Monday, November 30, 2009

Set Me On Fire

I said, "I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth as long as the wicked are in my presence." But when I was silent and still, not even saying anything good, my anguish increased. My heart grew hot within me, and as I meditated, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue:
(Psa 39:1-3)

I love this passage because I can completely relate to it. I've been there. So have most of you. When you don't understand God, you see an injustice, or you hear someone ranting, and they're completely off the mark, and a part of you says to just leave it alone, walk away, pipe down, don't make waves, just forget it... and then you feel that stirring. :) You know it. This spark that starts from deep within. Soon as you feel it, you know what's going to happen, and for that reason alone, there's this flutter of anquish, this 'uh-oh!' that streaks across your mind.
The battle begins, to shut up, to speak up, and your insides heat up. Before long there's a forest fire, a blaze flashing, crashing in your soul, and by the time you open your mouth, it's not usually because you want to, it's more that you have to.
You cry out, it bursts out, and you may as well be vomiting, because there's no stopping you until it's all said, and only then will you be finished and at rest.

That's passion.

We just wrote and recorded our latest song... in 2 days.
We came together, prayed, and then David played a few lines of a verse and chorus he'd come up with. He started talking about what he was envisioning for the song, and the rest came flowing out in this awesome collaboration. By the time I finished writing the song I couldn't type fast enough.

We still needed a feedback, powered monitor to play live, so David put his 1967 Galaxie on Craigslist at 1:30. It sold not 8 hours later, and today the monitor is sitting here with all the rest of the equipment. Praise God.

Set Me On Fire

I was walking,
I was thinking
about what would happen
if it all came down today.

Would I be good enough?

Being a good guy,
having the right words
doesn't get me through the gates
or so I've heard.

It just ain't good enough.

Waiting til midnight
to make it all right,
then i die at 11:59.

It just ain't good enough.

Set me on fire
for you Jesus.
Keep me rooted in your word
through the message that I've heard

Set me on fire
for you Jesus.
Give me your law so I don't fall.
Shine your light on me so I can be

On fire, for you Jesus.
On fire, for you Jesus, for you Jesus.

Going to church,
just filling the pews,
thinking that you've paid your dues
and that's good enough,

Well it just ain't good enough.

Working out life
by your own hands,
thinking you can get God
to fit your plans
and He'll fix you up...

just ain't good enough.

Bow your head, bend your knee
to the One who sets the sinner free.
Give your life, give your love
to the only One ever good enough.

Set me on fire
for you Jesus.
Keep me rooted in your word
through the message that I've heard

Set me on fire
for you Jesus.
Give me your law so I don't fall.
Shine your light on me so I can be

On fire, for you Jesus.
On fire, for you Jesus, for you Jesus.

(Psalm 39:1-3, James 2:8-12, James 1:22-25, Luke 13:1-5)

Friday, November 27, 2009

My Testimony - Jeremy Klumper

When I was young probably about 7, I was exposed to pornography for the first time. As I grew older with more exposure through my own will, I fed my addiction as often as I could find it. What started out as pictures in magazines turned into movies, and internet later on. The only way I can explain the fix is the way it made me feel, the warmth, the feeling that I was needed and it also put my mind in crazy places doing crazy things that for some reason made me feel like I was on cloud 9.

When I first started seeing my soon to be wife, my fix turned into the real deal. For some while this seemed to take care of my addiction and lessened it. Problem being the enemy knew that it wouldn’t take much to get a hold of me knowing my walk with Jesus was pretty much scarce. And low and behold he capitalized on it and drug it out for a very long time.

Its crazy how the enemy can make you reach even further into darkness for what we think will bring us satisfaction. When I was about 22 years old I was diagnosed with severe depression and severe anxiety. I was put on prescription drugs and tried to deal with it on my own. As long as I was taking my medications I seemed to be fine and feeling for the most part fulfilled.

Through out the next couple of years I battled taking my medication and dealing with ordinary everyday life. I for some reason thought that smoking marijuana occasionally was ok also. Not an everyday thing but occasionally. You know just to take the edge off. Or at least that is what I would tell myself.

When I was 26, I was under a lot of stress at work and was bringing it home with me. I had stopped taking my medications and was tired of the ups and downs and the feelings that it wasn’t doing what it was supposed to. So I started searching for a fix that would do that for me. Low and behold the enemy knew just what to prescribe.

The place where I was working was full of drugs. You name it and they either had it on them or the could run home and get it.

