Tag Archives: Christian Rock Music

The Story So Far – Chapter 2 – A Venture Into The Unknown

CHAPTER 2 – A VENTURE INTO THE UNKNOWN

On 6th February 2011, our daughter had her dedication at Church, this time I made it there, we put on a show of being a family despite what was going on, we had family come back to our house afterwards, together with Victoria’s friends from Church, I knew some of them but not many.  In a strange twist of fate, all the family sat in the back room with Victoria, I got home and went straight into the front room to watch the football, it was all the people from Church that came into the front room and sat with me, I met so many people that day for the first time, but many of those that sat in my room would become pivotal to what was going to happen just over a year later, I don’t think anyone at that time knew the significance of the that afternoon in February 2011, yet when I look back I know now it wasn’t by chance or coincidence it happened that way, God moves in ways we can never comprehend.

The sad thing was that even though I really enjoyed everyone’s company that afternoon and I really liked everyone that I had met, I also couldn’t wait for them to go.  I knew I couldn’t start drinking in front of them and to be honest I had drunk everything I had the night before.  So I was beginning to get desperate for something to drink.  As soon as the last visitors had left, I made my way around the corner to the shop, it was gone 6pm now and it was invading my drinking time.  Even now I feel really embarrassed by that, these people stood by me a year later, they were there for me when I needed them, but back then I couldn’t wait to get rid of them, because I preferred a drink to their company.

At that point in my life the idea of Church was a big no, I wasn’t in anyway interested in being in a Church, if invited to a Wedding, unless it was close family, Victoria would go with the kids without me, I would go to the evening party, but Victoria would ultimately use the excuse of me being at karate, which in a way was true, but it was avoidable, I just hated in Churches.  At that point I had never been in a Church like Everyday Champions Church, church to me was a centuries old stone building, cold and uncomfortable, an old guy at the front speaking from a book I wasn’t interested and singing hymns that I just could bring myself to sing.  Was I a total non believer, I guess not really, I was fine with people having faith, I just wasn’t interested myself, I believed there was something more to this life, but I was nowhere near ready to accept a God or Jesus into my life.

But on that day in February 2011, I actually found I enjoyed the service at Church and even the music there, some of what they sang I already had on my iPod, but at that point I wasn’t interested.

The music though I was really interested in, I don’t really know why, but even before things began to unravel, I had actually become interested in Christian music.  In mid 2008 I began listening to bands like Casting Crowns, Third Day and Tenth Avenue North, I actually really liked the music and sang along to many of the songs.  Over the previous three years I had been listened to as much Christian music as I had to secular music, I didn’t know why back then, I just did.  I remember one day singing along at home to Daylight by Brave Saint Saturn, in particular the lyrics…

Jesus Christ, light of the world
You never did forget me
And when I bled in darkness
You held me, still held me

When desperate nights I cursed You
You loved me, still loved me
Jesus Christ, You dry the tears
You break my heart of stone

Your words are life cut marrow through
The darkness to the bone
A heart of flesh You gave me
Only You can save me

Savior
Daylight

Victoria challenged me as to why I was singing along to such lyrics when I wasn’t a believer, I remember just saying that I enjoyed the music, it was good music and I liked to listen to it, she couldn’t get it into her head as to why I could sing along, if I’m honest then neither can I, as a total none believer I was singing of Jesus, the light of my light, my hope and my saviour, why I don’t really know, but I was somehow in the middle of all this turmoil and this pain and anger, me the total none believer, the guy who didn’t want to know about God, faith, religion or Jesus, was openly singing about all these things.

I had even set my ringtone on my phone to the song “All Around Me” by Christian band Flyleaf, I loved the song, I just thought it was about relationships in general, just about loving someone, it would take a number of years to find that it was about feeling the presence and love of God all around us, how wrong I was, but once again I don’t  think it was by chance that a song like this was brought into my life, eventually music would become a medium in which God would speak to me, but a lot of things had to break until I released just how long this had been happening in my life.

Later in the year a friend of mine offered me a full time job, one of the sales assistants at the builders merchant that he was manager of was leaving and the job was mine if I wanted it.  I was interested in the job, but something inside of me was afraid of change.  When this all started and I was applying for jobs, yet getting no reply, I just stopped bothering, I began to wonder if I was good enough to do anything else, I was being rejected without even being told why, not even given the courtesy of being informed I wasn’t right for the job I was applying for.  I became more and more demoralised and as I mentioned earlier began to withdraw even more.  Now there was job I could take if I wanted it, it would solve so many problems, it was a no brainer really, yet I couldn’t say yes, I stalled for a number of weeks, until I saw that he had in the end advertised it, Victoria challenged me on it and I contacted Bill and said I was interested.  I went to meet him at work and I agreed to take the job, I had to wait a while until the other guy had left, but in late November I started working full time, a regular wage and regular work, it was going to solve so many of my problems, or so I thought.

