Confirmation, Belief, and Unbelief

This past we celebrated Ethan’s Confirmation of Faith.

In our church, this is a time where students who have attended a weekly time of worship, teaching and small group time for three years say they are ready and desire to make profession of their faith in Jesus Christ.

There are many things they have to do to reach this milestone and proclaim their faith in front of their family, peers, and church.

Though most students come to this time and want to be confirmed, the honest part is their faith is not perfect. Some actually will say they have grown but are still unsure of where they are at. After leading Taylor’s group and now Ethan’s, I’ve come to realize how an honest view of where you’re at in your faith is actually beautiful.

Ethan
Let’s be real: our faith is not based on just emotion or feeling though they are involved.

So many parts make up the faith that God has given us.

It’s God first and foremost that makes belief in Him possible. We love Him because he first loved us.

Yet when we mixed in the world and it’s allures and distractions it can get messy.

So why is it beautiful?

Because to hear these young lads ask questions means it’s important to them and they want to know. They are seeking Jesus.

Jesus said, “Seek Me and you will find Me.” WILL find me. Not MAYBE but WILL.

I think of the father who’s son was possessed by an evil spirit. The disciples tried to cast it out and they couldn’t. So the father goes directly to Jesus and asks Jesus to heal his son of his sickness. Jesus then asks the father THE question.

“Do you believe?” Jesus asked.

This father in his humility, fear, and desire to help his boy said, “Yes I believe. Help my unbelief.”

That’s being honest. That’s real. That’s beautiful.

I think that’s why Jesus then healed this man’s son–to help his unbelief. To show the father his honesty was covered in grace.

Jesus would understand the heart of a parent yes? And let us not forget, he loved that son.

Maybe He wanted to teach the disciples to judge less for an “As Is” situation and meet the person where He was.

Jesus sees the heart. We can trust Him with what He sees in our heart…even if we have our times of unbelief.

Ask for help in your unbelief. Meet Jesus in it. Seek Him you will find Him.

It’s okay.

If that’s where you are right now, I wrote a song about this very thing. It’s called “Yes, I Believe.” Maybe you’ll find it helpful. Here’s the link.

I’m grateful for the courage of my son and his friends to be honest and care enough to say “I believe” in front of each other and yet still ask hard questions.

Have you struggled with a season of unbelief or wrestled with hard questions? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments.

God is good all the time.
Peder

“Up Close” With The Famous–2nd Sunday of Advent

A few months ago my son Ethan and I went to California. While we were there, we had a day to ourselves when I wasn’t singing.

So we visited a lot of places including the beach which was awesome since beaches in Minnesota are closed now … but the ice fishing is not far behind. :)

The smiles say a lot!

The smiles say a lot!

We went down to Hollywood and took in the Chinese Theater, looked at the stars on the sidewalk, saw the Dolby Theater, and so on.

Ethan thought it would be cool to take a tour where they show you where the “stars” live. So why not?

On a whim, we bought two tickets, got into a 15-passenger van without a roof, and found our seats among other star-seekers.

The brochure said we’d see the houses of Tom Cruise, Justin Timberlake, Cameron Diaz, and others. The brochure also said, “No one gets you closer to the house of the stars” than this company.

Ethan was interested and I was curious so we put ear buds in so we could hear our driver/tour guide tell us where to look and whose house we were looking at.

He had a bit of a game show host to him with a voice of a stereotypical surfer dude and car salesman. It seemed to fit the Hollywood tourism vibe.

As we went along he would point out certain buildings where scenes from famous movies were shot and iconic streets. He told us that every famous person drives a black Range Rover.

He also would point this is the place where a certain star had a meltdown, that so and so’s ex wife or husband now owns this place, or the last time he saw the actual star (“about seven months ago”).

IMG_3902

I think that’s Ironman’s house on the top of the hill :)

He is doing his gig. I get that. But at times I felt like I had just turned on TMZ. I wasn’t ready for that.

