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Back Sunglasses Piano Man Billy Joel

The Tricky Business of Books and Covers

The Tricky Business of Books and Covers

  1. J.S. Bach or Billy Joel?
    1. Billy Joel’s background
      1. Born May 9, 1949 in the Bronx, New York
      2. Father accomplished classical pianist, & encouraged by his mother
      3. Dropped out of high school to pursue music performing
      4. Frustratd Rock Star, Lounge Pianist in Vegas, Successful Rock Star
      5. Highly acclaimed Hall of Famer & Grammy Legend
      6. Accomplished classical pianist
      7. Leverages Pop/Rock fame to teach kids Classical Piano
      8. Married & Divorced from Christie Brinkley (not 1st/last marriage)
      9. In and Out of Rehab for Alcohol Addiction
  1. S. Bach’s background
    1. Born March 31, 1685 in Eisenach, Thuringia (Germany)
    2. Raised in a family of musicians
    3. Raised in a very faithful/religious family
    4. Considered one of the greatest musicians of all time
    5. Invented the Fugue
    6. Independent & arrogant young man
    7. Disappeared for several months in 1705
    8. His style clashed with the pastor where he was hired to play
    9. Failing vision, suffered a stroke, and died blind
  1. Both musicians have expected & unexpected elements to their lives
    1. Accomplished in music & Struggling in life
  2. What Good Comes from Uneducated Galilee/Nazareth?
    1. Jesus judged
      1. He threatened the power base
      2. They called him a blasphemer
      3. Said he was Beelzebul (or of Beelzebul)
      4. Tried to kill him
  1. The Disciples judged
    1. They threatened the power base
    2. They were called uneducated
    3. Commanded to stop spreading the Word about The Way
    4. Beaten, Harassed, and eventually Killed
  1. People in Our Age judged
    1. Not good enough, pure enough, smart enough, rich enough
    2. They don’t fit a particular perception or category
      1. When I told people I was enlisting in the Army
      2. When I told people I was Called to pastoral ministry
      3. People deserve what they got or worse, etc.
  1. Turning People into Categories
    1. The heart of the Tricky Business of Books & Categories is Judging
    2. Judging people into Categories Boxes them in
    3. We speak of Hope & Transformation, but make it a Lie by Boxing In
    4. We may also rob others of aid when we perceive them as all together
    5. Many have a pristine cover on the outside and a torn up inside
    6. We’re all a blend of good & bad, light & darkness – individual journeys
    7. This makes it a tricky business dealing in books & covers
  2. God Sees Value & Purpose Differently
    1. God sees our Potential … and what’s more our Potential in Grace
      1. God sees what he can do in and through us
      2. I take great comfort in that assurance, knowing it’s not just me
      3. I couldn’t do this job of pastor & shepherd without that Grace
  1. Scripture is full of Great Things Through Unexpected People
    1. Peter is a common example of a flawed human used in great ways
    2. King David – also a deeply flawed human, but used by God
    3. Deborah & Jael, Noah & Jonah, Ruth & Esther, Mary & Paul
  1. Jesus tells us what God Values & How God Sees Us
    1. The Beatitudes are full of different perspectives on human value
    2. There’s a freedom in knowing Grace gifts us a worth beyond us
    3. There’s a freedom in knowing God gives that gift to others
    4. There’s a burden lifted when we see others through that Grace!
  1. We Can See Ourselves & Others with God’s Eyes
    1. Learning to See Others with God’s Eyes
    2. Learning to See Ourselves with God’s Eyes
    3. Learning to Live in a World Shaped By God’s Values
  2. Listen with New Ears & See with New Eyes
    1. Next time we’re inclined to dismiss someone/something – PAUSE
    2. Listen a little longer & Look a little closer …
    3. Find God in everything
    4. Like the common elements here on this altar …


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