In this crazy, mixed up mindset that I was living my life with, I thought everything was retrievable.  But I actually thought that it was just the financial situation that was driving the wedge, it was the money problem that was causing the distance between myself and Victoria, having a job and a regular wage would take things right back to where I was before and I could get things back on track with Victoria, that was my mindset, that was what I wanted, I so wanted to make things right with Victoria, but just couldn’t bring myself to sit down with her and have a conversation about where we were and what we could do about it.

Every time my mind wandered back to a time shortly after the birth of our first child, Ben would be about one year old and just a few days before Christmas we were unable to agree what to do on Christmas day, it was on the face of it a trivial disagreement, but we were in a bit of a rocky patch, we were getting a little distant, it would seem that having a child was changing our relationship, I became second to our son as Victoria became super mum and in the midst of that argument I heard those words for the first time….

“I love you, but I’m not in love with you!”

Those words destroyed me, they broke me then, on that occasion we resolved to try harder with our relationship and we got things back on track.  Now this time, I dreaded hearing those words again, I knew I would have to hear them again, I knew they would hurt once again, but I still thought that if we could do it back then, get things back on track again, find a way through it all, then we could do that again, why not?

But things weren’t going to plan, yes I was working full time, which was healthy, I was a better person when I had a purpose to get up for, something to put my mind to.  But the sad fact was that by working and having a regular wage, it meant that I had more money to spend and more money meant more alcohol.

DAYLIGHT by BRAVE SAINT SATURN
Did you hear the news today?
I’m not coming home, no
And I wished it all away
I felt so alone, yeah

And the darkness crept its way
Like stars that we all know will die too soon
There is never any sunrise here
In the shadows of eclipsing moons

Crawling on a tightrope
The bravest thing I have is hope

Daylight, save me
Daylight, save me
Tonight, oh, tonight

Halogen, the lights will flicker
Incandescent burning lies
And the silence stands for nothing
Desperate I search the skies

Aching for a spark
Trembling in pitchest dark

Daylight, save me
Daylight, save me
Tonight, oh, tonight

“U.S.S. Gloria, this is Mission Control, do you copy?”
Repeat, “U.S.S. Gloria, this is Mission Control, do you copy?”
“We have lost contact with the U.S.S. Gloria”
Repeat, “We have lost contact with the U.S.S. Gloria”

“Mission Control, this is the U.S.S. Gloria
Do you read me? Do you read me?
Mayday, mayday, we have lost primary guidance functions
Mayday”

The crew is now out of radio contact
Presently there is no way for us to know
Whether they are alive or dead
Our hopes and prayers go out with you all

“U.S.S. Gloria, this is Mission Control, do you copy?”
“Houston, this is the U.S.S. Gloria, good to hear your voice
We are coming out of the eclipse now
I see the sunlight, it’s beautiful
The sunlight is beautiful”

Jesus Christ, light of the world
You never did forget me
And when I bled in darkness
You held me, still held me

When desperate nights I cursed You
You loved me, still loved me
Jesus Christ, You dry the tears
You break my heart of stone

Your words are life cut marrow through
The darkness to the bone
A heart of flesh You gave me
Only You can save me

Savior
Daylight
I am coming home
Home, home, home, home

Crossing Roads Like A Child

As you know I rarely travel without my iPod and if I’m alone, I almost always have it on.  As I don’t drive, I get plenty of walking time to and from work, church, etc.  My playlist is compiled of mainly Christian music and a number of other songs that I find uplifting or inspiring, even if they are not by Christian artist or have a Christian theme.

So I’m not actually sure when I started doing this, but it’s something that I noticed myself doing a few weeks back.  That is, when I hear a song which provokes a strong feeling or message to me, I find myself walking with my left arm outstretched to my side and my hand firmly clenched.

As I say, I don’t actually know when I started doing it or even why, I just realised one morning that I was doing it and that it wasn’t actually the first time.  I knew it felt as though I was reaching out to hold the hand of the Lord, I knew that is what I was doing, I just didn’t really know why I was doing it.

Then yesterday I took my daughter into town to pick up a few things and meet a friend and his daughters for a coffee.  When my daughter was younger she would hold my hand all the time, when we were walking together, now she is eight she’s happy to walk alongside me, or should I say run alongside me, due to my habit of walking fast.  Yet I am content for her to cross the road without holding my hand, as long as I know she is by my side and it is safe to do so.

But yesterday, after crossing many roads within the town, we came to a slightly busier road, she was by my side and when it was clear I looked across to her and said okay let’s cross and we set off.

It was at that point that I felt her reach out with her left hand and tightly grasp my wrist as we crossed the road.

