The Question

Tonight I ask a Question to all you Christians out there. I saw Emery live tonight at Martini Ranch in Scottsdale Arizona. They played with Maylene and the Sons of Disaster, Closure in Moscow (?), Secret and Whisper, and Kiros. What a great show. Anyway, a question came up. The Question is an obvious reference to Emery’s sophomore album. My friend said Emery isn’t the same anymore. He didn’t mean musically either. He meant spiritually… And my wife quickly agreed.

My question is this, do you think it’s absolutely important for bands to share that they are Christians and share the Word? Or is it okay if they don’t and still spread hope? What about not at all? Do different bands have different callings? Or should every band with at least a Christian vocalist share his Faith in his/her lyrics? What about on stage?

What do you think?

I have an opinion here, but The Question is for you.

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World Peace

World Peace: endeavor of all endeavors, or a fool’s dream? Today I’m going to evaluate it and lay down the truth on this subject, without being too controversial or a long dissertation. For the most part, is World Peace not a fool’s dream? At least it is in our current reality. I suppose it also depends on your definition. I will cover the two broadest definitions I could think of: 1) World Peace; the absence of physical war between all nations, tribes, and peoples and 2) World Peace; mutual harmony between all people.

Definition number one, the “the absence of physical war between all nations, tribes, and people” is thought to be plausible… if not for a short period of time. Is it plausible for the world to be without war for 5 minutes? A day? A month? Do you see where I am going? How long do you go without war before calling it World Peace? I’ll take that and go to the extreme and say this: definition one shouldn’t be used unless referencing a forever-enduring World Peace. When have we ever known war to cease? History shows us countless cases of war. Some people say that it would be possible after a great war and great destruction that would unite everyone. My fear is this: How far should we go then? What’s the cost? Our lives have always been the cost of true freedom and that requires war.

Definition one is deceptive, it gives everyone the belief that it’s possible when it truly is not. I believe there is only one man that can make this possible, and His name is Jesus Christ. And while I don’t claim to know the Bible from front to back, I know we won’t see the effects of His power until the second coming when there will be great destruction and pain along with the lasting peace.

Definition number two, “mutual harmony between all people” is absolutely impossible. The only way to attain this is to defeat Satan, the epitome of evil himself and this leads me to the same conclusion as before. Only one man lived without sin and only one man is capable. There will always be war between people, families, tribes, and countries. Even if you are not a follower of Jesus Christ, I still think my arguments are valid. So many people think World Peace equals no war. A true world peace would be a world without evil: an unattainable dream.

Say Good Night to the Nice Guy

I’ve been reading through one of my favorite books for the third time (I think…). With John Eldredge, I always find something new to clutch onto, something new for my heart to evaluate and mull over. This time I barely made to page 7 in Wild at Heart before I realized what was tugging at my soul this time. Eldredge has a knack for exploring the insides of our mind and soul and finding the most primitive and primal feelings or thoughts. A gift, I’d say.

 

Society at large can’t make up its mind about men. Having spent the last thirty years refining masculinity into something more sensitive, safe, manageable and, well, feminine, it now berates men for not being men. -John Eldredge

 

The problem with men, we are told, is that they don’t know how to keep their promises, be spiritual leaders, talk to their wives, or raise their children. But, if they try real hard they can reach the lofty summit of becoming… a nice guy. That’s what we hold up as models of Christian maturity: Really Nice Guys. We don’t smoke, drink, or swear; that’s what makes us men. Now let me ask my male readers: In all your boyhood dreams growing up, did you ever dream of becoming a Nice Guy? (Ladies, was the Prince of your dreams dashing… or merely nice?) -John Eldredge

 

I have become… the Nice Guy. Edredge has has hit this subject dead on. Why are most Christian men seen as Nice Guys? Why is there a stereotype of that? Is there? Do you agree? I think there is, and I’m sick of it. I can’t blame the stereotype though… because it feels true. I’m guilty.

 

This reminds my of the Emery song “What Makes a Man a Man,” let’s take a closer look.

 

Take a look and see for yourself what makes a man

a man, and I will step back to the life I left.

Maybe you won’t forget who I am.

 

Wake up in the middle of the night,

just don’t believe everything’s all right when these

thoughts are running around your head.

And it’s late, so you don’t really want to say goodbye,

so you just head down the stairs that lead you out.

The sound of silence is as loud as a gunshot.

“Forgive me” were the only words they read on the note you left.

 

Singing,oh… can’t find any way out.

 

I wish I could live where the sea meets the land.

The ocean and I would be the best of friends.

I’d make her my own. I would float in her waves.

She would sing me to sleep as she carries me away.

Won’t you carry me away?

Oh,please, carry me away.

Ocean, carry me away. You’re my better half.

 

Singing, oh… can’t find any way out.

 

(I don’t really want to sing anymore. There’s got to

be something I could live for,so just show me now.

Everyday is just another regret. It’s time for me to

give it a rest and it’s over now.)

 

-Emery

 

Like Eldredge, the lyrics find the writer longing for the sea, or the wilderness. We’re meant to live an adventure and be outdoors. We’re not meant to sit behind a desk, be polite, and mind our manners.

 

Eldredge also says this:

 

It is the fear that keeps a man at home where things are neat and orderly and under his control.

 

And…

 

We have not invited a man to know and live from his deep heart.

 

I, for one, agree.

Taking a Break to Write

To my dear three readers: I know that I have not been very active at all recently. There is a reason for all of this though. I’m actually writing a book. At this point, I do not want to release any information about the book to public, so I can’t tell you all the little details yet.

