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JFH Staff Blog | June 2010

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Fun Story

Hey everyone, the life and journey that is Satellites and Sirens continues.  Although, that journey at the moment has taken on a relatively domestic flare, as we’re currently on a nice 2 week break from the road.  It’s hard to imagine, but we’ve barely been home for the last four months.  It almost seems foreign anymore to drive back into Nashville, our home.  It’s a good feeling, but a strange one nonetheless when you realize that you spend less time at home than you do elsewhere.  This, however, is exactly what we signed up for, so you won’t hear any complaining from us.  Rather, when we’re home we enjoy our time with family and loved ones while we can.  

 

If you tuned into the blog last week, than you know I had a small battle with a rogue crew of ants that had gotten into my kitchen.  Falling into a similar line...This week’s edition of “David Troyer’s relatively boring, but astonishingly interesting stories from domestic home life,” once again revolves around the adventures of me and my home.  I’ll say this in advance, my home is very neat and tidy!  Ok, now it’s in italics and I’ve thrown an exclamation into the mix, so it must mean I’m serious.  I say this because I fear that between last week’s story, and this week’s, you might get the impression that I live in a dump.  Rather, envision this all happening in a nice, tidy home.  Personally, it makes the stories that much more funny, as most of us don’t generally have strange nature encounters within our nice, tidy homes...apparently, I do.....in a neighborhood far removed from what we would commonly refer to as, “nature”.  

 

Ok, we’re going to jump into the “Way Back” machine, and go back in time.  About a year ago, it was a sunny beautiful morning, the birds were chirping, the sun was out, and I was waking up at 6:30am to a strange sound.  Do you know that sound?  The one where you wake up, and you swear you heard someone in your home? Your ears prick up, the hair on your neck is standing at attention, and you have gone from deep sleep to wide awake in only a split second?  Yep, that was me at 6:30am.  I lay in bed very still, as I just knew I heard an intruder.  I probably laid there for a good 30 seconds to a minute, listening as intently as I’d ever listened.  In that 30-60 seconds I think I came up with 9 ways to go Jason Bourne all over this intruder.  He wasn’t going to know what hit him...I was going to pummel this guy into oblivion...

 

Another 30 seconds go by....and....nothing.  Well, the so-called intruder would live another day.  I felt confident that I must have dreamt the noise, and I had a date with sleep, so I let myself doze off again.  I couldn’t have been asleep long before I was awakened yet again to that noise.  This time my “intruder alert” was going crazy, and I was Jason Bourne all over again.  Additionally, this time I was certain that the noise was coming from inside my bedroom!!!  Now, let’s be honest, my heart rate was really going.  I knew without a shadow of a doubt that either someone else was in my room or I was going crazy.  As I opened my eyes, I surveyed the room (while laying motionless, mind you.  I’m surprisingly good at that ninja skill).  Due to where my bed is in relation to my room, I could see the whole room, save for under my bed.  As far as I could tell, there was no one else in my room.  I was baffled... As I could still hear the sounds of the intruder...

 

Well, by this time my “Intruder Alert” had dropped a notch or two, but I still needed to get up and figure out what the deal was.  As I sat up in my bed, I surveyed the room yet again...and there he was...the intruder...  To say I was stunned, would be the understatement of the century.  There I was. In my bed. In my tidy house.  The world felt like it was going to end... I had now locked eyes with a raccoon that was standing about 6 feet from my bed.  You read that right.  A raccoon!  You might have had the same reaction I did, “How in the world did a raccoon get into my bedroom?!?!?!”  I can tell you with great certainty, as that thing not only stared at me, but then sprinted directly at me, that I thought I would maybe lose my bladder simply in disbelief as to what was happening.  That’s right...It sprinted directly at me(!!!) with great speed and fury.... only to run under my bed.  At that moment, I was no longer Jason Bourne, but a supremely confused David Troyer.  I quickly hopped out of bed and ran like a school girl out of my bedroom.  There was zero part of me that wanted anything to do with a trapped raccoon in my bedroom.  

