Monday, December 1, 2008

South Bound

A quick update for you...

Our time in Maine is drawing to a close. We said most of our good-byes today (sad) and, Lord willing, will be back in the South tomorrow evening. We would appreciate your prayers as we travel... for safety and protection, for on-time departures and connections, for our bags to make it all the way thru with us, and for plenty of grace.

FYI, traveling to and from northern Maine is not... the most convenient of itineraries. We have two connections to make -one in Philadelphia, the other in Charlotte - so it will be a long day. Which reminds me of a specific prayer request: our schedule allows us about 35 minutes in Philadelphia to get off the plane, change terminals and get to the Charlotte flight. Please pray we make that. We definitely don't want to get stuck in Philly. Anyway, we're looking at 12+ hours of traveling altogether tomorrow. But I'm not complaining because we have had a great time here!!!

More later...

PS - Check out the new song on the playlist: "God Of This City" by Passion/Chris Tomlin. Absolutely love it. We hadn't heard it until over the weekend. Maybe you are already familiar with it? Too bad this Tomlin guy couldn't come up with a good song or two. He might actually have a career in this business if he could just catch a break. Pray for him too. ;-)


Anonymous said...

I absolutely love that song and it means so much to me about a city in South Africa that I've been to...for my own reasons. When you read the story below, it could be a whole new meaning when you read what city it's written about is like.
Here is the story to that song, originally written and performed by an Irish Band called Bluetree. This is their story:

“There’s a couple from Carrickfergus, Ian and Leslie, and they moved out to Thailand to a place called Pattaya. We got asked to go and be part of an event called Pattaya Praise. Pattaya is a seaside town/resort place, and physically, it looks to be like the darkest place you’ll ever go to. And spiritually, it is THE darkest place we have ever been to. You just feel the evil. You just feel the enemy all over that place. It’s a very small place. . . But in that small area in Thailand, there are 30,000 prostitutes and that figure excludes kids and excludes anything that’s outside of the range of, say 18-30, and who are female. . .

Part of what we were asked to do was to go out and be part of an event which runs for four or five days. It had things like 24/7 worship and prayer and social action going on helping the people who clean the streets every morning. We played in a school and ministered in an orphanage and tried to get a heart for that city. As a band we were getting cold feet because we had four days in Bangkok to start, and in those four days it was great. We’d be quite hyperactive, and it was flat-out, four days; not an hour was lost to sleep in those four days. On the Sunday we managed to play in one church and it was brilliant, but we wanted more. And then when we got to Pattaya . . . we said, ‘If you can get us anywhere else to play, anywhere, we want to play. We just want to do what we do in the middle of somewhere and just go head-on into it.”

“There was a bar called The Climax Bar - on a street that’s about 10 metres wide, it’s a kilometre long and it’s filled with everything you can physically imagine. And I promise you, as a red-blooded male, to keep your head in the right place you’ve got to look down at the ground and walk down that street and pray because it is just so in your face. People hit you with menus about everything, flashing lights, just everything you can imagine goes on in that place. You see kids as young as eight, nine, 10, just selling themselves, you know?! You see 60-year-old guys walking down the street with two 13 or 14-year-old girls. Forget about the Christian thing, you just get raging! You properly get raging when you see that happening, you know?!”

. . . We got the chance to play in this bar, a two-hour worship set in this bar. I don’t think the people in the bar spoke a word of English but we basically got to go in. The deal was that we play and we bring a following of people with us; so we’re there, set up, really good gear! So we all set up and there was like 20 Christians all standing in front of us, and the deal was we play, they buy lots of drinks, alright? I don’t think the place has ever sold so much Coke in its whole life in one night!

And we got to play for two hours. And just the way the band set up, we like using loops, and at one point I just started singing out. I started singing “Greater Things”, something along those lines, almost prophesying over the city. And without going into the band dynamics, slowly this groove emerged from this thing. And long story short; we walked out of that Climax Bar with pretty much a nailed song, as strange as that sounds. Then we were on the way home.

