Month: July 2012

Without God

A few nights ago, as I lay in bed thinking, it occurred to me how hopeless it would be to live in a universe without God.  I began to think of the consequences of such a place and here are a few of my random thoughts….

Without God there would be no purpose, no reason we are here.  Blind chance would rule and I would have no idea why I’m here, my purpose, my reason for life.  

Without God there is no reason,  no rationality.  If all of this is an accident then reason and rationality are also just ideas that accidental creatures have invented and they too are irrational.

Without God there is no “why”.  Why am I here?  Why do things happen the way they do?  Why do I love?  Why do I hurt so badly when I lose someone?  Without God “why” is irrelevant and irrational.

Without God there is no hope.  If there is no God there is nothing to live for, nothing beyond this life, nothing to give us direction, purpose, reason, value, definition.

Without God we are alone.  We then are just random chance accidents in a cold empty universe.  Alone with years of despair and meaningless existence and then we die.  No purpose, completely accidental creatures in a universe that has no meaning.

If God didn’t exist then all of this is meaningless and my words are worthless.

While there is a good chance that my words are worthless due to the fact that I struggle to adequately convey my thoughts, but it doesn’t change the fact that I completely believe and know there is a God who gives us reason, meaning, purpose, hope and never leaves us alone.

God without man is still GOD but Man without God is NOTHING.

Cheer Up – (Official Video) and The Story of The Undeserving

The Story of The UNDESERVING

The Undeserving… is a four-piece rock, alternative, acoustic band from Fremont, OH.   Brothers Clay and Kyle Kirchenbauer grew up around music and were encouraged to play from a young age.   While participating in a music class at his local community college, Clay met guitarist Brennan Willis who was pursuing a career in production at the time.  Through a series of events, Brennan and Clay came to the conclusion that they wanted to create music together and recruited Clay’s brother Kyle to play drums and their friend Jimmie Getty to play bass. They began writing songs and playing local gigs but wanted to reach beyond their Northwestern Ohio roots.

Since that formation in 2005, The Undeserving’s music has indeed taken them far beyond the boundaries of their quaint NW Ohio town of Fremont, Ohio.  After a lot of hard work, labels caught wind of The Undeserving and began vying to sign them. Ultimately, Kevin Law, the force behind mulit-platinum artist Nelly, caught the band’s eye. They signed with Warner Bros. Records.

Ready to get things going, The Undeserving returned to Nashville to record and fine tune their record.   The band joined Secondhand Serenade and Safetysuit on part of their American tour.   Upon completing their project, Warner Bro’s Records went to work on promoting the band by placing their music in popular TV shows.

In 2010, The Undeserving released their first single... “Something to Hope For”.

The small town band experienced huge success in the media with their hit single “Something to Hope For.” The song has been heard across television sets: on the ad campaign for Season 9 of American Idol and throughout Season 10, So You Think You Can Dance, The Biggest Loser, I Used to be Fat  Celebrity Rehab and the CNN Red Cross special for the Haiti Relief Effort.  In addition, their single “There For You” was featured in a month-long campaign for CBS’ Blue Bloods, Disappeared  and the season finale of Ghost Whisperer.  It also has over 1 million plays on their MY SPACE site.   (Click Here)

“Something To Hope For” and “There For You” are featured on The Undeserving’s debut album, “Almost Alive”, which released on September 6th, 2011.  The album was mixed by Grammy Award winning  Michael Brauer (previous clientele include: Coldplay,  The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, John Mayer and The Fray).

In the Spring of 2012, Brennan Willis left the band to focus on producing and recording new artists.   A long time friend of the band, Matt Grabowski was brought on as his replacement.

The band is currently putting finishing touches on a new EP, which will be released before the end of 2012.   All of their music is available on ITUNES.

The Long and Winding Road

Have you ever noticed that beautiful pictures often include a wandering road off into a beautiful unknown destination?  I see this often… a beautiful road stretching off into a wonderful world in the distance.  The picture is all lit up and you can see for miles and miles ahead.  Looking towards a distant home.  I think it’s part of our  make up to look ahead to a future world full of blue skies and green grass.   We look for and want a wonderful destination ahead, a promise land of beauty, calm, peace and wonder.

