Ever have "those songs?" You know...the ones that stick in your head for whatever reason and you just can't seem to shake them. Typically the stick occurs because of a catchy tune or a well-crafted lyric. While recalling the tune may start out as fun and cool, it can quickly turn into annoying and downright insanity. Typically I chalk it up as a natural side-effect that comes with being moved by tunes. However, my most recent encounter has grabbed me at a deeper level, and it won't release its grasp.
Over the holidays, I began listening to a dude named Daniel Renstrom. You can check him out at www.danielrenstrom.com. The song that keeps pricking my soul is Broken Cisterns. Yeah, the tune is good, but it is the lyrics that are rich with spiritual depth and purpose. Unlike a lot of today's "Christian music," (I actually don't believe there is a such thing as Christian music, because songs can't have a relationship with Jesus, but that is another entry for another time) this song does not dwell on the happiness of knowing Jesus, or how great life is for those who call themselves Christians. Quite the contrary, Renstrom's words revolve around the theme of brokenness. In a much more poetic way, the song echoes the story of mankind: God is good, he chooses to use us, yet we love ourselves more than him. Because of our stupidity, we are "cracked about the head" and in need of some major fixing! However, what resonates most deeply with me is the understanding that this need for repair is continual.
As someone who has been following Christ for a long time, it is easy to become complacent, and even satisfied, with who I have become as a man, friend, and pastor. It is scary and downright sickening to find myself believing and acting this way because it is in complete contradiction to the clear message of the gospel. Jesus says he only came for those in desperate need (Luke 5:31), and yet I regularly end up thinking the only thing I need is someone to help ME accomplish MY agenda.
As I sit and watch images of Haitians being pulled dead and alive from buildings, along with vehicles and stagggering piles of unidentifiable rubbage, I am brought face-to-face with brokenness. My heart and soul are torn for those people and their outrageous circumstances. They are in extreme need of physical help in ways that are hard to comprehend, even as I view the images right in front of me. And I don't want to miss that. I don't want to miss the reminder that I am called to meet the physical needs of all those created in God's image. But I also don't want to miss the fact that I am just as needy as those who are homeless, orphaned, and injured. My wounds just aren't as obvious to the naked eye. So I am thankful to D-Ren for his consistent (and not so quiet) reminder of the gospel. That I am a man in need of repair, and that repair can only come from the one that made me to be whole in the original plan.
I am pressing into Jesus while resting hard in grace that is only available because of the completed work of the cross. I am in love with a beautiful woman and two amazing kids. I am an extroverted introvert (ISTJ). I am competitive (too much so). I hate to lose more than I like to win. I enjoy writing but am just an amateur. I am most excited about seeing Jesus change peoples lives.
Follow The Roar by Bob Smiley - If you love golf, sports, winning, greatness, or admiring one of the world's most recognizable people this book will entertain you. Author Bob Smiley follows Tiger's every step during his 2008 season. I found myself in awe at some of the things Tiger was able to do and I had already watched them happen last year. Smiley does a great job of making you feel like you are right there watching Tiger every step of the way.
Just Do Something by Kevin DeYoung - Practical advice for anyone seeking to know and follow God's will. Especially good for the 17-30 year old. Easy, quick read that is a home run for today's culture of aimless wandering.
Future Men by Doug Wilson - Anyone raising a son needs to read this book. I have heard and read lots on this subject but this book sheds new light on the issue. Humorous, challenging and intellectually stimulating this book will surely help you raise a future man that will bring honor to your family.
Surprised by Hope by N.T. Wright - The most challenging book I have read in the past 5 years. It has caused me to rethink everything I thought I knew about heaven and the resurrection.
Stop Dating the Church by Joshua Harris - A compelling read about the importance of local church. Especially good for college age and young 20's who tend to drift away during those years.