Life Is Fair? A Dedication to Maggie May Qurioz

Have you ever wondered why God allows bad things to happen to good people? I mean he’s God right. He controls all things at all times, right? Or does he? I mean surely he’s capable of controlling everything, but he’s not a control freak. God has chosen to give each one of his people the ability to choose.  You see he’s not about being fake or false, he’s about being real and he wants us to be real too. So what does this have to do with bad things happening to good people? Everything!! God chooses to let life happen. Don’t get me wrong, he is constantly trying to lead us and guide us in the right direction but we don’t always respond correctly.

I have a friend who was a wonderful person, I mean when she walked into a room you could see and feel the love of Christ just pour out of her. She was an awesome worship leader and just a great person. She loved God and sharing him with everyone. She was the kind of person that made this world a better place. At the tender young age of 31 she lost her long fight with cancer and she went home to be with the Lord. I was blessed to be able to see her the day that she passed and even as she struggled to breathe she still spoke the words “I love you guys” to me and my wife. She even opened her eyes to look at us. It was beautiful.

I was very angry when she passed, I mean why should someone like her live such a short time, when we have rapist and murderers running around living healthy and long lives??? Where’s the justice??? It’s just not fair!

You see from our perspective, it’s not fair when good people die at young ages. It’s like, what’s up God?? Why?? When we lose someone, what happens is we begin to place our focus on our selves… now hear me out. We miss that person, we loved that person, we imagined that person with us for the rest of our lives. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!! God made us to be relational. We need people, we need each other and when something happens to one person it affects everyone.

From our perspective it’s not fair when good people die, and so often we blame God or question him as if he made some sort of mistake. Because we loved that person and we will forever miss them on earth. In our role as humans we have every right to miss loved ones when they pass and to ask why.

But we can’t expect for God to explain himself to anyone.

You see we can only see it from our perspective because that’s all we know. But let’s try to see it from God’s perspective. It works like this; God created everything and everyone, he created you and me. God has given us life, he has given us a life to live here on earth. Now we don’t always agree with the circumstances of our life but at least we have life. Whether we are able to walk, talk, hear or see isn’t the important thing. The Important thing is that we live our life for God and let him live through us. It doesn’t matter if we can, walk , talk , hear, or see, because the payoff is so much greater than we can imagine.

Isaiah 55:8 (NIV)

  “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.

God understands this principle;

James 4:14 (NIV)

you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

Have you ever been out doors on a cold day and saw your breath? You know, you breathe out and a mist appears but before you can even blink it’s gone. You see God understands that time is nothing to him. The bible says a day to God is like a thousand years to man. God understands that our time on earth is short but our time with him is forever.

So in exchange for our life on earth, meaning living our life for God and accepting Jesus as our savior, we get everlasting, eternal, forever life, with God. We get a brand new perfect body, a brand new perspective on life. We get a world without pain, death or sorrow. A world that is perfect, FOREVER!!!! I think that’s a good trade. I mean I can’t even imagine a life like that or what forever looks like.

And when we look at it from God’s perspective we see that being with him is far greater than being on earth. If we can realize this, then we can take joy after our time of grieving for our loved ones who have gone to be with him.

I know it didn’t seem fair for my friend Maggie to leave us so soon, but when I really stop and think about it, how could God allow her to continue suffering here on earth? She wrote this song, if you just read the lyrics, you can hear her cry to God.

There Before Your Throne

Maggie May Quroiz

Sometimes the burdens hard to carry,                     

The road just seems so heavy, I just wanna make it home

Sometimes my dreams are hard to follow,

I hope to last tomorrow, I just wanna make it home

And then I fall asleep and dream I’m there with you

Where every tribe and tongue and nation bow before you  

We worship at your feet and praise you all day through

 And you, you cover me with your love

For the Lamb, the Lamb, the Lamb will be my Sheppard

He will lead me , lead me to springs of living water

You restore every broken part of me, there before Your throne

 Sometimes I give up on Your promise

And trust in my own weakness, I just wanna make it home

Sometimes I fail to share Your glory

Afraid to tell Your story, I just wanna make it home

 And then I fall asleep and dream I’m there with you

Where angels bow and pour their perfect praise upon You

You take our hunger and our thirst and every tear

I will tell your story, share your glory, I will tell you story show your glory

I will tell your story show your glory, There before Your throne

How could God resist that? You see Maggie understood the principle of life and she embraced it. She understood that we are only here on earth for a very short time in the scope of eternity. Our suffering here is like the pain we get when we stub our toe, it hurts for a short time and then its gone. In God’s eyes our life here is so short it would probably be measured in minutes. He knows that in a blink of an eye we will be with him and his desire is “that none would perish”. So remember God has a reason and a right, we may never know why he does things the way he does them, but we don’t have to.

Just live this short life that you have to bring glory to God and before you know it, you will be perfect with him for eternity.

We love you Maggs.

Maggie May Quiroz, We will never forget you.

