Midweek Music 10.28.15

“Breathe” | The Brilliance

I sigh a lot. I find it is the quickest and easiest way to deal with stress. Not that I lead an overly stressful life but while working in ministry brings its many rewards, it certainly brings its fair share of stress and frustration.

Sometimes I’ll be working around other people, none of us talking, just working. I’ll be working on worship planning or scheduling or designing or formatting or any of the other things that serve me a large dose of fulfillment with a side of frustration and I’ll take a deep, audible breath in, hold if for just a second or two and then audibly exhale out my stress. Sometimes in those moments where I am holding the breath, without actually uttering a word, I’ll think to myself, “Lord, restore me”.

I heard this song for the first time earlier this year. This song is the perfect representation of those little 5 second “sigh-moments” I have throughout the day. In those 5 seconds, I take all the built up stress and frustration, I inhale as much as I can, I dwell on God and His renewal, and exhale my problems. It’s my 5 second interaction with God asking Him to breathe life on me again.

I’ve gotten to where those moments don’t just happen, I need them. I depend on them. I would probably, in complete honesty, quit ministry without them. And it’s good that I have this dependency on those moments because in those moments, I abandon myself and re-learn just how in need of God’s renewal I am. I need God’s breath, God’s love, God’s life, God’s spirit to take over where I am unable. If I sigh around you, it’s okay. I’m not sad or upset, I’m just having a moment and lesson that I think all of us need every now and again.

Oh, Spirit of God
Here with us now, giving us life again
Breathe, breathe on us now
Fill us with Your love
Send us with Your power
Spirit of God

I’ve created a playlist on Spotify featuring all the songs from Midweek Music, feel free to follow it along with the posts.


Midweek Music 09.23.15

“Greater” | MercyMe

There’s a lot wrong with this world. Like everything. See, I’m a bit of what John Piper terms a “Christian Hedonist”. I really do believe that there is no good in this world except that which Christ brings into it. I believe that my base desire is not to do good of my own nature but to serve Christ and glorify Him thereby giving me the most satisfaction and joy in life.

Because of this, I don’t have to be defined by who or what I am. I am defined by my relationship with Christ and what he makes me in spite of my own failings. I’m going to fail at things. I’m going to be disappointed and I’m going to disappoint. I’m going to shame and be shamed. I’m going to experience and cause pain. You are too. It’s our nature.

We are broken humans. I’m thankful for a God who is greater than me. I’m thankful for a God who, through redeeming love, grace, and mercy; makes me greater than that of which I am capable by myself.



I’ve created a playlist on Spotify featuring all the songs from Midweek Music, feel free to follow it along with the posts.

(Insert Name Here)

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”

Ernest Hemingway

I’ve never been exceptionally talented at any one thing. I have attained many average or “slightly above average” skills. Because of this average “jack-of-all-trades” life that I’ve led, I have oftentimes found myself in an almost constant state of comparing myself to others.  I was a decent baseball player but not on the same athletic level as my older brother. I was a pretty good public speaker but didn’t size up to my youth pastor’s ability to draw in his audiences. I am a good musician but can’t even begin to list the countless people I’ve met who are far more talented and hard-working than myself.

I admired these people for what they were able to do and what they were able to accomplish in their field of expertise. I admired them and I compared myself to them. I compared myself to them and I put myself down in my own mind for my inability to live up to them. In turn, I would find people less talented or less intelligent than myself and feed my own ego off their “inferiority”. I would tell myself that I might not be as good as (insert name here) but at least I’m better than (insert name here). I caught myself in this trap of feeling insufficient through comparison while also needing to gain self satisfaction through further comparison.

We live in a world of constant comparison. Competition is not only encouraged, it’s expected. Survival of the fittest is ingrained at an early age. Work harder, move faster, study more…be better. The error is when we step back and realize whom we are supposed to be better than. We’re told to be competitive with those around us which is not totally wrong, healthy competition is good, but are we really improving our lives by holding our heads higher from having defeated someone else? Isn’t true improvement, the truest “betterment” in character attained when we can look in the mirror and say, “Today, I am better than I was yesterday.”

I’m a remarkably competitive person and I won’t lie and say I have this completely figured out. Comparison and competitiveness is something with which I struggle on a daily basis. I have, however, come to a point in my life where most days, I can shut out the rest of the world, stop worrying about others achievements, look in the mirror, and know how I size up to the man I was the day before. Some days the man I see is better and some days, that man falls short. On the days where I have fallen short, I pick myself up and find ways to be better the next day. On the days where the man I see is better, I find ways to be even better the next. On this day and every day after, don’t concern yourself with being better than (insert name here). Concern yourself with simply being better than (insert your name here).

Happy Thanksgiving

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

I Thessalonians 5:18


Being thankful is not always easy. It’s something I try to practice on a daily basis as I pray and think on the blessings I’ve received but not something I always accomplish. Of course, there is usually an emphasis on it around this time of year as Thanksgiving approaches. However, it seems this year there is more emphasis on what is wrong with the world. There has been a harsh focus for the past week on political and social differences with little focus on what is good and right with the world. I wanted to share with you some things for which I am thankful. I hope it encourages you to spend some time considering all you’ve been given.

Christ, Mom, Dad, Denise, Tori, Griff, Brittany, Addison, Logan, Jordyn, Korban, Lawson, Becca, Bradley, Maria, Goggy, Grandad, Kay, Scott, Ashlyn, Natalie, Lauren, Nathan, Clark, Jeff, CUMC, Matt, Zach, Pat, Joan, Berk, Michael, LPYC, Jim, Amy, Sarah, FUMC-Trussville Youth, Bluff Park UMC, ministry opportunities given to me, mercy, grace, the cross, music, and Advent Conspiracy.

This is just a small list of things currently on my mind but there are so many other people and things that I could share with you. I have lived a blessed life, even when I maybe wasn’t able to see it or realize it.

I hope you and your family have a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving Day.

Music Monday 11.24.14

“Thankful” by Josh Groban

I had been having a pretty rough day last week when I heard this song for the first time. It has actually been on a playlist that I listen to often and I had either not noticed it before or it simply hadn’t played before that time. I was stressed, I was upset, and I was complaining to myself about a person that had really aggravated me earlier in the day. I was going through my day in a less-than-great mood blinded to everything around me. As I stewed, this song came on Spotify. I didn’t immediately notice it really, I was too concerned with myself (the irony found in the first three lines of the song). I was dwelling on how that person had upset me when the song finally grabbed my attention with “Each of us can find each other’s light”. I started the song over and listened to it a couple times. I googled the lyrics and listened again.

Even as we approach Thanksgiving this Thursday, it’s easy for each of us to get caught up in day-to-day stress and forget all the things for which we should be thankful. I know because I’m guilty of it and I see others do the same. This song was a refreshing reminder of how important it is for us to focus on the positive of what we have been given…even those people who may aggravate us at times. Every person brings something to the table and enhances this thing we call life, and it’s up to us to “find each other’s light” as we all “find our truth”.


I’ve created a playlist on Spotify featuring all the songs from Music Monday, feel free to follow it along with the posts.