Monday, December 24, 2007

All the Lovely Losers

I lived in Mankato, Minnesota for two years of my life. You may have heard of Mankato if you watched Little House on the Prairie, because sometimes Pa would load up the lumber and haul it off from Walnut Grove to Mankato. Yes, those are real places. Once on the evening news I heard that Walnut Grove had beat Mankato in high school basketball. That was weird.

Why am I telling you about Mankato? Because it is where I first heard one of my favorite artists, Jason Gray. At the time he was Jason Gay, but as you can imagine that led to some undesirable sites when googled. So he changed his name. But I saw this guy when he was just starting, playing coffee houses and church functions. I was in love with his CD The Singer and the Song, particularly with the song Psalm 16, which led me to my favorite verses, Psalm 16:5-6.

I rediscovered him this summer with his new CD All the Lovely Losers, and I'm glad to see he's done well. I'm telling you, if you've never heard this guy, you need to buy this CD. I can't get enough of it. My favorite song, in terms of lyrics, is Blessed Be, (from which comes the above title "All the lovely losers") Here's a bit of it:

Not for the strong, the beautiful, the brave
Not for the ones who think they've got it made
It's for the poor, the broken and the meek
It's for the ones who look a lot like you and me
Blessed be the ones who know that they are weak
They shall see the kingdom come to the broken ones
Blessed be

Here's another, called Weak:
I was afraid to be weak
Afraid to be me
I was afraid because I didn't want them to see
What's broken in me
But I guess I was wrong
Should have known all along
When I'm weak You are strong
in me
You make up what I lack
You shine through the cracks
Where I was shattered
And You pour out your grace
Through my broken places

Cause if they're afraid I stand too tall
They'll burn all the bridges and build a wall
But if they know I stumble
The walls might crumble down

Most of the songs on this CD are on this theme - being broken and finding the blessing in that, seeing that when we are weak and broken, that's when God can use us. Ministry isn't about having what other people need, having the answers, having it together. It's about being able to say to someone, "I don't have what you need, I don't have all the answers, but I can show you where to find what you need, because He's given it to me." So give yourself a Christmas present and pick up All the Lovely Losers.

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