There was no danger, we had already crossed many roads, it was safe to cross, I wouldn’t cross with her if it wasn’t, if I felt she was worried I would have reached out myself and taken her hand.

I guess she reached out for security, to feel safe, though she had crossed many roads with me there, this time she needed the comfort of holding on to me, to make sure she made it across safely.

It was then that I realised she did exactly what I had been doing, reaching out for the security of the Father to get through when I felt insecure.

A few weeks ago I came off the anti-depressants, since then I have suffered from dizzy spells, although these are becoming less frequent, there are times where I guess I still need to feel that security, that I although I may have already crossed many roads, I still need to know that I can reach out and grab the hand of the Father to feel safe when crossing the busier roads.

It’s funny how we learn things, yesterday I learnt from the actions of a child, that even now I am still a child that needs the comfort of the Father.

WALK WITH ME by JESUS CULTURE
Author of the world walk with me
Ruler of the earth walk with me
Calmer of the storm walk with me
Healer of my heart walk with me

How I need You, how I need You
Oh Jesus, walk with me

Light for every step walk with me
Giver of each breath walk with me

How I need You, how I need You
Oh Jesus, walk with me

How I love You, how I love You
Oh Jesus, walk with me

In Your presence Lord, there is peace, there is rest
In Your presence Lord, there is light that never ends

In Your presence Lord, there is joy, there is joy
In Your presence Lord, there is light that never ends

Glorious Name by Brady Toops

All I can say is that I absolutely love this song, the more I listen to Brady’s album, the more it grows on me, it’s well worth a listen.

GLORIOUS NAME by BRADY TOOPS
You are the one true
God over all the earth
Our King and the Father’s love
Who became our sin 
To save and to overcome
By Your glorious name
By Your glorious name

For You are the Lord
The Lord God so merciful
You are the Lord
And You’re abounding in loving kindness
You are the Lord
Full of grace and full of truth
Oh You never change
Oh what a glorious name

You are the risen Son
High above the earth
Our Lord, the victorious One
Let the nations bring You praise
Let the nations come
To Your glorious name

For You are the Lord
The Lord God so merciful
You are the Lord
And You’re abounding in loving kindness
You are the Lord
Full of grace and full of truth
Oh You never change
Oh what a glorious name

There’s no one like You
Oh no one like You
So great and marvellous
We cry out
Show us Your glory
Only Your glory
You’re great and glorious

There’s no one like You
Oh no one like You
So great and marvellous
We cry out
Show us Your glory
Only Your glory
You’re great and glorious

For You are the Lord
The Lord God so merciful
You are the Lord
And You’re abounding in loving kindness
You are the Lord
Full of grace and full of truth
Oh You never change
Oh what a glorious name

A Journey In Four Songs

I’ve made no secret of how much music has been a part of my life and in particular part of my journey, from a trapped alcoholic to where I am now, messages through the music I listen to have been a vital part of the process.

When I walk I’ve often felt a song has played in answer to a thought or prayer that has been running through my mind at that point.  This morning was a little different, at first I felt one song had begun playing in answer to how I felt at that point, a little on the low side, it was Fall Apart by Josh Wilson, then followed by Becoming Who You Are by Mainstay, these two songs reminded me it’s okay to fail, it’s okay to struggle, God is there for us and as the song says “with every fall you’re just becoming who you are”.  I thought at that point that these two song were the answer to how I was feeling, then a third song played which added to the ongoing response to my feelings, this time Jars of Clay with Weapons, just a reminder that sometimes we don’t need to keep fighting, just let God go before us.  Then finally to complete the story was Our God Reigns by Jesus Culture.

So essentially it was as though I was feeling like I was falling apart, yet being told that’s okay, you can get through this and come out stronger, let God go before you and trust in him, all through four songs.

By the time I arrived at Church, I was once again feeling a completely different person and ready for a fantastic morning at Church once again.

FALL APART by JOSH WILSON
‘Cause my whole world is caving in
But I feel you now more than I did then
How can I come to the end of me
But somehow still have all I need?
God I want to know you more
Maybe this is how it starts
I find you when I fall apart

BECOME WHO YOU ARE by MAINSTAY
I keep on chasing the wrong things and coming up empty
This isn’t who I’m supposed to be
I keep on learning the hard way from every mistake
And I’m finding each time that you fall, you’re just becoming who you are

WEAPONS by JARS OF CLAY
Lay your weapons down
Lay your weapons down
There are no enemies in front of you

Hallelujah, we can finally see
How the bitterness was bruising on our skin
We didn’t notice that grace had run so thin
Till we’re falling apart and the cracks in our hearts let the truth sink in

OUR GOD REIGNS by JESUS CULTURE & MARTIN SMITH
Our God reigns
Our God reigns
Forever Your kingdom reigns
He reigns, He reigns
He reigns, He reigns
He reigns, He reigns

O For Grace by Brady Toops

I must admit I had never heard of Brady Toops until yesterday evening.  As you will know on YouTube you have suggestions down the right hand side of the page, when I was selecting a song to go with a post yesterday evening, I saw this song listed.

