The 10 albums everyone should own

Here it is, the top 10 albums everyone should own! Now a couple of things before you start reading. 1.These are not my opinion of the greatest of all-time, but rather based off of a “If you’re stuck on a deserted island” or “I got an itunes card I want an investment”. 2. If you disagree then comment on what youe list would be. There are thousands of albums not listed on here that would be suitable, so give me your opinion!

1 .Jesus Freak by dc Talk- Christian music would not be half of what it is today without this album. When dc Talk released the album they never could have imagined the impact it’d have. For me the album has a magnificent blend of rap, rock, pop, even legit poetry! It is a must have for any Christian music fan….plus secular fans, you can’t listen to the trio and not be impressed!

2. Brother, Sister by mewithoutYou- named this album the best of the decade and I can’t agree more. mewithoutYou as a whole is an acquired taste however I dare anyone to listen to the songs, look at the lyrics, or look at the band and not fall in love with something about the album. From beginning to end the album is incredible and is without even a single weak spot. Songs such as “Messes of Men” and “In a Sweater Poorly Knit” will leave you never looking at music the same way again.

3. On the Run by Children 18:3- Children 18:3 has always been an awesome band and their whole catalog is awesome, but this album was especially great. It combined everything that people loved about them and rolled it into 12 tracks. For me the album is really special, at a time in life when I had a huge decision to make, I heard “Why are you afraid of the dark?”, it’s a song about how it’s ridiculous it is to follow a God that we truly do not trust.

4. Welcome to Diverse City by tobyMac- No list would not be complete without a tobyMac album. Out of his abulms this one won out because it was the first Christian album I ever owned. It was a time where I believed anything with a beat was of satan but this album quickly showed me how silly that assumption was.

5. Are We There Yet? By John Reuben-Mr Don Reubio, Jack Zappin, this album is where the Professional Rapper stepped out into the world. This cd is one of the greatest of all time, because it’s real. Other than a mewithoutYou album, I can’t think of another album that has so much emotion. From the happiness of “Gather In” and “Him Her, He She” the seriousness of “X-Ray” and “Rest Easy”, the boldness of “Do Not” and “Identify” and the list goes on and on. This is an album that will not disappoint.

6. Say No More by House of Heroes- Everything House of Heroes’ records turns to gold. The guys from Ohio are awesome and each album is incredible. This one though has a special feel. From “Bucket for Bullet Wounds” to “Angels in Top Hats” the honesty is so in your face. The band holds nothing back in their call for wrongs to be made right and once you add in the catchy songs of “Friday Night” and “Make a Face Like You Mean It” then you have a recipe for an incredible audio experience!

7. Smile it’s the End of the World by Hawk Nelson-Before the listening to the album the title always confused me, until I listened to the album and got the meaning of it. The problem with many Hawk Nelson albums is there’s always some filler on them but in my opinion this album has none. It has the qualities of a great album, it’s a combination of fun, seriousness, and even finger snapping! This album isn’t the top album on this list, but once you give it a listen, you’ll understand why everyone should own this album.

8. Underdog by Audio Adrenaline- Audio Adrenaline will always be one of my all time favorite bands, and their Underdog release a pretty big part. It’s hard to choose highlights for this album, after looking at the tracklist it was hard to tell you the songs that were awesome, because they all were. From songs that everyone knows like “Get Down” and “Hands and Feet”,others that are Audio A classics like “Good Life” and “Mighty Good Leader” to the amazing piece of music that is “The Houseplant Song”, the album is incredible.

9. The Black and White Album by The Hives-If there was ever a summertime album it is this one. Two summers ago I listened to this album in it’s entirety on the way to the beach and it fit so well! Each song is like a snowflake, coming from the same place but being different than the one before. Songs like “You Got It All…Wrong”, “Wont Be Long”, and “Bigger Hole to Fill” will make you already happy to have bought the album and once you listen to the rest, well then you’ll be simply ecstatic!

10. Sex, Drugs, and Self Control by John Reuben- My opinion on this album has changed so much on this album. I’ve listened to the album in it’s entirety probably over a hundred times and every time it fit that mood. Whether I was just wanting to jam, whether I was feeling like crap, whether it was 1am and I just wanted to listen to some music. Given it’s chameleon traits this album is perfect to have. It’s not an album that you listen to once and put away forever.

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My High School Experience

May 22, 2013 marked the closing chapter of a book called Livingston Christian Academy. After fifteen years of offering Christian based education the doors closed for good. As the first and only graduate of the school I had a first hand experience of the school, from the good to the bad, the days that I came home proud to be an LCA Knight, and the days I came home hoping, wishing I was at another school. At the end of the day though, the bad memories don’t hold a candle to the good times. Because of the school I reached new heights as a person, student, as a Christian, and as a friend. As I reflect on LCA a few things pop into my mind.

