It’s By Faith – The Story Behind the Song

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been asked to do a “Story Behind the Song” post for a website called Singers Club. In addition to “He Is Greater”, which I posted about yesterday, the are also featuring “It’s By Faith” from “Response” in the months to come. Here is another sneak peak. Blessings, Erik I still remember hearing the news that my friend and youth leader John had been diagnosed with cancer. I had just returned home from a difficult semester in college. I was exhausted, not only physically but also spiritually. My integrity had not held up as well as I had hoped it would and my heart was full of doubt and questions. Oddly, news of John’s cancer stirred a deep sense of peace in me. I had been here before, twice, with my own mother’s cancer. I knew God in this dimension and I knew I could trust Him. In fact, trusting Him with the big stuff was just a part of life in my family growing up... our story has been pretty dramatic at times. Why was I such a contradiction? Why is it/had it been so easy to trust God in the big things, in the mountaintop’s and the Red Sea’s, and not with the day-to-day and mundane? Why is it I could stand firm in the face of cancer and cower at the thought of writing a paper or sometimes even getting out of bed? All of these thoughts came raining down on me one afternoon at the piano. “It’s By Faith”... that was my problem. Faith. Difficult circumstances required faith in order to get through them because I knew I could never make it on my own, but the daily grind was so simple I thought I could handle it alone. The Lord was using this opportunity to teach me that the faith I needed to climb the mountain was the same faith I needed to pour my coffee, that faith is not a switch you turn on and off but that “the just LIVE by faith” (Romans 1:17, Gal 3:11, Heb 10:38). Is there any area of your life where you have been going it alone? Where maybe intentionally or unintentionally you have postured yourself to not need God? “Through storms and trials of my own devise He’s never given up. And the farther I go the more I no I can’t escape His love. It’s by faith.”
Posted on June 9th, 2010 by Erik Bledsoe

"He is Greater"- Story Behind The Song

I've been asked to do a “Story Behind the Song” post for a website called Singers Club.   They hope to offer “He Is Greater”, the 3rd track off of “God In Search of Man”, as a featured download in the months to come.  I thought I would give you all an sneak peek before it hits their site.    Blessings~ Erik     “My wife and I have had 11 friends go through divorce in the last three years.  There have been many tears shed as we have walked with each of them at different levels.  There is no consistency among the occurrences; they range from one year married to 28 years of marriage.   The reasons are just as varied from outright fraud, to infidelity, to simply not stewarding their relationship and growing a part.   While walking for over a year through the divorce process with one of my best friends and mentors, my heart began to break for him in a way it never had before.  There were too many obstacles and too many lies to process; we were overwhelmed.  Late one night while praying about it with his son we began to worship the Lord together.  Immediately the song just started pouring out of my mouth, “He Is Greater, He Is Higher, and there’s so much love lifting you up, He is Stronger, He Is Greater!”  It was a surreal moment.  We were both aware the Lord was giving this song as a reminder that no matter what we were facing, no matter how insurmountable the obstacle, He is greater.    How about you?  Do you ever feel hopeless?  Lost?  Listen to the words of the song:   “I don’t know what it’s going to look like or how He will work this for your good.  All I know is He is able, He is Faithful!”   Whatever your going through, now matter how bleak the outlook, now matter what the doctors say, no matter how long it’s been, no matter how numb you are.... He Is Greater.
Posted on June 8th, 2010 by Erik Bledsoe

One Month, Ah!

Our little Henry is One Month old already!! I told him if he’s grounded if he doesn’t slow down. I had no idea being a parent would be this wonderful!
Posted on June 7th, 2010 by Erik Bledsoe

Simple Prayer

In keeping with yesterday's theme of simplicity here is a simple prayer for your weekend that has captured me lately. Simple but profound. "Lord, cause me to remember that a life that doesn't please You will never satisfy me."
Posted on June 4th, 2010 by Erik Bledsoe

K.I.S.S.

Sometimes we can overcomplicate things, this happens to me all the time. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been working on a project that I have constructed a huge elaborate plan for and my wife will walk in and turn on the proverbial light switch with a comment like “why don’t you just do this...”, suddenly my whole afternoon is free. Has that ever happened to you? You go to all this trouble and then realize it was a simple solution? I often fall prey to the old acrostic K.I.S.S which stands for “Keep It Simple Stupid”. For instance, my wife and I have just had our first child. As you know baby’s come with “stuff”. Thankfully most of our stuff has been given to us and we are exceedingly blessed. With all of this new “stuff” comes the challenge of finding a place to put it. My natural solution: build a shed of course! I’ve always wanted a shed and I love working in the yard, this would be a perfect solution. I could level the yard, dig some footers, meet with the salesman to pick the perfect shed for my needs, order the parts and spend 3 weekends building, painting, roofing and landscaping. It would be my own little Taj Mahal! I’m half way out the door when Betsy looks at me, and with an endearing look of love, says, “You could just clean the garage you already have. You might be surprised how much room you find.” Ugh, she was right, so much for my Taj Mahal. I heard a quote recently that I have been meditating on that says, “Don’t confuse activity with success.” Sometimes we think the harder we have to work for something the more successful the outcome. This just isn’t true. I used to think that in order to be a good Christian, to really have a true relationship with God I had to follow a huge checklist. I had to get up at 4:00 every morning and spend two hours reading the Bible and another two hours praying before I could even have breakfast! I felt like in order to really serve God I had to have a big elaborate scheme, much like the plans for my shed. Have you ever felt that way? I think we all have from time to time, like if we run the gauntlet we will somehow be more valuable to God, somehow earn a little bit more of His love. There is a story in the Bible where a man asks Jesus this question: “Out of all of the commandments, which is the most important?” Jesus answers him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’. All of the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” When I read these words I start to freak out a little bit...”but what about my plans, what about my Taj Mahal?” Then I start to realize perhaps I have overcomplicated things again. Maybe God doesn’t need all my elaborate plans and handy-man ideas about how to be a “better” Christian. Love God, Love Others. That’s it, that’s the secret recipe. Keep It Simple.
Posted on June 3rd, 2010 by Erik Bledsoe

