After a heated debate at dinner the other night with my in-laws over the merits of the potential Trump/Russia collusion, it hit me later that night… Why does Trump illicit such visceral hatred from those who oppose him? Similarly, why was I getting so heated supporting the claim that there is no Russian collusion? After all, whether you hate Trump or like him, the vast majority of us have never met him! How bizarre is it that political figure heads of the right and left trigger such passions in us that run so deep. Even though most of us have never met Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton they somehow have wounded us personally. Normal feelings of political disagreement have moved to outright hatred. Instead of yesteryears response, “I don’t care for their politics,” it has now soared into, “F%&k Trump!,” followed by “Trump makes me feel such rage that I must see a counselor,” or “Hillary makes me want to scream she is so corrupt and arrogant,” followed by “lock her up!” All this directed toward people we have never and will never meet. While there is indeed much legitimate blame to go around for both of these characters, they don’t deserve the colossal disdain that we have given them, well maybe Hillary does, i kid i kid. I personally can’t stand her but ill get into the reason for that in bit.

As much as each side does not want to admit it, they are both human beings. The very fact that I have had to remind people that Trump is still a human being several times in political “conversation” is telling. The very fact that I have had to rebuke someone for calling for the death of the entire Trump family is further example of this hatred. And this is the point of my post: we have dehumanized Trump and Hillary to such an extent that they are to blame for everything, somehow past, present and future wounds. They have become projections of our pain. Projections of our past wounds from the opposite sex perhaps. Projections of our negative or positive view on masculinity and femininity. Merriam-Webster’s defines projection asthe attribution of one’s own ideas, feelings, or attitudes to other people or to objects especially the externalization of blame, guilt, or responsibility as a defense against anxiety. Projection has become a popular term as of late to describe an aspect of the political landscape. Some political pundits have pointed out this phenomena in the area of dealing with discrimination, the more you focus on racism and discrimination the more you see it everywhere and in everyone, real or imagined. People are somehow trying to exorcise any bit of discrimination left in themselves by calling other people racist, and as we have seen apparently everyone is racist now. 

But the area of projection that fascinates me is how it relates to Trump and Hillary and how it is connected with our past experiences. We are all living in reaction to our own stories. Good, bad or indifferent our experiences with different kinds of people over the years shapes how we will react in the future. For example, if you had a very domineering egotistical father, you will react negatively towards men that remind you of those characteristics and some times on the extreme end, men in general. If you had a very controlling domineering mother you will react negatively towards women who remind you of those same characteristics or women in general. This is what I am getting at when it comes to Trump and Hillary, they represent our negative experiences with certain personality types. That is why i believe they trigger such intense hatred. Trump reminds men and women of that egotistical father they had that was abusive or distant. Hillary reminds men of their mother that just never stopped trying to control and boss other people in the family around. In my view, It all comes back to the lack of respect that people received from a mother or father or authority figure. These negative experiences marked some of us for life. For example, I have told many people half-jokingly that Hillary reminds me of that awful librarian from high school that always seemed to be catching me doing something that she perceived as “insubordination.” What a word right? Was I insubordinate? Who knows, but I certainly never forgot that look of scorn she gave me and consequently from any other women since. These experiences I am willing to admit, somehow, have been a part of my disdain for Hillary Clinton. There are many things one could mention, from her unlawful servers in her basement to the Clinton Foundations stealing millions from the people of Haiti, yikes! But my dislike for her probably first started when she reminded me of that awful librarian. The same goes for Trump. From his un-presidential tweets to paying hush money to porn stars, he is triggering a few people out there for sure. But whoever you are, I believe you made up your mind about these two people long before the media told you what to believe about them. Hillary and Trump are a lot of things to be sure, but they are not a worthy place to project our pain. In a sense, they don’t deserve our hate, our pain needs to be channeled into a place of healing, not a place of projection. Lets forgive those pre Trump and Hillary people in our lives and then we might be able to see them for who they truly are. What that is i am not exactly sure, but at least we might be able to see straight next time a political conversation comes up at dinner. 

