I know I have talked about i-61 Ministries before…but I just can’t stop sharing their videos and articles as I think they are on the right track. As Tri says in the below video, it is easy to get overwhelmed when looking at the state of the world today – poverty, environmental decline, spiritual decay, etc., and etc…
However we have to start somewhere doing something.
Just like Matthew West states in his song “Do Something”:
I woke up this morning Saw a world full of trouble now Thought, how’d we ever get so far down How’s it ever gonna turn around So I turned my eyes to Heaven I thought, “God, why don’t You do something?” Well, I just couldn’t bear the thought of People living in poverty Children sold into slavery The thought disgusted me So, I shook my fist at Heaven Said, “God, why don’t You do something?” He said, “I did, I created you”
If not us, then who If not me and you Right now, it’s time for us to do something If not now, then when Will we see an end To all this pain It’s not enough to do nothing It’s time for us to do something
In researching the song, I found out that it was released last year by Hillsong United and has been getting some serious airplay this year (it was on the Billboard Hot 100 last month) – so some of you will no doubt recognize it…
The song is none other than “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail).”
For those who have heard the song (and if you have not, please watch the video below), you know that the main focus of the song is passionately allowing Jesus to lead you out into the “great unknown” – to places were our “feet may fail and fear surrounds” us – i.e. it is a song about following the Wild Goose into unknown and untested waters.
As you can guess, that heart and theme resonated with both Emily and me as we have told the Lord to send us wherever He wants to send us and use us however He wants to use us. We are committed to following Him to the place where our “trust is without borders” – to that place where we have no choice but to trust Him.
Yes, that is scary…very, very scary as it could mean a lot of things… yet if King Jesus really is King then we must be willing to drop everything and go when and where He says to go – just like Noah, Abraham, Moses, Paul, John, and millions of other followers of the Creator. To NOT go is to basically tell God that He is nothing and that we are wiser and more powerful than He…and that, my friends, is not a happy place to be in. =/
So as we await our marching order we shall play this song over and over again – as a reminder that Jesus is King and that we will find Him “in the mystery.”
“Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)” Lyrics
You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown, where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep, my faith will stand
And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours, and You are mine
I just ran across this new single by Thomas Rhett and man does it hit a cord. To just sit and talk with Jesus over a cold pint…. that would be awesome.
Granted, my theological side says that we can actually do that today as He is alive and does, in fact, talk to us. We can know how He turned the other cheek, a question Thomas asks in his song, as the Scriptures tell us how – through the mercy, grace and strength of the Holy Spirit. A strength that is available to ALL followers of Jesus as demonstrated by the lives of countless Jesus followers throughout the centuries.
So yeah, it is a good song asking some good questions – only please, please know that those questions can be answered by a living Jesus (BTW – “trust me” is a valid answer…)
Two months ago Phil Strout gave a talk at the Pathway Vineyard Church in Maine about the spirit of cynicism that is so powerful in our culture today. It is really strong among the Millennial Generation as we (and yes, I’m in that group – abet on the leading edge) have been betrayed by so many of our heroes and leaders – parents, teachers, political leaders, business leaders, pastors, priests, cultural icons, coaches, etc. This betrayal and lack of trust has led to a culture of cynicism where we are skeptical of the motivations of everyone around us… watch out for number one as no one else will…
For years I have felt that the song that best summed up my generation was John Mayer’s “Waiting on the World to Change” (and yes, I know that John is more Gen-X…but I think the song nailed us Y folks). Some of the lyrics of the song reads (abridged with underlines added):
Now we see everything that’s going wrong With the world and those who lead it We just feel like we don’t have the means To rise above and beat it
So we keep waiting Waiting on the world to change
And when you trust your television What you get is what you got Cause when they own the information, oh They can bend it all they want
So we keep waiting Waiting on the world to change
It’s not that we don’t care, We just know that the fight ain’t fair So we keep on waiting Waiting on the world to change
Yet in the midst of all the pain, sorrow, heartache and doubt there is one voice calling us forward with hope. That is the voice of Jesus the King of Kings! As the author of Hebrews said long ago:
No matter the genres or the artist, I always love songs from the heart. Songs about real life – the pain, the joy, the sorrow, the happiness and the struggle of living day to day in a twisted world. Perhaps this is why I have gravitated towards more singer/songwriter genres along with a bit of classic and alternative rock, alternative folk, classic bluegrass and traditional Celtic throw in for good measure.
