because Jesus earned it in our place.

Ponder that as you watch the medal ceremonies this week; amazing! The Gospel is like watching Nancy Kerrigan get down from the podium to giver her 1994 silver medal to Tonya Harding. Only we are infinitely more undeserving than Harding!

Should Christians be Involved in Shaping Culture?

Tim Keller takes a stab at that hot-button question in this short article. The article's main focus is to develop a Christian way of thinking about work. I found the first paragraph to be especially insightful and challenging:

I am often asked: “Should Christians be involved in shaping culture?” My answer is that we can’t NOT be involved in shaping culture. To illustrate this, I offer a very sad example. In the years leading up to the Civil War many southerners resented the interference of the abolitionists, who were calling on Christians to stamp out the sin of slavery. In response, some churches began to assert that it was not the church’s (nor Christians’) job to try to ‘change culture’ but only to preach the gospel and see souls saved. The tragic irony was that these churches were shaping culture. Their very insistence that Christians should not be changing culture meant that those churches were supporting the social status quo. They were defacto endorsing the cultural arrangements of the Old South.


Ten Questions to Ask Before Joining a Church

In talking with others who are considering joining or leaving a church, I often find myself referring people to a set of questions which Josh Harris presents in his book Stop Dating the Church.

I did a search and found, to my surprise, that I had never posted them on the blog. So here they are:

1. Is this a church where God's Word is taught faithfully?
2. Is this a church where sound doctrine matters?
3. Is this a church in which the gospel is cherished and clearly proclaimed?
4. Is this a church committed to reaching non-Christians with the gospel?
5. Is this a church whose leaders are characterized by humility and integrity?
6. Is this a church where people strive to live by God's Word?
7. Is this a church where I can find and cultivate godly relationships?
8. Is this a church where members are challenged to serve?
9. Is this a church that is willing to kick me out?
10. Is this a church I'm willing to join "as is" with enthusiasm and faith in God?

Of course Josh Harris is fallible, but I think these are helpful questions to ponder in assessing a church. One of my most satisfying moments as a pastor was hearing one new member share with our congregation as she was welcomed into membership that she decided to join because as she pondered these questions, she found herself answering 'yes' to them.

If you were to make up such a list, are there any questions that you would add?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Another Thought on Change

"With a word" Jesus cast out evil spirits (Matthew 8:16). This same power now is at work in believers through the indwelling Spirit of God. So, Christian: don't believe the lie that "you just can't change." To say that is not to make a statement about yourself; it's a statement about Jesus.

"I am not worthy..."

I've been reading through Matthew's gospel in the mornings, and yesterday I read about the faith of the Roman centurion (Matthew 8:1ff) who came to Jesus seeking the healing of his servant.

I was especially struck yesterday by the centurion's words when Jesus offered to come to his house and heal the servant. The centurion said,

"Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof..."

I stopped when I read that phrase, and pondered what kind of impact it would have on me if I shared this man's self-understanding. How much of my frustration, anger and disappointment over circumstances and/or people that are trying would be alleviated if I really owned what this man seems to have owned.

I do not deserve anything from Jesus except eternal damnation because of my treasonous rebellion against Him. Yet in mercy He comes to me and cleanses me and redeems me and brings me into His family as an heir of the eternal Kingdom. Though I am not worthy to have Him come near me, He delights in me with an everlasting, unbreakable love. And I can be assured of this based on the rock solid assurance that Jesus died on the Cross 2,000 years ago and rose from the dead three days later.

I want to daily, hourly, own this reality. It would radically change the way we experience difficulty, wouldn't it?

How to Change

This morning at the gym I listened to this sermon from Tim Keller based on Galatians 5. I was greatly encouraged and challenged by it.

If you listen to it, leave me a comment and let me know what you think of it...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My Current Read

I just began this new book from Jonathan Leeman today. I've heard a lot of good things about it and I look forward to seeing how this new book addresses a couple of important subjects that I have not done a lot of reading on: church membership and church discipline.