I told a guy what I was looking for and he showed me exactly what would fix this.
I was welcomed to the wonderful world of methamphetamines. What I didn’t realize until it was too late was that you can be addicted after the first time you use it. I also didn’t realize that you would need the fix very frequently and it wasn’t cheap. Of course it took a hold of me like nothing I had ever experienced in my life time.

I knew I had one roadblock that would keep this addiction very hard to carry out and that would be my wife. You see when we met she made it very clear to me that she didn’t like drugs, she had never done drugs and she would not be a part of anyone that was doing drugs. This was definitely going to be a difficult thing to overcome.

My solution was to keep it from her and do it when I wasn’t around her. Aka lying through my teeth. I would tell her I was going here and there and doing this and doing that. When in fact I was just leaving her presence so I could do more. Let me tell you she is a very smart woman who without a ton of help from supposed friends and tons of lies, I wouldn’t have gotten as far as I did.

My next roadblock was trying to keep it from my family and close relatives. It was hard and as time went on the more comfortable and sloppy I got with trying to keep it a secret.

I found out one more detail of this wonderful addiction, that the meth would intensify my pornography addiction which felt like a thousand times worse than before. So I not only had a new addiction but it intensified and complimented my other worst enemy.

After being a Meth user for all of 3 years and spending $1,200 a month for this wonder drug that made my life a total disaster, the Good Lord started to break me down and started to make me realize that he was the answer I was looking for and he was the fix I needed all along.
You see methamphetamines is a drug with such a powerful hold on you that you have to seek rehab to kick it. I want to share with you today that the Lord gave me the strength to quit cold turkey. No relapses, no major break downs and with only slight side effects that with prayer was fixed. The other awesome thing is he offered me full forgiveness for my sins and has since then changed my life forever. PRAISE GOD!!!!

He also gave me the strength to do one more unthinkable task, tell my WIFE. I have done some really hard things in my life but this was the absolute hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I knew this was going to kill her inside an I knew there was a chance she would leave and take my children with her. I felt like I was telling her that I had been having an affair on her for three years with another woman. Don’t get me wrong, I was really having an affair with two addictions.

She, in her Loving Heart, found a way to forgive me and my stupidity. I know now that there was a lot of help there from the Lord. I tell her now that if she can put up with me through all of this, she is stuck with me forever. I love her to death and wouldn’t trade her for the world.

I Thank God so much and I owe my life to him for everything he has done for me. He has shown my family and I so many blessings and miracles that I have lost track of how many. The best part of this is he continues to provide for us and show us the way to live.

I know that I have broken every one of the ten commandments either physically or mentally. The best part and most comforting thing to me is that Jesus Christ died on the cross for yours and my sins combined. Ask for his forgiveness and change the way we live - not for ourselves but for him who died for us in our place -and we will live for ever with Him and Our Father in Heaven for Eternity.

Have you ever really thought about that? I mean really thought. No matter what we have done up to today, right now, we can still be forgiven. That blows my mind. I look at my life and think of all the terrible things I’ve done and get chills thinking that I have been forgiven. So think about that and digest that and see if you think that you have done anything that God’s Grace can't fix. I will be the first to tell you there is nothing too big for our God. Try him. He will show you.

Measure yourself to his commandments and see if you need someone to save you from eternal damnation. I don’t know about you but I’m not a gambler. I cant wait to get to Heaven, I hope you feel the same way.

Your Brother in Christ
Jeremy Klumper

Fathers Day - David Christensen

Fathers Day everyday? What? Isn't once a year enough? Some might say once a year is once to many. What is your relationship with your father like?

Is it healthy? From the moment we are born, we had some type of relationship with our fathers. For some the only role the father played in the relationship, was in participating in making the child. Was or is your relationship with your father full of love?, or is it full of hate, mistrust, abuse, unforgiving, absent, or hurt. Boys grow up either wanting to be just like their fathers or wanting to be nothing like him. Girls will grow up watching their fathers, and how they treat their mothers. Searching for qualities they will search for when they enter relationships with their husbands, and boyfriends. Whatever the relationship is or was like, the real question is what is your relationship with THE Father?

A Father that is worthy of Fathers Day everyday. A Father that gives unconditional love, always present, always forgiving, always a great role model, always protecting, always caring, and everlasting.

The greatest relationship you could ever have is right in front of you. While you can't see him, he is all around you. He made you, he loves you, and wants you to be happy. You are his child, and he will never give up on you.