The part that stuck out to me the most is when he would tell us a big star’s house was coming up. People would get their cameras ready and then it happened more often than not: the house was completely covered and surrounded by trees, or a wall, or it was a mile away so it looked no bigger than a pack of gum to us.

The key line of the trip was our tour guide saying, “Hey folks, that’s Tom Cruise’s chimney! Pretty cool yes?”

I’m not making that up.

I can’t imagine what these movie stars feel like as day after day vans full of people coming to take pictures—just to be near where someone famous lives. That is another world.

Yet, people do this tour by the hundreds every day.

When the angels came to the shepherds in the fields the night Jesus was born, they told them they would find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.

The shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go and see this thing that has happened!”

When they got there, they did not have stand outside of a grove of trees or look at a huge wall and wonder if the Messiah was on the other side.

The shepherds got to get as close as they wanted. Right up to the manger!

I fact it’s what God wanted in the first place: that anyone can come to Him and know real love, hope, joy, and peace!

Way better than just a chimney!!!

This is the focus of the new original song we wrote for the Christmas card project.

The lyrics say:

May the star invite you
May the angel song remind you
May His mercy find you
And give you perfect peace

May you seek your treasure
Only at the manger
May you find no strangers
Only family
This Christmas

May you find joy, joy, joy
May you find love, love, love
May you find hope in the One
Who has come, come to give you
Joy, joy, joy
Love, love, love
May you find peace
In the One who has come

This Christmas

THIS CHRISTMAS
Peder Eide/Paul Marino/Jeremy Johnson
(c) 2014 Van Ness Press, Inc. (ASCAP)

I’m excited about our new Christmas project, This Christmas, for a lot of reasons.

One of the many reasons is that how people can use this Christmas Card of music to give away to friends and family and share the amazing truth of God’s love that comes in Jesus!

My friends, don’t miss this next invitation:

YOU CAN GO TO THE MANGER AND GET AS CLOSE AS YOU WANT.

You don’t need a ticket and your tour guide is the Holy Spirit.

There will be no sarcasm. :) Only joy, love, hope, and peace that comes from the One who has come This Christmas.

God is good all the time!

Peder

Being A Parent Is Hard Sometimes…

Being a parent is hard some days…

It’s not a negative thing; it’s just hard some days.  I never realized how much emotion can be spent on a daily basis just thinking about what each child might be experiencing in their world.

It’s kind of like traveling the border of one country to another. As I go from one child (country) to another we are suppose to speak the same language but the different nuances of each country are enough to feel foreign.

Each country is in a completely different state of development. Some are at peace; some are in conflict either internally or with a another country (sibling). Each country has a different vision for itself. They are beautiful visions for the most part.

Eide nations out to breakfast (a first day of school tradition)

Eide nations out to breakfast (a first day of school tradition)

Some countries are not growing like they could; some think that just because they said they are ready that that is enough to be ready. (Oh the frontal lobe of some countries :))

Then of course are the moments where I forget how old a country is and I treat them all the same which makes “the whole world” a bit more crazy and I might be creating an environment for a hostile coup!

As head of these United Nations (dad), it just seems impossible for world peace!

Yet the cost of giving up is way too great compared to the cost of emotion and heart that drives parental diplomacy for the greater good of each country.

This is all I can say:

Thank You, Lord, that I get to be the head of these beautiful, precious countries. Thank You God for allowing me to struggle in this and I pray it would teach me more about You so I can bring You to these unique countries. Jesus remind me when I’m tired, worn out, feeling defeated and like a failure that it’s worth the energy, that everything matters, and Your voice is only saying one thing to me: “Keep going for I am with you.” Holy Spirit, hear from heart thankfulness for what You have given me as a parent and let Your Kingdom come and Your will be done in each wonderful country in my care!

To think on other things other than God’s goodness makes it harder to parent.

Today, I don’t need it to be harder. I’ve got five amazing countries in my house of many nations.

Therefore I’ll keep going even if it’s hard today…

God is good all the time.

