College Faith

I got saved in college. Sophomore year: I gave my life to Christ. It was the most powerful thing that’s happened to me. I went from a life of partying and multiple partners to this strange attraction with holiness and the Holy. It was awesome.

I think I was pretty radical about it all too. I told all of my drinking friends about Bible study, I found most of my previous girlfriends and told them about how much Jesus loves them, and was completely willing to be a fool for Christ. I prayed, fasted, witnessed, worshipped, whatever.

Now, as I’m removed from college by 8 years, I think about that passion. Where is it? Where did it go?

Don’t get me wrong, I am completely in love with my Saviour and desperately want to please Him, but these days I find myself more…I don’t know…calculated. Studying the Bible is more of a discipline now and praying with radical faith is not as easy as those dorm-room days. I’m wondering: have I “backslid-den?” Am I being tempted more now with the “world?” Or is my faith actually deepening and maturing in ways I just can’t see?

When I think about it this way, I start to wonder about the fruit of the Spirit. You know: love, joy, peace, kindness, patience, goodness, self-control, gentleness. I do see more of these things in my life now than in college. But those aren’t as attractive as fire, drive, power, and being “radical,” are they?

I know I’m not perfect. I know I haven’t arrived yet. But I don’t want to love God solely with “all my heart and all my strength.” Yes I want that, but I also want to love Him with “all my soul and with all my mind” (Luke 10:27). Is there a balance? Is there a blend that I’m missing, or am I in fact on the right track? How do we push forward towards the fire and the fruit; the heart and the mind?

Thoughts?

Honestly,
Steven

My Top 3 Online Videos

So, we (1000 Generations) have done quite a few webisodes videos over the past few years (37 to date). I’ve created a number of these myself. Some of them I thought were pretty hilarious, and others inspiring. On your day before the weekend, I thought I’d share with you my favorite 3 1000 Generations’ videos:

#1.
I could NOT stop laughing as we filmed this. I even had to edit out some of my chuckling in the audio. This guy absolutely busted me.

#2.
I am so proud of this video. When we were first told that we had to shoot a music video for “Fail Us Not,” I was horrified. I thought it would end up being either really cheesy, or completely unrelated. I’m so happy we all came up with a concept that fit the song, and then had friends come out who wanted to share their stories vulnerably. If you want to hear more of their stories, you can find them on our YouTube site.

#3.
What can I say? Amanda makes me laugh!

What are your favorites?

Happy Friday everyone,
Steven

Can Worship Be For US?

Why do we worship? Is it because of who God is or because of what He has and can do for us?

I think the healthy answer is “both.” Many times, however, I admit, that I worship Him because of what He has done and can do for me. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a bad thing at all. It’s important that we praise God for what He has done and for His amazing power to do awesome things in our lives. Yet, when we do not balance this with an attitude of praise simply because He is God and He is worthy, we will end up with a lopsided approach to worship.

I was recently convicted a while back when I showed Steven a new song that I was working on. The song had a great message…”God is faithful to save you, God is able to help you, look to Him for hope, etc, etc. ” Again, not a bad or untrue message whatsoever. But as Steven lovingly pointed out to me, “You know you write the same song over and over, don’t you?” At first I really took offense to this because it had genuinely been what was on my heart when I wrote it. Yet, as I stepped back and looked at the bigger picture, I realized he was right! All of my songs lately have been very “me” focused. In fact, I don’t think I’ve written a song in a while that hasn’t said the word “me” in it.

This realization prodded me in to even deeper thinking about why I don’t have anything on my heart that is just focused on the “you” aspect of God. To be honest, I think this is because I have become somewhat selfish in my worship. I rarely think about God and how awesome He is just because He is God. So I’ve been carving out space to do that…to acknowledge what I love about God that truly has nothing to do with me. For example, God, You are awesome because You make the sun rise everyday, because You lived a sinless life, because You gave Your only Son to die.

I think it is important for us all to carve out space and train our minds and hearts to worship God just for who He is. I’d LOVE to hear from you!!! What is it about God that you just find totally awesome?

-Amanda Lee

Great New Worship Band

Hi friends, I’m really digging this new worship band called “The Neverclaim.” I’ve never met them, but they’ve got a great song called “Revival” that is just plain inspiring. Thought I’d share it here with you on this beautiful Saturday afternoon. Be blessed…

Steven

IS the “Album” Dead?

I’ve been wondering about this for some time. I can’t even remember the last full CD I purchased (actually, I do. It was Jamie Cullum’s “The Pursuit” and much of it was pretty bad). But really, when was the last time YOU bought a full-length CD? Or even a digital album on iTunes? I’m seriously curious.

The fact is, here are the statistics:

Yep, that limp blue line is physical CD sales. The red line is single mp3 sales. The green line is digital album sales. So again my question: IS the “album” dead? Should we, as artists, abandon the full-length album format? Or, is this simply a trend that will turn around?

Here’s a great “opinionated” blog from a fellow music blogger: Mark Cuban.

There once was a time when the release date of an album was exciting. For our favorite artists we knew when the last album came out and when the next album was due. If you loved the artist you bought it. If you didn’t you either bought the single or you listened to the album with your friends and then decided.

As the price of records and then CDs increased year by year, spending 20 bucks for a CD became a purchase you needed to be sure of rather than a no brainer or impulse buy.

Then free became an option.

Then aggregating almost unlimited free music on a PC and then an IPOD became easy.

So here we are in 2011 and the only given in the music industry is that CD sales have and will fall. And fall. And fall.

The song Low Rider by Flo Rida sold 467,000 units in a single week. There were 27 digital singles that sold more than 100k units in that week. The obvious trend continues that people are ready, willing and able to buy singles of songs they like.

So the question arises, why don’t artists serialize the release of songs ? Why not create a “season” of release of songs, much like the fall TV season and promise fans that Flo Rida is going to release a new single every week or 2 weeks for the next 10 weeks ?

Sure, its not easy to come up with a great song every 2 weeks. But isn’t that exactly the same problem you have with an album ? Maybe thats not the “creative process” for certain artists. That’s a problem for them.

What we do know is that music fans will spend 99c and that its easier to ask them for 99c a week than it is to get 9.99 at one time from them for 10 songs.

Serializing the release of music also allows for the marketing arms to be in constant touch with sales and radio outlets. Rather than having to initiate marketing plans and hope to reinvigorate the interest in an artist, it becomes a digital tour that never ends.

If an artist commits to release music on a weekly or bi weekly basis, then consumers can make a commitment knowing they are going to get something new and hopefully exciting for their 99c. If the commitment is strong enough its feasible that artists could sell subscriptions to their serialized releases. My guess is that consumers will feel better about subscribing to an artist and getting a song a week or every 2 than dropping 10 dollars at a time for an album.

In reality thats exactly how I buy my music right now. I dont do it by artist. I go to iTunes and I go through the top 10 lists and listen to samples and thats how I determine what music I’m going to buy.

If there was an option when I bought a single to subscribe to an RSS feed that would send me a sample of that artists song when they released a single, I would add that RSS feed to my browser. Add a 1 click to buy, and chances are I’m going to buy a lot more music.

Consumers are buying music 1 track at a time. I think people will pay 99c to get a single rather than steal it. I think people would rather steal a full album rather than pay 10 dollars or more for it.

I’d love to hear from you.

Your friend,
Steven
Worship Musician with 1000 Generations
1000generations.com