He devotes every minute of his life to caring for his children.
What will your relationship with The Father be? Call him into your life, and begin the relationship today.

Then make everyday Fathers Day, as you live for him through your actions and your words. He's worth it, I know because I have the greatest Father in the Universe.
~David Christensen

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Noisy Gong

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
(1Co 13:1)

If we aren't communicating with love as we interact with people today, at work, with family or friends, we're just making noise. Ever been around a drum set, and smack the cymbals as hard as you can? I get to be around one more and more often these days. When the song is humming along, it's great to hear the beat and cadence, but when you're not ready for it, when it's not something you're prepared for, - CRASH! - It's a different story.
The hairs on your neck stand up and your ears ring, and you immediately want that to end. You don't care what it takes, you just want it to stop. Is that the kind of friend you ever want to be? Me neither. And how many of us are willing to admit that this could be us? It's like someone telling you that you need to go take a shower, because you stink. What? Me? No way. That's me? How could that possibly be?
Still, I often find myself in this boat because I'm a direct, to-the-point kind of guy. The day is humming right along, and I'm marching. Someone comes to me, and instead of showing love, I'm moving right along in my busy-ness, and -CRASH- It doesn't come easy to shift gears, to pause and come to rest, but that doesn't make it any less necessary.

If we are witnessing or playing the music in ministry, or if we're just giving someone our ear, we have to show them that we care. Sometimes, love has action, hands and feet, and it's translated through the literal motions of doing something for someone else. But also, sometimes, to be genuine, we just need to listen. We don't need to offer the latest self-help advice or show our book-smarts. We just need to hear the soul in front of us. That may be just enough for the heart of the matter.
A good friend once reminded me of this in a very simple, yet resoundingly powerful statement:
“Nobody cares what you know until they know that you care.”

Monday, November 23, 2009

My Testimony - Dan Elliott

We've been feeling the tug to put our stories out here, for you all to peruse, analyze, scrutinize, dissect, or amen to as your read.
Why on Earth would that be something to do? This is Rough Lumber. It's about being real. Would it make any of you uncomfortable if your story was out there, floating around? Oh.....where to start. How about right here:

Yesterday I was just a man.
Today I am just a man,
Tomorrow I'll be just a man.

I did fail.
I still fail.
I will fail.

I was lost.
I am found.
I ask Jesus to never let me take that for granted again.

That's me in a nutshell. Why do I always seem to write in song form? Just part of me I suppose. If you want the details, keep reading.

When I was a little boy I used to ask Jesus, quite often, if He was watching me. It was just something that always occupied my thoughts. I used to talk to Him because I felt He was right there.
That little boy grew up, and he almost forgot about this man named Jesus.
I got married at 19, tried college and found that a window in any classroom would captivate me. There was a world out there, and my imagination would run. I loved to write. I loved music, and I loved diving in. By the age of 23 we'd moved to Nashville to pursue that passion. While there was alot of new sound coming out of me, alot of music being written, I found out very quickly that I didn't like the idea of being on stage at all. We got caught in the middle of a whirlwind. All night parties, drinking, bars. Living paycheck to paycheck. My wife began working night shifts, and I would work during the day. Prominent men in Nashville were hitting on her, guaranteeing that my music would be put in front of the right people if she'd only sleep with them. I was going out with a group of people every night, and in the middle of one night after all the drinking, my wife was working and I went home with another woman. Up until that day, I thought I was an Oak.

By the next morning I couldn't bare the guilt, and I had to wake up my wife and speak to her the hardest words I've ever had to say in my life. She was broken, crushed, hurt, and it was all my fault. This man who promised to love her and honor her, to be true to her, had chopped off everything he ever stood for in one night.

I asked her to give me another chance, and she did. The next year and a half was hell on earth. We didn't get along. She didn't trust me. We didn't spend hardly any time together. She looked at me and couldn't help but remember the pain, and every time our eyes met I felt like a waste of a man.

I went down to Atlanta on business, and my car broke down. I didn't have any money, and I was at my end. I called home to tell my wife that I was just going to stay down there and maybe it was for the best. She began to cry, and she said, "This is not how I ever pictured telling my husband this.....I'm pregnant."

I left my truck in the middle of Atlanta and got my boss to give me a ride back to Tennessee. I came back to her, with nothing but a new focus. She didn't want to raise a baby in the middle of the chaos, and so we quit our jobs to move back home. Home to me was not home to her. Home to her was Brandon, South Dakota. When I started talking about looking for work in the coal mines of Wyoming, I got a very clear snapshot of the health of our marriage. "Me and the baby will be moving to Brandon. Wherever you go, you go."

