Tag: music

God of the beginning and the end

My friend Jason Dyba (JasonDyba.com) just released a song on Chris Tomlin’s new album.

It’s called “In the End,” and I remember the season in which he wrote it. I lived the season with him. And in fact, I’m still living the season. He wrote it in the wake of finding out (my pastor at the time) David Landrith had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. In a time of not-knowing, confusion, of watching this larger-than-life man who was seeking God with all of his heart announce to us that his body was being overtaken by cancer, Jason found hope in the God who creates…and who ends. In the God who’s just as much in control of making things new as He is in closing things down. In the God who gives hope by offering eternity.

You can pick up the song and listen for yourself. But make sure you watch this video that Jason put together explaining the song.


In The End: story behind the song from Jason Dyba on Vimeo.


While I still can

My buddy Devin McGlamery (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) has just released a new album. You can pick it up HERE.

I was blown away by this song. And if you’ve got kids…I think you will be, too. Keep the tissues handy.



What’s on your iPod?

(image by Sandy Lee)

I listen to music a lot, especially when I run.  And I change things up quite a bit with new music.

Here’s what’s currently on my iPod:

  • Mumford & Sons: Sigh No More
  • The Civil Wars: Barton Hollow
  • Amos Lee: Mission Bell
  • The Black Keys: Brothers
  • Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors: Chasing Someday
  • The Decemberists: The King is Dead
  • Hillsong United: Aftermath
  • The Village Church (Matt Chandler) Podcast

What’s on your iPod, right now?


Living Gray

There are some decisions in our lives that are black and white.  “I need some new clothes, so should I buy them or steal them?”  This is one of those decisions that’s not all that difficult for most people, right?  There’s a right choice and a wrong choice.  A choice that honors God and one that dishonors Him.  How about, “Hey, I think I might go out and lie to somebody today…does that sound like something you might like to do with me?”  Clear choice.  Right and wrong.

Something that is “gray” is neither black nor white.  It’s somewhere in the middle…maybe a little more black, maybe a hint more on the white side, but still, it’s “gray.”  Differing shades, but gray nonetheless.  And isn’t this where lots of our lives operate?  We’re not often faced with decisions that are blatantly right or wrong…there’s a hint of gray involved.  So how do we make decisions when we don’t have a definitive answer on a given issue?

My barometer is Scripture (though I acknowledge that many people have differing gauges) for matters of faith and practice.  If Scripture declares that a thought, a motive, or an action is wrong, then it is wrong…not just for me, but for everybody.  If Scripture declares that a certain action is right, or good, then not even the law of the land trumps.

So what determines what is right and what is wrong (for the purpose of this blog, lets focus on things which are not prohibited by law, and which God through Scripture has not spoken clearly on).  To get us on the same page, think about things like smoking a cigarette, watching a rated R movie, spanking your children, or getting a tatoo.  How about things like drinking alcohol in moderation, watching TV, or drinking coffee.  What about saying curse words (excluding those said in anger), sending your children to private Christian school, or listening to secular music?

How do you discern what is right and wrong?  Is it your own conscience?  In other words, if you’re not convicted that a certain action is wrong, it’s ok to do it?

Or are these gray areas things that all Christians should stay away from?  Maybe your mantra is, “If it’s gray, stay away.”  Are these things that, when we stay away from them, witness to others of our relationship with Christ?

I’ll post my thoughts on this soon, but I wanted to open up a discussion before I chimed in.  Let me know what you think.


Don’t be a hypocrit

I’m listening to a myriad of music right now.  One artist that I’m really liking is Jon Foreman, lead singer of the band Switchfoot, who has recently recorded four EP’s (Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer), and has also recently recorded an album with Sean Watkins (of Nickel Creek) as the band Fiction Family.  I love Jon’s song, Instead of a Show.  It’s taken almost directly from Isaiah 1.  Here are the lyrics:

Instead Of A Show
I hate all your show and pretense
The hypocrisy of your praise
The hypocrisy of your festivals
I hate all your show
Away with your noisy worship
Away with your noisy hymns
I stomp on my ears when you’re singing ’em
I hate all your show

Instead let there be a flood of justice
An endless procession of righteous living, living
Instead let there be a flood of justice
Instead of a show

Your eyes are closed when you’re praying
You sing right along with the band
You shine up your shoes for services
There’s blood on your hands
You turned your back on the homeless
And the ones that don’t fit in your plan
Quit playing religion games
There’s blood on your hands

Instead let there be a flood of justice
An endless procession of righteous living, living
Instead let there be a flood of justice
Instead of a show
I hate all your show

Let’s argue this out
If your sins are blood red
Let’s argue this out
You’ll be one of the clouds
Let’s argue this out
Quit fooling around
Give love to the ones who can’t love at all
Give hope to the ones who got no hope at all
Stand up for the ones who can’t stand at all, all
I hate all your show

What do you think?  Is God pleased every time you do “good” things?  Or is there more to it than that?  Can you really displease God while doing the “right” thing?


Is music the answer to depression?

Check out these lyrics from “Let the Music Get Down in Your Soul” by Mark Broussard:

When your life gets too complicated
Gotta let the music
Get Down in your soul
Forget all your frustrations
And let the music music
Get down in your soul
Get on up, My brother,
And let the music, get down in your soul
Get on up, up yeah my sister
And let the music get down in your soul

Everyday ain’t gonna be sunny, No
Gotta let the music
Get down in your soul
Life ain’t filled with milk and honey, No
Gotta let the music music
Get down in your soul

Things ain’t as bad as they may seem
But you can’t find reality living in a dream
The strength you need, you had it all the time
You’ll find the answers in the back of your mind

Forget all you frustrations
come on
And let the music music
Get down in your soul


Is that the answer to life’s troubles?  Simply “let the music get down in your soul”?  Does that really help in the long run?  Maybe escaping into a song, simply forgetting your frustrations, realizing that you have always had the strength you need is what some people use, but Scripture offers a different hope.

Read these lyrics by a guy named David from Psalm 32:

Blessed is he
whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered.

Blessed is the man
whose sin the LORD does not count against him
and in whose spirit is no deceit.

When I kept silent,
my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.

For day and night
your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was sapped
as in the heat of summer.

Then I acknowledged my sin to you
and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess
my transgressions to the LORD “—
and you forgave
the guilt of my sin.

Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to you
while you may be found;
surely when the mighty waters rise,
they will not reach him.

You are my hiding place;
you will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of deliverance.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you and watch over you.

Do not be like the horse or the mule,
which have no understanding
but must be controlled by bit and bridle
or they will not come to you.

Many are the woes of the wicked,
but the LORD’s unfailing love
surrounds the man who trusts in him.

Rejoice in the LORD and be glad, you righteous;
sing, all you who are upright in heart!


There seems to be a connection here between forgiveness and overcoming depression.  When David refused to confess his sin to God, he felt as though his bones were wasting away and his strength was dried up.  Sounds like he was feeling pretty rotten…we might even call that a sort of depression.  He then acknowledged his sin and didn’t hide it from the Lord, and found forgiveness.  What a gift!  What a weight of guilt is lifted off when we are forgiven!  “Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity!”

I’m not meaning to minimize the pain of depression, or discount it as a serious problem, or even say that all depression is directly linked with sin.  I’m just offering this as one answer to “feeling down.”  If you find that life is too complicated, instead of working to “get the music down in your soul,” how about confessing your sin to God and asking Him to cleanse you and restore your joy?  Maybe the dark clouds of depression will lift.  However, even if they do not, you can rest assured that “steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord.”  He will sustain you and give you reason to “shout for joy!”

What do you need to confess to the Lord today?


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