Monday, January 17, 2011


'Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.'

-Deuteronomy 31:6

'No punishment anyone might inflict on them could possibly be worse than the punishment they inflict on themselves by conspiring in their own diminishment.'
-Parker Palmer

When I go to checkout at the Christian Bookstore here in Sioux City, I'm usually given a box that's just for youth contains some awesome resources. I'm also asked if I would like to purchase any additional stuff near or on the checkout counter for $5.00. While I usually pass up the offer, I didn't this time...there was something too good to pass up. I saw a cd called 'FREEDOM' by the Artists United for International Justice Mission (

I have been addicted to a few songs off disc addicted that I haven't even listend to disc 2 or watched the bonus dvd (disc 3). The one I'm most drawn too and find myself playing over and over again is called 'AMAZING BECAUSE IT IS' by The Almost. Now, I've always liked the classic hymn: Amazing Grace, but in this song...when you get to the 'amazing grace' part there's this calm. When you watch and listen to it you'll know what I'm talking about...

But I think I'm attached to this song because if you listen to the lyrics you'll find a truth that many of us dare not speak of...fear. We live in a world of uncertainty. Where everyone around us lives and acts as though things are going well and that they're in control-that there's this element of certainty in all that they say and do. The sad thing is, it's an illusion that you and I have bought into one too many times. You and have have spoken as though we were right when it didn't matter because our need to be right was so wrong.

We have become so blinded by this illusion that we can be so certain yet so wrong. All of us struggle with fear on some level. It's usually fear that keeps us in line when it comes to asserting ourselves. It's fear that tames our passions for more and it often prevents us from trying because rejection lies right around the corner. In truth...we all are fearful on some level, we just don't like to talk about. As if someone were to find out our dark secret our world would be turned upside down...we would be less of a person.

Mike Yaconelli, one of my favorite authors, wrote: 'Those who pretend have pretend relationships'.  I think he hit the nail on the head! We are pretending to have it all under control and fear losing what little control we actually have in our lives. In the song I mentioned above, there's talk about how he 'lets fear drive'. While I know it's hard to stop pretending...we need to stop. We are in so deep no one quite knows who we really are and we have way too many 'pretend relationships'.

My challenge is that you might stop pretending. That you might let go of the fear that controls you-that hinders you from making progress. Sure, rejection may be right around the corner, but without mistakes and mis-steps...what would we have learned in life? How much growth would've taken place in our lives if we had played it safe? Jesus told us to pick up our cross...He doesn't call us to comfort.

So stop seeking comfort and reach out...start living and grow beyond the confines of your comfort zone...

*Below is the music video along with the scrolling lyric. Enjoy...


The Almost lyrics - Amazing Because It Is lyrics


pitcher12k said...

Good song!! :D It is pretty much the only song I listen to by The Almost, but I like it so much!
But, I am biased. I played the trumpet part in it at one point...still a good song :P

So, you challenge us to not pretend, to let our fear show, or to let our friends be aware of our fear?Oooh, wait, ok. I get it now :) Let go of the fear, and let God drive? Also, could you explain why rejection may be right around the corner?

Thanks for the post, and I appreciate the challenge :)

Jeff said...

I added that point concerning fear-in that it's the fear of failure or rejection that adds to our inability at times to move forward.
Fear is a very debilitating (emotionally and physically) in regards to self-worth and self-esteem. The seeds of doubt in our minds that we water-most commonly rejection, when it comes to relationships, a new job, or opporunity...
I hope that clarifies things for you a bit...I know it was a bit vague, but it was supposed to be since many things fall under the 'umbrella' of fear.
*Glad you enjoy the song as much as I do too. Too bad I wasn't able to find a better quality video to share.