Sunday, August 31, 2008

Beauty of Silence

There are times that I absolutely despise myself. I hate being prideful and I hate belittling people, and I hate trying to put myself on a pedestal. But guess what, I do it every day. And chances are, you do to.

Walking home tonight I was unusually quiet. A friend spoke up and asked me why I was so quiet. My answer was quick and simple. This what I said:

" I was thinking about my speech. I was thinking that, if I never belittled someone, or made myself look better than someone, nor did I make fun of someone, I would probably be silent."

And I was. I have the hardest time being humble. Many people know that. (Thanks for pointing it out!) My whole life I have ignored the simple saying, " If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." I have always had to say something. I have always had to prove something, or always had to defend myself.

I recently looked up the definition of "Humble" and this is what I got.

Humble- having or showing a consciousness of one's shortcomings; modest.

That's what I lack. I admit that I have faults and tell people I am no good all the time. But I don't act like it. Still deep down I act as though I am the best, and I never mess up. What arrogance. What foolishness. Take it from me. It's a life of misery. It's really pathetic how I sound when at the end of the day, I play the things I have said over in my head. It makes me ill. Please learn from me, be humble.

But it's one thing to know something, and another to realize and apply something. You can't be humble if you talk all the time. Maybe that is an arrogant thing to say. Maybe I am the only one who can't be humble and talk all the time. But I think it is universally true.

I think of Jesus. The Bible records him preaching a lot. But I always see him sitting at a well, or in a synagogue. But what about all the times we don't read about Jesus. What about those long walks from place to place with his apostles. I wonder if he were quiet most of the time. I would love to spend time around Jesus and see if he really did talk a lot.

The Bible records Moses being the most humble man in the Bible. I wonder how that happened. He spent a lot of time by himself. Running all the way from Egypt to Midian and then being a shepherd for Jethro's sheep. He probably didn't talk much. Spending time in meditation and prayer is probably what he did a lot of his time.

I am starting to see a connection. I pray from humility every day. But still I catch myself, or others catch me, slipping up. I add my two cents when it doesn't matter. It's the small things that drive me nuts. A little attack there and a little defense there. What does it matter? What am I trying to defend? Jesus is the only perfect one, and when he had a chance to defend himself, he was silent, like a sheep led to the slaughter. I am becoming silent. I am becoming humble. I am becoming like Jesus.

Oh, the beauty of silence.

"Humble yourselves before the lord and he will exalt you." James 4:10

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Unveiling Truth

This is another song that I have written. I like to write a lot it seems like. This is just another expression of what's been on my heart here in Albania.

Unveiling Truth

What is it going to take
What needs to be done for you to believe
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be opened
I hope one day you accept the truth that looms over you

If it's evidence you want there is plenty
If it's proof you desire open your eyes and see
For everyone who asks receives
Everyone who seeks finds
Kock and the door shall be opened

The truth is constant
The facts don't change
Ignorance is not bliss and you will soon have hell to pay
Open your eyes and see
Humble yourself and believe
Accept the truth and live

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Bed of Roses

This is just a song I wrote today. Not to long, but when you pause and add breakdowns and sweet riffs, it will make for a pretty good song.

Bed of Roses

you better wake up
time is not on your side
wake up and smell the roses
for even they will soon die
this is not a game
He's coming back and he plays for keeps
there will be no more chances
excuses will not suffice

wake up
wake up
you better wake up

brood of vipers
you can't escape the end
a time is coming when judgment will come
you can't run and you can't hide
here's you chance the time is ticking
the end is near and his justice will be served
don't walk away don't turn your back

wake up
wake up
you better wake up!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Excuse me waiter...More water please?

Wow, God blew me away today.

We had our evening class at church and the speaker was talking about water. I have heard it all a million times, Jesus is the living water drink and you will never be thirsty again. (It's highlighted in my Bible.) It sounds great and people love to hear it. Today, however, I understand LIVING water a little more than I did yesterday. Here is what I realized.

