Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Our lives are made up of moments.
And most of them will never be captured by a camera or microphone. And try as we may, we cannot hold on to every one of them. As I get older, I'm very much aware that my memory isn't as sharp as it used to be. And that is painful. I want to be able to recapture the sparkle in my wife's eyes when her quivering lips said, "I do." To remember what it felt like to hear my sons draw a breath and cry for the first time. Every time one of my boys calls me "daddy" my heart smiles. I want to hold onto these things vividly. Not as hazy memories.
It's cruel, I think, that we don't have some sort of digital recording device in our brains that allows us to capture, replay, re-experience.
Or maybe it's grace.
Because there are also moments that I want to erase for all eternity. The way my wife's face changes and tears flow from her beautiful blue eyes when I've said or done something to hurt her. The moment I lost composure upon losing a job that I put way too much value in. The look of fear in my son's eyes when I yelled, perhaps too loudly, at him. The ugly sin moments. Those can be sent to the recycle bin of the mind as far as I'm concerned. But, just as we cannot record and playback those moments we hold dear, we cannot erase the ones we'd like to pretend never happened.
And that, I suppose, is God's way of telling us to make the most of every moment. Every heartbeat is precious...important. Every word we speak, action we take is more than just a's a piece of our story. And our story is incomplete without the bad as well as the good.
What moments do you wish you could cling to and replay in your heart and mind? Which ones do you wish could be erased from the hard drive of your life?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The World is Bored.

I’m convinced the world is bored. I mean, seriously bored.

Evidence of this started a few years ago. A group of people who were bored got together and decided to do a choreographed song and dance performance in public. The idea was that it would appear as random, yet organized. It soon garnered the name, “flash mob.” And bored people have been trying to come up with original flash mobs ever since.

Then came “planking?” I mean, seriously…people are taking pictures of themselves lying down. Really? This is a social activity now? Lying down? I know that people are coming up with creative places to plank. I get that. But in the end, we’re taking pictures of ourselves lying still.

Admit it, we’re bored.

How else does one explain this “occupying” movement? It’s the flavor of the month right now. Occupy Wall Street. Occupy this. Occupy that. What is occupying, really? It’s a group of people gathered together, protesting the power and money that major corporations have. Funny. They’re walking around in clothes created by corporations, taking pictures and video of their events with cameras made by corporations (I’ve seen several people using their smart phones at these events. Really?) Some even make a run to the closest fast food joint to grab a burger and fries from a corporation, so they don’t get too hungry while they’re sitting in their tents made by corporations. And how are they getting the word out about their events? Through social media. Yep, you guessed it, corporations. They’re even going out of their way to get traditional media coverage. You know, those corporately owned television, radio stations and newspapers?

So…what are they really protesting? If anything, they should be protesting themselves…their own stupidity. Or at the very least their hypocrisy.

No, I think they’re just bored.

For the most part, these aren’t bad things. At least people are getting creative. At least they’re doing something with their time. But what is the cause of all this boredom?

Personally, I think it’s the result of a very dramatic decade. In September of 2001, one of the most dramatic events happened in our country’s history. We collectively gasped. We got angry. We united. Then we spent the next few years seeking revenge. But we also spent that time rebuilding. We got busy. We wanted to prove to the world that we would not fall. So we spent money. Lots of money. Money we didn’t have. We ran up our debt. Just like a family trying to keep up with the Joneses, we weren’t going to be outdone by any other country. We had to prove to the world that we are still the strongest, greatest country on the planet. And we got accustomed to that spending. We got used to the drama of it all.

Now we’re on the backside of it. We’re back home from vacation and the bills have just shown up. We spent a lot of money at Disney World. It didn’t feel like real money because we used a credit card. And that mouse with the big ears is just a memory now. We still long for the euphoria.

We are bored. And we need to be careful because when people get bored, they start doing things to create euphoria. Problem is, it doesn’t last long. So we’re on to the next thing…and the next. Before you know it, we’re carrying signs, protesting something we ourselves don’t even understand and rioting about powerhouses that we ourselves created. And how far will we go?

We have forgotten the great, lost art of…being content.

At the risk of sounding like a buzz kill (which I realize is a real risk here), may I make a few suggestions: go to work, come home, play with the kids, watch a movie as a family, work in the yard, clean the garage, go on a picnic, go for a hike. No, it’s not nearly as dramatic. But it’s a lot healthier. Learn how to be content before we go too far.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Was It For the Devil?

