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I got home yesterday from preaching a 3-night rally in Colorado. I like the emphasis on kicking off the school year right—with Bible preaching! Today, I’ll be re-preaching all three sermons (not all in Sunday school!) as we think about starting the year strong. Each day is a new beginning […]

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TOF – A Couple Of Life Lessons Today

March 11th, 2015


First lesson—ask good questions before diving into a project.

I had an opportunity presented to me for a fund-raiser for our group. It would have been a great chance to earn a lot of money. Unfortunately, the fund-raiser included selling discounts to various wineries and pubs, among other businesses.

I should have asked. I should have known what we’d be selling before agreeing to accept the fund-raiser. No hard feelings on either end, though. Thankfully, we did not lose money on the transaction.

An additional lesson for you is to never—under any circumstances—compromise your beliefs for money. The Bible is very clear about drinking. We don’t want anything to do with that, so we are not going to sell discount cards to wineries (even when it would have been PURE profit for us).

Another lesson came when I was browsing the radio. An audiobook I was listening to made me wonder what the radio airwaves were playing, so I flipped it on in my truck. One of the first songs that caught my attention (once I finally figured out which button changed the station!) was the “By Faith” song we sang at camp.

I have nothing against the song. I have nothing against the words. I hope that’s obvious (we sang it as our camp song in church the Sunday after camp last year, remember?).

What I AM against is the performance I heard. I guess I was hearing the original version. It was full on CCM(contemporary Christian music)—a mixture of pop and rock, sort of. Did it draw me into the words? Nope. Did it deepen my love for God? No, it didn’t. Did it stir me to live a life of faith? No. I was concentrating on other things. Things like the performer’s voice and the rhythm made me lose the depth. It sounded like every other secular song I bounced past. There was nothing distinctly “Christian” about it except the words.

I thought Christian music was supposed to be… Christian. Christ is UNLIKE everything secular and worldly.

The Bible teaches us to be clearly holy—set apart.

One of my main issues with CCM is what I experienced as I scanned the radio. I heard a song I had become familiar with in another venue, so I stopped and listened.

The book on habits that I’m reading now tells me that the music industry teaches you to like certain songs. Your brain likes certain music because it is trained to—over a period of time you develop a habit of music tastes.

CCM tries to blend two worlds that shouldn’t be together.

When we sing songs like “By Faith” in a church setting, I hope you are mature enough to know that music is MUCH more than lyrics. FAR more goes into a song than you realize, and the way it is sung has as much to do with the message as the lyrics themselves.

Stay away from CCM. Even if it’s a song you have heard in our church, that doesn’t mean everyone who sings it is doing it with pure and godly motives and methods. Good songs can be sung in bad ways, defeating the whole purpose.

That was a little life lesson for me—be very careful what I allow into my heart. I might create a craving for the music style more than the truth itself.

-Bro. Ryan (951) 719-7191




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