Greetings Zeph at tenners. John here. Anybody recognise my first guitar hero?
This is Big Bill Broonzy. Nobody is very sure where or when he was born. He died in 1958 when I was five. When I was 18 and never having heard of him, I bought a Big Bill album for 12/6 (62.5p) – the price is hand written on the back – in a second hand shop in Exmouth. It wasn’t what I was expecting. The cover said it was a Blues album. I knew the blues word from my dad’s jazz albums and was expecting something New Orleansish, I guess. I was, as they say, “Blown away” by the virtuosity of his guitar playing and the intensity of his singing. I knew something of the Civil Rights struggle of the 1960s, but here was the pain, travelling loud and clear through the years and across the ocean. People suffer in many ways.
Remembering today’s significance, we can pray for people whose circumstances prevent them from fully living.
Carry on reading while you listen… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1bWf1ewsg0
I thought I’d quite like to play like that. No chance. He is the guitar equivalent of David “24 fingers” Wilkinson. I was new to the guitar and keen. I bought books. I watched guitarists’ fingers. I gave up. So, I don’t play like Big Bill and I am still really impressed by anyone who can. I note that Eric Clapton gets Andy Fairweather-Low to do the Big Bill bits. I learned – am still learning – to play the way I can play. I keep practising and every now and then I try again and fail again to copy Broonzy.
While this next track plays we could pray for those who have bought the dream that they can do anything and then found that they can’t. https://soundcloud.com/johnfroud/worth-every-tear-1
God doesn’t want us to do what he didn’t make us to be able to do. None of the Zeph team were ever going to be Olympic high jumpers, We’re not built for that. But my colleagues are amazingly talented in so many ways. He didn’t make us all the same. Some he made teachers, etc. To some he gave the gift of apple pies. We had a lady called Hazel in the church at Shipley some time ago. If things had gone pear shaped for a family, Hazel would turn up on the doorstep with an apple pie.
I can’t do that either. Lets pray that we get to know what we can do for God…
Different gifts…when Peter and John were strolling about in the temple in Acts 3, they were asked for money by a man who couldn’t walk. Peter’s reply stands as one the great statements of faith. “Silver and gold I don’t have, but what I have I give you.” And he helped him to his feet. That was a gift not much in evidence when he was in the Temple courtyard or putting his coat on to jump in the water…
He’s not finished with us yet. God’s creation is a work in progress—and so are we. We pick up new skills, we gain new experiences (not always positive) and we are changed, often a tiny bit at a time, so we don’t notice till later. Teaching left me with skills and insights that are part of me now, but wouldn’t have been there if I’d started on this ministry when I was younger. Somewhere along the road Hazel learned to make those wonderful pies. Trust in God’s timing. Pray for an understanding of where we are and what is possible.
I’m not always patient with what I see as others people’s sense of the possible… either way. Sometimes I get frustrated with an overestimation (nooooooooooo!) at other times, it’s an underestimation (go on! go on! go on!) of abilities.
Anyone ready to pray for an understanding of where other people are and what their gifts are so that we can gently (or otherwise!) encourage their ministries?
To finish, here’s Garth Hewitt’s song of how Mahalia Jackson (another singer) told Martin Luther King in a very public place what he should do.
Perhaps we can be more … discreet. Now, however you do it, “Go and make disciples…” Matt 28:19