I have written songs to God, about God and even some from the perspective of God. But one song in particular was a change of pace for me. I've recieved quite a few emails from fans asking me who I'm addressing in the song, As You Think You Are. The most common question is, "Was it for the devil?" Sometimes, people assume I had a specific person in mind and want to know who it was. And, every once in awhile, someone asks, "Did you write this for yourself?" Truth is... It's all of those. As You Think You Are is a message about pride.
You consider this and everything you see
as your imagination running wild.
You consider this, in pure hypocrisy,
as something that you caused to come about...
You'll recall Lucifer was the highest of angels til pride took him down. He started to believe that he, himself was God. In that sense, yes, this song is about, or rather to, Satan. But I also struggle with pride. I sometimes get to the place in my life where I say, "Look what I've accomplished!" Dangerous place to be. Because the truth is, I've accomplished nothing on my own. God's grace has given me the beautiful family I have, our wonderful home, my career, my music ministry. Without Him, I'm just another sinner. Correction...without Him, I'm probably the chief of all sinners.
You're not as strong.
You're not as powerful.
You're not as much as you think you are.
But this song is written to you too. It's a warning...a reminder. Don't start believing your own hype. Sometimes we want to present ourselves as "having it all together." I believe God created in us the desire to aspire to more. But not for our own glory. This song is aimed at all of us who tread that dangerously thin line between acknowledging God and seeking praise for ourselves. And it's laced with some of the same questions that God asked Job:
What about the moon?
What about the stars?
Are you the one who put them in their place?
And what of living air?
Were you the first to breathe for every living creature, every race?
So yes, As You Think You Are was written for the devil. And for me. And for you. I hope there's something we can all learn from it. You can hear the song here: If you like it, please go to iTunes and buy it! And share this link with your friends!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Does God Understand This At All?

Today Morgan, my four year old, starts pre-school. And I'm feeling a bit...well, melancholy. For sure, I'm extremely proud of him. He's so smart. He knows the importance of "please" and "thank you." He and his little brother, Grayson, are my absolute pride and joy. I can't imagine life without them...nor do I want to. But like millions of parents before me and, for sure millions after, it's hard to see my baby boy grow up. A big part of me wants to keep him "cuddle-size"...where he fits just right in my lap and arms. I love that he still gives me kisses, hugs and runs into my arms when I get home from work each day. I fear those days are quickly fading. And pre-school, somehow, marks the beginning of the fade. And that got me thinking this morning, does God understand that at all? I wonder if an ageless, timeless, eternal God knows what it's like to wish his child would stay a child. Yes, He watched Jesus grow up but I don't know of any place in Scripture where it says God had a hard time when Jesus first strapped on a backpack and took a number two pencil to class. I don't recall God getting misty-eyed over our Lord's first day of high school. But I do remember this:
"I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins
and become like little children, you will never
enter the Kingdom of Heaven." --Matthew 18:3 (NIV)
God knows what happens as we get older and the world takes away some of the wonder. He knows how, with age, we start to lose that abandon that sends us running into His arms. So, while God may have never expressed His saddened heart over watching a child grow up, He definitely expressed his sorrow over his children losing their child-like faith.
Maybe that's another thing we have in common with our Maker. We all want our kids to stay "cuddle size."

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

58: The Film

Check out the trailer for this church-changing film that's coming out in October. Share it. Join the movement. We can change the world.

58: THE FILM Trailer July, 11 2011 from LIVE58NOW on Vimeo.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


I remember. I remember when those light green eyes shined so brightly. When those bony, broad shoulders stood square and strong. Just yesterday life danced in that goofy grin. And the chestnut locks curled along that scrawny neck. O' where did the wide-eyed wonder go? The dare, no determination, to change the world? Did wonder give way to worry? And dare to disappointment? Those eyes have lost their shine. They show retreat. Those shoulders, now slumped in defeat. If I ever had a hope, it seems I lost it. If I ever had a smile, then fate has tossed it. The curls of youth replaced by graying...straying. Is this the real me? Is this who I was all along? And only now the veneer has worn so thin that truth is exposed? Or have I wandered so far that the real me cannot be found? Lost somewhere in time's relentless ticking...ticking...ticking. Oh mirror, surely you lie. Surely the best has not gone by.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Why You (I) Don't Understand God