 

....And the story gets better...but I’ll leave it for next week’s edition of “David Troyer’s relatively boring, but astonishingly interesting stories from domestic home life”. 

 

I hope you’re all doing well, and that you are constantly learning and growing in faith and love for others and for Christ.  

 

Be well,

 

David

 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ants and MTV

Hello ladies and gentlemen of the internet.  It’s good to find you here for another week’s installment of “The random musings of one of the dudes in Satellites and Sirens”.  Maybe that should be the real title of these blogs...or maybe not.  In my head it sounds like a fun title, but I’ll have to talk that out with the powers that be.  I should also talk to the powers that be about my house’s air conditioning.  As of right now, it’s about 98 outside here in Nashville, and it’s almost 90 in my house.  The AC is set for 70, but apparently 70 sounds a lot like 90 to the thermostat in my house.  I had a little pep talk with him, and verified that this sort of behavior isn’t exactly what I would call “ideal”.  I made some calls, and someone with a little more sway is coming to take care of the problem tomorrow.  Sorry AC unit, but you’re about to have surgery.  

 

I’m not sure what the deal is, but that isn’t the only other drama in my house today.  I also had to conquer a small army of ants that decided to invade my house.  I’m thankful that ants are remarkably well organized, because I had a pretty easy time figuring out where their point of entry, and their point of destination was.  While talking on the phone with a friend today, I randomly noticed quite a crowd of tiny ants milling about on my kitchen floor.  They were pretty localized. Meaning, they weren’t everywhere.  So, I got my Inspector Gadget hat on and started snooping around.  I found that they had somehow entered the house from under my back door, which is quite a feet in and of itself, and they were making their way to the trash can in the kitchen.  Thank goodness that the trash is relatively close to the back door.  There was literally a parade of ants marching from under the back door, right to the trash can.  My house is pretty darn clean, so this was a bit of a shock.  I can’t remember the last time I saw a bug in the house, which is a minor miracle of its own accord.  I couldn’t remember if I had bug spray anywhere, but I was suspicious that I did....and sure enough, I found it.  And that stuff is amazing.  Armed with my bug spray, the Parade ‘O Ants was halted, and my day would resume as usual (save for the AC part).  Whew. 

 

On to other news...We were recently informed that we’re going to be spotlighted by MTV as one of their “Needle in a Haystack” artists.  They’re putting us right on the front of their mtvmusic.com page, and they’re also making our single “Anchor” available as a free download to the masses.  We’ll be spotlighted on their site June 22-27.  This is yet another fantastic opportunity to get our music out there.  The spotlight on MTV will go up in the afternoon on June 22nd.  We would greatly appreciate your support by visiting us on there, and downloading “Anchor”.  You guys rock.

 

On a more thoughtful note, I spent a lot of time lately thinking about the “greatest” commandment of the Bible, Luke 10:27.  He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.”  

 

I’ve been thinking mostly about whether I really live that out every day.  I can say with some pretty strong certainty that I don’t.   I can think of many times where I have barely said Grace before a meal, let alone spent any real time with God.  Now, granted, that doesn’t mean I don’t love Him, or that somehow means that I’m not a Christian (right now it just means I’m honest).  As I’ve been thinking over that passage, I’m reminded that God’s grace and forgiveness is really pretty simple.  The circumstances might not be, but at the heart of it, our relationship with God is relatively simple.  We are to love Him with everything we have.  We first have to know and believe that He loves us, and then...the next step is just jumping in and loving Him.  When you love someone, you want to do nothing but do what’s best for them.  It doesn’t mean things will be perfect, but you love them all the same.  When you love someone, you also take to heart the guidance that they give you, and I sure know God’s good at that.  I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I know He loves me and I know I love Him.  I just think sometimes that I could do a better job of it.  Then again...maybe I’m doing better than I think.  I hope so. 

