Casting Crowns for me

I’m listening to Casting Crowns, one of my favourite bands, and it makes me want to cry.

They are unbelievably and unconventionally honest about life, in their lyrics, and that’s what people struggling like me need today. There must be so many people out there encouraged to face their struggles after listening to the.

Songs like Who am I, Every man, Altar and the Door, If we are the body, If people pray, Stain Glass Masquerade, etc. just talk to me. Their songs are such a blunt affair that they don’t sugar it up with ‘it’s OKs and it’s alright’s’.

Being a lover of music, this band for me is a breath of fresh air from music, Christian and otherwise, because they actually make an issue out of issues which are an issue! I’m tired of the same old lyrics, same patterns, same words. And Casting Crowns makes you think and look at yourself in a mirror. Does the world see Jesus through what’s seen in the mirror? The truth, in my case is no, and their songs make me face up to that fact.

Their vocal combination of Mike Hall with Melodee Devevo backing him up is just fantastic. It’s one of those combinations which some amazingly great singers have used effectively; a rusty powerful male voice backed by an equally powerful and spirit filled female voice. I’m a great fan of it, especially having heard my favourites blessing us that way: Lenny LeBlanc (With Rachel Wilson in ‘Lord you have my heart’ and all his albums, aspecially, Above All) and Matt Redman (the song FACE DOWN and other songs) and so on.

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Providence :Weekend trip to worship

I had a fantastic weekend back where I consider home. It’s my city for the past eight years. Initially I never wanted to be identified as someone from there. But later, my family which developed there made me feel at home, literally.

It was great to be back and attend the Bob Fitts concert with people whom you love being around with. I simply enjoyed ecery bit of it.

I wanted to go, but on what grounds would you travel 700 kilometers with your parents money when you still haven’t decided which path to take in life?

Dramatically, no it’s definitely God’s providence, my Dad’s brother came to visit and gifted me some money when they were leaving. Just the amount to take an adventurous trip for the weekend and come back comfortably. When I was back, I still had 50 bucks left. But I still hadn’t received permission to come. A weekend trip to Bangalore, how luxurious!

I tried with hope against hope to go for it on the week leading to the concert. No hopes.

Finally on the previous day of the concert, there was some kind of persistence on my side with my heart telling me deep inside keep trying. It wasn’t violent impolite or noisy. Simply persistent.

They flatly refused. When I went upstairs with my coffee, my mum came behind and asked me later, whether I’d go if I was allowed to, and I said that is if I was allowed. She said, then go. (What?? The impossible suddenly turned possible!)

No looking back. Take the train and leave. Packed my bags quickly for a self-financed adventure trip to be part of the worship concert by such a great singer! Squeezed myself into the general compartment of the train to Bangalore, that afternoon.

What happened in three power-packed days?

Met with friends over lunch, attended youth Bible Study, Went for the Concert, followed by a sleep over at my friends place towards where I got a free ride from friends, back to church in the morning- another free ride from a kind friend who stayed nearby, attended the first service , attended Sunday School and led a song with my favourite friends, where another fav friend suddenly turned up with an exposition to the verse mentioned in the song gloriously making the truth in the verse clear, attended the anniversary of a mission-field where we reached by another joyride in two cars with a quickly propped up plan, got back and attended a Seminar on Worship by Bob Fitts, went for dinner ,went home and talked a lot with friends who came for a sleep over, went next morning to meet an old friend, went to college to meet a teacher who I wanted to speak to, Met with friends, went to see off another friend and got on the train, found space and got back comfortably. Praise God! What providence! It’s indescribable and how God carries you through is amazing.

Yet another instance to show that God provides and takes care. He has great things planned for those who’ve given their life to him. I’m waiting but He’s making the wait worth.

Back to Basics 1

( Isaiah 62:10)

Now I didn’t really think that the camp would be so great.  Many friends weren’t coming but a few friends who mattered were there. On top of that the messages at the Diocesan Youth Conference held at Quiet Corner, were of top quality and I could literally feel that God had brought me to the camp ( No, I haven’t had the privilege of hearing the Voice yet). I’d argued with my parents to go for this one. I’d just attended another one in Kerala the previous week which was also wonderful, giving me a different experience and a lot of friends.
Surely, I did need to get back to basics.
And how could I thank the cool God who brought Rev. Biju George, Dr. Sunny Philip and Mr. Philip Cherian!

I made loads of friends and the camp was crazy with six games – Signs, Ping Pang Pa ( Thanks to Lammy, and Dan for it’s Australian version). Logic and Dave’s World ( Crazy Chennai gang), the Mafia and Picnic played on the bus.

This is what I call a camp. Praise The Lord!
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I’d been long wanting to play some music. It had been a while and I was just waiting. I saw the unmanned drum kit at the inaugural session and prayed ” Hey GOd, if you can’t find a drummer, I don’t mind playing…’

There you go – their drummer was busy with work. At the next session “Is there a drummer in the house?”

I waited for some other drummer to show up as I could hear another name out there, but her refused to come and I wanted to go and my friends push,. There I land on a drum kit. No practice, no preparation. But that’s how God’s worked many times in my life.
It was fun praising God again with a team of enthusiastic singers and great musicians like Ron.
No, practice, so, don’t mind the slipped beats!

Ron was juts fantastic and he could make any tune sound heavenly with his keyboard! I was blown off when Rev. Biju concluded his first Bible Study session with the Song ‘Take me into the Holy of Holies’ by Petra, which was superbly complimented by a piano,dual toned with a layer of strings. I’d never heard such terrific and blessed live rendition in recent times – surely only two blessed people could do that and that was just what we saw.
( to be cont.)