Sometimes, God just plain humbles you. Sometimes you need a reminder that He is God and you are not. (And by "you", I mean "me.") I've been thinking a lot lately about God's whole plan...and how it just doesn't make sense. I mean, here's what boggles me: God knows the future. So He knew, long before He even created the heavens and the earth, that His prized creation would betray him. He knew that man would turn against Him. He knew we'd create other gods to take his place. He knew we would deny our Maker's very existence. And yet He continued. That blows my mind. If it were me, upon seeing this future, I would've said, "Nah...never mind." But not only did He continue, God devised a plan to give us all a chance to come back to Him. And what a plan it is! We denied Him and HE came chasing after us. Such is the love of God for us!
For those of you who don't know this plan, here it is in a nutshell: God said, (paraphrasing here) "You denied me. You didn't listen to me. You broke my rules. You shunned me, spat at me, kicked dirt in my face. I created you and you proclaimed that you created me. So you don't deserve to be with me. You don't deserve all that I have to offer. After all, you think you can do better on your own. You deserve to spend eternity away from my presence. But I love you. I love you so much that I will give my only son--the son I love--to you. I will allow you to beat him, mock him, torture him, kill him. All so you can be forgiven for what YOU'VE done. Not for what HE has done. He will be blameless. But still he'll die so YOU can become blameless too."
Now wait a minute. I'm sorry, but that plan just plain doesn't make sense to me. Who comes up with that? Who could possibly think that makes sense? God. That's who.
And the reason we don't understand it. Well, He even gave us an answer for that too:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. "As the heavens are
higher than the earth, so are my ways
higher than your ways and my thoughts
than your thoughts." --Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV)
Think about that statement for a moment and realize just how humbling that is. As smart as you are, God is infinitely smarter. As much as you think you understand, you're not even close. Your sense of justice is lightyears away from what His justice really is. Your ability to reason...miniscule in His presence. Anytime you've asked God, "why?"the answer is, "You wouldn't understand if I told you." Anytime you say, "I can't believe in a God who would do something like..." it's because you don't get it. And again, by "you", I mean "me." Humbling. And yet, somehow...empowering.

Friday, May 20, 2011

It's the End of the World (As We Know It)

No doubt, by now, you've heard of the prediction that tomorrow is Judgement Day and the end of the world will begin with the rapture happening sometime tomorrow, Saturday, May 21st, 2011. Harold Camping, who somehow got to a point where he owns a network of 150 "religious" radio stations around the country, has been espousing this message for months now. I'm okay when so-called "experts" or self-proclaimed theologians start spouting out theories like this as fact. Mostly because, when Sunday May 22nd comes one will ever listen to this yahoo again. But... What if? I know, I know...but entertain the thought for awhile. If we all really knew that tomorrow was the end of the world, how would we behave? Would there be any need to go to war today? Any reason to harbor ill-will towards another human being? If the end of the world was coming within the next 24 hours, and we all face the same fate...then we're all equal today. How would that change the way you behave? How would that affect the way you live the next 24 hours? Maybe sometimes these nutjobs are good for us. Maybe they make us ask important questions of ourselves. Maybe, we can all be better human beings by at least entertaining such outrageous claims about the end of the world. People who have "near death experiences" often change the way they live. What if we treated this prediction as a "near death experience?" Maybe we laugh off such notions because we truly don't want to change. Maybe we laugh at these predictions (and perhaps rightfully so) because we don't want a near death experience. But maybe we all need our cage rattled every once in awhile, huh? I, for one, don't believe Camping's claims. No matter how elaborate his mathematical equation for figuring out the end of the world. Because God told us very clearly:
"But about that day or hour no one knows,
not even the angels in heaven, nor the
Son, but only the Father."
--Matthew 24:36 (NIV)
Not even Harold Camping.
But wouldn't it be nice if the whole world lived that way...just once?

