Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Zombies, Wine, and Christian Music

This is a blog post by Michael Gungor, head of the band Gungor. It makes me warm and fuzzy inside. Read his blog HERE.

Zombies, Wine, and Christian Music

When you are in a touring band, there is a lot of time that is spent waiting. Waiting to board a plane, waiting for the bus to arrive at the venue, waiting for sound check…etc One of the many games that people in our band have implemented now and then to fill the waiting time is a little game we might call the “Christian or secular” game. Basically the game is simply playing a very short clip of music and having someone guess whether it is “Christian” or “secular” music. The person who is most accurate with his or her guesses is the winner.

This is surprisingly easy to do.

Especially when you talk about radio stations. It is easy for me to spot a Christian music radio station within about 3 seconds. Far before any Christian lingo is uttered to make it clear.

It’s weird. I’m always trying to figure out what it is that makes something sound like Christian music, because there’s definitely something… I’d love to get some of your thoughts about it. But for me (and I’m actually one of the better players of the game if I must say so myself), I find something very disingenuous about most Christian music. This is something I can simply feel at a gut level. If I hear a song, and I hear any sort of pretending or false emotion, that’s a good first indicator. I’m really not trying to throw mud here, I’m being honest at how I am good at this game. Christian music often has a sheen to it that other music doesn’t have. Some pop and country music has a similar sheen, but the Christian sheen is like a blander sheen somehow.

The vocals are always really hot in the mix because for Christian music, the words are the most important part. That’s kind of similar to country though as well, so you have to be careful there. Country has some of the same Nashville tones, players, and compression styles that Christian music has most of the time, but the twang is just a little deeper with the country side of things. There’s also a little more “humanness” or “soul” in Country to my ears.

The false emotion that I’m talking about might be familiar to some of you. There’s just something more believable about the whispery sexy voice that is singing about sex on the mainstream radio station than the voice that copies that style of singing while putting lyrics in about being in the arms of Jesus. And it’s really not even the style or the lyric that is the problem to me, it’s the fact that I don’t believe that the singer is feeling the kind of emotions in singing that lyric that would lead to that style of singing. It’s that same kind of creep out that you feel when somebody gives a really loud fake laugh. It’s just weird and uncomfortable feeling.

An example of this would be a song that somebody sent us recently of an older song of mine called “Wrap Me In Your Arms.” The lyric is a very intimate and soft sort of lyric. “Take me to that place where I can be with you, you can make me like you…etc” This person did a hardcore/screamo version of this song. Not just like getting a little loud, I mean full out death metal sounding, demon-voiced screaming. It was so freaking weird mostly because it seemed so disingenuous. You would never speak such gentle words to someone you loved by screaming in their face like you were possessed by Beelzebub. That’s an extreme example, but it’s very typical of the basic premise of most Christian music to me, which is–use whatever musical style you wish as a medium to communicate your message. It’s not about the art, it’s about the message. So use whatever tools and mediums you have at your fingertips to do so. If you want to reach emo kids, then sing emo music but with Jesus language. The problem with this is that emo music is not simply reducible to certain sounding tones and chords. There are emotions and attitudes of different genres of music that are the soul of the music. You can’t remove the anger from screamo and have it still be screamo. It’s the soul of that music, whether that soul is good or evil is not the point, simply that it is the soul. So when you remove the soul from music and transplant the body parts (chord changes, instrumentation, dress, lights, and everything but the soul…) and parade it around with some more “positive” lyrics posing as Christian music, then what you have is a musical zombie.

It looks like a human.. It eats like a human… It still walks and makes noise and resembles a human, but it’s not. It’s a zombie. It has no soul. It just uses it’s human body for its own purposes.

This is what I initially feel when I play the “Christian or secular” game. I look into its eyes, and I perceive whether the thing has a soul or not. And 9 times out of ten, I can do it very quickly and efficiently.

Why is this like this? I don’t know, and it makes me very sad. I don’t hate all Christian music. There are a few artists that I know in the Christian industry that are really trying to transcend the inherent limitations and zombying effect of the industry. But the industry as a whole is broken, friends. We call it Christian, but it’s certainly not based in Christianity. It is based on marketing. That’s it. I wish I could tell you otherwise, but it wouldn’t be true.


