Christian Music


Early Friday morning, 33 people from two states gathered for a Special Gathering choir retreat.  As you probably know, Special Gathering is a ministry within the mentally challenged community.  People who are developmentally disabled compose the three choirs. This is part of the outreach of Special Gathering into the community and a small portion of what we do.

Our primary purpose for the weekend was to learn the Christmas music that the three choirs will perform in their local communities but God had a different objective.  During Friday practice time, the Holy Spirit ministered to us in uniquely, pleasant ways.  Choir members who had little interest in developing their voices for praising God were sitting on the edges of their seats, responding to the music and director.  Those who love to sing and hungerly grasp all the solos were pressing other less-talented members to try to sing certain solo parts.

During one song, a quiet holiness fell as we sang.  Our rehearsal became worship.  Unexpectedly, four or five people started to cry because of the presence of the Lord.  Together, we laughed and cried as we savored a precious moment as God decided to touch an entire group of people with his love and grace.

On Saturday, we had a short rehearsal and left for a day of playing at Disney World’s Fort Wilderness.  By the afternoon, our fun was interrupted by concern for one of the members.  Late Friday afternoon she had stepped off a curve wrong and twisted her ankle.

She never fell, limped or complained.  She insisted that she was fine and in almost no pain.  We had iced it, called her supervisory staff.  We gave her over-the-counter, anti-inflammatory  medication approved by her staff.  However, by Saturday evening as we traveled home, it was apparent that she was in severe pain.

Additionally, one of our van drivers got lost going home.  We expected her to get home a bit before 10PM.  She did not arrive until 11PM.  When I got a phone call at 10:40 that she was late, I called parents to see if she had gotten stuck at one of their homes.  She had not arrived.  I got dressed; headed out to find her.  As I was pulling out of the driveway, we got a phone call that she had arrived at one of the homes.

On Sunday, the lady with the twisted ankle had to be taken to the hospital.  The doctors found that she had broken her foot.  When staff called me, she was irate that I would allow her to walk on that broken foot for two days without taking her to get medical attention.  This was the same staff person that I’d called three times to give a progress report regarding her condition.  During those conversations, she had not told me that my member had extremely brittle bones because of a new medical condition; and she takes medication for the condition.

Additionally, when I returned home, languishing among my junk mail was a letter from the IRS.   I am being audited by the IRS for the last three years.  The audit is expected to take at least four hours.  The last time I was audited, even though I had receipts and written proof for all my deductions, the auditor refused to look at them and she would not allow the deductions because the audit was taking too much of her time.  It had cost us over a thousand dollars.

As a commissioned minister, I am self-employed.  I save every receipt and form.  I also prepare my own taxes, using Turbo-tax.  Instructions from the IRS on how to prepare for this audit is a five page letter and represents a monumental task.

In contrast, on Sunday morning, a combined choir sang at a large local church.  They were anointed and ministered the Lord in a marvelous way.  As they sang, I sat aside my concerns for my member’s broken foot and the IRS and how the driver got lost.  Quietly, the Lord reminded me of the reassuring calmness that always proceeds severe storms.

I was raised in Charleston, SC.  Hurricanes were an annual event during my childhood.  The 1950’s marked the lowcountry cities with the scars of wild wind and furious rain.  However, after the weather forecast told us about the approaching storm, the neighborhood children would gather on our front walkway. Squatting on the hard, cool concrete, we marveled at the peace and stillness.  While our parents frantically prepared our homes, we would sit quietly, experiencing the calm.

As interesting as the storms were, it was the calm that followed and proceeded each storm that captured my young imagination.  Yesterday, the Lord reminded me of the calm that always attends an approaching storm.  “You would be wise to not let the fury of the storm destroy the peace you feel before and after you are attacked by the enemy of your soul.”

How often I’ve been so caught up by the storm that I lose my perspective of a life lived in Christ.  Joy and triumphant singing go before us each step of the way.  Goodness and mercy follow us all the days of our lives.  We are wrapped with peace in the middle of the storm.  Yet, I sit in the rocking chair of our soul and rehearse every moment of the last storm.  I recount in my mind the wind and the rain.  I speak to myself about the damage and the despair.

Yep, it appears that another storm period has invaded my life.  But quietly God is saying, “This too shall pass.”  In the meantime, God has touched a small group of mentally challenged folks and used them for his glory.  Does life get much better than that?  I don’t think so.

