Dane Skelton

    Dane Skelton is the Pastor of Faith Community Church and the author of Jungle Flight: Spiritual Adventures at the Ends of the Earth, a book of true stories from the ministry of JAARS (formerly Jungle Aviation and Radio Service). His second book, Papua Pilot: Flying the Bible to the Last Lost Peoples, co-authored with the late Paul Westlund, is now available on Amazon.com and Christianbook.com.
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    • Jul17Wed

      A PRAYER FOR BILLY JOEL

      July 17, 2013
      Filed Under:
      Reflections
      In Acts 10:1-8 we read:
      In Caesarea there lived a Roman army officer* named Cornelius, who was a captain of the Italian Regiment. 2 He was a devout, God-fearing man, as was everyone in his household. He gave generously to the poor and prayed regularly to God. 3 One afternoon about three o’clock, he had a vision in which he saw an angel of God coming toward him. “Cornelius!” the angel said.
      4 Cornelius stared at him in terror. “What is it, sir?” he asked the angel.
      And the angel replied, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have been received by God as an offering! 5 Now send some men to Joppa, and summon a man named Simon Peter. 6 He is staying with Simon, a tanner who lives near the seashore.”
      7 As soon as the angel was gone, Cornelius called two of his household servants and a devout soldier, one of his personal attendants. 8 He told them what had happened and sent them off to Joppa.  (NLT).

      Question: Was Centurion Cornelius’ prayer answered? Did he find what he was searching for? If you know the book of Acts you know that the answer was yes. His prayers were answered through his friendship with a man named Simon Peter.

      Let me tell you another story.

      At New York there is a man named Billy, a singer/songwriter in what is known as the Rock & Roll regiment. He is not known for his devotion or piety. But if you listen to some of his songs they sound an awful lot like prayers.

      THE RIVER OF DREAMS
      Billy Joel
      In the middle of the night I go walking in my sleep
      From the mountains of faith
      To a river so deep
      I must be looking for something
      Something sacred I lost
      But the river is wide
      And it's too hard to cross

      And even though I know the river is wide
      I walk down every evening and I stand on the shore

      And try to cross to the opposite side
      So I can finally find out what I've been looking for

      In the middle of the night
      I go walking in my sleep
      Through the valley of fear
      To a river so deep
      And I've been searching for something
      Taken out of my soul
      Something I would never lose
      Something somebody stole

      Wow! What a confession! That’s the thing about singer/songwriters. Unlike most of us, they will bare their souls in their songs. And not only do they bare their souls, they reflect what’s going on in the culture, in the American soul.

      Artists like Billy – seeking but not finding what was stolen from his soul – mirror the mindset of the people in your neighborhood, where you work; your friends at the pool, on the golf course, in the shop. They’re all
      Searching for something
      Taken out of their souls
      Something they would never lose
      Something somebody stole

      They’re searching for the peaceful kingdom. They’re searching for something stolen by the enemy of souls. They’re searching for God, and they don’t know how to find him. But we know where he is! We are Simon Peter in the lives of our friends. We have something to share with them, SOMEONE to share with them, a life raft across that deep river, a shepherd through the valley of fear; something that they can never lose, and that nobody can steal.

      “How can I share that?” You ask. “I’m a real klutz when it comes to telling people about Jesus.” Well, welcome to the club. I can identify. That’s why I like The Alpha Course so much. You don’t have to be Billy Graham to help your friends find a relationship with God through Jesus. Just invite them to share a meal and watch a video with you. Do that this fall, and who knows? You could turn out to be the answer to someone’s deepest prayers.

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