Monday, May 2, 2011

...And There Was Much Rejoicing

Last night my wife and I were watching a movie in our living room. We finished about 10 o'clock and were just about to head to bed when she checked her Facebook one quick time. She read this post in her news feed:
"Burn in hell, Bin Laden."
We were both curious about this post. Was this person just having a bad day and blaming the worst terrorist mastermind of our generation? Or did something happen? We quickly turned on the news to see the news banner across the bottom of hte screen:
We watched as crowds gathered in front of the White House, clapping, singing and waving flags in the celebration of the death of this horrible man. I hit rewind on the DVR to see how the news unfolded--the first official announcement from White House press reporters. We watched as President Obama told us about the operation.
And...we rejoiced.
"One less piece of evil in this world" I posted on facebook and Twitter. And that sparked a conversation. Are we supposed to rejoice at the death of a terrorist? Or, in the much-cliche'd phrase, "what would Jesus do?"
"Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice..."
--Proverbs 24:17 (NIV)
But that's not easy to do, is it? I mean, we are so human after all (sorry, shameless plug for my album.) It is very human to rejoice when a bad person is defeated. We want to see our enemies vanquished. We tell ourselves that it's okay because good conquered evil. Never mind the fact that the Bible tells us NONE of us is "good." So are we supposed to celebrate the death of this horrible man? It's not an easy question to answer. I believe God is happy that Osama Bin Laden will not be able to carry out any more evil acts on His people. But we can also presume that God wept last night. If Osama Bin Laden indeed died without having known Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior, then God found no pleasure in that.
" surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD,
I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked,
but rather that they turn from their ways and live..."
--Ezekiel 33:11 (NIV)
I'll be honest. That's not me. Not right now. Yes, I think it's sad that a human being died, presumably not knowing his Creator, but I'm glad that our country dealt an incredibly painful blow to Al Qaeda. I'm glad Bin Laden won't be able to plot against us anymore. (Though I'm not naive enough to believe this ends our war on terror.) And I'm proud of the men and women serving in our military to fight against their injustice.
Yes, there is reason to rejoice. But there is also reason to weep. It's never a good thing when someone is sentenced to eternal suffering...if, as some have recently suggested, that even really exists. (But that's another topic altogether.)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

30 Seconds (That Changed My LIfe)

Since I was a college student I've had this one dream that, to this day, has yet to come true. I have always wanted to be nominated for a Dove Award. That may seem silly to some, but to me it's recognition that you're a serious contributor to the Christian music industry. Your songs mean something. Your talent is appreciated. It's one of the highest awards for any Christian music artist. I have never even been considered, of course. But there was one moment--30 seconds--that almost led me down that path. Almost. Right after I graduated college--and somewhat on a whim--I entered a vocal competition in Dallas, Texas. I soon found out that I'd be competing against 186 singers...and I was number 183 to perform. I knew the judges would be tired. And here I was, singing to a track of a song called Crucified that I wrote with some friends in college. Shortly before I went on, I asked one of the other competitors if anyone had "blown away the judges yet." She said, "Not really." I got up, I sang my song. The crowd applauded. The judges applauded. It was an extremely positive response. When I sat back down in the room, the girl I had spoken to previously handed me a note on a piece of torn, red paper. "I think you're the one who just blew everyone away!" (I still have that note to this day.) To my surprise, I won the competition. And the first place prize was to go to Nashville, record a project, open for Morgan Cryar (one of my all-time favorite artists--and who my oldest son is named after) and...wait for it...pitch your project to the president of Star Song records. This was my chance! I went to Nashville. I recorded my first solo project, called Shock the World. It was pop. It was, at moments, a bit corny. There are some songs on there that I'm still proud of though. Probably wasn't my best effort but with the amount of studio time I had been given, (we recorded the entire album in 3 days) it was ok. I opened for Morgan Cryar, singing a handful of my songs and received a strong response. "I'm on my way!" I thought. When I arrived at the office of Star Song records, I sat in the lobby next to a young couple. He had spikey "nashville hair" and she had big, blonde hair! They were dressed in jeans and a t-shirt. He was wearing a denim jacket. I spent every last dollar I had to buy a cheap suit at the Nashville mall. I was feeling a little out of place. They told me they were a married couple and they were there to sign their recording contract for their first album. They called themselves Two Hearts. It was exciting to meet other artists who were just about to launch their careers. They had done it. They were getting their chance. I was hoping that, by that afternoon, I'd be in the same boat. They comforted me, wished me luck and then went into another room to look at their paperwork. When the president of Star Song came out of his office to meet me, my producer introduced me as "the next Michael W. Smith." The president asked me, "Are you the next Michael W. Smith?" I said, "No sir. I'm the first Tim Glenn!" I was brimming with confidence. I knew this meeting could change my entire career path. I went into the office with the president. Sat down in front of his desk. He sat in his leather chair behind the desk. We made a little bit of chit-chat. I was obviously nervous as he popped my cassette into his tape player. (Yes, we were still using cassettes back then.) "Well then, 'first Tim Glenn', let's see what you've got." The first song--Take Me Away--came on. My foot was tapping. Probably as much out of nervousness as enjoying the beat. 30 seconds. That's all he listened. He stopped the tape. Popped it out. What is he thinking? Was it so good that he didn't need to hear any more? Was it so bad he didn't need to hear any more?" It was the latter. "I'm sorry, Tim. This just isn't what we're looking for right now. Good luck to you though." That was it. No contract. No suggestions. No second chance. Nothing. I walked out of that office, deflated. I took my shot. And I missed. I walked past Two Hearts, sitting in another room poring over paperwork. They looked at me with the obvious question on their faces. I just shook my head no as I walked by. My producer walked me out to the car, where I fought back tears the entire ride back to the house where I was staying. I often have wondered what my life would've been like had that 30 seconds gone differently. Don't get me wrong, I love the way God has blessed me with a family and a career. And I still get to make music, lead worship, etc. But that 30 seconds was a path changer. It led me to pursue a different career...a different life. Tonight, the Dove Awards will be held in Nashville. And at some point, an artist will hear his or her name announced among the list of nominees. Oh, how I wish I knew what that felt like!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

