God is Able. God is Good

Christian Living, Hope, Leaving a Mark

Tonight I am teaching on Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. You know the famous story of the three young men who would not bow to King Nebuchadnezzar’s golden image. This story in Daniel 3 along with the other narratives in Daniel tend to get mashed together in a “Dare to be…” series. It is true that Daniel and his friends had great resolve and great faith. But, when we focus on them alone we miss what the Bible is teaching us about God. In Daniel 3:1-30 we see that God is able and God is good.

In verse 15, Nebuchadnezzar makes a statement and asks a question.  He says, “If you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?” At the end of the story, we know that God proves himself able to deliver the three young men out of the hands of the king and out of the fiery furnace. He is God who is able to deliver in a way that the gods of the Babylonians cannot deliver. He is a living and active God who meets his people in the midst of trial – in the midst of a furnace. This is great news for those who follow him. No matter what trial you are going through, no matter what you are suffering, no matter what uncertainty you are facing – our God is able to deliver you.

However, if you are like me, questions begin to creep into your mind in the midst of trial, suffering, and uncertainty: “Will he deliver me?” “Will I make it through this okay?” “Is everything going to work out?”

I ask these questions and then I immediately regret it. I never want anyone to know that those thoughts even crossed my mind. It is not good to doubt, right? If I even think of asking these questions then that must be a sign that my faith is weak. If my faith is weak, then the Lord will not do what I ask. The Lord will not deliver me because I do not have enough faith.

How prideful and selfish is this kind of thinking?

Should I doubt the fact that God can deliver us? Absolutely not. Should I doubt that God will work things out exactly to my guidelines and specifications? Absolutely.

When I pray for certain outcomes to situations, is it my lack of faith that causes them to turn out differently? It can’t be. That would imply that the strength of my faith determines God’s actions. The God of the Bible is the God who, “changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; he reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him (Daniel 2:21-22).” He alone is in control.

What is true faith then? Is true faith believing that God will make pleasurable outcomes for me? Or, is true faith believing that God will make things work out for my good? I believe that it is the latter.

Surely Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did not want to go into the fire. They probably even prayed that God would deliver them from the fire. God could have arranged it so they would not have to go into the fire. Then the deliverance from the fire could have easily been passed off as a coincidence. By meeting them in the fire, God shows everyone that he is the answer to Nebuchadnezzar’s question. He is the God who is able to deliver the three young men out of the king’s hand.

Similarly, Jesus did not want to go to the cross. He prayed for God to remove the cup from him if there was another way. He prayed for God’s will to be done and not his (Luke 22:42). Jesus, like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, trusted in the goodness of God though it meant his suffering. Praise God for that suffering!

Even though God is able, sometimes he does not give us what we ask for. He sometimes sends us into the fire to be tested (1 Peter 1:6-7). Therefore, the measure of our faith cannot be determined by the outcomes in our life. Our faith must be settled in knowing that the God who is able is the God who is working things for our good. I believe this is the reason that we see no struggle from the three Hebrews. They did not want to go into the fire, but they knew that God was working things out for his glory and their good. They knew that he was worth the sacrifice.

We trust in God who is sovereign. He is in control. In your life you will have trials. You will have sufferings. You will walk through flames. At times, he may rescue you from the flames. Praise Him greatly for that. However, if he does not rescue you from the flames, you can rest assured that he will meet you in the midst of them.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. (Isaiah 43:2 ESV)

Coming Home

Leaving a Mark, Parent, Uncategorized

“Home is not as much of a place as it is somewhere that you belong, somewhere that you are accepted.” Tim Keller

Over the past several years left the country to go on a mission trip. Our church has been very involved in missions over the last decade, and I decided to try to go to as many places that I could in order to share the gospel, encourage believers, and do whatever was needed.

There are two things that I like about traveling. Enjoying the journey and going home. I have been blessed to travel to many great places in the world. Over the last several years, I have fallen in love with all kinds of people. Some of them were specific people who are now very dear to my heart. But, generally I have come to a place that I just love people. I am amazed and intrigued by the differences and similarities of cultures that I have visited. There are things that are quite different such as languages, dress, gestures, and food. Yet there are similarities such as friendship, laughter, affection, and need for Christ. I love seeing the beauty of the world that God has made. I love exploring new places (new to me anyway). I enjoy trying new foods and drinks (this is something that I especially like to do. I think it all started with my first trip overseas to Japan in 1994. I even brought back a lot of soda cans with me because I was so intrigued by the exotic sodas.).

