Sunday, November 27, 2011

Someone Worth Dying For

I've been attending a course called Christianity Explored over the last few weeks, and we're learning about Christianity through the Gospel of Mark.  Last week we began discussing Jesus' death and why He died. During that discussion, I was reminded of the sacrifice that He made for us....but then I was drawn to make this sacrifice more personal....He died to save ME.  To make me able to be with God forever, in this life and beyond.

So this week I thought I'd share a song called "Someone Worth Dying For," by Mikeschair
Jesus' time on earth and his death for us is confirmation that God loves us.  He shows us, like the photographer in this video, that we are special, we are important, we are beautiful. 

You're worth it, you can't earn it
Yeah the Cross has proven
That you're sacred and blameless
Your life has purpose

You are more than flesh and bone
Can't you see you're something beautiful
Yeah you gotta believe, you gotta believe
He wants you to see, He wants you to see
That you're not just some wandering soul
That can't be seen and can't be known
Yeah you gotta believe, you gotta believe that you
Are someone worth dying for

I hope this song is encouraging to you this week.  May you remember that Jesus' sacrifice was given for YOU, thereby proving that you are loved more than you can comprehend.

This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him.  This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  1 John:9-10

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Where I Belong

Alright, I'm still on a Switchfoot one more song by Switchfoot this week called, "Where I Belong." This was a new song to me at the Concert, it's the last song on their new album Vice Verses.  They played this song for one of the encores that night.  Jon Foreman introduced it by saying that though he hopes this doesn't happen for a really long time, he wants this to be the last song that the band plays in their final performance. 
Several thoughts come to mind when I hear this song.  First, I realized that I don't know much about Babylon.

Until I die I'll sing these songs, on the shores of Babylon....

What do they mean by that?  Babylon has a very long and complex history, and is mentioned hundreds of times in the Bible, initially in the Genesis 11 story where the people of earth were building a tower to heaven and God decided to confound the language and scatter people throughout the earth.   Babylon became the greatest city in the ancient world back in the time period around 600 years before Christ.  If I were to attempt to summarize it's history in one sentence...Babylon was the greatest city in the world and eventually fell to abandoned ruins.

So you could interpret this line in the song, singing from the shores of Babylon, as a comparison between Babylon and the modern world....what greatness we have achieved, but over time that greatness is slipping away.

What drew my attention to this song initially are the words:
I wanna see the earth start shaking
I wanna see a generation
Finally waking up inside

I just think that these words speak to the mission that Switchfoot is on.  Kids are drawn to their songs for the great music, but then when they learn the words, they may eventually wake up to the meaning and start thinking about their existence, their Creator, what happens after this life, etc..

Overall, I think this is a song that reminds us of the temporary nature of this life, and that we have yet to find our real "home."  And when that day eventually comes, I pray that we will be able to see God face-to-face and know that we are finally home, where we belong.

And on the final day I die
I want to hold my head up high
I want to tell You that I tried
To live it like a song

And when I reach the other side
I want to look You in the eye
And know that I've arrived
In a world where I belong

May you have a week filled with blessings and a mindset bringing you closer to God, bringing Him glory.  God Bless!

Sunday, November 13, 2011


As promised this week's song is by Switchfoot.  Did you ever notice how after you go to a concert, the people you went to see become your new favorite band because you feel like you know them better?  That has made this week's song choice the hardest ever.  Should I choose an older song or a less popular song from their new album so that you'll here something less current? Or should I go for an obvious choice, one of their current hits?  After days and days of debating in my brain, I finally settled for the obvious choice, Restless...perhaps their most frequently played song in recent weeks.  I just can't get over how poetic this song is...and again there is a UK connection. 

Not only did I get to see them perform this song in the UK last week, this song was written in the UK, last year I've heard.  When the band visited the UK, they of course experienced the rain that frequents this island.  Jon Foreman, the lead singer, looked at the rain and thought about the tenacity that each drop must have to find its way to the ground,  to the stream, to the river and ultimately to the ocean.  That got him thinking about things that he longs for in this life, things that he is "restless" for.

The interesting thing that I find about Switchfoot is that they never mention God or Jesus in any of their songs.  But He is definitely implied in almost every single one.  Their songs really make you think, you can relate to the words and there is always a positive message. 

What are you restless about?  For me, this song is about the restlessness to know God, to meet God, to see God in the world around us. I am restless for knowledge, wishing for answers to so many questions that still exist about God, heaven, life.  Restless to hear God's voice clearly, to feel His presence, His guidance...