Peder

Snowmobiles and Signs

Living in Minnesota means snow. This year’s snow and temperatures are bad enough to make a polar bear look for a coat. I’m not really complaining, just enlightening.

A fun part of the winter though is riding snowmobiles. I grew up on it. I haven’t gotten to do much of it over the years. This year I found a snowmobile on Craig’s List and added it to our family. It’s an older, used one but it can get going, and it’s Ethan’s main thing!

Our neighbor saw our new snowmobile and invited me on a late-night ride through trail in our community. I put my gear on and with a couple of other guys, off we went.

It was snowing again (go figure). Watching the snow fall down in the beam of my headlight was fun. Since the trail was new to me, every turn was a new picture.

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photo credit: mercedesbbk via photopin cc

When you ride trails, you stay as group in case someone’s snowmobile breaks down, someone falls off (it happens), someone gets lost, etc. At night you keep an eye out for the taillight of the person in front of you and the headlight of the person behind you. If you can’t see the sled behind you, you stop until they come into view. If they don’t, you turn around to find them.

It’s like not leaving family behind.

The other part of riding at night is trusting the leader and the signs that mark the trail. It’s the leader who makes the turns that everyone else follows. If he is unsure, he stops so we all catch up and make a group decision. The bottom line is it all comes down to looking for the signs and trusting the signs.

On our ride home, we decided to take a different route than when we left. The snow was falling harder but we felt good about where we were going. We were looking hard for some specific signs to know where to turn. Understand these signs are small, orange signs with black arrows. They can be every 100 yards to every ½ mile apart. Somewhere we got turned around and felt we were going the wrong direction. We stopped a couple times to agree on where to go next.

Being off-course was a bit unsettling because we were afraid of being lost and running out of gas. Out on trail are gas stations unavailable.

We decided to follow the signs running along side a highway until we realized where we were: the complete opposite direction of where we wanted to go. Eventually we made it home and had a blast doing it.

Here is the part you need to hear: We were never really lost!

Sure we had gone the wrong direction but we were always following the correct signs. We only looked for snowmobile trail signs and not other kinds of signs because the signs we needed where snowmobile trail signs.

Listen my friends, so often we get worried about making the right decisions and looking for the perfect direction from God. I’m glad you want to do that as we all need to seek His face and His Will!

In God’s amazing grace and sovereignty, as we make choices in our lives, as long as our passion is for Jesus, He will keep us on track and bring us to where He wants us. He is that good.

They key is look for His signs, His word, His voice. And don’t take that lightly. God really has plans for you (Jer. 29:11-13) and they are good plans (Phil. 1:6)

Sometimes a different trail is just part of the adventure God uses to teach us about Him.

It was fun to figure out how to get back. The peace we had is always having the right sign in our sight even if it was a little different journey.

Are you watching the right signs today? Remember He is before you, behind you, beside you, in you, through you, and for you!

Watch the signs.

God is good all the time

Peder

Smile Because It Happened–A Vlog from the Metrodome

Ethan and I went to the last Vikings game ever in the Metrodome. So many memories in that building and now the Vikings are moving out.

We said good-bye to a stadium and are now saying good-bye to 2013.

(If the vlog’s not loading properly, you can find it on YouTube).

We’ve got a choice: cry or smile.

I hope you can look back over 2013 and smile because it happened.

And I hope you smile when you look forward to 2014 when you think about all that God’s going to do.

Happy New Year!

Remember, God is good all the time.

Peder

Sports, Church, And Family Are More Similar Than You Think

I spent this past weekend attending and coaching my three older kids in their sports. It’s so much fun. I am a sports fan on many levels. I love playing, watching, coaching, you name it.

Ethan’s 12AA baseball team on Friday night was in a tight game. Understand, Ethan’s team has had a really up and down season of some good wins but also really hard losses. It was affecting everyone because sports take emotion. We had won in the morning but it felt like a rough win.

The night came we played well with solid defense and a good spirit.

