Two Amazing Visits to the Santa Cruz, Bolivia Navy and Air Force Bases

I am still processing my visit last month to Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Life has changed for me … it always does after such an impacting mission trip. God shook my comfortable world a little more (it needs to be shaken regularly) … and gave me more of a thirst and vision for those who are seeking Him. Recently two more visits to the Santa Cruz Navy and Air Force Bases have played out in my memory. Here are some photos and video to help tell the story … and keep the memories alive. Photos provided by: Steve Sugrim –


Sharing my story with the Santa Cruz Air Force Cadets

The audience of young men really enjoy our music

Many hands go up to receive Jesus into their lives. They “yelled out” their prayer in unison in true military style! It was really incredible to experience.

The Cadets line up to receive their bibles from the Gideons Canada team as we play more music …

 The men are anxious to read their bibles right away – a thirst for God’s word!

As we leave, the soldiers stand at attention, bibles still in hand …

I pose with a future air force pilot (his new bible in hand) who asks to try out my violin. He plays me an excerpt of “Minuet in G” by Bach!


Fellow music missionary, Tony Lind (guitarist) and I stand at the entrance of the “Armada Boliviana” Navy Base.

During our outreach performance for the Bolivian Navy, Santa Cruz

Craig Hussey, Gideons Team Leader,  presents the gospel message through our translator, Jorge Soria

Many Navy Cadets once more put up their hands and pray to receive Christ

Navy Officers read their new Bibles … they again have a real thirst to read God’s word!

I give the Chief Commanding Navy Officer a gift of our “Danforth Sessions” CD

I’ll leave you with this final video clip of the Bolivian Navy Cadets doing their final exercises, Bibles still in hand … truly amazing!

Until next time … T

An Afternoon in the Santa Cruz Prison

Our tour bus lurched and bumped its way around a final turn in the pock-marked Santa Cruz road before it stopped close to the tall, barb-wire crested walls of the Bolivian State Prison: Centro de Rehabilitacion Santa Cruz “Palmasola”.  The Santa Cruz Jail is really a walled town where the inmates build their own homes and eke out a living within its four guarded walls.  Prisoners are allowed to have their spouses and children stay with them at different points though the week – a healthy strategy in rehabilitation and restoration. This was another first for our break-off group of 20 who were scheduled to distribute bibles and witness to the prisoners – an incredible opportunity – really a miracle clearly orchestrated by God! The main jail chaplain (a former prisoner who has dedicated himself to reaching out to the inmates) prompted by the Lord, decided to describe our Canadian group visit as a “violin concert” for the inmates on the application forms he submitted.  He shared with us that in the history of the jail, there had never been an event like this for the inmates. He feels that God gave him the words to use on the forms to open the door for us to be there!

The front gate of Centro de Rehabilitacion Santa Cruz “Palmasola”

A corner guard tower on the front wall

The Santa Cruz Jail is like nothing I have ever experienced. We were instructed to leave all jewelry, including my wedding ring, at our hotel. All cameras were to be left behind as well. I kept mine with me to try to snap a photo or two of the outside of the institution from our bus as we drove by and parked close by. We could only bring those items into the jail that had been pre-approved on the application/clearance forms: my electric violin, MacBook Pro (to drive our loops/tracks) and related gear were the only items on the list … so my acoustic violin (and camera) stayed on our bus. All interior photos you see in this post were taken by a guard who is the official jail photographer. He graciously (and secretly) gave us copies of the photos he took from our visit.  Tony Lind (guitarist) brought his electric guitar and pedals (no amp on the list, so he was fortunate enough to be given the loan of an amp modeler pedal at the last minute) which fit as “gear”.

