Posts Tagged ‘Music’

A wind-chill advisory was in effect today until noon for the Omaha area and parts to the south toward Nebraska City, Falls City and Beatrice and sections west that included Lincoln, Grand Island, Kearney and Hastings. The advisory was also issued for extreme northwest Iowa and most of southwest Iowa.

As a bitter cold front is making its way into the Metro area in Omaha this week, furnaces will be set on high, and people will be bundled up trying to keep warm as they venture outdoors. Wind chill will set record temperatures as low as 30 below zero. With temperatures forecast to be below zero for highs, being outside can be deadly.

The cold ripped through my body in just the few minutes it took me to take out the trash today—so how can someone survive for long periods of time outdoors in this? Where do the homeless go when temperatures get dangerous?

Local shelters have been preparing to absorb more people because of the cold.
Mike Saklar, Executive Director of the Siena/Francis House in Omaha said, “This is very dangerous weather.” Mike has seen this before. He sees the homeless every day and knows that when the weather gets dangerously cold like it means that some will show up suffering from the cold. Although Mike and the staff at the Sienna/Francis House always expect an increase in visitors in cold weather, it’s an overwhelming challenge now because of the already extreme overcrowding.

The Sienna/Francis House has a policy of never turning anyone away who shows up. Rather than referring to visitors as clients, Mike and his staff refer to the homeless as guests. Mike considers himself as a kind of Shepard; and like any good shepherd, he knows that he’ll have to try and look for some of the lost sheep on the cold streets of Omaha. “We’ll send out patrols every hour looking for people.” He said. “And we’ll do it all night.”

Teens are especially vulnerable when the weather turns cold. Because of young people aging out of foster care system or an abusive family situation, many youth end up on the streets to fend for themselves. Shawn Miller of Youth Emergency Services said he would locate shelter for any teenager who needed it. He expected 60 or more teens to show up for Tuesday’s pantry night near 26th and Harney Streets. “We’ll do whatever we can to make them safe for the night,” said Miller, outreach coordinator for YES. That includes transportation to a shelter, a friend’s home or anywhere else they’ve found to stay.

It only takes a moment.
It can only take a matter of minutes for someone to suffer from frostbite in bitter cold. Dr. Mindy Lacey, of UNMC, said, “The most common areas that we see that get frost bite are the ears, nose, fingers and toes.” The worst effect of frostbite is with the onset of tingling or numbness and not understanding what’s happening. For the vulnerable or those who simply don’t know better, waiting too long after being exposed to the cold, could cause them to suffer irreparable damage.

Places like the Open Door Mission in Omaha are seeing a lot more people who need a place to keep warm too. “All of our beds on campus are filled, but we can always drag out another mat, we can get more blankets, linens and pillows,” said Candace Gregory, CEO of the Open Door Mission. “The Open Door Mission is already overflowing.” She said. “All of the shelter’s 860 beds are full, and on Monday night there were nearly 200 men, women and children sleeping on mats.” The Lydia House, a shelter for women and children at the Open Door Mission, has also seen an increase of 37 percent. They are maxed out at that facility.

Del Bomberger, executive director of the Stephen Center, said his shelter has plenty of mats and floor space in the gym at its temporary location in the old St. Mary Catholic School, at 5310 S. 36th St.

There are approximately 2000 homeless men, women and children in the Omaha Metro Area each night. Brutal weather has left workers scrambling to provide enough space, blankets, coats and gloves for those seeking refuge from the cold.

How you can help
Below is a list of critical needs for homeless shelters. You can drop these off at any of the local shelters in your area.

• Blankets, sheets, and pillows
• Gloves, hats, and coats of all sizes
• Men’s and women’s wool socks
• Thermal underwear – size small, medium, large and X-large
• Winter boots of all sizes

Living on the streets is dangerous any time of year, but that’s especially dangerous when temperatures dip below freezing. According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, approximately 700 homeless people die from hypothermia every year. But unless someone is underage, you can’t force them to come inside. If you know someone is living outside and you can’t get them to seek shelter, call the police and let them know, so they can take them to one of the shelters, because…

No one should die just because they’re homeless.

