Have you ever had a diary or kept a journal? A place where you write your innermost thoughts: your struggles, concerns, joys, and hopes. If so, the thought of someone reading it may leave you feeling uneasy.
For years, Lisa – my wife and mother of our children – has said listening to our songs is like reading our journal, hearing our deepest thoughts, feelings, and questions.
Over the past couple years we’ve continued to write – not for another project, but simply as a release for the emotions that otherwise might have stayed bottled up. While we did share a few of our new songs in concert, most were simply belted out in our living room.
Over the last couple years, our faith has been challenged and stretched as the five of us were scattered over three time zone and two continents, and then brought together again. In different ways, we’ve all seemed to feel a divine discontent, but were unsure what it meant.
We’ve wrestled with thoughts of trusting by living a life fully surrendered. We’ve been tempted by the questions that arise when bad things happen. We’ve clung to the truth that God is good and sovereign even in the midst of chaos. We’ve found rest in the assurance in the knowledge that God’s love is bigger than our hurts, hang-ups, questions, and doubts. And we’ve celebrated the knowledge that in spite of it all, life with God is the only way to find lasting peace.
All the while, unbeknownst to us, we were indeed writing for a new project. Late last fall – quite by surprise – the opportunity to step back into the recording studio presented itself, this time with Multi-Dove Award Winning, and two time Grammy Nominated songwriter, worship-leader, and producer Michael Farren. https://www.weareworship.com/us/worship-leaders-2/michael-farren
Michael’s songs have been recorded by such artists as: Lauren Daigle, Reba McIntire, Michael W. Smith, and many others, and it is quite a honor to have his input, not only on our sound, but our songs.
The title track of our new project– Things Unseen – sums up our journey well with the chorus lyric “I will trust though I cannot see this road ahead where You are leading me. My wandering heart looks to You my King. I fix my eyes on the things unseen.”
For us, recording has always been about fixing our eyes on the things unseen, but this time it hasn’t been a step of faith but rather a full-fledged leap.
Everything had lined up too perfectly: from the co-writing opportunities, to the advice of those who sit on our board and the professionals we work with, without fail each came to the same conclusion – we needed to record.
So, we took the leap and jumped headlong into this, knowing somehow, someway the funds would come. It’s been six weeks and to date we’ve raised 1/3 of the $30,000 budget in support and pledges – enough for us to lock in the studio time and record. Most of what we have raised thus far has come in the form of corporate sponsors or those supporting the project through our 501c3. Our prayer is that the remainder of the budget will be raised over the next six weeks so that we can continue with the production and have the project ready for our summer tour.
No amount is too small or too large. From $1 for the mp3 of our first radio single, to underwriting the remainder of the project, we are grateful for everyone who is willing to partner with us!
Expressing this need in itself feels a bit like posting another page from our journal. But, We’ve learned a long time ago that to not do so is indicative of both a lack of faith and a root of pride. So, we once again share our heart, our vision, and our need. And thank you in advance for clicking the links below and joining us on this journey.
– To Preorder http://pdpsupport.com/projects/frye-family-band/
– Tax deductible Donation https://actintl.givingfuel.com/frye-family
– Corporate Sponsorship – email email@example.com for more information
For years, I feared I was living a lie. It seemed without fail, each time I would do something which positively reflected my Christian faith, words of condemnation would echo through my mind and flood my heart with despair: “You’re not a real Christian” “How can you even call yourself a Christian” “If people really knew how you were they would think differently” and so on. With each simple acts of kindness, with every worship service I lead, there was inner turmoil. And any ensuing complement was accompanied by the fear of being found out. Though outwardly I masked my feelings with a smile and a word of thanks, inwardly my heart sank beneath the weight of words like; fraud, liar, and fake.
My children were teenagers before I realized the same incredible love I felt for them was by comparison infinitely multiplied in God’s love for me. I read “What great love the Father has lavished upon us that we should be called His children, and that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1), and for the first time those words became personal.
Fear will cripple us. Fear will neuter our faith. And fear will keep us locked in a prison of safety, settling for the status quo or worse, instead of living the adventure of freedom and purpose God has for each of us.
When we fear, we are no threat to the enemy of our souls, but when we understand our identity as children of God we cannot help but shine His light.
What words might be tripping you up; Words of condemnation and fear, words of pride and self-centeredness? Take each thought captive, weight each against the Truth of Scripture. Where you need to change, begin to make adjustments. Where you need to trust, let go and finally start living in the fullness of God’s plan for your life. And in so doing you will almost certainly hear the criticism of others, but in your heart will echo the affirming words of your Heavenly Father who is cheering you on with every step.