 

Be Blessed,

David

 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

We Recommend - Mojo and the Info, 'Doctorate In Cold Rockin' It'

The O.C. Supertones held a top spot in many Christian music fans' hearts, with their light-hearted - yet always deeply spiritual - ska music.  After Five Iron Frenzy called it quits, The Supertones ended up not being too far behind.  In 2008, their lead singer, Matt "Mojo" Morginsky, took some time out of his busy schedule and wrote and recorded a brand new album on his own, calling the project Mojo & the Info.  It was a delight to Supertones fans, as it was essentially the same sound, just without the horns (though it would be unfair to limit it to that description).  Mojo's deep, Christ-centered lyrics were still present, but he also sang a song about meeting his wife, and he got personal with a song about his first wife leaving him; a song that's sometimes hard to listen to.  If you're a Supertones fan, and you somehow haven't heard of this solo project, you should probably get on it and see what you think.  I'm holding onto hope for there being a follow up from Mr. Morginsky. ~ Scott Fryberger

Mojo & The Info
Doctorate In Cold Rockin' It (2008)

Click here for the JFH Review.

Our synopsis: "Just what the mourning Supertones fans needed." (Recommended by JFH's Scott Fryberger)
Perfect For: Satire, Conviction, Love
Song Highlights: "Wreckin' Ball Sound," "Healing To These Streets," "My Greatest Sin," "Where Jesus Walks," "Lord You're My Song"

So, what are your thoughts on and experiences with the album Doctorate In Cold Rockin' It? Do you recommend it? If so, why?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Lie, Hide, or... Love? (More Like Falling In Love Part 6)

Give me words
I'll misuse them
Obligations
I'll misplace them
`Cause all religion ever made of me
Was just a sinner with a stone tied to my feet
It never set me free


My family and I had the privilege of seeing the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit at the Minnesota Science Museum recently.  We walked through rooms that featured facts and relics from the region of Qumran, where the Scrolls were discovered in the 1940's.  Anticipation built as we learned of the remarkable significance of these documents and the equally remarkable circumstances surrounding their discovery, recognition, and now restoration.  

The exhibit led us through the history of the part of the world that gave birth to all three of the world's three major religions, deepening our understanding of the ancient culture that produced the sacred texts.

Finally, we were led into a room that featured 6 tiny pieces of the scrolls in a light and climate controlled room.  Under glass were the holy texts, seemingly preserved by God himself, a gift to the 20th century.  Each piece was smaller than the palm of my hand, the writing so small as to be barely readable.  Like Robinson Caruso gathering up common tools that in their scarcity become like precious treasures washed up on the beach, these little bits of paper washed up on the 20th century shores of the little blue rock that we are stranded on. Or maybe it's more accurate to think of them like messages in a bottle that have found their way to us over centuries to silence the critics who delight in attacking the scholarly authenticity of scripture.

I don't think I'm being sentimental when I say that it was a moment pregnant with holiness.  Each piece of the scroll was from a different biblical book: Jeremiah, Psalms, Deuteronomy.  There were non-sacred texts among the scrolls, too, that give clues about the life of the people of the time, including a piece of a document called "The Community Rule".  The bit of text on display said something to this effect (I'm quoting from memory here):

If a member of the community sinned by oversight, that is by accident, they would be excluded from certain communal meals and activities for two years time, at which time they would be able to rejoin the community.  However, if they sinned by impertinence, that is willfully, they were to be excommunicated entirely.

During our drive home we talked about our experience of the exhibit, the community rule in particular, and the religious order that produced it.

It seemed to us to be the very kind of religious ideology that Jesus came to address - here were words and ideas added to the Word of God that potentially distort our understanding of God and what he desires.

My wife Taya put it in a great way when she said, "now don't think I'm being irreverent, but it kind of reminds me of the Little Rascals - remember their club?  The He-Man Woman Hater's Club?  And they'd have to be initiated in and solemnly make earnest promises to not talk to girls in order to be in the club?  Which of course made it even harder to not talk to girls, but you make these oaths because you so desperately want to be in the club!  So you've got these guys in the desert who desperately need to be in the club - and in their time the club is everything, because if you're not in it, you're vulnerable to death and poverty. Your survival depended on being part of a community back then!  So, okay, you need the protection of community, and you make the vows to not sin, and then that leaves you with only two options - to either lie or hide, because the truth is you are a sinner.  But you can't afford to get kicked out of the club. So either you lie, or you hide."

