Who is this Jamin guy anyway?
I am the husband of one and the father of nine. I was created to sing, to worship, to encourage, and to be steady. I am the Owner & Executive Director of Trinity Arts Center, a multi-disciplinary Arts Center in Eastern Tennessee, and the President of Trinity Arts Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization focused on funding arts education and performance. I've been involved with four music projects in my life -- Hot Pink Turtle, Spin Radio, Stand Like Stone, and of course, Jamin Rathbun.

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box_bible bible

James 1:2-3, 12
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

Have you ever had one of "those" weeks? I know... Dumb question. = )

A while back I was sitting down to write lyrics for one of the newer Stand Like Stone songs and I begin to review a couple passages, including the one above and...

2 Corinthians 4:8-9
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

Yeah -- I know it seems a little dramatic to try and apply these passage to our more trivial day-to-day struggles but... the more I thought about it, I discovered that the majority of the times that I feel like I'm losing the fight isn't because of some earth shattering life event. It's usually because a bunch of little things have added up and gotten to that "broke the camels back" point.

Often, it's because 2 of my kids are sick at the same time and then my printer runs out of toner, and then the neighbors kid scratches the paint on my truck, and then I notice that somebody ate the last bomb pop that I was saving in the freezer. It's usually just a bunch of dumb stuff that becomes overwhelming when it's all experienced in the same day.

Although it may be a little dramatic to describe these daily events as facing "trials of many kinds" or being "struck down but not destroyed", I do think it is applicable to the situation that I'm describing. What are the tests that develop perseverance? They are the things that happen to us each day. The decisions we are prompted to make about how we react and handle little (and big) challenges.

C.S. Lewis talks about evaluating each day to see whether we made decisions that brought us closer to God or farther away. I think that is what is described in James -- an encouragement to "hang in there" because the struggles we experience in this life pale in comparison to the rewards that God will bring us to. That reminds me of another passage...

Philippians 1:3-6
I thank God each time I think of you. In all my prayers for you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this -- that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion, until the day of Christ Jesus.

This brings me to another point. Sometimes we talk about the bad things happening in our lives as if we have no responsibility in the events that are taking place. The truth is -- there's a lot we can do to either prevent it from happening or just deal with it better. Sometime things just happen, other times we play a pretty big role in bringing them on ourselves.

We are a work in progress and although God is bringing us to completion -- were not there yet. We will do dumb stuff. Other people will do dumb stuff too. Sometimes that will hurt and sometimes it'll be inconvenient -- and that's just part of life. The challenge here is to maintain an eternal focus, not on these temporary and earthly problems and failures -- but on God's promised completion. There's a lot more I could say about some of the ways we battle the world, and even our own bodies but -- I'll save that for another article.

To wrap it up I want to share one other thought (and part of the lyrics to the new song) that encouraged me the other night when I was feeling pretty frustrated.

"We are fallen and failed but not forgotten. We are beaten but never overcome. Contrast the promise to the place where I come from."

What does that mean? It means our God is a God of second chances. We fail more time than we succeed and the world and people around us are no better. But -- through it all, we hold to a promise made by the only one who could keep such a promise. So... get back up again, take a deep breathe, and "fix your eyes on Jesus -- the author and perfecter of our faith. Who for the joy set before him, endured the cross, scorning it's shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:2)

© 2006-2010 Jamin Rathbun & Superdink.com. All rights reserved.
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