In September, Pope Francis fired a Paraguayan bishop accused of sheltering a pedophile. Francis said his decision to fire the bishop was incredibly difficult. However, it was necessary for “the greater good of preserving the unity of the local church.” Pope Francis’ decision to fire the bishop underlines his “zero tolerance” approach to sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

Pope Francis followed up on his zero tolerance as he launched a blistering attack on the Vatican bureaucracy Monday, outlining a “catalog of illnesses” plaguing the church’s central administration, including a “narcissistic pathology of power, existential schizophrenia.” The pope also denounced the lust for power of ladder-climbing clerics—those who indulge in hypocritical double lives, and lamented a sense of “spiritual Alzheimer’s” that leads clerics to forget the joy that is supposed to animate their lives. He was especially critical of cliques that enslave their members and become a cancer that threatens the harmony of the body, eventually leading to “death by friendly fire.”

Many would argue that the same could be said about our own political leaders. But remember, we’re the ones who voted them into office. Are our own religious leaders guilty of the pope’s accusations? And what about us? Are we also suffering from spiritual Alzheimer’s?

2 Peter 1:5-9 tells us to, “Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.

We are told that the Christmas season is a time for faith, goodness, joy and godliness—that “Jesus is the reason for the season.” And yet, our lives are plagued with greed, jealousy, hate, violence and discord—just the opposite of what Peter tells us we should possess as Christians! Have we forgotten that as Christians we possess all of the godly qualities that Peter speaks of?

James chapter 4 gives us the reason AND the solution for all of the hate that is plaguing our communities. The reason: “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”

The solution: “Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”

Pope Francis suggested that his prelates examine and improve themselves. Should we not do the same?

If ever there was a time to pray for revival in the Church, it is now! May this Christmas season fill us all with a resolute spirit to seek God and His righteousness and love for our fellow human beings.

My heavenly father, I am crying—crying for the hurting—crying for the haters. I am crying from seeing people killing one another. Please hear my prayer! Help us stop all the hate on earth! Please give us peace again. Please look at these people killing and being killed and show them your mercy! Let us return to the God of our fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Please hear my prayer and do what you think is good. Amen.

 

There seems to be a growing trend of people who claim to love Jesus but don’t want to call themselves Christians.

The way Christians are portrayed in the media may be part of the problem. Why do the loonies at the Westboro Baptist Church get more attention in the media than Christian organizations who go to help communities after every natural disaster? I can’t remember the mainstream media ever reporting on the good work being done by groups like Operation Blessing.

I have talked with many people who say they like the idea of Jesus but can’t stand the Church. When they tell me they can’t stand Christianity, they are usually describing a church group that bears very little resemblance to the true Church that God intended. They describe judgmental hypocrites who hate people of other faiths and are only after your money.

It’s hard to read hateful statements made in the name of my faith. And if this is what Christianity is, I don’t want to be associated with it either. But that is NOT what true Christianity is. And unless someone steps up and shows people that there is a real difference between true Christianity and the loonies, the lunatics will have the last word.

Very few people would tolerate a similar discussion about another group of people and yet they listen to such meanderings about Christianity as if they are hearing something wise. When in reality, they are hearing something that is not only foreign to true Christianity but is insulting to God.

In our modern culture of narcissism, you may think that the easiest way to follow Jesus is from a distance on a solo march to the beat of your own drum — your own personal preferences and already held beliefs. From a distance, you are safe from the assault of the Christian community. But do those around you know that you follow Jesus by what comes out of your mouth or what you post on your Face Book and Twitter page? Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. (James 1:26)

I don’t believe Christianity is the problem as much as those who claim to be followers of Jesus but refuse to live according to his teachings. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. (James 1:27)

You see in spite of all of its shortcomings, it’s the people within the Christian community who might actually be some of the best road companions there are. Because you might actually bump into humanity there. Sure, you might meet someone you disagree with. And you might have to listen to music you don’t like. You might even be asked to share your resources with someone less fortunate than you. But you might also learn truths far more important than your preconceived ideas and beliefs and realize just how small you are as you stand among others and worship something other than yourself.