First are the people I met. LCA directly led me to meet some incredible people, Mrs Ronda my principal, Mrs Elizabeth Bennett my mentor and former teacher, Logan Bennett her husband and my mentor, and so many more faculty and teachers I had the pleasure of meeting throughout the years. As far as friends I got to meet some of the coolest people ever, including the always bubbly Kara Peele, the always mysterious Sarah-Marie, the enigma Zenas, the very cool Meghan Gleaton and a host of others. Indirectly I was led to my current church, Providence Baptist Church which led me to AMAZING people, Keith, Ashby, Matt, Sami, Elizabeth, Hailey, Caleb, Tyler, Tyson, Justin, and so many more. I honestly could spend pages naming the amazing people I’ve met for the sake of this blog staying interesting, I will move on.

For those who hear my story of High School they are always taken back. We didn’t have a football, baseball or any sports team, our school consisted of trailers in a field, we didn’t own a single state championship in anything, we barely had a swing set. We didn’t have a prom, didn’t have a May day, didn’t have a tri-q. People hear this and tell me I missed out, that I’m not going to have High School stories to tell my kids, but to be honest I don’t think I’m the one that missed out. I went to a school that gave me a platform for my faith. In this world Christians and atheists alike look at God and say “Well those stories in the Bible are cool, but lets be reasonable” as a young Christian I’m taught to trust God, unless the situation is true or important, then I need to go with the safe or proven way. I don’t know about you, but doesn’t it seem very stupid to believe in a God that’s not all powerful? If you truly don’t believe in His power then why put on a show? See for me I KNOW how powerful He is. I saw days when the school was a week from closing due to insufficient funds only to receive a check from a stranger in Michigan for $6,000. I saw a true life fairytale with Liz and Logan (too incredible of a story to explain mid-blog, hopefully I can post it one day), and finally the last story that came out of LCA. A year ago Mrs. Ronda was faced with a tough decision, she was $10,000 in debt and needed to pay it off, she had $8,000 owed to her by parents of students past and present from the school, but that was where the tough decision was. Through prayer she had been told to forgive the debt, she questioned it night and day though, asking “why would You do this? The money is there” but after more prayer she finally gave in and forgave all of the debt. A year later she has paid off all but $1,000 of the debt through random donations and good management of funds.

Although LCA is no longer in business, it is by no means dead. The friendships made there will still live, the memories made will last a lifetime, the testimonies will always remain. The lives touched will always be a reminder of the mission LCA had. What mission was that? To mold a different kind of generation, one with faith, hope, ambition, and love. Faith to trust God in sunshine and storm. Hope, that no matter how bad life gets us down, we have a Savior Who is behind us and there for us. Ambition, that the sky is not the limit, but only the beginning, that there’s no excuse for us to not change the world and follow our dreams. And Love, love for our God, but also a love that sees the good in humans, that cares for them, that wants the best for them. Basically a generation that is so bizarre, so crazy that people see a difference in us, that difference being God.

Running the Race

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.-2 Timothy 4:7

We’re all running the race, the race of life. Now if any of you watch NASCAR like me you can relate life to a NASCAR race. In life there is only one correct path, Dale Jr can decide to go backwards or swerve to the left but if it’s not the right path it wont do him any good. Just as we have a set path to go in (Matthew 7:13) we can choose “our idea” or “our way” but it’s not gonna get us to the right destination.

Secondly if and when you get off the track it doesn’t help to let it keep you constantly concerned. If a driver hits the wall on lap 5 and lets it dictate him the rest of the race he’s doomed to finish poorly because he doesn’t have the drive to go all out. In our Christian walk we gotta remember our past can’t hold us back or make us feel as if we aren’t good enough to do great things. We need to remember God can use anyone, whether tall or short, brilliant or not when God’s on your side no one against you is bigger.

Lastly and to me the biggest thing is like in NASCAR you never know when your race will be over. It use to get me bigtime and still does, that I could live another 100 years (and still have these dashing looks), live 40 more years, or I could be gone tomorrow. I could let it cripple me but I don’t, I let it drive me. Drive me to be the best person and Christian I can be, drive me to always love so that people will know for sure I loved them, drive me to live everyday like it’d be my last time here. When you look back Dale Sr never knew on Feb 18, 2001 he’d race his last race yet he raced it like any other race giving his 110%, his all! No man is promised tomorrow, don’t you wanna go out while going all out?

The wonderful thing it’s fully in your hands, you have full control of how you run your life! It’s all up to you to decide which direction you wanna go and end up.So you have to ask yourself, what are you going to do?….

Don’t Pass Them By

Everyday we hear the sad stories of teens, whether the person has gotten into drugs, crime, abuse or even taken his life and what is the picture seen often? It’s somone who was alone and felt unloved and the sad part is, alot of them had reached out. They had reached out to their church, friends, even a stranger, just hoping somone would show them some love and what happened? Well we should be good at answering that question, because we’ve all acted the answers, such as “I was too busy” , “they seemed too weird” or “well I didn’t wanna look weird”. And somehow we’ve made these into legitimate reasons to make ourselves feel better when in reality they shouldn’t! We should be showing so much love that the person never even considers harming themself or others, instead of bottling up all the love inside hoping we don’t look like some weirdo.

