We Believe: Day 1 – Who Are You Listening To?

If you have not heard this awesome album, you can listen to it here, or at http://transmission.virb.com/webelieve.

Have you ever ridden on public transportation before? Or attended a sports game? Or visited an elementary school? If you have, what do all of these venues have in common?

Did you guess it? Noise, sound, voices…

We Believe (album cover)Like each of those locations, our world is full of competing voices. Brands shouting their messaging at you. The media trying to fit you into one mold or the other. People over you trying to make you into them. It is deafening, confusing, maddening, overwhelming… it is…

There are times when I need to see a clear vision. I need to hear a defined voice. I want to follow reliable direction. I crave guidance from a trusted source.

It’s how we hear Your voice, when the world’s so crazy loud
It’s how we make the choice, to seek You above the crowd

Doctrine #1 of The Salvation Army is the inspiration of the track “The Word.” The doctrine says simply that the Word of God is the place where we should find our start. It should provide the clear vision. God’s Word has a defined voice. The Scriptures give reliable direction.

The Bible can give us the guidance we so desperately need!

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. (Psalms 119:105 NIV)

In addition to the Word of God, where are other places we can go for help?

Soli Deo Gloria!

This devotional material is based on the album, We Believe, by Atlanta-based band, transMission. This material is being presented as additional throughout-provoking material. It is not meant to be doctrinal material. Quoting from the band itself: “Instead think of these songs as the frame which supports the art itself. The illustration to the sermon. “We Believe” is the illustration. The Doctrines are the sermon.” If you would like to listen to the tracks, they are found here, http://transmission.virb.com/webelieve.
Thanks for reading!

Walking in His "Majestic" Presence: Week 4

Note to reader: This is a single part of a multi-sectioned devotional series surrounding the transMission album, “Majestic.”  All of the devotionals will be filed under the category marked “Walking in His ‘Majestic’ Presence.”

Gift from Heaven

Play track 4 of “Majestic” entitled “Melody of Love.”  You can stream it live here.

“I have a song that Jesus gave me”

I have heard people say that they prefer to give gifts than to receive them.  I hear stories about the looks on people’s faces and the joy that it brings them.  I may be the only person to admit this but I like getting presents.  I like the look in my own eyes and I like the joy it brings me!  Don’t get me wrong!  I enjoy giving gifts, but I like getting them as well.  What I don’t like doing is telling people what I want!  It makes me feel weird.  This puts me in a difficult position.  I like getting presents, but I do not like telling people what I want.  So, guess what I want already!  My wife says that I am difficult to buy things for.  She is probably right.

If I can be honest with you, one of the reasons that I cannot tell people what I want is because I usually do not know myself!  I do not have a list of things I want or need running through my head.  I am horrible when I go shopping!  I look at something and if I need it I’ll get it.  If I don’t, I sometimes get it just in case I might need it.  You could almost say that I do not know what I need or what is best for me.

1 Corinthians 12:7  – A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.

Scripture tells us that God has given everyone a gift(s).  He decides what gifts he gives to what people.  The important thing to remember is that our gifts were given to help each other.

And with my life I sing Your melody

Our lives should “sing out” with our gifts.  When our gifts are used together, we hear “Heaven’s harmony” that was “sent from above”. Since we are given a specific gift, we are meant to depend on each other, to work with each other.  Let’s face it!  The world would be a very boring place if everyone was like me.  It would be a very good-looking place, but boring nonetheless.  Soloists are great, but give me a choir any day.  Everyone loves a hero, but what the world needs is a team, the body of Christ supporting each other with their gifts for the benefit of all!

So, my thought is this…

The true gift from God is not the gifts that He has given us, as great as they are.  The true gift from God is our ability to work together to further His kingdom.

So, with your life, will you join me in singing the melody of love?

Walking in His “Majestic” Presence: Week 4

Note to reader: This is a single part of a multi-sectioned devotional series surrounding the transMission album, “Majestic.”  All of the devotionals will be filed under the category marked “Walking in His ‘Majestic’ Presence.”