We drove through the night, 21 hours. She was 8 months pregnant, driving a Uhaul, and I was driving my old truck. We came to rest here, in this place, as a family. We bought a house and started down a new road. I opened up a little kiosk in the mall, paying $4000 a month. People would bring me their family snapshots, tell me about their story, and I'd literally write them a poem. I'd print the collage and frame it up inside 30 minutes. It paid the rent and only the rent for the kiosk.
There were alot of pictures, alot of words.

One of the rules of the mall was that the kiosk couldn't be left unmanned. I'd sit there every day from open to close. I began to question my life during those endless hours. That day I decided that at the end of business I was going to close up the kiosk and quit. I couldn't find any purpose in what I was doing. There was a rumor of a crazy woman who'd go around making small talk, and when she finally came up to me, I gave her the courtesy of listening. I was lonely and I welcomed any interruption to the monotony. She was talking about angels, messengers, and how sometimes God uses us to be His messengers to those around him. Then she began talking as if she were listening to someone else, interpreting. She abruptly said goodbye and turned to walk away.
I said, "Wait a minute. If that's true, if we're messengers, don't you have any messages for me?" I was just seeing how far down the rabbit-hole we were going to go. Her eyes lit up and she said to me brightly, "Oh Yes! Yes! He says you're not supposed to give up. Hang in there. Don't quit." With that she walked away, still talking to herself.
My booth was right next to Santa Clause, and they were filming a commercial. A pastor was telling everyone that Christmas wasn't just about gifts and being naughty and nice, it was about Jesus Christ.

Something about that statement had an impact on me. I began to think about this man named Jesus again. I remembered the Jesus from my childhood. I wondered if He was still interested in me.

I talked my wife into going to church with me. We were sitting in the back row, on the right, and there was a supposed prophet that was visiting the church.
The prophet was praying, asking Jesus to show her who she needed to speak to. I was skeptical, and ready to leave. Bored. Bold. During the prayer I said very clearly to God,
"Here I am. Very back row, on the right. You got something to say, you know where I'm at. Say it."

The prophet immediately opened her eyes and from the altar at the front she was looking right at me.
Here were her words, exactly as she spoke them to me:

"God just visits a people.

You're not safe on the back row!

I know, ministers, not very many of them come to the back row... but
God does!

And it is good! It truly is.

Now sir, when I look at you, there's a Showin' of you, and the Holy
One speaks to me of his time with you, and how he has need of that
more than ever before. There are decisions that you're havin' to
make, even now, that will affect next year.

And so you have to know what to do, and when and how.
And the Holy Spirit will step aside with you if you'll but give him
some special time.

I see that that has not been as it could be for you and for Him.

And then sir if you will take your bible too, the Holy One has need to
show you, even scripturally, some things that you need to do. Don't
ever go to him without a tablet, a journal and a pen.

Something wonderful begins for you and for him.

Understood? Good."

As she was speaking I began to question whether or not it was really Jesus who was speaking to me. That's when she stopped and told me:

"There are so many words and pictures and sounds around you. You can
write them down, and create too. Even when you were very small, I
watch you. To say words from the heart you could do, and you would
surprise elders by what you could say and what you could do.

Do you understand that? Good.

And so now you are not a child anymore. And now you have grown into
your manhood, with responsibilities and accountabilities.

But God your father has need of you. He brought you into earth for
this time. There are things that he will share with you, and you will
lead out in them. For a leader are you and the people will follow you.

Understood? Good."

Today I am a photographer. There are many pictures around me.

My blog and the songs I write have spoken to a great many people in the years I've had my business. There are many words.

I never thought I'd find music again, I thought it was lost to me.
Today we have a band, a ministry, called Rough Lumber. The Lord is using our real-life experiences, our hard knocks, our brokeness, to witness through the music. There are many sounds.

I have 2 kids who know Jesus. My wife is a Christian. I've been blessed to baptize every member of my family as the time became right for them to make the decision on their own to follow Christ.

We have a marriage restored. We still do battle, we still fail. But we live for Jesus. Our family motto on the hard days brings me back to focus:

If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.
(Rom 14:8)

You want to know about me, now you know. Some of you may look at me different. Some of you might disown me. I'm just a man. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
If you ever built me up to be someone I'm not, then today you've learned a good lesson to keep your eyes and admiration, your focus on Jesus Christ. Not on man. Not on the church. They'll never be perfect, but He is. He keeps his promises. He's been there for me and He's rescued me.

