Monthly Archives: May 2009

Thoughts on Susan Boyle

Amidst world-wide tumult, recession and uncertainty, a pudgy, dowdy, ordinary looking woman appeared on the stage of “Britain’s Got Talent,” on April 11, 2009.

Virtually unknown to anyone outside her small Scottish village, by all appearances, this would be quite the gaff.

Bullied as a child, she grew up with several learning disability’s. “Simple Susan” as she was known.

She worked only a few months, and lives in a council house (government sponsored), with her 10 year old cat, “Pebbles.” She took care of her mother, who died at the age of 91 in 2007.

No one thought she’d amount to anything.

The music began to play. The judges already had a pre-conceived notion, that she would squawk on stage.

What happened next, was truly remarkable.

The judge’s faces went completely blank. Was this not the same woman? Her voice betrayed her appearance. Instead of a puny, clucking sound, they heard no squawks. A beautiful voice emerged from this 47 year old woman. “Les Miserables” — “I Dreamed a Dream” with full bravado.

Could it be? Yes! A precious gift had just been given to the world.

I have watched the videos several times. She never disappoints. She sings from the heart. Deep, rich, emotionally heart-wrenching songs. For her semi-final, she sang “Memory” for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Cats.”

Songs that touch the very soul of man. Embeds itself in one’s essence, and does not diminish with time.

God granted to us the gift. Susan Boyle’s voice.

Cats – Memory Lyrics

Midnight – not a sound from the pavement.
Has the moon lost her memory,
She is smiling alone.
In the lamp light, the withered leaves collect at my feet,
And the wind begins to moan.

(Memory – all alone in the moonlight.
I can smile at the old days,
I was beautiful then.
I remember the time I knew what happiness was.
Let the memory live again.)

Every street light seems to beat a fatalistic warning.
Someone mutters and the street lamp gutters,
and soon it will be morning.

Daylight, I must wait for the sunrise.
I must think of a new life,
And I mustn’t give in.
When the dawn comes tonight will be a memory too,
And a new day will begin.

(Burnt out ends of smoky days,
the stale cold smell of morning.
The street lamp dies, another night is over,
another day is dawning.)

Touch me, it’s so easy to leave me
All alone with the memory
Of my days in the sun.
If you touch me, you’ll understand what happiness is.
Look, a new day has begun.

(consulted in this article:

Wayno Guerrini
May 24, 2009

A Friend in Need

Someone asked me to post this — an oldie but goodie



“A friend in Need”


Wayno Guerrini


His mind was a tiny island amidst a sea of turmoil. He had known
only anguish and pain for the last several months. What was God
doing in his life? Why was he suffering so? He had never known
such emotional pain in his life. Where was God? Was there even
a God?

His whole system of beliefs had been shaken to the core. Would
he turn away from God completely, or would he embrace God 100%
with his life?. Eternity was in the balance.

He had been a Christian for nearly 20 years now. He had
undergone several tests and trials, but nothing like this. He
was afflicted physically. He was no longer able to work, so he
lost his job. He applied for worker’s compensation since it was
a work related injury. Due to a foul up at the insurance
company, he hadn’t seen any income in two months. Bills were
piling up. He couldn’t apply for disability or unemployment,
because the problem had to be straightened out with the insurance
carrier first.

His marriage was in shambles. They had tried to re-finance their
house several months earlier to help pay some bills. But when it
finally came down to signing the paper work, they lost out
because he was no longer employed; he had lost his job just two
weeks before signing the paper work.

He opened the mail one morning to find he was being sued for
$5,000 by his ex-tenant for evicting him. (Although the tenant
was several thousand dollars in arrears on rent). He couldn’t
understand that. At a time when he needed help and prayer, one
of his closer Christian friends was off enjoying “the pleasures
of sin for season.” The stress created from all these problems
caused a resurgence of his bleeding ulcer. All he was able to
eat was baby food while his ulcer healed. He FELT alone.

The night became his enemy. He remembered those verses from Job,
all to well: “so I have been allotted months of futility, and
nights of misery have been assigned to me. When I lie down I
think, `How long before I get up?’ The night drags on, and I toss
till dawn. (Job 7:3,4 (NIV)). Even sleep had become futile.

He looked at his calendar. It was Tuesday. “Bible Study night”,
he mumbled. He looked at his notes, but he didn’t really need
them. He had gone through the material a few weeks ago, and it
was still pretty fresh in his mind. He knew God in his head, but
he had NEVER known God in his heart. When he needed God the
most, he FELT as if God were galaxies away.

He got into his car and drove the short distance to the home
where he would be teaching that night. He sure didn’t FEEL like
teaching the study. Only one person there tonight. Jon.

He had meet Jon a few month’s earlier, and began working with
him. Jon was a baby Christian, about 6 month’s old. They had
taken an immediate liking to each other. Jon was a typical 21
year old long haired “metalhead.” He had given his life to
Christ a few months ago. Bill was now trying to help him grow in
his faith. “FAITH!” he thought. “If I could only have FAITH,
maybe God will help me to weather this storm.”

Bill and Jon began their lesson that evening on grace. Bill’s
mind was seething in torment all this time. He said all the
right things, but his heart was raw. He was 40 years old. He
had been a Christian for 20 years, and supposedly knew it all.
But all he had was a knowledge of God in his head, but his heart
was totally empty of God’s love and mercy. He continued the
lesson for 15 minutes. At last he could stand the pain no
longer. He wondered, “Would Jon FEEL any differently about him,
if he shared what was happening in his life?” Could Bill risk
exposing his vulnerability this way? What would he think? A 20
year Christian that doubts God’s existence. That doubt’s that
God even loves him? His head told him that he should suffer in
silence. But the pain in his heart grew ever stronger. He was
about to explode.