A few years ago I stumbled upon the song “Love the Way You Lie” by Eminem and Rihanna and was stuck by the passion and emotion of the song. For those of you have not heard it, it is a song that explores the internal struggles and emotions of a couple caught in the cycle of domestic violence. Like real life, the song is raw and includes some hard theme and words (listener be warned) – yet it is honest…and for that reason it is a song I keep going back to over and over again.
One of the most powerful moments of the song is when Eminem raps the lines:
Now I know we said things, did things that we didn’t mean
And we fall back into the same patterns, same routine
This is an admission that the things that they wants to do they don’t do and the things they don’t want to do, they do. It is a re-stating of St. Paul’s words in Romans 7:15-20 – which, in turn, is a picture of the struggle between the coming Age To Come and the injustice, evil current age. Our spirits and souls know that we were made for peace and love, and yet we all seem to fall short of that goal…
Don Williams in his book “Twelve Steps with Jesus” states that everyone on the planet is an addict in the fullness of the word. Each of us have something in our lives that leaves us craving for more, which leads to that something controlling us and forces us to continue to use that it. This addiction may not be a chemical (i.e. alcohol, illegal or legal drugs), but could be an unhealthy dependence on people, something more like a masturbation addiction, a need to shop or to cover up pain with food – to name a few addictions.
So what is the solution?
Well there is no silver bullet or easy way out of this messed up world. Yet, there is a path that leads to wholeness and healing – a path that can only come into view once you acknowledge your addiction and give up control of your life to Jesus the King. He will take your broken life with all of its messed up pieces and not simply help you manage the sin – NO!! He will breathe new life into our body and lives – moving beyond repairing it beyond the point that it is better than when it began!
Like a lot of folks I was first introduced to Lindsey Stirling through season five of “America’s Got Talent” where she made it to the quarter-finals. However, I, like most of America, soon lost track of her as the show went on and the planet kept spinning around the universe. Happily, though, she has popped back on to my radar though a geeky site humorous named “Geeks Are Sexy.”
By now you all are probably wondering what Lindsey does… well, she is a violinist, dancer, performance artist and composer who is simply amazing! Not content to stay within the classical music genre, she plays a variety of musical styles including video game soundtracks (hence her geeky connection).
Knowing that words do not do her music justice, I have posted a few of her video below for your enjoyment. 🙂
“Skyrim” with Peter Hollens (this is by far my favorite video!)
I was jamming out to Pandora a few months ago when I noticed a certain band that continued to pop up with some great songs packed with powerful, heartfelt lyrics. As I typically do with new artists I’ve like, I looked up their bios and discover that they, Flyleaf, was comprised of five Jesus followers. Originally threw me for a loop as I was listening to a grudge-alternative music station, which isn’t always known for including Christian bands…
Yet, as I dug deeper I discovered that Flyleaf did things right (well, “right” in my mind) – as in, instead of labeling themselves as a ‘Christian rock band’, which I’m sorry to say is become a fairly water downed genre, they went full bore and signed with a mainstream label and rock the country. Lead singer Lacey Sturm put it this way in May 2010 when asked about being a “Christian rock band” playing in Las Vegas:
“Well, you know what? I don’t know what you mean by a “Christian rock band.” It’s hard to say that because people all have a different definition of what that means. If it means that we’re Christians, then yeah, we’re Christians, but if a plumber’s a Christian, does that make him a “Christian plumber?” I mean we’re not playing for Christians. We’re just playing honestly and that’s going to come out”
Their first album, “Flyleaf”, went platinum in 2005 and their second, “Memento Mori”, debuted at number eight on the Billboard 200 in 2009 (it also topped the US Billboard Alternative and Hard Rock Album list not to mention the US Billboard Christian Album).
Yeah, they are that good!
And, as things worked out, I just so happened to be browsing a local book store yesterday when their “Memento Mori” album cover caught my eye. So I bought it (sadly there are times when I’m not online and am in need of some good alternative rock music). =D
Below are some music videos of the album to give you all a taste of the band. Enjoy. =)
Born and raised in North Carolina, Earl developed a unique style of banjo picking at has become known as the Scruggs Style (i.e. a three-finger picking style vs the comment two-finger or strumming styles).
In the mid-1940s Earl joined Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys before starting his own band in 1948 with Lester Flatt. For the next twenty years Earl and Lester played all over the place and changed the face of mountain bluegrass music.
He will be missed…but luckily his music will continue to play thanks to recording studios and the like. 🙂
Below are a few of my favorite Earl and Lester’s songs: