Who is this Jamin guy anyway?
I am the husband of one and the father of nine. I was created to sing, to worship, to encourage, and to be steady. I am the Owner & Executive Director of Trinity Arts Center, a multi-disciplinary Arts Center in Eastern Tennessee, and the President of Trinity Arts Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization focused on funding arts education and performance. I've been involved with four music projects in my life -- Hot Pink Turtle, Spin Radio, Stand Like Stone, and of course, Jamin Rathbun.

In 2013, I added my Twitter feed to this site (below). To view the old content, just scroll down past the Twitter timeline. To keep in the loop on new posts, thoughts, and updates, just follow me on Twitter using the button below. Thanks!

Tweets by @jaminrathbun

box_bible bible

I was talking with a buddy this week about trying to find a balance between freedom and righteousness as we live out our Christian lives. Actually, that's a bit of an over simplification. It's not just freedom and righteousness. Sometimes the struggle is to forgive ourselves for the mistakes we make. For some of us it's a struggle to see past our current situation (maybe even suffering) and look forward to where God is calling us. I've written before about past sins in my life that I've never confessed to another person for fear of what they might think. It is a constant struggle to maintain hope and focus as we see the results of our sin around us, as we feel the pain and consequence of that sin in our lives and even, sadly, as we see the results in our children's eyes.

Anyway... I've introduced a slightly broader topic than what we were discussing but... I'll pick up part of my response to him, addressing some of these thoughts...

"What you're saying is definitely true. There's no doubt that God can use our successes and failures for His glory. Proverbs 27:17 (a picture of 2 pieces of iron scraping across one another to make them both sharper) hints at the process of using our differences (and the friction between us) to sharpen each other. One of my favorite passages is Philippians 3 which describes, among other things, the idea that none of us have "made" it and that our only recourse is to continually forget what is behind and strain toward what is ahead. Of course, then you have James 4:17, which reminds us that we sin when we don't do the things we know we ought to do. The freedom we have in Christ excuses us from the authority of the Law but -- not the righteousness and obedience that God requires. There's even a passage in Hebrews 10 that throws down some pretty heavy fire and brimstone for those who deliberately keep on sinning. Honestly, I'm not quite sure how it all comes together and I can relate to that "work out your own salvation" passage in Philippians 2. = )

For me, I'm just trying to get better every day at doing what I feel God is calling me to do, responding to what the Spirit is teaching me and moving toward where He's guiding me. Somewhere in the middle is that place where you are striving to do what's right but -- not beating yourself up over where you've failed. Through it all, God is good and you're right about learning a lot through the process. Pain brings experience and, usually, experience brings wisdom. I wish there was another way to get there but -- it doesn't appear that there is." = )

Anyway... As I was preparing for worship this week, I revisited a couple of my favorite passages in Titus chapters 2 & 3. I think they do a great job of telling it how it is and -- finding a balance between those pieces of the life we are trying to lead in Christ. Maybe they'll resonate with you too.

Titus 3:5-7
He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

Titus 2:11-14
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say no to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope -- the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

I'm reminded of the chorus to an old hymn...

Jesus paid it all. All to Him I owe.
Sin had left a crimson stain. He washed it white as snow.

Amen and Amen.

box_stuff stuff

The Cambridge Gallery
I stumbled across this gallery of digitally enhanced photographs last week.

These are some gorgeous pics with great use of light. Definitely worth a look. By the way, the site also provides detailed techniques and tutorials for you photographers and digital artists out there. Definitely worth a peek if that's your thing. = )

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