Thursday, April 26, 2012
What that tells me is that as we are living our normal, everyday life, loving the people around us, we are being ministers of the Gospel. We are living out Gods call on ALL of our lives. It is easy to think that "ministry" should be left up to the "church people", but that is not what God says at all. He has called us all to be His hands and feet here on earth. Yes, there are people who are called to be pastors or worship leaders, but you can also be called to be a banker or office manager or landscaper for Christ. By doing your work with integrity and doing your job well can be such a great testimony of God's love.
So, this week step into the call God has placed on your life. Don't think that you can leave "ministry" up to the "professional Christians." Live out God's love right where you are, in your everyday life and let God shine through! Live to Love Him and Live to Love the ones around you! Maybe this song will give you a little encouragement! Click the link below to hear the title track from our Live to Love CD. Enjoy!
Thursday, April 12, 2012
As life marches onward and I continue to get older (which is better than the alternative- says Michelle), I find myself saying things that I never thought I would say. Here are a few such phrases...
Collard greens, brown rice and ground turkey for dinner, YUM!
When I was your age...
Can you turn that music down, it's getting to loud.
Oh man! I'm getting to old for this!
Because I said so!
I'm so full! I don't think I can finish my dinner.
The concert doesn't star till 9pm! We will be asleep by then!
Some phrases that I hope to never hear come out of my mouth...
I'll have a DIET Dr. Pepper.
Is this the strongest denture glue you have?
I have hair growing where?!?!?
So, you're telling me I need bi-focals!?!
5am, yeah, I just naturally wake up that early.
We would love to hear some of your favorite phrases! Feel free to post them on our Facebook Fan Page www.facebook.com/justingravesband
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
So, you may or may not know that I recently tried out for the TV show X-Factor. Yeah, that's right, reality TV, gotta love it! They held auditions in Austin a few weeks ago and Michelle and I talked about it and thought, why not! So, Michelle and I talked through song choices and finally landed on a few that we thought would work. Then I rehearsed and rehearsed and practiced in front of the mirror and in front of the video camera and in front of Michelle and worked and tweaked and rehearsed some more. As the audition date grew closer, we got more excited! Where would this take us? What would come out of this? Could I really make it on the show? What could this do for our career? Think of the potential this could have for our ministry!
There were a lot of steps that we had to take just to get the opportunity to audition. First, we had to register. We spent the night in Austin and woke up at 4am just to get to the Erwin Center to wait in line to get the wrist band and ticket in order to come back and audition. We got there about 5:30 in the pouring rain and got to wait in line for about three hours (inside thankfully). Standing, waiting, waiting, standing and then more standing, all the while the X-Factor people telling us, "It will be just a few more minutes" about every 20 minutes. After all that waiting and standing they finally said it was time and they were going to start registration. The crowed rushed forward to get to the registration table to present their ID and get the wrist band and ticket needed to audition. It took about 5 minutes to complete the registration process. Yeah, all that waiting for such a quick turn around. That was OK though because we got to go have brunch with some of our best friends at a cool place in Austin.
The auditions were held on Thursday at the Erwin Center and they had told us to be there and in line by 7am. So, again, we stayed in Austin the night before and get there about 6:30am, to find out we are waiting outside. Thankfully the weather was beautiful that day, no rain. As the TV cameras were being set up and positioned, we stood in line again. Waiting and standing, standing and waiting. We had actually met a couple on the day of registration and happened to run into them again on Thursday. As we stood, we talked to our new friends and the people around us, finding out where they were from, what they did and what their story was. We became fast friends with several people and quickly realized we were all Christ Followers. All from different places and backgrounds, but all connected by our love of God. It was amazing the stories that were shared and the encouragement that came out of that little group! It certainly helped the time pass easier having a group of friends to laugh with and talk to!
Finally, it was time to go in and start the auditions. Michelle and I go in and find our seats and we realize that the section we are seated in will be the first to audition. Now, I don't get nervous very often, and I can play it pretty cool most of the time, but for some reason the gravity of this started getting into my head a bit. I was trying to remember all that Michelle and I had talked about, what to emphasize, what to do with my hands (since I couldn't use my guitar), what to say to the judges. All of these thoughts running through my head at the same time as the lyrics to the songs.
I will spare you the details of the audition, which I think I really I rocked, but their answer was, "You're just not what we looking for at this time." Whoa! I was prepared for that, but to hear that come out of their mouth did sting a bit. I knew my odds of making it were slim and that they had a very specific thing they are looking for, but it still takes you back a little when you are told "no".
After coming home and reflecting on this whole process, Michelle and I have realized a few things. First, the process of preparing for the audition helped me see that I need to take every song I sing that serious. There are so many times I just sing a song and don't really think about it. I just get through it and don't feel it. So much of a song can be conveyed through the way it is sung. Second, we know what God has called us to do and are confident in that. He has called us to travel, sing the songs He has given us and trust that He is taking care of us. That could not have been made clearer through this process. In no way were we trying to say that what we have been doing is not good enough, but this was an opportunity that we thought would be great to explore.
So coming out of this I feel confident that God has us right where he wants us. He has great plans for us, even bigger than the X-Factor! We will continue to trust in Him and let Him lead us! Just like it says in Proverbs 3:5-7. Hey I think someone wrote a song about that!