Thank you, Taya, I couldn't have said it any better.

The sickness of religious idolatry can be measured by the extent to which it forces you to comply to standards of holiness in order to belong.  There isn't anything wrong with the standards of holiness - we need those!  But it gets dicey when we rely solely on external motivation to get the job done.  The most significant holiness comes from the inside out, born of the Spirit.  I'm talking about the difference between compelled obedience and inspired obedience.  Legislating holiness can only deal with the symptoms of sin, but rarely gets to the heart of the matter.

Here's what I mean: let's say I'm struggling with something, maybe it's unconfessed sin, maybe it's honest doubt about the whole faith enterprise, maybe it's even anger or disappointment with God. Whatever it is, when I dare to be honest enough to give voice to it, I might be met with a religious attitude that is uncomfortable with my honesty, or that shames me for what I'm going through or the mistakes that I'd like to move beyond.  It's hard enough to muster the courage to be honest about it in the first place, so it doesn't take much to feel like I've been shut down. I learn my lesson: that I have to lie or hide in order to be a part of this club.

This is an oversimplification, I know, yet I'm sure many of you reading this have felt what I'm talking about.

That doesn't mean that we go soft on holiness.  On the contrary, we recognize that holiness is the Lord's domain, and that if he asks it of us it's because he intends to make it available to us - the desire for holiness leads us to deeper dependence and humility.  "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled…"  Too often holiness has the whiff of self-righteousness.  This kind of holiness is a sham and an insult to a Holy God.  

If we don't trust God for holiness in our faith community, we begin trying to exact it from those around us, and when we do that, our love becomes conditional, and we pervert the gospel by compelling others to be people pleasers - people who lie or hide in order to win the approval of those in charge of the clubhouse.

Meanwhile, the Lord is whispering to our hearts, wanting us to lay down our best efforts of holiness and instead let him shape it inside of us and draw it out of us.

"My yoke is easy, my burden is light" Jesus tells us, and at times I've been tempted to call him a liar as I've been crushed under the heavy yoke of legalistic obligation.  At one point I realized that it wasn't his yoke I was under at all, but the yoke of what I thought was being demanded of me by the religious community I was a part of at the time.  It was in this time that I had a grace awakening in my life.

In other words, I was doing the right things for the wrong reasons, and ultimately for the wrong people.  I misplaced my obligations and my efforts toward holiness became a form of idolatry where I lived to please those who might stand in judgment over me.  My unholy sacrifice upon their altar was my half-hearted compliance to their religious expectations.  It became a stone around my feet that never let me move much beyond my sin and fear (or their control of me).

I've always believed that one of the chief purposes of marriage is to show us what a relationship with God is meant to look like.  It's in marriage and parenthood that we're given a front row seat to sacrificial love, forgiveness, and trust.

Early in our marriage Taya and I (especially me) were guilty at times of coercing the other to get what we wanted, and withholding love and approval if the other didn't perform to expectations.  It doesn't take long to realize this is the way to kill a relationship.  It just won't work this way.

Show me a marriage that is healthy and fruitful and I'll show you two people who have learned to love each other unconditionally - recognizing each other as sinners, but not making the marriage dependent upon the other's performance.  This kind of marriage is the soil that grows souls that are rich in freedom, honesty, intimacy, and transformation.

Why would God create an institution guided by such principles if he wasn't trying to help us understand something about the way He and the human heart work?

Well, from where I sit, it seems clear that God is telling us how it works, how relationships work, why grace and unconditional love are of central significance, why it's so important that we let perfect love cast out all fear.  It's the only way to grow trust and intimacy, the very things that God desires of us.  These will lead the way to holiness and sanctification, setting us free to do the right things for the right reasons, offering it as worship to the Lord God Almighty alone - a worship that he isn't willing to share with the people who we are tempted to please.

