I have never asked to be apart of a blog much less any writing exercise on the web. However, when I came across KayLeigh’s blog, Song of Songs 8:4, http://kayleighryder.blogspot.com/ and her recent series based off the rock band Skillet and their latest CD release, Rise, I really felt my spirit stir with excitement. Not only had I found another writer who shares a love for my most favorite band in the entire world, but KayLeigh’s passion and desire to delve deeper into the songs really captured me. I’ve been following along each week as she has used a very personal touch in sharing what the music of Skillet has meant to her and how God has continually shown His love.
In my entire life I have never come across a band who has spoken to the very core of what I am going through in my life than Skillet. Ever since I have been listening to them, from their self titled album Skillet, it has felt like John Cooper, lead singer and bass player, has been keeping a diary of my life. Through the good times as well as the hard times, you could pick any Skillet album and a song and I would be able to tell you exactly what was going on in my life at that time. What’s amazing to me is just when I believe this will never happen again, the next album comes out and again I am floored by the accuracy of the lyrics and my life at the time. Rise has been no different. In fact, with this album I am thinking of getting a restraining order to make sure Mr. Cooper isn’t eaves dropping on my conversations with God, LOL!! All kidding aside the song that has been stirring me lately is titled “American Noise”.
As some of you may know, I self published my first children’s book titled ‘Hershey the Hound of Hope (In Search Of Her Forever Home)’ and with self publishing in order to create any amount of buzz you need to spend a good bit of time doing the social media tour. Prior to the release of Rise I had been fairly active on Twitter and Facebook. I had also opened a Pheed account and linked all of my sites together so I wouldn’t have to make redundant posts. You can say I am a social media geek. Any way, while I have met some very awesome people on the sites I had been telling myself I was doing the social media tour to advertise my book. While I had done some advertising and promotion at the same time I had become addicted to them and was spending hours just reading, responding and creating various messages. I neglected my sleep and after several months of only getting around 4-5 hours of sleep a night my immune system shut down. I became extremely sick with strep throat that nearly went into pneumonia. Now while mine is only a cautionary tale and not as severe or tragic as some other experiences, it was during this time God began to seek me.
I’ve been a follower of Jesus Christ now for 20 years and I can say my walk has not been the ideal model. However, I know that through everything God has always been there with me. Encouraging me and loving me, desiring my best. Shortly before I became sick one of my best friends gave me a book that a mutual friend had given her to give to me. The title of the book is ‘How To Stop The Pain’ by Dr. James B. Richards. Now every day for a month or two after receiving the book I clearly heard God tell me I needed to read the book. And every day I continued to ignore God. In stead I chose to spend my time playing in the social media world and ignore God’s best for my life.
Now to peel away just another layer of the onion to allow you to see a bit deeper, while I was busy social networking and ignoring God, I had begun to battle depression once again. I have for many years battled what I call ‘cycles of life’. You know those seasons where you are on top of the world for a week to a month and then you gradually fall to the point where it feels impossible to pull yourself out of bed the next day and it continues till you ride the very same roller coaster the next week to a month? Well if you haven’t had those struggles feel very blessed. Most of my issues were tied to self esteem and my world view which began to bring me to a complete free fall and it was beginning to be documented on my Twitter, Facebook and Pheed time lines. It was as though self destruction was inevitable. Then I got sick. So sick I was out of work for over a week. So sick the only activity I wanted to participate in was sleeping, period. During this time I decided to yield my will and listen to the lover of my soul and so I began to read. For those who know me well know I am not a reader. I know it sounds weird, an author who doesn’t read, but yep, that is me. As I began to read however, God began to show me where my mind set was off. Where I had not forgiven some in my heart and most importantly how my own concept of Him and His love was so far off base it was holding me back from partaking in all of His promises and even more I was missing out on living a life free from the pain I had been engaged in battle with for so long. To make a long story short Jesus with His ever loving arms delivered me once again. This time however, He illustrated to me by His deep and passionate love how to use all the tools He has already provided and let me say freedom has never tasted so sweet.
It’s been nearly two months now since I was sick and two months since I last battled any type of depression. It has also been two months since I have ventured into any social media sites. Most of the updates have come strictly through my web site, Hope Distribution Studios. I have to admit to peeking on my Facebook app. However, my time on social sites is practically zero. So what does all this have to do with Skillet and the song American Noise?
Every day we are bombarded by social media, TV and the latest craze. We no longer need the use of a lap top or desktop because we have the entire social media sphere at our finger tips with our phones. I am in no way saying we need to ditch technology and I am not even advocating limits of usage or some legalism type system for me or you. Rules and legalistic rituals are very far from God’s heart and love. What I am saying is this, God loves you and is wanting to converse with you. The only One who truly knows what you are going through and truly desires your best interest is speaking and you have a choice. Allow God to cut through all of the ‘American Noise’ and speak to you or continue to ignore the true lover of your soul, and miss out on the life only Jesus can give you. Jesus said, “come to me all who labor and are heavy labored and I will give you rest”. Are you struggling with life? Are you seeking an answer for the pain you relieve day in and day out? Have you ever felt true love? A love that you never have to work for or try to earn but is right in front of you? Don’t allow the ‘American Noise’ silence God’s voice. Don’t allow the ‘American Noise’ to keep you from God’s gift. All it takes are 4 simple words. Jesus Please Save Me. Open your heart to Him and you will never be disappointed. I chose to cut through the ‘American Noise’, and my prayer is you do as well. Thank you for your time and a very special thanks to KayLeigh for her inspiration and allowing God to use her in an amazing way. Keep up the awesome work my fellow Pan Head!! Now, it’s time to RISE!!
If after reading this you would like more info or you would like to ask me any questions I will be more than happy to help you.
Coming soon a new series on Faith and Love. Please stay tuned to Hope Distribution Studios at www.hopedistributionstudios.com