So I thought I would take this blog entry to do the first of what will probably be something I share from time to time in my blog entries. For those of you who don’t know my background or my history it may surprise you to learn that music at one point in my life was something that was not only a large part of my life, but also something that I pursued with passion and vigor. And while that season in my life has come to a close and Jesus certainly used that time as a spring board to launch me into the calling that He truly had for my life, music is something that Jesus uses to speak to me, minister to me, and of course that I worship Him through.
I thought it’d be good to change things up a bit and share with you guys some of the songs that God has used in my life in blog entries from time to time. I believe that it is not only a good way for people who may not know me closely to get to know me a bit better, but also that maybe the songs I share and the reasons why they ministered to me, may just meet you in a similar place and be used to minister to you. Some of these songs you may know, some you may not, but the Lord has used them all, and some of them are even what I would call the poetic sermons that have spoken into of my life.
The first one I would like to share with you is Hillsongs: “From the Inside Out” In early 2009 I was in the midst of my first extended fast and was really struggling to get the breakthrough I had hoped for and grow in intimacy with Jesus. About twenty days into my fast while I was in Chicago that all changed when I was introduced to this song at Moody Bible Institute while I was visiting my brother there. The words and the song penetrated into the depths of my heart and soul and it became the song that I listened to daily for the remainder of the fast which ended up being the most intimate time I have had with the Lord. It has an extremely special place in my heart and still often moves me greatly when I listen to it.
The second one I thought would be good to share is a song that God used in my life just over this past year. Last year in late summer I was in a real struggle and feeling a dryness that I was really battle through. Even though I knew that God being close to me, isn’t procumbent on how I feel, I felt a distance from Him. A friend of mine who is much more of a Christian Hip-Hop connoisseur than I am shared this song with me and it was used powerfully by the Lord as means and reminder of the need to be broken over sin, but have the assurance of God’s goodness, forgiveness and Grace as we walk through life. The artist had an affair but genuinely repented of his sins, reconciled with his wife, and is walking in the joy of restoration and wholeness with Jesus. It is “Da Whole Truth” by Da Truth. The lyrics to the chorus are moving and powerful. They are:
“When I was dead, revived my soul
Takes the broken makes them whole
Takes the bound makes them free
Takes the weak and makes them strong
All of my sins been erased
He has lifted my disgrace
I’m overjoyed, overjoyed
That Jesus would make me whole”
The third one is just one that simply blessed me because I, being a man who relied more on hard work and passion when it came to music than gifting and talent, often encountered really talented and gifted musicians that didn’t put in the effort or work that I knew I did and it often saddened me as in my humble opinion, they weren’t really good stewards of what Jesus had blessed them with. When I was first introduced to this guitar player however, I was blessed to see that not only was he gifted and talented, but it was clear that he also was a good steward of that talent. It was clearly evident to me that he was giving everything he had to give what he had been given back to God. This is the first song that I heard by Josh Wilson. It is his version of the old hymn “It is Well with my Soul”
I grew up listening to Hip-Hop and really heavy music. The main reason why I always liked both was the rawness and unashamed in your face truthful message. The next song is more of just my way of sharing a band that I have grown to love and really admire what they are about. It is the band For Today. They are what you would call extremely heavy, but they are some of the most passionate musicians for Christ that I have ever encountered, and have a true desire to use their music as means to share and minister Christ with their generation. They are the real deal. I chose this song not so much because it was one of the ones that I am as accustomed with (as it is on their upcoming album) but because it includes all the lyrics. I believe that the lyrics may help those people who don’t know or understand this kind of music see what they are about and for those people who have put “God’s music” in a box help them reconsider passing judgment on people doing “that kind of music” without really listening to what is being said and done through it. The band as a whole God has used in my life in a very unique way, and it is also just great music to get amped up to and pump some iron.
Lastly, for this blog but in no way the least is a song that I was introduced to while I was in Romania in 2008. It was one of my greatest times in Christ, and also one of the fondest memories of my adult life. It was then that I began to learn the power and need for prayer in all things. It was there that I became close friends with someone I would now refer to as my brother. It was then that I saw God moving on a daily basis and reaching His hand down into the lives of those living in the bondage of addiction, those living on the streets with nothing and exhausting everything in me to allow Jesus to partner with me on a daily basis and as often as He saw fit. This is just one of many songs from my time there and takes me back to that time when I listen to it. Romania is my home away from home and I love her as a country and love her people. I am excited to be partnering alongside some of them this summer as we go to neighboring Moldova to share Jesus. Many of you will not understand this song or why it is here, but it makes my heart beat for Bucharest, and the other cities in Romania. It is by the band Pocatii and is their song “Dezvaluiri” which means “Revelations”
I hope these songs will at the least give you some more insight onto who I am and what my experiences have been and how God has used them in my life. And I hope that they would at best, even it is just one of them, be more than just a song and actually minister to you and be used by God to do something in you as they have done something in me. Be blessed!