…at My word, would you bring your Isaac?
It’s only show 3 of a 9-week tour but The Lord is already doing some incredible things. We’ve seen a lot of brokenness, but we’ve also seen Jesus break chains and bring people to freedom. Pray for the Holy Spirit to continue His work. Pray for chains to continue to be broken.
Chains be broken
Lives be healed
Eyes be opened
Christ is revealed
Reading in Exodus today, I used to wonder how Pharaoh could continually harden his heart to what The Lord was doing when it was so evident that God was moving and doing exactly what He said He would. Am I any different, though? It’s easy to acknowledge God when I’m in need, but once He answers or I get comfortable, how easy is it to forgot about Him and my need for Him and just get back into the routine of life?
Reminds me of a prayer in Proverbs 30:8-9 “Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.”
Give us faith, Lord.
2 Corinthians 3:17: Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
God has really put on my heart a conviction to live in righteousness. I pray that God molds me into such a person of integrity that if someone were to peel open my life to see the depths of my heart and my every thought and action, it would be evident that I am a follower of Jesus in every aspect of my life. This is obviously too tall a task for me to do on my own, but as the verse I shared says, I can find freedom from my sin through the Spirit.
I’ve had several conversations with Katie, Garrett (our merch dude), and others about the idea of Christians living in so-called “cheap grace”. (This term, along with it’s counterpart “costly grace” originates from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s The Cost of Discipleship). Many Christians say they believe in Jesus’ death and resurrection, but they don’t live at all like they believe it. Instead of living in holiness and righteousness, they live in a constant state of sin and essentially use grace as a get-out-of-hell-free card. I don’t think that is what following Jesus looks like. While the grace of God is a free gift to us, it certainly didn’t come without price. Jesus suffered, bled, and died for our sin before resurrecting and ascending into heaven. Shouldn’t this mean that we turn away from our sin that held Him there and strive to be more like Christ? If we continue to wallow in our sin, we willingly throw more sin onto Jesus’ shoulders. Being a follower of Jesus means we are striving to be more like Him at all times, and living in sin is the opposite of this.
This is why I’ve been convicted to strive for righteousness and holiness. It can’t come from a prideful standpoint, it can only come from dependence in Christ. In my flesh I will always choose sin. In the Spirit, however, we’ve been given the power to choose life. This idea is very opposite of what the world says we should strive for. We’re told we must be our own god-that we should seek gratification and live to serve ourselves. Has gratification truly ever satisfied anyone, though? Has anything on this earth ever completely fulfilled anyone? It doesn’t seem so to me. There is brokenness everywhere-the rich, the poor, the powerful, the powerless, the young, the old-everywhere. Our flesh will always need more, even if we “have it all”. That is why we must live in the Spirit and not in the flesh. Works don’t save us, grace does; but, this grace should stir us into repentance (meaning, a complete 180 degree turn from our sin) and righteousness in living for Jesus instead of ourselves.
I am by no means whatsoever perfect. I sin and constantly forget to keep my eyes on Jesus. That’s why I love Paul’s comparison of the Christian life to a race. On my own, I stumble and fall. With grace, however, I can run the race in pursuit of being like Jesus through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.
I will run the race by (costly) grace and grace alone.
Lifelight Festival 2012 - 360 Stage. 9/1/12
This night was incredible. So good seeing new and old friends. The crowd was a blessing, as was their energy. Thanks to Carl from Righteous Vendetta for letting Jason use his guitar last minute. God has truly poured out His blessing on us.
More of You, less of us, Lord.
Last night was a hugely blatant example of God’s faithfulness and providence for this band. We took Jason’s guitar in to a shop because the new pickups still weren’t working. The guy fixed it up well, but the tone we were getting from it at the show was still off. We played the show, and the guitar just wasn’t performing well or sounding good.
Understandably, since we’ve been trying to fix the problem for a while now, Jason was really frustrated. While he went for a walk/run to cool off, I prayed that God would somehow provide us with a new guitar. We’d been praying for the repairs and for the little things, but at this point, out of desperation, I prayed a big prayer.
God is faithful.
Moments after praying, the drummer from the first band, Nathaniel (who is the new drummer for Triple Stitch) walks up and we talk for a bit. I don’t even think I really brought up the guitar situation, but he immediately says that he has a guitar in his car that he doesn’t need that we can have.
I was taken aback. He explains that it may not be what we need, but that we’re welcome to try it. He brings it in, and it’s a PRS with some really nice pickups in it. I don’t know anything about guitars, so we plugged it into Jason’s amp and tried it.
The tone was perfect-exactly what we had been looking for in Jason’s guitar but for a reason we are still trying to figure out, haven’t been able to produce consistently. Jason was still outside at this point, so I call him and tell him what just happened. He can’t believe it, so he comes back and tries it out for himself. He makes the thing sing with his shredding.