Even in this day, I have struggles. Enough to keep you scrolling for an hour. I wrestle with the issues most men have and just don't speak about, keeping our eyes in check in a world increasingly unchecked. I wrestle with keeping my thoughts on Christ. I've battled on several fronts in my walk of faith. I will continue by God's grace. I will not be afraid to talk about it because He takes away my fear. Life is too short.
There's a line in the movie Shawshank Redemption, where the man comes to an epiphany about life. I agree. "We either get busy living, or we get busy dying."

My heart today is broken for my son and for my family. We've been going through a rough spot. Life didn't get perfect the day I came back to Jesus. That was never the promise. But I can tell you that I find my strength, my trust, my patience, my courage, my boldness, my perseverance, in Him, in His word, and in His wisdom. Even on these hard days, I will praise Him.

2 Corinthians 1:4-5
He comforts us in all our troubles. Now we can comfort others when they are in trouble. We ourselves have received comfort from God. We share the sufferings of Christ. We also share His comfort.

How to Describe Him?

Reading in Isaiah 52 and 53 this morning...
Do you know why this is one of my favorite passages? It's not just that Isaiah is writing about Jesus over 700 years before His birth. It's also the humble honesty behind such a profound and bold statement.
The words to describe Christ, this King, this Messiah, aren't exactly pleasing.
What is this description? "He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him. He was despised, rejected, a man of sorrows, familiar with suffering....we esteemed him not....we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, afflicted."
This is the announcement, the introduction of a King? The King?
Do you see the honesty?
Think about it.
If Isaiah were just dreaming up fluff, would he have written such undesirable things to make his story any more unbelievable?

Did you know that this is just 1 of over 300 prophecies about Jesus in the Old Testament? Did you know that all of the prophecies were found to be fulfilled in Jesus Christ? Someone once calculated the odds of 1 man even fulfilling 48 of those prophecies would have been 1x10 to the 157th power.
Allow me the visual of the size of that number.
The odds are 1 in 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,

It is beautiful to me that a God who works such incomprehensible numbers also knows the number of hairs on my head, and what I just thought.

I love the authenticity, because it serves as such a striking reminder, that He can, and will, use any of us if we are only willing. We don't have to be pillars of men in the way men see men. He doesn't require good looks and perfect abs. Eyes don't have to be blue, hair doesn't have to be blonde, and we don't need to wait until we are esteemed by mankind before we can qualify. That fluff simply doesn't matter. Jesus is looking at your heart, your availability, and your obedience. Here. Now. Today. Either stand up for Him or don't. There's no room for teeter-tottering on the excuse of uncertainty. There's too much truth and too little time to argue.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Finishing Strong

He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy. (Pro 28:13)

The night we played our first gig, someone dialed 911 at the church where we were playing. A couple of kids, messing with the phones. An officer showed up to respond to the false alarm, and of course, no one fessed up to the act.
That night I found out from my wife that, yep, that was my son. He couldn't take the guilt any longer and he told her about it. She'd left it to him to tell me the next day, and while I already knew the story, he didn't know that. Every time our eyes met throughout the day he looked like he was going to throw up. I'd walk up, give him a hug, scratch his head, tell him I love him... and he'd be limp as a noodle, devastated.
I let him overhear a conversation about how our witness is lost if we can't be true blue, if we can't be honest and truthful.
I knew he was churning inside.

When he finally worked up the nerve to tell me, it was gut wrenching. He poured it out like he just had to be rid of the feeling or he'd die. His punishment was already laid out. I told him he was going to take responsibility and own up to his actions. Apologize to the officer, apologize to the church, grounded, the list goes on.
He was dead set about not bringing this into the light. I told him,
"Son, you won't be a man in my eyes if you don't own up to your actions."
His heart sank, and he knew he'd have to go through with it.
We talked about temptations, when you find yourself in that moment of making one decision or another, and how important it is to realize that your choice is either going to take you one step closer to Christ, or one step further from Him.

Believe it or not, I don't regret that this happened. I'd rather he learn this lesson sooner than later. It's going to shape him, because whether we like it or not, we learn from our mistakes, our trials, our struggles.

Ever leave a load of dirty, wet laundry sitting in the laundry room for a few days? Those lovely odors of mildew and dirt seem to soak right into the paint on the walls.
You have to do the laundry. You have to wash off the dirt and clean up, daily, or else the mountain piles up and the stink will drive you out of the house.

