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Over the course of the last 10 years my Christian life has been jam packed with activity, action, study, and reflection. I traveled in full time music ministry for 6 years. I spent 4 years studying heavily on many different topics, like cosmology, eschatology, theology, and science. And honestly, as a result… a lot has changed. I have changed. In many ways for the better. But, in other ways… maybe not. I couldn’t tell you.

All I know is that I will find out on that great day.

Recently however, I have felt a shift taking place. I have felt an urge come over me to slow my studies, to break away from the business of social media smart phones, and to simply live in the moment with God. To simply just breath it all in and exist.

It first came to me when considering the epic life of Moses. He did so much good for the kingdom of God leading the people to freedom, preforming signs and wonders, and being a leader. But, before that part of his life took place, he lived a different life. He spent 40 years in Midian as a meager shepherd. He had a regular job. He likely spent a lot of time in reflection rather than endless studies and worldly pursuit.

We read these events in Exodus 2 through 7.

This period of stillness struck me and has been with me for a while now. And as I step away from the hustle and bustle of smart phone addiction, the question comes to me “what to do with all of this extra free time”?

I could study more… and perhaps write a book on topics I am passionate about.

And while contemplating these things, a fellow believer unknowingly shares Ecclesiastes 12:12 with me.

The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth. The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd. And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh. Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.Ecclesiastes 12:10-14

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It feels good to know what God wants from me right now. And it’s so simple. No major projects. No rush to action. No heavy theological externalization. Right now, God wants me to simply be still and know… know that He is God.

I don’t know what the future holds. And to be honest, I am at peace with that. I have spent the last 10 years pushing myself in different directions non-stop. It’s time to just simply be still and know. I would hope that my time spent in Midian won’t be nearly as long as was the time for Moses. But, I know this… God is bringing me to this place that I might take something from it into a future that He has in store for me.

Moses had to learn to lead sheep before he could learn to lead people.

God is planning to show me something big. I can feel it.

And I will sit in Midian for as long as it takes. All of the studying we do. All of the events, promotion, success we strive for… it’s all vanity. It’s so much more simple than that. Just fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

 

To start of the New Year right, the first day of 2020 is seeing the release of a three song EP titled, From the Heart. This EP is available for free on all major platforms like Bancamp, iTunes, Spotify, Youtube, and more.

But, enough of that… Hope you enjoy the new release as much as I enjoyed creating it.

Like any release I do, this thing will be getting plastered all over town and the surrounding area at local music stores, coffee shops, and the like. With that, the promotion poster has already been created and printed. Obviously, it hasn’t gotten put up around town yet seeing as to how it’s 9-AM on the day of the release. But still, I’ve got them ready and putting them up will likely be on the agenda for this coming weekend.

This is how the poster turned out.

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As for the album artwork, credit for the cover photography goes to Lisa Fotios. Lisa was very generous for letting me use her photography for the album cover. Although I am personally no longer on Instagram, if you still use it you can see some of Lisa’s work over there by clicking here.

Thanks for listening. And here’s to hoping you have a wonderful New Year. Start the year of right. Go download this FREE EP!

Download Links

Bandcamp | iTunes | Spotify | Youtube

Other than doing a little bit of the ol’ grass roots promotion, I think the 2020 year will be a year of working on a full length indie rock, post-hardcore record. I look forward to the writing and recording sessions to come in 2020.

This post is a condensed explanation as to why I have decided to step out of the SDA church after less than two years of involvement in the historicist movement.

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First off, I am still a historicist Christian. No question. No hesitation. Including all that comes with it.

But… there comes a point when you have to follow Christ, even if it means walking away for your church. After less than two years as a historicist Christian (the only church near us that agrees with this eschatology being the SDA church), it was time to step away from the Seventh Day Adventists.

And here’s why.

This particular church in the historicist camp comes with a prophet. And truthfully, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. So, as I embarked on the quest of getting to know this church and this prophet I read countless books from Ellen G. White. Many of them I highly recommend. Her work definitely presents the reader with a true desire for repentance by challenging the reader to be more confrontational about their own personal daily sin.

But, the more I read, the more questions I had for the church. There were quite a few views that she held that I disagreed with (24 elders, Genesis 6, 144,000, sinless worlds… just to name a few). Views that the church itself still holds. And so, I did what any logical person would do.

I went to the church.