A great vid my buddy Mark put together for us…live at the Root

I recently came across a blog post by some sorta well known christian musician about the christian music industry, its problems, its styles and so forth. The article pointed out some huge problems and cheesy elements within people and scenes that make up “christian music”. He made some great points but also reinforced the problems within the whole paradigm. He was essentially fighting against the lack of creativity within christian music that is found in the current industry, while benefiting from it at the same time. Its weird that people even call it an industry. But i guess it is. yikes. The Gospel is free not an industry! Dont even get me started on the christian licensing madness…

Anyways, I wanted to express my view point on the whole thing, and ask the question what does it really mean to have your music labeled as christian? Or not at all? I just released an album and i’m sure some might think its christian or others may not. For me Jesus was certainly the inspiration behind all the songs and i’m totally unashamed to admit it. But what i want to get at is what lies at the heart of the contradiction within calling something “christian music” and or “secular music”. Heres the problem: All music should just be viewed as music in its comparative genre, whatever the style, lyrics, or sound may be, but its not. People love to pigeon hole, label, lump in, throw out, discard when it doesn’t fit their mold or worldview. The contradiction in this is that some people think theirs no place for God in music or art but theres plenty of space for nihilism or atheism. This is insane. When you consider all the great ones from the Renaissance, to Carvaggio, to Dali, to Beethoven, and how they depicted Christ through their art form in one way or another, it brings things into perspective. The Holy Spirit has influenced millions to join with him in the creative process. The person of the Holy Spirit is a creative genius! We just have to except and seek out the amazing creative wavelength behind the words “all things were created by Him and for Him whether things in heaven or on earth.” If we are created in the image of God, what sweet inspiration can come from this place! Great art can come from this place and indeed it has. Bad art in a lot of ways fails to realize this. It fails to realize story of the cosmic servant King becoming one of his own!

I think about Dylan after he first got huge, he was a genius by not letting people pigeon hole him. Everyone wanted him to be the leader and music prophet of the anti-war/anti-establishment movement, but he totally rejected it. According to modern day labeling techniques and rules they should have put Dylan under the anti-establishment music label or industry. He simply made awesome music that had themes of this or that, and just so happened to ask some social radical questions. As he said in a recent interview, “all that matters is what i think and what God thinks.” So, whatever the lyrics are behind the music it should not be put in to one style or industry because of its lyrical content, it should be judged on its sound and quality alone. Now i know theres lots of cheesy christian music out there and its sad, but theres also a lot of cheesy shallow “i kissed a girl and i liked it” crap as well. I know there are a ton of people not in to people singing about Jesus, but why is it that nihilism and total depression pass as good inspiration or themes? Everyone is “preaching” through their music, it just seems to be somewhere between, extreme promotion of nihilism or an extreme hatred of it. So, If you sing about Jesus, sin, or redemption in your music, you should not be labeled as a christian style musician. Instead, if you sing about Jesus in your music you should be viewed as a musician who makes music who just so happens to sing about Jesus. Or could you just simply be viewed? All modern folk, rock, blues were all hugely influenced by old time hymn mountain music that was about the Gospel and Biblical stories. Long before there was rock n roll there was the Rock of Ages! The Bible is straight up poetic rock n roll, one read through the Psalms reveals great material, “Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!” or the time where King David dances practically naked before the Lord or “How lonely sits the city that was full of people! How like a widow has she become.” We simply need to embrace this musical heritage and draw from it with no shame or historical revisionism. Be who you are and dont flinch for a second. Dont let the fear of man or opinions rule in your heart. “your heart is free have the courage to follow her!” I find this dudes music inspiring, who also happens to be a Christian.

Im so excited and so grateful to the Lord to release my first album called Zeal of Fire. It is a solo project i have been working on for the last two years. The spirit of Jesus has been the inspiration for all these songs–from His Zeal, His Love, His Truth, His Kindness and His relentless pursuit of us. This is what ignited the spark for a song to come forth, and that is where they came from and what they are all about. This is Zeal of Fire.