So this means I will be taking a break from my blogging for an unknown amount of time to write this book. Unless a miracle happens and a publisher comes to me to publish it, I will be self-publishing it in it’s entirety.

I still don’t know where it will be published, but I know God has put this on my heart to write it. I may or may not have a blog or two during this period, but the outcome of this break from blogging should be well worth it. Thank you for taking time out of your day to read this. I love you all (and by all, I mean all three of my readers).

Hmmm… Already Forgiven?

“Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too… and sometimes they win.” -Stephen King

Even Stephen King realizes the evil that permeates us. There’s an inherent, almost instinctual, evil inside of us. It’s almost as if we are. It’s important to understand, however, that the true us, the true human being, was actual born of good. Our heart is good… but we betray ourselves. We betray ourselves and God through our sin.

Why do we act for ourselves anyway? We’re selfish. And believe me, I am the worst. Even when I try. Even when I have my heart in the right place, I always end up feeling seduced like Adam. I become extremely selfish. Sin is this constant spiritual battle that I have to live with the rest of my life.

The good news is, Jesus paid this debt to two thousand years ago. Then why do we, I mean I, feel so guilty? If I’m feeling guilty about my sin then it’s because I’m sorry. It’s because I know I screwed up. It’s because I know I’m guilty and I have to learn to leave it at the cross, repent, and accept that Jesus has already forgiven me.

Already forgiven.

The Binding Fabric

Today I write to all of my fellow followers of Christ. We all know the trials and tribulations of the path we walk, some more than others. As God as our guide and our hope, we are able to move day to day with purpose. But let me ask this; what keeps your faith strong? or weak? What activities can we partake in to keep it healthy? I’m not a pastor, but there are a few things I have learned from my pastor that keeps me going.

First is a principle we must understand and accept. Pastor Ray (of Desert Breeze Community Church) always quotes author John Piper:

God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in Him. 

This is simply a rewording of what St. Iraneus said in the 2nd Century:

The Glory of God is man fully alive.

This was one of the most eye-opening facts I have ever heard. It literally changed my life. I have found this to be true so many times. Because even when we are in the worst spot in our lives, in a job we hate but can’t help, or a family member dying… we can still be satisfied in Him for His continual love. It’s our being satisfied in Him that glorifies Him. Simple, yet profound.

Second is also something very important I learned from Ray. We must practice the presence of God. What does that mean? Well, it’s actually a book by Brother Lawrence. I haven’t even read it yet, but Ray always explains this to us and how important this is. We practice the presence of God by flexing out mind muscles to how Good God is, how big He is, how amazing He is. It’s a way of worship. Though we have a finite mind, the more we practice this, the more we become enamored by Him. And therefore, we become satisfied in Him, and therefore worshipping and glorifying God.

Do you see where this is going? It’s a snowball effect that moves us forward. The combination of these two principles has helped me move my life forward. There is a purpose for every one of us, but it is our choice to embrace that and make our life extraordinary.

Update: I fixed a quote, pointed out by my wife. The first one is by Author John Piper.

I was also inspired and wanted to post these lyrics of the song Collide by Skillet. I encourage you to listen to the song as well. The lyrics do not give it justice.

We have fallen
We have fallen again tonight
Where do we go from here
When they’re tearing
down our lives?
When all they want is
When all they want is
For us to live in fear
How long can we hold on?
Can we hold on?
Hold on

There’s something deep inside
That keeps my faith alive
When all you can do
Is hide from the fear
That’s deep inside of you
Something, something, something
Something, something, something
To hold me close when I don’t know
There’s something deep inside
That keeps my faith alive

We are healing
But it’s killing us inside
Can we take a chance?
When faith and fear collide
We can make it
Step out and take it
We can’t live feeling so numb
How long can we hold on?
Can we hold on?
Hold on

There’s something deep inside
That keeps my faith alive
When all you can do
Is hide from the fear
That’s deep inside of you
Something, something, something
Something, something, something
To hold me close when I don’t know
There’s something deep inside
That keeps my faith alive [2x]

Believe

This entry today is dedicated to Derek. I believe in you man.

How? That is the question that has been asked for ages. How did we get here? Did we evolve? Have we always been here? Were we created? What’s our purpose? Do we even have a purpose? I can only tell you what I believe. And that is this: we’ve been asking the wrong question. The human mind’s need to know how we got here is irrelevant. There’s no need for the “how” if we ask a different question: why?If we could simply and undeniably answer that one question… It would greatly eclipse are internal want to know how. It would diminish the need for how and transform need into want.

Why? The question why has many assumptions built into the word. It assumes there’s a reason. It assumes there’s a purpose. Huge difference.

How: Possibly no prupose. Cosmic accident?

Why: Purpose? Creation?

This is what I know, if you unpack the word why… You get with reason and purpose, you take it further and you get something more. Why assumes a creator because it assumes a reason.There are so many ways one can argue me wrong about this, and so many things they might find wrong about my beliefs. Thats fine. I simply just want to take you on the same train of thought that brought me to my knees at the Cross. If none of this made sense up to this point, just consider this:

Would you rather live your whole life asking how we got here, bewildered by the questions, and not knowing if you were meant for anything more than living and dying?

Or would you rather live at least part of your life asking why we’re here, possibly answering the question for yourself, and at least living for something more?

That “something more” for me is a strong foundation I found in Christ Jesus. He gave me a life worth living and principles to live by that are universally accepted, even in science. To believe or not believe in something, that is completely up to you. I urge you to find something worth your life, otherwise you may end up asking the wrong question the rest of your life. Live for more. A cause. A child. A lover. Or the highest of all, God.

I pray you find your way in your journey.

Inspired by Chad Johnson of Come and Live (Formerly Tooth and Nail Records).