And this is another reason why our faith is more a matter of falling in love than it is anything else.  Only love will produce pure holiness and pure worship.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Little Slice of Paradise

In previous posts I've mentioned some fun places from which I've been able to sit and write blogs. I have to say that today has been the clear winner thus far. We played in Fort Myers, FL and thanks to The Call 91.9 and Faith United Methodist Church, we stayed the overnight at a condo on Fort Myers Beach. Both us and House of Heroes are staying in the same building, so last night we were able to hang out on the beach and wade into the ocean as far as we were brave enough to wade(once again, at night!) considering our fears of sharks and other things of the sea. The water was so warm and nice. Here we were, two bands and crews hanging out, standing in the water and enjoying the view. You could seemingly see for miles across the water and the stars were about as bright as I've ever seen. It's in those moments that I truly appreciate being in a band with great friends, and to have the opportunity to hang out and build new friendships with other bands and folks from all over the country. God is good.

 

Speaking of House of Heroes, we had the opportunity the last two nights to play shows with them in Miami and Fort Myers. We only got to play two shows with them, but we are already looking forward to the opportunity to play with them again. We love their music and they are fun guys. That's a win-win folks. Go check them out if you haven't heard their music.

Given that this is my main writing day, and I'm short on time, I'll now leave you with a little something about faith from Hebrews. Faith is something that right now our band is basically living on. We have truly jumped into this music thing with everything we have, giving this ministry into God's hands, that he would do with it as He sees fit. We are going to continue to work hard and believe in His provision. On another point, we believe that we are to be like brothers, and encourage each other and support each other, rather than tear each other down. I encourage all of you to take these verses in, and see how they can be applied to where you're at right now in your life circumstances. Be Blessed.
 
Hebrews 10:22-25
22let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.24And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.  

Monday, June 14, 2010

We Recommend - Philmore, 'Philmore'

I sorta hesitate to recommend this album to the fine JfH readers.  Reason being is because, in all honesty, it's not really all that good of an album.  But Philmore's self-titled album is fun, quirky and, if nothing else, entertaining.  Now "Our Finest Hour" is a good song, so it does have its moment in the sun.  There are good times to be had by listening to "In My Boat," worshipful moments during "As I Lift My Hands," and a good cover of Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer."  I'll also go ahead and say that "Fishy" was a fantastic representation of my life for a few years while I searched for <em>my</em> fish in the sea.  So while <em>Philmore</em> may not be the most quality pop/punk album from the year 2000, it definitely held a spot in my CD player. ~ Scott Fryberger

Philmore
 Philmore (2000)

Click here for the JFH Review.

Our synopsis: "A memorably fun and lighthearted pop/punk album." (Recommended by JFH's Scott Fryberger)
Perfect For: Fun, worship, humor, love, faith
Song Highlights: "Our Finest Hour," "Livin' on a Prayer," "Fishy," "Wish You Were Here," "Worth The Wait," "As I Lift My Hands"

So, what are your thoughts on and experiences with the album Philmore? Do you recommend it? If so, why?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Out of print downloads

Question:  Is it illegal to download music that is out-of-print?  I've been wondering the past few days, and I haven't been able to find any proof one way or the other (the RIAA only had a phone number as a contact, and I really didn't feel like calling them haha).  So, does anybody have any idea?  If so, let me know.

It makes sense that it wouldn't be illegal.  I mean, if you can't buy it anywhere, the artist/record label isn't making any money on it.  So what's the harm in downloading it if they aren't making money?  Even if you buy a used copy on Amazon or something, someone else is making money on it, but not the creators and owners of it.

But, if it's still illegal, no matter how ridiculous it may be that it is, it's probably better to not do it.

I don't know, it doesn't seem like a big deal to me to do it, but I will be respectful of the record companies and artists if it's illegal.  I just sorta hope that it isn't.

Any good websites to look at for answers?  (Legitimate websites, not random blogs that have opinions on it or something).  Thanks to anyone who helps!