The tall barb-wired walls of the prison village

Our group of 20, passports in hand, formed a long single file line in from the the main entrance – I was second in line the “famous Canadian violinist” with his “entourage” as the clearance forms read! A huge iron front entrance gate rolled open revealing the prison village. A stern security guard stamped and hand wrote a number on our right forearms. Each member of the group carried a box of bibles. It was quite a sight to look back from my vantage point at our team winding behind bringing the “Word of Life” into this dark place (800 copies in total)! We wound through an open area where Horses grazed in and around an garbage dump (everything is self contained in this jail)  to a second security point where our arms were again stamped and numbered. The guards at this check point were curious about our bibles. I opened up a box and pulled out a bible to show the guard. He wanted it. Instantly, all the other guards at the check-point asked for one – six more bibles were grabbed. An interpreter told me to stop … that we needed to move on. We were now entering the actual prison village where all the inmates lived. A large group of men, hardened lives engraved in faces and eyes parted to let us through – I locked eyes with a man whose left eyelids were eaten away by some weird tropical disease (a horrible sight) …  a man with a wheelbarrow excitedly motioned and asked in Spanish to help carry some boxes of bibles but our interpreter/guide told us to ignore him and move on … that this could cause a riot from others wanting to help too (I felt badly for this man who was simply wanting to help and reach out to us) … Sewage ran out of buildings and houses into ditches on each side of the road …  Men, women and children curiously peered out of doorways and balconies as our procession snaked toward the central square of the institutionalized village. Joy was absent from this place. Fear and suspicion ruled.

Our forearms were stamped with level one and two clearance stamps and numbers. I am number two in line, Tony is number three.

We finally arrived at a covered concrete stage at one end of the square where a make-shift sound-system had been set up. I paused for a moment to take it all in from my new vantage point. Inmates began to gather around as Tony Lind and I set up and sound-checked. Our group from Canada were introduced and our concert set began. I have played on concert stages around the world, but this was like no stage I had ever been on before! As we performed a group of inmates in full soccer uniform were playing a spirited game in the distance – the players seemed to move like ballet dancers to the beat of our music. Our prisoner audience grew as our set progressed. It was incredible to see the changes in the countenance of each inmate as we performed. Joy, trust and peace began to return. God was using our music to soften hearts and minds and prepare them for the gospel message. The 6th song on our set was “El Cóndor Pasa” (the Condor flies past) – a well known South American folk song made popular by Simon and Garfunkel. Spontaneous cheers rang out from the convicts as we began … tears began to flow … we had connected … we were now one of them. This song symbolized freedom … as we played I couldn’t help but reflect on the following words from Isaiah 40: 29-31:

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Next, I shared my story via my interpreter, Jorge Soria from Peru. The themes of hope and God’s healing and grace in the middle of pain, loss and hardship really resonated with the inmates. They spontaneously broke out into cheers and applause (another first for me) at different points as I spoke of God being my “daddy” and the “healing I have received from abuse”  …  We closed our set with “Iyale” – a tie-in song to my story which is a celebrative West African styled song I have dedicated to my dad, Dr. Kenneth Dick, prefaced with these words: “Although I have missed my dad all these years, I have the hope that one day I will see him in heaven” …

Tony and I start our concert set

Performing for some children of the inmates who sit on the front steps of the stage

Following our set, Peter Marshall, Executive Director of Gideons Canada, gave a powerful five minute gospel message. During the altar call, most of the inmates (an estimated 600) put up their hands and prayed to receive Jesus into their lives. All 800 bibles were distributed as Tony and I performed “Passion”. We then ended our prison concert with a celebrative “Blues Jam” and “Yahweh”.

Peter Marshall (right) preaches a Gospel message interpreted by Jorge Soria from Peru (left)

Many inmates raise their hands and pray to receive Christ

Eight hundred bibles were given out as gifts to inmates

As I look back on our afternoon in the Santa Cruz Prison, I am in awe of the power of instrumental music (dedicated to God) to calm the spirit and restore the soul. I am reminded of the story of David (1 Samuel 16) and how God used his music on the harp to calm the troubled spirit of King Saul. This is what the ministry of Flyingbow is all about. I left that place knowing I had been in the center of God’s will … with real confirmation that I was doing His restorative work as a music missionary in partnership with Gideons Canada.