Me & my band, Accidental Proffit, will be performing at Sokol Auditorium Wednesday, March 6th, 2013 for Raw ‘Generation’ Showcase.

RAW is made up of creative individuals across the United States & Australia. Its mission is to provide independent artists with the tools, resources and exposure needed to inspire and cultivate creativity. All genres of art will be represented at the RAW Showcase in Omaha- including independent film, fashion, music, visual and performing arts, hairstylists, makeup artists and more.

Sokol Auditorium is located at 2234 South 13th Street Omaha, Ne. We encourage you to support the creative success of the many talented visionaries in our community who will be presenting their talents. This is a 21+ Event and Cocktail Attire is suggested. The event will run from 8 PM to Midnight. Tickets for the event are $10 in advance / $15 at the door.

Jesus said to, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” (Mar 16:15) I believe that this will be a great opportunity to share the gospel in a secular venue.  We encourage believers to come out and help us to proclaim the “good news” to those attending this event.

As many of you know, we normally do not charge for our music or shows, but RAW sets the price for tickets to cover expenses for the venue. So everyone who purchases tickets to support Accidental Proffit, (whether you attend the event or not) will receive a FREE copy of the ‘Living In Babylon’ CD.

Buy tickets: http://www.rawartists.org/omaha/generation/?artist=127161

RAW Generation Showcase

RAW Generation Showcase

Situated between Omaha’s Old Market and the downtown business district on the corner of 13th and Farnam Streets, Café 110 has long been a favorite venue of many of Omaha’s talented musicians.

Offering a variety of delicious foods and specialized drinks, Café 110 is the entrepreneurial enterprise of Allan Zeeck, former owner of the Benson Grind coffee shop. Allan has always been a big supporter of local talent and has given Omaha’s most talented musicians the opportunity to get on stage and burn it up with their own original music.

ASCAP and BMI seem to think Café 110 is some huge concert hall promoting national touring acts and is trying to charge them accordingly without ever even seeing the venue! Café 110 cannot afford these exorbitant fees. So until ASCAP and BMI understand that Café 110 is a 30-seat coffee shop for local original acts only, Café 110 will not be able to have live music or even be open during the evenings.

If you are or know someone that can help with dealing with these ridiculous performing rights organizations; like a lawyer, or member of one of these organizations, PLEASE get in touch with Café 110 by either calling the shop at: 402- 932-4040 or by email at: allan.zeeck@cafe110omaha.com

You can also leave me a message and I will be sure to pass the information on to Allan.
You can follow Café 110 on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/cafe110omaha or like them on Face Book at: https://www.facebook.com/Cafe110

Forty years ago my life was turned upside down. Up until that point my whole attitude was, “I don’t care and you don’t matter.” I hated everyone and everything. I was very good at hating and did so with all of my being. Then ‘it” happened.

Without warning, God showed Himself to me in a way that was so real and powerful, I felt as if I could physically touch Him.  After that, everything changed.

After my conversion I began writing songs to glorify God; because as a new convert, I thought that the only type of music Christians listened to was similar to the hymns I heard in church. (I had not yet been introduced to Contemporary Christian Music)

For a long time I thought that I was the only one writing such music. You can imagine how overjoyed I was to discover Christian artists such as; Larry Norman, Phil Keaggy, Randy Stonehill and The Second Chapter of Acts. But the artist that influenced me the most spiritually was Keith Green.

Keith was more than a musician. He was the voice crying out in the wilderness. And although his views on many subjects were often controversial, his spiritual intensity and radical commitment that he preached is also the kind of faith that is desperately needed today. If we will just stop to listen, we can hear his words still crying out to us today.

Below is an excerpt from one of Keith’s many articles he had written for the Last Days Ministries Magazine. I pray that Keith’s words will provoke you to seek God and follow Him unashamedly with your whole heart.