How insane is that generosity?? Completely unrequited-the dude just gave us the guitar for as long as we need it. Come to find out, our friend Eric had offered to buy Jason a new guitar. Even more ridiculous generosity.
God is so good. On top of all of this, we were able to replenish our toiletries and were blessed with a great meal. The Lord truly knows what we need and is faithful.
He is provider, and once again, he brought me to my knees in pure awe and humility. We deserve nothing, yet He has poured out His blessing upon us.
God is so good and He is with us. Praise Him with us!
The last two days have been quite the roller coaster ride. Tuesday was rad because we got to spend the day with Glenn (one of our former guitarists) and his wife and two kids. It was a blessing to spend time with them.
We played a house show in Denver that night, and it was really cool. While we were playing, Sean asked who had our CD. Maybe 15 or so people out of the 30ish raised their hands, and I just welled up. It was so touching to see that our music had affected all of these people in some way, and I lost it once I could hear everyone singing along to the chorus of our song “Crowns”. The fact that I could hear the crowd over the sound of the music and the click blasting in my in-ear monitors humbled me so much. If I wasn’t sitting down, I probably would have fallen to my knees. It was so incredible. We got to meet a lot of really cool people at that show, and pray with some others. It was truly a blessing.
When we got back to Glenn’s house, he lit up a bonfire in the backyard and we just chilled and talked for a while over chili and root beer. It was relaxing. I got to sleep in a bed that night. The things we take for granted at home!
After hanging a bit over breakfast in the morning, we set out for Grand Island, NE. It was a long drive, but since we have a brand new cooling system (thanks again John & Brian!), we are able to use the air conditioning. Praise God, because it was over 100 degrees the whole day. We arrived at the venue two hours late-we were already behind schedule an hour when we realized we had forgotten about the time zone change.
10 minutes before we arrived, some crazy drama broke out back home. I won’t get into details out of respect for everyone involved, but it was a really heavy time for our band. Admist the weight of it all, though, God was faithful. We had some really deep conversations as a band and had a especially honest pre-show prayer time like none other.
The show didn’t go so well as far as fluidity. Back at Glenn’s, we had tried to install Jason’s new Lace pick-ups into his guitar. We didn’t get it quite right, and even after taking it to a guitar shop, it wasn’t working. The back-up guitar he was using snapped a high-string right before his solo in the second song. It probably took us 45 minutes to play a 30 minute set. God is faithful, though. He blessed us immensely with good conversation and encouragement from the people there.
Katie was a rock through the entire thing. She was praying for us and encouraging me throughout. It was a long day, but God was faithful throughout. I’m so thankful Katie loves and wholeheartedly supports me and Phinehas as a ministry. She was extremely edifying for me throughout our night.
After doing our 5 A’s (we still do them!) over Facetime (goodness, I love technology), we hung out with our brothers from Canada in Behold! The City (here are some more parenthesis). Those guys are so awesome and the little differences in accent and culture intrigue me so much. For instance, they say “zed” instead of “zee” for the letter “Z”. They use the Celsius scale. It was really funny when one of them said “I don’t want to go outside, it’s 37 degrees!” He meant it was really hot-over 100 degrees F.
I went to bed far too late, but it was a really good way to end a long day. We connected and just hung out at the venue where we were spending the night. There was a basketball court, ping pong, pool table, video games. It was rad.
God’s been doing a massive work in my heart with my pride. I struggle so much with pride, but I can really feel God breaking down the walls and pumping blood into my heart of stone. I feel like I’ve been much more sensitive to emotion and I’ve been praying for the Spirit to lead me. My heart has been made more vulnerable, I pray that it helps me empathize and sympathize with people so that I can more effectively spread the Good News of Jesus. It’s been a hard journey even in these first several days of tour discovering and experiencing more emotion in my heart; but, it has freed a weight that I’ve felt on my heart at times. God is so good and He is faithful. I’m so grateful for His promise to never leave or forsake. Even in my struggle and in my sin, He loves me. It makes me think of some scripture in James 4 that ROCKHARBOR taught on recently.
4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? 6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
“God opposes the proud
but shows favor to the humble.”
7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
I love verse 6-but He gives us more grace. Our sin will never outweigh the grace that God offers to us for free. The opposite of pride is humility, and God has been humbling me each day. I want to live a humble life-away from the pride that inhibits relationship and righteousness. That is my prayer this day, that is my prayer this tour.
Humble me, O God.
Grateful for the show tonight. We played a Christian club house at a larger community college and it was such a blessing. It was cool talking to new college students and asking if they needed prayer.
The staff at the house were so amazing. They blessed us so immensely with their hospitality. They prayed for us at the end of the night. That, along with conversations with them, filled me up.
God met me tonight and drew me near to Himself. I had a moment during Grace of just crying out to God and He filled me. God is so good and He is with us.
Tonight was a massive blessing, I will never forget our time at the CV House in Powell, WY. Hopefully we’ll be back soon.