We just were part of one of the biggest tours of the fall in the Christian music industry. To my knowledge, every night but one night was sold out, and that’s because they added a second show in the same city kind of last minute. The interesting thing about this tour was that it was pretty much in all mainstream venues. Clubs, theatres…etc It was awesome.

But you know what made me sad? That empty bar every night.

Even though these shows were all sold out, I would imagine that the bartenders at all those clubs were like “oh man, Christian night… that means no tips for me.”

Sometimes the promoters would just buy out the bar so there wouldn’t be any liquor sales at all.

I’m not saying that I wished that everybody was getting hammered at the show… But for crying out loud, buy one beer. Or heck, if you don’t drink beer, buy a Coke.

But here’s what is super weird about this situation. I bet you if you took all of those Christians that came to the shows and split them up and had them go to “secular” shows, A LOT of them would have bought a drink. It’s the fact that there is this assumption among all of the Christians there that having a drink at a Christian event is sort of a questionable thing to do.

Why is this?

It’s certainly not because of the Bible. Jesus’ first miracle was turning water into wine at a wedding. And not just any wine. The kind of wine that made people think they saved the very best wine until the end. And you preachers who pervert the scriptures with your own extremely biased interpretations, here’s a news flash, people at parties don’t think the best wine is non-alcoholic grape juice. Religious people didn’t call Jesus “a glutton and a drunkard” because he ate communion loafers and grape juice all of the time.

Sheesh. It’s just so ridiculous to me.

And here’s the thing. I don’t even drink very much. I’ve never really been drunk, and I’m not advocating that people should just be foolish with their drinking or eating habits. But for crying out loud, this whole spiritualizing of alcohol being an inherently bad thing is so annoying. It’s mostly just an American thing, by the way (as well as places where America has exported these ideas with our missionaries). If you go most other places in the world, or anywhere else in history for that matter, Christians drink alcohol. Ever heard of a little thing called Communion? You know, the bread and the wine? That’s a pretty big deal in Christianity. Jesus didn’t pour out a cup of grape juice.

Man alive.

You know what the alcohol thing is based on? You ready for this? You sure?


Old people are the people that give the most money to Christian organizations like religious media outlets. And old people grew up in a time where alcohol was seen as a taboo social reality. Just like dancing or playing cards or “mixed bathing” (swimming). It’s based in an era of prohibition. These are old American values that we’re dealing with, not Christian values. It’s the old American people that have money that the Christian organizations do not want to offend. So they create an environment where drinking is seen as evil. If you want to start a television ministry, you can’t have it known to your donors that your staff likes to go out for drinks after work. So you implement rules for them. Do you know how common this is? I have friends that have lost their jobs over crap like this.

Do you see the irony of this? If you had been a disciple of Jesus and drank some of the wine of his first recorded miracle with him, you would be fired from a lot of the churches in this country. Shame on us.

So the point? (I haven’t forgotten) The point is that the industry that labels things as Christian and sells them to you has far more to do with marketing then Christianity. They are marketing to the mixed bag of values that has created the Evangelical Christian subculture. It’s a mix of some historically Christian values, some American values, and a whole lot of cultural boundary markers that set “us” apart from “them.” This sort of system makes us feel safe and right, and it makes some of its gatekeepers very wealthy and powerful.

The effect is then the filtering down of this subculture to people that don’t necessarily want to think through the viability of every one of these boundary markers, but in their simple desire to belong to what they consider the good guys, they acquiesce to the rules handed to them. At least in public. As the joke goes, why do you take two Baptists with you when you go fishing? Because if you only bring one, he’ll drink all your beer.

Here are some of the actual effects of this subculture though.

1. It makes us dishonest

When the foundation of the market and music you are trying to make is pretense, it’s very hard to be honest and successful. There is an unspoken assumption from most of us that we really want the people on the stage or on the book or album cover or on the radio need to have it together more than we do. Because we are messed up, we need them to be a sort of savior and hope for us. The result of this is that it’s often the people who are really good at pretending that they have it all together that make it to the stage and the book or album cover and the radio stations.

So Christians that would normally buy a beer don’t because they are in the Christian concert. Christian bands that smoke (which a lot of them if not most of them do, including some of my players) have to duck into back alleys as to not offend anybody. I think smoking is stupid. But I think it’s stupid because it smells bad and it kills you. I don’t use my religion to judge other people about it.

