Monday, June 29, 2020


NeedToBreathe released as new video last week of their new song Survival that features Drew and Ellie Holcomb and is on their new album that is scheduled to be released in late August. This is a catchy song and has an older NeedToBreathe rock and roll feel. It was recorded during the pandemic and was the first time the band recorded over Zoom. 

A lot can happen between the time a songwriter writes a song and when the public hears it. Rarely has that been more apparent than in “Survival,” which was written months ago before the current pandemic and protests. After a 35-second acoustic intro, we hear the opening line “Got the devil on my throat.” Coming on the heels of George Floyd’s death after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for over eight minutes, the song’s opening line definitely commands attention.

“I’ve had that lyric for a long time,” says Bear Rinehart (writer and lead singer for NeedToBreathe). “Part of how I write songs is these mental pictures that you get from a lyric and I’ve always felt like that lyric was more about me when I wrote it — do I have the right words to say or is my voice strong enough? It was more about that, sometimes the way [people] feel kind of silenced at times. . . It is more powerful now in this moment. I think a lot of times songwriters are like that. We’re in the moment and we don’t really know what it means when we write it. People, I hope, are spurred on by that image of George Floyd because I think it’s impossible for a human to see that and not want to change things or not want to make a change in yourself.”

Survival is definitely from the viewpoint of a believer as Rinehart sings in the chorus “Jesus come quickly, I need you for my survival.” “We didn’t write it as a protest song,” Rinehart says. “There is an important message in the song in the sense I need you for my survival. That’s kind of the beginning of this conversation that we’re all having is that we’ve all failed and we need something bigger than us. That’s the premise of what our band is always talking about. It starts with understanding how wrong we are and I think that’s very powerful now. I hope people will take the song in that way at least to say, ‘Man, we did not have it figured out.” It feels like these conversations have been really tough in the last few weeks.”
I know that I’m found
And I can't keep from hiding
Don’t have as choice but I get stuck deciding
I am a man in need of a constant revival
Jesus come quickly I need you for my survival

Friday, June 26, 2020

Back to the 90's

Another flashback Friday... Going back to the 90's again this week, I want to talk about The Kry, a Christian rock & worship band from Canada formed in 1992. They reached the height of their popularity in America during the mid-nineties. In addition to their invitational songs, ballads, rock music, and thought-provoking lyrics, they are probably best known for Cassie's Song, which was inspired by the Columbine shootings and it looks to God for healing and an explanation, while encouraging believers to be steadfast at any cost.

Their album YOU, published in 1994 was a huge success. One of the best songs on this album was Take My Hand which is a great reminder that we don't need to fear the future as long as we are following God. The song tells us:
Don’t live in the past, Yesterday’s gone
Wishing memories would last, You’re afraid to carry on
You don’t know what’s coming
But you know the one who holds tomorrow
I will be your guide, Take you through the night
If you keep your eyes on me

Interest in The Kry has recently gotten a bit of resurgence due to the Jeremy Camp movie, I Still BelieveThe movie features Jeremy and Melissa at a The Kry concert. In fact, their song Take My Hand is featured in the movie. In real life, as in the movie, Jean-Luc La Joie (lead singer of The Kry) is a close friend and a very important person in Jeremy Camp's life.

The Kry are still together and doing some touring but are not recording new music and currently spend most of their time evangelizing in specific regions of the world, especially French-speaking areas.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Looking Up

I know that Father's Day was last weekend, but I felt that I had to share this video released last week from our favorite story-teller/songwriter, Matthew West about his new song, Looking Up.
I don’t wanna take a step unless You lead it
Don’t wanna speak a word unless You breathe it
God I’m looking up, keep me looking Up
Looking up to the light I know will guide me
And I pray every day You find me
Find me looking up, always looking up To You 
This song is a great reminder that to be a good father we need to follow The Good Father. This is for all the dads out there...

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

His Eye Is On the Sparrow...

Heard this song on the radio today and it got me to thinking that even though this was written 115 years ago, the words are just as meaningful today as they were a century ago. Lots of people are feeling discouraged, lonely, and troubled, but we need to remember that God is always watching us and is our constant friend. 

In Luke 12:4-7, Jesus told His followers not to fear those who can harm them because God is ultimately in control. God cares greatly about His followers when they experience pain and suffering. This stems from the watchful care God has for all of His creation. The Almighty who keeps the planets in their orbits is at the same time aware of a lowly sparrow that falls to the ground. Since He is even aware of what most would consider an insignificant event, how much more is He aware of the concerns of His children?

