How much does the Word really matter?

How highly do you esteem the Word of God? In the passage above, it seems that John so highly esteems God’s Word that he is having a hard time trying to separate the words of God from the very person of Jesus. You see this with all the disciples, the guys who actually lived their lives in community with Jesus. They just think so highly of Jesus’s WORDS! That’s why in John 6 Peter proclaims, “Lord, where would we go when you have the WORDS of eternal life!” Yes, where would we go if we didn’t have the words spoken by the …

We’re Home!!…Well, sort-of :)

Friends, As many of you know, we Martin’s have been vagabonds for a bit while waiting to transition to our new home in Nashville, TN. Well, the day has finally come!! It’s day #3 in our new home and I’m typing this update on my newly built work desk. As with most moves, we are physically a bit tired and yet still in need of getting everything settled…but our hearts are full and light. After not having a home for almost a year, it’s a bit surreal for us to wake to such a blessing! There has been so much …

Your Future Is Incredibly Bright!

Friends, Have you ever taken one of those tests that help you discover your strengths? We took one a couple of years ago and I (Jonathan) discovered that I am blessed (and cursed!) with combination of being strategic and futuristic. Not only do I (often!) dream about and visualize my future, but I’m also able to plan out strategic steps on how to get where I would like to go. It’s been a super helpful combo and I’m thankful to the Lord for how He has created and gifted me. But any blessing can quickly become a curse. As we’ve …

You Are Royalty!

Friends, This morning I’m overwhelmed by the incredible honor that it is to be able to walk alongside and serve you all. If you trust in the atoning work of Christ: YOU ARE ROYALTY! In the video below, you’ll see that we are trying to memorize Psalm 16. We hope you’ll join us! I’d already written a different email to you all, but this morning the Lord had me sit in verse 3 of this psalm: “As of the holy people who are in the land, they are the noble ones. All my delight is in them.” “Noble ones” can also …

Dying To Live

Friends, I encourage you to die today. It really is the only way to live. Fear wants to keep us from embracing the life that comes from death, so may the Word of God breathe faith into our hearts today: For if we have been joined with Him in the likeness of His death, we will certainly also be in the likeness of His resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that sin’s dominion over the body may be abolished, so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin, since a person …

What We Learned At Kids Camp

Friends, During our last week of camp, Emily and I read the Psalm above together and it ended up being one of those moments where the Holy Spirit used our setting (kids camp) to cause the Word to come to life for us in some new, fresh, encouraging, and penetrating ways. If I were to sum up camp with one word it would be: ENERGY!  There are not many times I find myself singing “This Is Amazing Grace” while my friends Sara-Beth and Morgan are jumping up and down on either side of me. As we are singing, the whole …

3 Reasons Why You Should Trust God

Trust is born out of what we believe is true. As I’ve been thinking and reading recently, I’ve realized that there are three really good reasons why I believe that I can trust God. I think they are three reasons for why you should trust God too. 1. He gets you I have a tendency to over-explain myself. I do that because I’m often afraid that I’m going to be misunderstood. We all long to be seen. We all long for some else to “get” us…to really understand us. We long for someone to really hear what we’re trying to …

Life Doesn’t Have To Be Miserable

Being miserable is a choice. There is no real correlation between suffering and misery. You would expect those that experience more external and uncontrollable suffering would have the greatest amounts of internal suffering and vice versa. Sometimes this is true, but sometimes it’s not. There is a type of person who is always miserable no matter what. Every day is a drudgery. In much or in little, there’s always something to bemoan. But there is another type of person who seems to have an inner wellspring of joy and happiness untouched by external circumstance. A person who echoes the spirit of …

Why Do You Believe?

About once a month I come across a new article that is addressing the fact that so many people are leaving the Church. Most articles have a tone of fear and are an attempt to diagnose what we need to do to try and keep people in the doors. To be honest, it drives me bonkers. I have nothing against looking at a problem and diagnosing solutions. That is all good and needed in it’s proper place I DO have a problem with a spirit of fear. The problem with fear is that it dampens faith. We are people of …

God and Road Rage

It’s a newer experience for me. Road rage. As a kid, I saw a few adults engaging in the practice. I never really understood it…but I understand it now. Some too-cool-for-school guy riding right up on my tail only to zip around me as soon as possible. That’s fine. Whatever. But then you have the nerve to swerve back in my lane having barely managed the whole passing me process? I hit the brakes and my nerves are shot. Now I’m upset. Upset is the nice and polite way of describing my condition. But there is nothing polite or nice …

Becoming Childish

When was the last time you were full of wonder? This world is trying to strip that away from us you know. It’s trying to make us grow up.  Trying to make us see things practically and “realistically.” Ironically, what it’s really doing is preventing us from seeing at all. Dull. Boring. Flat. Mundane. Lifeless. If that’s what it means to be a citizen here…no thanks. Jesus tells us in Matthew 18:3 that we should become like children because we are far too grown up. Children are often full of wonder. That’s why they are so lighthearted and full of …

