Spoken World

singer-songwriter / sojourner

Perspective Perspective...

Much of this thought process encapsulates the sharing of my own personal life and testimony with others. Social tact is not a feature I find innately within me, but something I have learned through many failed acquaintances. When I was in my teens being burnt out or high or whatever really encouraged a lack of inhibition or concern with how others thought of me. As I have grown in Christ sobriety has been a really very trying aspect in regards to a social life. You start to take notice of mutual relationships when you’re not preoccupied with getting off on whatever you can just to avoid emotionally processing everything you’ve been burying for almost a decade.

Something I keep telling myself is you cannot assume anything about anyone else. Whatever is going on in someone else’s heart and head is totally their business, and you cannot expect, or demand honesty (anything really) out of anyone. It can be maddening. You could lay your own heart and head out for someone else to accept gladly, without any sense of reciprocation following. To what end are you opening up to someone is the question, and for what purpose.

Jeremiah 17:9 says,”The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” No matter how desperately we desire to hear the truth, or have understanding given to us from another human being, the simple fact of the matter is that it is never guaranteed in any human interaction. Jeremiah 17:10 answers verse 9 perfectly,“I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”

Despite our lack of honesty with each other we can never fool the Lord, and He is my constant peace, despite the lack of understanding in so many relationships, and situations in my life. What understanding I am allotted from the Lord—I am learning, is more than enough to stay my restless thoughts. Should we choose to refocus our thoughts from all we may never know, and childishly lean dependently in His Word and promises, I believe all that temporally haunts us will be laid to rest quite quickly. If you have never dug into the book of Proverbs, Psalms, Job, or Ecclesiastes, I would highly recommend doing so, frequently. As I said to some of my good friends recently, I probably would have killed myself by now if those books were never written. I’ll leave this with some verses.

Ecclesiastes 7:14

“In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him.”

Ecclesiastes 8:16-17

“When I applied my heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done on earth, how neither day nor night do one's eyes see sleep, then I saw all the work of God, that man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun. However much man may toil in seeking, he will not find it out. Even though a wise man claims to know, he cannot find it out.”

Proverbs 3:5-8

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.”

Ecclesiastes 3:10-11, 14-15

“I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.

I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him. That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already has been; and God seeks what has been driven away.”

Perseverance

Let’s start this with someone who said it quite well already back in 2004:

“When it comes to putting your faith in Jesus Christ you literally have to deny yourself, completely abandon yourself to someone you’ve never seen and never experienced, and can’t know or experience until you come to that complete abandonment. That requires a faith that is beyond the normal human faith—that requires a faith that is a gift from God, a supernatural faith, and the only kind of faith that God gives is a faith that endures. You could not muster up your own faith to be saved, nor could you muster up enough of your own faith to stay saved, and were you to depend upon your own faith it would fail you.” —John MacArthur, The Perseverance of the Saints, Part 1

The language surrounding how I have spoken about the night I was converted has slowly, but surely, turned away from the focus of my acceptance of Christ Jesus to the work of His hand in my life previously, and the supernatural faith which He instilled in me to believe at all. I know for a fact I never would have accepted Him were it not for His grace, and to say anything contrary to salvation being other than His doing is wrong. I didn’t have it in me. None of us do.

This is where the wonder and awe and glory of Christ truly shines brightest. The mystery of salvation in the perfectly expressed character and life lived, sinlessly, by Him, to our benefit. His blessing, to turn his own Son into a curse. By His stripes we are healed.

Really, consider this:

Galatians‬ ‭3:2-29‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith— just as Abraham "believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness"? Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "In you shall all the nations be blessed." So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, "Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them." Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for "The righteous shall live by faith." But the law is not of faith, rather "The one who does them shall live by them." Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree"— so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith. To give a human example, brothers: even with a man-made covenant, no one annuls it or adds to it once it has been ratified. Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, "And to offsprings," referring to many, but referring to one, "And to your offspring," who is Christ. This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void. For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise. Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary. Now an intermediary implies more than one, but God is one. Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.”

‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭1:3-9‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

Philippians‬ ‭1:6‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.“

Really our biggest encouragement and assurance should be that the Lord himself has saved, and is backing us. Christ is not one to be shaken, but built upon, the cornerstone. Glory be to God alone. May we never seek to take away from Him, and may His will be done in our lives rather than our own.

Used, Useful, Useless

Feeling is a hard thing to stomach. When it bears down on you the weight can seem like an eternity. Ambivalence has become a word I have preferred to use in reference to how I have felt in the past, mainly because it has been difficult for me to peg any specific emotion. I can only blame myself for lack of emotional perception and maturity.

When I was younger I stifled what I felt for years. The idea of being a man, or acting tough, was not something I concerned myself with internally as much as existential dread. On the outside I was a belligerent and nihilistic hedonist who sought some sense of pleasure to overwhelm what plagued me throughout the night, and my waking hours. Charades, however well fitting at first, are a damning thing to keep up.

Honesty and truth beg for the light of day as much as they haunt the hours you think you will find rest in. Since my walk with Christ began seven years or so ago I have begun learning a perception I never thought I would have. Patience finds me and keeps me in moments where I would have lost all grasp of it. Understanding is given to me without restraint, and because if it anger is a hard thing to hold onto.

Really, I’m just grateful for the growth I have had in Christ, but I want more. It’s not enough, and it never will be. The desire which has finally begun to be satiated in His being is all consuming, and I know on the flip side of all this that peace that surpasses all understanding will being about a literal and incomparable completion I cannot begin to comprehend.

HAVE (commentary)

i'm glad i never kissed her

it'd given me something (nothing) to miss

I have always had a bad habit of projecting my desires onto others, in whatever capacity befitted my wandering heart. Namely, in regards to romance, I had some semblance of an ideal woman. Since I was just a kid, around the age of 4 or so, I can recall thinking on—or wondering about a “helper” as God put it in

Genesis 2:18: “Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

These lyrics are focusing on the necessity of self-restraint and patience in regard to expressing oneself romantically. We cannot trust every inclination of our deceitful hearts.

i've always been a fool

for kind words said from lying lips

I have made many mistakes, not for lack of want.

but it seems

i have lost my taste

or rather maybe

it's something i've gained

Glory be to God alone for gracing me with godly desires.

i'm seeing shades again

ghosts of lovers i had kept

and thought i held so deep in my heart

I only ever thought I knew what love was.

the memories remain

haunting my heart and head every day

and the hollowness won't fade

Mistakes, sins, the seem to plague us relentlessly at times. They can make us feel worthless, or make us question the reality of our salvation in Christ Jesus. Feelings are not everything, and coming from our deceitful hearts, they are not always true. The only proper, and true person to trust the Lord Jesus Christ.

what i once thought full

is now just an ache

some wounds heal

into scars that take

I was a huge fan of Lord of the Rings when I was younger, and these lyrics reference Frodo’s scar from the Ringwraith in the Fellowship plaguing him even in the final installation of the movie trilogy, and being in part the catalyst for him going with the elves into their land (I totally cried in theatre).

i recall long nights

longing for

someone

by my side

unsettled to

my core

The insomnia of my youth revolved around existential dread, and the desires of my lustful heart. For lack of want, and met with the reality of our own actions, we are tortured by the needs we do not realize. We place blame on God, and refuse to take into account our own thoughts and actions.

but now i take every day

as it comes

i know deaths

on the way

doesnt matter to me

on which page

Phillipians 1:21 “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

i look towards the end

not to finish

but to begin

and it's nothing i can comprehend 

Isaiah 65:17 ““For behold, I create new heavens

and a new earth,

and the former things shall not be remembered

or come into mind.”