"In Love"

I've been struggling a lot lately with the concept of being "in love with Christ." And I wonder if it's because I haven't found a way to see him more tangibly. I know, that sounds odd, but go with my logic for a sec:
The Bible tells us that:
"Greater love has no one than this:
to lay down one’s life for one’s friends." -John 15:13 (NIV)
And, quite honestly, if I were faced with the choice of dying or denying Christ, I would choose death. I could not deny Him who has given me eternal life...the one who has given me my family, my very breath. How could I possibly? So, in that sense, yes I suppose I love Christ.
But dying for a cause or person is one thing. What about living for one? I admit, I fail miserably at this. Some days, yes. Some days, far from it. And I can't seem to wrap my brain around this concept of loving God with every fiber of my being, as spelled out in Luke 10:

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ -Luke 10:27,(NIV)

Just being honest here. I love my children that way. But I'm not sure I love God that way. And I think it's because my chidlren are tangible. I can hold them. I can hug them. I can hear their sweet little voices, see their beautiful smiles. It's easy to love them, in fact. If God were more tangible to me, perhaps I could love Him as easily. Or maybe it's not supposed to be easy to love Him? Or is this some unattainable goal that we're supposed to strive for, but never achieve?

Or perhaps my concept of "love" is completely off-base? But I really struggle with how one can love God that deeply, when we cannot touch, see, hear or smell?

Is it possible to love Him with ALL of your heart, soul, mind and strength? If that's possible, I'd really like to get there. I'd love to have that kind of relationship with Him.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

"Thy Will Be Done"

Twice, in the past two weeks, I've heard a message on the Lord's Prayer. (One pastor even went so far as to say "stop calling it the Lord's Prayer. Jesus would never pray asking God to forgive him of his sins--he doesn't have any!") Whenever I hear more than one message on the same point in such a short amount of time, I figure God's trying to tell me something. And I, being as slow and dimwitted as I am, need to be told more than once. Just sayin'. But here's the part I've really been struggling with:
"...Thy will be done..."
In all honesty, I've struggled with that most of my life. What if God's will isn't what I think will make me happy? My two biggest fears in this life are that God will either take one of my boys away from me, or take me away from them--leaving them to grow up fatherless like I did. So, I am terrified of God's will. I'm horrified that He may do one of those things to "teach me a lesson."
Wow. I probably need to work some on my view of God.
But this morning, on my way to work, I was having a conversation with God. And I once again verbalized these fears to Him. And He challenged my thinking with a question. He simply asked,
"Can you, by your own will, make your boys live to be old men? Can you will to live long enough to see your boys grow up?"
"No. I cannot," I replied.
"Then why are you afraid of surrendering to the will of the one being who can?"
It's true. The one being who, sheerly by His will, created an entire universe, who spoke life into existence, the one who willed me (and my boys) into existence is the only one who can will the things I hope for, pray for.
Yes, He's also the one who can will the things I fear. And I've still got some growing to do, before I can fully accept that God wants to give me the desires of my heart, (as long as they are in accordance with that will. Ugh! Beyond my comprehension!)
Perhaps a better question is, "If it's God's will to take my boys away--or me away from my boys--then is there really anything I can do to stop Him?"
No. There is not. So why not disclose those fears to Him? Why not surrender to His will, turning it all over to God, and pray that He hears those desires of my watch my boys grow into men?
A lot of things to work through still. But I figured I'm not the only one who struggles with this idea of surrendering to God's will. But in the end, I can't "out-will" God anyway.