The blog of Sterling Franklin (DJ Sterf), servant of Jesus Christ.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Poems Ahoy!

After praying through a lot of things tonight, the Lord showed me that I needed just to write and get focused on some issues. So here are a few of the things I wrote tonight, followed by a final poem that was from about 5 years ago. I hope you are encouraged or blessed by these. Writing is definitely helpful to me.

We are Nothing
(C) Sterling C. Franklin

I am the Vine,
And yes, You are.
You’re the root of existence,
And the Bright Morning Star.
All was made for You,
And by You, and through You,
You’re the reason for life,
Let our worship be true.

You are the branches,
We represent You, Lord,
We stem from our Vine,
And draw Your Life with one accord,
You command us to Go,
And truly Go we must,
For we are your servants,
And in your Truth do we trust,

Apart from Me,
Life makes no sense,
Are we just to live nicely,
With a white picket fence?
Just to have fun,
Or just to get by?
Without you, Lord Jesus,
We’re destined to die.

You can do nothing,
But through our deep weakness,
Your strength is made perfect,
And life loses bleakness,
We can do all things through You,
But without You, we’re shot,
Let us realize we are nothing,
And that You are all that we’ve got.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5 [ESV]

(C) Sterling C. Franklin

The desire of a man seeking a wife,
The desire to cherish a woman for life,
The desire for love in a mutual way,
The desire to be there for her every day,
The desire to bless and be blessed through and through,
The desire in a marriage to honor You,
The desire for commitment to a woman for life,
I commit my desire to You, my Lord.

The desire of a man seeking a Call,
The desire to be loving and caring toward all,
The desire to pastor a flock of your sheep,
The desire to help them grow spiritually deep,
The desire to listen and be there for them,
The desire to preach my heart out and never condemn,
The desire to proclaim the Cross that You bore,
I commit my desire to You, my Lord.

The desire of a man to have many a child,
The desire to raise them up to be humble and mild,
The desire to raise them up to honor You,
The desire to be a loving parent, faithful and true,
The desire to enjoy them with a wonderful wife,
The desire to be there for them throughout length of life,
The desire to be such a God-honoring father,
I commit my desire to You, my Lord.

Psalm 37:4 - Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

What things?
(C) Sterling C. Franklin

What things seem so distant?
What things seem so far away?
The Lord has always,
Provided a Way.

What things seem impossible?
What things seem so dim?
The Lord provides,
When at first you seek Him.

What things seem important,
Though hard to obtain?
The Lord will prosper you,
And grant you the gain.

What things are hopeless?
What things seem so odd?
The Lord is merciful,
And Nothing is impossible with God.

Luke 1:37 - For nothing will be impossible with God.

Empty and Dry
(C) Sterling C. Franklin

The cares of this world, and the matters of this age,
The pursuits of our flesh, the plans of our own,
The advances of mankind, the wisdom of the sage,
The desire to be young, the desire to be grown,
While all is left to search for, while the Lord hears our cry,
While the depth of our being leaves us hungry inside,
While we want and we lust and we all seek to thrive,
How much do we seek that is empty and dry?

The dreams of our future, the hopes of our lives,
The beauty of things, the wonders of time,
The pleasures of fun, the pursuit of our drives,
The plans to succeed, the ladder to climb,
While the world has its offers, while it promises lie,
While it offers us riches, though we hunger and die,
While we seek for it emptily, though the Lord hears our cry,
How much do we seek that is empty and dry?

Matthew 6:19-21 - Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

All Things
(C) Sterling C. Franklin

Through Him who gives me strength, I am more than a conqueror,
With my God, I can jump over a wall, and I am a mighty warrior,
I am part of a spiritual battle, and the battle has already been won,
And all things are possible through Him – Jesus the Son.

Through Him who gives me strength, I am a gifted child of God,
I have been blessed and not cursed, I am persecuted but not abandoned,
I go through trials, though I rejoice, and when the trials are done,
I can agree that all things are possible through Jesus the Son.