One of my best friends takes this deeply into her heart, whenever there’s somone new in her school or church she is the first over there to make them feel welcomed. Has she been picked on for this? Absolutely! Has her friends somtimes excluded her because she does this? You bet cha! But she understands that looking cool to the world means absolutely nothing! And this lets her know inside that she is trying to make in impact! So next time you see somone looking down or alone at school or church, don’t pass them by, stop and take a second to start a convo or at the very least a simple “Hello” cause you never know how much of an effect one act of love can have!

The following is a poem in the viewpoint of somone that never got that random act of love.

I try to reach out but no one will hear me
I try to find help but no one will help me
So now I sit drained and depressed
make shift a smile yeah I try my best
I wish I could erase the path
to the place I am now at
cause see it didn’t happen suddenly
actually I arrived here slowly
I shoulda reached out for help earlier
but man,life just kept gettin blurrier
and I made the pain subside
by making my emotions slowly die
cause having a life very painful
is worse, than being un-emotional
but now don’t get me wrong
for a while I was very strong
well atleast I pretended to be
so that others would see
but some, some saw past the charade
and wanted to sincerely be my aid
they planned and planned a strategy
just to come and comfort and help me
but their friends, teased em mockingly
and they gave up sadly…..
ya know for a minute, just one minute
I believed they’d be different
different in the fact that they’d dare
reach out and show that they cared
but people have the authority
to set their priorities
and helpin somone feelin alone
just wasn’t one
Hope he enjoys his decision
of leaving me there broken

Lessons I Learned from the Office

As I write this the series finale of The Office has just aired. The Office was an incredible show, whether it was portraying the struggles people face, making us literally laugh out loud, or giving us characters we couldn’t help but fall in love with. For me the Office meant a lot. It made me think about the decisions we make in life, it showed me to never give up on dreams, it taught me to never cross Creed Bratton and so much more! I probably could go on for hours, on all the things the Office helped me with, but there are a few that really stuck out to me.

First is to follow my dreams. The series showed so many people chasing their dreams and either succeeding like Michael Scott finally having a wife and kids or failing miserably such as the case with Andy’s music career, but no matter the outcome what was important was that they tried. To me it speaks so many volumes that the show would portray that ultimately not trying to reach your goals was the true failure, not trying and failing, but not even trying. As a 20 yr old that’s something I want to take to heart. That at the end of the day “What if’s” sting so much more than “well I tried”.

Secondly is to not give up on love. Now before I start I will admit that although I love Ryan and Kelly, they aren’t the best example of what I’m saying. The couple that comes to mind is Jim and Pam (insert “awww”’s). Through thick and thin they remained faithful, their relationship was far from perfect, but when the storms came they faced them head on. Not only in marriage, but even before their engagement they always knew love would find a way. To me it’s the kind of relationship I want. No malice, no constant “one-upping”, not a relationship where I’m with the first girl that showed interest, not a marriage where I just settle, but a relationship and marriage that no matter what, I know it’s going to be alright and that I’m with the person I absolutely love most.

Thirdly never lose hope. I remember the episodes in season one there’s a lot of talk of bankruptcy and in season six there’s talk again, but Michael never gives up. Holding onto hope was a recurring theme in the series and I could go into each character and tell their situation of remaining hopeful, whether it was serious or silly as in Stanley’s case he just wanted to be in Florida. In a world that embraces apathy sadly so well it was awesome seeing characters have hope in their situation.

And lastly, everyone deserves a chance. No matter their problems, people deserve a chance and they might just surprise you. Despite all his gimmicks, his fictional characters, his childishness, Michael Scott at the end of the day had a branch that when all others were closing, his was remaining successful, after years of just being in the warehouse Darryl became warehouse supervisor, then went on to become a big shot at Athlead. It showed me that everyone has potential and to not write them off just because I don’t see it right off the bat.
There’s no doubt that the Office will be the show I ramble about when I have kids, much like my dad does with Alf and my mom does with Friends. It was an awesome show and deffinately one of the greatest of all time.

Tomorrow Never Comes

“If you gotta start sometime why not now”

I love that line from tobymac’s “City on our Knees” it’s such a simple question yet so hard to answer. We’re constantly wanting to make a difference yet many don’t. Is it because they don’t love God? No. Is it because their philosophy is wrong? Not neccessarily. It generally boils down to simply putting it off day after day.

All the time we talk about what it could be like in 1, 5, or 10 years without realizing it could be, right now! If we keep putting it off till tomorrow then it will never happen because friend, tomorrow never comes. TODAY is when the change needs to be made. TODAY is when you have to throw away those comfort zones and dive into making the world a different place. But however when we get all excited about making this change satan reminds us of all that garbage in our life and gives us a long list of reasons as to why there is no way God could ever use us or satan feeds our doubt and makes us focus on how big our problems are. And I wanna make it clear, there is no problem, no problem bigger than God! Now I’m not blind to what’s around I could name hundreds of things that make the world dark, but while I know that there are many strong sinful, evil things, I know fully that God is bigger than them all put together! So with God on your side, why is there any reason to fear what’s in front?

NOW is the time that we need to let faith eclipse fear, TODAY is when we need to come togehter instead of picking out every single difference, and YOU is where it all begins!