Gift from Heaven

Play track 4 of “Majestic” entitled “Melody of Love.”  You can stream it live here.

“I have a song that Jesus gave me”

I have heard people say that they prefer to give gifts than to receive them.  I hear stories about the looks on people’s faces and the joy that it brings them.  I may be the only person to admit this but I like getting presents.  I like the look in my own eyes and I like the joy it brings me!  Don’t get me wrong!  I enjoy giving gifts, but I like getting them as well.  What I don’t like doing is telling people what I want!  It makes me feel weird.  This puts me in a difficult position.  I like getting presents, but I do not like telling people what I want.  So, guess what I want already!  My wife says that I am difficult to buy things for.  She is probably right.

If I can be honest with you, one of the reasons that I cannot tell people what I want is because I usually do not know myself!  I do not have a list of things I want or need running through my head.  I am horrible when I go shopping!  I look at something and if I need it I’ll get it.  If I don’t, I sometimes get it just in case I might need it.  You could almost say that I do not know what I need or what is best for me.

1 Corinthians 12:7  – A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.

Scripture tells us that God has given everyone a gift(s).  He decides what gifts he gives to what people.  The important thing to remember is that our gifts were given to help each other.

And with my life I sing Your melody

Our lives should “sing out” with our gifts.  When our gifts are used together, we hear “Heaven’s harmony” that was “sent from above”. Since we are given a specific gift, we are meant to depend on each other, to work with each other.  Let’s face it!  The world would be a very boring place if everyone was like me.  It would be a very good-looking place, but boring nonetheless.  Soloists are great, but give me a choir any day.  Everyone loves a hero, but what the world needs is a team, the body of Christ supporting each other with their gifts for the benefit of all!

So, my thought is this…

The true gift from God is not the gifts that He has given us, as great as they are.  The true gift from God is our ability to work together to further His kingdom.

So, with your life, will you join me in singing the melody of love?

Walking in His "Majestic" Presence: Week 2

Note to reader: This is a single part of a multi-sectioned devotional series surrounding the transMission album, “Majestic.”  All of the devotionals will be filed under the category marked “Walking in His ‘Majestic’ Presence.”

My Morning Nemesis

Play track 2 of “Majestic” entitled “Awake.”  You can stream it live here.

It is the thing I dread in the morning.  I often plan its’ destruction.  I imagine its’ demise in many graphic ways.  What weapon will I use?  Will it be Col. Mustard in my bedroom with the lead pipe?  I have grown to loathe it.  I can only imagine a perfect world without its’ existence.  What is my morning nemesis?  What is it that fills me with dread?

It is my…(pause for effect)…my alarm clock.

You know what I am talking about!  Whether it buzzes, clangs, beeps, chirps, or hums a merry tune, I do not want to get out of bed!  I am perfectly happy and content where I am!  Does this machine not understand that the world is cold and cruel, but I am in a safe, warm place?  Why do you think babies cry when they are born?  Going from safety to reality is disturbing.

One of the most insidious of these vile creations is the easy waking alarm clock.  Hammacher Schlemmer peddle this loathsome device under the name, The Peaceful Progression Wake Up Clock.  Here is a quote from the item description:

At 30 minutes before wake-up, the clock’s light begins to glow softly, brightening over the next half-hour. The warmth from the lamp releases faint aromatherapy scents into the air to stimulate the olfactory senses. Fifteen minutes before wake-up, the clock generates your choice of six soft nature sounds, such as ocean surf or songbirds. A beeper sounds at the end of the cycle.

Do you see how sneaky and underhanded this is?

Back to reality…by now, you have heard the opening moments of “Awake.”  You have heard the opening “club” feeling of the synthesizer.  You have heard the bass drum and lower toms enter.  You hear layer after layer of sound being added to the mix.

Slowly, we are building and building towards a climax.  The introductory bars come crashing in to startle us with the power and energy.  We know and feel like we are moving towards something.

Awake, awake! Fling off the night!

