Saturday, August 15, 2009

Lifelong Learning

When medical students graduate they are doctors but they still must do 3 more years of Residency to practice, hone their skills and grow. They are doctors in title but in reality, doctors in training.

It's no different with Christians, especially those new to the faith. But, like doctors, our training isn't finished after 3 years. In fact, we should consider ourselves in training and growth every day for a lifetime, not just once a week for an hour or two.

Why go to church?
Isn't God everywhere?
Why go to school?
Aren't books everywhere?

People who aren't ready to commit spiritually always use the argument that they can pray "anywhere" and God is available "everywhere" so why bother with church. They say this to excuse not going to church and even though what they say is truth (ie God IS everywhere), this truth is distorted to suit their needs. What they aren't grasping is that "the church" is a living, thriving community of fellowship, not merely a place of 4 walls and a roof. It isn't the structure that helps you to dive deeper into faith, its the members, the growth groups, and the Pastor. These people are the tools who help us to connect with God's Word.

So, that argument is an incomplete pass.

Can you imagine if your child decided he didn't have to go school anymore because "information" is available everywhere, on the internet, in the library, and on tv." Would you say "ok" and let him educate his mind this way? I bet not.

But why? Isn't it true that information is everywhere? Yes, of course. But, how can we filter, digest and make any sense of it?


That's what the church offers too-- a teacher in the form of a Pastor to help us filter, digest and make sense of things when we can't; to help us stay on track, keep walking our walk and to stay in God's Word. the church also offers us mentors who are experienced Christians to help lead us in growth. And, then there's the members who volunteer their time, help, support and encouragement to one another.

How can you learn, encourage and grow by yourself? Think about it. Yes, God is everywhere. He is God! But God also wants us to have fellowship, pray together and be the church so we can spread the good news as instructed in the Great Commission.

Don't go it alone, thinking you don't need to belong to a church community. Reach out and pray with others every Sunday and other times. God will still hear you, really He will.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Decyfer Down Review

Decyfer Down
by Brielle Coronet (reprinted from my music review column in ChristineEzine July 2009 issue )

Last night I was totally engrossed in trying to build something in Second Life (not too well) and as I hyper-focused on the task at hand, I began humming absentmindedly to a song playing on the television.

After a few bars, I realized with a start that the song was, “Forever in You” by Decyfer Down! The kicker was that it was playing over a promo for a show on the Soap Network! (don’t ask) It was sort of a déjà vu moment for me. After all, this is almost exactly how I was introduced to The Afters a couple of years back. That time it was the theme song, “Beautiful Love” from the popular teen soap drama, 8th and Ocean.

This got me to wondering how many Christian bands are played on tv without much fanfare. More so, was it by chance or choice of the producers? When you consider how secular Hollywood is, it does raise an eyebrow. But, no matter what the reason, it’s refreshing that Christian music is getting airplay on tv.

Decyfer Down is classified as alternative metal, alternative rock and post-grunge. They’ve toured with the likes of Thousand Foot Krutch and Skillet. This summer in New York City, they will be sharing the stage at Rock the Sound with Red, Pillar and Remedy Drive and yours truly will be there rocking out with the best of them!

As of this date, Decyfer Down is the 20th most requested artist of 2009 according to Their last cd, “End of Grey” had no less than four singles reach the coveted #1 slot on the Christian rock charts. I predict “Crash” will have equal or more success. The song, “Fading” moved up the charts quickly and has already reached the top.

Don’t let this band’s genre labels scare you off. If you appreciate good vocals, strong driving rock (sans the metal core screaming), you’ll enjoy DD. “Crash” offers a nice balance of hard rock music and slower ballads. And, most importantly, all of us will identify with their soul searching:

I am made new,
I want to live like every breath matters.
I wanna love what you love,
I want to see what you see,
I want a heart that burns like a fire in me.
I want a light in my life,
I want my heart renewed,
Here I am…
Forever with you.

I can’t wait to see them August 1 at Rock the Sound! **
addendum 8/2/09
Saw DD last night and they rocked the roof off the Manhattan Center's ballroom! They are truly hard, driving rock with octane energy---the perfect band for the Red/Pillar lineup!

A new life has begun! II Cor 5:17

A new life has begun! II Cor 5:17
God's GPS