I often laugh at radio and TV commercials when women (or men) talk about their new weight loss and say, “I have my life back.”  The commercial writers want to convince us that I cannot have a real and honest life, unless I am a size 2 with no sags or wrinkles.

The Christian songwriter and singer, Michael Card, has a teaching on Jesus’ miracles.  Using a study in  Jesus’ years of ministry, Card concludes that Jesus often down plays healingsand miracles.  Not with standing, Jesus placed the emphasis on the need for changes in the life of the person who was healed.  Again and again, Jesus exhibited no need for “the thrill of the exhibition.”  When he healed the ten lepers, Jesus sent them to see the priest.  By the time they appeared before the priest, they had all been healed.

Michael Card

When Jesus healed a blind man using mud, he told blind man to go and wash.  The man was healed but Jesus was no where in sight.  However, after the healing, Jesus sought the man out to insure that his spiritual man was healed.

There are perhaps two conclusions we can reach from the way that Jesus handled miracles.  First, miracles should be such a common place thing in a Christian’s life that we are not overly impressed by miracles.  Years ago, comedian Lilly Tomlin’s attended a Katherine Kuhlman meeting.  Miss Kuhlman was known as a person through whom the Lord performed miracles and healings.  Ms. Tomlin said, “I’m embarrassed to say that there were so many miracles in those four hours of the meeting that I got bored.”  Perhaps, this is a more healthy attitude than we would care to admit.

The second way to handle miracles may be to look beyond the miracle itself to see what God desires to do in the hearts of people.  His goal is conforming us into the image of Christ.  He will use many features from his tools box to reach that lofty goal in our lives.  When people who are mentally challenged accept the Lord, they don’t expect God to heal their minds.  They do desire to have God change their lives, making them into faithful disciples.

Any person with an ounce of self-esteem does not need to have a perfectly sculpted body to have a life.  In the same way, as wonderful and needed as miracles may be, the Christian must always be on guard to see how the Lord can redeem our lives, teaching them His will and changing us into His image.

What miracles have you seen in your life?  What was God trying to teach you through the miracle?

When God calls us to do a work for him, he actually means business.  At times, we have this lassia faire attitude that says, “Really, God?  You want me to do what?  You must be kidding.”  In reality, God is deathly serious about the things he desires us to do.

For many years, people encouraged my husband to stop working for NASA as an engineer and start a church.  But there was never any indication from the Lord that this was what He wanted Frank to do.  My husband and I both knew that his mission field was at his work place.  

For most of my life, I did not know that God would call me into missions.  My husband, on the other hand, would say, “We should move overseas.  I’ll get an engineering job;  and you can do missions work.”  Because I felt I was already doing what God was asking me to do–raising three children and being his wife, I never commented.  

Some years after all our children had graduated from high school, I visited Special Gathering to write a book; and I knew that I’d come home.  While my husband had often fought things that I wanted to do for the Lord, he never hesitated to agree with God’s true call on my life.  This was a perfect position for me.  From that first day I visited, I’ve been as comfortable at Special Gathering, as if I’d been born to do the job (which, of course, is true).

Yet, in his daily email newsletter Oz Helman asks,

Have you ever not pursued something because it had to be perfect? There is a fine line between doing things with excellence and being a perfectionist. Perfectionists become argumentative with God. They refuse to step out in faith and obedience because they care too much about what others think if the results don’t turn out perfectly.I battled these same demons when God led me into a writing and speaking ministry. “Lord, I am weak in grammar and you know I’m an introvert.” Then He reminded me “…for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9).

When God places His anointing on you He uses whatever level of skill you have to fulfill His purposes in your life. This is why you need not fear moving into an unfamiliar area if He calls you there.

 

 

What is God waiting for you to do? It may be time to step out. He specializes in “cliff-catching.” 

This is the Christmas play we will be using in Melbourne, Vero and South Carolina programs of Special Gathering.  You will need to use your imagination to adapt it to your own staging area.  In one of our programs, we have not curtains.  We adapt the play to fit the area in which we must perform.

The music is from Cedarmont Kids, “Gospel Christmas Songs” Album.  Your choir will love the upbeat Spirituals with a Jamaican influence.  My choirs have not even noticed that the songs are sung by a children’s choir. 

You can order the album on line.  The songs are sung twice.  The second set has split track.

Joy!  It’s Christmas Time

By Linda G. Howard

Choir should be positioned on the side of the stage opposite where the actors will be entering and exiting the stage. Three people come to the front. 