Flyingbow Mission Trip to Santa Cruz, Bolivia in partnership with Gideons Canada

Bolivia is one of the the poorest countries in South America

Tony Lind (Flyingbow Guitarist) and I are just days away from embarking on a Mission Trip to Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Here are the broad details from an excerpt of a letter written by Elizabeth Sharpe (chair of the Flyingbow Ministry Board) to prayer partners and supporters:

… I write on behalf of Flyingbow Music Ministry. We support a community of Christian artists and musicians including violinist, Trevor Dick and guitarist, Tony Lind.

In partnership with the International Missions branch of Gideons Canada, Flyingbow Music Ministry has been given the tremendous opportunity to be represented by Trevor Dick and Tony Lind in support of a Mission Trip to Santa Cruz, Bolivia, South America from March 23 to April 1, 2012. They will join a team of 30 men and women who will distribute 100,000 New Testaments and share the gospel of Christ as God leads and opens doors. This mission trip follows in the wake of a similar project last Fall to Lima, Peru where a Gideons team of 19 strategically worked with 230 local pastors to distribute over 47,000 copies of God’s Word in Spanish and share the gospel. On that trip the group celebrated as they witnessed 11,000 individuals come to Christ through one-on-one evangelism and a further 5,000 group decisions for God.

Building on this incredible God-response in Lima, the Gideons have invited Flyingbow musicians, Trevor and Tony to join the Bolivia Team in Santa Cruz to minister in the streets, schools, market places, churches and the main soccer stadium – to attract larger crowds and share their love of Christ in music and testimony. This team will again work with many local pastors and churches in the street evangelism and Bible distribution. Pastors and church leaders in Bolivia are excited about this project and pleased to work in partnership with the Canadian team.

To support this project, please make cheques (designated: “Bolivia Mission Trip”) payable to Flyingbow Music Ministry. You may also donate online at: Charitable tax receipts will be issued through Flyingbow Music Ministry for each donation. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions …

According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, which published an in depth report in December 2009 (using poverty data from 2007), 60.1% of Bolivia live in poverty and 37.7% in extreme poverty. 80.2% of the population have no access to electricity, 86% have no access to running water, and 50.8% have no sewage system connections. It will be a real honour to serve the Lord and the people of Santa Cruz, Bolivia for this 10 days of music ministry and missionary work. We really appreciate all your prayers for safety, open doors and hearts and God’s empowering in every way. As of yesterday, here is how our itinerary is shaping up:

• Thurs/Fri. Mar. 22-23 – travel to Santa Cruz, Bolivia from Toronto, via Miami.
• Sat. Mar. 24 p.m. – Perform and share at a large Crusade Event in the main Santa Cruz Soccer Stadium for 10,000 + people
• Sun. Mar. 25 a.m. – Perform and share in a Church morning worship service , Bolivian Mennonite Colonies
• Sun. Mar. 25 p.m. – Perform and share in a Church evening worship service , Santa Cruz
• Mon. Mar. 26 a.m. – Perform and speak to students of the largest high school in Santa Cruz
• Mon. Mar. 26 p.m. – Street busking, bible distribution and 1 on 1 evangelism in Santa Cruz
• Tues. Mar. 27 a.m. – Perform and speak to 1500 inmates in the Santa Cruz prison
• Tues. Mar. 27 p.m. – Street busking, bible distribution and 1 on 1 evangelism in Santa Cruz
• Wed. Mar. 28 p.m. – Perform and speak at the Santa Cruz military base
• Thurs. Mar. 29 a.m. and p.m. – Street busking, bible distribution and 1 on 1 evangelism in Santa Cruz
• Fri. Mar. 30 a.m. – Perform and speak to students at a Santa Cruz College/University
• Sat. Mar. 31 – To be decided
• Sun/Mon. April 1-2 – travel back home to Toronto from Santa Cruz

The beautiful city of Santa Cruz, Bolivia

I will be posting some updates here as the week progresses so stay tuned. Until next time. T

“Glory & Peace” :: Victoria, B.C. – December 10, 2011

Last weekend, December 10, 2011 wrapped up our final “Glory & Peace” Concert of the Christmas season with full band and Tina Newlove (painter) in beautiful Victoria, B.C.  It was a fantastic evening!