What Our Disgust With Social Media Reveals

I’ve recently read many articles and status updates voice frustration at the pretense that can occur when you view a person’s life only through photos on Facebook. We post all the smiling faces, happy moments, and life seems good. Sadly instead of making us content and happy…it often stirs up frustrations or jealousies. We can begin to think that people are being inauthentic and aren’t showing their “true colors.” I’m not really looking to have input on all this…but I do think that our disgust with the veneer of social media is interesting because it reveals something that we ALL …

The Importance Of Fighting Gravity

Have you ever heard a song that resonated with you so deeply that it made you ache? I remember when I first heard these words attached to a compelling melody “This is your life, are you who you want to be?” Hearing this song by Switchfoot frontman Jon Foreman made my insides come alive with emotion and longing. It made me consider my life. It made me want to be a better man. It also made me want to be a songwriter. I could tell you all about my great love for the songwriting abilities of Jon Foreman but that’s …

2 Ways I Fight Anxiety and Fear

To be honest, there is very little in this blog that is original to me. However, I wanted to share with you what God is actively doing in my life through His Word in the hope that it might help  some of you as well. In my experience, anxiety is that little gnat of a thought that buzzes around in my brain, constantly pestering me with concern and preventing me from being present in the moment or productive. I’m constantly swatting at it and shooing it away…and yet comes back over and over again. It’s a sadly hilarious how this …

A New Year and Already Overwhelmed

It’s 5pm on Monday. I’m sick. Emily’s sick. Judah is getting over being sick. I’ve gotten about ZERO things done today on my ever-growing “to-do” list. And this is not due to lack of effort, but rather to the many (seemingly urgent) distractions that have popped up throughout my day. I’ve finally sat down to write this blog (which is due tomorrow) and now Judah (my two year old) is coming up to me, with all the sweetness, wanting to give me hugs and feeling cuddly. Who can resist!? Hold on…I’ll be right back… Also, one of my goals for …

What If I Don’t Feel “Joyful?”

At least once a week Emily and I find ourselves singing With Joy in front of a new crowd of people. Before singing, I typically ask everyone in the room this question, “Is there anybody in here that is struggling with something in life? Anybody got things they are dealing with?” Oddly enough, the whole crowd chuckles. (Or at least most of the time) They chuckle and show signs of confirmation that yes, indeed, they ALL have things they are dealing with. We laugh so we don’t cry right? I have yet to encounter a grown human being who doesn’t …

The Potential Tragedy Of Christmas

It’s Christmas time and we Martin’s are starting to feel all the feelings! Ya know?! That warm on the inside, cold on the outside vibe. We decorated the Christmas tree, we’ve been singing some Christmas songs, and we even got to open some of our first gifts of the season! Not to be too cheesy, but it really is just a wonderful time of the year. Some might say that we are feeling the “spirit” of Christmas…and it feels good! This past weekend we got to play music four nights in a row for different groups of folks. Playing for …

That Time I Humiliated Myself On Stage…

To be honest, I’ve embarrassed myself multiple times while on stage… There was that time (or two…or more) that I completely forgot the lyrics to the song I was about to sing. There was that time when I was playing guitar for a female singer at a wedding. Our song was during the procession of the bride. THE PROCESSION OF THE BRIDE PEOPLE!! Ugghhhh….so the story goes, that I confidently started strumming the guitar and at the appropriate moment the female vocalist starts singing. She then proceeds to shoot me a look of complete horror. I forgot the capo and …

I’m Tired Of Being Ungrateful

Thankful. What a wonderful word. Well, it’s not really the word that is wonderful…it’s really the idea behind the word. Doesn’t the idea of being thankful fill you with peace? Well, I’m personally tired of the idea and ready for the reality. I’m ready to choose to be thankful. I ready to embrace the fact that my circumstances don’t really determine my level of gratitude. I’m just so tired of being ungrateful! What a nasty state that is. It doesn’t feel good. It doesn’t produce good. It just makes me all bothered and unsettled. It births perpetual unhappiness and steals my joy. NO. No to a …

Vote For Our Album Cover!

Everyday we are getting closer to releasing our new album “Not Our Home!” We just heard the first rough tracks of the new EP and WE CAN’T WAIT FOR YOU TO HEAR THEM!! In the meantime, we had an amazing photoshoot not that long ago and our super photographer Barrett Santi just sent us over the final edits. WE NEED YOUR HELP! Before we send these photos off to the graphic designer, we want to know what photo YOU would choose for the front of our album!? We just can’t decide because we love them all!! Place your votes by …