What book(s) are you currently reading?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Matt Chandler's Cornerstone

Yesterday in my sermon I mentioned a video in which Matt Chandler shared about his standing on Jesus as his cornerstone as he goes through radiation and chemotherapy for brain cancer. For those interested, here is that video:

Continue to pray for Matt and his family; I have been so encouraged to see his steadfastness as he stands firm while his whole world shakes around him. A true testimony that those who believe in Christ, the true cornerstone, will never be put to shame.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Is this what you think of when you think "Compassion"

Justin Taylor reminded me today of an observation I have made before in reading through the gospels:

“When [Jesus] went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things (Mark 6:34)

One way compassionate people express their compassion is by teaching others. Do you feel cared for when others teach you?

Proclaiming His Excellencies -- Ten Encouragements

The text I'll be preaching on this Sunday has a purpose statement for Christians: "...that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light." (1 Peter 2:9). That means if we're Christians, our calling is to speak of Christ to others.

If that's hard for you, here are ten encouragements from John Piper:

1. Know this: God uses clay pots
2. Get resources to share
3. Know that God may use many influences
4. Be a lavish giver (especially of good books)
5. Find people interesting
6. Invite people to church
7. Fill the city with gospel teaching
8. Use your giftings
9. Read books on evangelism
10. Pray for boldness

You can read, listen to or watch Piper unpack these ten encouragements here.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sunday's Sermon in Pictures

This Sunday (barring another blizzard), we'll begin a series exploring the mission of our church. In summary:

The Church is not this:
But this:

In relating to those outside the church, we are not to be like this....

Or like this....

Instead, we ought to be like these guys:

And the only way we'll be able to live this out is if we regard Jesus as this:

Make sense? If not, I guess you'll just have to listen to the sermon!

The Bible is Precious

From Joseph Randall on the DG blog:

I have a friend, Katie, who serves in Malawi, Africa. She was able to distribute Bibles to a village there, and when they received these Bibles, they ecstatically broke out in thanks, praise, and dance over their new possession of God's Word! See for yourself:

I think I have at least 10 different Bibles in my house. Yet I cannot remember the last time my lips poured forth praise and my tongue sang because I possess the very words of God in the Scriptures,

Forgive me, Lord. Help me to treasure Your words more than silver and gold.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Old Man Winter?!

On the news I keep hearing about what Old Man Winter is up to, or Mother Nature. That's not the language I'm seeing when I open my Bible:

5 God thunders wondrously with his voice; he does great things that we cannot comprehend. 6 For to the snow he says, ‘Fall on the earth,’ likewise to the downpour, his mighty downpour. 7 He seals up the hand of every man, that all men whom he made may know it. 8 Then the beasts go into their lairs, and remain in their dens. 9 From its chamber comes the whirlwind, and cold from the scattering winds. 10 By the breath of God ice is given, and the broad waters are frozen fast. 11 He loads the thick cloud with moisture; the clouds scatter his lightning. 12 They turn around and around by his guidance, to accomplish all that he commands them on the face of the habitable world. 13 Whether for correction or for his land or for love, he causes it to happen.

(Job 37)

Memories, Anyone?

Reading this blog post about Mike Tyson reminded me of this:

Does this bring back memories for anyone else? Of course my memories don't include ever beating Tyson that fast...

O God, be merciful to me...

Last week I was officially affirmed as an elder in my church, and my responsibilities at the church call for me to be the primary teaching elder in the church.

I was so grateful, then, to read this quote the other day in Mark Dever's The Deliberate Church:

As teachers, elders "will incur a stricter judgment" (James 3:1), which implies that God will, in some sense, hold teachers to a higher standard of holiness. If a man has great public teaching gifts, and yet is known to be characteristically argumentative, impure in speech, or unable to control his appetites, then it would be unwise to nominate him for eldership. Immature teachers make the most notable hypocrites. And if we allow those who are immature to teach and model a doctrine that does not conform to godliness, then we share the guilt of their failure to feed God's sheep in green pastures, which will bring on us His intense, fatherly displeasure.

It is no small thing to be affirmed as a church elder. While I would not claim to have "great public teaching gifts", the standard of holiness is high for me, and the other elders at JCF, by virtue of our affirmation as elders.

