A New Favorite Band — Apoptygma Bezerk

Obviously by now, you know that Ken and I have a very varied scope of music that we enjoy. Yes, Apoptygma Berzerk is a Euro-Synth band, but I put them in my own category which includes Johnny Cash, Megadeth, and After The Fire. Popular, and though not a Christian message in all their lyrics or songs, it is definitely there is in some. I think that it is a weird game of trying to make it is secular music, wanting to say more, and not trying to lose your audience, but grow it so that more can hear.

Jesus spoke at times in parable. Where the message is there, but hidden, only those those who want to know what the message is, get it. It almost calls for an interaction, as the disciples sometimes would ask, “what does this mean?”

I love the cleverness of the Dead Air Einz. On the surface it looks like a song about “Number Stations”, because it includes samples from number stations. Number Stations are assumed to be communications set up between their government and their spies. They were hiding in plain sight on the shortwave dial, and people would just pass over them because they didn’t make any sense. And if it was just a song about number stations, that would still be very much a cool song with how well it was done. But when I looked that the message/the lyrics something else showed up.

Dead Air Einz — Apoptygma Bezerk

Deep in the night iíve lost track of time
someoneís reaching out from the other side
5 by 5, clearest day
the messageís being sent from far away

i hear your voice loud and clear
at the appointed time iíll meet you in the air

the more i seek, the more itís brought to light
pathetic noise turns into a voice
decoded signals, itís all right there
you miss the message, if youíre unaware

i hear your voice loud and clear
at the appointed time iíll meet you in the air (3x)

i hear your voice (4x)

It reminds me of After The Fire’s “Starflight”, which makes no sense unless it is about the Rapture. Talks about the Rapture, and also communicating with God. It can be hard to hear His voice. We find it reading the Bible. Especially when we go with the attitude of “God, I want to hear from You, I need to hear from You.”

Thanks Apoptygma Berzerk for your art and for challenging people everywhere to look.

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Think I am going to explode! (NOT LITERALLY)

I will be writing it down and sharing more over the next few weeks, but at the moment I am going through and reading the book of Jeremiah. When I see the disarray that Israel had fallen into and the judgement that was coming upon them, I can’t help but think about our country, the US of A. It seems like we are determined to turn out backs on God and run away as fast as we can, as if He couldn’t see us. He is saying “I still see you.”

I just need an outlet to get these thoughts out, and as I post them for Ken and others to look at and we should be able to better formulate them into a coherent podcast.

I have been listening a lot of POD’s “Murdered Love.” If you have not heard that yet, I highly recommend it. My son recently had gotten mad into guitars, and guitar music and he and I would agree that is one of our favorite albums.

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Podcast 41 – The Huntress, In The Night

This week we try out some new recording hardware.† It is our hope that this new gear will make it easier for us to podcast and thus increase our frequency.† Please forgive the rustling paper on the table top, we didn’t have any monitors so we didn’t know about it till after we were done.

Anyway, on with the show.† This week…Rich introduces us to The Huntress by The Echoing Green and In The Night by 4-4-1. Then we look at Proverbs and the wise words of Solomon that inspired the lyrics. (Both songs are available on iTunes)

We talk about what the lyrics and verses mean, especially right here and now.

Hope that it encourages and challenges you.

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Favorite New “Praise” Song

Maybe it is just me, a lot of “praise” music reminds me too much of elevator music, and lyrically is not all that sharp and rather repetitive. Kinda the opposite of what praise music should be like.

Found one that I love, the speaks to me everytime that I listen to it, and it is musically and lyrical gold.

You’ve have to buy the album “As The World Bleeds” by Theocracy to hear it, because it isn’t on youtube.

But check out the words.

I Am by Theocracy

I am the light upon your path when you have lost your way
I am the footprints in the sand the ocean’s tide can’t wash away
I am the shelter from the storm that rages on and on
The incorruptible foundation that the wise man builds upon
I am the bread that feeds a starving man upon the street
I am the bounty on the table in the palace at the feast
I am the rain upon the earth after a scorching drought
I am the the quenching of the thirst you never thought you’d be without

I am the melody that weaves it’s way inside your soul
I am the symphony, the masterpiece, the actor’s greatest role
I am the poetry that speaks to you with every rhyme
I am the songwriter who seems to write your life in every line
I am the simple truths that shaped your world from your birth
I am the vast volumes of knowledge spanning all across the earth
I am the whisper of the wind you feel but cannot see
I am the alpha and omega, first and last, eternity

I AM (you cannot see me)
I AM (the resurrection and the life, the doorway and the vine, I AM)
I AM (you cannot touch me)
I AM (the bread of life, light of the world, long before Abraham, I AM)

I am the trusting child whose simple faith is ever sure
I am the parent’s love, unchanging, unconditional and pure
I am the loyal friend whose heart will never let you down
I am the hand that pulls you back into the boat before you drown
I am the thunder and the glory and the blinding light
I am the still, small voice that tells you what is wrong and what is right
I am the sacrificial lamb a guilty world reviled
I am the father ever waiting for his lost and wayward child

