Saturday, March 29, 2008

The End Of March

There is so much I have wanted to blog about since my last post. I can't figure out when and how to write.....just one of those seasons.

I am sitting here now writing because today we buried yet another person just 3 months into this new year - a person who had immeasurable influence on my oldest son.
During the very meaningful memorial service today, I was reminded of the time that teachers have with my kids - the potential for unforgettable influence. Mark Madison had that kind of influence on Seth. Seth's whole life is wrapped up in telling a story in a format that people can watch and listen and experience. Mr. Madison - the Media/TV Production instructor at Brentwood High School - shaped Seth's passion in his most formidable years - 4 years of high school. I know Seth's heart is broken over the passing of this man at the too young age of 58. I am grateful that so many people came today to acknowledge the impact he had on their lives.

Barely a month ago, my friend for many years and the first songwriter I ever signed to a publishing contract, Gary Driskell passed away. He was 50. Just not supposed to happen, but it did. His memorial service on March 1 was a celebration of everything that Gary wanted his life to be about - in giving honor of God. Tomorrow in worship, our whole service will be about heaven. One of the songs I chose to be sung is one of Gary's best songs - yes, it won a Dove Award for Song of the Year in 1991, but more importantly, as I reviewed the words of that song tonight - I realized how powerful and hopeful they are. I look forward to how they will minister to the many hundreds of people who will be in attendance in our worship services.

Then, to top all of this off - (and I know how trite this will appear as you read it), probably the saddest, but so profound movie I have ever watched is CASTAWAY. It has been on all weekend on TNT. I can't not watch it. I keep catching bits and pieces of it. I own the DVD, but resist ever opening the package to place in the DVD player to watch because I know the effect it has on me. I still remember watching it in the movie theater. It took me weeks to get over it, and I am not sure if I ever did. So powerfully written and acted - not to mention the incredible musical score - wow......what emotion.....

Sadness, sorrow, pain, hurt, suffering.......all of these things will pass away, but they are so very real for so many people - maybe that is part of why I keep doing what I do.....I am not a doctor or a nurse or a brain surgeon - I don't have that power or ability to literally save someone's life. I am simply an encourager - I am a believer in the hope of the message of the Gospel. More and more, I am experiencing first hand those people who have no life without that hope. So, every Sunday we gather to remind one another - to encourage one another that apart for Christ, we have nothing.

My ramblings continue to ramble......tomorrow we talk about heaven - tonight I am sad for my wife who lost her father earlier this year - I am sad for the family members who still grieve the death of their husband, father, son named Gary Driskell, and now the wife and son and brother of Mark Madison. At the same time, I must praise God for giving us hope - where would we be without it?