Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Nashville at New Years

Me and Mandolin Mike, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
So it's been a while since I could blog. I was at a conference for most of the last week near Ashville, NC. After the conference, I traveled with a group of eight other people from the conference for a faith venture in the country music capital of the world. That's right, Nashville!

On new years eve, we ventured out on the town to take in a variety of experiences. It was kind of funny because looking back on it, there was so much going on. At the beginning of the day, I encouraged people to strive to be "God aware" for the day, and see what experiences He brought across our paths.

Three experiences that come to mind for me were these.

1) In the afternoon, we visited a lifesize replica of the parthenon. While we were setting up for a photo, a guy attempted to steal a purse from one of the people in our crew. He then proceeded to pretend that wasn't the case and began "kickin it" to one of our ladies. She wasn't impressed, and so he quickly left. After he left, I think he heightened our awareness of what was going on around us for the rest of the day. Sometimes we need to be shocked into being aware, and this occasion definitely made us all much more in tune with what was going on around us. I noticed that it is really easy to be stuck in our own little bubble much of the time.

2) The guy in the photo with me is named Mandolin Mike. We ran into him on Broadway in downtown Nashville. We were just walking by, but I felt like God wanted me to stop. So I through a dollar into his mandolin case and listened to him as he finished a song. He told me he came down ten years ago in an effort to make it big, but he was currently confined to performing on the street. He's from the Harrisburg or carlilsle area of Pennsylvania. He told us a little bit about the adventures of trying to make it in nashville, and as we finished talking he asked if we had a request. I asked him what his favorite song to play was. He smiled. He then told me he had written a few songs--I asked him to play the one he loved the most. He played one of the most amazing instrumental mandolin songs I had ever heard. When we take time to listen to others and show care, we often become more richly blessed than we would otherwise.

3) As we were leaving downtown Nashville, an older gentleman rode up to us on a bicycle and started talking to us. He was homeless. He was lamenting his condition--but he didn't ask for a handout. We prayed with him, and encouraged him to empty out the bottle he was carrying with him. Our "tour guide" also happened to be a Nashville street evangelist--so she pointed him to a mission nearby. We don't know what happened to Terry Crawford that night, but at least for a few minutes a few people took the time to listen to him, to care for him, and to point him to hope and even a warm clean place to stay.

As the new year begins, I pray that you might be more aware of what is happening around you all of the time. Take time to listen to the little promptings from God that tell you that maybe you should be doing things a little differently at different moments. I pray that you will take time to slow down and talk to people who are around you, and I pray that you will will care enough to intervene among the hurting. Slow down and engage those around you with good news and good medicine for a hurting world.


Luke said...

Hey bud, good stuff. It was cool getting to meet you and talk life a bit this past week. I really appreciated your sessions. Sometimes I just need things repeated to me in plain speech to be reminded of what's really important...

Anyway, your insights were a great help... as was your kind heart. I hope God continues to bless all that you do and everyone you come in contact with!

Just for reference sake, I do have a blog on blogspot here... its but my main blog is

Hope all is well. Take care my friend.


brd said...

Isn't Nashville fun! Welcome to Tennessee. I stumbled on your site looking for information on a strange house that used to be in Morgantown, WV. (I lived there once.) Now we live in Knoxville. Do you know if that house is still in Morgantown--across the river from "Star City"?
Betsy DeGeorge

Pam and Mike said...

I just love the look on Mandolin Mike's face. Sounds like a great trip!