Friday, October 26, 2012

Leading A Double Life

Styx's "Kilroy Was Here" was one of the first cassette tapes that I ever smuggled into my house. Mom did not like any music with a rock beat while I was growing up. A friend of mine at the time said that I had to hear Mr. Roboto.  Being a keyboard player, I instantly fell in love with that song, as well as the rest of the album.  Of course, mom would not have appreciated me doing this had she known.  There was a song on that album that always stuck out to me called Double Life.  (I know...ironic, eh, since I was hiding this music while mom thought I was listening to the stuff she approved of instead...)

Of course, times have changed now, and I have come to learn that it's not the style of music that even matters.  Even mom came to realize that.  God can use anything, any style, or anybody to spread His message. Even a secular song.  Check these lyrics out.  Note that I changed a few lyrics just to make them more relevant.  The original song mentions the Berlin Wall, which of course no longer exists.  The words that I changed, I put in parenthesis after the original line.

Double Life
Written by James Young

In the dark so all alone
Slowly reach for the telephone
A message waits just for you
A secret place, another rendezvous

It's not always honesty
That is the best policy  (That is your best policy)
But little lies can give you away
Though you'll deny it if they say maybe you're just

Leading a double life
Friends in the daytime, strangers at night
Leading a double life
Can it be wrong when you know that it's right?

The other side of the Berlin Wall is  (The other side of the farthest wall)
Not far enough to avoid the call
Somebody knows, somebody's seen
Somebody knows right where you've been
And that you're just

Leading a double life...

Nowhere to hide, though we both might try
I'm schizophrenic, and so am I
Double life, a double life, a masquerade
You know we all live a masquerade
I know you're out there!

Leading a double life...


Spiritually, this song speaks a lot of truth.  Many times we find ourselves living / saying one thing on Sunday, or around a certain group of people, and living an entirely different life at work, or around a different group of people.  The bridge speaks wonders, I think.  Nowhere to hide, though we both might try...I'm schizophrenic, and so am I.... 

So I put this song on the album as challenge.  Live only one life.  Be on one side or the other.  Hot or cold.  

That's all.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Heart Thief

The next song I want to discuss is Thief Of Hearts.  Musically, this song is one of my favorites.  I know that several people have told me this is one of their favorites as well. Even though there are not a lot of lyrics to the song, it repeats several verses, and does an almost "round" like bit too, slowly building each time around. It is a rather dark song until the end where it changes modes completely to an almost worshipful tone.  I could have actually made the ending a separate track, but then when people would put it on their MP3 players, if they listen to it in random, they might not hear the second part with the first part, and as it fits so well, I didn't want to chance that, if that makes sense.

Thief Of Hearts
(c)2012 - Midiboy Music

Look inside my heart and see where the pain lives
Look inside my past and see why the pain is
Breathe on me. Breathe on me. Breath of God. Breathe on me

Invade my heart and go where the pain lives.
Steal away my past to remove where the pain is.
Bleed me out. Bleed me dry. Thief of Hearts. Take my life.

During my darkest hour, when I least expect it.
Be a thief in the night, steal this heart so unfit.

Reveal Your power and shed Your light.(Breathe on me)
Reveal Your power, display Your might.(Breath of God)


I think I wrote this song after watching an episode of CSI.  Maybe it was another cop / mystery type show.  There was a character who was emotionally scarred and ended up getting hurt in an accident and he said something along the lines of his true pain not being able to be healed as it was in his heart.

Then another character mentions that someone had bled out, and well, that got my brain working and a song was born.

I started thinking about how Jesus is known as a Thief In The Night, and then I started thinking about how Jesus wants our hearts and how in our culture, when we are in love we say "So and so stole our hearts."  Well, if we love Jesus...truly love Jesus, then He in a sense, has stolen our hearts.

That's all.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I've got it all under control...

Next in my series of RE:boot Blogs, I will talk about the song Control.

This song ALMOST didn't make the album.  Right up until the day I finalized the project, I almost cut it.  I really like the lyrics a lot as they are based on one of my favorite Psalms (139). In fact, I have written several songs based on this particular Psalm.  It's a Psalm that gives me comfort when it seems nothing in going right for me, or that everything is against me. It's a Psalm that gives me assurance that I was created by God for a reason.