like in those long nights

wondering if I was in Your sights

why nothing ever seems all right

maybe that's cause it ain't

We live in a fallen world. Everything is pretty messed up. Things don’t work out in the way that we think they will. Our very perception is fractured, and broken. Honestly openly seek and reject anything other than, and seek to take on a biblical worldview, and things will begin to make a lot more sense. However, faith will be of necessity, as well as great joy.

i thought a girl

could bring me grace

but they all left

without a trace

Placing your hope or faith in anyone other than Jesus Christ is gonna mess you up, hard.

but yeah I'm alright

if no one sees me with Your eyes

because of Your Sons sacrifice

I'll still die a happy man

trusting in Your plan

Matthew 22:30-32 “For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God: I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living.”

Recently

Part of me is tired of waking up. Given free time, the monotony of full time work seems like a welcome fall back. Albums are still something I go to for advocacy and reassurance, but no song speaks to all I feel which compels me to write. To say my writings are cathartic is a good starting point. In practice I really am just trying to do my best to reconcile my troubled heart and head with the peace of Christ. I know in the end everything will be alright, but it doesn’t keep the every day and the past from haunting me. The resolve of this train of thought: penitence is more of a lifestyle than a passing emotion. I long to be past all of this, to look back on the shadow of death and laugh with the knowing short of joy that we will have on the flip side of all of this. As for the here and now it is enough to

“…know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

—Romans‬ ‭8:28‬ ‭ESV‬

also

“For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened--not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.”

—2 Corinthians 5:4-9

Autonomy & Sovereignty

Our autonomy exists because of God’s sovereignty, it is both within (because of), and beneath (not equal to) Him. If you claim Christ as Lord and Savior, as who He says He is, and yet reject His Word, or strive to interpret it instead of allowing it to interpret and refine you, than you are playing at being a god. If you truly believe the Bible to be the infallible and divinely inspired word of the one and only Living God, I would caution you to perhaps at the very least hesitate far more often than not to add or take away from what the word says.

Revelation 22:19 (NLT) “And if anyone removes any of the words from this book of prophecy, God will remove that person's share in the tree of life and in the holy city that are described in this book.“

Looking back into previous languages and contextual/historical meanings only goes so far, and if we’re not looking into them to learn from than what we must ask of ourselves is if we are seeking something else entirely. When your perspective and opinions resonate with those of the world around you more than scripture this would be a little bit more than a red flag. When we place our faith, or seek to fund rest in anything apart from His Word we are toying with the very “flint that starts the sparks that turn into the fire to fan the flames” (LTP reference). Salvation is found in Christ alone, and under the New Testament we have a profoundly significant amount of liberty which we can abuse under false pretexts coinciding with the devious desire of our own hearts. Arthur lied, do not believe in yourself, that is not the place to start.

Proverbs 1:7 (NLT) “Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”

The simple resolution to the dissonance within ourselves is to yield to Christ, and not to the temptations which plague us unto death. Thinking we know better is the very thing that caused this whole world of a mess we are in in the first place, but then again, if you don’t believe in Scripture as the Word of God, and are claiming it as anything less than, what real issue should you have with life as it is in the first place?

HOPE (commentary)

like paperweights

in the back of my head

like layers of skin

i wish that i could shed

memories

i wish could be like the dreams

the ones I wake up from

and I forget

Due to the amount of pornography I used to watch, having been introduced to it sometime late in elementary school the habit became worse and worse, I am at times plagued by terribly sexualized nightmares. They are not as frequent as they were seven years ago, thank the Lord, but nonetheless disgusting and undesirable.

but i wake up

and it's all the same

it's hard enough

to make it through some days

just trying to keep

my head on straight

I'm just trying to keep

my head on straight

but I can't and I fall apart

more often than not

i'm okay with that

if it shows you where to start

but i can't keep

those happy thoughts

that keep me off my feet

they all slip past my eyes

before my hands

can even reach

Sometimes it can seem like you are no further ahead of where you have been, or any different. Our attempts at some forced semblance of normalcy bitingly contrary to the reality we all endure and collectively disregard. Lying is just in our nature.