As Jesus said, “You are of more value than many sparrows.” Jesus pointed out that “five sparrows [are] sold for two copper coins” (Luke 12:6). As for your value, Jesus died on the Cross to save you from sin and eternal separation from God. Having died for you, Jesus commits Himself to caring for you. He cares so much for you He even knows how many hairs are on your head.

When you name Jesus as your Savior and honor Him with your life, you need not fear anything in this world. You can rest easy knowing that God’s caring eye is watching over you. This knowledge should make us "sing because we are happy".

 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" Matthew 6:25-26 (NIV)

Monday, June 22, 2020

The Lord's Prayer

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.                   Ephesians 6:4 
Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.                          Proverbs 22

Found this on Facebook... I think we should all pray to the Lord with the enthusiasm of this 3 year old...

Saturday, June 20, 2020

That's My Dad

Yesterday. Steven Curtis Chapman released a new song just in time for Father's Day called That's My Dad.
In his own words: 
"It seems only right that I would finally write a song for the man who gave me a love for music, taught me how to appreciate a “great song” and was in fact the first songwriter I ever knew. I’m very thankful for my dad and thankful I could share this song that he inspired on this Father’s Day weekend,"
I hope that you have a Happy Father's Day and remember the One that is Father to us all.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Another Flashback Friday

Last Friday I posted a quote by Rich Mullins. Today I want to talk about him. Rich was one of the largest influences in Contemporary Christian Music and his life story is incredible.

Rich first came into the Christian Music spotlight when his song "Sing Your Praise To The Lord" was recorded by Amy Grant in 1982. He had a distinct talent as a performer and songwriter, unusual and sometimes striking instrumentation, and complex lyrics that usually employed elaborate metaphors. He lived recklessly and furiously through this life before dying in a car wreck. He was boldly honest, ruffling the feathers of both Nashville and his fellow Christians, and gave up fame and fortune to live on a Native American Reservation teaching kids music and the hope of the gospel of Jesus. Thousands, including many current artists, would claim to have been impacted by the life and legacy of Rich Mullins. So many great songs..."Step By Step", "Awesome God", "That Where I Am There You May Also Be", and many more...  many of which we still sing in church. Perhaps the one that moves me the most was released in 1988 called "If I Stand"...

Rich Mullins lived his life by the truth that Christians are not perfect people, rather people that follow a perfect Christ. For all his success, he had a tortured soul of an artist, suffering from doubts and alcohol abuse.  He truly lived a simple life style. He worked as a youth pastor, missionary, and music teacher on a Navajo Indian reservation while producing music. The profits from his tours and the sale of each album were entrusted to his church, which divided it up, paid Mullins the average salary for a laborer in the U.S. for that year, and gave the rest to charity. Rich never knew how much money he made. 

I can still remember the morning that I heard of his death in an auto accident in 1997 and thinking what a great loss this was for Christian music.  

After his death, a movie was released about his life called Ragamuffin. You can watch the full movie on YouTube at I recommend this movie to everyone, but if you really want insight to the unconventional, yet extraordinary life of Rich Mullins I suggest that you watch the 1998  documentary about Rich's life including testimonials from friends and family called Homeless Man: The Restless Heart of Rich Mullins at, or Rich Mullins: A Ragamuffin's Legacy at

Wednesday, June 17, 2020


For King & Country has always been a favorite group of mine. They released a new video a few weeks ago called Together which features Kirk Franklin and Tori Kelly. This video was filmed during quarantine in their homes and is a great expression of the sentiment that "we are all in this together" and that God is also together with us.
If you're lookin' for hope tonight, raise your hand
If you feelin' alone and don't understand
If you're fightin' in the fight of your life, then stand
We're gonna make it through this hand-in-hand 
And if we fall, we will fall together
Together (together, together)
Oh, and when we rise, we will rise together
Together, ooh
We will rise together, ooh
Enjoy the video:

Here is the story behind the song:

Monday, June 15, 2020

The Battle Between Light and Darkness

I wanted to share another email from artist Jason Kotecki. In a recent sermon, Pastor Dave compared God's Word to a weapon, our Glock for protection. Here Jason talks about prayer being another weapon at our disposal. I think that prayer can be a defensive or offensive weapon, but perhaps it could best be considered as "air support"... Air support to help us when we are at war, under attack, and threatened to be overrun. Prayer can turn the tide of the battle. Here are Jason's thoughts:

If you watch the news, you may have heard that we are at war. It’s true, but the war is not between races, or political parties, or people who say “pop” versus “soda.”

We are in a battle of light versus darkness.