When I wrote the song, I was in a Regina Spektor mode.  The song originally didn't have the string pad and was just bass, drums and the staccato strings, but people thought it was too quirky. Personally, I like quirky, but it definitely didn't fit the style of the album  I'm sure Regina would have loved it, but yeah, she wasn't available to listen to it or sing it.  Anyway, I added a different drum sound to it, and then added the additional instruments to give it a little bit more of a Midiboy sound and less of a quirky Spektor sound.

Still, people have said that this song doesn't fit the album at all, and I can see where they are coming from in a way.  The rest of the album is darker, with more of an electronica / rock sound and then there is this song.  It's happy.  It's poppy (Probably the most poppy song I have ever released).  I almost decided to put it on the one:nine album, but the lyrics fit the theme of RE:boot so well, that I decided to keep it for that project.

I'm glad too, because several people have told me it is their favorite song on the album.

(c)2012 - Midiboy Music

It seems this world is falling apart. 
It seems this world is breaking apart
Where can I go? What can I do but count on You to keep me
from falling part. (I count on You)
To keep me from breaking apart.
You are my Savior. You are my Lord. My God.

You have this world completely under control. 
You alone have it under control
No one else can compare to You.
No one else even comes close to You.

Fearfully and wonderfully made. I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
How precious are Your thoughts to me, oh God.
Search my life from the inside out. Search my heart from the inside out.
And if I'm in a wicked place, lead me out.

You have my life completely under control...

You know exactly where I am. You know everywhere I will go.
There is nowhere that I can go where You are not.
You know exactly what I say. You know exactly what I think.
There is nothing I can say You don't hear.


One of my favorite parts of this song is towards the end where it's got this acoustic guitar jam.  Most people don't believe me when I tell them that there is absolutely no guitar on this song. The electric guitar is part keyboard distortion and a sample and the acoustic guitar is a manipulated sample.

I wrote this song with a friend of mine in mind.  They were going through a tough time in their life and I had told them to read and reread Psalm 139 over and over again.  I wrote this song and emailed it to my friend for encouragement.

Another reason I didn't want to cut this song: A friend of mine benefited from the Psalm and the song. Even more the reason to keep it.

That's all.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

From Which I Parted

From Which I Parted is one of the last songs I wrote for RE:boot.  It actually received local radio airplay for 3 weeks on a local musicians spotlight show. 

Some people have asked me who the song is about, thinking it was about a particular person, but it isn't. I thought it would be fun to "personify" the past and write a song to it.  It's about getting over your past sorrows, or hurts and moving on.  It can become something you can blame all your shortcoming and failures on.  "Oh, I have always been told I'll amount to nothing, so that's what I'll believe."  

From Which I Parted
(c)2012 - Midiboy Music

We used to be the best of friends but now we rarely speak at all
I thought that I would miss you, until I realized I was trapped in your thrall
And I thought that I could not live without you, that I could not survive
Until I left you behind, I did not know what it meant to be alive.

Go away, you are not needed. 
You are the past from which I parted.

You were the crutch on whom I leaned, upon which I could place the blame
An excuse for all my failures, the reason I am who I became
But now I turn and walk away, the present is where I now will live
My future looks a whole lot brighter when the past I do not relive

Jesus will lead me and He will guide me. He will be right by my side


While it is true that our past does mold us into who we are today, we tend to hang on to the negative aspects and ignore the positives that can come out of it, using it as an excuse, so that's why I wrote this song.

That's all.

Monday, October 22, 2012


The trend lately is to take something we all know and are familiar with and "Reboot" it.  How many movies are actually fresh and new ideas any more?  Sure, there are still some great original ones, but let's be honest, it seems a large percentage of them are Reboots.  Superman was rebooted once only a few years ago and they are rebooting it yet again.  Spiderman has been rebooted.  The list goes on.

Then it got me to thinking, I should "reboot" Midiboy.  It had been 6 years since our last CD and a lot had changed since then::

My wife and I adopted twin girls
New job transition from working IT for a law firm to working IT for an automotive group
Was playing in both a worship band and a classic rock band
The cowriter that I had been working with in Midiboy got very busy with being a doctor

To put it bluntly, I just didn't have time anymore and I felt like I was musically drying up.