I’m fine.

I’m okay.

What’s up?

Nothing.

However, the more truthful or honest I have been with myself (and especially others) in some sense of (hopefully) respectable disregard of what is considered socially acceptable the more peace I have about my struggles. This reminds me of Pauls resolution in his own struggles:

“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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭12:9-10‬ ‭ESV‬‬

everything's not as it should be

including me

everything's not as it should be

There is no sense in playing at a vainly idealistic sense of self, but since when have we done anything to be considered sensible before the goodness of God? We see how messed up the world is, and yet we fail to admit our own shortcomings because we idolize our own perspective, and we keep it as a standard.

would the child you were

be okay with who you are

are you really content

with all that you settle for

do you really have

everything that you need

when you're faced with death

will you go as confidently

Questions worth asking are rarely spoken.

see that day's coming sooner

than you'll ever know

and you'll stand before the throne

of the One who spoke the words

that encapsulate all you are

meant to be and all you mock

in the end all that matters is

if you're known or if you're not

-

I pray you are

We think we know goodness. We think we know right from wrong. We have a sense of perspective, and although not wholly off, we are far from being holy ourselves.

“But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, "Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame."”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭10:8-11‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Thank God for who Jesus is, what He has done, and what He is still doing.

GAIN (commentary)

i have a sinking in my stomach

and aches that run through my bones

ive found an emptiness to conversation

that makes me feel so at home

I've lost reason in feelings

our hearts they speak deceit

and the longer that I live

the more I fail to see


“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? 10 "I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds."”

Jeremiah 17:9-10 ESV

This life can be pretty tiring, yeah?

I long to lay my head

to the dirt 

and know that I've done

all I could


“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭1:21‬ ‭ESV‬‬

a great many things in life

I will never know

and I've come to understand

that knowing is not what matters most

a'lot I've to say

your ears wouldn't keep

just as lungs fail to give the thanks

that each breath should weep


There are a lot of things we are not going to understand throughout our every day. This includes ourselves (reference Jeremiah 17:9-10). We take a lot for granted, and aren’t half as thankful as we should be for all we are blessed with. This mentality should be emulated in every situation and circumstance, because even our very breath is something we are given and take without gratitude; the beats of our heart, uncalled for, however constant, or erratic. Life, although fallen, has a lot to offer those who would be willing to learn, and love.

to hear well done

is more than I deserve

all the same

it’s all i hope for


“For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.”

‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:1-10‬ ‭ESV‬‬

there's a fullness to this life

that is double edged

a language we interpret 

an art we counterfeit

tell me if this is all there is

why that conviction

is so very hard to admit

We don’t recognize the blessings bestowed upon us by our very existence. We can argue against purpose with our feelings, and yet—with the same logic—our feelings would be irrelevant. The Spirit of God, all He has created, and the sacrifice of His own son Jesus Christ attest to a purpose far better than we could ever conceive, and without the gifting of it, would never know of.

Thanks be to God.

tell me do you count the cost

a soul is quite a lot

to be lost

I beseech you to not for another second put aside the eternal significance of the salvation offered in Jesus Christ.

“because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, "Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame."”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭10:9-11‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Hang on look to and hope in the promises of God above all else.

“The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭145:18‬ ‭ESV‬‬

LOVE (commentary)

there's a joy to honesty

that most can't relate 


an openness that leaves us

feeling all estranged

tangible feelings

we try to ignore

or misappropriate

We do not innately pleasure ourselves in being honest, or truthful. More often than not we take our perceptions and project them as the defining nature of our environment, or reality as a whole, making excuses based off our lack of introspection and preconceived notions rooted in our sinful nature.

it's eating at my hopes

it's eating at my dreams

I want to love somebody

as much as You have loved me

though I know in this life

there are no guarantees

I believe we all have the desire to love and be loved because of the relational nature God instilled of Himself throughout all of creation, especially between a man and a woman. However, if you place your hopes and faith in anyone other than Jesus Christ you will be sorrily surprised at the outcome.

