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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More Theocracy


I’ve 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 who’s done all that a man could do
And found that it’s 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
‘Till 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 I’ve learned
They’ll say that I must be burned
For God has no place for heretics
All the things that they try to sell
It’s 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
There’s fire in my spirit, and fire in their eyes
For now they’ll 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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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.


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.


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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

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


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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Update from Rich

Life is moving along at an unstoppable pace. Ken has taken over a previous business that he worked for, and he and his wife have been swamped. Unfortunately our schedules haven’t really gelled together.

We do want to get some podcasts done and have ideas.

But with that said, I think that I at least need to start putting in some more blog time.

A couple of things that I am happy about:
1. I will get to team teach the book of Ephesians at church in November and December. That will be my first time to teach in church in over 2 years.

2. I found some more great Christian Rock out of Europe. Here is a link to Eternity by the Swedish band Harmony.

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Podcast 28 – 1st Anniversary Special

Well, it’s not really all that special, but we made it through one year.  Hurray!  Rich and I reminisce and discuss the last year of shows.  We have had fun and hope you have been blessed.  We also mention some of the things we would like to see happen with the show in the future and look forward to having you along for the ride.

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Wow! Thank God for the Finnish!

Ken and I are into music. The song that leads in and out of the Don’t Blame Jesus episodes is actually a worship song called “King Jesus” that Ken wrote.

So anyway, Ken was recently me showing a Christian Eurotrance band called “G-Powered” that comes out of Finland. Just beautiful. “With You” by G-Powered

And while I was looking around on youtube for other Finnish Gospel music, I came across two songs by a band called “HB” that I had to share. Got to love some good Christian Finnish Metal

It amazes me that so many of “Christian” bands in the States seem to be saying less and less with their lyrics. I am glad to see that bands out there in other countries are proclaiming the good news boldly.

First HB video here is “It Is Time.” Challenging people to take advantage of the Gospel offered to them right now!

I have included the lyrics to this second song below. Wow!

HB “God Has All Glory”

When I was reborn, you gave your sign to me. The cross was the way and it says you’ll be with me… Day after day. I Heard you calling and felt that I had to seek you! And I finally realized. That your ways are so much higher than mine.

You know everything. Your wisdom and power exceeds all limits

God has all glory, power and honour! He came to save us. He gave His life for us! God has all glory, power and honour! He conquered death and brought us salvation.

You forgave all the things that were sin against You. It was so outstanding – my dark heart is so clean – You love me so! Now I want to serve you. Whatever You want, I will do. You have all the power thats why I can trust in You. Jesus. My Lord!

My life belongs to you, you promised to lead me and never leave me.


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Altar Boys — When You’re A Rebel

Cool, I guess that I did learn from Ken how to embed video.  Altar Boys is one of my favorites.  I bought this album when I was a senior in High School and was visiting Multnomah Bible College for preview weekend.

The ministry of Altar Boys helped me in my faith.  I go back and listen to them again and again, when I feel like I am losing some of my passion.

A friend of mine from Multnomah named Brian, is the skater with the white shirt in the video.

I was also involved with ministry to skateboarders when I was there.  Altar Boys came and played at Skatecamp that summer.

Earlier I posted some Altar Boys lyrics and Stephen was saying that it was cool, but not as cool as “When You’re A Rebel”.  So this is for you buddy!  Hope you all enjoy!

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Link to friends of DBJ

So I guess this Facebook thing is going to catch on after all… :)  Being cutting edge as we are, Rich has created a Facebook Group called Friends of  Cool, thanks Rich.  Now you can easily share DBJ with your friends on Facebook and invite them to join the group.  Join the conversation on Facebook.  See you there.

Hey, first of all, I want to thank you guys being part of this.  I know that what we are doing with the podcasts has been life changing, and that is EXCITING.  Sometimes it helps to hear God’s Word from a friendly voice who seems to understand what we are going through.

There will be a lot more podcasts to come.

With that said, only Stephen Hawker has taken advantage so far of our free CD offer.  If you want to get a free CD of Darren Hildebrand’s “Brand New Day” CD, that was featured behind us talking about it, on Episode 23, you can get it, by emailing Ken at show(at)dontblamejesus(dot)com.  Obviously you know what to do with at and dot.

One story that I wanted to share.  One of our friend called me and went to tell me that he about fell off his yard tractor while listening to the episode 14 podcast.  The message had to do with mix and match faith not working, and gave some examples of mix and matching of lifestyles and points of view that didn’t work as well.

Hey, if you have a favorite podcast, or a certain part of one, please let us know.  Maybe we could have some discussion, or you might find that others are reacting to it the same way that you are.

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