I had to quit the classic rock band because the adoption was, honestly, a lot more important to me and I just didn't have time for it at that time. 

After everything finalized, I wanted to back into music again so I thought I would "reboot" Midiboy, and then I started thinking about spiritual implications of rebooting.  These are the lyrics that happened:

(c) 2012 - Midiboy Music

My life has become a mess, overloaded with so much stress
I can't see any way through. Tell me, is there anyone Who

Can reboot me. Reboot. Can I please start again?
Reboot. Reboot. How can I start again?

I can't do this on my own. I can't do this all alone.
I need You to see me though. For You are the only one Who

Can reboot me. Reboot. Can I please start again?
Reboot. Reboot. Please help me start again.

When the floods came crashing down
You rescued me so I did not drown
You gave Your life so I might live
But I have nothing worthy to give.
Amazing Grace how sweet the sound
I once was lost but now I am found.
I once was blind but You saw me through
Because You are the only One Who

Can reboot me. Reboot. You helped me start again.
Reboot. Reboot. With You I could start again.


I can tell you as a PC Technician, many issues are resolved simply by rebooting. This forces any services to reload, closes any apps that may be hung up, and just can resolve all kinds of issues.  I wish it was that easy in real life, but, in a sense it is.  Sometimes we shut down an important "service" and we need to reboot ourselves to get that service launched again. You know what service I mean. 

That's all.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Where Would I Be?

The song I am going to write about today is "Where Would I Be?"  This is the first song I wrote for RE:boot, though when I first wrote it, it was actually a bonus download with a different title that came with Rejuvenate.  A few lyrics got changed and the song became what it is now.

Here are the lyrics:

Where Would I Be
(c)2012 - Midiboy Music

It isn't about what I deserve,
Because if it was, I'd have no chance
Sometimes I'd run away if I thought I could
Given the right circumstance
But I can't, no I can't so I won't, no I won't
Because I would not get too far
Everywhere I go, everywhere I look
Every time of day, right there is where You are

Where would I be if You did not save me?
Where would I be if You did not die?
Where would I be if on the third day
From the grave You did not rise?

If I were to get what I have coming
I couldn't complain, justice would be served
But Your mercy, oh God, and your grace, oh Lord
They are never ever ever ever deserved
When Your amazing grace came down,
It saved me from my destiny
To You, oh Lord, my praise belongs
For You have made me see

...But You rose! But You rose! You rose! But You rose!


Like I said, when I first wrote this it was a bonus download that came with Rejuvenate, which, as you may know, had a theme of God's mercy and grace. None of us deserve what God has given us.  We don't even come close to deserving anything from God, yet, if we are His, His mercy and His grace overshadows all we have and could ever do wrong.

Incidentally, the song was originally titled "I'd Be Damned" and really, the only difference in lyric is in the chorus.  Where it now says "Where would I be..." used to say "I'd be damned" and the line wasn't in the form of a question, but a statement.  While the lyrics were scripturally sound as originally written, I have two reasons I changed them.  Their names are Elizabeth and Zoe. When I wrote the song, my two beautiful daughters had not yet become my daughters. I had no idea who they were yet.  When we adopted them, I realized that while the song was scriptural, I didn't really want them to go around saying "I'd be damned" or "I'll be damned" or anything along those lines.  While it is true, I would be damned if Jesus did not save me, I wasn't sure if the children would understand the true meaning of that word as they were only 9 at the time.

This song has been submitted to local Christian radio, and I am hoping it will get regular rotation.  It wouldn't have, had I kept the original name, I am sure.

That is all.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

You Hate Me

Today's RE:blog song is "You Hate Me."

When I first played this song for one of my friends he told me it reminded him of a Steve Taylor song.  I took that as a complement. I love Steve Taylor's music.

This song is about the lies that we are told by Satan and his demons.  Satan may try to convince us that he has our best interest in mind, just like he did with Eve in the Garden of Eden, but the truth is, he hates us.  He hates that we are loved by God.  He hates that we have a way to God through Jesus and will do all he can to  keep us from that.  That's really all this song is about.  Not one of my deepest songs, but a fun song nonetheless.

