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Exactly what 2020 Needs: The Beatitudes Project

I was introduced to Stu the producer G at The Justice Conference in Chicago a few years back. If you’ ve already been anywhere near the global church in the last two and a half years, you will have sung his tunes and heard his songs, but that day as he placed a book and CD in my hands, I sensed there was something different about this guy, a passion for the lifestyle and words of Jesus to be lived out in our chaotic and divided period. Instead of talking about his own music, he talked about songs through men and women he had befriended in the travels. Instead of telling his own stories, he told the stories of people who’ deb been abused, forgotten, marginalized. Stu is a man who uses their voice to lift individuals up, who is using his talent to draw out the talent of others, who is making use of his influence to tell a tale of hope. My prayers for this harming world resonate deeply along with Stu’ s heart plus vision to help us reside our stories through the lens of The Beatitudes. It’ t an absolute grace to pleasant Stu to the farm’ ersus front porch today…

guest post by Stu Garrard

They would ow on earth are you doing?

How is your day inside this ache, lack, and longing called 2020?

You’ ve made it to a different day, another week, plus that’ s worth partying!

It splits your heart, though, doesn’ t it?

What are all of us supposed to do with all the noise? All of the division, brokenness, anger, hate, racism, protests, conspiracies, plus election news that leaps from our screens to our brains every day?

If you’ re like me, then it isn’ t easy to know how to respond, so often, We don’ t know what to express or if I should say anything at all.

So many are hungry plus thirsty for love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, benefits, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

However the Spirit’ s fruit appears to be missing in action in 2020.

We would like to make a change, but we don’ big t know where to start.

Should you have a few minutes to spare, I’ d love to offer a few hope in the chaos of the life.

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The Beatitude art prints are part of the eCourse, available to download on your device.

You see, this particular feels a bit familiar in my experience and reminds me of the time when it felt like the planet stopped turning. At that moment, I felt like I’ d achieved the end of my rope, but God opened my eyes to see a few truth I’ d never seen before.

It was 2009, and the year that a huge part of my life was more than.

I’ g spent the previous 16 yrs with a band of brothers called Delirious? (yes, using a question mark). We started life writing songs plus playing music at a youth worship event on the southern coast of England along with 70 kids. We went on to play in stadiums all over the world. We took our blend of rock and roll and pop-infused worship songs to some unlikely places: The UK pop charts, Glastonbury Celebration, a stadium tour assisting Bon Jovi, to name a couple of.

It was more than a band and music. It was a movement of history makers where the folks who came to our concerts, who bought our records, plus sang our songs, felt like they were in the band on their own.

Everything purpose, unity of eyesight, and how we made our own living came to an end in 2009. I got as much help and advice as I can. I wanted to do all I can to help us “ end well. ”

Indeed, most of seemed well on the outside, but it turned out I was not a good audience, and on the inside, I was sinking fast and didn’ t know what to undertake. I isolated myself, which is what grief does.

I actually turned my eyes and reliability away from God, and I attempted to control everything myself.

Exactly what followed was a tough couple of years that we (my wife plus girls) made it through but not without some pain and bad decisions on the part.

The very next year, my family and I moved from England to Nashville, Tennessee. It seemed the right next step to continue in music and to begin to flourish again as a family.

Transition is really a funny thing. Endings need grieving, and beginnings need celebrating.

But what do you do because bit in between—you understand, the bit where you feel a bit lost and seem like everything’ s out of control?

I needed to change my behavior, get my vision, and concentrate back on God, and finally, it hit me like a train. There I was within my self-induced-bottom-of-life-moment, and I had this sense that will God was not far away. Certainly the Spirit of Christ had been with me all along because that’ s exactly what Jesus does. He assumes the flesh and struggling of the world and joins us inside it.

I started to read The Beatitudes.

“ Fortunate are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Empire of Heaven. ”

Just how can that be? What are you on about Jesus? The Message version says, “ You’ re blessed at the end of your rope . ”

Jesus, via Eugene Peterson, had my attention.

I read on:

“ Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted. ”

“ Blessed are the Meek because shall inherit the earth. ”

“ Blessed are those who have hunger and thirst just for righteousness and justice for they shall be satisfied. ”

I was shocked at how upside down, counter-intuitive, and attention grabbing, these ancient announcements are.