Rather than just being honest about where we are at and what we all struggle with though, we look to our gatekeepers to believe and live morally vicariously for us. That way we feel better about being part of the system of good, and the moral brokenness in our own lives is repressed like the fear of a child with her security blanket.

This sort of dishonesty is at the heart of much of what I and so many others find so repulsive about much of modern American Christendom

2. It kills creativity

I had a conversation with John Mark McMillan last night about something that I think is very interesting. By the way, I consider John Mark to be one of the ones I consider to be making a valiant effort in transcending some of these imposed limitations in this industry. But he mentioned to me how strange it is that people keep calling his new album “creative.” That word is actually one of the most used words when people describe our music as well. In fact, I bet some of you reading this have described as such. Here’s the weird thing about this…

Why do you find it necessary to say that?

Do you notice that nobody really uses that word about other types of music? I just was perusing some Itunes user reviews to see if this holds up. I checked John Mark and mine, and “creativity” is very often found. But it’s not often found in reviews of bands like Sigur Ros, Bon Iver, Radiohead, Sufjan Stevens or other artists who are certainly very “creative.”

Nobody goes to an art gallery and says, “boy, that painting is so creative.” Why? Because it’s art! Of course it’s creative! Why else would it be there? It’s very nature is creativity. Or like Lisa pointed out to me today, “that would be like saying, I love your house, it’s so architectural.”

But when someone in the Christian industry actually takes their art seriously, everybody is like “holy crap, listen to how creative it is!”

It’s like a person that’s been living among zombies for years seeing an actual human being and exclaiming, “wow, look at how clean her face is! She doesn’t even have any blood on it or anything!”

I’m not slamming the people that describe our music as creative. I appreciate the kindness that’s behind the words, but it does make me sad that the idea of creativity is so foreign to our industry that we have to actually point it out when someone actually sees the art as art and not zombie propaganda. Ok, that might have been a little much. But I like the sentence so I’ll leave it.

So that’s why I’m good at the Christian or secular game. I’ve seen behind the curtain, and I know the little man that’s pulling the levers, and he’s not impressive. I recognize his voice at this point, and it’s all over religious media.

Why am I writing this blog?

Some of you have commented in the past when I’ve been critical of the Christian music industry that I’m being hypocritical by still being a part of it. I don’t see it that way. I actually love a lot of the individual people in the industry. There really are some amazing people in it, many of who share my weariness about the way things have been. And I also love you guys. I love our fans. I love the people that we get to meet and I love being able to get our music to them. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try our best to purify the systems that we are part of. I just want to be honest about what I see and call us to find better ways of doing things.

Two quick recommendations and I’ll stop this blog that has already gone on WAY too long:

Consumers: I would suggest that you actively support those artists that you love that the industry hasn’t necessarily bought into. The cards are stacked against people that actually want to do honest creative art in this industry, and the people that try really need your direct help and support to have any chance. For us, we’ve had one guy for instance that has been sending us a check every month for years because he appreciates what we are trying to do. Do you know how much that one family has helped us stay encouraged? Even if it’s not a huge amount of money or anything, just having people behind you in this sort of battle is really helpful.

Industry people: Stop being so afraid. I know you want things to be different than they are as well. I know you want creativity to be valued as much as “Becky” analysis, but we need some of you to have some balls and make some decisions based on that value system. Yes money matters. But so does beauty. Art actually makes a difference in the world. Have the courage to actually make decisions on values and not simply on past numbers and trends. And for crying out loud, if it really is good, the numbers will follow eventually anyway.

Artists: Take heart. I think the tides may be turning. The recent attention and success of our band speaks to it I think. People are growing weary of the status quo. The machine and its sheen have seen its strongest days. So I encourage you as well to not be afraid. Your art is worth making even if the industry around you isn’t quite ready for it yet. Make it and let them catch up with you. Your art is sacred. Be honest. Be brave. And don’t let the markets or the industry be the final filter on your art, let your heart do that. Ok that’s all from me tonight.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

That Saved A Wretch Like Me...

Sometimes I forget the sweet sound of grace...

Sometimes I don't feel worthy of being saved...