You Hate Me
(c) 2012 Midiboy Music

You try to tell me you can give me all the things that I want
But tell me can you even give me just one thing that I need
It’s like you think you have a carrot in my face that you flaunt
But I know you’d rather see me fall on my face and bleed

Because you hate me
You love to hate me
You never loved me
You’ll always hate me
You want to see me die, see me die.

You are a liar, you're a cheat, you say I'm in your debt
I close my eyes and say a prayer you don't belong in my head
You do what you can to catch me in your net
But I cannot buy a thing that you have ever said

You're future will find you in the lake of fire
Prepared just for you, the greatest of liars
And you've tried to take me along for the ride
But you will never ever find me by your side

Because I hate you
You know I hate you
I’ll always hate you
Oh how I hate you
Because you hate me
You love to hate me
You never loved me
You’ll always hate me


That is all.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

What To Blog What To Blog

So, I was trying to decide what to blog about today.  I was going to blog about adoption and the spiritual significance of it, but it's been done before.  Maybe another time.

So, I decided to blog about the lyrics on RE:boot.  Not as an advertisement to sell the album, but just about what each song means to me.  Each day I'll pick one or two songs and share what they mean to me.  If you own the album or not, I'd love your thoughts as well.

The first song is Rockstar, which in reality is just a fun song that refers back a couple of albums to Synthpops, but, believe it or not, it does have a slight significance.

(c)2012 - Midiboy Music 

It's been a long time since I sat down to write a song
Some people were wondering what was going on, what was wrong
Life's just been busy, I guess I haven't had the time
Didn't have a moment to even find words that rhyme

Now I'm sitting here wondering what kind of song I could write
Will it be another pop song or maybe with a little more bite
I've written slow songs with just piano and strings
I've even tried my hand at doing the industrial thing

But I don't have a guitar
Can I really get that far?
Can I be a rock star?
Or should I just do this
And try to be a pop star? 

Now I've written all kinds of songs in my life
I even wrote a song for my wedding just for my wife
Midiboy's first CD was sold on
Not many heard it, probably just our moms

Then we got serious and stated the obvious
Synthpops came next with a little more success
Rejuvenate was next but I still don’t know how come
Pop Star status never really quite happened


This was the first song I wrote after my little hiatus. I was in a band called Unique and I had to step down from that because life just got too busy.  We were in the process of adopting our daughters, and I just didn't have time to write music, play music or be in a band.  It was hard enough being in the worship band at church, to which I had to ease up a little on as well at the time.  Several people kept asking me when the next Midiboy album would come out, or even better yet, the first one:nine album (which I'm still working on).

So basically, I wrote this song as my getting back to it song.  I wanted to do a follow up to I'm A Popstar because it has always been (and still is) one of my most popular songs to date.  So I thought it would be fun to tell the Midiboy story in the song.  Like I'm A Popstar though, there is a bit of sarcasm that leaked out in the song.

These days, society is about being part of a class of people.  I don't REALLY want to be a Rockstar (or a Popstar).  Popstar was about getting everything you want, but finding out you have nothing . Rockstar is about wanting something, but you can't have it because you don't meet the expectations of what is needed to become what you want to be.  In the song, it shows that Midiboy did all sorts of things...released all kinds of albums, wrote all kinds of songs, even had top ten songs, but Midiboy still can't achieve what wants to achieve simply because he doesn't have a guitar, so he has to settle for second best and try to be a popstar. In a sense, it's a prequel to I'm A Popstar.

Isn't it like that in real life sometimes?  We strive to be something.  We work our hardest to get what we think we desire, but what it all comes down to is how other perceive what they think we need to do to be a success at what we desire.

This is NOT what God desires for us.  He simply desires us to do His will.  He doesn't care about what we have or what our skills are.  He will provide for us all we need to do what He needs us to do.

That is all.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Smith And Wesson Jr. Was A Son Of A Gun

It's no secret.  If you have parents, whether alive or passed, you have many of their traits.  You probably grew up being told "You look just like your mom (or dad)."  You probably catch yourself saying things that one or both of your parents said while you were growing up.  You may even have many of the same interests.

This is normal.  It's how things work.  You will never find an orange that grew on an apple tree.

So, as parents, we have a GREAT and sometimes scary responsibility for our children. We must teach them in the ways of God.  One of the best ways to teach them is by living what we teach.