I AM (you cannot see me)
I AM (the resurrection and the life, the doorway and the vine, I AM)
I AM (you cannot touch me)
I AM (the bread of life, light of the world, long before Abraham, I AM)

I am the heart of the righteous desire and the forth man you see in the midst of the fire
I am the giver of life and the promise of Israel
I am the the hope of the lonely and lost in the blood running down to the foot of the cross
I am the breaking of chains and the tolling of freedom’s bell
I am the notes that eternally ring in the music too holy for angels to sing
I am the fire on the altar consuming the sacrifice
I am the three and yet I am the one in the grace of the Father and the death of the Son
I am the one who redeemed you by paying the highest price

I am grace and mercy, I am sacrifice
I am endless glory, I am light and life
I am long-awaited hope of Israel
I am longing sated, prophecy fulfilled

I am from the beginning of time, an I am sustain the system of life
I am symmetry, reason and rhyme, and I am conviction that cuts like a knife

I am the author of order and flow
I am the Father of Lights; watch me put on a show!
I am the seeker of all gone astray
I am the keeper of souls ’til the end of all days

I am power, I am glory, I am love’s unending story
I am justice, I am honor, I am hope and living water
I am righteous, I am holy, I am free and one and only
I am sovereign, I am faithful, everlasting, I AM that I AM

I am humility, the one who laid it all aside
Traded a crown of kings for a crown of thorns, betrayed by human pride
I am humanity, took on your curse and all your pain
I am divinity, eternity, forever I remain

I am your guilty scars, as Roman soldiers tear my back
I am the crimson stain that washes all the souls faded to black
I am the one who bled in silence and endured it all
I am the Word who spoke no word, with a thousand angels waiting for my call

I am the covenant – your hero in the bloodstained pages
I am your guilt, your sin, you debt fulfilled for all the ages
I step into your shoes, your substitute
Your sacrifice
Your raison d’Ítre (looked it up, (reason for existence))
Your second chance
Your breath of life
I AM

I am the joy of angels dancing in the streets of heaven
I am the sinner’s prayer for mercy and a past forgiven
I am the lamb upon the alter dying willingly
All hope that was
All hope that is
All hope to be
I AM

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More Theocracy

Nailed

Iíve been working for my whole life to get to the other side
And try to achieve true righteousness
All the scourges and whips I cracked
The flesh I ripped off my back
It only led me to emptiness

Here I am, a broken man whoís done all that a man could do
And found that itís only filthy rags
Monasteries, religious schools, indulgences, laws and rules
It all added up to nothing and darkness and death
Vanity, Heartache, and emptiness
Efforts all fading away
The flesh and defeat that it brings
ĎTill You guide me and show me things
That my eyes have never seen before
As I burst forth from the belly of the beast
Never fight it anymore
For the burden on my life has been released
Nail it to the door

Solo: Val

Nailed these ninety-five things Iíve learned
Theyíll say that I must be burned
For God has no place for heretics
All the things that they try to sell
Itís trickery straight from Hell
To turn it into a den of thieves

See these madmen peddling the wares of dead men’s souls
Collecting on a debt already paid so long ago
Thereís fire in my spirit, and fire in their eyes
For now theyíll want to burn me alive
Yet freedom rings
Unworthiness is all I bring
The blood of Christ is all I claim
This grace revealed everything
That my eyes have never seen before
As I burst forth from the belly of the beast
Never fight it anymore
For the burden on my life has been released
Nail it to the door

This is from their latest album “As The World Bleeds.” The album is epic. Please click and listen. There is such driving and angst in the first verse dealing with our inability to make ourselves righteous or even right. Then it opens up beautifully on the chorus, such elation, when we realize that it is grace from faith in Christ that delivers it all for us.

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Podcast 40 – Marriage; Why Robertson gets it wrong

Pat Robertson is just a man.† People sometimes get things completely wrong.† Pat Robertson is completely wrong in the comments he recently about marriage.

Even ABC grabbed his words and deals with the issue even better than he did.

We wanted to speak of marriage because it is much more than hormones, it is about commitment and the action of love.† Love is far more than a feeling, it is a choice to do and to be.† Join us as we work through these surprising comments from Pat Robertson.

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This is where I am at the moment — My song for right now

Recently I was going through some old Supertones songs, as I wanted to share some of them with one of my co-workers, I looked at these lyrics again.

Lyrics

Perseverance of the Saints — Orange County Supertones

Let me drown in an ocean of devotion
Let my joy be in service and love my emotion
Let me be closer than your right hand
Tighter than your left hand and let me be a godly man
Till the day I die, till the fire’s just smoke
I will go for broke till my last word’s spoke
If I limp then I will run with a limp
I’ll win some and lose some, but I’ll make my attempt
Last breath before the candle flickers out
I will speak the name of Jesus
I will keep fighting to the knockout, even if I’m knocked out
Hitting hard, I’m hittin’ for the belt
My soul will keep going till my body buckles
I will drop my bloody knuckles
Carry us to heaven by the truckfulls
I will be as stubborn as a pitbull,
Neutral as a nazi, resolute like Ghandi
I will keep preaching till I’m took out,
Till I’m heaven en route
No sell out

I am especially feeling the part about “If I limp, I will run with a limp, win some lose some, but I will make my attempt.” Limping seems to be about as good as I can do at the moment. But I do want to at least limp at full force.