Through Him who gives me strength, I mount up with wings like eagles,
And though I grow tired and weary and frazzled, I wait upon my Lord, my Savior,
I rely on Him, and He is my fortress, and He orders my steps as a chosen one,
And truly all things are possible through Jesus the Son.

Through Him who gives me strength, I am blessed to follow His ways,
I strive as in a race vigorously, giving my all for the prize to which He’s called me,
I am blessed both in this life and the next, and through Him, I can do a ton,
I can do all things through Him who gives me strength – Jesus the Son.

Philippians 4:13 - I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Everything (A Haiku)
(C) Sterling C. Franklin

My Lord and my God,
Everything is possible,
Through You and not me.

Lord, Let me Serve You
(C) Sterling Franklin

Lord, let me serve You,
How Faithful Thou art,
Let me praise you forever
With all of my heart.

I need You more each day,
You are awesome indeed,
You water my spirit
After planting Your seed.

I have found I am nothing,
But You are Everything,
Lord, I want to exalt You,
To lift my hands to You and sing.

You take care of my sickness,
And You heal my disease,
Oh, the Love that I get
When I fall to my knees.

You comfort me to smiles,
And you wipe away my tears,
And have set me on Your Path
For all of my Years.

How Glorious You Are,
And I will truly serve You,
For the harvest is large,
But the workers are few.

Lord, You hear all my prayers,
But just grant me this plea,
I want to give you everything I have
And give You all the Glory.

I will worship You, Lord,
My Infinite King,
For You have Power over darkness
And over death's bitter sting.

Psalm 84:2 - My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Wildfires in California

Before you go to bed tonight, and when you wake up in the morning, pray for the wildfires in California --

(1) That they would be contained and stopped. Pray that the Lord opens up enough resources for the fire fighters to use.
(2) That people would be safe and lives would be spared.
(3) That property would be spared as much as possible.
(4) That there would be enough help and crisis workers to comfort those dealing with loss.
(5) That people would run to the Lord as opposed to away from the Lord in this natural disaster.

I'll update the Pulse recap within the next day or two, but this deserved its own post. God bless!

Psalm 46:1-3 [ESV]
1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Pulse Outreach - Day Three Clips & Performance

After-Show Tuesday, Preparing for The Fire on Wednesday

On Tuesday night late, we stayed with a family that cooked a little too well. I mean, really, it was better than Wildfire, so it qualifies as the best food I've ever had. Everything they cooked was absolutely and insanely delicious.

I told them about my expertise as a cook, aka that I'm the worst cook in existence ever. I've cooked sardines surrounded in swiss cheese this semester. It was really nasty. All the fish juice was on the plate, and the swiss cheese was soggy, and the taste didn't go together at all. What the heck was I thinking?!

Anyway, more on my cooking faux pas later. The family was really nice. I stayed overnight with the guys from Sonstruck, and we crashed fairly soon after getting there. I stayed up each night reading Scripture for a while, but I got some decent sleep after.


On Wednesday morning, we woke up to some more inappropriately-good food. Nick gave a devotion for the morning from a Charles Spurgeon book, and he asked if anyone wanted to prepare a devotional message for the evening before the show. I volunteered gladly. Nick then asked if anyone wanted to prepare a devotional message for Thursday at lunch. Nobody raised their hands, so I volunteered gladly again.

We drove to Bismarck, North Dakota, a city of 65,000 people. The trip was a good 90-minute drive. The city had a fairly big youth conference called The Fire, which usually had around 200 people. We were expecting about 800 to come out, but we found out later that there was a big high school football game going on, so we weren't sure what exactly would happen.

Evening Sterf-Devotional

My devotional for the evening was from Acts 3 and 4. In Acts 3, there was a beggar at the Temple Gate (the gate called 'Beautiful') asking for money. Peter and John went in, and Peter said in Acts 3:6, "Silver and gold have I none, but what I have give I thee -- in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk." That's one of my favorite verses. Peter then grabbed the beggar by the hand, lifted him up, and the beggar could fully walk, dance, jump around, etc.