To Blog or Not To Blog.....That is the Question

I have not been blogging lately. I have a love/hate relationship with it. As much as I speak from stage and teach at conferences when I get home blogging is the last thing I want to do. Here’s the rub: it’s my calling. Not blogging per se but encouraging, counseling, discerning, equipping, sharing, starting hard conversations, empathizing, and on and on and on......that’s my calling. It’s every Christians calling at some level but for me it’s also vocational. My directive in the Kingdom of God is to encourage the saints and equipping them to do the work of the ministry. While I can do that audience-by-audience encompassing the globe one event at a time, one of the best ways to accomplish my task in todays technologically savvy culture is to reach out digitally. Blogging, twittering, facebooking, etc, that’s the community gathering place of today. To avoid it would be to neglect a significant outlet where my gifts can be most tangibly utilized. So yes, in some strange way I’m called to blog. What that will mean exactly as far as frequency has yet to be seen. Nevertheless, it needs to be at some level of consistency, which it is currently not achieving. I’ve enlisted the help of a team, SkörInc. (Hey Guys) to help keep me on the straight and narrow and to help provide insight as I pursue this thing. So please be patient with me, encourage me and by all means pray for me as I try to keep this torch lit. So how about you, what callings or responsibilities have you been avoiding because they aren’t fun or convenient? What new opportunities might there be for you to exercise your giftings?
Posted on June 2nd, 2010 by Erik Bledsoe

It's A Boy!

Thomas Henry Bledsoe: Born May 7, 7lbs 8oz, 19.5 Inches Long photo courtesy of Dane Carder
Posted on May 18th, 2010 by Erik Bledsoe

Provision

"God is not just our Provider, He is our Provision." -A reminder today from my friend Grant Jenkins.
Posted on February 26th, 2010 by Erik Bledsoe

When The Credits Role

Unless you missed the news entirely this weekend you know about the enormous storm that blew across the southern half of the United States and finally up the Eastern seaboard. For areas like my home in Tennessee it was a “once a decade” happening. We ended up with 6-10 inches of snow capped with a solid sheet of ice. The Governor called a state of emergency by 12:00 on Friday afternoon and everyone was basically stuck indoors until Sunday afternoon when the ice started to recede. For some folks this induces a state of panic but Betsy and I chose to look at it as an opportunity. We took several looooong walks with the pups, caught up with neighbors we hadn’t seen in quite a while and implemented a “state of emergency movie marathon.” It was awesome! For quite some time Betsy has been telling me that I just have to watch “Gone With The Wind” especially now that I’m an official southerner (Michigan transplant). Since it’s four hours long and not exactly a movie you can watch on a whim, this weekend was the perfect opportunity. If you’ve never seen it before I highly recommend you put it on your entertainment to-do list. It’s not only a literary classic but it’s also considered historically accurate by scholars for my fellow history buffs. The twitter version of the plot is that the story follows the life of Scarlett O’Hara, a southern bell from Georgia, throughout the Civil War and the changes that ensue as a result of the choices she makes. Scarlett’s whole life is wrapped up in chasing what she can’t have. I think it incredibly ironic that the title is “Gone With the Wind” when the plot so closely resembles the words of King Solomon when he says the vanities of life are like “chasing after the wind”. This is the sum of the movie; Scarlett’s life is marked by chasing after the wind. So my question is this, if someone were to make a movie about our lives what would be the overarching theme or plot? When the credits role what would people walk away with, what would they say we spent most of our time chasing? Relationships, money, the approval of others, power, security? What steps can I take to make sure the message I want to communicate with my life is actually the message others are hearing by my actions?
Posted on February 1st, 2010 by Erik Bledsoe

Let It Snow!

I grew up in Michigan where you had to have blizzard like conditions, 10 feet of snow and wear ice skates to check the mail before they’d close school. Here in Tennessee they are so scared of snow that they close school if snow is even in the forecast! Everyone then immediately panics and cleans out the grocery store of bread and milk. It’s hysterical! Hey, I’m not complaining. I hope you have as much fun this weekend as I will! Let it snow, let it snow, let is snow!!!
Posted on January 29th, 2010 by Erik Bledsoe