bone of my bone

flesh of my flesh

I've been wondering

have we ever met

-

if we did I don't know

that I'd know if we had 

and I'm sick and I'm tired of wondering

my father says that I won't have to eventually


This desire to love and be loved can cause quite an amount of confusion. I myself have mistaken passion or attraction as love with many girls. As I have gotten older, and the more intimately I walk with Christ, the more I realize love has a lot less to do with the whole romantic—or to be quite blunt, sexual relationship between a husband and wife, and a lot more to do with who God is, and who He is making us to be like. 1 Corinthians 13 mentions so very many characteristics of love, and are all qualities we should actively seek and strive to emulate, and constantly grow in.

I try to keep my mind on Christ

not the comforts of this life

to love at all costs to myself

and to fight the good fight

but with no one by my side

-

each day gets harder as I go

and You say it's not good for us

to be alone

but if I am to be

it is well with my soul


Loneliness is not necessarily a bad thing. Every feeling we feel and situation we find ourselves in can teach us to grow to be more like Christ, and how to encourage others as well. For all the time I now spend alone, compared to when I was younger, I find I am at peace with my circumstances, and personal relationships, despite desires for more. God given understanding can be quite proficient should you find yourself the recipient of it, and the Spirit of the Lord is the best company kept at all times.

'cause I am not who I used to be

I am a new creation

and I am redeemed

it's nothing that I have to see to believe‬‬

-

but at times it still seems

that it's all still on me

even though You said

it is finished up on that tree

When second birth occurs, being that we still reside in the same earthen body, it can be quite easy to wonder if you are the same person as before.

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.”

‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭11:1-3‬ ‭ESV

it's hard to take

being told to pray

when what i feel

it seems that no words can say

Thank God Your Spirit

intercedes for me

-

for every tear

and every sigh

that tends to keep

my troubled

heart up at night

-

I rest in Your promises

I know that you're by

my side


“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:18-30‬ ‭ESV

Hallelujah

You set me free

Hallelujah

I don't need anything

in You I am complete

I really feel Job sums up well my mentality towards Christ and previous convictions—

“"I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. 'Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?' Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. 'Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me.' I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes."”

‭‭Job‬ ‭42:2-6‬ ‭ESV‬‬

—compared to where I am now, hidden with Christ.

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”

‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3:1-4‬ ‭ESV‬‬

FEAR (commentary)

behind windowpanes

we passersby

staring never caring

enough to stay a while

investments far too much

vulnerability a fear

unless it's feel good

and nothing to hold dear

This was written more or less in reference to smart phones/devices. It seems borderline impossible to go anywhere and not see people otherwise consumed with their smartphones (or technology as a whole). Genuine human interaction (overall being difficult in truth) can seem very scarce—if not rare, to me at least. 

everyone's so slow to come

yet quick to leave

and though i understand

it's something i can't believe

People can thoughtlessly post personal information and pictures online to an indiscriminate or advocatingly cultured audience. Face to face conversations are too much for some people in this day and age, and all too quickly communication with others are severed for seemingly no reason. I am guilty of this as much as anyone else.

the capabilities we have

in each day and age

are taken for granted

so painstakingly

 Whether it’s indoor plumbing, the ease of which we can aquire commodities, or how quickly transportation/travel is for us, we overlook so much. Take how easily and conveniently we are able to write or call each other, yet we abstain from such things. Handwritten notes used to mean so much in my youth, to this day I still appreciate them a great deal, but with technology I can write people all over the world encouraging and fostering genuine connections. These are all things we should not take for granted.

though we're satiated

we're discontent

nothing's good enough

and we don't know what is

We fill our hearts and heads with so much which is not worth our time. God gives understanding to those who seek it, but Sin blinds us all, and keeps us ignorant to what is good or of worth. Proverbs 9:10 says,”The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.”