Normally I don’t bother clicking on any of these, I just select the video I want and then shut it down, but for some reason I clicked on this song.  I absolutely loved it the first time I heard it, it’s such a great song.  I downloaded the album version, but I think this version is so much better, it’s worth a listen.

O FOR GRACE by BRADY TOOPS
Oh for grace to lay down all my dreams in Him be found
O for faith to keep it true and never stop believing you

And when it’s strong or when it falls through
Oh lord to know my answer is you

And oh for love to trust some more to fix my eyes on heaven’s shore
And for hope with every step every word my every breath 

When it’s strong or when it falls through 
Oh lord to know my answer is you

For your light I lose my all, cause I’m not staying here, I’m moving on
So give me strength to hold on tight through stormy gales ‘til morning light

When it’s strong or when it falls through 
When it’s strong or when it falls through 
When it’s strong or when it falls through 
Oh lord to know my answer is you

Washed By The Water

Over the last few days I’ve written a few times about my fears and thoughts on the vision that I witnessed back in October.

There have been a few things this week that have helped to calm this fear, together with a number of other things this week that I’ve managed to get under control.

But this morning I had one of those moments which put my mind at complete rest. Once more it was in the form of a song that I’ve heard dozens of times, but this morning the song rang out with words which spoke to me in my current predicament.

Even when the rain falls
Even when the flood starts risin’
‘Cause even when the storm comes
I am washed by the water

There have been so many times I’ve been spoken to via my music, not just since I found God, but before also, but this morning this song did just what I needed it to do.

WASHED BY THE WATER by NEEDTOBREATHE
Daddy was a preacher
She was his wife
Just tryin’ to make the world a little better you know, shine a light

People started talking
Just to hear their own voice
Those people tried to accuse my father said he made the wrong choice

Though it might be painful
You know that time will always tell
Those people have long since gone
My father never failed

Even when the rain falls
Even when the flood starts risin’
‘Cause even when the storm comes
I am washed by the water
Even when the rain falls
Even when the flood starts risin’
Even when the storm comes
I am washed by the water

Even when the Earth crumbles under my feet
Even when the ones I love, turn around and crucify me
I won’t never ever let you down
I won’t fall
I won’t fall
I won’t fall as long as You’re around me

Even when the rain falls
Even when the flood starts risin’
‘Cause even when the storm comes
I am washed by the water
Even when the rain falls
Even when the flood starts risin’
Even when the storm comes
I am washed by the water

Even when the rain falls
Even when the flood starts risin’
‘Cause even when the storm comes
I am washed by the water
Even when the rain falls
Even when the flood starts risin’
Even when the storm comes
I am washed by the water

Verse of the Day – Psalm 46:10

Psalm 46:10

Psalm 46:10

Just when I was feeling that old fear were beginning to rise up once more, I found this verse and was reminded of this song, a song which has helped me in the past.

BE STILL by STORYSIDE:B
I remember all the times 
the good times and the bad 
(some good and some are bad) 
I’m still holding on to you 
some days I wanna run 
and times I come undone 
but I still belong to you 
thats how I know that 

when I feel like caving in 
my heart my soul is wearing thin 
I just want to give up 
nothing seems at all to add up 
can you hear me Lord? 
my face is down upon the floor 
its then you whisper in my ear 
be still and know I’m here 

I see a side of you my friend 
the same struggles that I have 
my heart goes out to you 
I know its hard to feel alone 
and this world’s so unforgiving 
I’ve been feeling that way too 
but I can tell you 

when I feel like caving in
my heart my soul is wearing thin 
I just want to give up 
nothing seems at all to add up 
can you hear me Lord? 
my face is down upon the floor 
its then you whisper in my ear 
be still and know I’m here

Is that you? 
Is this me 
It’s sometimes hard to believe that 
I am not alone 
its not just you 
and not just me 
we all need to believe that 
we are not alone 

my heart my soul is wearing thin 
I just want to give up 
nothing seems at all to add up 
I know you hear me Lord 
when my face is down upon the floor 
its then you whisper in my ear 
be still and know I’m here

(we are not alone)
be still and know I’m here

(we are not alone)
be still and know I’m here

(we are not alone)
be still and know I’m here

(we are not alone)
be still and know I’m here

(we are not alone)
be still and know I’m here

(we are not alone)
be still and know I’m here

(we are not alone)
be still and know I’m here