As much as I love the journey, I love coming home. Tim Keller says that home is not as much of a place as it is somewhere that you belong, somewhere that you are accepted. Within the past seven years, I have gotten married and been blessed with three wonderful children. Every day since my wedding has been an adventure of new things and a deepening of my understanding of home.  So whether I am coming home form a long trip or just a day at work, one of my favorite parts of coming home is the outpouring of hugs from three little people and a beautiful, loving wife who make the return home as good as the exploration of a new place.

Help My Unbelief

Christian Living, Faith, Leaving a Mark

There are things that I believe and yet often times I doubt them.

I believe that God will provide everything I need.  I believe that he will meet all of my needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). And yet when money is tight at the end of the month, the car needs repair, the house is falling apart, or you are pregnant with child number four those creeping doubts begin to rise up.

I believe that God is the great protector.  He is a fortress, a strong tower, and a shield (Psalm 18:2, 10). And yet, I get scared for my life or the lives of my wife and children.

I believe that God loves me (Ephesians 2:4-5). Yet, when my sin is apparent and I cannot find a single ounce of love for myself, I wonder how God could look upon me with love.

I believe that in Christ I am a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). Yet, when I do the same things over and over again it is hard to see any shiny newness or difference from the old man.

I believe that the scripture is sufficient for life and salvation (2 Timothy 3:16; 1 Peter 1:23). Yet, when I know I am supposed to sit down and read and study I find any distraction in the world.

I believe that the gospel has power to change lives, to rescue people from darkness and bring them into light (Colossians 1:13-14; 1 Corinthians 1:18), to give life to those who are dead (Ephesians 2:1-10). Yet, I am reluctant to share the good news of Jesus.

My doubts do not drive me away from God or the scripture. They drive me to it.  Without God, I cannot have the faith that I need. Without him giving me faith, I cannot believe as I should believe. I must cry out in times of doubt like the father of the boy with seizures in Mark 9.

The man’s son had an unclean spirit that was causing him to convulse and seize.  The father says that it has been going on for a long while and it often led to injuries of the boy.  He looks at Jesus and he says, “But, if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”  I imagine that the man is at his wits end. His son has been suffering since childhood.  He has probably taken his son to see some religious leaders for prayer, healers for healing, and whoever else may offer any advice or help.  The disciples have even tried to help and failed. Now, he stands before Jesus. No one has been able to help.  The man’s hopes have been dashed, and he is tired.  He simply looks at Jesus and says, “If you can do anything, have compassion and help us.” His faith is all but gone.

Jesus responds to the man and says, “If you can! All things are possible for the one who believes.” Jesus’ response is nothing short of cutting. “If you can!” – as if to say, do you realize who you are talking to? Do you realize who I am? Do you realize what I can do?

Immediately, the man cries out, “I believe; help my unbelief!” As if to say that he has a little bit of belief, but he acknowledges that it is not enough (Mark 9:24).

That is where I often find myself. I have a little bit of belief, but I know it is not enough. That man’s prayer is great in times when I do not feel worthy, when I feel helpless, when I want to control everything, when I think the gospel is powerless.  I know I need Jesus to give me faith to believe.

“Lord, I believe; help my unbelief. Give me the faith I need to believe you. Strengthen my faith, grow my faith, that I may trust in you as I should. Give me faith to glorify you in all my thoughts, words, and actions.”

Wherever You Are, Be All There

Christian Living, Leaving a Mark

Jim Elliot was an American evangelical missionary who was killed in Ecuador while participating in a mission to one of the local people groups. Jim Elliot, along with four other men, are motivation for modern Christians and missionaries.  I would venture to say that the death of Elliot along with the others did much to greatly enhance the modern missionary movement among evangelicals.

Known for his death, Jim Elliot’s life and words have been remembered and delivered to us by his wife Elisabeth.  She did much in the year’s following her husbands death to tell their story.  An incredible thing that is available to us now is some of Jim’s journals.  These give real insight into Jim’s inner life with Christ.

I was backhanded last week by one of Jim’s entries.  Before I go any further, please know that I am writing this post primarily for myself.  If you get something out of this, great, but I am simply preaching to myself first.