Here's what Psalm 78:1-8 says (The Message):

Listen, dear friends, to God’s truth, bend your ears to what I tell you.
I’m chewing on the morsel of a proverb; I’ll let you in on the sweet old truths,
Stories we heard from our fathers, counsel we learned at our mother’s knee.
We’re not keeping this to ourselves, we’re passing it along to the next generation—
God’s fame and fortune, the marvelous things he has done.
He planted a witness in Jacob, set his Word firmly in Israel,
Then commanded our parents to teach it to their children
So the next generation would know, and all the generations to come—
Know the truth and tell the stories so their children can trust in God,
Never forget the works of God but keep his commands to the letter.
Heaven forbid they should be like their parents, bullheaded and bad,
A fickle and faithless bunch who never stayed true to God.

In Proverbs 22:6, we find this gem: "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it."

While it is true that there are parents who have taught their children the ways of God both by instruction and example and have still lost them to the world. It is tragic when this happens, but it is the exception and not the rule.  Your children look up to you and try to emulate you.

This is even true of adopted children.  Even though we adopted our children when they were 9, they have become little "us"es in many ways.  They tell my jokes.  They have taken on many of our likes and dislikes.  I can you that they 100% different children than when we first adopted them.  They really are "mini me" like.

Many parents approach parenting with a "do as I say, and not as I do" attitude and then expect faithfulness. It will not happen. At some point, children will stop following instruction and start following example. The parent who smokes will continually tell their children it is a bad habit, they'll tell them "don't you do this" and then light one up. The parent who drinks will say, "this is not for children" and wonder why their children take up the bottle when they get the chance. Instruction is part of child rearing but example is the clincher! 

So, be the best example you can be.  Live out what you teach.  Your children will appreciate you and they will realize that mom and dad weren't so wrong after all.

One day.

After they turn 21, most likely. :)

That's all.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Hear Me Out (And listen to my music)

Understand before you read this, that this is not a plea for pity or any kind of plea for anything.  It's just my thoughts.  Take them as just that.

As you probably know, I just released my 4th official album called RE:boot (my 5th album if you want to count my first only release).

Sometimes (ok, maybe more than sometimes), it gets really discouraging at times doing music, especially after hearing some of the music out there that does "make it" while mine goes largely unnoticed.

Synthpops did pretty well actually.  I only have 3 or 4 copies of that left (and have since made it free to download here:

I'm A Pop Star stayed on the top 10 charts on several Indie radio stations for months. Five other songs made it to the charts as well.  I feel like both Rejuvenate and RE:boot outshine Synthpops in so many ways, but in some ways I feel that Synthpops was my "heyday" so to speak.  Funny thing is, Synthpops almost makes me cringe at times.  I hear so many technical mistakes and production flaws that I would fix now, but alas...people loved it.

Like I said, this isn't a plea for pity, sales, or anything.  I'm not doing music to make money, which is good, since, I've never made a profit on a single project. Amazingly, I've always broke even.  It's not the money, it really isn't.  I have a great day job, and even a great 2nd job working for Ted. I just want people to hear my music and enjoy it.  Yes, my family enjoys it.  They have to.  :) I have a few close friends, and my Kickstarter fans, but I'm talking about people I don't even know.  Not because I want to be famous, but because I want to share my music.

I do have one amazing story about Stating The Obvious I'll share, if you haven't already heard it.

As you know, STO pretty much tells my life story with a bit of poetic license. We ordered 1,000 copies of it.  Hey, it was Midiboy's first major release on my indie label, and someone gifted the release to us. It included a 16 page full color booklet that was designed to represent journal entries for a man named Logan. One day, I got an email from a girl asking for 10 - 20 copies of the album so she could pass them out to people at a church youth event. I was sitting on 950 CDs still, so I offered to send her a case of 50.  She was very thankful for that and offered to pay me for the extra.  I told her not to, because I felt that God wanted me to do this.

I had forgotten all about it.  Maybe 6 months to a year later, I got an email from someone named Robert saying that he was at a baseball game the previous summer and someone was passing out CDs.  He said he almost threw it away because he figured it would be Christian since, who else passes out free things, but something prompted him to keep it.  He said the artwork was fascinating, and he loved the booklet, but he said he felt that the lyrics were speaking directly to him.  He was contemplating suicide and he said that this CD was instrumental in saving his life and with his giving his life over to Christ.

