Barnabas, Son of Encouragement

I love Barnabas. We first meet him, he’s selling his field and giving it to the disciples for use in their ministry. Our first introduction to him is an act of giving. And it just gets better from there.

Barnabas is the first disciple to come beside Paul when nobody else would touch him. Paul’s history as a persecutor of Christians made the believers understandably fearful, but, Barnabas’ perfect love for his new brother drove out that fear.

Not only does Barnabas take Paul in, but he also takes the man with him on his important gospel missions. Pretty soon, he takes a step back and lets Paul do all the preaching, paving the way for Paul the Evangelist, who would take the Gospel to the Gentiles like no other disciple ever had before. Barnabas’ selfless love empowers Paul to become not just a part of the family, but a fully realized individual as well.

Barnabas’ journey takes an interest turn from there. You see, Paul wants to take a return trip to all the places he and Barnabas visited together. Barnabas wants to take John Mark with them, but Paul is having none of it. Apparently, Mark had ditched them on a previous mission and now Paul sees him a liability. Barnabas remains Barnabas though. So, Paul heads off alone.

It just goes to show ya: we are often far too quick to forget that the same God that called us out exclusion calls others too. But God never forgets. He continues to extend the olive branch, sometimes in spite of us.

The story has a happy ending, though. At the end of his live Paul summons Mark to his side (2 Timothy 4:11). That Barnabas love finally got through.

Dear Little Boy

Dear little boy,

so scared and thin,

it is time to become

a man

to take the hand of the lonely

to feed the hungry

to lead the church

and cover your family

in eagle’s wings.

Welcome everyone you meet

into a safe and empowering place

where they can explore and grow.

Make bold choices

Be patient and kind.

Not Superman

but a simple man

in love with

everyone

and with God.

 

 

Glory in the Distance

There will come a day when we will live together in harmony

for now there is in-fighting, dissension, and discord,

but I hold onto that bright bright future

for one day it will come-

I see glimmers of it, now and again,

like stars in the sky, often covered by clouds or smog,

but every so often revealed in their full wonder.

The People Want to Sing

The people are leading now,

with their voices,

They don’t needed to be steered,

forcibly guided by instrumentation.

I set my guitar down and sing with them,
the sensation is like setting my bare feet

in a cool stream,

I can feel my soul revived,
flowing downward for miles and miles

Until we finally meet the sea,
become one, evaporate

and ascend into the heavens
to sing once more.

Peace, Brother!

People fight, they do

it’s part of life

but it doesn’t have to define us

We fight today, we make up tomorrow

We fight not to divide but to wake up the senses,

we want peace to win

 

There’s a time to clench fists

and a time to let go

Me? I’ve lost all the sensation down there

The blood vessels are too restricted

 

So, I’m letting go

Let’s shake hands

Peace brother,

God be with you!