Thursday, September 29, 2016

Victory In Jesus

A few weeks ago in my post "Pushing Yourself", I mentioned a song that our team is learning called "Victory In Jesus".  I noted how that song required me to learn a new playing technique that I wasn't used to going into the song.  Well, after some practice and experience with it, I think I have gotten close.  Well, much closer than I was before.

When I played it this past Sunday, I had a moment during the second service that I've been waiting for; that moment where the song just kind of "clicked" for me.  If you're a musician, you know exactly what I'm talking about.  I had a similar experience about 5 years ago on stage when the guitar's fretboard just opened up to me and everything just made much more sense.  This time, it wasn't so much the fretboard and the notes as it was the technique and how to get the sound I want out of that cumbersome glass slide around my finger.  So, below is a 20 second clip of the band playing it on Sunday with my attempt at the song.

Enjoy!!



video


Justin

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Flawless?

I listen to a lot of Christian radio, and I have been listening to it for quite a few years.  I love the inspiring and empowering lyrics that so many songs bring to my walk with Christ.  But recently, I have found myself thinking deeper about the lyrics that are being said amidst the catchy and uplifting music that is coming across my car speakers.  Sometimes, this takes away from my listening experience, but other times, it leads to some really cool chats with my kids.

There is a song that has been played over and over again, relentlessly, for the past 9 months or so and it is driving me crazy!  It has some really questionable theology in it but listeners continue to request it to be played at a very high rate.  The song is by Mercy Me and is titled "Flawless".  Take these lyrics for example:

“No matter the bumps. No matter the bruises.  No matter the scars.  Still the truth is the cross has made, the cross has made you flawless.”

Now, I don’t know about you, but when I allowed this to go beyond being the catchy tune that it is, I was struck upside my head by these words.  The cross has made me flawless?  I sort of see where the song writer is going with this, but they have this all wrong.  There will come a time for everyone who calls upon Christ as the Lord and Savior of their lives when they will be flawless, but now is not that time.

We are not flawless, by any standard.  We are stained, and we are spotted.  We are sinful human beings who are striving to become more and more Christ-like throughout our lives.  Jesus came to this earth and called us to repentance.  How can we repent of something if we are already flawless? He then took our sins and willingly died on the cross, not so we can walk around feeling like we are flawless, rather, He died to give us the opportunity to be saved from ourselves.

This life is full of highs and lows as well as everything in between.  It is a journey that is full of brokenness, heartache and failure…we are NOT flawless.  We are fallen, sinful men and will remain as such until we pass on from this life and finally meet our flawless Savior, Jesus Christ, face to face.  
On to the next radio station.  Thank you Lord, “But You Loved Me Anyway” by Sidewalk Prophets is playing to remind me of who I am and who I am to Him.

In case you’d like to give these a listen, here are some links for you:

"You Loved Me Anyway"

"Flawless"

Scott

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Conference Observations

Over the past couple of years I have blogged about the annual worship conference that I attend, the Experience Conference. The conference was last week and once again I thought I would share with you some things that you might find interesting.  So, here we go:

1.  Music people are still weird.  I say this every year when I get back, but it's true.  Music people are weird. We just are.  Unfortunately, I think that I am getting weirder as I get older.  Yikes.

2.  Speaking of age, I am getting old.  It used to be that when I went to this conference I was one of the younger attendees.  Now, I think I am becoming one of the older ones.  And to make it worse, the worship artists on stage are looking younger and younger each year as well. There was a group from Liberty University that led worship for one of our morning sessions.  I'm sure they were all in their early 20's, but I swear they looked like they were all 12 years old.

3.  Choirs are dying.  This is hard to say, but it's true.  The conference had a mass choir for the opening night worship session.  They were very good and had a large number of participants (around 100).  The problem is that the vast majority (90-95%) of them were older than me (41).  Unfortunately, this is what you see in most churches around the country.  The next generation doesn't sing (at least not in choirs).  If we don't do something about this soon, worship choirs will cease to exist.

4.  Hats.  Last year the trendy article of clothing was skinny jeans.  This year, everywhere you looked, hats.  And I'll be honest with you, hats are a 1,000 times better than middle-aged men in skinny jeans:) 

5.  It is really good to laugh.  One of my favorite parts of the conference each year is the fact that they have one comedian per worship session.  It's amazing how much more people sing/worship after they've laughed a little bit.

6.  David Crowder should be on Duck Dynasty.  If you don't know who David Crowder is, he is a Christian music artist best known for the song "How He Loves Us".  While he is an excellent singer/songwriter, he looks like a young Uncle Si from Duck Dynasty.

Well, that's it for now.  I'm sure I'll share some more observations over the coming months.

Worship Big!

Brad