I know those pictures of beauty ahead captivate me, I’m sure they do the same for you.   I’m drawn to a journey through this  life with a beautiful and happy ending.  As a voyager on a life journey, I long for a wonderful destination, I want a beautiful land to call home ahead.  I hope and long for a beautiful destination when my journey on this earth is done.

That’s the promise of the Bible, the destination ahead for those that know Christ as their personal Savior will be glorious and worth the twisted journey it takes to get there.  The sad truth is that many believer’s have become discouraged, depressed by the world they see.  They lose focus and stray from the road that God has placed them on.  The journey of life that they are on is not as pretty as the artist paints it on canvas.  This beautiful destination becomes distant because the road they are on is hard.  Not only is it winding, it sometimes is dark.  Sometimes so dark they really have to trust God for their very next step because they are not sure where God is leading them. 

I have been through those dark times and I am sure that dark times may again be on my horizon.  God has never promised that our journey would be easy or without trouble.  The journey is supposed to be difficult and with challenges, that is what builds our faith and our confidence in God.

All of us are going somewhere. We are on a twisted, difficult road to a wonderful destination…..if we have trusted Christ as Savior, if we have taken that step of faith your destination is promised to be worth the twisted roads it takes to get there.

The Bible tells us of such a destination.  Some may call us dreamers and foolish, but we all dream of that place whether we admit it or not.  It’s a destination that God has promised and has impressed in each of our hearts and in each of our lives.

I long for and look forward to reaching my destination one day.

How about you?

What road are you on?  And where will your long and winding road lead you?

A Vision Blurred

One of the aspects of growing older is the fact that my once “perfect vision” isn’t so much perfect anymore.  Seems like there isn’t much I can do without wearing glasses to clear up the blur that I see.  It seems like it happened overnight but I know the truth… I have been in denial for some time now.   At first, I struggled to focus on signs when I was driving  at night and then it progressed to squinting when watching TV from the couch.  I put it off for as long as I could but I finally had to accept and embrace the fact that I could no longer function without my glasses.  

When people see me at work and I have my glasses on they are surprised.  I don’t wear or need my glasses at work.  I have no problem seeing up close and as I sit in my office and work on the computer all day I have no issues with being able to see.  Move something away from me for more than a few feet and it starts to blur and I struggle to see it clearly.  It is a common problem for many people… obviously it is called being “near-sighted”.  Things up close are clear and in focus but anything far away is blurry and out of focus.

When I think about this I am reminded that in many ways I have been near-sighted for much of my life… but it did not involve my need for glasses.  For a portion of my life I was only able to focus on “here” and “now”.   Any decisions I made and desires I wanted were a result of my near-sighted focus on my own life.   I had very little concern for the big picture and even less about how God fit into the plan for my life.

I have come to the conclusion that we are all near-sighted.   We all live with a blurred vision.  A blurred vision of what we need to focus on… a blurred vision of those who are lost and do not have a relationship Jesus Christ.  In a spiritual sense we all need glasses to see these things  clearly.  These “spiritual glasses” are evident when our vision is filtered through the truth and wisdom of God’s Word.  This is the correction we need for our near-sighted, self-centered vision.  God’s Word is meant to give us a clearer vision about the things of life, reality, relationships and the future.  God’s Word is the only answer for the hard questions of life that face us.  Only His Word can balance out our vision and stop the near-sighted focus we struggle with in our life.

I think we all have a desire to see clearly why God allowed this or that to happen.  Why did God take a loved one so young?  Why did God allow you to go through a painful divorce or serious health issue?   We want answers to those things we can’t see clearly or understand.  The sad truth is that some of these vision problems and some of the answers will not be resolved until at last when we see the Lord face to face.  We will not know the reasons for some of our questions until we reach the gates of Heaven.  In the meantime,  we have to use these “spiritual glasses”.  We have to have help to see the big picture a little clearer.  We may not see the whole picture but it allows us to see the path that God wants for us to follow and in the end, He will answer all questions and will make everything right.

“We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright!  We’ll see Him face to face and see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!”

These words are paraphrased from Paul’s pen in 1 Corinthians 13.  He’s writing to describe our vision problem.  The things of God and the truths about our world can be fuzzy at best.   Paul could understand that we all see poorly when it comes to the things of God.  The reality of what is going on around us is sometime so blurry that we fall into the trap of having our focus be near-sighted.