Even more, the priests did not want Peter and John to speak in the name of Jesus, even though a miraculous healing had just occurred! Peter and John said that they couldn't help but to speak about the things which they have seen and heard. They went back to pray about the situation, and praised God for His miraculous attributes in Acts 4.

In Acts 4, the Holy Spirit came as a result of their passionate prayer to Him, and there was an earthquake. The Holy Spirit empowered the Disciples to preach boldly, and there was a spirit of unity among them.

Three things I wanted to emphasize --
(1) Let's be united in one mind and spirit -- glorifying the Lord!
(2) Let's speak the Lord's words with boldness!
(3) Let's be expectant of the Holy Spirit to do amazing things, even miracles!

The Show - Wednesday Night

The show was amazing. The Holy Spirit was really present, and the results were very encouraging. We had at least 500 out, 10 or 11 of which accepted Christ for the first time, and somewhere around 80 who recommitted their lives to Christ.

Sonstruck opened with a worship set, and Hybrid Soul closed with their concert. The Fire usually lasts from 7-9 pm. This lasted until 10 pm, so many left after I played for that reason.

My brief message was on Grief, Life Circumstances, and Comfort. It was heavily rooted in 2 Corinthians 1, Job 1, Jonah 1 and 4, Psalm 37, etc. Where do you run when grief comes? Do you run away from God like Jonah, or do you run to our God of comfort like Job? See the video for more details on that.

The Lord is good. The entire week was a massive blessing to the people we spoke to as well as to ourselves. I really am kinda bummed that I'm back at school, because I really want to get out and tour more.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the video! More updates later.

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Pulse Outreach - Day Two Performance

Going into Day Two

On Monday night, we had stayed with a very generous family who owned a Subway as well as a 4,000-acre farm. Yes...4,000. They told me about a combiner, and I didn't know what it was since I'm more urban than the average North Dakotan. I asked if it could harvest souls, and some people actually said yes. We went to Pizza Corner for lunch. It was semi-delicious.

So we crammed into a 15-passenger van half full of luggage and went from Valley City State University to Jamestown College. It was about a 35 minute drive, and we took the next three hours to set up. Set-up was always exhausting throughout the week. The bands had a trailer and a SUV full of stuff. Dang. I had my laptop, DDR pad, and suitcase full of clothes. haha I am so high-maintenance. Here's a random picture of me pointing...

Tuesday Night

After setting up, we did sound-checks, me usually last. I tried to warm up on Tuesday a little bit better, but my legs were still frazzled from Sunday and Monday, so they tightened up pretty badly on the third song. There's nothing like lactic acid build-up. Yikes.

The songs I played were as follows:
(1) Hyperactif (a really technical and gimmicky 11), on which I got all Perfects.
(2) Anthem (109 on Mungyodance 2), which was fun. I like the song and stepchart combo.
(3) BabyBlue, which was an encore song. My legs really tightened up toward the end of the song in the end run, but I still did pretty well.

Hybrid Soul opened with a worship set this time, which was great. SonStruck closed the show with their own music. SonStruck's music is already pretty worship-geared, though. I really liked touring with those guys. They are a set of really solid and serious brothers in Christ.

Nick Hall preached a message about the 'Big Buts' of Christianity --
I'd go to church, but...
I'd tell people about Jesus, but...
I'd serve God fully, but...

Pretty good challenge, eh? What excuses do you have that are keeping you from glorifying God in all things?

My message was about glorifying God in all we do as well as giving glory where glory is due! Much was based in Colossians 3, Matthew 25, Psalm 103, etc. See the video for specifics.

And indeed, better is one day in His courts than thousands elsewhere (cf. Psalm 84:10).

There's absolutely nothing like seeking and serving God. Why settle for less? Jesus loves you.

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