Speaker 1—We’d like for everyone to join us as we sing, “Joy to the World.”  Everyone, including audience sings, “Joy to the World.” 

Joy to the World! The Lord is Come

1. Joy to the World!  The Lord is come; Let earth receive her King.

      Let every heart prepare Him room,

      And heaven and nature sing, And haven and nature sing,

      And heaven, and heaven and nature sing.

2.  Joy to the World the Savior reigns, Let men their songs employ.

      While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains

      Repeat the sounding joy, Repeat the sounding joy,

      Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

3.  He rules the world with truth and grace,

      And make the nations prove the glories of His righteousness

      And wonders of His love,

      And wonders of His love,

      And wonders, wonders of His love.

Speaker 2—(Comes from the audience.  He puts his hands on his hips as though angry)  Okay, it’s Christmas but can we really be singing about Joy?  Everything is a mess.  There are wars.  People hate us.  We hate others.  I don’t know where you get all that joy stuff.

Speaker 3—Hey, sit down!  You are messing up our play.  This is the story about Jesus’ birth. 

Speaker 1—That’s right.  Can somebody make this person sit down?  Will anyone help us?

Speaker 4—Wait a minute.  Isn’t this why we celebrate Jesus’ birthday?  We need to help people understand why Jesus’ life is important to us.

Speaker 2—Yeah, why do you think that Jesus was such an important person?  What makes his birth special?

Speaker 1—Sit down and watch our play.  We’ll explain it all to you. 

Speaker 2–Okay.  I’ll watch your play.  After all, it is Christmas time.

Reader 1:       God, the Father, knew that people need someone to help them with their lives.  We need a Savior.  Sin has made us fearful.  We hurt each other and ourselves.  God had a plan to send His Savior.  That Savior was His son, Jesus.

Choir sings “The Virgin Mary had a Baby Boy.”   Mary comes from behind curtain, looking up to the sky.  The house lights go off and the only light is on Mary.  The Angel Gabriel comes from the opposite side of the stage.  She should be looking in the opposite direction.  He quietly stands behind Mary.  She does not see him. 

2. The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy  

1.     The Virgin Mary had a Baby boy. (3xs)

        And they said that His name will be Jesus.

chorus

He come from the glory.

He come from the glorious kingdom

He come from the glory.

He come from the glorious kingdom

2. The Angels sang when the Baby was born…

chorus

3. The Shepherds came-a when the Baby was born…

chorus

4. The wise men saw-a where the Baby was born…

chorus

Reader 2:  God sent the angel Gabriel to a virgin girl who lived in Nazareth, a town in Galilee.  The girl was engaged to marry a man named Joseph.  Her name was Mary. 

(As the choir begins to sing, “Wonderful Counselor,” the angel takes Mary‘s hands.)

3. Wonderful Counselor 

1. Tell me, who do you call The Wonderful Counselor?

 (Chorus)

Oh, oh, glory, hallelujah

Oh, oh, glory, hallelujah

Glory, Hallelujah to the newborn King.

2. The Holy Spirit will come on the Blessed Virgin Mary.  (Chorus)

3. Well, they’ll call Jesus, “TheWonderful Counselor.”  (Chorus)

4. Cryin’ Peace on earth, Good will to your neighbor…  (Chorus)

5. Well, I call Jesus, my wonderful Savior… (Chorus)

6. They’ll follow the star to find the baby…  (Chorus)

When the song ends, the angel leaves.  The curtain opens and Mary sits on a bench. Hands and face held up in prayer.

Joseph comes out and stands in the center of the stage. Mary stands and meets him and uses gestures to explain about the angel.   As they talk to each other, they move around the stage.  Choir sings, “Jesus, What a Wonderful Child.”


4.  Jesus, Oh, What a Wonderful Child 

(chorus) Jesus! Jesus! Oh, what a wonderful child!

Jesus!  Jesus! So lowly, meek and mild.

New life, new hope, new joy He’ll bring

Won’t you listen to what the angel proclaims.

Glory, glory, glory, to the newborn king.

I am an angel from the heavenly King.

He’ll born in a lowly manger.

The Virgin Mary is his mother.

And Joseph, you’re His earthly father. 

Take Mary to be your only wife

You’ll be blessed with a heavenly star.

To see King Jesus will be your joy

In a manger filled with hay.

Repeat chorus 2xs

Tag  Glory, glory, glory, to the newborn king.

