I was off of all jobs today so it was one of the rare occasions when I was able to wear a t-shirt and jeans. I embraced the opportunity by wearing one of my new Jeremy Camp shirts that I purchased at the concert I attended on April 29th that I briefly wrote about in my last blog. The shirt is all black and white and it says on it “I want my life to be only Christ in Me”. The phrase was taken from Jeremy Camp’s song, “Christ In Me”.
The official music video for Jeremy Camp’s “Christ In Me”, which my shirt is based off of.
Even though today was my day off, I had many places to go and errands to run. One of these errands included a trip to ShopRite for groceries. As my dad and I were bagging the cashier asked me about my shirt. It took me a few minutes to realize she was talking to me because it was hard to hear her (If you’ve ever been to the Glassboro ShopRite then you should know how loud that store can get). The woman asked me where I got my shirt from so I told her it was a Jeremy Camp concert and she told me that she recognized the song from somewhere.
The woman and I then continued to share stories of different Christian musicians we’ve seen live including Danny Gokey, TobyMac, Casting Crowns, Natalie Grant, the Newsboys, and various others. She told me about something called Loop Events and she wrote down the website on some receipt paper to give to me.
She briefly explained what it was to me. Through Loop Events people like me and her can volunteer to help out at different Christian concerts and tours. It is a way to use your God-given talents and skills to help reach others that attend these shows, people who may not be yet saved. The volunteers might help to sell merchandise for the artist or give out information on sponsoring a child for an organization that specializes in that or help pass out information from KLove or another Christian radio station. It may not sound like much, but it gives you an opportunity to interact with people even if just for a few minutes or even seconds and those minutes or seconds can be life-changing, even if just for one out of thousands of people. That one conversation, that 1 person can make the biggest difference sometimes.
The woman also told me how tough it could be sometimes to work as a cashier at ShopRite. She was an older woman – I’d say probably about 60, and as a former cashier myself, I definitely sympathized with her. However, she said, “Everyone tells me God has me here for a reason, but sometimes it’s hard especially when I’m not really supposed to talk about him to people”. I loved how she tried to look at her job, one that she wasn’t too fond of (not many of us are fond of cashier jobs) in a positive light and as a way that can be used to worship and honor God and share his word (even though it’s not always easy). That to me was inspirational and commendable. I also understood all too well how relieved she must have felt to see me coming in wearing a Jeremy Camp shirt and therefore almost giving her permission to share her faith with me. I feel that a lot too. It’s hard to be a Christian in today’s society because our current society seems so determined to shut God out. Opportunities like this one to share the gospel and our love for Christ seem to becoming few and rare between.
When I got home tonight I looked up Loop Events. Unfortunately there aren’t any opportunities around me to volunteer at the moment, but I will keep an eye out. I would love to volunteer; I go to mostly all of these local shows anyway and I’d love to share my faith in Christ and connect with other concert-goers and perhaps make some friends along the way.
Have any of you guys used Loop before? If so – what was your experience like?
Today I read chapters 9-10 of 1 Corinthians. There were several parts of chapter 10 that really stood out to me. The first verse that caught my attention was one that I have previously highlighted and it is 1 Corinthians 10:21 which states, “Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakes of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.” What this verse means is we have to be careful who we choose to spend our time with, what activities we decide to partake in, and really what we VALUE in this world. Do we value God or do we value man? You can have God or the world, but you can’t have both things.
This reminds me a lot of the Jeremy Camp song, “Give Me Jesus”. I saw Jeremy Camp perform a phenomenal show at Living Waters church in Burlington last weekend and the words really stayed with me in this song in particular. The words of this song are very simple and it works. Perhaps that was Camp’s point even – to strip the song of the bare necessities – Jesus. The chorus simply states, “Give me Jesus. Give me Jesus, Give me Jesus. You can have all this world, Just give me Jesus” (Camp). If you’re a Christian and you are truly saved and truly choose to follow God and to live in Christ, that’s all you need in the world. When we die and go to heaven nothing here on Earth is going to matter; the only thing that matters is our love and belief in Christ.