Sometimes I still feel lost...

Sometimes I long to be found...

Sometimes I feel blind...

Sometimes I can't see my own hand in front of my face...

Monday, October 31, 2011

Thursday, September 08, 2011

There's No Place I Would Rather Be...

There’s no place I’d rather be,
There’s no place I’d rather be,
There’s no place I’d rather be,
Than here in Your Love.
Here in Your Love.

Set a fire down in my Soul
That I can’t contain and I can’t control.
I want more of You, God I want more of You, God.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Nothing Else Matters.

"He has cheated Hell and seated us above the fall.
In desperate places He paid our wages one time once and for all"

::John Mark McMillan::
::"Death In His Grave"::

"But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."
::1 Corinthians 15:12-14::


Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Lion.

"'Is- he a man?' asked Lucy.

'Aslan a man!' said Mr. Beaver sternly. "Certainly not. I tell you he is the King of the wood and son of the great Emperor-beyond-the-Sea. Don't you know who is the King of Beasts? Aslan is a lion- the lion, the great Lion.'

'Ooh!'said Susan, 'I'd thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.'

'That you will dearie, and no mistake' said Mrs. Beaver; 'if there's anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they're either braver than me or else just silly.'

'Then he isn't safe?' asked Lucy.

'Safe?' said Mr. Beaver. 'Don't you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you.'"

::C.S. Lewis
::The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

I am the son of the Most High King.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Prone To Wander...

Brokenness is not weakness...Weakness is not evil...Weakness is not even weak...Please, please, give up your false notion that you have to be strong all the time...You cannot do it...You are prone to wandering and fading...You are not above sin...

I am prone to wandering...I try to hide my weakness...I fail...

Give it up.


Let it go.

Hold onto something that will not fail, falter, wander, give way or ever be weak.


Be man enough to admit you can't do it alone.

"But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." _2 Corinthians 12:9-10_

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Character & Integrity...

It has been one long dang time since I have written anything...

Another year older today...College over...Job hunting...Life...Alas...

I was given the opportunity to speak to a student body of fifteen hundred on my last day of chapel in my undergraduate career...I read and listened back over it recently and needed to hear the truths I spoke again for myself...Kind of a weird feeling getting told a new one by yourself...Anyways, here it is...Remember I am as broken as the next person and have trouble following my own advice...


