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New Compassion and Great Faithfulness

Last night Savanna and Anthony Crawford of SugarCane Jane invited me up on the stage to sing one of the songs I wrote, “Right Now America’s Still Free.” I accepted the invitation. It was an honor and it was fun.

We drove home. I was in the clouds a bit. If you know Savanna and Anthony Crawford then you can imagine. It is almost unheard of for a Retired Army Chaplain to be on the stage with musical Legends. Let alone singing a song that the Retired Army Chaplain wrote… it’s just -I’m looking for a word- "awesome" pops into my mind.

BUT before I get ya too excited let’s dig into that word awesome. The song that I was asked to sing, contains what we call The Lords Prayer. See, I believe that God has made each of us. Scripture teaches that we all have value and worth. So what was awesome? Was it me being acknowledged by SugarCane Jane or was it that SugarCane Jane recognize the worth and value of people. They recognize that the folks in the audience have worth. They recognize that God has given us all power. God has given us the power to pick each other up. To love each other. To make amends. To forgive. To restore. To create a better world together. THAT was the awesomeness and I am tickled pink (I think that’s the expression) to have been part of it last night.

The drive home was quick. Then, I was sitting on the couch holding Doc (my schnauzer- he really misses me when I’m gone). Kate said, “Matt I need to read you a post.” She doesn’t usually talk like that so I perked up and paid attention. The post she read announced the death of Dr Joe Martin my Biblical Studies Professor at Belhaven University. I couldn’t speak. Stunned is a word that comes to mind.

After what seemed like an eternal dream state -flood of memories, I googled, found nothing. Sent out some inquiries, it was 1 AM, I would have to wait. I pulled up a Chapel Service from Belhaven University and listened to Dr Martin talk about God’s Faithfulness and Compassion. (32223)

This morning I woke later than normal. The inquiries from the night before had been answered. Dr Martin is now in heaven. I am still here.

God’s Compassion and Faithfulness is still great. It always has been. It always will be.

Dr Martin challenged me, he taught me, he prepared me for some things that I never knew would happen. As he was stepping into eternity I was preparing for a night out with my band. We were on our way to relax and hang out. (I gotta say our Saxophone Player -Matt French- and Bass Player Chris Cook and their wives were not able to join the rest of us -we missed them)

As Dr Martin was being reborn (his life in this present skin physically dying and the coming into a new body for eternity) - as he was being born again - We were recharging. Spending some time together. Not at all thinking about doing ministry. We went to that show to let SugarCane Jane minister to us. We went there to worship God together. We went there to share Community and learn to love each other more.

And Dr Martin was also going onward to be ministered to. He was heading into some rest. He fought the fight. He ran the course. His faith was strong and now it is realized.

I sat there on the couch listening to the Dr Martin recorded Chapel service and I realized. I have a lot of work to do still. Gods compassion is ever new in my life. God has not abandoned me. God has not abandoned America. God has not even abandoned the people who do not believe in Him. God’s compassion is daily fresh and real and His faithfulness to loving us is GREAT

Lamentations 3:22-23



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