Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Studio Time

For Christmas this year, my wife and my champion arranged for some studio time so that I could start recording a worship project. When I opened her gift I was stunned. But after the initial shock wore off, dark thoughts started creeping up in my mind.

I unfortunately listened to the voices which said berating comments like "You're not good enough to record a worship project." and "No one will like what record and what you have to say."

After much thought, I finally realized that these self-confidence voices that I hear have been obstacles in my life that have prevented me from choosing to follow-through on my dreams.

How long have I wanted to record a worship project? I honestly know that I've been talking about it for close to two years. Our sound technician at church offered to help me two years ago, right before I was leaving on a missions trip to Jamaica. At the time I told him I wasn't prepared and that I hoped to use my time in Jamaica to finish some material.

Two years have slipped through my life like water through my hands. It happened so quickly I don't know where the time went. And I sit here with the same thoughts. Am I prepared? Are we ever truly prepared when we're about to embark upon a spiritual journey with God? I hope the answer is no. If we ever truly feel equipped then perhaps we've lost sight of God guiding and leading us through the journey of life.

I feel so ill-equipped in most of my spiritual life.

Do I know the Bible as well as I should? Nope.

Do I pray as much as I should? Nope.

But when I get down to the root of the issue, I find grace and affirmation in God.

Do I love Jesus and want to bring Him glory? Yes.

Do I trust in Jesus that He will lead and guide me in life? Yes.

He is the only compass I have in this journey of recording a worship project. I have to love Him and faithfully trust Him to lead and guide me through the recording process.

The songs are written. It's time to record them.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

When Is Jesus Going to Heal Us?

It can be discouraging when God doesn't answer your prayers immediately, especially when your family is hurting from illness. To date this year, we've had pink eye, ear infections, the stomach flu, the regular flu, coughs, colds, etc. You name it, I bet we've had it this year. I even hurt my shoulder shoveling a few weeks ago.

So we've been praying over each other at home. Praying that Jesus, the ultimate healer, would come and make us well again. There's nothing more beautiful than having your four year-olds pray over you. It's so sweet and pure and they truly pray believing it will happen.

I think when your kids get sick, you can get a better understanding of how Jesus feels about us when we are hurting. I would trade places in a minute with my son if I could take his constant cough away from him or with my littlest so he didn't need to get tubes in his ears on Thursday. When they hurt, I hurt. When their hearts are broken, my heart is broken. But in this case, Jesus has given us more than I could ever offer my children: grace and salvation.

While God's word definitely suggests we'll have many hardships to endure, that's kind of a difficult subject to explain to your kids. This morning over breakfast, one of my sons said, "When is Jesus finally going to heal us?"

I couldn't very well quote 2 Corinthians 12 to him which reads, "But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

But I did tell him, "I think Jesus wants us to keep praying, son."

Thursday, January 18, 2007

What did you say?

My friends have been nudging me to blog more, and I always feel this pressure to post something that is stirring and relevant to whoever reads my posts. I feel like I need to always say something that is inspirational and motivating; something that someone is going to write down in their journal and treasure forever. But the problem with that mentality is that it becomes more about me and not about what's relevant to the reader.

You see the reason why I've felt this writer's block when it comes to blogging, is because I am not listening. I'm simply not listening to what God has to say. If I am going to devote time weekly to blogging, then I need to be purposeful in asking and praying, "God, what do you want to say this week through me?" And then I need to spend some time listening to what He has to say.

I kind of stumbled upon this revelation this morning after some accountability and coffee time with some friends from church. I felt like God had been saying specifically about accountability time, "Ask (name withheld to protect the innocent) what's really on his heart and what God's been saying to him." I didn't have to this morning because he came forward and answered my question before I could ask it.

My beautiful wife gave me the best Christmas present on record this year. She arranged for some studio time so that I could lay down some tracks to a few songs I've been working on. My dream for so many years has been to record a project that would hopefully bless people who listen. But with that dream comes the pressure of writing material that's moving and worthy of placing my name on it.

As I was driving into work, I realized that I hadn't been faithful in listening to God recently on this stuff. I have had writer's block when it came to blogging and more recently I've been in a desert when it comes to writing music. And the biggest reason is because of my lack of listening. God inspires 99% of my music and when He doesn't, it's not normally very good anyway. After this revelation in the car this morning, words, lyrics and melodies started flowing in head. I wanted to pull over and write down these surfacing thoughts and ideas. I pulled out my journals when I got into work today and will probably noodle for a while now as long as I stay true to listening.

Are you listening? What are you hearing?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

2007 Manifesto

One of my favorite ministry creatives, Mark Batterson, is the Lead Pastor of National Community Church in Washington, DC ( which meets in movie theaters. On his site,, he recently posted a 2007 manifesto during a series called "Chase the Lion" based upon a recent book he wrote. I loved what he had to say so I decided to share this with you.

Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Set God-sized goals. Pursue God-ordained passions. Grab life by the mane. Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention. Keep asking questions. Keep making mistakes. Keep seeking God. Stop pointing out problems and become part of the solution. Stop repeating the past and start creating the future. Stop playing it safe and start taking risks. Expand your horizons. Accumulate experiences. Consider the lilies. Enjoy the journey. Find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can. Live like today is the first day and last day of your life. Don't let what's wrong with you keep you from worshipping what's right with God. Burn sinful bridges. Blaze a new trail. Criticize by creating. Worry less about what people think and more about what God thinks. Don't try to be who you're not. Be yourself. Laugh at yourself. Quit holding out. Quit holding back. Quit running away. Chase the lion!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Where's Jesus?

Sometimes I will walk the halls of my place of employment or the downtown skywalk, asking God to reveal himself to me. Many times, I see Jesus walking along side or trailing people as they hurry to their next meeting or appointment.

Today as I was walking over to grab some lunch from our cafeteria, I asked God to reveal himself. In the short time that it took me to trek over to our dining hall, I saw Jesus with almost every person I encountered.

Sometimes Jesus was hurrying along trying to keep up in someone's busy life.

Another time Jesus was trying to hold the hand of a woman who needed to feel his touch.

Jesus was trying to scoop up another person and carry her in his arms.

A threesome approached and I felt the presence of God in their lives and I saw a vision of a cross across the chest of one of the nice man's sweaters. Jesus was huddled with these three with arms around all of them.

When I walked into the elevator to return to my floor, I was processing the various times I saw him chasing after his beloved children. And then I thought to myself, "Where's Jesus in your life, Erik?" And he was standing beside me, tapping me on the shoulder trying to get my attention.