Never Stop Dreaming

Never stop dreaming

“What is this proverb you have: ‘The days go by and every vision comes to nothing’?
Say to them: ‘I am going to put an end to this proverb and they will no longer quote it in Israel.’
Say to them: ‘The days are near when every vision will be fulfilled.'” (Ezekiel 12:22-25)

Never stop dreaming. Chase after God and he will honor your dreams that honor Him, in bigger ways you can imagine.

What dreams do you have that seem impossible? We have an all powerful God gave you dreams to begin with, could it be that God wants to make your dream happen and just needs you to believe in it as he does?

Don’t settle for something less than God’s best for you.

“More Than You Could Know”

Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

Let’s rethink love. This is what I said to myself when I wanted to write the album “Kings.” Like most people, all throughout my life I have been looking for proof that there is love.  As I got older I have come to understand that there is love everywhere I look. There is love in the sunrise and the sunset.  There is love in new beginnings and there’s love in the end. There is even love in what we think is absence of love.  I see God‘s creation, and that is love.  All I ever need to do in order to see love is look around me.  A great amount of love has been spent on every soul that has walked by me today.  Each and every person — molded by God to be uniquely beautiful, and it is sad that we are too blinded by the world’s standards to see it.  We look in the mirror, yet we don’t see exceptional beauty.  We walk around and instead of God’s creation we see things like shapes and sizes… not souls.  The truth is we are good enough for God.

In the song “More Than You Could Know” I am trying to restore some of that truth.  We are worthy of love, and we are beautiful.  Writing this song was an eye opener for me.  I had to really think about what love is to me, and what does it mean to be loved by God.  I thought about my life, the people in it, and the blessings I have received. I know I am not worthy of it, but somehow God has given them all to me… He tells me that I am worthy.  So, what can I do? I cannot possibly do anything to repay or deserve these blessings.  All I can do is say “I am blessed. I am loved. I am restored, and God has made me good enough for this.”

God’s love has no boundaries, has no limits and no end. It is wider and deeper than the ocean, and it cannot be explained neither by angels, nor by saints. It is a great abundant love that forgives all failures and restores life itself.  And every day when I wake up, I try to take that in because it is all that I can do. I do not try to fight it, nor challenge it. I just look in the mirror, and say: “I am good enough.” then I stand up and spend my day living it.

A big help in understanding this truth are my parents. I have been watching my parents show love for each other in various ways, and this made me understand that love doesn’t always mean happiness or good times.  Sometimes it means sacrifices and investing in your loved one.  1 Corinthians 13:7-6 says “Love bears ALL things, believes ALL things, hopes ALL things, endures ALL things.  Love never fails.”

You do not have to be big and tall to be great.  You don’t have to do anything in order to deserve God’s love because there isn’t anything that will make you worthy of such love, but yet He declares us worthy; it is there and it is yours.  David, the smallest, the youngest and the most insignificant in his family has been chosen to be great. Maybe he wasn’t good enough for the world, but he sure was good enough for God.  So, on the days when I feel like I have failed and that I am not good enough, I look in the mirror and say “I am David.”

Something Less

“But when they said, ‘Give us a king to lead us,’ this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the LORD. And the LORD told him: ‘Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king.’” 1 Samuel 8:6-7

So many times we look at the world around us and say, “If only I had that thing, person, status, [fill in the blank] then my life would be better.”  Instead of relying on God to be our everything we try to replace Him with the things of the world so that we would look more like the world.

If I can be open and honest I would say that the thing I seek out is success, so much so that I have created for myself an irrational fear of failure.  I try so hard to make life work and avoid failing that I forget that God is already working in it all, even in my failures.  I force open doors to things I think would be good for me so that I don’t have to fail.  All the while, I forget so quickly that I probably learn more through having failures.  I don’t let myself fully fall into the arms of God and let him pick me back up.

So let’s have a trust fall.  What in my life am I trying to replace God with?  What am I trying to make happen for myself rather than looking to what God would have for me?  It may even be something that seems good, but God has set out a plan for each of us that is truly good.  He knows the course which is best for us, and here’s the crazy part – it doesn’t look like the world.  The plan that he has doesn’t always make sense in worldly standards, but it doesn’t need to look like the world because God is bigger than the world.