*Repentance as Necessary for Forgiveness.

It has always amazed me how the Church could have evolved to such a state as it is in now, with such clear, direct teaching from the Lord Jesus as to what is necessary to be right with God. Please read the first five verses of the 13th chapter of Luke. Here, Jesus is told the news about some Galileans who were executed by the Romans. He then says, “Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” Using another example, He then repeats the same exact sentence.

I cannot conceive of conversion without repentance. The teachings of Jesus and the apostles are full of commands to “repent and be saved!” Repentance is not just “being sorry” – that is only conviction. Repentance is not merely a change of heart and a change of mind; it is a change of action! God requires that if we are sincerely convinced that sin is wrong, then we will turn from it to God, and commit ourselves to not take part in sinful deeds any longer. God blesses such decisions and commitments with abundant grace. And it is by that grace that we can fulfill the desires of the Spirit within us.

But because there is so little real conviction of sin brought about by the preaching of our modern gospel, we cannot truly require repentance anymore. If we did, no one would “come forward” at all. For repentance is easy to him who sees how ugly and horrible sin is, but repentance is impossible where the Law does not convince the sinner of his wicked heart, compelling him to turn from his sin into the arms of a waiting, compassionate God. You see, all these removed parts of the Gospel are connected. In God’s wisdom, every aspect of the appointed way of salvation is irreplaceable.

It is true that without God loving us first, we could not be saved. He made the first move, He always does. But He will not do what He requires of the sinner himself to do – and that is to repent!

God’s Sorrow and Broken Heart Over Sin.

The picture of God as presented today by evangelists is that of an optimist – a positive-thinking good ole boy who lives in heaven, high above the trouble on earth, where everything is rosy, “and the skies are not cloudy all day.” Why, how could anything bother the living God? He isn’t really troubled by all the mess down here, He has everything under control!

But again, the Bible paints a different picture of our King. Just look at Jesus weeping over Jerusalem, (Luke 19:41) or the pleadings of God with the nation of Israel through the prophets Isaiah or Ezekiel. This God, the one in the Bible, is continually striving with men through His Spirit. It says in Proverbs, “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, watching the evil and the good.” (Proverbs 15:3) That means that God saw every rape committed today, He saw every murder, every person that starved to death, every pornographic film and book, every abused and battered child. How can anyone believe that He sees this and does not grieve? Of course God can grieve. Doesn’t the Bible implore us not to “grieve the Holy Spirit of God”? (Eph. 4:30)

You see, God is the most hurt and dishonored being in the universe. He could stop all this mess; all the perversion and crime and corruption any time He wishes, but He doesn’t! Why? Because He waits for the souls of men and women. “Regard the patience of our Lord to be salvation,” Peter said. (II Peter 3:15) But the Church, which doesn’t have one millionth of the compassion that God has, has turned around and created a god in its own image and likeness. A carefree, cheerful, above-it-all God. And then the Church has conveniently removed from the “gospel” it presents all reference to the pain and sorrow in God’s heart. The Church doesn’t want a God who’s grieved with sin, because then this God would be grieved with them… (and He is!)

*Excerpt from “What’s Wrong With the Gospel?” (Part 1) by Keith Green http://www.lastdaysministries.org/Groups/1000086196/Last_Days_Ministries/Articles/By_Keith_Green/Whats_Wrong_With/Whats_Wrong_With.aspx

 

This is not meant to condemn or judge any type of music, but to get to the heart of Christian music and its purpose.

I believe that God anoints who He wills regardless of their spiritual walk. Before King David was anointed king of Israel God instructed the prophet Samuel to anoint Saul as king. (1Sam. 10:1) Saul was an unspiritual man who became very spiritual only when the Spirit of the LORD came upon him. Saul prophesied without ever really being called as a prophet. This shows us that someone can receive a gift from the Holy Spirit without really being spiritual. (1 Sam 10: 6-12)

Years ago four young men from Liverpool, England were anointed to play music and write songs that forever changed popular music. I believe that God anointed them, but left it up to them how they would use that anointing. Can you imagine what would have happened if the Beatles used their anointing to glorify God instead of themselves? We would probably be singing very different songs in churches today.