Behind Aerophobia

Okay so what’s it all about? Why would a father of five in his 40’s just resign from his dream job to pursue a career in music? I mean there’s really nothing sensible about it. You don’t just quit your job to chase some impossible dream! Or do you? I remember when I was a boy, I always loved to sing and to write music. My grandmother was a mariachi , that’s a Mexican entertainer. She played the guitar and had a beautiful voice. My sister and I used to love to watch her sing and perform. I guess it was then that I knew that music would forever play a key role in my life. You see some people are born to fly planes, others to be teachers and others to be at home parents and raise the children. I knew then that I was born to do things that most people would consider un-reachable.

As I grew up I realized that I had a great passion for singing so I devoted myself to learning as much about it as I could. I remember listening to the Jackson 5 for hours trying to emulate Michel Jackson and learn how he would phrase his verses and breathe through them. It wasn’t enough to sing good, I had to be one of the best. In high school I joined the Jazz choir as a freshman and I began to excel. I played trumpet and sax but I wasn’t very good. I really needed to stick to singing. I didn’t have the kind of voice that was amazing, like some people but I think it was more the passion behind it. Little did I know then that this passion wasn’t earned by anything I did, it was instilled in me by God.

I didn’t have a clue that God was responsible for my ability or for the fire inside me. As I grew I became more and more self consumed and even arrogant, I really thought that I would be the next great rock star. As I look back I can only laugh. I was so young and full of myself. It wasn’t until I met my wife that I realized that I can’t take any credit for anything. I was saved in 1998 and it was like the scales fell from my eyes and I was able to see the truth for the first time.

Through my whole life I wanted to learn how to play the guitar like my grandmother but even though I had recorded several songs over the years I was never able to learn to play a single chord. One day after I had already committed my life to Jesus, I prayed and asked God to help me learn to play for His glory. It was crazy, that same day I learned 4 chords and I wrote my first song on the guitar to God! Now to this day I’m not a good guitarist by any means but I play.

Okay so what about the album?? How did it all come to be?? In 1998 I joined the worship team at my church, in that same year I knew God wanted me to begin the process of becoming a full-time minister. I was blown away, I mean if you knew me back in the day you would never think of me as a pastor. But God had other plans. I began learning about God and studying the Bible. In 2005 I began a 2 year group course that would enable me to become a licensed pastor. In 2005 I was hired as the full-time youth pastor and worship leader for my church.

During this whole time I was learning a lot about God, people and church. I loved leading worship but I always wanted to do it a little differently. As a worship leader the songs we would do were appealing to people who go to church but not very appealing to people who don’t go to church. I always wanted to share music to God and about God with the world, but in a sound and way that the world would embrace. I remember just before I resigned my position thinking about a new way to do this.

I remember 2 months after resigning asking God what He wanted me to do and his response was simple “music” and it all came to me. I was to write and record songs that would cross generational and cultural boundaries. Music that would inspire Christians and Non-Christians, music that would represent all ages, races and beliefs. Music that this culture in America could relate to. Using the sounds and tools of today’s modern culture. Even songs that said nothing about God or would be considered by the Christian audience as secular or worldly. You see for so many years I catered my musical style to “churched” people, but now it’s time to go to the world.

Aerophobia is the title of the album. The meaning is : fear or strong dislike of flying. You see when we fly we have to give up control to the pilot and have faith that he will take us to our destination safely. Even if we know how to fly a plane we still have to have faith that the plane itself will get us to our destination safely. Either way it takes faith to fly. So often we want to control everything and we refuse to let go. This is why we don’t fly and accomplish the things that God has created us to accomplish. We have a fear of flying a fear of letting God pilot our lives. Our church in America suffers from Aerophobia and that’s why it’s so weak today.

Aerophobia is all about being who God created you to be and doing things his way, because sometimes we think that we are doing it his way but in reality we’re doing the way man has taught us. If we only allowed songs on this album that were solely about God and nothing else, then we would only reach Christians. There are tons of great Christian artist out there for that. We choose to reach the unreachable with songs about everyday life and experiences, along with songs about our beliefs and great love for God. As we market the album the plan is to push both secular and Christian genres simultaneously. It’s defiantly going to be hard work but we know who has our back.

I guess for me the hardest part has been the transition from leading worship in a church setting to performing songs in front of people who expect a good show.

King David was rebuked by his wife for celebrating in a manner that she didn’t think was fitting for a king as he brought in the Ark of The Covenant. David’s response was I will become more undignified than this for the sake of his Lord. So as questions rise over the next few months about our album, just remember that whether you agree with it or not, whether you like the music or not or whether you think I have just gone mad!! I am doing this with the purpose of reaching people who the church today don’t really have a detailed plan to reach.

I just want to help people get close to God, and for now this is how God has me doing it. So now you know…This Is Why I Do This.

And oh yeah, for all my friends out there that are concerned that I’ve turned my back to organized ministry, don’t worry. I am also planting Generations Church in Pleasant Hill California, I’m the worship pastor. Love ya!