This was posted on DQW’s Facebook on 3/16/09:

I had to do my first Sunday Morning Fellowship Breakfast for the Michigan Jaycees and I decided that I’d take a different take with it than what has been done in the past … I decided that I’d use music to help convey the message I wanted to share with folks. Here’s what I said:

“Way back in the day when I was a wee lad in high school. I had to take a religion class. My freshman and sophomore years it was taught by a fellow named Brother Chris Whitman. Bro. Chris loved music and once a month he’d have us bring in tapes of songs that we liked. We’d listen to a song and then we’d talk about what the song was saying. It was a good class and helped us develop some critical thinking skills.

Plus, it’s very entertaining to watch a “monk” listen to Brass Monkey by the Beastie Boys.

As a quick side note, I just found Brother (now Father) Chris this week on Facebook. What an amazing tool that website is.

At any rate, this year during our fellowship breakfasts, I want to try to embody Bro. Chris’s technique. Today, I give you Toad the Wet Sprocket’s “Fly from Heaven”. I picked this for a couple of reasons. One, I love Toad the Wet Sprocket – just ask my wife Niki about the first concert we attended together at the Orbit Room in Grand Rapids.

The second reason for this particular song is that it is about faith. Frankly, it’s a bit ironic that it’s about faith when you consider that the lead singer and lyricist for Toad is a self proclaimed agnostic.

Before we listen to the song, let me give you some background. The song focuses on a guy who goes by the name of “Paul of Tarsus”. Paul’s original name was Saul and he was both a Jewish person and a Roman Citizen. He lived during the time of Jesus of Nazareth and during the first few years after the death of Jesus, Saul led the persecution of Jesus’ followers. he did this until one day, as he was on the road to Damascus, he got knocked off his horse by a blinding light, costing him his sight. He also heard a voice saying “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?”

Saul, clearly very clueless at this point in time asked, “Who am I persecuting?”

The voice responded, “Jesus of Nazareth.”

Saul remained blind for about a week, until he visited a holy man as instructed by the voice. The holy man laid his hands on Saul’s eyes and his sight was immediately restored. From that moment, he changed his name to Paul and started preaching and teaching about Jesus of Nazareth. He got so into his preaching and teaching that he became known as one of the Christian Church’s founding fathers.

So with that background in mind, let’s give our song a listen. Here are the lyrics to “Fly From Heaven” by Toad the Wet Sprocket (music and lyrics by Glenn Phillips):

Paul is making me nervous
Paul is making me scared
Walks into this room and swaggers like he’s God’s own messenger.

He’s changing into my brother.
He’s changed the things that he says.
Says that he speaks to Him. But never even knew the man.
Now I’d give my life for Him.

Like water through my hands, you’d give him any ending.
And if He’s all you say, would He fly from heaven into this world again?
Into this world again?

Take whatever you’re needing.
Take whatever you can.
We are broken from within, run to another land.
Another land.

Like water through your hands, or is it just beginning?
And if He’s all you say, would He fly from heaven into this world again?
Into this world again?

They took my brother, they ripped him from me.
To twist his words as they did his body.
Denied his family. Denied his beauty
To lay him down at the feet of those he couldn’t save.
Couldn’t save. Couldn’t save.

Will it be the end or is He still ascending?
And if He’s all you say, would He fly from heaven into this world again?

So we hear about Paul’s faith. One day he’s Saul, the next day he’s Paul with a swagger.

Have you ever met someone like that?

Have you ever been that person?

I think you have.

How has your life changed since that first Jaycee meeting you went to?

That first experience, that dramatic effect by Giesenbier’s dream works because of your faith that not only was there a guy named Henry Giesenbier but that his ideas really make a difference; that his ideas really do move the world. They really do change the world.

I look around this room and I travel around this state and I see a people with a great faith … a faith that can change the world. For those of us who are leaders in this organization, we must make sure that we don’t lose our faith (something I have been guilty of at times) nor shake the faith of the others who call themselves Jaycees.

This weekend the “Right Here, Right Now” team gave Henry a great ending … an ending that gives us a year of growth in our organization.

What do you say we do the same in 2009?”

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