Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Jars and Jewel

This week's entry from the random emails of encouragement archives... I get inspirations for stuff in the weirdest places and at the weirdest times.  I guess that is what appears to be the randomness of God in my eyes, but is actually the plan of God coming to fruition.  How he can use a song on the radio and the desire to hear that song to eventually lead to the writing of a piece of encouragement is beyond me, but hey, He’s God and He can do that. 

This was written on June 22nd, 2001, ten years ago to the day, back when Jewel was relevant, Jars of Clay was popular, and Coconuts was in business...

So, here is "Jars and Jewel"...

Yes, I did end up finding this CD.  Ten years later, I think
I've listened to it... once?  Maybe twice...
So, let me preface this story to tell you why I was looking for "Pieces of You", the cd by Jewel in the first place... a few days ago, before I started my new job, I was lying in bed about to get up for the morning. It was around nine or so, when on the radio comes "You Were Meant for Me," by Jewel. The song makes me sigh, and brings back memories. I like the song, can't help it, plus, its been stuck in my head for a week. So there. That's why.

Now, the real story...

So, I'm in Coconuts today at lunch. I go there every two weeks or so, and flip through their used cds. Let me just plug them and say they have the absolute best used cd prices in town, better than CD Warehouse, better than Replays... you can find new and old stuff there cheap! Okay, back to my cd flipping. My main goal is to find 2 cds--Goo Goo Dolls "Dizzy Up the Girl", and Jewel's "Pieces of You". Why the Goo Goo Dolls? I love "Black Balloon", one of the saddest songs I've ever heard, plus its a really good album. Why Jewel? Well, you should have read that by now. I find "Dizzy Up the Girl" pretty quickly, for 6.99 mind you, and I go on a hunt for Jewel. I have seen "Pieces of You" there for as cheap at 3.99, so when I find it, that's what I'm expecting to pay for it. Maybe less. I told you, Coconuts was cheap.

Anyway, as luck would have it, the one time I actually AM looking for a Jewel cd, they don’t have it. Unbelievable. So I flip through some more cds and come across a cd that makes me shriek. I shrieked, in fact, loud enough for a Coconut's worker to turn to me and say, "Did you find anything you like?"

Speechless, I nodded my head to affirm. I picked up the cause of my joy, and was holding, with a mere 7.99 price tag on it, a cd by the band Jars of Clay. The cd was The White Elephant Sessions.

Let me explain. Jars of Clay, first of all, is a great band. Yeah, I know, I know, their first cd was the best, and I agree, but because Free at Last was dcTalk's best, that didn’t make Jesus Freak and Supernatural inferior products... same thing with Jars of Clay.

If you are a Jars fan (like Death Cab for Cutie, real
fans call them just "Death Cab"... real Jars of Clay
fans call them just "Jars"), then you need this in
your collection
The White Elephant Sessions is a cd they put out for promotion when they released "If I Left The Zoo", their latest album, back last year. On this cd is a few raw demo cuts of stuff that have appeared on their last two cds, Zoo and "Much Afraid". It's got some stuff they did in college, some early studio works they have done, and songs you wont find on anything anywhere else. Maybe Napster.

I've been searching for a year for this cd... on eBay, I bid on it once, but when the price got to be over 25 dollars, I gave up. Its not a spectacularly good cd, but its just hard to find. You gotta work to get it. Anyone can walk up to Lifeway, Wal-Mart, even Coconuts (their first cd was 3.99, Much Afraid was 5.99) and get any of the other Jars of Clay stuff... but you gotta work to find The White Elephant Sessions.

Same thing with God. Wait, I know I just lost some of you, but here me out.

I don’t want to minimize the importance or the experience, but face it, it's not that hard to become a Christian. But, as I have often said, there is a difference in being a Christian and being Godly. Christianity requires a belief that Jesus died on that cross for the fact you and I are a couple of schmoe sinners. But to be godly, to be a true man or woman of God... well, that requires a Christian that is disciplined, obedient, evangelistic, grounded in Scripture, faithful and prayerful.

Anyone who believes that Jesus died for them can walk up and get the CD of Grace and Peace that God has for them. But you have to take the extra effort to receive the Box Set of blessings God has for the godly. Do you see the connection I'm trying to make? I'm not saying God loves the godly more than the lukewarm Christian... but the godly will have more blessings because God promised them to those who follow Him.

Don't just settle for the Jars of Clay cds that everyone has... or the blessings that come with being a Christ follower... hunt, search, seek, find that White Elephant cd... and the treasures God has for you in being not just a Christian, but a Man or Woman of God.

Besides, God is tells us in His Word...

Sing with me...

You were meant for Me... and I... was meant for you...

Sorry, couldn't help it.

He will save your soul

The Summer of Blogging Day Twenty One

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