Reader 1:       Mary was engaged to marry Joseph.  But before they married, Mary learned that she was pregnant with a child by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Mary’s husband, Joseph was a good man.  He did not want to bring shame to Mary before the people.  So he planned to divorce her secretly. 

Mary turns away from Joseph and has her back to the audience. She slowly walks back stage.  The choir sings “Go Tell it on the Mountain.”  Joseph goes to center stage.  He is confused, hurt, and angry.  He sits down and falls asleep. 

As the choir begins to sing “Go Tell it,” Joseph’s Angel comes on stage wakes him up and talks to Joseph.  At verse 3, the angel leaves.  Mary comes on stage.  Joseph goes to Mary, takes her hand and helps her off the stage.

5.  Go! Tell It on the Mountain 

 (chorus) Go, tell it on the mountain,

Over the hills and everywhere;

Go, tell it on the mountain that Jesus Christ is born.

1.     While Joseph tossed in anger,

 An Angel came to earth,

The Angel came to tell him

Of our great Savior’s birth.

2.     The Heavenly One told Joseph,

“Take Mary as your wife.

She’ll be the Savior’s mother.

He’ll live a holy life.”

3.     So he obeyed the angel

The humble Christ was born

And brought us God’s salvation

That blessed Christmas morn.

Chorus

Reader 3:  And Joseph did exactly what God’s angel commanded in the dream.  He married Mary.

(Joseph puts his arm around Mary.  Mary and Joseph walk off the stage. Close curtain or the stage should be empty.)

Reader 2:    At that time Augustus Caesar sent out an order to all people.  The order said that all people must write their name in a book.  All people traveled to their own towns to be registered.  So Joseph went to Bethlehem in Judea.  Joseph went with Mary.  While Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem, the time came for Mary to have the baby.

 The choir sings, “O, Little Town of Bethlehem.”

6.  O Little Town of Bethlehem 

O little town of Bethlehem—

How still we see thee lie

Above thy deep and dreamless sleep

The silent stars go by.

Yet in thy dark streets shineth

The everlasting light;

The hopes and fears of all the years

Are met in thee tonight.

For Christ is born of Mary, And gathered all above.

While mortal sleep the angels keep

Their watch of wondering love.

O Morning Stars together proclaim the Holy birth

And praises sing to God the king and peace to men on earth!

(Back to first verse.  Audience is invited to sing with them.)

As the choir sings, shepherds should move to the front floor area.  At verse three, open the curtains. Mary and Joseph should be center stage with the baby in Mary’s arms.  There should be no angels or shepherds on stage at this time.

Reader 4:  That night, Mary gave birth to her first son, Jesus. 


Choir sings “Mary had a Baby.”

7.  Mary Had a Baby

Mary had a baby.  Yes, Lord. 

Mary had a baby. Yes, my Lord;

Mary had a baby, Yes, Lord!

The people keep a comin’ and the train done gone.

1. What did she name him?  Yes, Lord.

What did she name?  Yes my lord;

What did she name him, Yes, Lord.

The people keep a comin’ and the train done gone.

2.      She named Him King Jesus, Yes, Lord!

She named him King Jesus, Yes, my Lord.

Wonderful Couns’lor. Yes, Lord.

The people keep a comin’ and the train done gone.

3.      Where did she lay him?  Yes Lord!

Laid Him in a manger?  Yes, my Lord!

Wrapped Him in swaddlin’, Yes, Lord!

The people keep a comin’ and the train done gone

Reader 5:       Some shepherds were in the fields watching their sheep.

Reader 6:       An angel of the Lord stood before the shepherds and said,

Reader 7:       “Don’t be afraid.”

Angels walk up.  They should point the shepherds to Mary and Joseph and the baby. 

Choir sings,“Rise Up Shepherds and Follow.”

8.  Rise Up, Shepherd and Follow

There’s a star in the east on Christmas morn,

Rise up, shepherd and follow.

It will lead to the place where the Savior’s born,

Rise up, shepherd and follow.

Leave your sheep and leave your rams,

Rise up, shepherd and follow.

Leave your flocks and leave your lambs.

Rise up, shepherd and follow.

If you take good heed to the angel’s words

Rise up, shepherd and follow.

You’ll forget your flocks; you’ll forget your herds;

Rise up, shepherd, and follow.

Follow, follow, Rise up, shepherd and follow.

Follow the star of Bethlehem. Rise up, shepherd and follow.

Rise up, shepherd and follow. Rise up, shepherd and follow.