The sad truth is that many continue to deny they need any help with seeing God’s plan for their life.  They go through life in denial of  needing a relationship with Jesus Christ.  They would rather go through this life bumping and running into the obstacles of life.   Instead of trusting a loving God, they choose to blame Him for the trials and difficult times in this life.  God makes it very clear that life on this earth will be hard.  He never promises us an easy time.  What He does do is promise us that He is walking with us and in times of extreme trial He carries us.

What’s sad to me is that so many Christians  live their life struggling with near-sightedness.  That does not need to happen.   Jesus once healed a man of blindness who said, “I see men, but they look like trees.”  Jesus once more touched him until he could see clearly.   He now could see what God wanted him to see.  God has a vision for you.  He wants you to follow and clearly see  the path that He has laid out for you.  Yes, it will be filled with stumbling-blocks and stepping-stones and it will be spotted with hard times along with good times.  In the end, when we see Jesus face to face we will be able to see God’s plan and hopefully, a legacy of honor and footprints of faithfulness in the life we lived.

The question for you today is, “Is your vision blurry?”

The Reality of Fantasy

I was reading an article from FOX News this past week declaring that 1/3 of Americans believe in UFO’s.  

The article clarified that their survey finds that 80 million Americans, or 36 percent of the population, believe UFOs are real.  One in 10 respondents say they have personally witnessed an alien spaceship. And if aliens were to invade the country sometime in the next four years, 65 percent of survey respondents said President Obama would be better suited for handling the invasion than Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.  Give it up for Obama… he finally is leading in a poll (a joke people).

It fascinates me because there is no evidence of life on other planets.  For the most part, there have only been documented reports of UFO sightings since 1947.  Just about the same time that the movies started to portray them on the big screen. What? We have recorded history that is documented to go back, depending on who you believe, let’s just say thousands of years and not one documented story or report of a UFO until 1947? 

We have created this amazing myth, supported it with these fantastic movies and over time have convinced a gullible culture that UFO’s exist.  I’m sorry, but there is not a single shred of credible evidence that life on other planets exists.

Now before I proceed,  I have to be honest and admit that I have on two occasions have seen something in the sky that I could not explain.  I have never told anyone outside my family this before…but once when I was leaving the school (years ago) I saw a light in the sky so bright that it startled me.  I got in my car and started to drive towards where I thought the light was coming from.  As I pulled up to the field that looked like the light was over, I saw that three other cars had stopped along the side of the road to watch this same light.  I got out of my car and started to talk to the others that had gathered around and within a few seconds the light was gone.  Simply disappeared.

The other incident that I experienced was on September 22, 2004.  I was golfing with some friends that afternoon.  As we played our round of golf, I noticed that there were an unusual number of contrails in the sky.  It was odd-looking at all of the lines crisscrossing the sky.  As I looked up at them in amazement, I saw (yes…I had my glasses on) what was best described as a rotating cylinder with very small wings… closely followed by two jets flying just behind this object.  It appeared to me as slowly moving across the sky in formation with the jets.  I thought that I was just seeing things and that the glare of the sun was blocking the rest of the plane.  I watched it slowly cross the sky and move out of the area.  I finished my round of golf and did not really give it a second thought.

When I got into my car to head home, I turned on my radio to WTAM and this is a portion of what I heard on the radio…

Now before I go on further… I do not believe that I saw a UFO on either of those occasions.    I am convinced that our government has different types of aircraft that we have no knowledge of.  True… I cannot give an explanation for what I saw but I am sure there is one.

What concerns me more than what I witnessed is the contrast to this story.   Many in this UFO culture and others are convinced that God does not exist.  The belief it takes to convince themselves that aliens and UFO’s exist is based upon evidence that has never been documented with any real credible evidence.  Again it only dates back to the 1940’s.

Throughout all of recorded history, God is central to almost all documented written evidence.  From the earliest discovered written documents there are references to a belief in the existence of  a Holy God.

Yet God’s existence is so quickly doubted in today’s society.

All around us is a growing ground swell of people who declare they are atheists.

The contrast couldn’t me more dramatic.  We have come to a time of cultural insanity.  We believe what has no evidence and deny what does.  It’s clear that this is what happens to any culture that turns its back on God.  Soon the fantasy becomes reality and the reality becomes myth.  

Welcome to the reality of fantasy. 

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