So what am I making happen for myself?  What doors have I forced open that God needs to close?  I don’t want to settle for “Something Less.”

Download the new album "Kings" on iTunes

Download the new album “Kings” on iTunes

Something Less

Crowns, golden jewels, a golden rule
All things pretty.
Time will rust away and make decay
Of this city.

How did we become disarmed by the world’s charm?
I must confess we’ve settled for something less
Why’d we blur the lines, defined by the world’s eyes?
And failed to see that he is everything we need

Kings, empty oaths, prideful boasts,
So deceiving.
Fools, let it go. Don’t you know
The night is thieving?

How did we become disarmed by the world’s charm?
I must confess we’ve settled for something less
Why’d we blur the lines, defined by the world’s eyes?
And failed to see that he is everything we need

Take up all your treasure and toss it in the flames
All the sons and daughters, we’re the ones to blame

We’ve exchanged heaven

How did we become disarmed by the world’s charm?
I must confess we’ve settled for something less
Why’d we blur the lines, defined by the world’s eyes?
And failed to see that he is everything we need

Coopertheband - Kings

ringer t.

how can i describe the band ringer t to you?  folk-rock amazingness.

ringer t recently released their long overdue album, “sorry verses.”  it’s their second full length album, their first was “hello, goodbye.

Sorry Verses

"sorry verses"

“sorry verses” is chocked full of lyrics and melodies that will stay in your head for days, but they’ll make you smile each time you start humming one of their songs.  their influences range from paul simon, bob dylan, and wilco to tyler james.  it’s very much a folk pop album that will leave you wanting more satisfied yet wanting more, so you just hit repeat.

i’ve had the great pleasure of becoming best friends with the guitarist and producer for the band, kyle schonewill, over the past four years.  through him i was able to meet the rest of the band: grant geertsma (songwriter, acoustic, vocals), kris schonewill (bass), and justin dewaard (drums).  but i’ll let them introduce themselves to you because they word their bio so much more eloquently than i ever could:

“Ringer T is a collection of good friends and band mates from around the country. Ringer T’s members reside in Seattle, WA, Nashville, TN, Upland, IN, and Holland, MI.  The band’s influence comes purely from their shared life-long obsession with playing and listening to music.  Kyle is a multi-talented audio guru for “Studio 930” in Nashville, TN, as well as an absolute boss on the electric guitar. Justin brutalizes the drum set with hands made of flame and steel. Kris slaps the bass with a sense of groove that Michael Jackson could only hope to muster. Grant plays the acoustic and sings so sweet that even the most beautiful of birds feel unworthy to sing along. Ringer T is fully prepared to blow off your face with a mix of all those that have made music before us. Please enjoy.”

ringer t.

“Oh fair Dove, sing sweetly, soft to me”

Oh fair Dove, sing sweetly, soft to me
In part with the birds in the trees.
Let it ring through the midsummer day.
Let it sing into my sweet summer night.
Oh my Love, do not hide, don’t You delay,
That fair beauty found only in Your flight.
For no other could e’er sing such a Truth
The way this love resonates through You.
Oh sweet Dove, how Your song can’t be contained
By bounds of time or space, but rather remains
To serenade the hearts of the broken.
And to all, Your wings are spread open.

As the whole earth now sings in perfect harmony

So I join in a sing my praise to Thee.

a bold beauty.

david had been insulted.

for a long while, david had spent his time in the wilderness as he ran from saul.  he had waited for God to move and had attempted to present a Godly life.  while in the wilderness, he protected local farmers and herdsmen from robbers.  they even referred to david and his men as a “stone wall.” (1 sam. 25:16)

but when david asked the herdsman, nabal, for provisions to help feed his men – a sort of thank you for protecting him – nabal acted as if he had never even heard of david and went as far as comparing him to the very criminals david had been protecting nabal from.