For God has sent his glorious light

The truth about our own lives is that we need to “put our evil works away” and “let in the light, all sin expose.”  We need to look inward and see that the “light of life in us must glow.”  Like an alarm clock dispelling quiet and sleep, the “light” of God has come to “conquer death and night.”  We must wake up and move in holiness towards our example, Christ.  I can hear what you are thinking.  Why would I want to wake up?  The real world is cold and painful.  I can get hurt or hurt others.  We have to wake up because there are people around us who are dying, a whole generation of people drowning in “status quo”, “culture”, “apathy”, and whatever else was popular yesterday.  Holiness means to stand clear of those distractions, not to stand away from.  We must be willing to immerse ourselves in people, but not their distractions.

Ephesians 5:13-14 NLT – But their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them, for the light makes everything visible. This is why it is said,
“Awake, O sleeper,
rise up from the dead,
and Christ will give you light.”

So, sing with me:

Awake my soul and sing, awake my soul and sing, awake my soul and sing!

Soli Deo Gloria!

Walking in His “Majestic” Presence: Week 2

Note to reader: This is a single part of a multi-sectioned devotional series surrounding the transMission album, “Majestic.”  All of the devotionals will be filed under the category marked “Walking in His ‘Majestic’ Presence.”

My Morning Nemesis

Play track 2 of “Majestic” entitled “Awake.”  You can stream it live here.

It is the thing I dread in the morning.  I often plan its’ destruction.  I imagine its’ demise in many graphic ways.  What weapon will I use?  Will it be Col. Mustard in my bedroom with the lead pipe?  I have grown to loathe it.  I can only imagine a perfect world without its’ existence.  What is my morning nemesis?  What is it that fills me with dread?

It is my…(pause for effect)…my alarm clock.

You know what I am talking about!  Whether it buzzes, clangs, beeps, chirps, or hums a merry tune, I do not want to get out of bed!  I am perfectly happy and content where I am!  Does this machine not understand that the world is cold and cruel, but I am in a safe, warm place?  Why do you think babies cry when they are born?  Going from safety to reality is disturbing.

One of the most insidious of these vile creations is the easy waking alarm clock.  Hammacher Schlemmer peddle this loathsome device under the name, The Peaceful Progression Wake Up Clock.  Here is a quote from the item description:

At 30 minutes before wake-up, the clock’s light begins to glow softly, brightening over the next half-hour. The warmth from the lamp releases faint aromatherapy scents into the air to stimulate the olfactory senses. Fifteen minutes before wake-up, the clock generates your choice of six soft nature sounds, such as ocean surf or songbirds. A beeper sounds at the end of the cycle.

Do you see how sneaky and underhanded this is?

Back to reality…by now, you have heard the opening moments of “Awake.”  You have heard the opening “club” feeling of the synthesizer.  You have heard the bass drum and lower toms enter.  You hear layer after layer of sound being added to the mix.

Slowly, we are building and building towards a climax.  The introductory bars come crashing in to startle us with the power and energy.  We know and feel like we are moving towards something.

Awake, awake! Fling off the night!

For God has sent his glorious light

The truth about our own lives is that we need to “put our evil works away” and “let in the light, all sin expose.”  We need to look inward and see that the “light of life in us must glow.”  Like an alarm clock dispelling quiet and sleep, the “light” of God has come to “conquer death and night.”  We must wake up and move in holiness towards our example, Christ.  I can hear what you are thinking.  Why would I want to wake up?  The real world is cold and painful.  I can get hurt or hurt others.  We have to wake up because there are people around us who are dying, a whole generation of people drowning in “status quo”, “culture”, “apathy”, and whatever else was popular yesterday.  Holiness means to stand clear of those distractions, not to stand away from.  We must be willing to immerse ourselves in people, but not their distractions.

Ephesians 5:13-14 NLT – But their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them, for the light makes everything visible. This is why it is said,
“Awake, O sleeper,
rise up from the dead,
and Christ will give you light.”

So, sing with me:

Awake my soul and sing, awake my soul and sing, awake my soul and sing!

Soli Deo Gloria!