Ron Michalski, Luke Stones, Marita Salokari and their team did a wonderful job hosting us all at Glad Tidings Church. It sure was great to be back on “home soil” with many of my family and friends at this concert. Dale Clyne did a great job on sound in one of the nicest venues in Canada. I’ll let these photos taken by Michelle Dick tell the rest of the story …

A full band shot at the start of the concert.

With Brad Toews (keys) and Tony Lind (guitar).

Reaching for a high note …

A fantastic audience of 650 + at Glad Tidings Church.

“Dueling” with Tony Lind on Guitar … Tina Newlove (artist) in the background.

Steve Heathcote’s drum solo in “Iyale”.

Brad Toews lights candles during the “Peace” set.

With Will Jarvis on Bass during “Sojourn of the Kings”.

Tina Newlove’s beautiful “live performance painting” of the evening.

Final bows …

“O my soul, bless God! God, my God, how great you are! Beautifully, gloriously robed, dressed up in sunshine, and all heaven stretched out for your tent” … “what a wildly wonderful world God! You made it all, with wisdom at your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations ….” “The GLORY of God – let it last forever!” Let God enjoy His creation!” (Psalm 104:1-3, 24, 31 -Message)

Jesus said, “I give you PEACE, the kind of PEACE that only I can give. It isn’t like the PEACE that this world can give. So don’t be worried or afraid.”  (John 14:27 – Message)

At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises: “GLORY to God in the heavenly heights, PEACE to all men and women on earth who please him.” (Luke 2:13-14 – Message)

Promise Keepers “Built for Battle” … some thoughts.

This last weekend (Nov. 19-20) I had the honour of playing on the worship team for the Promise Keepers “Built for Battle” weekend at the Mississauga Hershey Centre.

4000 + guys filled up the Hershey Centre Arena. It was a powerful and humbling weekend in many ways with many highlights including:

1) Great key-note speakers:  Steve Farrar’s “fatherly” wisdom and a message to persevere with God especially spoke to me.  He shared:  “suffering equips you for ministry … how do I get endurance for the Christian life? By suffering!”

I can identify with this truth.  Men listened to him with earnest. I felt like Steve was like the dad I lost at four putting his arm around me saying: “get up and keep going, son. You can do it” …

2)  Hundreds and Hundreds of men came forward on the Friday night during an altar call to make new commitments to live for God. This was a powerful moment and a real moving of the Holy Spirit!

3) Over 4000 men singing “Holy, Holy, Holy” and “Jesus, All for Jesus” at the top of their lungs! I will never forget the amazing sound from the stage … I had to take my “in-ears” out both times … “goosebumps” as I listening and worshiped along with them …

4) Ministering with a worship band of amazing players (many who I was working with for the first time) with real servant hearts, led by PK Worship Leader, Andrew Thompson – another real highlight for me …

5) Having the honour to back up Robin Mark. Robin has made a real connection with PK men … not only is his music easy to sing for guys (in a lower range) but men really appreciate his down to earth Irish “every man” style … makes you feel comfortable and at ease … no pretenses … real, with integrity. It was great to get to know Robin a little more at this event.

Here are a few photos of the weekend.

A group shot with Robin Mark and the Promise Keepers Band

With Robin Mark and the Promise Keepers Band :: Photo – Robert White/Quail Communications

With Robin Mark and the Promise Keepers Band :: Photo – Robert White/Quail Communications

My view of the 4000 + men from the stage  :: Photo – Greg Sykes

Speaker, Steve Farrar challenges the large audience of men to persevere …

More pics posted on Facebook here.