Words are important. And the voices we listen to determines our course.
This week I had a surprise and welcome visit from a cousin who was driving through Indiana on his way to Kansas. We had not seen each other in twelve years, and had a lot of catching up to do. We talked about career, family, the upcoming election, and faith. A few times during our evening my cousin referenced 1 Corinthians 6:19 “do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?”
Thinking about the varied topics of conversation following our time together my mind returned to the previously referenced verse and I realized I have yet to blog about my personal effort to take better care of my body.
Like many Americans, I had experienced a gradual yet steady weight gain since college, nothing drastic…it seemed, just a couple pounds a year, but over the course of my 20+ years since college graduation, that added up being very significant. After a few failed attempts to regain my health I made the decision to try a program which had been successful for a few of my friends. The results: down over 40 pounds (in just three months), more energy, better rest, healthier eating habits, head aches and heart burn have disappeared (except on those infrequent occasions when I over indulge on the wrong foods), and most of the aches and pains I had attributed to my age are now gone. Not only that, but I feel better about my self.
In part because I love helping people, and in part because I wanted some accountability, I became a health coach for the company. If you are ready to make a lifestyle change and take back your health, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a time to talk!
To be fully know and fully loved; I believe this is the heart of each human being – it is the way we were created. Yes, there are some who put on airs, playing the tough-guy persona, and maybe have done so for long enough they really do believe there is no going back or, possibly, their heart has become so hardened they no longer even consider it. Nonetheless, we were created to give and receive love, to live in community, and to live out our unique God-given purpose.
As I write this it is September 15th, so this morning I read Proverbs chapter 15. This is a practice I learned from a pastor of mine in college who always read each day’s corresponding Proverb. As I read, two verses gave me pause; “A greedy and grasping person destroys community; those who refuse to exploit live and let live.” (v. 27) and “And undisciplined, self-willed life is puny, an obedient, God-willed life is spacious.” (v.32) MSG.
Recently, I have been thinking a lot about community, the importance of “doing life together” in our homes, our churches, and our communities. Scripture tells us “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;” (John 10:10 NIV). One of his primary tools is isolation.
Ross Parsley points out in his book Messy Church, “The truth is most of us end up preferring isolation in our church. It’s safer and there’s no risk of getting hurt. I’ve got my relationship with Jesus and you’ve got yours. If I need some help, I’ll open up – a little – maybe, and receive the initial benefits of community, but as for laying my heart out there to a group of people who may leave or abuse it, that’s not going to happen.” As to the reason for this thought process Parsley says, “When a family fights in a divorce culture, the great fear is that someone might leave.” So, we choose isolation out of fear.
So, how did verses about a greedy and grasping person, or an undisciplined, self-willed life lead me here? To be fully-known and fully-loved requires vulnerability. Love cannot be fully known without risk. When someone is “greedy and grasping” they are by nature self-focused, which as the Proverb says, destroys community. At that, people retreat and are more prone to isolate. As for the other verse; while those who “grasp” may also attain status, power, and wealth, in the end if that is the only motivation, it is truly a “puny” life.
It is only in living an “obedient God-willed” life we can Live Big, which of course is not about getting, but giving. It is not self-focused, but is lived in community. And as Ross Parsley reminds us it may be messy, but it is also full.
There are many good things in which we can involve ourselves, things that serve a purpose but at the same time rob us of the time and energy we need to achieve our true calling. This is a lesson I learned many years ago as I was confessing to a friend my burn out with so many good things (Optimist Club, United Way, and even Church activities) coupled with providing for my family, I was left exhausted. Instead of sympathy my friend offered me this stinging but loving admonishment, “Remember Tom, your family is your first ministry.”
I was reminded of this life-changing rebuke as I was pulling weeds in our strawberry patch this morning. Growing amongst my strawberries were a few beautiful young volunteer tomato plants. At that moment I was reminded of another piece of advice I had once received from a fellow gardener, “If it’s not where it belongs it’s a weed.” Though it didn’t feel right to do it, I took hold of those healthy young plants and pulled them out by their roots.
It is so easy to allow what is good to crowd out and ultimately replace what is best. Sometimes it goes against our very nature, but as we pursue what is best eliminating good things from our lives is just as important as eliminating the bad. The writer of Hebrews put it like this, “…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” Hebrews 12:1-2. Not everything that hinders us is in and of itself sinful, but if we allow it to replace that which is best it serves a similar purpose.