The entry said this, “Wherever you are, be all there!” It was brought to my attention as the word of the day for a morning workout group that I have been participating in (that in itself is another story that I hope to visit soon).

These words continued to ring in my ears for the next several days and weeks. The ringing turned to a digging and a prodding.  You see there is a trait that I often hate about myself, that is when I notice that I am doing it. It is not being all there.  I think I have programed myself to always be thinking about the next “thing.”  For the past eight years, I have been working as a Youth Pastor.  These have been some of the most rewarding, trying, memorable, and blessed times of my life. My first six years as a Youth Pastor, I was also enrolled in a Masters program. On top of this, I got married and had became the daddy of two children. As you can imagine, this took up a pretty good chunk of my time. So as my schedule became busier and more crowded it became necessary to continually look forward to what was coming up next. This week I have a theology paper due, a class to attend, a retreat to chaperone, Bible study to plan, and so on. I think this kind of schedule added to an already introspective personality. I tend to internalize and think through things that I have to do.  Sometimes this happens in inopportune time (such as conversations with people). This is not a quality that I particularly like about myself.

Other things distract me as well. And if you honestly ask yourself, they probably distract you too. How many times have you had a conversation with your spouse, friend, or child and had a situation from work on your mind. Sometimes it is hard to leave work at the office. And if you are like me and have a job that never stays at the office, it is even harder.

Facebook, twitter, sports updates, emails, worthless quizzes, and such are a huge distraction. Have you ever sat in a room of people who constantly check there phones? If you have sat in a room with me you probably have experienced this.  I’m sorry.

I’m still a work in progress. I am setting up boundaries for myself – times, limits, no phone zones, etc. But, from now on, I am seeking to make this one of my life goals: “Wherever you are, be all there.”

He Knows What We Need

Faith, Leaving a Mark, Parent

I am blessed with wonderful children.  Some days I think I am a great dad. Other days, I’m okay. And then there are days when I am simply lousy.

Sometimes my children need things, and I can provide for them quickly. Sometimes I can figure it out before they ask. Other times, I get lucky and guess the very thing they need. Most times, I have no clue. I do my best to give them what they need, but I often fall short (according to their standards at least).

This morning my son needed something. I didn’t know what. I could not motivate him to get going or to get dressed. Nothing was right. His clothes did not fit, his shoes, hurt his feet, he did not want anything to eat. He probably needed compassion at that moment, but I had none to give. I was pretty lousy in showing love and compassion. I wanted him to wipe off his tears, deal with it and get going. He couldn’t.

After I dropped him off at school, I was pretty hard on myself about being a dad. When my shortcomings were about to wipe me out, I was reminded that I have a perfect Father. My son has a perfect Father who knows exactly what we need.

Jesus tells us, “Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. (Matthew 6:31-32)”

We have a Father who knows what we need and when we need it. We do not have to worry about things in this life. He have a God who knows what we need and desires to give us those things.

I know I am going to miss the mark again for my son. I am going to let him down. I am going to discipline him when I should have shown him grace. I am going to let him get away with things that he should not get away with. I am going to fail him and disappoint him.

But, in the midst of all of this, I am going to do my best to point him to the Father that will never disappoint him. The one who will never fail him.The one who will never leave him or forsake him. The one that will give him exactly what he needs when he needs it.

Today, I urge you to trust in the Father who knows exactly what you need and desires to give it to you.

A Mother’s Day Prayer

Leaving a Mark, Prayer, Uncategorized

IrisOur Father, God, creator of all things.  We praise you for all things and in all things.  We especially praise you and thank you today for mothers.  On a day that has been set aside to honor our mothers we lift up prayers of petition on behalf of mothers.

We pray for new mothers who are coming to terms with new responsibilities.  Give them strength to rely on you.

We pray for expectant mothers who are wondering and waiting.  Give them the ability to trust in you.

We pray for mothers who are tired, stressed, or depressed.  Give them the endurance to serve you as they serve their families.

We pray for mothers who are struggling to balance the tasks of work and family.  Give them the perseverance that they need to glorify you in the home and the workplace.

We pray for mothers who are raising children on their own.  Remind them and teach them that you alone are our help.  Help us all to realize that God’s help can come from his body, the church. Let us as a church rise up and help these mothers.