It had it gone back and forth and literally came down to the last inning. Our pitcher, Trayton, had just struck out the previous batter which was huge! They had two outs, runners on second and third, and their best hitter was coming up.

In his previous bat, this kid hit a rocket to right field over the fielder’s head. The coaching staff told Noah, our right fielder, to back it up.

Trayton threw two amazing pitches and put the batter in an 0-2 count. The coaches, parents were on fire, so loud, so intense. The batter then fouled off the next pitches. Even though we were up by one, the runners on second and third would go when the ball was hit so any outfield ball meant we had no chance.

Then Trayton threw an outside fastball…

CRACK!

Another rocket to right field! Nobody breathed. The coaches were silent. I heard some voices say “Oh no!” It felt like slow motion.

In right field, it was just Noah. All eyes watching, waiting. He backed a step and stopped. His glove went up, he leaned back, his glove went up as high as possible…

Catch! WE WON!

The coaches, players ran onto the field, screaming, cheering, jumping all over Noah.

It was so fun!!!

Ethan's 12AA team qualified for 3 state tournaments! Love the faces:)

Ethan’s 12AA team qualified for 3 state tournaments! Love the faces :)

Friends, I really see church and family being a lot a sports team. We have coaches (pastors, parents), team names (church name, family name), players (the congregation, children), the game (our mission, our life), and goal (1 Cor. 9:24-27, Malachi 4:5-6, Luke 1:17).

It should be intense, fun, full of action, voices cheering each other on, hugging, victories, and most of all delight and passion in the One who owns the team, the game, the purpose and by His grace allows us to play. Even more than that goes crazy with us and over us simply because He is our Abba Father and loves to watch us, coach us, and, I dare say, play with us!

It reminds me again to remind you. Respond and engage in worship at least like a ball game. Celebrate family and church family moments of marriages being healed, baptisms, weddings, sermons, the offering like it’s “the catch”!

Because it is way more important than that!

What are your thoughts? Agree? Disagree?

Devo for the 3rd Sunday of Advent: Joy

While on Christmas tour, my son Ethan, 11, called me with some fun news to share. He had spent all day Saturday, from 8am to 5pm, taking a class required by the state of Minnesota to drive a snowmobile! It was a long day of rules, information, and training. Then on Sunday at 1pm, the day he called me, he took his driving test to attain his snowmobile license. The news was good news indeed.

He passed and was now legal to trek across the globe on a snowmobile (kinda).

What caught my heart was as I was talking to him, he seemed like he was trying holding something inside. It was actually when I said to him, “Dude, you should be proud of yourself.” He said back to me, “I am, Dad. It’s just hard to talk because I can’t stop smiling.”

Ethan's face of Joy

Ethan’s face of joy

That’s fun!!!

Webster’s dictionary says the word “joy” is a noun defined as: The emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect possessing what one desires.

Ethan was experiencing some real joy!

So how does that happen during Advent? We sing “Joy to the World” and “Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee” yet for many joy is way down the to-do list. All the stuff going on drains the tank. For some of us it is a really hard season for any number of reasons like a loss in the past, to fears of loneliness, hardships in the present time, and so on. I get that…

Ok, so if you’re not feeling the well-being, success, or good fortune, how do you find the joy that’s makes it hard to not smile?

First, look into the manger and see the very face of the One who is the giver of real joy and peace and realize you bring Him joy. Remember a verse like Zephaniah 3:17:

“The LORD your God is with you; He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you; He will quiet you with his love; He will rejoice over you with singing.”

That perfect God with no reason to fulfill a duty or obligation and has no needs, looks at you and me and takes delight in us. It’s like that we are His favorites…because we are.

Now, take that truth of how your Heavenly Father looks at you and live in it. When you know that the most powerful God of all is proud of you and adores you, no matter what you’ve done or how messy it is, what does that do inside of your heart?

Doesn’t it make it hard not to smile? Isn’t that the prospect of possessing what one desires? That desire being love.

Ok, so here is your assignment: As soon as you are done reading this, pick a Christmas song that brings you joy. Whatever song it is, TURN IT UP! And then…are you ready?