Until next time. T

Launch of the YAHWEH East Coast CANADA DAY WEEKEND Tour

Happy Canada Day!

I must admit, blogging has been a bit hit and miss over the last few months, but I have decided to start up again as we launch the YAHWEH CANADA DAY WEEKEND Tour to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia … so hope you are able to follow along.

Yesterday was a full day … started at 5:15 a.m. (too early) with a Red Car taxi pickup to take Brad and I to the airport. The taxi driver was surprised at all my bags – 6 in total! (he muttered under his breath about Red Car’s luggage policy). I explained to him that Brad was going to check in two of my bags … perhaps he had missed his morning coffee?


A direct flight to Fredericton on Air Canada Jazz was really nice – no stop overs … gave us lot’s of time on the other end to pick up our Budget rental car which happens to be a fully loaded Dodge Charger muscle car (sky light, heated seats etc). Brad couldn’t wipe the smile off his face. “This is all they have”, I said … “I guess it will have to do”,  he replied (grin, grin). We both agreed today that we still prefer the 2011 Ford Fusion (our regular pick with Enterprise when we are doing local Ontario concerts). More fuel efficient and lot’s of room for all our gear …

Brad gets rid of an over- sized carry on before we embark on our AC Jazz flight to Fredericton

I must admit, it makes for a long day to travel and do a concert on the same day. We had the one-hour time difference on our side (not as possible if we were traveling west), but still … by the time we arrived to the venue, I was dragging a little. It was a good call to check in to our Inn around 15 minutes outside of Hartland where we unloaded, ironed a few cloths and caught a little “cat-nap” before driving to Harland Wesleyan Church. Pastor Mel (an amazing, warm, caring guy) met us with a hug and a smile. He was worried about the numbers for the evening on the start of the Canada Day weekend … I told him that he had done all he could do … it was now in God’s hands!


The concert went very well … a few little technical issues with the operator getting used to our Pro Presenter program, which drives all our sound and visuals … but nothing that was too distracting. Although the audience was smaller than we are used to (around 70-80), their warmth and energy more than made up for their size. We had a great time … due to my tiredness, I perhaps “rambled” and “yarned” a little more than normal, but the friendly audience were “egging me on”! Five children were sponsored through Compassion Canada, which was a good response on the evening.


On the drive back to Fredericton this morning after a much needed sleep in, Brad mused while we admired the beautiful New Brunswick landscape: “God’s favorite colours must be Green and Blue.”  I agreed. “We need these colours … they are colours of peaceful tranquility that feed the soul,” I said …


We are checked in at the Crowne Plaza hotel, only a stone’s throw from the historic “Officer’s Square” where we will be performing in 1.5 hours. Really looking forward to celebrating Canada Day in music and with my fellow Canadians in downtown Fredericton, NB. It is a wonderful, festive atmosphere. I’ll take lot’s of pictures!

Until tomorrow.


Some amazing final dying words …

The Darkness at the Crucifixion – Gustave Doré

You can learn a lot about the character of a person by their final dying words. This morning during my quiet time, I was reflecting on the final words of Jesus as He hung on the cross. Seven specific poignant sentences caught my attention from the Message Bible:

He said to His mother, woman, “here is your son.” Then to the disciple [John] “here is your mother”. From that moment the disciple accepted her as his own mother ” (John 19:27) – What a beautiful picture of the love Jesus had for Mary and John. I find it amazing that in the middle of His grief and pain, He took the time to care for and honour His mother, Mary and his closest friend and disciple, John!

“Don’t worry, I will [remember you]. Today you will join me in paradise” (Luke 23:43) – These are beautiful words of forgiveness to one of the thieves who hung beside him. They are words of incredible hope in the middle of pain and suffering.

