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#verseofthemonth
just hanging with my buds.
We have a new key ring around here, if you know what I mean...... • • “Yes, I truly have reason to bless the Lord for abundant supplies; His treasury has been wide open to me, His riches have constantly outweighed my necessities. He has multiplied His mercies above all my desires.” -Susannah Spurgeon
“I am afflicted and in pain; let Your salvation, O God, set me on high! I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify Him with thanksgiving. This will please the Lord more than an ox or a bull with horns and hoofs. When the humble see it they will be glad; you who seek God, let your hearts revive. For the Lord hears the needy and does not despise His own people who are prisoners.“ -Psalm 69:29-33 That last verse holds more weight for me than it ever has. But, more than that, as I read this passage this morning, I realized how appropriate and applicable it is for the current landscape of our national state of emergency and the worldwide pandemic called the coronavirus. So many words have been spilled on this topic and I don’t presume to add any additional wisdom to those of medical professionals, trusted church leaders, or those with greater insight than I into what is going on. I don’t know any of that. What I do know is that which I am compelled (and commanded) to say. So here I stand (sit), joining my voice with thousands of others by proclaiming what we pray and believe is more pleasing to the Lord than a sacrifice of ox or bulls, and that is this: God has not left the throne. He has not and will not ever abdicate. He faithfully remains in sovereign control over every molecule in this universe. Therefore, we have every reason to praise our God with a song and magnify Him with thanksgiving. We should let our hearts revive by commanding them to bless the Lord and forget not all His benefits (Psalm 103) because He hears the needy (spoiler: that’s us all the time, not just in a global crisis). He does not despise his people who are prisoners—whether imprisoned in a jail cell or in isolation or by physical ailments wracking their body. He does not despise His own people. Period. End of story. Christ’s blood is too precious for God to waste by despising those purchased and covered by it. Therefore: “Let heaven and earth praise Him, the seas and everything that moves in them.” -Psalm 69:34 No caveats. No conditions. He is worthy.

Follow me as I follow Jesus

Beholding the Lamb and Interviewing Andrew Peterson

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“No man, when he comes to die, will ever say, ‘I spoke too much of the grace of God.’ Let Satan accuse me of that. I welcome it.” -Andrew Peterson, foreword, Behold the Lamb of God

I’m just so thankful for Andrew Peterson’s life and ministry.

It was February when we set down with Andrew Peterson in Franklin, Tenn., to interview him for the cover story of the current RTM Magazine. My vocabulary is too weak to string together a sentence that would fully convey how much I learned from him that day.

We laughed, we (I) cried, we talked about how much we love the Gospel.

It was my favorite interview.

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Andrew posted about the interview here.

As my Christmas present, on Monday night my coworker took me to see Andrew’s Behold the Lamb of God tour in Nashville and was once again mesmerized by the Gospel that shattered my heart and gave me a new one.

Three hours of wonder, worship, goosebumps and tears. That’s what the night was.

It was my favorite “show.”

Everyone I know is going with me next year. So just go ahead and reserve a night in December to meet me at the Ryman. I’ll bring the Kleenexes.

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Singing with (part of) his family. From left: Andrew’s wife Jamie, their daughter Skye, and Andrew.

What follows is a snippet of the interview with AP that we had to cut from the main article for spacial reasons. (Check out his cover story here.) 

Consider this one of the deleted scenes from his article.

In this little blurb, AP talks about community and how it nourishes art, which I thought fitting to share while he’s sharing the stage with so many beautiful artists on this Christmas tour.

Next week I’ll post another deleted scene where he answers the question, “How do you make non-cheesy Christian art?” Stay tuned for that gem.

And, if you’re in a city close to a Behold the Lamb of God tour stop, go. Drive six hours if you have to. Just go. You’ll love God more because of it.

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THE CYCLE OF ART & COMMUNITY NOURISHING

“There’s this picture in people’s minds of this artist who is always off by himself and he’s creating his thing, his masterpiece in isolation or whatever and I’ve just found that art nourishes community and that community nourishes art,” Andrew said. “Art has a way of drawing people to itself. Art made in community is better than art made in isolation. You end up learning from the people around you.

“It’s nice to live in Nashville where every songwriter I know is better than I am. Community has a way of nourishing art in a really important way. I think that’s the thing. More than ever I’m learning that I need people. And I need to invite other people, don’t be precious about what it is you’re trying to make. But at the same time realizing the more beautiful thing than the song you’re writing is the friendship that you’re a part of or the people you’re going to church with. The story that is unfolding is much better than the works of art it is giving birth to.”

At the end of the day, it’s seeing the Gospel—in God’s artwork, His creation, His people—that makes the difference.

“The songs are going to all go away but I hope I’m still friends with some of these guys and girls when I’m 80. That’s far more important than the songs,” he said. “The songs are almost a good excuse for you to build your friendships with these people. That’s one of the big things I’ve learned over the years.”

Read the main article, Breadcrumbs of Grace: Seeing the Gospel in Art, here.

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