 As soon as the song ends, the shepherds walk to the center stage on the floor and bow, if they can.  One or two shepherds should go on stage and bow before the manger. 

Angels should move on to the stage.  As the music begins for “Behold that Star,”  the wise men begin to move from the back.  They come on stage and kneel on the floor before the baby.

9. Behold that Star

(chorus)

Behold, that star

Behold, that star up yonder,

Behold, that star

This the star of Bethlehem.

There was no room found in the inn.

This the star of Bethlehem.

For Him who was born free from sin,

This the star of Bethlehem.

(chorus)

The Wise men came from the East

This the star of Bethlehem.

To worship, Him, the Prince of Peace

This the star of Bethlehem.

(chorus)

(tag)  This the star of Bethlehem.

Choir sings, “Silent Night” as speakers 1, 3 and 4 move to the front of the stage on the floor.  Then speaker 1 goes and gets speaker 2 and helps him to come onto the front of the stage.  Speaker 2 bows at the manger.  Then all the other speakers come on the stage and bow with him.

Silent Night

Silent night, holy night, All is calm all is bright.

Round yon virgin, mother and Child!

Holy infant so tender and mild. 

Sleep in heavenly peace,

Sleep in heavenly, heavenly peace

Silent night Holy night

Son of God, love’s pure light

Radiant beams from Thy holy face

With the dawn of redeem grace

Jesus, Lord, at thy birth.

Jesus, Lord, at thy birth.

Choir and audience sings “O Come All Ye Faithful.”  Everyone, except Mary, stands and sings with the choir and audience.

O Come, All Ye Faithful

O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,

O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem!

Come and behold him, born the King of Angels!

O come, let us adore Him, (3xs) Christ, the Lord.

Sing, Choirs of Angels, Sing in exultation.

Sing, all ye hosts of heav’n above.

Glory to God all glory in the highest,

O come, let us adore Him, (3xs) Christ, the Lord!

Yea, Lord, We greet Thee, born this happy morning, Jesus to Thee be all glory given.

Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing,

O come, let us adore Him, (3xs) Christ the Lord.

 

For about 10 years,  mourning doves nested outside our back door.   The sweet cooing of the birds and the chirps of their young, filled my morning devotion and prayer spot with joyful, mourning sounds.  Several times a day, I’d venture outside the sliding glass door to view the tiny babies or the hovering parents.

The year after Hurricanes Frances and Jean, the mourning doves were replaced by the ringed-turtle dove.  We are told that the winds blew these lovely, wanderers into our area.  Then the second year of their nesting, I lowered the plant where the nest was perched.  The birds decided they couldn’t trust this lower spot.  They nested but later left the eggs and the nest.

Trust is a foundation stone of life.  Whether you are a newly-migrated, ringed-turtle dove searching for a nesting area, a small child grasping the hand of his dad, or a woman in her 40’s who reaches across the bed each night to touch her spouse, we need someone to trust.

Whom can you trust? In the book of Acts, chapter 12, Luke writes about one fateful night after Peter had landed himself in jail.  He had been arrested for preaching the good news of Jesus.  They incarcarated him, placing him between 2 guards.  In the night, an angel woke Peter up,  told Peter to get up, get dressed, put on his shoes and follow the angel.

After Peter had escaped jail.  He went to the house where the church had gathered to pray for Peter’s release.  He talked to Rhoda a servant girl.  The young girl was so surprised to see Peter that she rushed upstairs to tell the church.  Even though, they had been praying for his release, the prayers didn’t believe that Peter had been released.

Obviously, the church members had not learned to trust God, yet.  Here are some tips we can use to learn how to trust the Lord.

First, we need to stop worrying.  Worry will kill you and make others want to kill you.  Peter was not worried.  He wasn’t lying awake concerned about being able to escape.  He was asleep when the angel executed his rescue.

Second, we should truly look for God to give us miracles.  Too often we ignore unexpected good and godly things which happen to us.  We can recognize when God is helping us.

Third, we can tell others about what God has done for us.   Trusting God means that we live different from other people.  At any moment, we should expect a Peter to arrive at our door.

 

On December 13,  I injured my eye ball.  I was working in the garden when a spindly plant pierced my eye directly into the corneal.  It caused what the doctors called a Recurrent Corneal Erosion (RCE).  In simple terms, the skin on my eyeball would dissolve in the middle of the night and I would wake up in terrible pain.  This happened each night, often several times a night.  While the eyeball heals quickly, many nights, it would not heal.  The patient is left with an inability to tolerate light. Daytime became exceptionally painful.