Talk about a moment.  Wow.  We wrote back in forth quite a bit, but one day, I just lost contact with him.  I am not sure where he is now, if he's still with us, but I hope that one day I will be able to meet him face to face.

But you amazing as that is...I just realized this...I have NO idea who that girl was that emailed me. Have NO idea how she even knew about me or my music.  She was sent directly by God as far as I know.

So, I guess that memory keeps me happy with my music, but is it selfish to want more of those kinds of memories?  That is why I write my music.  None of my songs are "fabricated."  They all have meaning to me.  Most are from my own experiences, or things I have been witness to. Yes, a lot of my songs tend to be dark, but this is a dark world, but they all point to the light, ultimately.

The light is Jesus Christ.
He is the reason I do what I do.
That is all.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


We all know Dr. Seuss as someone who writes really cool children's books that we still love as adults, but behind those children's stories was a very brilliant man who once said, “Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”  

This is something we all need to remember in so many different ways.  Perhaps we move across country and we miss the friends we once had.  Perhaps we lost a loved one.  Perhaps a good friend moves away from us. 

It's normal to be sad or grief stricken about these things, but we should also realize that we are blessed and we will always have the memories of those times. 

We should learn to be like water.  Let the bad things slip through our fingers, but yet we can still hold up the ship of all the good memories. 

It's so easy to take things for granted and then, as the popular 80's power ballad proclaimed, you don't know what ya got 'till it's gone.  (Yeah, admit it, you are singing that song in your head now). 

I miss my friends from out West, but fortunately, we are connected on Facebook and I have the memories and am very fond of them.  I remember going to Taco Bell with my friend Charlie several times a week.  I remember him ALWAYS ordering a #5.  Always.  I remember my friend Kelly and Tasha who were coworkers of mine.  I remember when Kelly first told me he was interested in Tasha and he asked me what I thought about them getting together.  Tasha and I were good friends and I became like her big brother, so  Kelly basically sought my approval for her.  I remember watching Kelly grow in his faith.  I was sad when they moved 90 minutes away, but now I moved across country.  I remember Dave, Denise, Erin and Tyler (The Boy). I remember getting together with them on Tuesday evenings and the men would play ping pong and we'd have a prayer time / man time in the garage, sharing our hearts, talking to God, encouraging each other.  Good time.  I miss those times, but I smile, remembering them.  I was blessed to have those times.  I remember our friends Greg and Debbie, playing cards with them almost every weekend.  We had great times in Oregon.  Sad to be moved away now, but happy to have had those times together.

I remember the first time all my "Ted Dekker" friends got together in Nashville, TN. One of my favorite memories is the very first time I met my "cybderdaughter" in person.  I'll always have those memories. 

So that's my challenge to you all.  “Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”

That's all.

Monday, October 8, 2012

The American Worship Production

I have really been enjoying The Message translation of the Bible.  It's not a direct translation, or even a paraphrase, but what is called an Interpretive Translation.  It's not what I would consider a "study worthy" version, but one that I do enjoy to get a modern take on what is being said.  

Basically, when I come across an interesting passage in my NASB, my NKVJ or my ESV, I then look it up on The Message just get a more "modern / pop culture" take on it.  Some things it really hits the nail right on the head.

One thing that has really been on my heart lately is the state of the modern American church.  Those that follow me on Facebook know that this has come up many times in my statuses.  

I think American churches are really missing the mark here and are worried more about a large audience rather than an audience of One. God doesn't care about or even want "Gee Wiz" lighting, a wall of sound, fog machines and lasers.  He wants our worship.  I know there is an argument that all the lighting, amazing sounds, lasers, etc., help draw people into the "worship experience."  

But then I have to think...if I need "eye candy" or "ear candy" to worship God better, is my heart REALLY prepared to worship or am I being entertained by the lights and sound?

Regardless of the style of worship, what really bothers me is that it seems to be all emotionalism.  It's so easy to get "caught up" in the experience, then go home and live out your life without God involvement.  In other words, we can talk the talk, but do we walk the walk?  