“Father, forgive them; they don’t know what they are doing” (Luke 23:24) – More amazing words of forgiveness, grace and mercy to those who scourged, mocked  and put Jesus to death on the cross.

“I am thirsty” (John 19:28) – Wow! Imagine … the One who declared:” I am the water of life” saying that He was thirsty!

“Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? … My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34) – Jesus, “the light of the world” cried these words during three hours of intense darkness. We cannot imagine the pain that He felt at this moment when He was separated for the first time in His life from God, His father!

“It’s done … complete” (John 19:30) – These are words of victory. Jesus had completed His mission … He had won the battle! The temple curtain was torn from the top to the bottom. God had provided free access to himself.

“Father, I place my life in your hands!” Then He breathed His last (Luke 23:46) – Jesus, right down to His final breath, completely submitted His life to God, His father. A life of servanthood. This is the life I have chosen to live as well.

To celebrate this Easter Weekend, I would like to give you three free .mp3’s below. Have a wonderful Easter as you celebrate what Jesus has done for you! “Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all”!

NEW BEGINNINGS :: “Easter Song”
5TH STRING BLVD  :: “Deep Love”
YAHWEH :: “My Jesus I Love Thee”

Subscribe to more Flyingbow offers and news for 2011.

Today’s Final Two Free Christmas Downloads :: “Little Drummer Boy” and “O Holy Night”

Happy Christmas Eve!

On this eve of Christmas 2010, I leave you with two final complementary downloads – one from each of the double Glory & Peace CD set: O Holy Night from PEACE and Little Drummer Boy from GLORY. As I post these, I have been reflecting on the words of these classic carols and a few verses from the Bible that I encourage you to read and apply to your lives where you are at today:

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). (Matt. 1:20-23 – NIV)

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2 -NIV)

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 – NIV)

Glory to God in the heavenly heights, Peace to all men and women on earth who please him” (Luke 2:14 – Message)

When we celebrate the birth of Jesus, we must not forget the real reason why Jesus came. He did not come to create a nice Christian holiday called Christmas for us to give and receive presents and drink eggnog- although this is all really nice. He came to live a radical, counter cultural, anti-religious life of love and servant hood. This was displayed in every part of His time on earth from His humble, quiet birth into poverty to his scandalous life as a leader of a group of misfit disciples, to His constant challenges of the “religious leaders” of His day. The reality is, He WAS Immanuel “God with us” and we passed Him by and nailed Him on a cross. This Christmas and this coming New Year I have resolved to know this Jesus better: the one that would show such love and grace that He would go to the cross for me. I admire this man. I want to pattern my life after Him. I want to take His “yoke upon me” and “learn from Him”. I believe He was who He claimed to be: the Son the living God: The “King of Glory” and bringer of true Peace! I want to “fix my eyes on Him” and make Him my focus each day.

Little Drummer Boy
Come they told me … Our newborn King to see … Our finest gifts we bringTo lay before the King … So to honor Him … When we come …

Little Baby … I am a poor boy too … I have no gift to bring … To lay before the King … Shall I play for you … On my drum?…

Mary nodded … The ox and lamb kept time … I played my drum for Him … I played my best for Him Then He smiled at me … Me and my drum…

O Holy Night
O holy night, the stars are brightly shining; it is the night of the dear Savior’s birth! Long lay the world in sin and error pining, till He appeared and the soul felt its worth. A thrill of hope, the weary soul rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming, with glowing hearts by His cradle we stand. So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming, here came the wise men from Orient land. The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger, in all our trials born to be our friend!

Truly He taught us to love one another; His law is love and His Gospel is peace. Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother and in His Name all oppression shall cease. Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we, let all within us praise His holy name!

Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices! O night divine, O night when Christ was born! O night, O holy night, O night divine!

HAVE A WONDERFUL DAY TOMORROW!  Take some time away from the busyness of the day to thank Jesus for what He has done. May we all truly experience the reality of His  Glory & Peace this Christmas and into 2011. May we give Him our all!