Who is sufficient for these things (2 Corinthians 2:16)? Mercifully, my adequacy is in Christ.

Monday, February 8, 2010

What Does Love Look Like in Conflict?

This is a great sound byte from John Piper to reflect on. Oh, for more Christians with a thicker, gospel-grounded skin! (Be sure to listen past the point where the music plays and it sounds like the clip is isn't it)

This quote that I posted a couple of weeks ago applies at this point, to more deeply reflect on how our position in Christ enables us to live in the way that Piper commends.

Carnival Mirrors and the Pursuit of Godliness

Paul Tripp, commenting on Hebrews 3:12-13:

The reality of spiritual blindness has important implications for the Christian community. The Hebrews passage clearly teaches that personal insight is the product of community. I need you in order to really see and know myself. Otherwise, I will listen to my own arguments, believe my own lies, and buy into my own delusions. My self-perception is as accurate as a carnival mirror. If I am going to see myself clearly, I need you to hold the mirror of God's Word in front of me.

This will probably be uncomfortable, so Tripp goes on to say:

I need to wake up in the morning and say, 'God, I am a person in desperate need of help. Please send helpers my way and give me the humility to receive the help you have provided.'

Let's wake up in the morning praying for God to make us people like this: knowing our own tendency to be blind to our flaws, and desiring others to help us see what we cannot currently see.

Tebow Ad: A lot of Hoopla Over Nothing?

Well, the Super Bowl ad featuring Tim Tebow and his mom was the source of much discussion over the past few weeks in the Christian and secular media. Here's the ad, in case you missed it:

What did you think? It seems to me that the pro-choice advocates who were so adamant in their opposition to this ad are probably kicking themselves today. My guess is that the stir this ad caused over the past few weeks did far more to benefit the pro-life cause than the commercial itself, which didn't even mention abortion.

So leave a comment and let me know what you thought of it...

Sunday, February 7, 2010

A Summary of the History of the Human Race:

"They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator." (Romans 1:25).

But mercifully, Romans doesn't end there!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

And the Winner Is...

Trevor got in just before the deadline and is the winner of the Counterfeit Gods giveaway.

Congratulations, Trevor! I'll bring the book to church tomorrow. It will give you some added incentive to dig out of the snow!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Last Chance: Counterfeit Gods, Anyone?

Only four takers interested in winning a copy of Tim Keller's Counterfeit Gods?

Come on, people, it's a really good book! If you want in, leave a comment on Wednesday's post by the end of today, and I'll draw one winner tomorrow.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Gospel Community

From Redeemer Presbyterian Church's Fellowship Group Manual:

1. We are to be a worshiping community. The message of the gospel is that Christ
died for us while we were yet sinners– when we were separated from him and wanted
nothing to do with him. We are not defined by what we did or have done to become
God’s people, but by what God has done in Christ to make us his . We are therefore,
first and foremost, a people who are grateful to God and who stand amazed at the
wonders of his love. As a result, we worship God with our praises and by celebrating
the Lord’s supper.

2. We are to be an accepting community. The message of the gospel is that we have
been accepted at our worst. We are to extend a similar acceptance to one another
without demanding that they change before we offer it to them. We need
neither frown upon nor be shocked by other people’s sin and weaknesses. We are to
extend grace rather than judgment.

3. We are to be a holy community. Though we are to accept people as they are, we are
not to be content with leaving others where they are. The gospel tells us that we are
destined to become like Jesus and that God has already begun the process of
changing us from glory unto glory. We are to urge one another to throw off what is
not in keeping with what God has made us to be and to put on all that is in
accordance with the new reality of our status as sons and daughters of God.

4. We are to be a truth-telling community. Bonhoeffer writes that “there is no kindness
more cruel than the kindness which consigns another person to their sin.” The gospel
gives us the motivation to truly care about people. We are to be marked by gentle but
honest truth telling which will lead others to want to change. We won’t be harsh
because we know our own weaknesses and flaws. But neither will we shrink back out
of a fear that we will be rejected for we have the only acceptance which ultimately
matters. We can also hear the truth from others. Because we are accepted in Christ,
we are free to admit our flaws.