Creation- I am not sure if I understand it fully or not, but my Bible says the in the beginning the world was formless and empty and water covered the whole earth. So we see from the beginning there was water. Before there was life on this earth there was water. (Genesis 1:2)

Garden of Eden- The Bible says it did not rain in the garden, water would come up from the ground and water the plants. From that I get that the plants and everything growing grew right from the source of living water. It did not have to rain for nourishment and growth, the ground was saturated with life. We also read of 4 Rivers that flow through the garden. What purpose did they serve. It gave life of course! From the very beginning, we can see that water gives life. (Genesis 2:10-14)

Jacob and the twelve tribes- This is kind of far-fetched and you have to use your imagination but Jacob met those men at the well and because of that found Laban who gave him his wives and eventually through the well, the promise of God to Abraham was fulfilled. (Genesis 29)

The Exodus- The Israelites after 430 years of slavery, after seeing the power of God in plagues and in the parting of the Red Sea, which by the way is a body of water. When they forgot all about God his ability to provide they complained. God tells moses to strike a rock. What happens? Water gushes out. First of all you have to picture close to two million people. In numbers it looks something like this: 2,000,000. That's a whole lot of people. This is not some small stream we are getting here. This is a river in the desert. It provided life for a few million people. That is living water.

There are many more examples I am sure of water and how important to life. We see them all the time, but we think nothing of it. It's so simple, yet so necessary to life. Let's fastforward some years. I am not a Bible scholar but I would venture to guess somewhere a thousand years passes by, possibly more. Let's take a look at the new Testament...

John The Baptist- What was John's mision in life? It was to prepare the war for the Lord. He came baptizing people for their remission of sins. What is a key element to Baptism? Water. (Don't critique my last phrase. I know that water really isn't an element. It is a compound made up of a simple mixture of 2Hydrogen Atoms to 1Oxygen atom. Let's stick to the point at hand.) Water is essential for baptism. How crazy is that? The same thing necessary for life on this earth is the same thing necessary for spiritual life.( *Note* Obviously there are different opinion on the matter at hand. I suggest studying the scriptures for yourself and finding answeres that you may believe to be true. This is what I have come to believe.)

And last and obviously not last...

JESUS CHRIST- Please turn to John Chapter 4.
Here the savior of the world- who has humbled himself more than any one man can grasp (Philippians 2)- sits down at a well and askes a "half-breed" for a drink of water. The Son of Man is thirsty. He asks for water. WOW! that's incredible. So simple yet it leads to something powerful and deep. At this point I kinda feel like Jesus is smiling to himself. He knows he is about to blow this lady away and he is having a hard time keeping it in. So he asks her for a drink. You really have to understand the culture of the day to really get this, but she replies, "How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink of water from me, a Samaritan Woman?"
Then Jesus starts: " If you knew the gift of God, and who is saying to you, "Give Me a drink," you would ask Him, and he would give you living water."
They continue back and forth about physicial water and drawing it of a well. But Jesus cuts in again, and says that people who drink that water become thirsty again and they have to come back and get more water. Now, Jesus let's her really have it. He talks about the living water that he gives, that He is.

Of course that lady's life changes for ever when she realizes that she is talking to the Messiah, and she runs away and tells the whole city. ( I think) But that is so key to life. Right here we see the I AM in the flesh telling us that true life is a wellspring of water flowing out of us giving life to those around us.

Today, water is a big thing in the world. Helping people get clean water to drink, just to survive. There are people dying every second almost, because they don't have clean water to drink. The most simple of concepts and we fail to see it everyday. "NO WATER=NO LIFE"
So please, let's drink together the living water of the Lord. Let's share in the abundance of the well that never goes dry.

I really like the song "All Who are Thirsty" I have included them at the end of this blog. Sorry so long once again. But deal with is. You didn't have to read this far. I love you all, and I am praying.

All who are thirsty
All who are weak
Come to the fountain
Dip your heart in the stream of life
Let the pain and the sorrow
Be washed away
In the waves of his mercy
As deep cries out to deep (we sing)

Come Lord Jesus come

Holy Spirit come

As deep cries out to deep

"All Who are Thirsty by: Kutless"

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Living In Tune!