the wonder is lost

on our newborn minds

so easily maybe it's

not there to find

 This world is a shade of what it was intended to be. Surely David knew this when he wrote Psalms 51:5,”Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.”

innocence and sanity

aren't ours they're His

pray we may humble

our haughty heads

and ask for His guidance

In the same Psalm I mentioned previously, a couple verses down David writes Psalms 51:10,”Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” This is an integral posture we must seek to emulate in spirit and truth. God is the one who changes us heals us, and leads us in the ways of righteousness. We must be willing to be taught by His Spirit and Word. If we merely trust in ourselves we lead ourselves, and others, astray.

”The highway of the upright turns aside from evil; whoever guards his way preserves his life. Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor than to divide the spoil with the proud. Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good, and blessed is he who trusts in the LORD.”

Proverbs 16:17-20

Note to Self

If you truly believe in Christ, and are seeking after Him, expect nothing less than to be treated how He was treated.

1 Peter‬ ‭2:20-24‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.”

‭1 Peter‬ ‭4:12-18‬ ‭ESV‬

“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And "If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?"”

1 Peter‬ ‭5:6-11‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

‭‭—

Matthew‬ ‭5:1-12‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. "Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

‭‭—

1 Chronicles‬ ‭16:11‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!”

‭‭—

I could post more verses, but just read the Bible, and take heart: this world may seemingly suck the life out of you, but God is the one who will give you strength and life to get through each day. Hang tight to His word, and do work. Love, at all costs.

Thoughts

At which point does being there for someone become advocation? There is a fine line between the care and concern I desire to express and the truth people grapple with when seclusion draws it forth from the depths we attempt to bury Him in, but that stone was rolled away and He walked again and will forevermore. There are rules of our own making which we bend every day. The irony is overwhelming, and all amusment has since fled my cognizance. What chuckles emit from my breast are of sadness and disappointment in being a witness. What shame have we in our own sin? We are blinded. I had a conversation with my dad earlier while I was driving him back and forth to Publix. First for batteries, and second for a prescription. When we’re on the road most of the commentary we make is how unbelievable it is that people make the decisions they do behind the wheel. I remember being as careless. It’s sin manifested as selfishness and it creeps in like a cancer throughout all our senses. It doesn’t matter if kids are in the car, or what the laws governing our roads say, get out of my way. Entitlement is a virtue for the foolish, though I do my best to pass no judgments. I can’t help but wonder at what’s going on in their lives. I realize we don’t think, most of, if not half of the time, but man can we pull over and just talk about it? Seriously, I want to know. I will cry with you. I’ll buy you a coffee or some food, just tell me where you’re at, because I need to understand. Don’t you want to understand? All I know is that most of, if not everything, I don’t, but I woke up crying today—and that sort of makes sense to me—the most, out of anything.

Intimacy

I just asked my parents if they feel alone all the time. They do, same as I do, same as maybe you do. There are not many people we genuinely connect with, but on who can we lay blame? I don’t know that it’s ever one persons fault over anothers, but this broken and sinful world we live in is more the devils advocate than any of us cognizantly strive to be—at least I hope. To some perhaps it’s naive to think the best of people and situations, but I can’t help but give people the benefit of any of my own doubt. Forgivness and mercy is something I strive to live by, and not just talk about. However, with damaged friendships, seemingly unecessary lies, and with signifcant lack of explantion on so many fronts I feel exhausted as to what I may do right by. I was told by someone once I have a big heart and to not let people treat me like shit, but it seems like I have a knack for not knowing what’s up when it’s happening. Maybe I just value showing love as best as I can to others more than the ramifications of disregarding my own emotional investment, or openess. Where I can I spend myself. When I look at the life of Jesus Christ, I can’t help but think I have more to give than I think, so I do. Transparency is something I have come to value above social normality. Tact is something I am learning to be better at, but I don’t withold sharing deep parts of myself in hopes of encouraging others. Feel free to reach out through any social media or whatever. Let’s get ramen or coffee.