Anyway, this is one of the cases where I think The Message really nails it on the head.
It's from Isaiah 1:13-17:

“Quit your worship charades.
    I can’t stand your trivial religious games:
Monthly conferences, weekly Sabbaths, special meetings—
    meetings, meetings, meetings—I can’t stand one more!
Meetings for this, meetings for that. I hate them!
    You’ve worn me out!
I’m sick of your religion, religion, religion,
    while you go right on sinning.
When you put on your next prayer-performance,
    I’ll be looking the other way.
No matter how long or loud or often you pray,
    I’ll not be listening.
And do you know why? Because you’ve been tearing
    people to pieces, and your hands are bloody.
Go home and wash up.
    Clean up your act.
Sweep your lives clean of your evildoings
    so I don’t have to look at them any longer.
Say no to wrong.
    Learn to do good.
Work for justice.
    Help the down-and-out.
Stand up for the homeless.
    Go to bat for the defenseless.

After you read that, check it out in the other translations as well, and you'll see that The Message really gets this one right and really brings to light what I consider to be a major problem in modern churches today.

That is all.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Promises, Promises

Perhaps you remember the popular bumper sticker that says “God said it. I believe it. That settles it for me.”  This sounds all “Christiany”, but I’m here to tell you that it is nothing more than a fine example of “Christianese” that isn’t exactly accurate. Wait a minute, you say…am I saying that God doesn’t keep His promises, or that God lies?  NO! Read on.  Let’s start with a definition.

What is a promise?  A promise is defined as “Words said or written, binding a person to do (or not to do) something.”

Here are some examples of promises:

1) “I forgot my wallet today. If you buy me lunch today, I’ll buy you lunch tomorrow.”

2) “Mom, Dad, I know I got a bad grade on my test, I’ll do better next time!”

3) “I’ll keep you in my prayers.”

All of these are promises that we have all likely made at one point in our life.  We’ve probably even broken them more than once. If we break them, we MUST take full blame for that, no matter what “came up out of the blue.”  Perhaps we forgot.  Perhaps an extenuating circumstance prevented us from keeping our promise.  After all, we can’t control the weather.  We can’t help it if we were involved in an automobile accident that wasn’t our fault, so we couldn’t go to work and pay back our lunch loan  (Though I am sure the person you made that promise to will surely understand, but you should still make good on it when you can). 

Please, though, if you make a promise to pray for someone...please only say that if you really are going to do so.  It's become such a "thing to say" to other people these days, just to make them feel better at the moment.  If someone says to you, "Please pray for me" and you aren't sure you can make that promise, pray for them right then and there so you don't break your promise to them because you forgot. 

In jest, we say “Promises were made to be broken.” Sadly, many of us help build that into a reality.  Divorce is a prime example, after all, a wedding vow is a promise that you will love your spouse forever.  Not paying your bills on time is another example.  Using a credit card, or getting a loan, is, in a sense, a promise that you will pay it back on time, and without default. 

Don’t get me wrong, I realize that there are extreme circumstances, and there are cases to support both examples as being unavoidable, but what it really all boils down to, you shouldn’t make the promise, if you cannot keep it.  A promise isn’t something you intend to keep.  It is something you must keep. 

Fortunately, God keeps all of His promises and He will never break them, no matter the circumstance, because, quite simply, He does not make a promise that He cannot keep no matter what.  God doesn’t get sick. He doesn’t get surprised by bad weather. He has no transportation issues whatsoever. 

Something we’ll never hear God say: “I really wanted to keep that promise, but something came up…I’m so sorry.”

Some of God’s most awesome promises:

John 14:3 – “I will come again.”   Sure, there are some people that refuse to believe this, and some that do not want Him to return, but will that prevent Him from coming again?  Nope!

Hebrews 13:5 – “I will never leave you.”  We’ve all experienced rejection.  We’ve all been left alone by someone we never thought would leave us.  It’s sometimes considered a cliché to try to comfort someone going through rejection that God will never leave them, but the truth of the matter is, He won’t. Still, if you know someone going through rejection, instead of telling them that God will never leave them, show them that you will be there.  God will use you to encourage them.  One day, hopefully, they will see that God used you to help fulfill that promise.

Matthew 17:23 – “On the third day, I will rise again.”  People refused to believe this.  Did it change the fact that it would happen?  That it did happen?  Nope!  God keeps His word no matter what.  Always.

