Oct 27, 2010

A Christmas Wish for Beirut

Have you thought about how you can bring the Gospel to a few thousand young people in the Middle East this Christmas?

Through music, the Word of God, storytelling, and other art forms, the Gospel will be brought to Lebanon this December. The Bill Drake Band, a ministry of OM Arts International will have the opportunity to minister to thousands of young people in Beirut.

Working with local churches, the Gospel will be presented in schools and concert venues around the city. This is an unprecedented opportunity!

$12,000 needs to be raised to cover airfare, food, lodging and transportation for the team of 8.

Will you pray and partner with us to help illuminate the truth of Christmas for people who so desperately need to hear this message?

For residents of the USA, give securely online by clicking here.

Or give a support gift through your local OM office with the notation: OMUSA-9071BDBL10   Click here for your local OM office.

Oct 19, 2010

The Arts and the Incarnation

As we move closer to the Christmas Season, I always find myself meditating on the mystery and the glory of the Incarnation.  God becomes flesh.  And not just that - He goes so far through His Holy Spirit to dwell in us!  On the one hand this seems metaphysically outrageous, religious nonsense.  On the other hand, it is actually our only hope - "Christ in us, the hope of glory" (see the entire argument in Colossians 1:13-27). 

This makes the Incarnation a missional move by God, Who employs the incarnation to rescue and ransom His beloved.  The implications of this, when married with Christ's mandate to "seek first the Kingdom of God", are that incarnational and missional living is what we were born for, what we were created to do, and as such, are never more God-like ourselves than when we emulate Him by living accordingly. 

I have often wondered (I guess because my mind works this way!), who "proclaimed" the better sermons - Billy Graham, or Mother Theresa.  This may seem a non-sequitur, but the question begs a deeper truth.  Proclamation is not only a matter of verbal message - Christ is the Word and the Image of the Invisible God, and we are to follow in His steps, not only intellectual collections of correct doctrine, but also living and breathing imitations of Jesus who care, cry, bleed, pray, worship, live, and die.

"The historic argument for the use of the arts in worship is grounded in the Incarnation. The claim is that God, by becoming a person, sanctified physical and material reality as a vehicle for spiritual presence. He comes to us through flesh and blood. Why, then, shouldn't we accept appropriate art forms as visible means through which we offer our praise?"

Robert Webber, Worship Is a Verb: Celebrating God's Mighty Deeds of Salvation (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishing, 1992), 12-13.

Oct 6, 2010

Is What You're Living For Worth Dying For?

One of the main highlights of our Tour in Germany this past summer, was doing a Wear The Crown concert for close to 8,500 young people in Aidlingen, Germany near Stuttgart.    The concert starts with a butterfly, signifying a new-born believer opening her wings and trying out her new-found faith, only to be sorely tempted by Materialism and Narcissism, and then re-focused to draw near to the Cross of Christ.

As my team and I have brought this message all over the world, many times I actually sense the enemy saying to me, "Bill, you are getting WAY to radical here.  Lighten up!"  Such a challenge to put before folks:  Is What You're Living For Worth Dying For?  But the the voice of the martyrs cries out to us - louder - more compelling -  not to guilt us as we look upon the death and torture, but rather, to challenge us to step up to the same bar, and make the same investment and commitment.

I am totally convinced that a person will never know why they are alive, unless the purpose for their life is wrapped up in God's purposes for the world.  One of my favorite sayings, (and something I must always keep telling myself) is, He has no fear who has nothing to lose.  I also firmly believe that I'll never really start understanding, until I start obeying.  Shall we "die" together my friends?

Oct 4, 2010

The Lock and The Door


The young woman looked at her painting, and wondered,  "How could God ever use this?"  Being in a Muslim country with a team of visual artists, she had been struggling to render the concept they had been asked to paint:  "I am the door", those beautiful words of Jesus that invite us to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. But she had painted a lock.  The heavy, massive medieval kind, that looked impenetrable and imposing.  How could this communicate – how could God take that which she really hadn't painted all that well in her opinion, and use it for His glory?

The old man strolled slowly through the open-air art gallery that had suddenly appeared in the plaza.  He surveyed the beautiful pictures of doors and gates.  But there was one, a lock.  He stood stunned, as the revelation hit him – someone had just painted his life, his longing, his desperate condition of being locked out from the light.  Light that he just knew was there for him, but had been so elusive in his own religious tradition.  He knew in the moment he saw the painting, that the artist who painted it had the insight and wisdom he had been seeking his entire life.

The young woman approached the old man, and through interpretation asked him why he was staring spellbound at her meager painting.  Through tears, the man said to her, "My entire life I have felt locked out from all God had for me.  I can see it through the keyhole, but I can't get to it.  Can you please tell me, what is the key that will unlock the door of my life, and let me run into the light of God?"  The young woman at that moment had the privilege of sharing the love of Christ, right there on the sidewalk.  The Holy Spirit had used her humble painting to unravel this man's heart, and draw him to the Father heart of God.