We all make mistakes. We all fail. But if we keep making those mistakes over and over, and we don't learn from them, bring them into the light, or confess them, we'll never move on. The extra baggage weighs us down and life starts to reek.

In last week's sermon, our pastor said that if we want to finish strong we need to keep short accounts with God, studying His word and staying in prayer. At the end of that obedience is mercy and something much more.

This morning when my son woke up, our eyes met, and he smiled, forgiven.
I asked him, "Are we going to have a good day today?"
Then I asked, "Are we going to finish strong?"
In his 10-year old wisdom he then said to me,
"We're going to finish strong, and not just finish strong. We're gonna start strong, and in the middle, we're gonna stay strong."

Right on little man.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
(Eph 4:29)

The original word used in scripture for unwholesome is the word 'sapros', which was a term to describe putrid, rotten, decaying fruit. Yummy, right? It was a very descriptive, visual word that the readers would have immediately recognized, and it would have painted a picture in their minds. In fact, if you've ever tasted bad fruit or smelled it, you'd instantly have that memory related to the word sapros. That is exactly what unwholesome talk smells like, tastes like, and looks like to God. Next time you hear it coming out of your mouth, remember this image and ask yourself if it benefits anyone who is within earshot. Build them up. Lift them up. Encourage them. Benefit them today. See what kind of fruit you will yield, today.

One Gig Down

Rough Lumber had it's first event last night. I have no idea how many people were there, I just know that we spoke the truth and it was received. It's amazing to see God's word sinking in, speaking to hearts in ways they've never felt before. So awesome to be able to witness that. I wish I could describe how it feels to ask Christ to give you the words to speak, and then to stand in front of a crowd, not knowing what you're going to say, no written or prepared speech....and yet it comes.
The word that comes to mind is purpose. That's what I feel.

We learned that cover songs are just cover songs. We played a couple of hit songs that everyone knew. While they were fun to hear, they had nowhere near the impact of the songs that we've written ourselves. Our ministry will be effective as we share Christ through our own personal experience with Him in our lives. We just need to go to Him, and let Him lead, and the rest will be taken care of. Isn't that true of life also? That's how it seems to me.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Acknowledge Him....Today

In John 7:13 I ran across something interesting this morning.

Here was Jesus making these waves, having this tremendous impact on the world. He was causing a crazy amount of buzz, but nobody would talk about him publicly, because they were afraid. There were only whispers.
Noone had the courage, the heart, or the passion to stand up for Christ and acknowledge Him before men. In their day, they could have been beaten, excommunicated from the church, even arrested.
Here we are today. Brandon, South Dakota. We have every right under the sun, and no law or authority against us for passing on His message...If they had no eternal excuse to fear back then, what is our excuse today?

Here is 1 commentary I found that was perfect for this day, to which I will only add a few parenthesis:
Everyone was talking about Jesus! But no one said a word. All were afraid. Fear can stifle our witness. Although many people talk about Christ in church, when it comes to making a public statement about their faith, they are often embarrassed. (Will that be our only excuse? How pathetically weak will that answer sound, standing in front of Christ, looking into His eyes, as we give our account. Can you see it playing out in your mind?
"Would they have beaten you?"
No, Sir.
"Would they have arrested you?"
No, Sir.
"Would they have killed you?"
No, Sir.
"Then Why didn't you acknowledge me before them?"
.....I just thought it might be embarrassing, you know, a little awkward, people would have been staring at me, and you know... they wouldn't include me anymore maybe, possibly, if I were to talk like that.....)

Jesus says this: "Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. (Mat 10:32).
Be courageous! (Today!) Speak up for Christ! (Today!)

Monday, November 16, 2009

If I Believe the Lies

If I Believe the Lies, 11/5/09, D.C.Elliott (John 8:44)

he's a powerful enemy.
he's stronger than me.
he can hold me down
if i believe

I can't move, I can't breathe
I can't scream, can't even see
if I believe

He whispers defeat into my ear
He tells me there's no need to fear
If I just quit and give up my crown
and let this little light go down.

I see the choice in front of me.
The slave to sin or the captive free.
Surrender would be effortlessly....easy.

And then there in that moment
filled with full despair,
I remember. I remember.
What's that? Yes, I remember.

The devil speaks his native tongue and he believes his lies
He knows his song is sung but he can't recognize
The Power of the Love that lives so deep inside
of you and me and anyone who lives for Jesus Christ.

