Provoke&Inspire

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Sometimes God allows us to be close to sin so we don't forget where our story started.
I’m not implying His intentions are us jumping back in again.Quite to the contrary, He’s calling us to rise up and stand out like a beacon of beckoning hope.

Jesus’ well-known “two paths” analogy is one of his most famous and certainly one of his most haunting. Jesus’ message is simple: eternity is real, and we all have a choice to make. Either we will spend all of eternity with God or without Him.

Any band or artist concerned with souls will be carrying a spiritual burden. Any band or artist sharing Jesus and praying for conversion and transformation will be entering a spiritual battle. The fight is real. If you’re in this more for your art or “making it” as a band, then you don’t need to worry about that. You might get naturally tired, but it’s nothing like the spiritual burden and battle you enter when you step into enemy territory to proclaim the good news.

Current culture prizes earthly success far above the Christian’s call to appreciate life abundant in the now, much less treasure eternal later. Looking around; it’s hard to blame modern-day culture for not recognizing our future glory crowns. They’ve doubtfully seen evidence to convince them that we value heavenly inheritance over all the sweet distractions of a fallen world.

We live in a narcissistic age. An age of extreme selfishness. Because of this, God is often presented as someone who exists to meet our needs. We are told, that Jesus came to satisfy my desires.

This month I had the privilege to travel to LA/Orange County and the UK/Wales. Neither place has hardly a thing in common other than several friends and opportunities I don’t deserve, including stepping foot into (and back out of again) prison courtyards and sharing my story with new brothers and sisters in gorgeous, sheep-filled hills of mid-Wales.

Every summer for the past decade, I have gone on tour with No Longer Music. This has become so embedded into my routine; it’s hard to imagine life any other way. I believe this is what God has put me on earth to do.

Still, even a call from God can be corrupted.

The first time we played in Beirut, Lebanon, hundreds of people gathered to hear the concert. The crowd was very attentive, and I could feel the power of the Holy Spirit during our show. 
After the concert, I told them that only Jesus rose from the dead and because of that it is possible for us to know God.  Suddenly fistfights broke out in the crowd between those who wanted to attack us and those who liked what I was saying and wanted to defend us.

Some years ago we toured Eastern Turkey. It was one of the hardest tours I’ve ever been on. In the van on the way the organiser told us about radical Islamists in the area beating women for wearing the wrong clothes. I wondered how our show might go down there. We arrived in one town to play an outdoor concert and found a hole in the ground in the place where the stage was supposed to be.

Takehold Records, the record label I was running (circa 1998 - 2001) single-handedly with ZERO music or business experience, was in serious financial trouble. Though I later saw success in signing Takehold acts like Underoath - it was God’s divine mercy and intervention when Tooth and Nail Records out of Seattle agreed to acquire the failing company and pull me out of a desperate situation.

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