There are lots of really interesting lyrics in this song...I like it when he relates this restlessness to a thirst:

I am the dried up doubting eyes, looking for the well that won't run dry

This makes me think of the story of the Samaritan woman at the well, whom Jesus tells

whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.
John 4:14

And then later in the song, when he meets God,
Where tide and tear and pain subside, and laughter drinks them dry

Isn't that a wonderful image for Heaven, all the pain and sadness are gone and replaced with laughter?

But I think my favorite words in the whole song are at the end when he sings:
I'll be waiting, Anticipating
All that I aim for, What I was made for
So we can be restless for our Lord, waiting for him anxiously....but in that pursuit we can find our purpose that God intended for us.  And for many people, including myself, that purpose still remains a mystery.  What was I made for, God?  Am I on the right path?  I believe that this restlessness, though uncomfortable, will lead us to do great things for God, for people, and the world, and therefore help us find and fulfill our purpose. 
To give you a little bit of the "concert" feel, I've included Switchfoot's official music video below. You'll be able to see the emotion in Jon Foreman as he sings, and get glimpses of what their performances are like.

May you recognize what you are restless about and use that feeling to do something wonderful.  I pray that we will all enjoy an end to our restlessness as we discover God's presence in this world and eventually get to meet Him face-to-face on day.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Switchfoot Band in the UK

I know there are a few readers on this blog from the UK so I thought I'd spread the word that there is a band called Switchfoot that is coming to the UK this week.  Switchfoot is a band that has been marketed in both the Christian and Mainstream markets, so you won't find much mention of Jesus in their songs, but they are definitely a Christian band if you listen to the words of their songs.  This band can sometimes be a little bit "heavier" than what I usually listen to, but still they have lots of songs that I know and love.  On Wednesday, the 9th of November, they will be in Birmingham, and I'm going! 

I believe you can still get tickets form Birmingham at the following website:

Some of their other shows in the UK have sold out, so you may want to hurry your decision.

If you are one of my friends here in Derby, and you need a ride, contact me and we'll fit you into our car.

For everyone's a good bet that next week's song will be by Switchfoot.  If you'd like to learn more about them, below is a link to a mix of their videos on YouTube.


This week's song is from a relatively new band called "The Museum".  I've heard that the inspiration for the song "Allelujah" came from a trip to the UK, specifically Wales.  Wales, the UK, and Europe in general are becoming increasingly known for dwindling numbers of Christians.  These lands have many beautiful churches, much Christian history, but fewer and fewer believers.  Apparently, the band experienced this in their tour of the UK and was reminded by one of the Pastors they met that this could happen in America as well.  So this song is about revival, returning to the Lord that we can depend on for hope in this troubled world, and how we can look forward to being with our brothers and sisters in the safety of God's Kingdom.

I thought it might be a treat to watch the band perform this one...they performed in the KLOVE studio a while back and thankfully KLOVE shared the footage on Youtube. Seeing the men actually perform the song helps you get to know them a little bit I think, and gives the song extra meaning.  Since there are no lyrics in the video, I've included them below.

Verse 1:
When hardship comes to prey on hopes
And troubles seem to linger on
When death rolls on taking ones we love
You are the hope that keeps us on

Allelujah, Thine the glory
Allelujah, Amen!
Allelujah, Thine the glory
Revive us again!

Verse 2:
When all else seems the battles lost
And such disease is spreading on
When life grows dark and our lips are parched
You are the hope that we sing of

Verse 3:
When death is past and sins are gone
Alas forgiveness here is won
All daughters and sons, we will stand as one
We're safe at last in the Father's love
We're safe at last in the Father's love

I guess I chose this song because I can relate to the band in what they experienced when visiting the UK. You do feel like a minority if you are a practicing Christian here. I felt like that a bit in the States, but at least there I had friends from church that I saw frequently in the community (at the kids' school, at the Y, etc). 

The idea of reviving the church is so special to me, though I don't have all the answers on how to make it happen.  I have close friends and family who aren't practicing Christians and I wish so much that I could share my faith with them and have spiritual fellowship with them.  There is a special relationship that can result in being a brother or sister in Christ, especially if you share your faith journey and struggles with each other.  And because of that I am very moved by the end of this song..."All daughters and sons, we will stand as one, We're safe at last in the Father's love."  Won't that be a wonderful day?  It's such a comforting image for me to be with my brothers and sisters in the presence of the Lord....though I must remind myself that I can have that here on this earth.

For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.
Matthew 18:20

I hope you enjoyed this song and I pray that it gives you hope and inspiration to revive yourself or others around you.  May you be blessed with many brothers and sisters in Christ along your journey.
God bless you, and have a great week.