Steve Camp, writing in his “107 Theses, A Call For Reformation In The Contemporary Christian Music Industry:” said,  “Those of us who are privileged to represent our Lord Jesus in the arts should be galvanized by mission, not by ambition; by mandate, not by accolades; by love for the Master, not by the allurements of this world.”

I too, have been saved from the depravity of my heart, and without the grace of God through His son, the Lord Jesus, I was desperately wicked and eternally condemned. Early in my own musical journey I used to write songs that represented only the wickedness in me and the world. My motives were corrupt and my actions were far from being godly. My thirst for popularity made my heart prideful, judgmental and callused. But the Lord, out of His infinite grace and love, broke me down by His Spirit to bring true repentance in my own life. And it’s that life of repentance, which drives me to speak with conviction on this issue.

I believe that music is a powerful tool from the God that He intended to be used for worship, praise, encouragement, edification, admonishing, and exhorting God’s people to holiness. But I fear that compromise has invaded Christian music through years of skewed doctrine and secular living.

I recognize that there are many godly men and women who love the Lord that work to glorify God with their talent. But the crux of the matter is that the overall nature of “Christian Music” has dramatically shifted. The Apostle Paul warns… “It takes only a little leaven to leaven the whole lump.” (1 Corinthians 5:6) When sin is tolerated it ultimately permeates and corrupts the entire Church like a cancer. What is pure today will inevitably be polluted tomorrow if we do not “purge out the old leaven…” (v.7)

In the past several years there has been a subtle (and not so subtle) drifting away from Christ-centered music to “Christian-crossover” music. Sadly this has resulted in various visible manifestations of spiritual problems where many may unknowingly find themselves on a slippery slope sliding away from the Church, the Scriptures, and ultimately, the Savior.

During the “Jesus Movement” in the 1970’s Christian music unashamedly declared Jesus Christ as Lord. But as Christian Music grew in popularity, several generic titles began filtering out the name of God in songs to the point that it’s now hard to distinguish between Christian and secular songs.

This Biblical illiteracy has diminished the Christian culture into unintelligible chatter that is accepted as spiritual truth. We have gone from ‘dying to self’, to ‘serving self’. The object of Christian music is no longer Christ, but our self-esteem; the goal is no longer holiness, but our happiness; and the source of our faith is no longer the Scriptures, but our experience. I believe modern Christian music played a large part in producing a generation of people that “feel” their God, but do not “know” their God.

When Martin Luther stood at Wittenberg’s Door in the year 1517, he called for reformation of the Roman Church. Now, almost five centuries later, it is time to sound the alarm in our generation-this time, to call the Christian Musician back to the supremacy, sufficiency and Lordship of Jesus Christ.

A genuine revival is surely needed today, but that would be almost impossible given the current environment of the Church. Why? Because true revival is marked by repentance; and true repentance demands that Christian lives’ be consistent with Biblical truth that brings glory to God. These are serious times brothers and sisters, and it calls for real answers. This is not a time for proclaiming a diluted message to a dying world. It is a time to be girded with the belt of truth, standing firm in the gospel of peace, raising high our shield of faith, guarded with the helmet of salvation, to wield the sword of the Spirit with a surgeon’s precision, and praying always with all perseverance for all the saints in the Spirit. (Ephesians 6:10-20)