Here is a lyric video featuring Jeremy Camp’s “Give Me Jesus”. Thanks to iamSB for posting it on YouTube!
Another passage that stood out to me was 1 Corinthians 10: 26 which states, “For the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.” God created this earth and everything on it including all of mankind. We need to honor God in all that we do and remember to whom we belong. This ties in with verse 31, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” As Christians and disciples of God we need to consider our actions and how we live our lives and the things we choose to partake in each day. Are we glorifying and honoring God? Do our actions show us as being God’s people? Can everyone see Christ in us?
1 Corinthians 10 concludes with verse 33 which states, “Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.” It is important for us to live Godly lives and to act in a way and to live in a way that is god-pleasing and god-honoring so that people will see Christ in us so that we may reach those who are not saved and to help to bring them to Christ. This doesn’t mean we have to be perfect; we will never be perfect. It just means that we will strive to be the people that God created us to be and that people will see Christ in us and be so inspired by our lives and the way we live in Christ, that they will be compelled to follow Christ, too.
The controlling values of 1 Corinthians 10 might look something like this:
Purpose: We must reject the world to follow God.
Context: Following the world will cause us to sin, commit idolatry, and separate us from God.
The opposing controlling values may look like this:
Purpose: Following the world will give us more opportunities and grant us higher status among society.
Context: Chasing materialistic worldly things can never fully satisfy us; only the love and grace of a savior can fulfill us.
Actually, looking at that again now after letting it sit, perhaps the opposing controlling value may be:
Purpose: If we don’t follow the world, we will be missing out.
Context: Following the world closes the door on God where we will receive better gifts than what the world can give us.
Am I living a Christ-focused life? I want to think yes, but to be honest, this is something I need to work on. Attending a public university and juggling my Master’s courses with teaching and working full time can be a challenge. I am guilty of putting God on the backburner so I can do all of these other things when in reality God should always be my priority. When people look at me and my life, is God the first thing that comes to mind? I’d like to think so, but I can’t help but think they see me as being a student or a social media marketer first and a Christian second. I need to fix this.
These verses really touched me today because 1. I need to get back to reading my Bible on a daily basis and not just immersing myself in his word, but LIVING his word and living for Christ and not the world. Also, 1 Corinthians 10:33 reminds me so much of my mission statement and what I want to accomplish in life; to please God. I am writing a novel not for my own gain and not for my audience’s gain, but for the glory of God. Everything that I do in life is for God’s glory and to honor and serve him and to share his love and his word with others. This is something that is so easy to forget and something I need to be reminded of. When I grow tired and when I question my work and why I am doing this, I remember him. None of this is for me, it’s all for him and I am exactly where God wants me to be doing the things he wants me to do for him.
Happy Friday! How are you guys doing today? I just received medical clearance for my new job at Penn Medicine so I’m pretty great! A little tired and sore though since I had to get a vaccine for chicken pox a few hours ago, but still in great spirits.
Today is day 20 of the 30 day writing challenge. For day 20 I’m instructed to put my music player on shuffle and write about my reactions for the first 3 songs that come up. I have to admit that today’s challenge makes me a little bit sad. I can’t put my iPod on shuffle because I lost and/or had it stolen from me about a year ago and never found it or got it back. I had an iPod classic with a few thousand songs on it that I used every day and really loved it. Since it’s a discontinued product I can’t just go to a store and buy it easily and prices online for it (even used) have skyrocketed since it’s been discontinued. I am planning to buy one off Amazon or something eventually, I just have some other higher priority expensive items to buy first. So for now I’ve been using Pandora in lieu of my iPod. I put all of my Pandora stations on Shuffle. Here were the results:
- Christina Perri – A Thousand Years
I really like this song. Christina Perry has a really beautiful voice and seems really down to earth. It bothers me that this song was from a Twilight movie though. Christina Perri is so much better than that. This isn’t my favorite song from her (Jar of Hearts is probably my favorite), but I still enjoy this song. She’s really talented.