We pray for mothers who have lost children.  Give them the comfort and support that they need in times of darkness and despair.  May their hope be in you.

We pray for mothers who have adopted children. Give them the ability to love these children as you have loved us and adopted us as your children.

We pray for those who care for the children of others as childcare providers or foster mothers. We thank you that they have dedicated themselves to loving and providing care.

We pray for those whose desire to be a mother has not been fulfilled.  Give them the opportunities to serve as mothers in the Lord for those who are in need. Fulfill their desires.

Bless all mothers that their love may be deep, tender, and reflective of your love. Strengthen them and equip them that they may lead their children to know you and follow after your ways.

In Christ Name We pray

Amen.

Waking Up Free

Faith, Hope, Leaving a Mark

IBR-1113189When I woke up this morning, I was frustrated.  It was 5:04 am and I was up in order to go workout. My little girl cried and asked where I was going.  I lay back down with her and waited as patiently as I could until her breathing went rhythmic. I really enjoy my morning workout and when that routine gets thrown off, I get frustrated.  It’s selfish I know. I’m working on it.

In another part of the country, several other girls were waking up free for the first time in a decade. Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michele Knight all disappeared in 2003, 2004, and 2002 respectively. They vanished in three separate incidents nearly a decade ago, and they all turned up in the same house last night. What are the odds?

The story is one of heroism on the part of the girls and a neighbor who was in the right place at the right time. It is amazing to hear Charles Ramsey, the neighbor who discovered the girls sharing how he had lived in the neighborhood for a year with no clue that one of his neighbors had girls captive in his house.  Ramsey spoke of having barbeques with this man.  He said the man was uninteresting. It turned out that this “ordinary” neighbor was a key player in an exceptionally interesting turn of events.

Found and Rescued
Amanda Berry was frantically trying to get out of the house when Charles Ramsey heard her.  She escaped and phoned 911.  The police rescue operation freed several other girls from the house. Imagine the excitement of stepping out into the world for the first time in a painfully long time. How overjoyed the young ladies must be to know that they will not have to spend another night held captive by a maniac? They were set free from the terror that had reigned over them and controlled them for the better part of a decade.

Never give up hope
It is safe to assume that many people had written these girls off. Surely, they were dead. Why would anyone have any reason to believe otherwise? There are plenty of missing persons stories that do not end like this. Instead they end with a memorial service and maybe a few unrecognizable remains. We are accustomed to tragic endings to these stories.  We have been programmed to expect the worse. And in the sin-sickened and depraved world in which we leave, I think we should expect the worse.

But, there was something hopeful about waking up this morning and hearing of the rescue of these young ladies. It is doubtful that there were many people on the planet who went to bed last night thinking of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, or Michele Knight.  But, this morning anyone with access to a TV, internet, radio, or newspaper were thinking about them.

The cases of these missing girls is but a faint and distant memory in my mind, but the hopefulness that was brought on by reading, hearing, and watching interviews is almost overwhelming, even to me so far removed. It is proof that we should never give up hope. Even in the midst of horrible and overwhelming circumstances, there is hope.

As my thoughts drifted away from this miraculous rescue, I could not help but think of God’s marvelous rescue of his people. 1 Peter 2:9-10 speaks of this saying, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy (italics added).” The God of the Universe, a God who is a loving father, has called people out of darkness into his marvelous light. He rescues the ones who believe in him, call upon his name, and confess him as Lord.

All people are sinners who are enslaved in sin and enemies of God. In our sin, we are under the tyrannical rule of sin, death, and darkness. But, God in his loving mercy, rescued his people from that slavery, the domain of darkness, and brought us into the kingdom of his Son Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:13-14).

The story of every Christian is that of enemies of Christ and slaves of sin who have been redeemed through the sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ.  We were oppressed and God freed us. We were hopeless in sin, and God gave us hope. We were dead, and God made us alive in Christ.

When I think about this in light of the breaking news of the rescued girls, I almost weep.  For the first time in a long time, these girls are experiencing freedom. I guarantee they are rejoicing in the fact that they have been rescued. Many days the remembrance of my rescue from darkness to light takes a backseat in my mind. It shouldn’t.