Hi. I’m Jake and I think it’s funny when people get coffee drinks with skim milk and then ask for whip cream. I also want to ask you all to open your Bibles to Jeremiah 29:11 as I give a sermon taking the verse completely out of context…Just kidding…However, I am a senior who is about to walk at graduation this Saturday. In light of that, here’s a few things I have thought about, learned, observed, lived out, and not lived out, in my time here at college…
I’ve learned that character and integrity are much more important than they get credit for…I’ve learned that life is an inside job and we are not victims. Everyone has their own junk…On the outside we deal with those weaknesses by blaming things around ourselves, when we are truly the idiot… The problem is that we have to admit we are the idiot and we have to admit we want to change ourselves…
See, character is who you are when no one is looking. So let’s start with this. If I sign a contract that says I will follow certain guidelines while at this school, but break a few I personally disagree with, then my character is flawed in some way. See, I signed the contract, a bond, that said I would keep my word. I don’t care if you don’t agree with some of the rules, you still agreed to follow them. For the record, I am personally not above anyone for having followed or not followed the handbook while here. It’s not even about the typed ink on the paper anyway guys, and if you think it is, then you are missing it.
Not entirely related….Girls, I probably can’t fully understand what it means to have to wait on guys for us to take the initiative, but I do see some of the great lengths you girls go to wanting to get our attention. While it initially may be something you want, how you dress matters. Some of us want to treat you as God intended, we truly desire that, but when you’re not intentional in a positive way with the way you dress, as an example, you send us mixed messages. Respect yourself enough to not give us what our male desire wants. Save yourself for somebody. It’s worth it. It really is.
Guys, just because girls show you some cleavage or dress in other immodest ways, doesn’t give you an excuse to have a lack of self-control. However, all of us are tempted to act on carnal urges, in which we tend to treat women as objects if we let go on control and intentionality. But real men rise above carnal urges and treat women well; in a way they deserve. It takes a real man to have self-control and go completely against how culture says to look at women. And once again, I personally am not above this. I speak to you from a place of forced humility, as God has brought me, dragged me, a loooong way to where I am today. And if you guys don’t think that pornography will affect you, mentally and physically, the rest of your life, then you are dead. wrong. Every time you settle for a fake image of God’s beautiful creation, you create an expectation your wife will never live up to, because porn isn’t real love. Never, ever, sacrifice your future on the altar of the immediate.
Honestly guys, I want to be a perfect man, a man wholly surrendered to God…I really desire that…I desire to have solid character and integrity, and I do fail. You need to know that.…But, if we become a community that is seeking character moment by moment, then we become a people who can transform little tiny Spring Arbor…Jackson…Michigan…The U.S…The world…for Christ…We don’t become impactful when it is eleven o’clock at night and we’re in our third hour of Call of Duty or Halo, with two more to go…We don’t become impactful when it’s eleven o’clock at night and we have spent the last two hours gossiping about who we think is worth less than us on this campus…
We are impactful when we are followers of Christ cleverly disguised as something…I hope to be a follower of Christ disguised as a resident director of a college next year…I also still want to change the world…I want to do something that is bound to fail unless God intervenes…However, I have to change myself to the likeness of Christ before I can change the world…It’s an inside out job…
I was an RA for a year and half here, and the reason it was only one and a half years was because I tried to form myself from the outside in…I let my personality and reputation carry me into a second year of student leadership, and when I could no longer hide from my awful grades that were not characteristic of a committed student, I had to be let go of my position. In the middle of the year…I’m kind of embarrassed to share this too…It sucked. It really did. I cried for the first time in three or four years that night…I wish I would have had the depth of character to avoid that…God did use it…But I am telling you because we mature a little bit more when we spew our crap…
I mature a little bit more when I recognize my depravity and get in front of someone who loves me enough to tell me I’m an idiot, in love…James 5:16: Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” The person whom you confess to won’t let you off the hook, but they won’t beat you up either…And you can’t jump into the listener’s seat without ever having sat in the confessor’s seat…
For those of you going into ministry of any kind this summer, you are all followers of Christ cleverly disguised as a counselor, foreman, director, coach, lifeguard, and so on…Don’t say you are going to a camp this summer to get changed, or that you will get changed on whatever summer trip you have planned…Get changed now, with your roommate, with your best friend, with people whom you are close to…And do it today.
For everyone in this room, whether you care about God or not, it’s time to acknowledge the struggle. Everyone on this campus has crap?, from freshmen to the administration…You are not alone. You are also not as strong as you think, so stop thinking you are. Right now. Right this second. Stop pretending you have it together…Come on, no one does…But be encouraged in the community of brokenness that exists all around you. We all suck at life sometimes, but we are dragged back to our feet by God and each other.
As you leave Spring Arbor someday, leave a mark, not just a reputation…Leave having been a servant, rather than being served…Will you leave and have at least one person say you really impacted their life for Christ? Or will they say something like, “Man, you really knew how to party hard?”
Desire to be a man or woman of character and integrity. Work hard for it. Be intentional. And refuse to be complacent. To quote one of my favorite verses from Ephesians: “Wake up O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

Friday, May 06, 2011

The Same Mistake...

"But if this love changes everything, then with this love, you know that I can't afford to make the same mistake."

:::The Wedding- "The Same Mistake":::

Just trying to put the past in the past eh?

Don't be defined by your past mistakes.

They have shaped you, sure.

But they have not defined you.

Christ has defined you.

Ask Him about you sometime.

And don't expect a heavenly, angelic voice from the sky to answer (although that is possible).

Expect Him to answer from the mouths of those around you.

So shut up and listen.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Wolves, Sheep, and The Lamb...