I’ve sat down at coffee shops with pastors of the denomination to confront some of the more controversial topics. I’ve sat in offices with deacons asking questions about church practices that don’t line up with the church’s own teachings. I’ve talked with members that were third and fourth generation members on similar topics as well.

And yet, I got the exact same answer from every member, pastors, deacons and longstanding attendees alike.

I don’t know. I haven’t read it. Let me see if I can find someone that knows.

The straw that broke the camel’s back for my decision to leave was a petty one in all honesty and had nothing to do with the aforementioned issues. We were participating in a children’s club for my son. This club held biweekly activities with occasional larger activates on a regional scale. The club meetings were canceled more often than they were held, and at the last minute. We had a regional meet up happening. And the day before we were supposed to leave for the trip I reached out asking for a few details. The reply was that it had been canceled, but they forgot to tell me. Go figure.

I’d had enough.

I can get past the lack of organization with the kid’s club. After all, it’s run by parents and things happen. I realize that this club was and is doing the best they can with the time and resources that it has. I do not fault them for my decision to leave. But, it did mount an emotional strain on top of the already mounting angst that existed.

The club was excusable.

But, in regard to faith, I had to take a stance. Peter explains it best when he said; “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear”.

I even had one member tell me they refuse to talk about such things when I asked them the simple question, “What do you think about Ellen G. White’s un-fallen worlds“.

I am at a point in my life where I am done playing church. I want answers. And in just two short years it became very apparent to me that none of the people I have met in the SDA community have an established reason for their faith. Not the pastors, not the deacons, nor the members.

This experience wasn’t just secluded to merely one body either, just to clarify.

I believe the historicist view. I think many, but not all, of Ellen G. White’s writings are worth reading.And I would recommend them to others. But, with reading comes questions. Questions you would hope the church can answer.

They couldn’t.

Random Book Recommendation of the Day

Well, I haven’t had a lot going on lately on the creativity front other than a little recording here and there with the new vocalist (which has been a lot of fun). With that said, I have mostly been getting a lot of stuff done around the new house like most adults tend to do.

So… here is a random book recommendation since instead of something related to music.

The Vision: The Final Quest | Rick Joyner

 

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It’s pretty brutal from the start. The visual display of what the real world spiritual battle is like, in my opinion, is pretty spot on. I will say though, that I don’t agree with every single thing that is in this book. For example, the state of the dead toward the end of the book. You will also notice that at the end of this book it is an actual vision and not just a book of fiction despite being presented as a book of fiction. With that, you have to take this book with a grain of salt by realizing that you can’t just take it all in at face value.

Either way, I felt like it was a really entertaining read and some of the visuals in my opinion are pretty accurate when we consider what is likely going on in the spirit as we fight through this life as Christians.

It was an entertaining read, but I wouldn’t build any doctrine off of it obviously.

That’s right… it’s official. The vocalist that I put the ad out for has been found. And in a random and yet surprisingly unexpected way. But first, let’s hash out how things went for the ad. I got probably a dozen responses, at least three or four of which were the same day that the flyer got posted. Of the people that reached out, all but one really understood what I was looking for.

Most everyone either skipped over the fact that I was looking for a screamer, not a “singer”. Or, they were looking to start a band… which is not at all what my ad even hinted at.

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I met with the one vocalist that understood. He was a really amazing dude. And, he was a perfect fit. A solid Christian. A lover of hardcore and deathcore. And… a jam-up screamer. However, in the process of preparing some tracks to send to him, Russell came along from left field (no Ad required).

So, here is the short and skinny version of how I met Russell and how he turned out to be the too good to be true, perfect fit for my current project.

When my wife and I moved in to our new home, as per usual, at least a few different neighbors are typically kind enough to step out and introduce themselves. The neighbor directly across the street from me turned out to be a married couple close to our age. They just so happened to be Christian as well, and even do home group bible study at their place on the regular.

Way cool.

While talking with the new neighbor about what my wife and I do, the studio project came up. And he said he had just the person I needed to meet. Turns out my neighbor had just the person to set me up with on a blind “seeking screamer” first date.

So, not only am I making friends with the new neighbors… but now I’m already making friends with the neighbors friends. And to top that there is a common thread of Christ and music in the mix.

Talk about random.

Russell is a cool dude. I can’t wait to start tracking with him (note: the pixilated grainy photo is of Russell is from a video he sent me displaying some of his mids and lows).