5. We are to be an upbuilding and encouraging community. The work of Christ in the
church is oikodomeo, or "building up". "God is the one who can build you up" (Acts
20:32) and "In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy
temple in the Lord" (Eph. 2:21). The church grows not by joining physical stones but
by joining and uniting human lives filled with the Spirit of God. So, too, the main work
of the living stones themselves is oikodomeo. "Therefore encourage one another and
build each other up" (I Thess. 5:11) and "Speaking the truth in love...the whole body,
joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in
love, as each part does its work." (Eph. 4:15-16). Because of the acceptance which
comes to us in the gospel, we do not have to resort to tearing others down in order to
feel good about ourselves. Petty rivalries and competitiveness vanquish. Confident
that we are loved by God, we are free to encourage others and desire the best for
them. We are enabled to work for the prosperity and success of others.

6. We are to be a sacrficially generous and giving community. Paul writes, “For you
know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes
he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich” (2 Cor. 8:9) We
are to follow suit: spending and being spent on behalf of others. The early Christians
were known for their radical generosity: “All the believers were together and had
everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as
he had need” (Acts 2:44,45) and “No one claimed that any of his possessions was his
own, but they shared everything they had...There were no needy persons among
them. From time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the
money from the sales and put it at the apostles feet, and it was distributed to anyone
as he had need (Acts 4:32-35). We also ought to be known for being promiscuous
with our money and possessions.

7. We are to be a suffering community. Jesus loved us while we were yet enemies. He
didn’t retaliate against us. He suffered our slighting of him and the wrath of God on
the cross in order that we might be turned into his friends. We also are to avoid
retaliation. We are love to the point of suffering whether that suffering love is
directed toward those inside the community or outside the community. We are to
offer forgiveness to those who harm or persecute us.

Lord, make me fat....

"Eyes do not rove, nor do fleshly lusts rule, when the heart is fat with the love of Jesus!"

Milton Vincent

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Pro-Choice Journalist on the Tebow Super Bowl Ad

(Via Justin Taylor)

From a pro-choice journalist writing in the Washington Post: “If the pro-choice stance is so precarious that a story about someone who chose to carry a risky pregnancy to term undermines it, then CBS is not the problem.”

Right on, Sally. Now can we talk about the plausibility of your position?

You can read her whole piece here. It's worth your time!

Redemption Groanings: Year in Review

Yesterday, on my day off, I decided to take a look back through the blog posts that I've written over the past year. Similar to looking back on a journal, it was encouraging to be reminded of the ways in which God has taught me about Himself through the ordinary course of every day life.

Here are some posts that, for various reasons, are particular favorites of mine; one from every month since I started the blog:

1. Education on Vocation
2. A World Without Happy Endings
3. Cursed, in Hope
4. So, the Government Can't Intrude on Private Family Matters?
5. A Lesson on Hope, Courtesy of Brad Lidge
6. Cole Hamels and Jesus Christ
7. Don't Take a Minute for Granted
8. The Hypocrisy of Co-Existing
9. Made for the City
10. A Memorial of God's Grace
11. Does He Shine in a Punt Return?
12. King of the Universe, or Cosmic Idiot

And of course, the post I always point people to, explaining what this blog is all about: Why do we groan?

Anyone else out there have a most memorable post from the past year?

Happy Birthday, Redemption Groanings

Redemption Groanings turns one year old today. Thanks to those who have journeyed with me. I hope that to some degree my musings have helped you to set your mind on heavenly things.

As a thank you for your readership, I'd like to give away a book by one of my favorite authors, Tim Keller. Counterfeit Gods is Keller's most recent book, and is a terrific one. Leave a comment on this post by the end of the day on Friday and I will draw a winner on Saturday.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Christian Ministry Trilogy

At the Desiring God blog, David Mathis commends these three books on the nature and calling of the Church:

I've read The Trellis and the Vine and Total Church, but have yet to read The Deliberate Church. It's on order now, though, and I look forward to reading it.

What books have you read on the Church that have been a blessing to you?