Only when you understand that can you figure out how to achieve victory. I am saddened that when I see people talk on the news about what actions need to be taken, they always seem to leave out the most important one.

It’s the one thing you can do when you feel hopeless and helpless to make a difference. It works well when you’re afraid, and even when you’re angry. In fact, it works every time it’s tried (even if it turns out differently than we’d hoped.)

What am I referring to, you might be wondering?


In this war, prayer is the most powerful weapon at our disposal. Now, if you’re not the praying type, and your life is going along just dandy without it, that’s cool. If you wanna grab a soda, this won’t take long. But for the rest of us, I implore us to double down. Pray harder, pray more often, pray first. (Too often, we reserve it as a last resort.)

I don’t know how it works, but all I know is that when we pray, good things happen. Impossible things become possible.

The cool thing about prayer is that it’s so versatile, like a spiritual Swiss Army knife.

You can pray for our leaders and politicians. 
You can pray for good ideas.
You can pray for peace, for patience, for justice, for wisdom, for grace, for understanding, for self-control.

Another cool thing about prayer, which is often misunderstood, is that you don’t have to know some secret words to do it right. All you have to do is turn to God and say the perfect one-word prayer: HELP!

Help me to know what to do. 
Help me to know what to say. 
Help me to love my enemies. 

That last one, that’s the hard one, isn’t it? It’s easy to limit our exposure to the people who agree with us and lash out at those who disagree. After all, they are obviously misinformed, ignorant, or possibly evil incarnate. 

What would happen if you hopped on Facebook, to the timeline of your archrival? The one who always posts things that make your blood boil: the snide comments, the holier-than-thou proclamations, and the stupid memes. What would happen if you simply left a post that said, “You know what, we don’t often agree on issues, but I just want to say that I appreciate your passion for [insert issue here.] Thank you for trying to make the world better.” 

And what would happen, if you work with that person or you actually knew where he or she lived, if you included that message in a card with a simple gift certificate to someplace they’d enjoy.

Please know, I’m not asking you to agree with them. I’m not asking you to sneak in a little Vulcan mind trick to try and subtly convince them they’re wrong. That’ll ruin everything. Just find one redeeming quality and let them know you appreciate it. It could be something like, “I can’t imagine how hard it must be to be a single parent, but I can tell you really love your kids and I think you’re doing a great job.”

What you will have done is tap into the universal Law of Reciprocity, the power of giving something without regard for getting anything back. Whether you call it karma or reaping what you sow, when you give something good, good comes back to you.

That’s the prescription this week: Do something insanely generous for someone you disagree with or don’t particularly like.

And that’s another unique kind of prayer. We can offer up actions, chores we hate, or tasks that are difficult, as a form of prayer. It might be the best kind.

I know a priest who is organizing a prayer walk through the downtown of his city. He was clear to say that it was neither a protest nor a protest of the protesters. It was simply an effort to push out the darkness.

My friend, we are at war with the dark side, which has convinced us that we are at war with each other.

But I have good news. Like the Wicked Witch of the West who dissolves upon contact with water, the dark side has a fatal weakness as well. 


When we allow light to shine through us, it is a beautiful thing. We are unstoppable. And you know what? When we shine our light with others – especially with people we disagree or don’t even like – our happiness grows. Goodness comes back to us, the universe rewards us, and God smiles upon us. 

The opportunity we have is to use this weapon called prayer to make a real difference. The reality is that It’s not us doing the fixing, it’s what happens when we are humble enough to say we don’t know all the answers or what to do and we simply ask for help.

Help me to know what to do.
Help me to know what to say.
Help me to love my enemies.

We may be at war, but we have the most powerful weapon at our disposal. Through prayer, God can take evil and use it for good. 

In the battle between light and darkness, the darkness doesn’t stand a chance.

Shine on.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Flashback Friday

There are a lot of great Contemporary Christian songs currently on the radio, but I've often thought that someone should start a radio station for Contemporary Christian "Oldies"... those "hit" songs that were played continuously 20 to 40 years ago that we seldom hear anymore. Contemporary Christian music actually started in the late 1960's and early 1970's as what was called "Jesus music" and really became prevalent in the late 70's and 80's. Though there was often some controversy about CCM in religious circles, I think it was best stated by Rich Mullins who once said, "We (CCM artists) want you to buy our records and come to our concerts... but if you come, come for entertainment. If you really want spiritual nourishment, you should go to church. They care about you and you don't have to buy a ticket." 