GLORY :: “Little Drummer Boy”
PEACE  :: “O Holy Night”

Subscribe to more Flyingbow offers and news for 2011.

Corrado Giaquinto – Adoration of the Magi

I want to gratefully acknowledge the amazing work of the following people who enabled the Glory & Peace project to become a reality:

The 5th String Blvd. Band :: Brad Toews, Corey Lacey, Will Jarvis and Steve Heathcote for their beautiful artistry and friendship

Richard Cleaver – Whisper Wood Studios :: Engineering and Mixing

Inaam Haq – Cherry Beach Sound :: Mastering

Russ Salamon – Salamon Photo Works :: Photography

John McDonald – Compassion Canada :: Artwork, Layout and Design

“Sojourn of the Kings” :: Today’s Free Download

James Tissot :: Journey of the Magi

Today’s free download is “Sojourn of the Kings” from the GLORY album (also known as “We Three Kings”). This arrangement has an energetic earthy world-beat groove. It tells the faith journey of the Magi from Matthew 2:1-11:

1-2 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem village, Judah territory— this was during Herod’s kingship—a band of scholars arrived in Jerusalem from the East. They asked around, “Where can we find and pay homage to the newborn King of the Jews? We observed a star in the eastern sky that signaled his birth. We’re on pilgrimage to worship him.”

3-4When word of their inquiry got to Herod, he was terrified—and not Herod alone, but most of Jerusalem as well. Herod lost no time. He gathered all the high priests and religion scholars in the city together and asked, “Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?”

5-6They told him, “Bethlehem, Judah territory. The prophet Micah wrote it plainly:

It’s you, Bethlehem, in Judah’s land,
no longer bringing up the rear.
From you will come the leader
who will shepherd-rule my people, my Israel.”

7-8Herod then arranged a secret meeting with the scholars from the East. Pretending to be as devout as they were, he got them to tell him exactly when the birth-announcement star appeared. Then he told them the prophecy about Bethlehem, and said, “Go find this child. Leave no stone unturned. As soon as you find him, send word and I’ll join you at once in your worship.”

9-10Instructed by the king, they set off. Then the star appeared again, the same star they had seen in the eastern skies. It led them on until it hovered over the place of the child. They could hardly contain themselves: They were in the right place! They had arrived at the right time!

11They entered the house and saw the child in the arms of Mary, his mother. Overcome, they kneeled and worshiped him. Then they opened their luggage and presented gifts: gold, frankincense, myrrh. (The Message Bible)

Here are some insights that came to me while reflecting on this well known story:

1/ It is good to be reminded of the countless prophesies that foretold every incredible detail of Jesus’ birth. This is just one of them from the prophet Micah declaring that the Messiah would be born in lowly Bethlehem!

2/ The wise men and women, while on their faith sojourn guided by the star in the eastern sky, upon entering Israel went directly to the capital of Jerusalem (the place where they thought the “King of the Jews” should be born). The moment they decided to enter Jerusalem, it is interesting that they lost sight of the star! They were no longer journeying by faith but were trying to use human reasoning to find King Jesus. They proceeded to ask for help of Herod and other religious leaders. Notice that when the scholars continued on with their journey of faith towards Bethlehem, the star “appeared again” and “led them on until it hovered over the place of the child”!

3/ I love the reaction of these scholars when they found Jesus: “They could hardly contain themselves. They were in the “right place” … “at the right time”! They certainly were in the center of God’s will for their lives at that moment. They show they were men and women of action: They “entered” the house where Jesus was and “saw” him. They fell on their knees, worshiped the King and presented him with gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh. God had blessed them for the journey of faith they had taken! May He bless us as we step out in faith and seek Him with our hearts and lives!

Enjoy today’s complementary download: GLORY :: “Sojourn of the Kings”


Rembrandt :: Adoration of the Magi