I find that time is now standing still.
I feel another here with me, a stronger will.
My Jesus breathes courage,
and my heart begins to fill.

The strength of my Redeemer
Floods into my mind.
The call to battle rings my ears
The light begins to shine.

The devil speaks his native tongue and he believes his lies
He knows his song is sung but he can't recognize
The Power of the Love that lives so deep inside
of you and me and anyone who lives for Jesus Christ.

I see the truth behind the lie of my enemy.
There is no power, no dominion over me.
Nothing but lies for him to spin.
I cannot fail if I choose to win.
The blood of Jesus rescues me.
His blood sets me free!

The devil speaks his native tongue and he believes his lies
He knows his song is sung but he can't recognize
The Power of the Love that lives so deep inside
of you and me and anyone who lives for Jesus Christ.

The blood of Jesus poured,
Now I belong to the Lord.

(John 8:44, Luke 10:19, 1 Peter 5:8, 1 Corinthians 16:13, Matthew 26:28, John 6:56, Romans 5:9, Ephesians 1:7, Revelation 1:5)

Friday, November 13, 2009

First Gig

We've got our first gig for Rough Lumber. We'll be with for Project 52 Ministries at Living Springs Church in Brandon on Wednesday, November 18th at 7:30 pm.
We'll open with 2 or 3 songs, then break for the speaker and close.
Anyone is welcome.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

2 Cor 5

This was the first song that came together as the result of a group effort.
Jeremy had been playing around with some chords on his guitar, and on one of our first jam sessions, he told us that the Lord just kept putting this verse on his heart.
As soon as he showed it to me I could see the song, and within about 45 minutes, we'd finished.
It's simple, but it carries a very powerful message.
In an era when everything is about the almighty Me, this passage from 2nd Corinthians 5 reminds us that the world doesn't revolve around us. The gospel of Christ was purchased at a great price, with unachievable humility.
You'll notice the song is broken up with specific interludes for testimony. That's because we designed it to speak to people through the music, the word of God, and the ministry of witness.

Here are the words:
He died for all that those who live
should no longer live for themselves,
but for him who died for them
and was raised again.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ,
he is a new creation;
the old has gone, the new has come.
He gave us the ministry
of reconciliation:
Through His one and only son.


God made him who had no sin
to be sin for us,
so that in Him
we might become God's righteousness.


He gave His all for Us.
So we could be His Righteousness.

He died for all that those who live
should no longer live for themselves.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Looking in the Mirror

From James 1:22-25
'Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.'

When you go into the workplace, do you forget who you are? Does your faith stop at the door? When you enter into an environment filled with complaining and arguing, gossip or back-stabbing, do you engage into the conversation and blend in like a chameleon, shifting your colors to match the attitude of everyone around you? Or, as this passage puts it, do you remember that you are held to a higher accounting?

We have to be different. Other than. We have to stick out like sore thumbs, Christian. We don't need to condemn, we just need to quit hiding our light. The key word I see when I read this passage is that the man who is blessed is the man who "continues". He doesn't set down his faith. He doesn't shape shift. He sees God's law and he remains in that freedom, refusing to forfeit the blessing.

Think about that as you walk through the doors of your workplace and as you grace the front step of your home. Remain. Continue in your freedom.

If you don't make it a priority, if you don't cherish your faith, it will be plucked from you.
But if you keep it close to your heart, at the front of your mind, you'll change your world from the inside out.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I Fail

The song 'I Fail' is based on Romans 7&8. Written proof by his own hand that, yes, even Paul, the man who gave us most of the New Testament, failed.
The newest of Christians will fail. So will the most seasoned of pastors. Anyone who thinks they have achieved a level of their faith where they are no longer given to sin, will fail. Or do you suppose that you or your pastor are greater than the apostle who wrote that passage? If you think you are greater, guess what friend, you just failed.
Do you want to give thanks this November for something more real than who might win the football game? Read the words to this song. Give thanks to Jesus, who came here, before you, and let them hang Him on a cross to die the most unimaginable death for your sins. For every shortcoming, every failure that you will make or have ever made, He paid the price. Accept that free gift and give thanks to someone who gave their everything for you without you asking for it, let alone deserving it.

The words to the song:

i fail,
i fail,
i fail,
over and over again.

drive a nail,
drive a nail,
drive a nail,
to the cross of Christ for my sin, and again, and again.