Last Friday I posted about a 25 year old song from Delirious?. This Friday I want to feature a song by 4Him, a group that was one of my favorites of Contemporary Christian Music. 4Him was founded in 1990 in Alabama. They have ten Dove awards, a Grammy nomination and three certified gold albums to their credit and were inducted into Alabama's Music Hall of Fame.

Though 4Him disbanded in 2006 to pursue individual careers of ministry and music, they have made sporadic reunion appearances since 2009.

One of their first big hits is "Basics of Life", which was released in 1992. During our time of quarantine, we had seen and heard much about how it is bringing us back to the basics of life, to a simpler time. Usually they are talking about the importance of home, family, and good health. There is nothing wrong with these ideals, but I believe that there are some more important basics of life that center around God. 

As the song says:
We need to get back
To the basics of life
A heart that is pure
And a love that is blind
A faith that is fervently grounded in Christ
The hope that endures for all times
These are the basics, we need to get back
To the basics of life.
Perhaps this is the "new normal" that we should be striving for... 

Thursday, June 11, 2020

You’ll Never Guess... What I Heard on the Radio!

(My thoughts about what I was hearing are in italics.)

I was on my way to church, listening to a famous cable-network morning-show host being interviewed about a new book she'd written. She talked about her faith and how it had gotten her through some really rough times.

That grabbed my attention.

Then she told that she had included a Scripture passage at the front of every chapter.

What a great foundation to start from!

The conversation then turned to current events, specifically the riots and looting going on in big cities around the country. The lady being interviewed mentioned that she had listened to three sermons online this past Sunday.

That's better than I would do.

One of the sermons got a more detailed description. She recounted how the pastor had been talking to one of his colleagues in an attempt to discern what to preach about. The colleague said, "Habakkuk."

One of my favorite books in the Old Testament.

The morning-show host quoted the pastor (who was quoting Habakkuk 1:2) "How long, Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, "Violence!" but you do not save?"

Very appropriate to our situation!

She again quoted from Habakkuk (1:5. Which is God's response to the prophet's complaint.) "Look at the nations and watch— and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told."

So far so good.

But then she just left it there and went on to talk about how that passage was so reassuring to her giving the listeners the impression: "God's got this AND something amazingly good is going to happen from it!"

This is where I yelled at my radio: "Wait a minute! That's NOT what the passage says!"

I wasn't sure who to blame, the person telling about the sermon or the person who actually preached it! But what I had just heard was a prime example of something I talk about frequently: You can't just lift a passage of Scripture out of it's context! You can make the Bible say pretty much whatever you want it to say by ignoring the setting of the passage, and she ignored the whole rest of the passage!

In context:
In this specific situation, God goes on to tell the unbelievable thing He's going to do: He's going to send the powerful, ruthless neighboring peoples, the Babylonians, to reek holy havoc on Habakkuk's people as a consequence for all the violent acts that they are committing! (To which Habakkuk replies [I'm paraphrasing] "Hey, wait a minute, that's not what I was hoping for here. Those Babylonians are even worse than my people!" And God responds, [I'm paraphrasing again] "I know. Don't worry. Be patient and trust Me. They'll get theirs too!")

The first part of the morning-show host's takeaway was spot on. God does see what's going on and He is going to do something about it! But the second part, the part that painted God as some kind of genie who is going to make everything magically turn out wonderfully where "everyone lives happily ever after," could not have been further from the truth! God is not a genie, but rather the perfect Father, and He knows that allowing consequences is sometimes the only way to get the "unruly kids" to stop misbehaving.

Just to clarify:
I am NOT saying that God's also going to deal with our nation in our current situation by sending a ruthless world power to come and wipe us out. I have no idea what He's going to do. But I do know that He sees what's going on, hears our cries and has a perfect plan. Be Patient and Trust Him!

Pastor David

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

The Best Is Yet To Come

A few days ago Ryan Stevenson released a new song called "The Best Is Yet To Come".  I think this one will soon become a "regular" on Christian radio stations. In addition to being a catchy song, the words have a great meaning during this time of uncertainty. Even as things in our society are beginning to open up, we have doubts and misgivings about the future. It’s easy to feel distressed or anxious about the future when you don’t have a clear direction of where you’re going, especially if you aren't very fond of your current circumstances. You worry that your life will continue to unfold with the same old pattern that’s troubling you. As this song states:
I can’t see the future I don’t know what’s up ahead
Can’t see around the corner I don’t know what’s coming next 
I don’t have all the answers but I know it’s not the end
All I know is this
The best is yet to come 
We were never promised an easy life and its difficult to deal with life’s setbacks but we can teach ourselves how to survive, we can choose to see the silver lining when life gets hard. We can't know what tomorrow brings or what lies ahead in our immediate future, but as Christians we do have faith that with God "the best is yet to come." We can take comfort in that.

