Chris Ramsey

17 Jun 2019

1978 Rolling Stones Interview

By |2019-06-17T13:14:43-05:00June 17th, 2019|General|0 Comments

Spring 2019, Mick Jagger recovering from heart surgery.
Advised to Postpone Upcoming 2019 American and Canadian Tour

Pray for Mick, Keith, Ronnie, Charlie, and Bill.

Can you believe it? The Rolling Stones are still very newsworthy.

Mick recently posted: “Thank you everyone for all your messages of support. I’m feeling much better now and on the mend—and also a huge thank you to all the hospital staff for doing a superb job.”

And then in another post: “I’m so sorry to all our fans in America & Canada with tickets. I really hate letting you down like this. I’m devastated for having to postpone the tour but I will be working very hard to be back on stage as soon as I can. Once again, huge apologies to everyone.”

Mick Jagger

So with the Rolling Stones still very much in the news and even having a tour planned and then postponed due to Jagger’s heart surgery, I was prompted to reprint an old “rock-star” witness that Cornerstone Magazine ran back in the summer of 1978. It was my friend, Jon Trott, and myself who had the opportunity to meet up with a few of the Stones.

As you will see, we weren’t shy about sharing our faith. That was the way it was back then. We were “Jesus freaks” on a mission. And if you had asked me if I thought that the Stones could possibly be touring (or even alive!) in 2019, I would have answered, “No way.”

But then again, who am I? What do I know about the future of anyone? Not much, not anything really.

All I know is that I believe in II Peter 3:9: “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise (of a day of judgment coming), as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

And so with those thoughts in mind, I invite you to listen in on the brief encounters we had with a few of the Stones back in 1978.

All of a sudden Jagger pulls up in his limo. He and his girlfriend get out and survey the whole setup. Everyone stands back in awe. He’s here.

A series of people casually file by making their adoration vocal. Seeing Jagger alone for a second, I walk up to him and blurt out, “Hey, Mick, you know Jesus loves you?” as I hand him a couple of tracts. He takes the literature and with a quick negative glance, takes off behind one of the trailers.

It was July 8, and we were backstage at the Rolling Stones concert at Soldier Field here in Chicago. After getting a quick witness to Mick Jagger, we continued to share with a few people who were a part of the Stones’ entourage. Amidst the trailers, small tents, the barbecuing, and the drinking, we had quite an eventful day. We knew the Lord had gotten us in, but was there going to be another chance to witness? All we could do was pray.

That night, the Stones showed up at a small club where Muddy Waters was playing, and we got another chance to talk to them. When the show was all over, they were whisked into a small dressing room in the back of the club. “Now you’ve got ten minutes,” the manager told us. “There’s a lot of people back there, and I’ve got to keep them moving in and out. So when I tell you you gotta go, you gotta go, OK?” “OK.”

So when we entered the dressing room, we knew didn’t have much time. We quickly took in the scene, which revealed a shoulder-to-shoulder crowd of about thirty in a small, dank, dressing room. Nearly everyone had a drink in their hand and the atmosphere was bubbling. Jagger was standing off a ways from Muddy Waters and the other Stones. I boldly approached him. “Hey, Mick, remember me? I was the guy who handed you a couple of tracts down at the concert today. What do you think?”

“I get them all the time. I don’t really get into tracts,” he said in his thick English accent.

“Well, anyway, do you know the Lord really loves you? He really cares about you?” While I continued telling him of God’s love for him, he started mumbling under his breath, “You can’t be telling me this. You can’t be telling me this. You can’t be telling me this.” All of a sudden, he looked up from his drink and threateningly blurted in a stage whisper, “Hey, aren’t you afraid the Lord will put a curse on you?” “It’s only the devil that’s going to put a curse on anyone,“ I replied. He sarcastically shrugged and said, “Oh.”

He didn’t want to continue our conversation, but it was crowded and while he was trying to get away, I leaned over and said, “You know something? The devil has a real hold on you, but the Lord can set you free!” He stopped for a second. He was stunned and acted like he couldn’t believe his ears. I added, “We really love you Mick, and we’ll be praying for you.” He slowly continued to mingle in the crowd and soon left.

Ronnie Wood

Ronnie Wood was busy whooping it up. “Hey, you know the Lord really loves you?” I said.
“Oh, yeah, I know He loves us all,” he said, very drunkenly.
“Don’t you know that He wants us to live for Him? “
“Hey, man, I ain’t got time for that stuff. My life’s too messed up already without giving it to the Lord; it’s bad enough. That’ll make it worse. Besides, I’m having too much fun right now. I can’t think about that.”