You are not alone. Despite how you may feel, or how I feel, we are not alone.

Christ be with you.

Irony

For all the deadpan jokes and attempts I make to encite smiles and laughter in others I don’t find much humorous. I tend to think long and hard about everything. Situations most people process easily I run through time and time again, years later even. Introspection can be a vicious beast, and an instrument of torture rather than construction. Without scriptural truth being a driving or resting force, our hearts and heads can tear us apart. If it wasn’t for the few I find community with, and the encouragement I find in those relationships, I don’t know how well I’d have coped with half of the stuff which has occurred in the last year or two. I can see the growth God has been working in me, and I cannot thank Him enough. It’s undeserved. There are so many sides to each of us, and it doesn’t do us well to hide them. To play others or ourselves a fool, masquerading around in assumed perceptions of our own making doesn’t sit as well as we might think with others, or ourselves. Truth is far more evident rather than anything we think we must convince others of. If you ever want to talk about anything, please reach out to me, or the Lord. He’s always got you (as opposed to my good intentions, and failed attempts). Anyways, I hope your 2019 is solid so far. God bless, and Christ be with you.

2018

I don’t know if years mean anything to me anymore, collectively speaking. Like the vapor/smoke mentioned in Ecclesiastes, I feel I am passing quickly through most days. I don’t dwell like I used to on much, and I am not as troubled as I once was. Credit to such peace be to the Prince of Peace, Christ Jesus. Though more often than not I am tired I find I have the strength given to me to get through each day, and like a shadow lengthening ever so slightly so as to not be perceived, a year has passed. Grace in light of everything, as I pass from what waking hours I am blessed with to a sleep I have longed for since my youth, showing me a kindness in years I never thought I would live through.

Writing As Of Late

If you have ever had acquaintances or long time friends kill themselves you should sort of understand where I am coming from while trying to write the last eight months. I was fired from my second job at a coffee shop I was working last October and the next day received a phone call from Allen about a mutual friend I had made through him earlier last year who had just killed himself that past weekend, and then I had a wedding I was shooting all in the same week—with our friends memorial right after the wedding. Fast forward to January of this year. I was informed that a friend I had known since the beginning of high school (almost ten years ago now? dang.) had killed himself too. I hadn’t seen him in about two years I think. Reliving all the horrific thoughts of,”How did I miss this?” with one never knowing he struggled with suicide and remembering a conversation I had with the other about such heavy thoughts, it’s been fairly difficult to put any cognizant feelings or thoughts into words—let alone song. I haven’t really known what to feel other than completely helpless. Another acquaintance of mine (who’s local band I looked up to when I was in 7th grade) asphyxiated died and was resuscitated only to be declared legally brain dead literally a day after he added me on facebook. Come to find out he had just had a daughter three months back. I hadn’t seen him since a house show I shot down in Atlanta two year or so back. All this to say I do not know what will come of the songs I am working on, but I hope they help you—God forbid should you deal with anything similar. Yet, if there is one thing I have learned in my few years it is that nothing is as it should be.

Audiofeed 2018 Summary

I can see why I have heard so many people talk about Cornerstone to this day. Festivals have never really been something I have enjoyed. My preferences have always leaned more towards smaller venues and shows because they came across as more conducive of intimacy. However, after my first experience of Audiofeed, I can definitely say I plan to continue attending. I am super thankful for all of the people I met and talked with, and wish I could have spent more time talking to, and am grateful for the opportunity I had to play my music to a wider audience of people. If I spaced on trading contact information please do not hesitate to reach out.

Short Backstory

Two years ago July I flew out to California to stay with a friend and put together a demo music video for the first song I had ever written. Over the course of the next year I began writing and demoing out the first half of these songs with my good friend Allen in his bedroom. The latter half were unwittingly first demoed the day I was in studio last August. I hope these songs help you in some way shape or form. Please feel free to reach out to me through email or DM me on any social platform.