Friday, February 22, 2013

Children Drop Your Chains and Sing

Last night Tenth Avenue North came to town, and although they have great music, they have even better teaching! Mike Donehey, the lead singer is basically a traveling preacher, with all his concert-goers being his church. This man speaks truth with such passion, you can't help but let it change you. He even got down into the crowd and stood on the chairs at one point [as shown below]. So naturally, at a concert, I took notes! :)

Mike challenged us to have at least one relationship in which we are getting nothing back- one relationship where we are doing all the pouring out, and there's no way the person can or will repay us. He argued that this is how others will know we are followers of Jesus... by loving with no return on our love. People will see our love and it will point them to Jesus, who first loved us. They will say 'You're not getting anything out of this exchange' and then we can say 'Yeah, I know. It's what Jesus did for me and I can't help myself.'

100% of Christian action is simply reaction.

Mike also talked a lot about the gospel- how it allows neither sniveling or swagger- "When you really believe the gospel, it robs you of your right to be miserable and it robs you of your right to think more highly of yourself than other. When we really believe God's love for us, we can't think highly of ourselves or low of ourselves... we just think of ourselves less."

Mike ended with talking about his story- how he broke his back in high school in a car accident and that's when he started to learn how to play guitar- when he was on his back for 2 months. It was so cool to hear him talk about pain and struggle and our circumstances. One line that really caught my ear was this- "the pain between the pictures." He was talking about how although he could have albums filled with hundreds of pictures of happy smiling memories, it was the events that happened between all those photographical moments that really shaped him and that he is really grateful for today- the pain between the pictures. He talked about how often we pray for the hard times to go away, for everything to be easy. But God responds- "It's not your circumstances that need to change, it's you."

I'd like to end with a few lines from their song, The Struggle:
We are free to struggle
We're not struggling to be free
Your blood bought and makes us children
So children drop your chains and sing

P.S. If you haven't read yet about how Tenth Avenue North inspired the "live loved" sign-off, you can check it out here. 

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