“But, Ron, don’t you see that if we can’t get along with the Lord down here, we’re never going to get along with Him for eternity?” “Yeah, I see that,” he said hesitantly. “But hey, man, really, the Lord’s too heavy for me, man.”
“Well, we really love you, Ronnie, do you know that?” “I know you do. I really do. And I have to admit, you really make me think. You kind of set me back about three steps.” “But really, don’t you ever get tired of this whole party scene?” He thought for a second, “No!” “Hey, by the way, where’s Bill Wyman, anyway?”
“Oh, he’s back in the hotel, all whacked out.” “You know, Jesus does love you, and we’re all praying for you and we care about you.” He seemed to lighten up a little and said, “Hey, man, that’s cool, thanks a lot.”

Bill Wyman

Then I looked over at Keith Richards. He looked really out of it. He looked like he was on what they call a “mean drunk,” so I hesitated to go over to him. Charlie Watts was sitting off to the side, all by himself, so I went up to him.

Charlie Wats

“Hey, you know Jesus really loves you, Charlie. He wants you to be living for Him.”
“Yeah, I know, “ he said casually.
“Have you ever really received Him into your heart?”
Thinking . . . ”I don’t know.”
“Well, if you don’t know, then you haven’t.”
“Hey, man, I’m doing alright.”
“Yeah, but are you serving God? Is he number one in your life?”
“No, I can’t say that.”
“Well then, what is? Do you live for yourself?”
“No.”
“Other people then. You live for other people, right?”
“That’s right.”
“Well, that’s still wrong, you see, because the Lord wants to be number one. You see, it says in the Bible that you have to love the Lord your God with your heart, soul, mind, and body. Then other people come second.”
“Hey, man “ Charlie said. “You know if Billy Preston was here, he ‘d be preaching to you.”
“Yeah, I know. I talked with Billy Preston recently. Do you know he has a Gospel album out?”
“Yeah.”
I told him that we really did care about him and that we’d be praying for him.
Finally, I turned back to see what Keith Richards was doing. He looked like he had lightened up a touch. I went over and butted into his conversation in a nice way. “Hey Keith, you know the Lord loves you.” He was stumbling around.

Keith Richards

“Yeah, yeah, I know He cares about me,” he said cynically. “I just hope He cares about me enough to keep me out of prison.” (Richards was facing some criminal drug charges in Canada at the time.)
“Well, you know something, Keith, even if you have to go to prison, He wants to be right there. He wants to help you out.”
He seemed to turn bitter. “Hey, man, I don’t even want to talk about this anyway.”
I told him Jesus really did care about him. I just wanted him to know that he had a bunch of people here in Chicago that would be praying for him.
We witnessed to a few more people and then we felt it was time to split. As we were leaving, an old man, who was the chauffeur for the Stones, was having a rough time walking down the stairs. He was really blasted. So I offered to help him down. He refused. Then I said, “Jesus loves you.” He suddenly became enraged and, in a fury, hurled his glass down the stairs, where it shattered.

Looking back on the whole day, I couldn’t help but remember what it used to be like for me. I used to be an old Stones freak. My favorite band. I would have thought this was really great, to be backstage with the Stones, to go to a nightclub where they were at, and then get a chance to talk with them. That would have been heavy.
But all during the day, I just couldn’t help feeling pity and sorrow. Even that afternoon, while they were playing, with sitting backstage, it seemed like the Lord was speaking to me, “Do you know that these guys could be dead in a week?” And then I thought of Lynyrd Skynard, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin.

Above all, I felt He showed me that these guys are really scared, and I’m sure that they have a lot of late nights when they curse the day that they were born. And when they sing, “I can’t get no satisfaction” ( ironically, it was their last song of the concert), I’m sure they mean it a lot more now than they did back when it was first released.
What’s more, it seemed to me that these guys had lived their lives to the hilt for the devil. They went all out. And this is how we believers need to be living for the Lord. We need to be living all out. Let’s pray for the Stones. You never know what’s going on down in their hearts.

End of 1978 interview.

And now that we know that the Stones are still “rolling” can we still find it in our hearts to keep on praying for them?
And so, that is what I’m asking you to do.
Because remember what the Lord has said—that he’s not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. In fact the verse before this one tells us that God’s timing is not like our “timing” in our mind’s comprehension. In fact, “With the Lord, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.“ (II Peter 3:8b)
So even though the Stones have been going for more than 50 years and say they want to keep on going, it’s really just a drop in the ocean of time.
You just never know what might happen. And maybe we’ll never know if anything has ever happened in their relationship to God or not.
Our lot is to pray for God’s mercy towards these folks. After all, he sure did show us a lot of mercy and grace, right?
And we’re no more special than they are
So this could be “The Last time” that the Stones and everyone living like they do (or wish they could) hear this message. Why? Because none of us know how much time we have left. And “Time” is definitely not on their side”… especially at their ages.
And God says to us all: “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” (II Cor.6:2)

Thanks for stopping by.

Chris 

1 May 2019

Unexpected Prayer Warrior

By |2019-05-01T09:59:13-05:00May 1st, 2019|General|0 Comments

You never know where a prayer warrior may be found!