Tying The Knot

Hey All! Sitting here backstage before we go on in Charlotte, NC. Sorry it's been forever since you've seen a blog from us. As you've probably guessed, we've all been crazy busy. One thing that has kept me particularly busy has been planning my wedding with my fiance! We are tying the knot on July 21 in Sweden following up our second year at a Christian Music Festival there called JesusRock. 

Needless to say, all your prayers are greatly appreciated as we enter into this new season of our lives.

I don't have anything incredibly profound to write today, but I just wanted to share with you a reminder that I've received in the midst of doing all this thinking about marriage.

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless." (EPH 5:25-27)

 "Hallelujah!
   The Master reigns,
      our God, the Sovereign-Strong!
   Let us celebrate, let us rejoice,
      let us give him the glory!
   The Marriage of the Lamb has come;
      his Wife has made herself ready.
   She was given a bridal gown
      of bright and shining linen.
   The linen is the righteousness of the saints." (REV 19:6-8)

I think there's something huge that we need to take from how much God correlates the church as His bridge in the Bible. Look at the verses above, Jesus instructs us men to love our wives just as He loves the church. Now when I think about marriage, and what it arises from, knowing that it is simply the union of two souls when they can no longer see their lives as complete on their own.  Not to get sappy or mushy, but I can so easily relate it to my wedding coming up, and it just makes perfect sense - me and my fiance know that we no longer want to live as two individuals, but we know that God has brought us together to be one, and that we will have the most satisfied and fulfilled life this way. I think Jesus views us the same. He is one day coming back for His bride, as the Bible tells us. To think, how much Jesus loves His people, that he relates it to marriage.

Now I know a lot of you out there maybe don't have the best of marriage stories. Maybe yours is on the rocks as we speak. And we can also look at the church with all of its flaws that it has today, and criticize it until we the day we die. But lets just take a moment and think about what Jesus had for us by saying that we are His bride! I believe that He simply loves us so much, and wants to be with us for all eternity, which is the entire reason why He is returning for us to be "married" to Him. No more distance, no more pain. It will just be us and Him, in perfect communion forever. Sometimes it's a little scary to think about all the "end times" talk, and read the books about Jesus coming back to rapture His church. But for us who know Him and are living for Him, it could possibly be the best thing that we could ever look forward to - to finally join with our creator, and the one true lover of our souls for eternity.

What I take from all of this is that it makes me look at the church with a little different perspective. Sure, there are so many things that I might do differently about church nowadays, from what I've experienced. And of course, there are a lot of people that don't "practice what they preach". But lets remember that any time we involve people in ANYTHING, we are all inherently flawed. The church that Christ intended for us to be, as his body, and as His bride that He loves more than anything, is as simple as being a good wife - to submit to Him, to love Him, to support Him, to stay faithful even through hard times, and to have an open, honest relationship with Him. So until Jesus comes back for us to tie the knot for good, I want my heart to simply see the church become like the bride that Christ wants us to be.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

'Take Note Of This...'

I’m currently watching a heated game of Halo right now...  Our drummer Jonathan, and our merch guy Tim (aka Justin Bieber) are facing off for the third time.  Let’s just say that Jonathan can’t quite overtake Tim... Tim has won each game by one, that’s a tough way to lose.  I’m personally not partaking in the action, as I’m just about the worst Halo player I know.  If you’re reading this and you’re familiar with the game, I’m what you’d call a sitting duck when I play that game.  

 

We’re coming off of a much needed 5 days off.  We hadn’t had any real time off in a couple months.  We’ve been a part of two successive tours that came right at the heals of each other, which didn’t afford us much rest and relaxation before we hit the road again.  So, to us, five days feels like an eternity to be home.  It was glorious.  I think my highlight was sitting on my back deck and grilling out with a bunch of my friends.  I don’t get to see them real often anymore, so it’s great to catch up after being gone for so long.  