There is no cure or remedy for RCE.  Everyone who inherits or develops this condition learns to live with the pain.  As debilitating as the condition is, I was preparing myself to live this way for the rest of my life.

I spent countless, sleeplesss nights in pain.  I was under constant care of the doctor.  In the end, I had two operations on my eye.  The Special Gathering members who are developmentally disabled caught the need for the Lord to heal me.  Chrissy especially realized that God is merciful and He would hear her prayer.  To be honest, I was in too much pain to have much faith.  But not Chrissy.

Every day, several times a day, Chrissy prayed for my eye.  Chrissy has CP and she has been confined to a wheelchair all of her life.  She does not talk but she can communicate and she can pray.

The last attack on my eye was at the end of September the next year.  Four glorious years I’ve been without pain.  But Chrissy has remained faithful to pray for me each day.  Chrissy understands what James wrote that the effective, fervant prayer of a righteous woman does a lot of good.

Even though it’s been four years, the two years of piercing, reoccuring pain and trauma have not been forgotten.  I am so grateful to the Lord for healing my eye; and I am so indebted to Chrissy who prayed for me when I was too weak in my faith to pray.  The Special Gathering members often have no boundries in their ability to touch the heart of God because they understand Him.  They, often, don’t understand unbelief.

Have you seen God use people in exceptional ways to answer prayer?  What have you learned about faith from these prayer warriors?

Read more: http://blog.beliefnet.com/simplelife/2011/07/prayer-of-the-saints.html#ixzz1SZuldhl7

          Wednesday, November 10, did not seem like an eventful day for Joey Melton.  He got up, got dressed, ate breakfast, took his lunch and went to work.  None of us would have suspected that this would be his last day on earth. How could we know that by 2pm he would slip into eternity?  He was not sick.  The behaviors which had haunted him most of his life had been tamed and subdued.  He had become known as the “gentle giant.”  He would touch, not strike.  Though still able to crush, Joey caressed the things he found fascinating and beautiful.  But Joey was not to remain here.  The Lord had a better plan for him.  (Read Psalm 4:1, 6b-8.)

          During the praise and worship time at The Special Gathering, Joey danced through the praise.  At first, he would sway during the music at his seat.  When he started knocking into people, some thought that we should make him stop.  But this was his expression of joy and delight in the presence of His Lord.  That joy should not be suppressed.  Gently Gladys LeGrow or Dan Guiles, his Bible teacher, would lead him into the back of the room or into the aisles.  He only danced during the fast music, the praise music.  After the praise time, he would slowly move back into his seat as we sang the slower worship music.  Joey knew the difference between praise and worship and always responded appropriately.

Joey had several special giftings.  He could down a 2-liter bottle of soft drink in less than 30 seconds.  He could eat a meal in record time and his smile would brighten the saddest heart.  Once at work, he got into a highly concentrated red drink.  The results were astronomical.  As you know with our bodies, what goes in must come out; and within a short time Joey was pouring red from both ends.  The staff was puzzled and confused until they found the half empty bottle of red drink with the lid off.  It was clear that Joey had tried to finish off the entire bottle.  Thankfully, he did not succeed.

Joey loved work, church, Amy and Michelle. His caregiver, Tom said that at one Sunday afternoon dance with the Rec Department, they missed him.  He was found on the dance floor smoosing with some tiny little female girl.  It was apparent that Joey had a secret life of romance that he did not share with his group home family.

Joey was selective about whom he gave his affection.  While it was apparent that he loved, Dan, his Bible study teacher, he withheld his affection from me for several years.  But there came a wonderful day when Joey sought me out and extended his hand to me for a handshake.  I knew that I had won a great victory that day.

Through his praise and worship, his delight in attending church, Joey shared with us his devotion to Jesus.  While he often had to be directed to the next class, Joey sat quietly, absorbing the Word of God as his teacher, Dan, or I taught.  Each of us has something that we can share which shows our devotion and love for the Lord.  Joey danced and sat quietly.  Can any of us really do much more?

Psalm 8 says, “You have taught children and babies to sing praises to you.  I look at your heavens, which you made with your fingers; I see the moon and stars, which you created.  But why are people important to you?  Why do you take care of human beings?  You made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor.”  Few people here on earth understood the glory or honor that God graced on Joey.  Yet in heaven, right now, the angels are singing because he has come home and Joey is dancing.

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