Well, now is the time I will explain my new perspective on life and how I view God.


Like I said earlier, I am not a theologian. I am not clever nor do I understand deep truths hidden in the Bible. But I do on the other hand understand music. I love it. I feel it. I need it. In my life I feel a connection to God through music. I see God reveal himself in melodies, and in harmony. I see God and feel his presence in hardcore breakdowns, and blast beats. I can sense him in scales and rudiments.

I had been fighting internally with my faith, and decisions I have made in my life time. I sometimes question my decision to come to AIM and move away from comforts and securities and of course music. I don't know why I said no to playing music and a possible career, or at least an interest in pursuing one and saying yes to leaving for the God I serve.

Then it hit me. The story of God is a beautifully composed and written piece of music. God knows how it is to sound, and how knows how he wants it to be played. The composer knows his music better than the musicians. Musicians sometimes have ideas they think are good, and things they think should add, but in the end, God's is better. In truly coming to grips with this, I also realized, that my life in an instrument in the song.

I sometimes think that I know what's best, or what would sound best. So, I play it. I go ahead and play that trill, or hold out on a hold a little too long, or I add an accidental where it doesn't belong. Sometimes it probably sounds good, and others like to hear it, but other times, it's way off key and it's repulsive. So, that's why my new out look on life is living in tune. I know I will always sound best if I play what God has written. I will be exactly right, when I play what God has written.

There are a few very simple, but very important rules in playing music composed parts for many people:

Listen- Listening is key in playing music. You are not the only musician. We are surrounded by musicians. Playing in and out of tune we need to discern what is the song of the Lord and we need to listen to others that are playing our song. We need to listen and we need to adjust ourselves to the music. We need to always remember to listen. When we listen we know and feel what to play. And in the end, we will learn to play in tune more often and easier.

Keep time- This is also very important. Let's face it, you won't play all the notes right every time. You will come to a run or a scale that is unfamiliar. Don't stop. When you hits those wrong notes, don't give up and quit. Keep the beat. keep playing the song, you will get it next time.

Always Watch the Conductor! - This is THE most important thing in all of playing music. The music is in front of us, but the director knows how to make the notes on the page come alive. you can play all the notes "right" and still sound bad. God is the one who makes the music a story. God is speaking to us through music. Ht knows when to cut and to rest. He knows when to slow it down and to build up for a dramatic bridge or chorus or refrain. You will miss all of the artistry of music if you have your nose stuck on the paper and not keeping your eyes on the one who wrote the music.

Sorry, this was so long, but I had a lot to say. This is how I see life. This is how I am trying to live. I don't understand a lot of things, but I do understand how music goes together and the impact it can have on someone's life. I am playing music everyday of my life. God has written a wonderful song, and I am LIVING IN TUNE!

Friday, August 1, 2008

A little about myself.

Well, I finally caved and got a blog!

Since this is my first blog I will say a little about myself.

I am:
  • -Broken
  • -Beat up
  • -Confused
  • -Lost
  • -Worried
  • -Sinful
  • -Reborn
  • -Saved
  • -In need of a Savior
  • -In need of Grace
That about sums the real me up. I love music and in my next blog, I will explain the title of my blog. But I needed to let you all know these things about myself. I am not good at anything. I don't have wisdom, I am not good at thinking of deep spiritual things to say. I don't read my Bible enough, I take my salvation for granted, and I try to do to much, when Jesus just asks for all I have to give him.

If there were a line for grace, I would be the first one in line. I am sinful and broken, but God is good and his son has risen. Therefore, I am a new creation. I am on a journey, and I serve a great God.

I play music, and I really believe that is how I best share God with others. But, I have put that off for a little over a year to learn more of God and to experience him on a more intimate level by moving to Durres, Albania as a missionary-still broken, and still in need of grace.

I have a lot to say, but most of it doesn't amount to anything. My only goal is to worship God and do my best to lead others to the cross where I found true life, and where I found forgiveness.

"A theif comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and have it in abundance."
John 10:10