david was outraged, and rightly so, but he lost all concern for honoring God and vowed to stop at nothing until nabal was dead.  it was then that nabal’s wife, abigail, a woman of great wisdom and beauty, stepped in.

she boldly and humbly knelt before God’s true anointed king.  she reminded david of when he killed goliath – that it was not his strength that defeated the giant, but rather God’s.

abigail essentially says, “your task, david, is not to exact vengeance; vengeance is God’s business, and you aren’t God.  you’re out here in the wilderness to find out what God is doing and who you are before God.  the wilderness isn’t an experiment station in which you test yourself and find out how strong and resilient you are.  it’s where you discover the strength of God and God’s faithful ways of working in and through your life.  nabal is a fool, but don’t you also become a fool.  one fool is enough in this story.”

it was abigail’s beauty, her “discretion,” that pulls david out of his rage.  It was her “double-edged beauty of character and countenance that recovered the beauty of the Lord for [david].  abigail on her knees put David on his knees.” (eugene peterson, “leap over a wall”)

i will end with a quote from eugene peterson:

there is nothing more common in the spiritual life than starting out right and then going wrong.  we start out with enthusiasm and promise, surging with energy and purity of heart.  and then somewhere along the line, we’re corrupted and spoiled.  st. paul coined the term shipwrecks to describe these episodes.  the remains of these shipwrecks are everywhere, to be seen in legislatures and courtrooms, athletic stadiums and concert halls, kitchens and bedrooms.

and most tragically, among Christians.  not one of us is exempt.  someone offends us, crosses us, doesn’t give us what we want.  our self-importance flares up and we’re off to do something about it – usually off to do something about it armed with righteous indignation.  wrapped up in ourselves, we’re angry because our self-defined identity is violated.  we’re off to avenge hurt feelings, a bruised self-image.  we’ll get even, get back at them, show them a thing or two.

and then we’re stopped by something beautiful – child, friend, stranger; cloud, song, fragrance: abigail.  we find ourselves presented with something quite other than what we’re feeling and doing.  and we suddenly realize that we are quite other than what we’re feeling and doing.  wrapped up in ourselves, we had forgotten entirely about God; we now see ourselves as wrapped up in the bundle of God, with nabal reduced to nothing more than a footnote to the text of our life.

The David Project: Creating the First YouTube Album

The David Project: Creating the First YouTube Album

My newest project, Kings, is an indie folk rock album that is telling the story of David through the combination of both music and video.

an unbreakable armor.

“Don’t worry about this Philistine,” David told Saul. “I’ll go fight him!”

“Don’t be ridiculous!” Saul replied. “There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.”

But David persisted. “I have been taking care of my father’s sheep and goats,” he said. “When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, I go after it with a club and rescue the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death.  I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God!  The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!”

Saul finally consented. “All right, go ahead,” he said. “And may the Lord be with you!”

Then Saul gave David his own armor—a bronze helmet and a coat of mail.  David put it on, strapped the sword over it, and took a step or two to see what it was like, for he had never worn such things before.

“I can’t go in these,” he protested to Saul. “I’m not used to them.” So David took them off again.  He picked up five smooth stones from a stream and put them into his shepherd’s bag. Then, armed only with his shepherd’s staff and sling, he started across the valley to fight the Philistine.

1 Samuel 17:32-40

armor is an essential thing to a soldier.  it is the armor that protects a soldier and keeps him alive during battle.  so it’s interesting that david refused the armor of a soldier.  he was going out to face a man that no one else in the entire nation would face, even with their armor and weapons.

no.  it wasn’t the armor of a soldier that david wore.  it was the armor of God.

david realized that it wasn’t the armor of men that he needed to achieve victory.  it was by faith, his shield and defense, that he was able to walk out onto the battlefield… a faith that he knew his God was bigger than even giants.

every day we face our own giants.   take on an unbreakable armor, the full armor of God, and be strong.  stand firm in faith, holding the Good News in your heart.

A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.  For we’re not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.  Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness.  For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.  In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.  Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Ephesians 6:10-17

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,138 other followers