- Casting Crowns – Glorious Day
Casting Crowns is probably my 2nd favorite band (Good Charlotte is my #1 still). I really love this song. It’s not my favorite of theirs (I really love “Broken Together”, “Thrive” and my favorite is probably “Just Be Held”, but I do like this one. It’s more positive and puts me in a good mood.
- Blondie – One Way Or Another
Blondie is one of the first bands I’ve ever listened to. When I was a little kid I listened to Blondie all the time. I’ve always liked this song, but it’s never been my favorite. I still like it a lot though. I think it’s an anthem for woman to be a little tough or “badass”. I don’t know. I always felt kind of badass listening to it, but that could just be because I started listening to this song when I was like, 4.
What are your thoughts on these 3 songs? Which is your favorite? Out of all 3 of these songs, Casting Crowns’ “Glorious Day” is probably mine. What’s playing on your media player?
Image Credits: Beats By Dre
I’ve always been a huge fan of music. Over the past 11 years I’ve seen at least 15-20 different shows with plans to add to the list this March when I see The Ataris in Philly. However, I have a 90 db hearing loss which sometimes makes it difficult to really hear the music especially when played at home on devices such as my iPod or my laptop. Frequently, it sounds like a bunch of garbled noise and I have to concentrate very hard on the lyrics to even be able to decipher who the artist is and what song is playing.
I heard about how headphones have changed over the years. I was intrigued by how they might work for a deaf/hearing impaired user. My main issues are high frequency and clarity. I wondered if the headphones could help to correct my issues or if they would merely amplify the sounds. I heard so much about Beats By Dre, and when I saw the high price of them I knew there must be a reason for them being so expensive.
I tried many kinds of headphones over the years. I usually just purchase cheap ones from 5 Below or Target. I preferred ones that could fold for easy storage. I tried a pair of my Dad’s Sony headphones before. They weren’t much better than my cheap 5 Below ones though. They were better for him, but for me as a hearing impaired (legally deaf) individual there was no difference.
A few months ago I reached out to Beats by Dre directly through a contact form on their website. I asked them if they knew anything about whether their product was good for deaf/hoh users but they weren’t really sure. They advised me to try them out in the stores that have them on display. I took their advice and tried all of the different models several times at several different stores.
I noticed that the most popular, cheaper options the Studio ones were significantly better than the cheap headphones I was used to hearing. I could hear sounds I never heard before. I continued trying them out and found that the Beats Studio ones, while a bit more expensive, were significantly better than the Studio ones. Well worth the extra $100 or so they cost. The Executive ones were priced the same, but I thought they had just a slightly better sound quality. One of the biggest differences between the Executive and Studio ones was the way they fit over my ears. With my old headphones I always had to take my hearing aids out prior to using them so that A. I could hear the music better and B. They didn’t make my hearing aids whistle. I was able to fit the Executive ones over my hearing aids comfortably and could still hear the music very clearly. With the Studio ones there was a slight amount of whistling though.
Today I purchased the Executive headphones for approximately $300 from Radio Shack. I know most people probably think I’m insane for spending $300 on a pair of headphones, but these were honestly one of the best purchases I ever made. I would pay $500 for them I think. They were well worth every penny I spent. I’m hearing the music in a completely different, better, more enjoyable way. I can hear every word that is sung. I can hear the bass, the rhythm, the beat in ways I never could before. I listened to Yellowcard’s “23”, a song I’ve heard about a million times t least in the decade that it’s been out and it sounded like a completely different song to me. I almost cried because I was just so completely blown away by the quality. If you’re a hearing impaired music over, then you really NEED these headphones. You will not be sorry.
I only wish that Beats By Dre would develop a hearing aid of the same capabilities now. Being able to hear people in everyday conversation the way I can now hear my music would be amazing.
Do you own a pair of Beats By Dre? If so, what are your thoughts on them? If not, would you consider buying a pair?