Jesus: Not Just a Man of Sorrows

Below is a somewhat lengthy quote that I find intriguing and thought-provoking:

"On the one hand, [Jesus is] someone who left everything for the sake of the kingdom of God and lived in conditions that seem quite severe in their austerity. In this presentation, Jesus was displaced, sorrowful, and heavy-laden with the burden of this self-imposed way of life. He blessed the poor and was relentless, even to his own peril, in his condemnation of the rich and their lives of prosperity. He was the Son of Man with no place to lay his head. He lacked all feeling for worldly ties of any kind, and he urgently commanded other people to come out of the world, to leave everything and to follow him on his difficult way of faith into God's eternal kingdom. Meanwhile, he pressed on, rejected of men, toward death on the cross.

But on the other side, as it were, there was a Jesus whom Christian moral tradition has largely ignored. He was anything but austere. This Jesus was celebrative, he was the Son of Man who came eating and drinking with his lost people, now found. He lacked all moderation or pious restraint. He celebrated life with such intensity and abandon that it shocked members of the religious establishment. To their wooden souls, his life was embarrassing for the way it broke the constraints of polite moral convention.

They did not see him as anything like a "man of sorrows, acquainted with grief". Rather, they saw him as shamelessly acquainted with tax collectors, prostitutes, and other sinners. And for all these reasons good people gossiped that he was that wanton son of Deuteronomy, a drunkard and a glutton whose behavior was so destructive of virtue that he should be put to death.

But to his disciples and to the multitudes, to be with him was nothing of the kind. His very presence brought the warmth of new life -- freedom, camaraderie, peace, good cheer, and a mood of joyous celebration that could not be contained by the old wineskins of tradition. In leaving everything to be with him they got everything back many times over. In fellowship with him, they feasted and flourished as never before."

What do you think of this quote? Is it an accurate assessment of Jesus? Is the author correct in saying that Christian moral tradition has largely ignored a side of Jesus' character?

Leave a comment and weigh in with your thoughts...

Monday, February 1, 2010

AP Article on Chandler

You may have seen this already, but the Associated Press has an article on Matt Chandler and his battle with brain cancer (I'm pretty sure Matt would be uncomfortable with the title "rising star of evangelical Christianity", but otherwise I thought the article was great).

It's very edifying to see how Matt and his family are dealing with this, and to see how God is using it to spread the knowledge of Him.

Sovereign Grace Sale

Sovereign Grace Ministries has some pretty sweet sales going on this month, including music and books.

Check it out here.

"Without Hope, Without God in the World"

If Caedmon's Call released this song and said that it was a song about the pain and hopelessness of trying to live apart from our Creator's purpose, it would probably win a Dove Award. Listening to it makes me think of Ephesians 2:12, which I've quoted in the title.

Sadly, Dave Matthews probably had no Scripture in view when he penned these words (the lyrics are below):

I find this song so beautiful. The music works perfectly to capture the mood of the song created by the lyrics. It is somber and depressing; such is life without Christ. If God puts it on your heart, as He does often for me, pray for these guys to find the One in whom life is found:

Story of a man
Who decided not to breath
Turned red, purple, then blue
Colorful indeed
No matter how his friends begged
Well, he would not concede
And now he's dead
You see, 'cause everybody knows
You got to breathe

But, oh God,
Under the weight of life
Things seem brighter on the other side...
Lighter on the other side...

Another one:
See this monkey sitting in his tree
One day, decided to climb down
And run off to the city
Look at him now
Tired, and drunk
And living in the street
As good as dead
You see, a monkey should know
Stay up in your tree

But, oh God,
Under the weight of life
Things seem brighter on the other side
Oh God,
But under the weight of life
Things seem much lighter on the other side

No way...
No way...
No way...
Of here...

Another One:
A Big Eyed Fish
Yeah, swimming in the sea
Oh, how he dreamed
He wants to be a bird
Swooping, diving through the breeze
One day
He caught a big blue wave
Up onto the beach
And now he's dead
You see, a fish's dream
Should stay in the sea

But, oh God,
Under the weight of life
Things seem brighter on the other side
Oh God,
But under the weight of life
Things seem brighter on the other side

No way...
No way...
No way...
Of Here...

No way out of here...
No way out of life...