 

My second highlight while being home was doing some real mechanic work on my car.  I wouldn’t exactly call myself handy in the world of mechanics, but I commissioned the help of Jonathan, who is a little bit of a mechanic.  My car has been giving me trouble for months, but due to the fact that we haven’t been home, I haven’t really been able to get it properly fixed.  Well, I took it to a shop, who told me that my radiator was pretty much shot, and I need a new one.  Well...I didn’t want to spend the money to have them fix it, so Jonathan and I made it our mission to put in a new radiator by ourselves.  Let’s just say we successfully changed it, and I saved a couple hundred dollars by doing so.  Pretty amazing if I do say so myself.  We just won’t mention the fact that I only did about 10% of the work.  I’m still proud of my 10%, don’t get me wrong...

 

Now we are back out on the road for about two weeks.  We’re spending a week in Florida, before we head back up to the Midwest to play another week’s worth of dates.  We’re really looking forward to hanging out and seeing some of our great friends on this trip.  Check out our website (satellitesandsirens.com) to check out our tour dates to see if we’re going to be playing near you.  We’re always looking to meet new and fun folks, and to be able to share our hearts.  

 

During the last week or so, I’ve felt like God’s been leading me to spend time in the book of James and to really ingest it.  I’ve spent a lot of time and study in that book in the past, but I wouldn’t say that I ever cease to learn something new whenever I’m reading or studying it.  The verses that are jumping out at as we’re heading out on tour are James 1:19-20.  19My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. We’ve learned on the road to be gracious to each other, as it’s easy to be frustrated and stressed, rather than hearing each other out.  So it’s always a good reminder to be “slow to speak, and slow to become angry” as nothing good really comes from speaking out of anger.  I know that this goes for really any walk of life, but today, right now...I know that in order to be as good of a friend, brother, husband (one day...I’m still not married) or son as I’d like to be, that I need to be gracious and to speak in peace and wisdom, rather than in anger.  

 

David

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

This Gift is Forever

By Dr. Charles Stanley

You and I do not have eternal life because we exhibit unwavering faith. We are saved because at a moment in time we expressed faith in our enduring Lord, Jesus Christ, and what He accomplished for us on the cross. The apostle Paul tells us in Ephesians 2:8-9: “By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” The salvation that has been given to us is His loving, sacrificial gift to us—we can do nothing to earn it.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I have learned that a present that can be taken back is not really a gift at all. True gifts have no strings attached. Once we place a condition of any kind on a present, it becomes a trade—not a gift. To say that our salvation can be taken from us for any reason, whether it be sin or disbelief, is to ignore the plain meaning of what Paul teaches us in the verse above. Questioning the permanency of our salvation is equivalent to not believing Ephesians 2:8-9 or other passages where Christ’s sacrifice on the cross is clearly described as a gift.

What you do once you’re saved is another matter entirely. When you accept a present, it’s yours—like it or not. You can take it and bury it in the backyard, but it still belongs to you. You may say, “Well, what if I give it back?” You can only return a present if the giver accepts it back, and there is absolutely no evidence in Scripture that the Lord has ever taken back the gift of salvation once it has been given. His love keeps Him from doing so. Remember, Christ came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10). Why would He take back what He came to provide?

“What about a wavering faith?” we may wonder. “If faith is our way of accepting God’s gift, can’t we lose our salvation if our trust in Him falters?” Though it is true that faith serves as our spiritual hands by which we receive the Lord’s gift, it is not necessarily a sustained attitude. We are reconciled to God the moment we accept what He has offered.

Has there been a time in your life when you accepted God’s free gift of salvation? If not, why not settle the issue once and for all right now? It’s really so simple. The Lord is not looking for a series of promises from you and is not concerned about what you can do for Him. Rather, He is more concerned about what you will let Him do for you. So have faith in what Christ has accomplished on the cross and accept His gift of eternal life. It is the one present you will never lose—it will truly be yours forever.

Copyright 2010 In Touch Ministries, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org

For more information on the topic of eternal security, please read Eternal Security: Can You Be Sure by Dr. Charles Stanley or to participate in an online discussion about this book, please visit www.intouch.org/bookclub

 


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