I am also reminded to not give up hope.  Many times I have talked to people who struggle because one of their family members does not follow Christ. Maybe it is a wayward child, a confused peer, or a sibling who is blatantly opposed to the gospel.  At certain times, it feels as though there is no hope. But, this story reminds me that there is hope. Jesus Christ is a great savior and will wait patiently with people far longer than I ever will.  There may be times when you seem to have lost all hope that they will ever put their trust in Christ as their savior and follow him. You wonder if they will continue down the path of enmity. Some may, but there is hope that they will be rescued from the domain of darkness and delivered into the kingdom of light. Don’t give up hope. Proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to them and wait patiently for the Lord’s timing. Weep, but never give up hope.

This world is dark, cold, and evil. There are likely more girls who will go to bed tonight with tears on their pillows and bruises on their faces confined in houses that are not their own in darkness that will never seem to go away.  There will undoubtedly be more stories like this that end in sorrow, murder, and destruction. That is the world we live in. But, in the midst of this crooked and depraved world it is always good to remember the stories of hope like this one of Amanda Berry, Gine DeJesus, and Michele Knight.  Remember that a little bit of light can go a long way in a dark place.  In this world there will always be night to remind us of darkness, sin, and death. But, as long as the sun breaks through in the dawn we know there is hope! There is hope for a better today. There is hope for a better tomorrow. And through Jesus Christ’s resurrection there is hope for life beyond this life. A new life where girls don’t have to go to bed locked in corners of dirty houses. A new life where children do not have to cry themselves to sleep because their stomachs hurt so much from lack of food. A new life where there will be no more tears, no more hunger, no more slavery, no more sin, no more death, and no more darkness.

So, in the morning when the sun comes up, remember not to give up hope. In the Spring, when the world emerges from its cold winter slumber, remember not to give up hope. When your son, daughter, mother, father, friend, or enemy continues to rebel against the loving Father and King of the Universe remember not to give up hope.

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;

his mercies never come to an end;

they are new every morning;

great is your faithfulness.

‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul,

‘therefore I will hope in him.’”

Lamentations 3:22-23

 

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

1 Peter 3-9

I’ll Come Back

Discipleship, Faith, Leaving a Mark, Uncategorized

For the last several months, my son has wanted to go to school.  I know this is unusual and in about 5-10 years, this will not be his sentiment toward school. But, as of now I think it is pretty cool.  I want him to be a young man who is inquisitive and wants to learn.  So far, he has lived up to this desire of mine.  He is bright, and he surprises me often with the amount of things that he can remember and recall.  I know that most every three-year-old is little sponges, soaking up everything they see, hear, touch, taste, smell.  He has an incredible imagination and he makes me laugh often. I can say that I am thoroughly enjoying these first years.

Next week, he will begin pre-school.  It is only for two days a week, and only a few hours a day. But, this is a big step for us as a family and him as a young boy. I know that parents have been sending their children to pre-school for years, and for some this is no big deal. But, for me this is huge. He will be in a place where he will have to make decisions for himself. He will have to be alone in some things.  He will not have mommy and daddy right beside him, telling him what to do every minute of the day. I know he will have good teachers and good guidance,but it won’t be me.

This is the first time that I have really released my son into the world. I can tell that he is excited to go.  But, I am a little hesitant. My desire is to keep him close, protect him, make decisions for him, and watch over him. But, I know my job and my responsibility as a parent is to launch him into the world. He is only three, and he still has many years under my watch.

My only prayer is this: “God, may I be a man after your heart who desires to know you and make you known.  May my life be an accurate reflection of who you are so that my son will know you. Give me wisdom to prepare him for the obstacles that he will face.”

My highest priority is for my son to know Christ and follow him.  If he is a great athlete and a follower of Christ, praise God. If he is a great writer and a follower of Christ, praise God. If he is a great musician and a follower of Christ, praise God. If he does none of these things yet is a follower of Christ, praise God.

In our last conversation about going to school, I asked him if he was excited about going to school.  HE said that he was very excited.  I asked him why he didn’t want to stay with his mommy anymore. He looked at me very matter-of-factly and said, “I’ll come back.”

I like this. I know that whatever happens in his life, I will always be his dad. I know he is going to make mistakes and bad decisions. I know he will fail and take the wrong paths. But, want to show him the roads to follow, the paths to take, the way of following Christ. I want to show him this so that when he is on his own he will know the way home. Wherever, he goes, he will know how to come back.