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tcain.bandcamp.com

also available in itunes

Jesus said, “pray earnestly unto the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers” And, “the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few.” The Gospel of Jesus is the only hope for, and the only faith that seeks to include every tribe, tongue, nation, and people group. Jesus truly is the hope of the nations! The story of God is the story of going. From Abraham to the apostle Paul, Gods call is go. To a land unknown, to a people unknown, God is always sending. “For God so loved the world He gave His only Son.” Jesus came into the world not to condemn the world but to save the world! That is good news! Before the great commission Jesus maintains the great mission of God by saying, “just as the Father sent me, so am I sending you.” Any believer in Jesus is a sent one. What an adventure.

This video is sooo good!

Tim Koller-May You Get All the Glory

From Keith Green to this guy, there really was something in the water back then. Its gona happen again!

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Its all happening! It really is happening!!! The school of the Circuit Rider was held last week in Lancaster PA, and it was truly amazing. I have never seen such unity and courage in one room before. Lancaster county has an amazing history of revival and deep wells of faith and family. It is the most generous mission sending and giving county in the world. The Lord was revealing his heart for the time we are living in. He is calling us to radical love and love for the family of Jesus. Its so radical because its so simple! It has always been the call and command of Jesus, that “we love one another.” No more skepticism, no more disunity, no more unbelief, just love love love love for Jesus and His family. The time is now. We will not delay any longer. We will rally around the person of Jesus Christ and the powerful simple Gospel. Just Jesus. It really is that simple.

As a result of this unity we hit the streets of Lancaster and saw 320 people in two days trust in Jesus for salvation! Calling people to Jesus is different than anything else the world offers. Jesus said, “behold I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me”-Revelation 3:20. Inviting people to know Jesus is not calling them to a set of rules, a philosophy, a belief system, but a real and abiding relationship with the living God, Jesus Christ. The invitation is the great banquet table of Jesus! When people put their trust in Jesus they are adopted into the family of God. A Jesus people family. A family of redemption, that encompasses the whole earth. Amen!!!

Check out this awesome video for the 2013 Circuit Rider Schools! Last years schools were incredible and I believe the Lord is only going to do more! If you can make it, go to one of the schools near you, you will never be the same! Today is the day of salvation!

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I love hearing people tell stories about the Jesus People Movement of the early 1970’s. My buddy said it best, “there was really something in the water back then.” People got saved in droves! It has been said of the time that “you could just say the name of Jesus and people would get saved.” People were disillusioned with the destructive nature of drug induced peace and love, so they went looking for a new kind of peace, and found it in the Prince of Peace! Following Jesus also offered a comunal style of living wich made the transition somewhat smoother for some hippies. People began moving into comune style houses and properties all over the country. Attempting to share everything they had was the mode of operation. A strong emphasis was made on evangelism, signs and wonders, and gifts of the Holy Spirit. When you talk to a guy or gal who got saved back then they can tell ya, “I got saved  July 21st 1972 at 8pm!” Yes I love that! Salvation encounter all the way, the day and the hour. No doubt it hasn’t been total smooth sailing since then, but thats when they set sail for Kingdom shores, back in 72!

I believe were in the throws of another Jesus People Movement. This one will be global. This one will pick up where the other left off. Right now Christianity is exploding in China with the underground house church. Other parts of Asia and Africa are swelling with revival and salvations. Uganda is now considered a revived nation. In downtown Campala you can see “Jesus is Lord plumbers” on a random street corner. All this is on its way to the U.S. Jesus is the same yesterday and forever. The Gospel has been, and is, good news! The ancient wells of the 1st and 2nd Great Awakenings that swept this country are rising again. As I write this 24-7 prayer and worship houses are popping up all over the country. House churches and community houses are becoming common again among believers. People are responding to the Gospel where some thought they never would. The harvest is ripe! What is going on? Its another Jesus people revolution!