DANCE! Dance a weird dance; dance with someone in your house. Dance with your eyes closed like no one can see you. Just dance, friend.

You are allowed to dance and enjoy it. It will be really hard not to smile.

It’s a good taste of joy.

God is good all the time.

Peder

The Writing The Song “Nothing More Nothing Less Nothing Else”

The next blogs are going to be in response to an invitation to ask how I wrote certain songs. What inspired them, where they came from, and little back story.

For me, song ideas come from anywhere. Books, sermons, my own devotional time, movies, advertisements, personal experience, almost anywhere.

The song “Nothing More Nothing Less Nothing Else” from the CD Rescue is one of my favorites. Here’s why:

When my oldest son Taylor was about 11, I did a read aloud with him called Teknon, The Champion Warrior. It’s a kids science fiction story centered on a father and son as the son comes into young manhood.

The father is a brilliant scientist and soldier/warrior who gathers fellow warriors to go and take on the evil villain who has stolen the Logos (which is a symbol for God’s Truth and Word in the story). The son is asked to come a long as test of his character and to see if he is ready to enter into manhood. Taylor and now my son Ethan both love it!

In the book, the warriors would pray to God on their adventure and they would end each pray with “Your will be done, nothing more nothing less nothing else.”

It really struck me. As a follower of Jesus, am I really ok with whatever God wants to do with me as long brings Him glory and like we pray “Thy Kingdom come Thy Will be done”? There is more to that than just trying to say the right words.

In the midst of writing the song with my friend and producer Paul Marino, I was captivated by something Pastor Bill Bohline said in Sunday morning message at our home church, Hosanna! He was telling about a conversation he had with a man named Peter Erickson from our church. Peter was sick with cancer, and Bill had asked him how he was doing. Peter’s response hit me deeply. He said, “Bill, if I die or if I live, either way I win. Either God has a plan for me here on earth or I get to be with Jesus in heaven. There is no bad outcome!”

That’s how I want to live. I don’t but I desire it and seek it. After church I went home into my basement and started to pound out the bridge from the very phrase Peter had said to Pastor Bill.

I hope you are blessed by the tune and, as always, I hope you pass this blog along to others who might find it encouraging. It’s a blessing to what we do here.

You can order or download the Rescue CD at www.PederEide.com. Click here to listen to a sample.

That’s my story of writing “Nothing More Nothing Less Nothing Else.” Now it’s your turn to tell your story about hearing it. Leave it in the comments section for me to read.

God is good all the time.

Peder

If to live is Christ and to die is gain, then teach me how to die.
If to follow You means to follow through and leave this world behind,
then let Your kingdom come. Let Your will be done.
Nothing more nothing less nothing else.
Nothing more nothing less nothing else
Do what You want with me.
Nothing more nothing less nothing else
Do what You want. (Do what You want)
If to live by faith is to run the race, then teach me how to run.
If to count the cost, to take up my cross, glorifies Your Son,
then let Your kingdom come. Let Your will be done.
Nothing more nothing less nothing else
Nothing more nothing less nothing else
Do what You want with me.
Nothing more nothing less nothing else
Do what You want. Do what You want.
If I die, if I live, either way, I win.
For I know where I stand: If it’s You, I’m in.
If I die, if I live, either way, I win.
For I know where I stand: If it’s You, I’m in.
I’m in.
Nothing more nothing less nothing else
Nothing more nothing less nothing else
Do what You want with me
Nothing more nothing less nothing else
Nothing more nothing less nothing else
Do what You want with me
Nothing more nothing less nothing else
Nothing more nothing less nothing else
Nothing more nothing less nothing else

 

Excellence

Switchfoot opens with a great look!

The other day I was given a fun gift by a friend and co-laborer in the kingdom of God: tickets to Switchfoot! This is a favorite band of the Peder Eide family. The seats were great! My wife Sherri and two of our children, Ethan and Allison, sat and prepared ourselves for a rare treat to be together and enjoy a concert where I wasn’t a part of it.