Bill decided to risk it. He needed a friend more than ever. One
who would understand his pain; one who would show mercy. He had
to risk sharing this with Jon. Even if it meant destroying a
friendship. His tormented soul, writhing in pain, could be
silenced no longer.

“Jon,” he said. “I…I gotta share somethings with you. I need
your friendship more than ever now.” Bill began pouring his
heart out to Jon. A 40 year old child of God, to a 21 year old
child of God. “Would Jon understand this? God,” he prayed he

Jon looked at Bill and said, “I understand. I too am going
through a lot of the same hurts in my life. Of all the people I
have met here at Calvary Church, you alone are the only one who
has ever shown a real interest in me.” Bill looked puzzled. He
never realised his life had ever made an impact on anybody. He
was hearing this for the very first time in his life.

Bill began to sob uncontrollably now. Jon came over, and took
Bill in his arms, and hugged him. Bill realised that night, that
God will use anyone in his life to teach him, if he would be
open and humble to God using that person. He realised that for
too long his FEELINGS toward God, were stronger than his BELIEFS
in God. He needed his BELIEFS to be an anchor in his life, so
he could withstand the negative tide of emotion that had entered
his life from time to time.

For the first time in his life, Bill knew in his heart that he
was fully and completely loved by God. He had used Jon to convey
that message. He knew that God would now work in his life to
bring about the spiritual healing he had been crying out for, and
so desperately wanted. He was reminded of that verse in Psalm
32: “Many are the woes of the wicked, but the LORD’s unfailing
love surrounds the man who trusts in him.” (Psalm 32:10 NIV)

God demonstrated his love and mercy that night to Bill through
Jon. Bill continued to embrace Jon, and through a flood of tears
he finally said to Jon, “I love you, Jon.” Jon, continuing to
embrace Bill said, “I love you Bill, and so does God. Don’t ever
forget that.”

Ed note — This story although fictional, is based on actual real
life experience’s by the author. Unfortunately, all the bad
things in this story, are true, and occurred ALL at the same
time. If your struggling with your FEELINGS and your BELIEFS in
God, this is normal. We need to understand what it is we
BELIEVE. God doesn’t ask us for blind faith!

I am thankful to my many friends, whose prayers have and STILL
ARE sustaining me through this. To date, these problems have NOT
all been resolved. I need to single out two people whose time
and efforts in helping me through this time in my life were,
examples of going that extra mile.

First is my best friend, Brad Bracher. We have known each other
for 15 years. I have realised that this friendship has been just
one of God’s gracious gifts to me. Thank you Brad
for your many prayers, and for your time.

I am also thankful to Pastor Bob Beeman, of Sanctuary. His
guidance led me to a book called “Wisdom Hunter” by Randall
Arthur (Quester Publications). This book helped me to understand
the differences between my FEELINGS toward God, and my BELIEFS in
God. Thanks Bob, for your many prayers.

Can a Christian Be Gothic?

maziGetting this question a lot — reposted here for the Facebook Crowd.


From the Old Sanctuary San Diego Site, circa 1997

Question # Eight.
Can a Christian Be Gothic? (Pastor Ed’s response)


This is a personal question to me, so I will address what being “gothic” means to me and why I have chosen to embrace this lifestyle. Let me start by explaining how and why I became a “goth.” I jokingly say that my dear friend Chase sired me to the “dark side,” because he was the first one to introduce me to this culture. I became “gothic” during a time of extreme sadness in my life. I was surrounded by others who were telling me to just be happy and I could not. I found solace in the dark sounds of Love and Rockets and Bauhaus. In the Cure, I found honesty of emotion, something I desperately needed.

When I became “saved” I noticed that while I had the “light of the world” in my life, I was still an outsider. I could not adapt to the cookie-cutter Christian model. Eventually, I discovered Sanctuary and truly found it the right place for my soul. Now I am a Shadow Dweller, lurking with a candle, holding it out to others, sharing the light and the love of God to those who are also living in the shadows.

It is hard to understand the real meaning of who/what a goth is if you are not a part of this scene. To me gothic is more than a fashion choice or a music preference. It is an attitude of how one views the world we live in. Some choose to look at life from a very shallow point of view, i.e., “life is one big party and fun is the big goal in life.” Others see it from a “yuppie” perspective, looking for their identity in their work, money, possessions, etc.

Life from a “gothic” point of view is one that is bleak and somber, thus the dark appearance and style of dress. The world is dark to me, because it’s so far from God’s holy plan and design, that it saddens me greatly. I express my somberness to the world by my style of dress and demeanor. I relate to the prophet Jeremiah regarded by most as the Weeping Prophet.

Being gothic to me is also being real real with myself, real with others, and real with God. I do not hide behind a mask to hide who I am and how I truly feel. When I am happy I express it fully, and when I am sad I express that as well. Most goths express their bleak sadness openly and I see that as an honesty of humanity.

I admire the culture for it’s open and honest expression of self, no matter how perverse or strange, because this is how God sees us. We cannot hide our sins from Him and it is foolish to think we can. In “normal society,” people seem so concerned with appearances, they hide their true selves in order to gain the favor of others. This mask-wearing is accepted, yet stark honesty is often shunned, even by those in the church. This is truly sad.

You see, being gothic is more than a fashion statement or a certain style of music. It is a reflection of how one chooses to see the world. This world is lost, hell- bound, and full of people in complete denial, seeking to fill that God-shaped void within them with everything except the Cross. It is a world lacking in honesty of self or honesty toward others. If I were to be anything but “gothic” in my views, I would be among the mask-wearing hypocrites. So I wear black and tell others who will listen that the world is empty and bleak. Yet it does not have to be. Though we live in the darkness, we are not of it. Thanks be to God for that.