One of my favorite artists wrote a song about this very thing.  I think it is fitting to end this post with “You’ll Find Your Way” by Andrew Peterson.

Joy in the Journey

Leaving a Mark, Uncategorized

This fall, I read through the Hobbit with 11 other people.  We met at my house.  We read the story out loud. We laughed, we sang, we scratched our heads, we ate, we played. It was refreshing.

On Monday nights for an average of an hour and a half we used our imagination as we delved into Middle earth, guided by the pen and wit of Tolkein. It was a welcome break from the busyness taht can sometimes swallow us in the daily grind.  Our little journey was quite like the journey of the dwarves and Bilbo Baggins that Tolkein penned in 1937.  As the weeks went by, the group slowly got to know one another.  Their personalities began to emerge.  They begin to fit together as a group.  I watched them gather outside of my home for other events. It was really cool to watch and to be a part of this little adventure.

What I learned from the Hobbit Book club:
1. The Hobbit is a great story
2. Reading the Hobbit is really fun
3. Reading the Hobbit out loud is a lot more fun
4. Trying to sing all of the songs in the book can be a difficult task
5. Tolkein is pretty much a genius
6. By the middle of the story Dwalin really comes into his own
7. The Shire would be a desirable location to live if your residence was Bag End
8. Spending time with real people is way better than facebook
9. Watching teenagers and 20-somethings interacting with your kids is awesome

I am writing this on Monday night when I would have been preparing for the book club. The adventure is over for now. I guess this is how Bilbo felt when he got back to his hole in the ground. He had his gold and he had his memories.

I don’t have gold, but I won’t forget our little adventure. Thanks guys.

 

Light for the Lost Boy by Andrew Peterson

Album Review, Leaving a Mark, Music

In the summer after I graduated high school, I worked as an intern for my church.  One of my duties was to clean out the youth closet (The interns that we have now still clean out the youth closet every summer.  It was such a theological experience, I feel like it should continue).

There was all kinds of stuff in that closet: old t-shirts, old pictures, old food, and other old stuff that got tossed out to the garbage.  There was always lots of cool things to get into.  There were lots of cassette tapes and CD’s that had been ordered through a company that sent youth pastor’s the latest and greatest CDs.  While I was organizing the CDs, I would often have a listen.  Some of them were really bad.  I still wonder how they ever got a record contract.  Others were good and worth keeping.  A few were gems – diamonds in the rough.  It was during one of these times of cleaning out the closet that I discovered Andrew Peterson.  I loved his music immediately.  It was around this time that I was also remembering Rich Mullins.  I had listened to him as a middle school student, but all I really knew was “Awesome God” and “Step by Step.”  I found A Liturgy, a Legacy, and a Ragamuffin Band and I wondered why no one told me to listen to it before. I was reading/had read/was about to read (can’t remember the order) An Arrow Pointing to Heaven by James Bryan Smith, a devotional biography about the life of Rich Mullins.

When I went to college, I found some like-minded Andrew Peterson fans.  We discovered that he was playing a concert close to the school.  So, we went.  I hadn’t really listened to his stuff that much since that first CD. But, seeing him in concert made me realized what I had missed.  I was hooked again. Plus, he opened with “Land of my Sojourn” by Rich Mullins.

Needless to say, from that moment, I began to purchase every album that Andrew Peterson put out.  He shot straight to the top of my “purchase before preview” artist list (this includes only U2, Coldplay, Andrew Peterson, and new edition Needtobreathe).  I have listened to all of his albums again and again. Some of his songs are my all time favorites. A lot of his stuff can be found here.

Recently, Andrew Peterson put out another album called Light for the Lost Boy.  I think this could be his best one yet.  The lyrics are as good as ever, the music is superb, and there is no song on the album that is not good (I don’t think I have skipped over one song to get to another – that’s saying something considering the way I usually listen to albums).

The album has ten tracks – you will love each one. You can purchase the album here. You can download it, purchase the actual album, or you can purchase a deluxe 2 disc album.  If you have $20 I would recommend the deluxe version.  The second CD is an acoustic version of Light for the Lost Boy. It also includes a booklet about the making of the album.  This adds a little bit more flavor as you are listening through the album.

I hope you enjoy.