We recently had a sermon at church about Jacob. He wrestles with God one night, and for the rest of his life he has a limp, as a reminder of that time with God. (Genesis 32) And God also blesses Jacob there and changes his name from Jacob to Israel.

As I am limping and calling out to God for help, I am spending time with Him. As I move forward with His help, there is a blessing in it for me.

Rich

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Podcast 36 – Not giving up, Not giving in!

Grrrr! You know how it is. Things can be pretty tough and life can want to kick the faith and hope right out of you. So today we wrestled with those kinds of difficult issues and shared about what helps up when we are losing hope or feeling distant.

Part way through the podcast I mention a story about a man who was born without limbs. Here is a link with information and videos. You will be blessed. He is a great international speaker and very inspirational.

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Regaining Hope


Assemblage 23 — Damaged Lyrics

I am merely the product
Of the life that I’ve lived
An amalgam of sorrows
And the wisdom they give
But the weight has grown heavy
And its dragging me down
It’s so hard not to sink now
But I don’t want to drown

CHORUS
I’m damaged
But somehow I’ve managed
This far
But I don’t know if I can find my way back home
I’m damaged
But somehow I’ve managed
For now
But I don’t think I can face this on my own

There is beauty in hardship
There are poems in grief
There are trials we must go through
Though they may shake our beliefs

But I don’t know how I got here
Lost in the cynical dusk
Set adrift in the worry
That I’ve no one to trust

(CHORUS)

If to suffer is holy
I’ll take my share of the pain
I can swim through this sadness
If there’s something to gain

I can reach for the surface
And try to pull myself free
But the last thing I want is
To drag you down here with me

Rich speaking –> There is a lot of this that I agree with, but there are some things here that aren’t quite right. I need to get it right to help my recovery. Right now I am working on regaining my hope, my life, my future, my health etc. Felt so hopeless in a lot of ways this last year. I wanted so much more out of life. I kinda have let everything slip between being out of full time ministry, being diagnosed with Lupus and having a couple of jobs that I hate. I need that closeness with God that I had in ministry to keep me sharp. If I fall back into “I am just a fast food worker” and not a disciple of Christ with a divine plan, then I ending up feeling like nothing matters.

I’m damaged
But somehow I’ve managed
This far
But I don’t know if I can find my way back home
I’m damaged
But somehow I’ve managed
For now
But I don’t think I can face this on my own

You know what? Home might not be the same as it was before. I think of Abraham who left his home in the Chaldees to go to a land that God had shown him. Was that his home?

Hebrews 11:8-10 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.

Hebrews 11:16 Instead, they were longing for a better country–a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

So home is where God leads you to. I need to make sure not to get “homesick” for a “home” that was just a resting place for a little while.

As far as facing it on my own, I am thankful that is not part of the way that God planned recovery. I am thankful for Christian brothers and sisters who understand what I am going through, at least in part and will lift me up in prayer. I am thankful for the ministry of Celebrate Recovery. I am thankful for the men who were in my small group, and the honesty that was there and can be called on at any time. I appreciate that level of trust. I have a couple of phone calls to make.

There is beauty in hardship
There are poems in grief
There are trials we must go through
Though they may shake our beliefs

I believe that God doesn’t waste any experience, any pain. It may not feel like it at the time. It may be overwhelming. But there is a depth of character that God produces in a person as they go through, and there is an empathy you can have only because of suffering. I wish that no one would have to suffer. But since the Fall everyone suffers and to be real, and minister to real needs I think that you have to have a base of suffering to work from to be relevant. Otherwise one is all surface and fluff. I appreciate that David when he wrote the Psalms suffered a lot. His experiences through those suffering times ministers to me as I go through my own dark times and difficulties.

If to suffer is holy
I’ll take my share of the pain
I can swim through this sadness
If there’s something to gain

Interesting Colossians 1:24 says “Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.” There is something to gain. Obviously Christ struggles and suffered for our Salvation. He is not here physically, but we are here physically. Sometimes we go through difficulties now as part of ministering to others.

Who is betters to ministers to those with cancer, than one who as gone through that? Who is better as ministering to those who have lost jobs than one who has lost a job? The list goes on and on.

I really struggled yesterday, last night and this morning. I went off to church today. I didn’t know if I would be up to it.

Evan Roberts the famous Welsh revivalist encouraged others as he has been encouraged “to never miss a church meeting because you never know when the Holy Spirit would show up.” I didn’t want to miss something if God has a special message for me.

Everything that I have told you, with hope and recovery was confirmed this morning. The book that I had been reading as a corrective “Life’s Healing Choices” is going to be a book that the whole church goes through. There is a possibility at this point that I may be tapped to start a new Celebrate Recovery chapter here in Spokane. Nothing could make me happier, give me more hope. It is my heart and passion, and I look forward to being used again in that way. My prayer has been “Cleanse me, Use me.” I was struggling most with not being used by God. It looks like today there is going to be a whole new start. I am happy for that hope. It has been a LONG time coming.

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