Learning from the death of Ben Larson

Well today learned more about seminarian Ben Larson, who God called home in Haiti.   The ELCA News Service posted an article on Ben and reported information from his wife Renee about Ben’s death. The article can be found at: He Spent His Last Breath Singing: Wife, Cousin Remember ELCA’s Ben Larson – News Releases – Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

The touching thing about the article was Ben’s behavior and attitude at the time of his death.  He was seperated from his wife and cousin.  He was clinging to a beam as the building began caving down on them.  In the midst of it all, he was singing.  The article reports that he had a sang the  words “God’s peace to us we  pray.”   Ben was singing praise to God, looking for His wholeness in the face of impending death.  He represented an attitude focused on God and his love and in the midst of immense crisis and face of impending death.  He focused on God, being separated from the wife he loved.  His death reflected God’s peace. 

Another important consideration in examining Ben Larson’s death was that he was true to how God created him and used his gifts up till the end.  He was created with musical talents and the ability to communicate God’s message in words.  He was serving others, building them up in understanding of growing in God.  He invested in God’s kingdom over.  He didn’t hold back, he did not just use what other people created. He actively used what God gave him and used those gifts to touch others with God’s love.  He did leave a little bit of his work behind on the internet.  He left seven songs published on a Myspace page including a worship song based on Psalms 30 . 

There is more information posted about who Ben  Larson was at his churches website: http://www.flcduluth.org/.  When you go to the church website, he hear Ben Larson singing varied songs, as they are playing four of his songs.  They also have a link to his obituary.   His obituary ends with a verse: I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will praise my God while I have my being. Psalm 104:31-33. As someone who only learned of Ben Larson due his death in Haiti, the little learned on the internet is that the verse sums up the man God created in Ben Larson.  He lived out the verse  till the end of His being in this life as he passed on to the next.  Personally, I hope and pray that what Ben has created becomes circulated amidst the church body as a whole, if his family and friends are able to find away.  In the meantime, take time to listen to what he has left and examine yourself to see if you are truly walking out and using what God has given you.   

As for Ben’s family and friends, may his Psalm 30 song echo in your hearts and mind and may God truly turn your mourning into dancing.  He clearly was a blessing and my life in enriched for learning of His love for God even unto death.  In fact, right now the thought that comes to mind is “Yet though he slay me, still I will praise him.” Ben did.  May the same be found true of us all.  

  

Christian Creativity: Mikeschair- Let the waters rise

Christianity Today recently posted an article about a newer Christian Band publishing with Curb Records that is going by the name of Mikeschair.  Strange name and have not found an explanation for it. The band just released their first music video Let the Water’s Rise.  The video images in combination with the lyrics to the song are powerful. It really points toward remember God and his faithfulness regardless of what is going on around you. 

They have a MySpace page which can be found at www.mikeschair.com. Mike Grayson, the lead singer, possible owner of the chair, and general band front man his a blog at the My Space page. He posted a comment about the song:

Let the Waters Rise is by far one of our favorite songs on the record.  I am so excited about this song being a single because I feel like its one of the most honest song we have written.  There are going to be times in all of our lives where we don’t understand the situation that God has us in, or we feel like He is no where to be found when we need Him most.  These are the times when our faith is truly tested.  Jesus never promised that our lives down here were going to be perfect, in fact, in John 16 Jesus says “In this world you will have troubles…” In this life we are going to experience death, we are going to experience loneliness, disappointment, and heartache, but Jesus doesn’t leave us there!!  That same verse in John is finished by Jesus saying “but take heart! For I have overcome the world”.  One of the hardest things we are going to have to do as believers is choose to follow even with a raging sea is right in front of us.  Our prayer is that this song encourages you in those times of struggle to “take heart!” and follow God no matter what the situation.

Here is the video he is taking about and drew my attention to this young band and how God may be using them:

Please pray that God continues to work out in their life what it means to worship in spirit and truth and keeps them on the narrow way. At the concerts they apparently have a table letting people donate food or money to various ministries and organizations helping those in need in this world, displaying God’s love in action.  The heart of their actions and desire definitely comes across as displaying genuine response to God’s revealed reality.  Mike Grayson also has a video explaining their commitment to Mike’s table: