Agents of Future

19 09 2008
I recently rediscovered this amazing band that I’ve known of for quite a long time. The more I listen, the more I’m convinced that this is probably the most amazing praise and worship band ever of all time forever. Everyone should go to these two websites:

http://www.myspace.com/agentsoffuture

http://www.soundclick.com/agentsoffuture

and download every song you can find (around 60 or so :) ).

Those of you who know me well probably know that I think most modern praise/worship music is utterly banal and irrelevant. I feel that most of it has no energy, reuses/recycles the same tired phrases over and over, and borrows melodies way too often. Sometimes it seems like the performers of said music are just going through the motions and everyone is just trying so hard to lose themselves in worship to God in the music. God made us to be creative people for a reason, so I’m usually frustrated when I see people creating art for God that is so unoriginal and consists of covering other bands’ songs/rearranging other bands’ lyrics and calling it new (“I’m singin’ hallelujah and gettin’ smothered by all these brothers who be stuck on the same page tryin’ to get their hymns played, only playin’ covers”…”If anyone’s in Christ then you a new creation. So then, REFLECT your Creator with origination” – Soul-Junk, “Pumpfake”).

Anyway, enough of why I think that music is bad, and onto why I think Agents of Future’s music is so good. These guys play with passion. It’s often kind of sloppy, it’s not produced perfectly, it’s not always sung on key, but it’s some of the most passionate music I’ve ever heard. It’s completely original, and the lyrics seem like they actually took some thought. From what I’ve read about them, Agents of Future isn’t so much a band as it is a get-together of people who love God and celebrate Him in whatever way they see fit. I’ve read that they have as many as 25 people performing along with them when they play live.

Besides all this, the songs are near-unbearably catchy and stick to your brain like glue. So, even if you’re reading this and you aren’t a Christian, chalk the band up to a bunch of wackos singing to an invisible man in the sky and listen to these songs just for the fact that it’s amazing music.

Since some of the songs are really bad audio quality and some are better than others, here are the songs that are just plain great and must be listened to (I didn’t really expect you to download all 60 songs, silly).

SONGS YOU MUST DOWNLOAD:

(from the soundclick site [you have to sign up for the site first, it’s not too hard and they don’t harass you with e-mails, just do it, trust me])

Without Strings (http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_songInfo.cfm?bandID=295107&songID=2097144) – First song I ever heard by the band on a CD sampler. I listened to this song nonstop for a long time when I first heard it.

Everything (http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_songInfo.cfm?bandID=295107&songID=2128050)

Like a Child (http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_songInfo.cfm?bandID=295107&songID=2128101)

UR Who U Say UR (http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_songInfo.cfm?bandID=295107&songID=2128174) – This one’s great, insanely catchy- download now.

There is a Name (http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_songInfo.cfm?bandID=295107&songID=2365424) – Really great build-up in this song.

I Gave My Lunch (http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_songInfo.cfm?bandID=295107&songID=2469155) – Song about the boy who gave his lunch of bread and fishes to Jesus. Beautiful song.

Songs on myspace: well, you can listen for yourself, but I strongly suggest downloading Nothing in the Way and Peace on it’s Feet. Those two are great.

Okay, I’m done now. You might listen to any or all of these songs and say to yourself, “Man, these guys suck,” but at least give them a chance. I think they’re amazing. Listen for yourself, and let me know if you agree. Better yet, let them know on their myspace site.

(I don’t know anyone in this band personally and I’m not getting paid for this, trust me :) )





Awesome Devotional Entry…

19 09 2008
This is a devotional entry from the book A Table in the Wilderness by Watchman Nee. This guy was an amazing writer and I often come across entries in this book that make one think about things in ways one isn’t used to thinking about them. I would highly recommend it as a devotional book if you’re into this sort of thing.

This particular entry partially explains why I don’t worry too much about “defending” God or my faith to other people. Sure I’ll try to “give an answer to every man that asketh [me] a reason of the hope that is in [me] with meekness and fear,” (1 Peter 3:15, KJV) but my beliefs aren’t really something that can be defended with worldly or “Christian” logic. If anything I believe is true, then the only way others will be convinced is if God moves them. Anyway, Watchman Nee says it a lot better than I ever could, so here’s the entry:

SEPTEMBER 12th

I had heard of thee by the hearing of the ear; but now mine eye seeth thee. Job 42. 5.

Sound doctrine can inflate us, making us proud of our knowledge or our opinions. Or we can forget the truth by having it knocked out of us by skilled argument or third-degree methods. But vision is revolutionary. Beside it everything else becomes small. Once see the Lord and we shall never forget Him. With the attacks of Satan increasing and the counsel of friends failing us, it is only the inner knowledge of God that will make us stand in the testing time.

For a year or two after my conversion I used to fear lest a modernist or an atheist should come along and prove to me that the Bible was faulty and unreliable. I thought, if he did, that would finish everything. My faith would be lost; and I wanted to believe. But now all is peace. If all of them came, and if they brought as many arguments against the Bible as there are bullets in the armouries of Europe, my answer would be one and the same. “There is a great deal of reason in what you say—but I know my God. That is enough.”





Sincerity

6 09 2008
You’re only looking through stained plexiglas. Quit pretending everything’s crystal clear. Your “manual” isn’t a window into the heavens.

If you haven’t been changed, then you need to make sure that you become changed, but it’s not really you who can change, you need Someone to help you change, but if you don’t change, you may lose your chance before you die.

In other words, you need to ask to be changed. So don’t worry, you can be changed as long as you change yourself enough so that your perspective changes to the point where you see your need to change and you are willing to make your request to change. Easy enough, right?

 

 

 

Oh, one more thing…

You can make your request and you may think you’re being sincere, but the Bible says that you must “believe with all your heart.”

But what if it’s only with 99% of my heart?

Sorry, 99% isn’t enough for my God. You see, Jesus loves you unconditionally, but we’re not robots, so He wants us to choose to love Him with all of our hearts. He died for us, so He deserves all of us.

Doesn’t adding a condition to something that is unconditional make it conditional?

God is love, but He is also just. He will not force anything on you (until you die, that is). He’s given you the free will to choose Him now. Do it now while you have that free will before He takes that free will away and forces you to the ground in worship before casting you off forever. God doesn’t like robots right now and wants willed worship, but if you refuse, He’ll just have to settle for forcing you against your will just before you are condemned.

I don’t really understand, but I don’t want to go to Hell. If this is the only way, I guess I have to accept it. Too bad for everyone who doesn’t, though.

Mr. Questioner lives as a Christian for ten years thereafter. He lives his life the best he knows how, but still has problems with sin. He wants to glorify God, but doesn’t know how to do so. Questions about God’s nature still linger in the back of his mind, but he suppresses them because “His ways are higher than our ways,” so why bother asking? Besides, it may be taken as heresy and he may have to be “delivered unto Satan for the purging of the flesh.” He then hears a powerful sermon…

 

… Are you living your life fully for Christ? Is EverySingleThingYouDo done for the glory of God?

If not, there’s a problem.

Do you watch television that does not directly glorify God? Do you forget to read the Bible everyday? Do you still struggle with sin?

If so, you’ve just learned something about yourself, haven’t you?

Don’t get me wrong, we all struggle with sin. But if it’s anything more than occasionally hurting someone’s feelings, then you’ve got some serious questioning to do. It may be evidence of something.

It may show that you’ve never known him.

[wait, never known him? i’ve been living life as best i can these past ten years. i’ve tried to follow all the rules of the bible, but i still fail all the time. i’ve prayed to him time and again to rid me of the private and public sins in my life, but it seems i’m never answered. is it because i’ve never known him? is he ignoring my prayers because i’m not ‘one of his children?’]

If you are not showing sufficient evidence that you have been changed by Jesus Christ, if you still look just like the world, if you still do the same things that you did when you first came to know Christ, then you probably don’t know Jesus and He doesn’t know You.

[what? then what can i do? if i change and start doing all the things mr. pastorman tells me, then it won’t be jesus changing me, but me changing me. how will that help? i’ve already asked god thousands of times for change, but nothing happens.]

You need to get serious with God and get your life right with Him.

[i’m already serious with god! deadly serious! i don’t want to go to hell! why won’t he change me?]

If God isn’t helping You to seek Him and putting You back on the straight and narrow right after you sin, then you may not be one of His children. Because those whom He loves He chastens. If you’re not being chastened, then you are probably not His child. If you are one of His children, it doesn’t matter how far you go, He will always bring you back.

[if i left god and christianity right now, would he bring me back? i could leave forever and i think he would just let me go. i’m so tired of this]

If you feel like I’ve been describing your situation and speaking directly to you throughout this night, I want you to repeat this prayer after me…

[this is bullshit. i’ve already done this a million times. i’m gone.]

Exit Mr. Questioner

Mr. Questioner realizes that his life as a Christian, trying to please God and live by the Bible, is making him miserable. He contemplates suicide, but realizes that this will only speed up his judgment of eternal condemnation. He decides to just live for himself and his pleasures, since he is headed for Hell anyway according to Mr. Pastorman. So he spends his days, living for himself by drowning himself in alcohol, women, drugs, entertainment, and anything else that will divert his attention from his internal terrors and fears. One night, after a long period of partying and drinking at the local bar, Mr. Questioner realizes that this isn’t any less miserable than what he was doing before. He decides that his eternal fate has already been decided and there is nothing he can do to change it, so why delay judgment any longer? He hops into his car, turns the key, and drives into the river, where he drowns to death.

fin