Archive for September, 2011

A fool is he who puts his trust in men or created things. Do not be ashamed to serve others for the love of Jesus Christ and to be reckoned as a poor man in this world.

Do not rely on yourself, but place your trust in God. Do whatever lies in your power and God will assist your good intentions. Trust neither in your own knowledge nor in the cleverness of any human being; rather, trust in God’s grace, for it is He who supports the humble and humbles the overconfident.

Glory neither in wealth, if you have any, nor in friends, if they are powerful, but boast in God, the giver of all good things, who desires, above all, to bestow Himself on you.

Do not boast about your good looks nor your body’s strength, which a slight illness can mar and disfigure. Do not take pride in your skills and talents lest you offend God, to whom you owe these very gifts and endowments.

3. Do not esteem yourself as someone better than others lest, perhaps, you be accounted for worse in the eyes of God, who knows what is in men’s hearts. Take no pride in your good accomplishments for God judges differently than men and it often happens that what is pleasing to men is actually displeasing to God.

If you see anything good in yourself, believe still better things of others and you will, then, preserve humility. It will do you no harm if you account yourself as worst of all; but it will very much harm you to think that you are better than everyone else. Peace dwells in a humble heart, while in the heart of the proud man there is envy and resentment.

The Imitation of Christ, Book I, Chapter 7

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I know I’m way behind on this but I’m only seeing it today. I’m getting this from Shaun Groves‘ blog as well as Butch Walker‘s.

Marc Martel, singer of Christian band Downhere, performs a pretty unbelievable vocal audition with Queen’s “Somebody to Love.” Are you kidding me with this?? I keep playing the video over and over and it sounds so much like Freddie it’s scary.


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Last week I had the great joy of seeing one of my favorite bands, The Weepies, play live for the first time. I’ve been a fan for years – since I randomly stumbled upon their first album on iTunes – and I believe this has been the first time they’ve been to Houston in at least four years.

The Weepies, comprised of husband and wife duo Steve Tannen & Deb Talan, were as delightful and charming as their music convinced me they’d be. They performed masterfully, backing each song with heart and sharing parts of their soul with the crowd. Since it was an acoustic tour, their normally instrumentally-varied tunes were stripped down to two acoustics, a bass and the occasional keyboard, harmonica and glockenspiel and yet the songs breathed fresh with the new arrangements. Could it get much better?

I’m trying to think of my favorite songs from the night. I really enjoyed the whole set. “Suicide Blonde” was never one of my favorite songs of theirs but their performance of it that night had me liking it again. “San Francisco” was definitely high on the list. So was “Can’t Go Back Now.” Really, the entire show was quite fantastic.

And this was the first time I’ve been to a seated concert at the House of Blues here. Buying tickets in advance got me seats in the second row which, like the front row, was fairly abandoned. Though there were still a few hundred people who came to the show I can’t imagine empty chairs being the most heart-warming sight from the stage. In any case, I loved my view.

Check out their albums, check them out live, just go check them out. If you’re into delightful, often-whimsical folk music, The Weepies will not disappoint. I certainly can’t wait to see them play again.

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Whenever you desire anything inordinately, you immediately find that you grow dissatisfied with yourself. Those who are proud and avaricious never arrive at contentment; it is the poor and the humble in spirit who live in great peace.

Anyone who is not totally dead to himself will soon find that he is tempted and overcome by piddling and frivolous things. Whoever is weak in spirit, given to the flesh, and inclined to sensual things can, but on with great difficulty, drag himself away from his earthly desires. Therefore, he is often gloomy and sad when he is trying to pull himself from them and easily gives in to anger should someone attempt to oppose him.

2. If he has given in to his inclinations and has yielded to his passions, he is then immediately afflicted with a guilty conscience. In no way do such yieldings help him to find the peace he seeks. It is by resisting our passions and not by being slaves to them that true peace of heart is to be found.

There is no peace, therefore, in the heart of the man who is given to the flesh, nor in the man who is attached to worldly things. Peace is found only in one who is fervent and spiritual.

The Imitation of Christ, Book I, Chapter 6

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In Holy Scripture we seek truth and not eloquence. All Sacred Scripture should be read in the spirit with which it was written.

We should search the Scriptures for what is to our profit, rather than for niceties of language. You should read the simple and devout books as eagerly as those that are lofty and profound. The authority of the author, whether he be of great or little learning, ought not to influence you, but let the love of pure truth draw you to read them. Do not inquire about who is the one saying this, but pay attention to what he is saying.

2. Men enter and pass out of this world, but the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. God speaks to all of us in a variety of ways and is no respecter of persons. Our curiosity proves a hindrance to us, for while reading the Scriptures we sometimes want to stop to debate and discuss, when we should simply read on.

If you wish to derive profit from your reading of Scripture, do it with humility, simplicity, and faith; at no time use it to gain a reputation for being one who is learned. Eagerly ask yourself questions and listen in silence to the words of the saints, and do not let the riddles of the ancients baffle you. They were written down for definite purpose.

The Imitation of Christ, Book I, Chapter 5

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We ought not to be too ready to believe every word or item of gossip, but we ought to weigh each carefully and unhurriedly before God. Alas! Our weakness is such that we are often more readily inclined to believe and speak ill of someone than that which Is good. But those who are perfect do not easily give credence to every tale they hear, for they know that human nature is prone to evil and that the human tongue can be treacherous.

2. It is a mark of great wisdom neither to be hasty in our actions nor stubbornly maintain our private opinions. It is also a part of wisdom neither to believe everything we hear, nor to pour it immediately into another’s ear.

Seek counsel from one who is wise and honest and ask instruction from one you esteem; do not follow your own devices. A good life makes us wise in the eyes of God and makes us knowledgable in many things. The more humble you are in heart and the more you submit yourself to God, the wiser will you be in everything, and greater peace will be yours.

The Imitation of Christ, Book I, Chapter 4

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Somebody Pinch Me!

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I’m usually with the band. But there are some moments these days when I get to pretend to be the audio engineer. I enjoy those moments when I’m the sound guy. I’m not very good but I like to think I’m learning. And seeing both sides of the stage, I have a lot of respect for these two aspects of a production.


Band, when the sound guy asks you to play quieter, he’s usually not intentionally being a jerk. He’s trying to make it sound good for everyone in the crowd, so trust his ears and the fact that he hears what you don’t while you’re standing behind the speakers.

However, band, it’s not cool to turn your guitar amps back louder once the sound check is over and the engineer isn’t watching. This only hurts the whole band’s sound and makes the sound guy’s job much harder. Stop doing that.


Audio engineers, the band is not trying to be annoying when they pester you for changes to their monitor mixes. We want to be able to hear what we want to hear so we can play as best as we can. Surely that’s reasonable.

However, sound guy, don’t walk up to my guitar amp, which is conveniently placed near me, and turn the volume down yourself. Like you did last night. You could have just asked me to turn it down and I would’ve obliged. Happily so! But your actions cause me to question your professionalism and qualifications. I think that’s fair. Besides, I’m not even bringing into consideration the persistent feedback that went unchecked throughout the service, the duct tape you used to label mics, and, well, you know… all that feedback.

Please don’t touch my amp.

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