Friday, March 26, 2010

All I Need

I love many (actually most) of the bands we play at Spirit FM and I've been to A LOT of concerts. It's an interesting role I play at these shows. I'm a Spirit FM employee but also a fan, so naturally I am more excited to see some artists than others. With that being said, I have a top 5 list of bands that I want to see live and will always go see no matter what. In no particular order, they are: Shawn McDonald, Needtobreathe, Article One, Mat Kearney and Mercy Me. I've had the pleasure of seeing Mercy Me a few times and two weeks ago I saw Needtobreathe. They were absolutely amazing. Last night I checked another off the list when I saw Mat Kearney at Ruth Eckerd Hall. Three down. Two to go!

Mat did not disappoint. I really was impressed. The band was great. His stage presence was great. His banter was great. And you can tell that even though his lyrics are "subtle-Christian" lyrics, that he loves to Lord. He told the back story on one of my favorite songs of his, "All I Need." He said he had friends from New Orleans who had just gotten married and had come to stay with him to avoid a storm. Turns out it was Hurricane Katrina. Here are some of the lyrics from "All I Need."

The walls are shaking, I hear them sound the alarm
Glass is breaking so don't let go of my arm
Grab your bags and a picture of where we met
All that we'll leave behind and all that's left
If everything we've got is blowing away
We've got a rock and a rock till our dying day
I'm holding on to you, holding on to me
Maybe it's all we got but it's all I need
You're all I need

And if all we've got, is what no one can break,
I know I love you, if that's all we can take,
the tears are coming down, they're mixing with the rain,
I know I love you, if that's all we can take.

The lyrics are great and the music is even better. If you've got a minute, check it out on iTunes. It's on the album "Nothing Left to Lose." Maybe you're not facing a hurricane or a flood, but we all face trials where we feel like we've lost everything. "All I Need" encourages us to hold on to the ones we love and to Christ Jesus, first and foremost. Just like the line: "We've got a rock and a rock 'til our dying day." He's all we need.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Let It Rain

The Leaky Roof
I just read this and had to share it: "Sharp afflictions are to the soul as a soaking rain to the house. We know not there are such holes in the roof till the showers come and then we see it drop down here and there. Perhaps we did not know that there was such unmortified cuts in our soul till the storms of affliction came, then we found unbelief, impatience and fear dropping down in many places."
That floored me. I just sat there mouth agape, blankly looking down at the page thinking to myself, "How true is that!"
The moment I read that a flood of a thousand memories past came pouring into my brain. Times when under the strain of the situation (the storm) I was dealing with, my spiritual roof began to leak. Its times just like those that test us as Christians. That test me and my faith in God. If there are any chinks in our armor, trust me, under pressure they show up.
I forget the Psalm that says something to the effect of, "Save me, God! The waters have reached my neck!" but it comes to mind now with all this water and leaky roof talk. Sorry, that was more side note for me than anything...
But something that I have learned in life is that when we go through these times of trouble, God is able to reveal to us the areas we need to address. As a home owner you don't even realize you have a leak until the roof of your home has a yellow stain pop up or you see water coming down from the ceiling. As Christians it can work the same way! We may not realize the areas where we have let holes open up in our lives until the storm comes and we are up to our necks in water. (I knew I could tie that verse in somewhere) Its during these times that God can deliver us from whatever the situation may be and show us places that by prayer and yielding to the Him we can make the repairs we so desperately need.
Troubled times are not always bad things. When we go through them with God, we grow in our faith, we deepen our commitment and we stretch those spiritual muscles a little bit. So if your roof is a little leaky, go to God and let the Master Craftsman get to work.
Be Blessed.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

My Addiction

So I Love Coffee...

It was pointed out to me the other day that I may have an addiction to coffee. Like a real problem. Funny enough, as I write this I do it with a warm cup of delicious Starbucks Grande White Chocolate Mocha to my left. This man said to me that he has notice how often I speak about coffee and how he never really sees my without a cup in my hand. By the off chance he does catch me without one, I generally say, "I just finished a cup" OR "I'm heading out to get a cup." He said I have a real addiction problem. To which I laughed off...but I starting thinking about...

I found this on addiction...

A scientist conducted an experiment in which he made cocaine available to some
monkeys. These monkeys could pull a lever in their cages to release a little cocaine into their feeding tray. Not surprisingly, the monkeys became addicted to the drug. As the experiment continued, the scientist found that if the addicted monkeys could get additional cocaine hits any time they wanted by just pulling the lever, all of them would overdose. They all ended up killing themselves.

The scientist then tried another experiment with addicted monkeys. He began to
withhold the fix when the monkey pulled the lever. Over and over these monkeys pulled
the lever, trying to get cocaine. They continued to pull the lever not ten times, not a hundred times, or even a thousand times. Those addicted monkeys pulled it an average of 12,800 times!

Powerful addictions can rule the lives of people—addictions to work, food, gambling, sex, alcohol, or drugs. Some finally reach a point where they lose any hope of breaking free. Some even turn aside from help offered, convinced that they’re a hopeless case.

But there’s hope in Christ. He can set any person free from the addiction of sin. He can give you a fresh start on your life. When you invite Christ into your life, the change begins to take place—from the inside out. You can’t beat addictions on your own, but through the power of Christ, you can be set free. “It is not I who lives, but Christ in me”
(Galatians 2:20).

So after reading this I look back at my beautiful sand colored cup with its brown 60% post consumer fiber belt and think. Am I really a slave to you? The short answer was, No. The long answer was, Maybe. Its true, I cant start my days without it. I get headaches from lack of it. I get cravings for it. All signs of an addiction, a dependency on my espresso mocha goodness.

To be honest, in the grand scheme of things I highly doubt my coffee "addiction" is taking anything away from me spiritually. Its not robbing me of my time with God, or time with family or friends which addiction to things like, drugs or sex or alcohol can and will do. But it made me think that in earnest...the only thing I need or want to be addicted to is Him. My life should start with God, not a cup of coffee, His strength should be what gets me through, not a mid-day java jolt.

If anything, my conversation with a friend about my coffee intake has helped me see my life through a different pair of eyes. Which is a good thing. I see my need for Him, my need for a savior and I acknowledge how I should make sure my life is free of any addiction that would keep me from spending time with the things that matter most. God, family, work and friends.

Be Blessed.