I was out walking about Uptown doing a couple of errands when I noticed a friend of mine through the window of one of our neighborhoods classic grills. I waved at Kathy, and then I ventured into the restaurant to say hi. She was glad to see me. “I haven’t been able to make it to Cornerstone lately,” she said. “My husband’s health has taken a turn for the worse . . . so I’ve had to take care of him a lot more.”
“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that,” I responded.
“Yeah, things have been a little rough lately,” she said.
I then turned to her friend, who was sitting quietly across from Kathy.  “Hi, I’m Chris, from Cornerstone. What’s your name?”
“Hi, I’m Heather, nice to meet you,” she said.
We then got into a conversation and Heather told me that she’d lived in Uptown for about 7 years, but she didn’t go to church because of some health issues.  And she went on to tell me that we all need to be witnesses for Jesus.  And one of her ways of sharing her faith was to make crosses out of yarn and give them out for free.
“Wow, that’s really cool,” I said.
“‘Cause you know, we’re a part of the bride of Christ, and Jesus is the groom,” she continued.  “And Jesus wants us to be praying for all the folks we come in contact with. Jesus wants us to pray against the power of Satan. He wants us to ask Him to remove the problems that are in the person’s life we’re praying for. I know, because I’ve been a prayer warrior since I was 13.”
We chatted a little more, and then I told Heather and Kathy that I was blessed to talk with them, if only for a few minutes. And I continued to complete my errands.
You just never know when or where you might meet someone pretty special.  I guess you just have to have “ears” that can truly hear, and “eyes” that truly see.
And I’m not saying that I always do have those kind of ears and eyes.  Because I know I do not.
Thanks for stopping by.
Chris
22 Feb 2019

MEET KELLY: A HUMAN BEING!

By |2019-02-22T13:38:38-05:00February 22nd, 2019|Everyday People|0 Comments

WOULD YOU SAY A PRAYER FOR HER?  

I was walking along State St. when I ran into Kelly, a homeless woman, sitting on the sidewalk holding her sign asking for help. I stopped for a minute, and asked her how things were going, how people were treating her.

“Oh, it’s OK,”  she said. “I mean, it’s not like I’m some sort of monster, I’m just a human being who’s having a tough time right now.”

Kelly then went on to tell me that she used to be a medical billing assistant, and that she’d been married, and had her own home. But then in 2016, her husband passed away, and her life started spiraling downwards. Soon after, she couldn’t afford to stay in her home, so she started renting a room.

And then she went into such a deep depression that she couldn’t even keep a “room” over her head.  And then she told me that she was in and out of hospitals for a couple of years.

But now, right now, she was sitting on the State St. sidewalk in downtown Chicago, asking for a little mercy, a little charity, to help her make it through another day. She was hoping to get enough for a room or at least enough to eat, and ride the train all night.

“Do you believe in God?” I asked.

“Oh, yes,” she said. “I do pray, and it seems like God is the only person that I have right now.”
Kelly then gave me permission to pray for her. Now I’m asking you to say a prayer for Kelly.

And then I would ask you and myself to keep on praying for, and caring for the Kelly’s of our inner cities across America.

Thanks for stopping by.

Chris        .
11 Feb 2019

MEET NORVILLE: HE’S A PEOPLE PERSON

By |2019-02-22T13:38:47-05:00February 11th, 2019|Everyday People|0 Comments

AND HE’S A BLESSING TO SO MANY… INCLUDING ME!

Here’s my friend, Norville.  Every now and then we meet in the Aldi’s parking lot.  He’s busy waiting to return the shopping carts that folks have just used to unload their groceries into their cars.  But he’s also happy to assist anyone who would like a little help unloading.

So on this day, Feb. 6, I’d just finished shopping for our shelter–Cornerstone Community Outreach, and I’m pushing my fully loaded cart to my van when I run into Norville.  He’s quick to tell me that he’ll be right over to help me unload my cart as soon as he returns a few carts to their corrals, where he will receive a quarter for each cart.

When he arrives at our van we jump into a quick conversation.  “So you really like helping people, don’t you?” I ask

“Oh, yeah, I really like meeting people,” he says.  “I’m a people person.  And I just enjoy encouraging them,” he says.  “You know, there’s just a lot of good  people in this world.”

“Yeah, that’s true,” I say.

“I mean, I’ve met so many good people right here in the parking lot,” he says. ” I’m talking about so many folks that you wouldn’t expect to have an outstanding point of view and an understanding mentality. And they end up encouraging me.”

“Wow, that’s really nice, isn’t it?” I respond.

“Well you know, Chris, that’s what it’s all about, “he replies. “We just need to be encouraging each other each and every day.  I just figure that if I can’t encourage someone, then what am I good for?”

Norville finishes up helping me load our van, and we bid each other a good day. And I discover a little more about Jesus and how he works… right in the Aldi’s parking lot of Uptown, Chicago.  I’m just thankful for all the “Norvilles” in my life… because I can always use a little encouragement.

Thanks for stopping by. 

Chris