Tuesday, December 16, 2014


"The church isn't a museum for good people.  It's a hospital for the broken." 

I've seen this picture/quote (or one like it) shared a ton on Facebook and Instagram.  Pastors have even quoted it while preaching.  I'm not sure where the quote originated but the usual comments left on the picture are, "Amen!" or "Truth!" or something of that nature.  I understand exactly what this quote is attempting to say and it's a very nice sentiment.  But what if I told you the church is neither of those things?  The church is absolutely not a museum for good people only.  But it is also not a hospital.

First and foremost the church is NOT a building or structure.  When Jesus said to Peter, "Upon this rock (Peter) I will build My church..." He was not referring to a building by any stretch of the imagination.  The church is the body of Christ.  The church is people.  Yet in our American culture, despite us knowing this truth, the way we speak of the church most of the time does not reflect what the church is (us).  Most of the time when speaking about the church people are referring to a building.  Think about it.  How many times have you heard statements like, "It's good to be in the house of the Lord this morning." or "Behave yourselves.  You're in church!" or "I'm not going to church today."  or "The church isn't a museum (building) for good people.  It's a hospital (building) for the broken."

In our vocabulary the church has shifted from the people to the building.  I believe this is absolutely harmful to believers.  First, it makes "church" something you attend instead of the truth, something you are!  It also says to the person, "This building is important." instead of "You are important!"  I realize some will think I'm getting too worked up over a technicality but, am I?  I know of people who attended "church" most of their lives who are JUST NOW understanding the church is them not a place we go on Sundays.  A church building is not the house of the Lord or some special place.  You are the house of the Lord!  You are that special place!  But so many don't feel that for many reasons; one being, in my opinion, the fact that we are always calling a building the church instead of calling the people the church.  I hope you can see what I'm trying to say here.

Like I said of the above quote, it's a nice sentiment.  But it's still not truth.


Monday, December 1, 2014

Nothing Wasted

Nothing Wasted is the name of my bands (Waiting Here) first full length album.  We've been together since 2010 (with a few members coming and going).  I still remember the night myself, Brian (Bass Player), and Dave (Keyboard) got together and officially formed the band.  I wasn't 100% sure what the future held for us three but I was very excited.  This wasn't my first time forming a band but it was the first time I helped form a band centered around my own personal music/songs.  (The first band I ever helped form was a metal band called Miserable State... I only have a few pleasant memories from that time oi).  Another reason I was so excited was Brian, Dave, and I had just got back from a missions trip to New Orleans where we lead worship.  The three of us had never played together until then and things just clicked.  God was over every service we lead so I was excited that our band was going to do the same thing where ever we went to play.

Oh some of the names we came up with were absolutely terrible.  Eventually we settled on Waiting Here.  The suggestion actually came from my wife.  One of my absolute favorite songs is Miracle Maker by Delirious.  The opening lyric to that song is, "I'm waiting here for my life to change..."  No other line of words could fit my life (testimony) better than those.  I was 100% convinced of the name after reading Isaiah 40:31, "Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength;  They will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary."
I'll admit that I had some "head-in-the-clouds" moments early on.  I was convinced that we'll record a demo, someone in the music biz will hear it, we'll get a giant record deal and all that will happen in just a few short months.  One of my all time favorite movies is "That Thing You Do" so I totally thought, "Yeah.  Overnight success could really happen."  I laugh now but I really did think that in the beginning.  Eventually reality hit me at our first "real" gig.  We were told that there could be anywhere from 300 to 500 people showing up and we get to headline the whole thing!  We had just recorded our first demo (please tell me no one has that eek!) when we got the call for this gig so we were PUMPED!  "We just got our demo done and are already play a show for 500 people?! YEAH BUDDY!"  I thought...  I remember being frustrated with Dave that he was only able to make 100 demos we could sell (he was up til 4am the day we were leaving making them).  Doesn't he know that now 400 people are going to be mad that they can't get a demo?!  Long story short: absolutely no one came to that show!  The only people that were there had to be there because they were working it in one capacity or another.  This is so funny to me now and I love that it happened the way it happened.    We've had a few members come and go (all drummers... go figure).  We got a little more rock added to our band when my brother Chris started playing electric guitar for us.  It is a true honor to have him as a band-mate.  He was definitely a missing puzzle piece that perfectly fit in to place in our music.    Finally after a few years of gigging, a second demo, and hundreds of slices of pizza (if you're in a band you know what I mean), we met this awesome bro and producer, Mike Ryan.  We learned a TON as we recorded at BigChair studio.  I don't think I've ever grown that much in that short amount of time ever in my life.  The entire Ryan family are amazing people.  It took us longer than we expected but after a little over a year, we had our album finished.  Nothing Wasted.  The name came from Romans 8:28 and the fact that we have songs that are praising our mighty God but also songs that talk of real life struggle.  And in real life when it comes to good things, bad things, and everything in between, none of it is wasted with God.  I will never forget sitting in my office placing the order of our first set of albums.  It was business as usual.  Upload tracks?  Check.  Upload artwork?  Check.  Read terms and agree?  Check.  Reconfirm everything?  Check.  Type in credit card info?  Check.  Place order and ball like a baby?  Check.  You read that right.  The instant I clicked 'Place Order' I was floored with a flood of emotion.  I immediately started crying.  I'm talking ugly face, salty sting-your-eyes tears crying!  I was not expecting to get so emotional over it.  It just all of a sudden clicked in my head: the dream you've been dreaming about since you were a small child, you're living it out right now!    No, our hard work isn't over.  In many ways it's just begun.  But let me tell you, when you are living a dream of yours / working towards making it your complete reality, there is no better feeling.  So let this encourage you to not only dream but work towards that dream!  You can make it happen!  And through all the good things that happen, all the bad things that happen, and everything in between, remember this:  there's nothing wasted with God!