We were all. . .it was that tumbleweed silence, you know? It was like, ‘What actually just happened in that time?!’ It was one of the most powerful worship experiences we’ve ever had. I actually remember looking out, and you’re looking down a wee alleyway, into the street, and it was just 50 or 60 probably British tourists and they’re just sitting there listening going, ‘What is this all about?’ Coming from The Climax Bar which is pretty much a strip club. Just, here we are singing about Jesus in the middle of this. . . It was one of the most random experiences but it was a God thing, God was there.”

Ashley Beth said...

Praying for safe travel for you all! So glad you got to have some special time in Maine. And I too love that Chris Tomlin song. I heard it on K-Love during the fall pledge drive a few weeks ago and it brought tears to my eyes. They were praying for cities and towns where pledges were coming in from during and that song was just so perfect! Blessings...

Pretty Hills said...

Will be keeping you in my prayers!!

KK said...

Loving some Chris Tomlin once again, BUT...I found "Star of Bethlehem" on You Tube and have refreshed oh 1,000+ times...a beautiful song indeed! The talents in your family continue to blow me away! Now I HAVE TO find this cd! Thanks for sharing with the world.
Praying for a safe trip home and continue praying for all of you without ceasing.
Blessings today and always,
Psalm 46:10

Wendy said...

Hey Greg,

What a beautiful song.
Dad said the memorial was wonderful. It meant a lot to him, I hope it did to you and Nicol. So, wish I could have been there. Hard being away from you and the rest of the family. There is something about being with family that helps all of us. Not just our physical,but also our spiritual family. We are like minded and come from the same compass even though we go in different directions, everything is the same at the center. I pray that you found rest when you were home.
Have a safe trip back.
Miss & Love you,

Wendy said...

Hey Greg,

I just posted, not sure that it went through. E-mail when you can to tell me if you are getting these. I will rewrite if not.

Elizabeth said...

Hey Greg,

It was so nice to be able to spend some time with you while you were up north! You are cherished here! :)

I was also going to tell you what "Anonymous" wrote...that the song God of this City is originally by Bluetree, and you really should check out the original....Chris Tomlin actually, for once, didn't do it justice. The crux of the song in missing in his version..."...Where GLORY shines from hearts alive, with PRAISE TO YOU, and LOVE FOR YOU in this city". It it powerful!! (Nicol will like it too - the original is in a minor key!)

We are praying for you still...know that you and your beautiful family are loved and so appreciated!


Amy said...

When I was in high school, Chris Tomlin was "just a" camp worship leader~~now super famous. I was in awe then and still in awe now, especially since I know how many songs he has written.
That song was the focus song of mission encounter Sunday in Oct.

Hope your memorial was beautiful.

AmandaHoyt said...

You're in our prayers.
"God of this City" is an awesome song! I can't get it out of my head on most mornings after I listen to it.
Hugs and prayers,

Angie said...

Prayers for your safe travels. Make sure to charge the laptop and play lots of movies, That always helps us with flights. I am sure the people sitting around us are thankful the kids have headsets so they don't have to listen to the princess songs over and over.

sheila said...

I woke up listening to "The Star of Bethlehem" the other morning, what a beautiful sound. Thank you for the list of books (yeah, the email was lost). I was smililng as I read about your Thanksgiving. A very wise man told me when your hurting and depressed, help someone else, your prespective tends to change. I took my two older girls (8 & 6) to a family of 16, 14 children (10 adopted special needs children) and blessed them with food and love and it was one of the best Thanksgiving's I have had. Thank you Lord for blessing me. My family then went out to dinner and a movie. Hopefully, I will never need to go to a restaurant on Thanksgiving again, (UGH). But, it was the lesser of the two choices. God continue to bless you and keep you, love you and protect you. Praying for the sale of your home also, did I read your in-laws are moving to Nashville? Yeah...soon will be your time, I'm sure. In God's Love, sheila

Heather said...

I'm doing some blog reading and catching up and just came across this post. Our church has just started a Contemporary service, and this song is one we sing on a regular basis, of course our's is a little more "rocked" out, than this version. ;) I, too, love it and sang it this past Sunday with tears running down my cheeks.
Glad you had a good time in Maine and safe travels home.

Fan of Bangkok Hotels said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story. It's very informative. I love to read it and do hope to read your next story.