I don't feel like
I deserve you
hanging in my place.
I Don't feel like
I'm at all worth
the price that you paid.

What a wretched
man I am!
Who can rescue me
from this body of death?
Only Christ
can set me free.

Thank you Lord for what You did for me.
That in spite of who I am You set me free.
Thank you Lord for what You did for me.
That in spite of who I am you wash me clean.

cause I....

i fail,
i fail,
i fail.

Drive a nail,
Drive a nail,
Drive another rusty nail.

Two hearts beat
within my breast.
One is foul and the other blest.
One I love,
One I hate.
The one I feed will dominate.

The man who said those
words sure knew
exactly what I'm going through.

Oh What a wretched
man I am!
Who can rescue me
from this body of death?
Only Christ
can set me free.

Thank you Lord for what You did for me.
That in spite of who I am You set me free.
Thank you Lord for what You did for me.
That in spite of who I am you wash me clean.

cause I....

i fail,
i fail,
i fail,
over and over again.

Drive a nail,
drive a nail,
drive a nail,
to the cross of Christ for my sin, and again, and again and again, and again.

(Romans 7, 8.  Hebrews 10:14)

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Battle Song

We just put up another song last night, called The Battle Song. We don't have a million dollar sound studio folks, and we're still on a learning curve with the equipment we have, but we'll get there. For example, I can't hear what I'm singing. It's like singing in the shower with earplugs in...silly? I don't care if I have to take some kind of night school to learn about mixing.
It was the first song I've ever written that actually ministered right back to me. I always look at a song after it's finished and think to myself, who is this for? The answer came back...It's for you.
It's based on the words that Moses wrote in Exodus 15:3. Just after they'd crossed the Red Sea, and the world's most equipped, elite army was right on their heels, they turned to wait on God. Can you imagine the awe that they felt the moment God let the waters wash over their pursuers, and in a breath, their enemy was defeated? One moment, they stood facing their utter destruction, and the next, they were free. Truly free. The bible says they sat down and wrote a song, and in that song were the words, "The Lord is a warrior! The Lord is His Name!"
Do you think they whispered those words, or do you think they shouted them with all their might, just realizing how mighty and powerful their God was? Do you realize, Christian, that He's the same yesterday, today and tomorrow? That your God is that same God?
The chorus is based on Ephesians 6:13. Paul tells us that we need to put on our armor because we are in a daily battle for our souls. Sometimes we leave our armor sitting on the nightstand, and forget to put it on. Our sword, which is the word of God, the bible, just sits in the corner collecting dust. We wonder why we are losing the battle. This song then, is a reminder, a call to the battle, to men, to stand up and take back the fight.

Here are the words:

This song is callin'
all the mighty men who have fallen down.....Fallen Down
Your families need you
to pick yourselves up off the ground......Off the Ground.
The devil told you that you had to crawl
That's not the truth at all.....

are a child of God.

are a child of God........ A Child of God.

Wake up. Stand up.
Back in the Saddle.
Pick your sword up son.
Get back in the Battle.
Get your armor on.
Get it down tight.
It's your battle song.
Take back the fight.
The Lord is a Warrior.
The Lord is His name.

It all sounds so easy.
All sounds so sweet. But life is hard and talk is cheap.
The Day will come.
Your heart won't beat. Nothin' left to sow now, just to reap.
The devil stands there laughin', cause he made you crawl
when you never had to crawl at all.

are a child of God.

are a child of God........ A Child of God.


The Lord is a Warrior

The Lord is His name.

(Exodus 15:3, Ephesians 6:13, 1 John 5:19, Ephesians 5:14)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

First Post: Introducing Rough Lumber

From Right to Left:
Jeremy-Bass man
Leo-Crazy good lead guitar
David-Drummer boy
Dan-Vocals and rhythm guitar

I read this excerpt recently from Rick Warren:
'God never wastes a hurt. He can use the painful lessons you've learned to touch the lives of others. This is called ministry.'

I don't know where God is taking us, but I can certainly tell you that His hand is on this ministry. We've come from every walk of life to this crossroads. I tried Nashville. I made that journey a long time ago, and I barely made it out of that experience with my marriage. I layed down the music and picked up photography. I thought as far as songwriting was concerned I'd moved on. But that's not what God had planned. The music that we're writing is blessed and flowing. The way these guys are picking up the rhythm is almost surreal. The words are truth and they are genuine, and the message is clear.

We're in the beginning here, but every day is marked progress. Last night we put down our first tracks and today we're mixing down. More to come...