Monday, June 8, 2020

An Angry Nation

Sharing another email from artist, Jason Kotecki:

The bald eagle has long been a symbol of our nation. This painting is a symbol of how our nation is feeling right now.

There is a lot of anger.

We are angry at the injustice that has gone on too long.
We are angry at people who don’t seem to understand our point of view.
We are angry at the unproductive violence and destructive looting taking place in our communities. 
We are angry at our leaders and the media and this damn virus.

First of all, let me say this: It’s ok to be angry. 

I am all for being optimistic and positive thinking. But life is meant to be lived and it’s meant to be felt. Sometimes the feelings are joy and elation, sometimes they are disappointment and grief, but they are all a part of being truly alive. Putting on a happy face to mask some sadness is not all that different from using food or drugs or alcohol to numb some deep pain. The problem is that those feelings never really go away, and in many cases, they bubble up later with devastating consequences.

Right now, we are angry and we are hurt.

People have been hurt by racism.
People have been hurt by poverty.
People have been hurt by political divisiveness. 
People have been hurt by this pandemic: physically, financially, and emotionally.

Something Kim and I try to teach our kids and thus remind ourselves of is this: hurt people hurt people. 

Moments like these always seem to call for a good inspirational quote. 
“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” –Yoda
Truth comes in many forms, and sometimes it comes in the form of a diminutive green Jedi master. Fear really has been the source of all this, starting with a tiny virus that arrived uninvited.

We are afraid that we might lose our life, our livelihood, or someone we love.
We are afraid that what we have will be taken from us.
We are afraid that we or someone we love will suffer great injustice.
We have lost so much, and are afraid that we will lose even more.

And for decades, we have been slyly tricked by dishonest leaders and a dishonest media, drunk on power and ratings, to be afraid of the others, the ones who look different, vote different, and have different perspectives than us. 

As Yoda warned, this fear leads to anger, which leads to hate, which has led to suffering.

Hurt people hurt people.

The way forward is not to keep hurting one another. That is not who we are. We are America. We are a melting pot of beautiful cultures and diverse perspectives unified under a banner of freedom and a spirit of courage, compassion, and cooperation.

We are not perfect, but deep down, we are good.

It’s okay to be angry. But may God give us the grace to transform it into a righteous anger that fuels ruthless, senseless acts of love.

That’s the prescription: do something recklessly generous in the next few days for someone who won’t see it coming. Something that goes against the narrative that’s been fed to us by our news media.

I leave you with one more quote, not from a Jedi master, but from another wise sage, an evangelist named John:
“There is no fear in love. Perfect love drives out fear.” 
– 1 John 4:18
If we banish our fear and commit to instigate small rebellions of love…it is inevitable that we will soar again.

Friday, June 5, 2020

Open up the doors...

Here is a flashback to the past.... we haven't done this song in church for quite a while, but I've been thinking lately about the lyrics to the song, "Did You Feel The Mountains Tremble".  This song was written and performed in 1995 by a band called The Cutting Edge which later became known as Delirious?. Over the years this song has been performed by many artists from Sonicflood to Chris Tomlin to Upper Room to Dave Redmon, just to name a few.

The words of this song are just as relevant today as they were 25 years ago. As I watch the news reports about protesters assembling to make there voices heard, I can't help but think that we as Christians have the same opportunity. The timing is appropriate as we once again open the doors to our churches and all work together to make the world a better place. Maybe its time to throw open the doors and let the music play.
Do you feel the darkness tremble
When all the saints join in one song
And all the streams flow as one river
To wash away our brokenness 
Open up the doors and let the music play
Let the streets resound with singing
Songs that bring Your hope
Songs that bring Your joy
Dancers who dance upon injustice 
And here we see that, God, You're moving
A time of jubilee is coming
When young and old return to Jesus
Fling wide, you heavenly gates
Prepare the way of the risen Lord
And here is a flashback video of Delirious?...

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Who Can

Welcome to June 2020... our year of discontent seems to continue. Adding racism, riots, and public unrest to illness, division, and quarantines. At times it all seems overwhelming. It is during these times we need to remember that God can carry us through. As it says in Romans 8:38-39 "For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."

A great new song just released by Cochren and Co. called "Who Can" aptly reminds us that God still loves us and is always with us. In Michael's own words, "Our lives can get messy. But Jesus doesn’t run FROM our mess, he runs TO our mess. I hope this song helps you to know how much Jesus loves you. "