From the beginning song all the way through the end, the whole audience sang every song with the band. People celebrated, were inspired, and were moved by the experience of being in a room with other people who have a common love for a style and presentation of music.

Still there was more. What is it about Switchfoot that made it so welcoming to sing these songs loud and like they are your own?

During the concert, I recalled a conversation I had with a friend on our trip to India in January. We were talking about art and the church, favorite groups, what makes a group or an artist last in this industry we call music. It really comes down to the song. It’s about really great songs. Great communication using music, drama, art, etc. Yes, we all have different tastes and preferences but within those it’s still about an excellent creation of a song, painting, story, play, and so on.

What so powerful to me is how a writer like Jon Foreman of Switchfoot writes these amazing songs we get to hear and sing a long with yet these are not all the songs he has written. These are his best, his favorites, the ones that make the cut for the records. They are the most excellent. The result? Years of powerful messages, inspiring lyrics, and changed hearts because of the commitment to being excellent!

I think about what we create in our everyday lives. We all create. Whether we’re ministers, business people, educators, computer technicians, students, singers, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, we all create! We create a level of which we do our occupation or study in school. We create and form the shape of what kind of man or woman we will be. We create an environment by our attitudes, temperaments, words, and actions that direct and affect all those around us.

Do we do it with excellence? Scripture is loaded with verses doing whatever we do with the highest regard to imitating the Father. Running to “win” the prize. (1 Cor. 9:24-27). If anything excellent, pure, praise-worthy, think on these things (Phil. 4:8). Be holy because He is holy (1 Peter 1:16). It’s not because we will impress God but truly it is a response to who God is and to glorify Him. It’s always about God.

Here’s another example of excellence from Lake Michigan. What God has created He lets us enjoy and see Himself in it. It’s a loving thing God has done.

(View it on Youtube under “Excellence from Lake Michigan” on the Peder Eide channel)

Do you think that your pursuit of excellence in whatever you do is not only glorifying God but loving to those around you? Imagine your effort towards your art, music, parenting, studies, responsibilities, verbal responses, facial expressions, being a husband, wife, brother, or sister are truly something to be done excellent and your effort to be excellent is loving?

Thoughts? Email me at Peder[at]pedereide[dot]com and give me some feedback.

Peace to you,

Peder

I Love March Madness!

I love March Madness. The time when high school and college basketball tournaments are in full swing. It’s when I take Allison and Ethan for a day to the girls and boys state basketball tourney and dream about what it might be like for them to play in it one day. It’s when I fill out my brackets for the NCAA Men’s Tournament and try to predict who will win. I watch my brackets and catch the games I can.

I love tournaments because of the whole lose and you’re done, win and you get to play again situation. Some of the intensity is heavy. Emotions run high, inspiring plays make memories, and the experience of the smaller, lower-seeded team upsetting the bigger or favorite to win team is a blast. I love the underdog, Cinderella moment.

Trying to pick a winner

Imagine if we knew the outcome. What would it be like to know your favorite team is going to win?

Would you still watch?

I would. Especially if I knew my team was beating a rival team. I know I would enjoy the game with less anxiety if we fell behind because I knew it was going to turn around to my team’s favor anyway.

Isn’t that what the life of being a follower of Jesus is suppose to be like? I mean, we know that because God is for us, nothing can stand against us (Romans 8:31b-32)  and the good work God began in us He said He will take to its completion! Check that it’s GOOD work! (Phil. 1:6)

I can live this life like I don’t know about the victory. I can treat my friends and family like I need to trust no one and gain control of any possible outcomes that may come my way. Man, is that foolish on my part.

If I remain in my Abba Father God and He remains in me, I get to experience what David or Esther or Gideon or Joseph felt, to mention a few.

Remember the war is won in Christ Jesus and by His grace we get to be part of the victory with Him.

I just need to live like it. The people close to me would appreciate it for sure. :)

God is good ALL the time!

Peder