Archive for the 'Music' Category


Live more.

Tonight I went to a worship service held in our amphitheater here at school. It was pretty small, about 10-15 people. To be honest at first I didn’t see anyone and thought that maybe I’d misheard.  I went because it wasn’t put on by any specific organization, just students and I’ve been really praying for some Christian campus unity. And also because my favorite style of worship is just voices and guitar(s) without much hoopla. We began singing some songs and it was a little uncomfortable at first. I didn’t know most of the people there or some of the songs. But eventually I got over that. Since this was the type of worship and unity I’ve been craving, I expected something emotional to happen or at least some chill bumps. After all, I was sitting there praising God along with other people passionately singing on a beautiful night with occasional heat lightning showcasing God’s majesty just in case we couldn’t already realize it. But I didn’t feel anything. I was tired. After class, work, physical therapy, homework, working out, and two meetings I didn’t have the energy to hardly focus. But I’ve learned over the years that my faith is not justified at all through feelings. That’s not really my point, but I had to say that to get to the really cool part of the night. I kept singing, knowing that even if I wasn’t super emotionally involved, I still truly meant the words that I was singing. And God more than deserves all my praise, even in the tired moments. I don’t remember what song it was during or if I even immediately recognized what was happening, but somewhere in there God whispered to me. I don’t mean audibly, but two words just consumed my thoughts all of the sudden and I knew that I didn’t have the brain-power to really form them. “Live more.” I kept repeating those two words in my mind. “Live more.” So many times we are asked what God is telling us to do. However, God was not telling me to “do” more, but to live more. God knows that I do a whole lot, and one more thing would probably just distract me. I started thinking about what it really means to live more. And even just what it means to live. I started thinking about the phrase “to live a life for Christ.” I’ve used that phrase several times but I started thinking about how funny it was, as if there were any other way to live. Honestly, if you’ve ever experienced the life that Christ gives and then thought about your life beforehand it really seems like you were just dead. It was if God was telling me not to settle with how much Christ and how much life I wanted to live. He wasn’t commanding me to make all these sacrifices and give up the things that make me who I am but just to live more. I’m not saying that makes things easy or simple but I have the choice to be more alive. There’s really no point in hitting a plateau. So I guess I’m writing this in case you need a whisper (or a kick in the pants). Live more.


Dress Us Up

A couple days ago I was listening to John Mark Mcmillan’s new album The Medicine, and I heard this song called “Dress Us Up”. It’s a perfect depiction of God’s power and love. To listen to this song click here.

“Dress us up in Your righteousness

Bring us in with a ring and a kiss

When You walk into the room you know I can’t resist

Every bottle of perfume always endup on the floor in a mess

You make us sparkle and you make us shine

Like the stars You sing on Your chorus lines

Their space and time will harmonize

Where deep meets deep like the ocean meets the skies

The sun and the moon are coming out of their grave just for You

The dead man and the cynical too are coming out of their grave and it’s just for You

Cause the love of God is stronger

The love of God is stronger

The love of God is stronger

Than the power of death

Dress us up in the blood of His son

Who opened up His veins so that we could overcome

Hell and the grave and the power of His love

After three dark days He showed us how it’s done

And He still does

His love is stronger”


storm surge

“Even when the rain falls
Even when the flood starts rising
Even when the storm comes
I am washed by the water”
Washed by the Water by NEEDTOBREATHE

As a resident of New Orleans, there are a number of words that I am all too familiar with, yet I would rather they not be in my vocabulary at all.  Such words include projected path, tracking cone, northeast quadrant, storm surge, Gustav, Ike, evacuation, and contraflow.  The past few weeks saw an increased use of these words and yet another evacuation to the Carolinas.  I’ll admit that while I felt much more prepared for this evacuation (and I certainly packed more this time around), it was still the cause of much anxiety.  As I pulled out of campus and away from New Orleans on the day after the three year anniversary of Katrina, I couldn’t help but wonder when I would be back.  I told some people during my evacuation, that the emotional drain was much worse this time around.  We all knew what the worst-case scenario could be, we knew exactly what could go wrong, and we knew just how bad the destruction and damage could be.  I claim Matt. 6:27 as my life verse, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” but I was definitely worrying as I drove away from the city I’ve come to love called NOLA.

For those of you who know me, you are probably not surprised by the lyrics that I’ve posted above.  NEEDTOBREATHE is my favorite band, and their song “Washed by the Water” has been ministering to me since I first heard it back in 2006.  I had coincidently downloaded it as my ringtone about a week before I evacuated for Gustav, so every time someone called me during my 10 hour trek, I was reminded of the chorus.  God also brought to my mind the verses that brought me strength and comfort following Katrina, Phil. 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  So, as I sat there and compulsively watched CNN, Fox News, and The Weather Channel, I had a sense of peace.  No matter what happened, (fortunately the damage was nowhere near as bad as expected) God was going to be with me.

Even as the rain fell, even as the water in the canals started rising, even as the storm came, God reminded me that because my identity is found in Him through Christ, that He would give me the strength to sustain me.  I still struggle with applying the peace of God in all areas of my life.  I still haven’t fully unpacked from my evacuation, partly because I’ve been scared that I would just have to pack all over again.  But I’m beginning to recognize that I can’t live my life in a state of constant fear and worry.  Instead, I need to trust that God will bring me through the tough situations I encounter.  That is what He has promised in His word and His promises are always true.  With that in mind, I’ve got a few things to unload from my car this weekend, and an apartment to rearrange back to normal and out of “evacuation mode.”  Evacuation is never meant to be permanent, and none of us can survive if we are constantly in that mode.


Finally Free

A few nights ago, I attended a Jimmy Needham concert in Lexington, SC. I was so encouraged by the passion and genuine spirit of this man in his wholehearted pursuit of God. When he uttered the following monologue, tears came to my eyes because it was exactly what I have been going through lately in my own life. This monologue, “Not Without Love (Benediction)” can be found on his newest album, “Not Without Love.”

Continue reading ‘Finally Free’


Top Ten Tuesday: iPod Commercials

Since Apple is rolling out a new batch of iPods today, we figured that we would look back at the top ten commercials featuring the ubiquitous MP3 player. Now, how do you rank a bunch of commercials that feature pretty much the same concept (though a few on our list break out of the typical silhouette people dancing mode)? It all comes down to a catchy song. Side note: this is not an endorsement of any of these artists. Without further ado, here’s your top ten for this Tuesday.

Continue reading ‘Top Ten Tuesday: iPod Commercials’


Shootin’ Again


Hey Ma

The Amalgam is a collective of various writers, photographers, artists, and random people in general. This weblog is a collection of their thoughts on faith, life, the arts, sports, and basically anything else. The views of the writers in the Amalgam do not necessarily represent the views of Concoxions Creative Ministries. But where we disagree with them, we still love them.