So, back to that bumper sticker…perhaps it should read, “God said it. That settles it whether I believe it or not.”  You don’t have to believe it for it to actually come true.
That is all.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Let Them Know

Sometimes it is really easy to take the people we love for granted, whether it be friend or family member. A few days ago, a friend of mine that I have been friends with for quite a while, out of the blue, told me that they really appreciated me because I accept them for who they are.  Let me tell you, it was an amazing feeling to know that I was appreciated it and that I had an impact on their life.  Not that I didn't already know that my friend appreciated me, but sometimes, it is just really nice to hear it as well.

That is my challenge to anyone that may be reading this today.  I hope I have some readers, anyway.  :)

Tell someone that you love how much you appreciate them.  Tell them that you love them, and that you are glad that they are in your life.  Don't just say it out of habit. Don't say it because maybe they said it to you first, also out of habit.  Really mean it.  Be original.  Say more than "I love you" or "I appreciate you."  Tell them WHY.  Tell them what it is you love about them and why you appreciate them, and why you are thankful that they are in your life.

Not only could you make their day, I bet it will also make your day as well.

Also, if you are a reader, I'd love it if you posted a comment just to let me know you are reading.  It'll make my day.

That is all.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Sorrow - Today's Promise

Psalm 13:2-3 says:

How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me? Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,

It is so easy to let sorrow become a focus in your life.  So easy to let it overtake every breath you take so much so that you are almost paralyzed by it.  Nothing you do, or nothing you think will get you out of "that funk" that you are in.

It may sound cliche, and it may be easier to say than do, but you need to get your attention off of yourself and focused on the opportunities that God is presenting you on a day by day basis.  When you are focused on doing what He wants, you are ultimately focusing on God.

Focusing on these opportunities will not only encourage others, but yourself as well.  They can give you a new sense of meaning, or dare I say purpose for your own life.  Maybe there is someone that you know that needs help with something, whether it's a dinner you can provide, or some things you can help them with around their house, or even an ear to listen to them. Maybe there is something you can do to volunteer your time. A food mission, toys for tots, or any other various things that may be hosted by your city or your church. Maybe you can write a note of encouragement (or an email, since these are modern times), to someone that may be in a worse situation than you are.

Getting your focus off of you and onto others can help you see the door(s) that God may be opening for you, showing you in the process a lesson that God has been trying to teach you all along.

Don't get me wrong, we all get in these funks, and it's not wrong to feel sorrow over something, but we should not dwell on them.  God uses these to grow us, and in many cases to encourage others.

That is all.

Under Fire

Well, a friend of mine inspired me to start blogging again. I used to do this all the time on xanga. Remember that?  My site is still there, but i haven't updated t a long time. Google did a better job, in fact, i think they have a leg up on Wordpress as well. I am going to use this blog to share my thoughts. I will continue to post my music related things or smaller things on Facebook.

I hope I can get some followers. If you have a blogger site, let me know, and I'll add yours to my list of blogs to follow as well.

I think the first thing I want to talk about is something that has really been bothering me for about a week now. I became a Christian when I was 10, but didn't discover contemporary Christian music for myself until I was around 15 or so, being taught that is was evil. Worldly. Etc. You likely know the drill.

My parents were against it, our pastors, Sunday school teachers, you name it. Evil, Worldly, Lustful music. Yessiree.

Then I discovered Michael W. Smith. Don't laugh. He was amazing back in the day. I loved his project album. Then I attended a Geoff Moore / Whiteheart concert and I was hooked. They sang and spoke with such conviction. I could just tell they were the real deal, so to speak. I prayed about this a lot, and have, I believe with God's guidance, come to realize that it's not the music that's in question...(can you finish the Whiteheart lyric?) God is behind this music.

So...what is bothering me, you ask?

So many of these singers and bands I looked up to have fallen. One singer turned himself in for child molestation. Others cheated on their spouses. Still others have turned their backs on God completely. I just joined a Facebook community that has a lot of musicians from some of the Christian bands from the past, and it is disheartening to see how they talk now. It certainly isn't the same song they once sang.

It's so easy to fall. I know, I made major mistakes in my life 20 some years ago too, but God didn't let me get away with it.

So I guess what I'm here today is, don't keep your eyes on any human. They might fall, which could cause your own doubts and you may fall.

Keep your eyes on God and God alone.

That is all.