#017 – Tyler Morrison

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Today on the show we have Tyler Morrison, a talented Christian singer-(now)songwriter. On September 4, he’ll be releasing his debut album “Surrender.” Tyler is here to share all about how his music ministry has evolved and where it may go.

To receive a free download of “He Leadeth Me” visit tylermorrisonmusic.com and subscribe.

This week’s book and film recommendations (check them out!):

Dave Eggers’s “What Is the What” (recommended by Pablo Colindres)

People Places Things (recommended by Slade)

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#015 – Discussions, discussions

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A couple weeks ago, I (Enrique) wrote about those infamous Facebook debates. For this episode, Slade and I expand on the subject and share our experiences trying to avoid such discussions and sometimes taking part in them. Why can’t we be more civilized? How can we engage in healthy conversation? I don’t know, but perhaps Slade does.

Also, in this episode we introduce two new sections: book recommendation and film recommendation (maybe we need some creative names).

This week’s book and film recommendations (check them out!):

Peter Rollins’ The Idolatry of God (recommended by Slade)

Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s Amores Perros (recommended by me)

Let us know what you think about today’s topic and share the podcast with your friends!

(iTunes Rating: Explicit)

Those plans are not yours

If we have talked recently, you know things have not turned out as I expected, or at least hoped. Even then, I felt confident I was heading in the right direction and it was only a matter of time for things to come together. Little by little, as the reality of the situation settles, that confidence wanes. Those plans I was so sure about, even when interrupted as they are now, now seem a bit unclear.

Were my plans ever clear then? No, they really weren’t. I just knew the general direction. But the problem doesn’t lie there—I can deal, even thrive, with some uncertainty.

The thing is that those plans were not mine. I liked and internalized them, but they still didn’t belong to me.

It was at a moment when my devotional life, although not great, it was stronger than at many other points in my life. God helped me to constantly remind myself of who was in control and what I was really after (or wanted to be after)—Him. Surrendering my fears and dreams, I began to experience His promise from Jeremiah 29:11.

As my connection with Him grew stronger, so did my confidence in His plans, regardless of things not heading in such a hopeful direction. I knew my way, because it was His revealed way.

Just recently, I can’t even point out when, I seemed to have forgotten about God, being preoccupied with graduating, figuring out a way to afford grad school, staying in Lincoln, moving out of the dorm, finding work—becoming an adult.

I don’t even know what happened. Without realizing it, I soon found myself lost again. My plans didn’t work. Without Him, they meant nothing and directed me nowhere. They only mattered because they were His. He had shown them to me and I took them away trying to make them mine. I took them away from He who had designed them, and without Him I couldn’t understand them.


Perhaps this is a bit unrelated, but I want to show you what brought about this epiphany.

I just finished reading C. S. Lewis’ “Mere Christianity” where he writes:

The terrible thing, the almost impossible thing, is to hand over your whole self—all your wishes and precautions—to Christ. But it is far easier than what we are all trying to do instead.

For what we are trying to do is to remain what we call ‘ourselves’, to keep personal happiness as our great aim in life, and yet at the same time be ‘good’. We are all trying to let our mind and heart go their own way—centred on money or pleasure or ambition—and hoping, in spite of this, to behave honestly and chastely and humbly. And that is exactly what Christ warned us you could not do.

Christ is my righteousness

As I have previously stated so many times before, I am so stressed out most of the time as I plan my future after college—as much as I can actually control. It is so difficult to focus on God and pray to Him and read the Bible. The further away I move, the more I worry about my performance.

In fact, performance is such an important word for me. As a musician, I prepare performances, I deliver performances—it’s all about performance. Long hours in the practice room must result in a competent performance or else I’ll feel all my efforts are doomed.

Spending three hours every day in a practice room means a big part of my personal fulfillment and happiness is based on my clarinet performance. Worrying all day about whether my études will be ready for my lesson next week or whether I have the elegance required to perform Mozart’s concerto, has made me forget a bit about how my life and my worth depend on Jesus—not anything or anyone else.

Although we Christians don’t always portray it, the gospel is simple and mind-blowing.

Last night, as I drove back to school I sang Matt Maher’s “Lord, I Need You.” As I assimilated every word, the gospel once again struck me to the core. “My one defense, my righteousness. Oh, God, how I need You,” says the song.

I worry and worry as if this world mattered more than God’s kingdom. My idolatry has consisted in putting my worldly struggles and ambitions above God’s love and grace and mercy and peace. And the only thing I’ve accomplished is a greater sense of hopelessness.

But this world is not my home and my salvation is not dependent on my performance.

The gospel tells me that Jesus came to die to take my place. My salvation is not based on what I can do but on what he has done. He is my righteousness. If I am asked what I’ve done to be saved or how can I be saved despite all my sin, I can say I am saved because of Jesus.

The greatest reliever is that Jesus does not look at my performance to decide whether I am accepted or not. Whatever failures I face in this world, Jesus has a place for me in the Father’s kingdom. He takes away the need to base my worth on my performance. Instead, as Maher’s song goes, “Holiness is Christ in me.”

Jesus is my righteousness and that thought is freeing.

It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”

1 Corinthians 1:30,31 (NIV)

Love trumps my pessimism. Thank God!

This post was first published on April 4, 2015.


There is so many things I dislike about the Adventist “culture.” Growing up in Mexicali and now having lived almost three years in Lincoln, Nebraska, I have experienced two different sides of Adventism. I gotta say both annoy me.

At the same time, both have things that I like. But I can go on and on about the things I dislike and how I wish we could be better and do more. I strongly believe God has granted us potential to do great things in His name, but we don’t. I become sarcastic and snooty. I get angry and cynical. I feel hopeless and overwhelmed.

This same anger has led me to focus on other things, like getting those things that are wrong right. It’s important work, it’s true. However, while I believe in and talk about God’s love as the answer, I feel like I show less and less of it.

God’s love can change us. His love can change what’s wrong. He can make it right. He can transform our laziness into hard work. He can transform our conformity (should I say mediocrity?) into excellence, our proneness to follow the world (or at least imitate so much of it) into leadership, our stagnant congregations into innovative communities.

If God’s love can do that, maybe I can get my recommended dosis and let that love do its work. God’s love can change our lives, it can change our communities, and it can change our church.

God keeps blessing

Despite how inconsistent I am in my relationship with God, He keeps blessing. I don’t understand. No matter how many days I go without opening my Bible or how often my prayers are a repetition in what has become a ritual I must perform before I eat to not feel guilt.

God, on the other hand, is consistent. He’s been blessing me all this time even when I don’t recognize it. Sometimes the blessings are small; other times, they are so significant that I instantly thank Him for his goodness.

The biggest blessing God has given me are people who support and encourage me. As you can learn from previous posts, I have not had such a terrific time since school started in August. Just thinking about life after college is overwhelming.

However, whenever I am despondent (which is quite often), there is always someone who reminds me God cares. They don’t always mention God or even believe He exists, but their involvement in my life is definitely a blessing from Him.

One thing I’ve noticed is that although most people don’t tell me I will become a conductor, they do believe I will get to a meaningful place. They know I might end up in a completely different place from what I currently want and help me see more possibilities. They might offer some help with my grad school applications or simply let me know they believe in my abilities through their constant encouragement.

I don’t know where God is going to take me, but I’m sure He’ll continue to bless me. He has brought me to a place where I’ve met great people who have helped me grow intellectually and spiritually.

God has blessed even through my inconsistencies. I keep working on developing discipline in my relationship with Him. Hopefully, I can be a blessing to others just as He has used others to bless me.