Surely the crushed in spirit and those who mourn aren’ t blessed, are they ? How about those without power or who are unseen? Or people who lack justice and mild pain for it, surely they aren’ t blessed?

That’ s once i began to realize that I had the thought of blessing most wrong.

I discovered that the blessing in these announcements is Presence . When lifetime doesn’ t follow our instructions, and we get bumped off track. When many gets flipped upside down, and we find ourselves at the end of the rope or the bottom associated with life. We would like certainty and answers, a way out of our mess, yet what we are offered is Divine Presence . God is on our side.

Viewing blessing this way changes everything. Perhaps we’ ve grown up asking for good things and seeing these as blessings, you know, such as when we need a parking area and one “ miraculously” shows up (I’ m laughing here).

But Jesus wants us to know what God is already blessing with His Presence and invites us to push alongside this stuff.

The very first four “ poor” Beatitudes are about Grace. The Presence of God for those at the bottom associated with life.

The second half or even “ help” Beatitudes are about the invitation to live a different way.

“ Blessed are the merciful for they shall be shown Whim. ”

“ Blessed are the pure in heart because shall see God. ”

“ Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God. ”

“ Fortunate are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, and justice regarding theirs is the Kingdom associated with Heaven. ”

There is so much to unpack here. What does Mercy look like within the twenty-first century during a pandemic? What is a pure heart? Is this about moral purity, or is it about a divided heart? What is a peacemaker? And how perform we find peace within ourself as well as in our contested areas?

We know that persecution happens in other countries, but what does this “ persecution announcement” mean to someone like me in a town along with 900 churches? I’ meters not going to be persecuted meant for my faith.

I have a curious and artistic mind, and I began to create. Tunes, writings, prayers, meditations…

I sought out a residential area of people who somehow embody The Beatitudes, and I wanted to find a way to tell their tales. The Beatitudes Project was born.

The Beatitudes Project is an album associated with songs, a documentary film, a book called Words From The Hill, painted art, beautifully constructed wording, a podcast, and a study for groups and individuals wrapped in an easy to access online eCourse.

Our objective is to find what life could look like if we live through The Beatitudes’ lens.

Are you overwhelmed by all that’ s happening in the world?

You are not alone.

Together we can see what the View From Here looks like—a world with more compassion and kindness, where engagement is usually greater than tolerance.

Where the poor find assist , the grieving discover comfort , the meek acknowledged , those who symptoms for justice find justice.

A world where Mercy flows plus extends in every direction, hearts become whole, and serenity is the norm.

Amen.

 

Check this out : The Beatitudes Project is an album associated with songs, a documentary movie, a book called Words From The Hill, painted art, beautifully constructed wording, a podcast, and a study for groups and people wrapped in an easy to access online eCourse.

In The Beatitudes Project eCourse, they begin by learning how to listen . Then we hear tales from the poor in India and “ the poor” on Wall Street. Tales from refugees and those we see as “ other. ” Stories of Mercy from a female who spent 27 many years on death row and survivors of prostitution, addiction, and trafficking along with a music about Mercy from Amy Grant. We went to The particular Holy Land to learn through Israeli and Palestinian Peacemakers. We learn from some Holy Troublemakers about swimming upstream against the dominant powers in the world. There are many other stories, plus you’ ll see some folks you will recognize who so generously came alongside plus collaborated with me both in story and songs.

Instructors, artists, musicians, poets, plus activists, such as; Hillsong Usa, Shane Claiborne, John Mark Mcmillan, Becca Stevens, Shiny Maher, Audrey Assad, Amanda Cook, Jeremy Courtney, Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Martin Smith, Propaganda, Terrian Bass, and All Sons plus Daughters to name a few. Many more incredible people contributed for this project.

Here’ s your invite to join Stu on the Attach of The Beatitudes. He encourages you to consider the Beatitudes of Jesus within Matthew, Chapter 5, and listen to Jesus’ words along with fresh ears. Stu’ s prayer is that you would hear the invitation to another way of being in the world and that these words of Jesus will become your anthem of hope.

Please visit TheBeatitudesProject. com and see all the assets they have in the eCourse. In regards to the beautiful Beatitude art designs in this post – they are within integral part of the project, although not available for purchase. The prints are usually part of the eCourse, available to download on your device.