Monday, May 21, 2007

Live Like You Were Dying

I have a lot going on this week. Between booking for my Summer Tour of Northern California, the West Coast area, and the Northern Plains, I have a number of articles to write this week. That is good I think, I am in the mood after all and that’s not such a bad thing. Of course there are the constant discussions with folks on line, counseling for those that need it, ministry within the community, the Faith in Film series, and so much more. This week, in fact today, the foreclosure on our house in Oklahoma goes to court. We will have approximately 45 days to sell the house, but some things have to happen, and happen fast. Despite that, I am still progressing, moving forward and marvel at the ministry Christ is having with The Virtual Pew.

This last Saturday night at Faith in Film was kind of an example of how God works. We had originally scheduled Chicken Little as the film to watch and discuss. Well my cell phone is out of commission and I couldn’t call the person who was supposed to bring the video, well, guess what? They didn’t show up so we had to improvise. As a part of that improvisation, we decided to watch Wallace and Grommet, The Curse of the Wererabbit. I had Tivo’d it some time ago and hadn’t see it so thought it would be an appropriate one to watch since we had targeted an animated film.

Things with Wallace and Grommet went well at first, well for at least the first 20 minutes or so, then I realized that on the particular night this video was Tivo’d there must have been some storms because the video froze. We couldn’t watch any more of it so I decided to bring out a video series, Three Wooden Crosses 11 Inspirational Videos from Today’s Top Country Artists. I had wanted to see the DVD anyway so decided we could start the video and if it worked, great, and if we got bored, no biggie, we would discuss each video after watching it.

To make a long story short, I was impressed. I was reminded of the article I did sometime ago on Johnny Cash, The Gospel and Country Music. I was amazed at how these Country Hits had such strong Spiritual significance. It was so good in fact that I thought that if still preaching in a church on a weekly basis the video series would make a great sermon series. Over the weekend I decided I would write a short series on each of the videos on that DVD. I realized with some of them I may need to use my fair use rights to teach on the video and even put some of them on YouTube. For others, I could pull directly off of YouTube.

Now realize I am not going to go in order of the videos on the DVD but in order of those that I can find, and then maybe go back to record some of my own on YouTube for future use. The first video on the series is the Tim McGraw song, Live Like You Were Dying.

Tim McGraw is the son of former Major League Baseball Player, Tug McGraw. There is a unique and intriguing story of the father and son. Tim didn’t come to really know his father until his later years and seemed to develop a relationship as they got older. The album debuted at Number 1 on the Billboard Charts. The song went to Number 1 on the Country Charts and Number 29 on the Billboard Hot 100 Charts. The song is about a person dying of cancer. It featured Tim’s father, Tug McGraw who had recently died of brain cancer. Tug’s death enabled the song to have a much stronger impact as Tim was obviously able to relate to the song more than any son would want.

I have to be honest, the song hits home with me for a number of reasons. One is because of the numerous individuals I have known over the course of the last several years who have died of cancer. What a horrible disease. I actually found myself recently telling a friend how blessed they were that their loved one died only a short time after being diagnosed. I know that is hard to perceive, blessed over a short illness that leads to death. All I could think of though was loved ones who had had to suffer. This song points out what a person would face if having cancer, it focuses on life the person has led, not the failures, the mistakes, but life.

I have been blessed by the song on another level though. One that understands Tim McGraw didn’t really come into a great relationship with his dad until later in life. I am always moved by father son love stories. I am moved for a variety of reasons, none any greater than the fact that I never knew my father. To see a story like this, which reflects on the good that came out of the bad is a blessing for individuals like me. I realize that even a poor relationship has more potential than a non existent relationship.

There are other things I really like about this song; it speaks of the importance of forgiveness, and the importance in thinking about and planning for eternity. Those are things that so many of us pass over and give little thought to. We hold in bitterness against parents, friends, and others where the message of love could be so powerful. We don’t think about the consequences of those actions on eternity. In fact we seldom think about eternity until it is too late.

This song certainly embraces the concepts of love, forgiveness, living life to the fullest, thinking about eternity, and so much more. One of the powerful aspects of a great song is our ability to insert our own lives into the story line. For those that have lost friends, that have family who may be sick, or those even sick themselves, insert yourself into the story as you watch the video and listen to the lyrics. Then do exactly what the song challenges us all to do, live like you were dying.


Live Like You Were Dyin'
If you don't see the video below click on the link, if you see the video, click on the video.

Live Like You Were Dyin'

He said I was in my early 40's,
With a lot of life before me,
And a moment came that stopped me on a dime.
I spent most of the next days, lookin' at the x-rays,
Talkin' 'bout the options and talkin' 'bout sweet time.
Asked him when it sank in, that this might really be the real end.
How's it hit ya, when you get that kind of news.
Man what ya do.
And he says,


I went sky divin',
I went rocky mountain climbin',
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull name Fumanchu.
And I loved deeper,
And I spoke sweeter,
And I gave forgiveness I've been denying,
And he said someday I hope you get the chance,
To live like you were dyin'.

He said I was finally the husband,
That most the time I wasn't.
And I became a friend a friend would like to have.
And all the sudden goin' fishing,
Wasn't such an imposition.
And I went three times that year I lost my dad.
Well I finally read the good book,
And I took a good long hard look at what I'd do
If I could do it all again.
And then.


Like tomorrow was a gift and you've got eternity
To think about what you do with it,
What could you do with it, what can
I do with with it, what would I do with it.

Sky divin',
I went rocky mountain climbin',
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull name Fumanchu.
And I loved deeper,
And I spoke sweeter,
And I watched an eagle as it was flyin'.
And he said someday I hope you get the chance,
To live like you were dyin'.

To live like you were dyin'.
To live like you were dyin'.
To live like you were dyin'.
To live like you were dyin'.

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