There is no greater song to proclaim  to a sin sick world than the saving grace of Jesus Christ, yet many Christian musicians feel content to sing about the chaff of this world. Many Christian musicians have been lead to believe that they should not use their talents to proclaim the gospel in secular venues because this would only offend some of their audience. Even though the purpose of Christian music was never meant to evangelize the lost; what an opportunity we have to share our faith with those who may never step inside of a church building! We shouldn’t negotiate the time and place to share the gospel (2 Tim 4:1-2) no matter what kind of capital is at stake–and that really is the issue here. We are to be in the world but not of it. And this is our greatest challenge. We are called to be salt and light in the world and be faithful witnesses of God’s mercy, love, and grace to the lost and dying. (Matthew 5:13-16) Yes, we should cultivate personal relationships with unbelievers, love our neighbor and our enemy; but let’s be careful not to be a friend of the world and thus make ourselves an enemy of God. (James 4:4)

I believe it is time for us fall on our faces before our Holy God, repent of our sin and return to our First Love! With lives enveloped in His grace, let us provoke one another to love and good works. With undivided hearts may we leave the ‘prodigal pigpen’ of the world and return to the safety of the Father’s love. Let us commit to prayer and fasting, seeking the Lord’s will with a broken, contrite and obedient heart. Let us be students of His Word being filled daily with His Spirit. Let us come away from an industry that has all but abandoned Christ; and by God’s grace, show the world (and the Church) what it really means to be… a ministry. Doing His work; His way; according to His Word; by His Holy Spirit.

It is time to be pounding on Wittenberg’s Door again! I pray that we come together to make history- to make Christian Music…truly Christian again.

What Scripture says:

  • We must purpose to keep personal relationships more important than business deals; family more valuable than ministry; and faith more precious than money. The struggle is maintaining an eternal perspective in these situations. (Matthew 5:16; Philippians 2:1-5; 1 Peter 3:7-11; Romans 12:1-2)
  • All our works, both musical and written, must produce a high view of God with our chief aim being to glorify God. (Psalm 29:1-2; Jeremiah 9:23-24)
  • We must refuse to make money a prerequisite for ministry. (Matthew 10:8; 1 Timothy 6:5)
  • We must not fail to glorify God publicly. And not just with our lips, but also in our private lives. (Isaiah 29:13; Matthew 15:7-9)
  • God cannot be glorified where sin openly entertained. (Psalm 5:4)
  • We fail to glorify God when we strut our accomplishments on a stage thinking our own hand has provided for us and our own hand has promoted us. (Job 41:34; Daniel 4:28-37; James 4:6)
  • We must glorify God rather than praise the messenger through awards and accolades.  (Isaiah 42:8; Psalm 115:1)
  • We must strive to please God rather than to please men. (Galatians 10: 1-10; 1 Thessalonians 2:4)
  • We fail to glorify God when we speak and sing of the things of the world, but fail to proclaim the Gospel. (Mark 16:15; Matthew 28:19; Acts 1:8;)
  • Take a step of faith. Come away from the current music industry model and begin to build an authentic Christian Music Ministry again. (Romans 1:17; Hebrews 10:38)

An important message in closing

One of my blog followers reminded me the other day that my worth does not reside in my relationship status or how many twitter followers I may or may not have. No amount of friends or fans or how many books I may or may not sell will be factored into my worth. My worth has been sealed, secured and already delivered.

The fact is that without Christ I have no future. Whatever satisfaction may be found in gloating and arrogant pride ceases to serve a purpose when I leave this life. What have I left behind? What is my worth now? Gratefully, since my worth has been securely fastened in the arms of Christ, my relationship with him, at my death, only grows stronger.

If you know the Lord, then stop valuing yourself with outward things and understand that no matter what happens in the end, if the creator of heaven and earth has valued you. Well, that speaks for itself.

Keith Green was a man known for his uncompromising Christian stance. He gave his life to Jesus in 1975 and was “sold out” for the Lord right from the very start. Keith’s energy and passion for reaching people through music and ministry was unprecedented, and lives around the world are still being changed through his ministry. On July 28, 1982, at the age of 28, Keith and two of his young children were killed in a small plane crash. Although Keith had a very well-known ministry he considered himself first and foremost a servant of Jesus. He often said that when he died, he only wanted to be remembered as having been worthy to bear the name “Christian”.

Run to the Battle by Steve Camp

True Believers byPhil Keaggy