Night like the cunning wolf comes to swallow your soul
And in his vacant heart lies a hate that’s so cold
The fallen lives are covered beneath the dark abyss
But the sheep’s wool is pure because the shepherd’s selflessness

He guards the weak and in need
Through his light all the wayward will see
With his staff he protects and makes free
So surrender a life incomplete

Now with a heart of grace
Speaking words of hope,
We’ll show the lost your faith
We’ll take the road less traveled-
The shepherd’s marked his way
We’ll take the road less traveled-
The shepherd’s marked his way

So trace these lines and he’ll guide you home
The lamb will finish this race for your soul
The lamb will finish this race for your soul

So hold fast to this
And know that victory
Is just a step away
Lay down your burdens
And let his promise heal within
To make you feel alive

Now you’re finding out, the voice inside you
The one that keeps on holding you back
It guides you wayward and takes you far from
It takes you far from this beaten path

I can see you’re just a wolf in sheep’s clothing
Because your tempting ways give you away
But I’m alive because the grace that dwells within me
A hope that carries me along everyday


So let Your grace and mercy fall like rain
The wolves may scar and hunt you down
But the Truth will still come out
Follow close and open up your heart to hear
His words will hold you close and chase away your fear

Death where is your sting?
Death where is your sting?
I tell you the mystery
Graves are but mere tombs
Graves are but mere tombs
Tombs that last three days

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Furious Love of God...

This post is brought on by The Furious Longing of God by: Brennan Manning...

First of all, what does the furious longing of God mean to me? What does it mean to be longed after and loved by God in a furious way?

I have little idea.

Maybe I should have a better idea?

With some years of high school and college ministry and four years studying ministry at a Christian university "under my belt", maybe I should know more...Maybe my confidence should be a little higher...Maybe my doubt a little less...

But maybe not.

If I am honest, I have trouble knowing what it means to love God and be loved by Him...

Thankfully, my opinion and personal experience does not change the Truth that exists...The Truth that God seeks us with a furious longing so full of aching passion that it would literally crumble us if we were to experience it at capacity...God desires to be in this union with us, and the apostle Paul expressed this in Galatians when he says, "It is no longer I who lives, but Christ lives in me." (2:20)

"Jesus came not only for those who skip morning meditations, but also for real sinners, thieves, adulterers, and terrorists, for those caught up in sqaulid choices and failed dreams." (Manning 32)

"I have come to call not the self-righteous, but sinners." Matthew 9:13

For the longest time I put pressure on myself...If I missed daily quiet times or didn't feel as if my worship was authentic I beat myself up, adding to the guilt and fear already residing inside my head...Obviously those feelings are not of God...

My view of God was, and still is limited...I put his love in a box that was not fit to hold even the dirty laundry I take home to wash for free...I lived by the definition I made for something I was not created to define in the first place...

If I really think about it though, if I were to have power over God's love, then I should refuse to worship him, for he would be conditional and weak...

He is not though...He is the Great I Am, the Beginning and the End, and the greatest lover to ever exist...

I let my sin(s) be an excuse to run and just throw a few words at God every now and then, while pushing full steam ahead on a path I fashioned for myself out of less than gold...


"Those of us scarred by sin are called to closeness with Him around the banquet table. The kingdom of God is not a subdivision for the self-righteous or for those who lay claim to private visions of doubtful authenticity and boast they possess the state secret of their salvation.....The men and women who are truly filled with light are those who have gazed deeply into the darkness of their own imperfect existence." (Manning 32)

"I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."
Ephesians 3:17-19

The love of Christ is beyond knowledge. Let go of your tiny, weak, circumcised, traditionalist, legalistic, human perception of God and open yourself to a God in Jesus Christ, the most loving man to walk this green earth...

While it is good and Godly to pursue a thoughtful life as a man/woman of God, take the pressure off yourself, please...Just shut up and shut off and sit for a second...

Let God love you where you are at.

Not where you think you should be.

Accept that it is real, no matter what you have or haven't done.

If you don't understand it, then consider yourself normal, and don't be discouraged...Ask for God to reveal his love to you...

Chances are that he has already been anyways, you have just been missing it...

Don't fret though, for He is continuing to pursue you with the most furious love.

And He will never stop.


The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin.

When years of time shall pass away,
And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
When men, who here refuse to pray,
On rocks and hills and mountains call,
God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
All measureless and strong;
Redeeming grace to Adam’s race—
The saints’ and angels’ song.

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints’ and angels’ song.

Sunday, February 06, 2011


"If you knew the depths from which you had come, and the heights to which you have been raised, you would never stop singing."

You have been lifted from the miry clay.

You are not defined by your sin.

You are never too far gone.

When you accept that, don't be afraid to scream in joy.