Why lyrics make a difference (and the arrival of the new Telecaster)

This week, as we plan to launch a new church campus, I have been listening to a song we plan to introduce Monday morning. In conjunction with that, I have been reading through the book of Acts, as that is the intended book from which our pastors will be preaching for the next few weeks.

The song we are doing as a special music is called Promises, by Sanctus Real. It’s really a great song, and I enjoy a lot of their stuff. They seem to have found a groove, a way to gel with each other that shows through the songs they write, the way the guitarists interact, and the overall quality of music. It’s the kind of stuff that happens overtime, over a million rehearsals with the same four dudes over and over again, hashing out who does what and how they do it.

One of the lines in the song says, ‘let His Word be your strength.’ Hmmm. That’s a tall order. Especially since this week has been more stressful than I can put in words, between planning the weekend’s worship, an influx of new students on my case load, trying to be present at home and with those who are closest to me. However, there have been times when I’ve found myself getting irritable and in my head hear, ‘let His Word be your strength.’ And not in a cheesy, Kirk Cameron kind of way (sorry, Kirk. I really do like Fireproof). But instead in a ‘are-you-gonna-do-what-you-said-you’d-do-and-press-onto-His-word?’ kind of way.

Spinning your wheels isn’t fun when you’re trying to live a life worth living. And I know all the effort I can muster from within me can’t earn my way to Heaven, but if I am to proclaim Christ is my Lord, I better accept the fact that others will know that to be true by the way I treat them, not how eloquent I can sound on Sunday morning or this blog post. So in those times of irritability, I founds myself hearing those lyrics and really processing what my next move was. If I believe that Jesus said, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples (John 13:35),” how then should I handle it when my son isn’t listening very well? How will I handle conflict at work, or with my wife? Do I really allow His word to be my strength? Or, is that just a nice lyric to sing on Sunday morning so that everyone thinks how cool I am as a Worship Leader, and how edgy it is that I pick songs I’ve heard on the radio?

My prayer this week is that I really do allow His word to empower me to treat people the way Jesus commands us to. Not in a fake, guarded way; and certainly not in a way that substitutes works in the place of loving others. Rather, I pray that it gives me the strength to love my family, even when times are hard. To love God above all else. To be a good friend, employee. and servant, even when I don’t feel like it. That’s when lyrics can make a difference: when they point your attention that place you know God has called you to, but you’ve somehow managed to turn away from.

On a slightly different note, this week I received my new Telecaster 🙂 Here’s a brief review I did!

Per Fender Customer Relations (who are awesome by the way):

The serial number you have provided corresponds with an FSR Standard Telecaster w/maple neck in Butterscotch Blonde finish manufactured 08/2013. The factory specs for this specific model are listed below.

Model Name: FSR Standard Telecaster® (Butterscotch Blonde)
Model Number: 014-0112-(550)
Series: Standard Series
Body: Ash
Neck: 1-Piece Maple, Modern “C” Shape,
(Tinted Gloss Urethane Finish)
Fingerboard: Maple, 9.5” Radius (241 mm)
No. of Frets: 21 Medium Jumbo
Scale Length: 25.5” (648 mm)
Width @ Nut: 1.650” (42 mm)
Hardware: Chrome
Machine Heads: Fender®/Ping® Standard Cast/Sealed Tuning Machines
Bridge: Vintage Style 3-Saddle Strings-Thru-Body Tele Bridge
Pickguard: 1-Ply Black
Pickups: 2 Hot Standard Tele® Single-Coil Pickups (Neck & Bridge)
Pickup Switching: 3-Position Blade:
Position 1. Bridge Pickup
Position 2. Bridge and Neck Pickups
Position 3. Neck Pickup
Controls: Master Volume, Master Tone
Colors: (550) Butterscotch Blonde,
(Polyester Finish)
Strings: Fender Super 250L, Nickel Plated Steel,
Gauges: (.009, .011, .016, .024, .032, .042),
p/n 073-0250-003
Unique Features: Reverse Control Plate,
Black Dot Position Inlays,
Vintage Styling,
Black Plastic Parts
Source: Mexico
Accessories: None
U.S. MSRP: $699.99
INTRODUCED: 2010
DISCONTINUED:
DISCONTINUED COLORS:
COMMENTS: FSR for GC in 2010

My brief observations are this:

* Literally this thing is unmolested. I bought it from a fella on Reverb.com who states he played it twice, and I believe him. Plastic still on the neck pickup and pickguard. I got it at a total steal of a price too!
* It’s weighty. Not Les Paul heavy, but a substantial slab of wood.
* The neck feels fat in my small hands, but plays like butter.
* I absolutely LOVE the three barrel bridge. Comfortable to rest your palm on, great tone.
* The pickups are HOT
Perhaps hotter than the Vox CoAxe humbuckers in my SSC33. They drive my AC4C1-12 effortlessly, but I am going to lower them a bit to tame them a little. I’m not a HUGE fan of overwound pickups, but I’m sure it’ll take a little tweaking before I give up on them. I may eventually go the route of some 50s voiced Alnicos… maybe.
* Some buzz intitally, but I think that’s a setup issue. After I gave her a proper restring and a setup, it was totally gone.

The story is I sold my 72 Deluxe to raise a little bit of cash to pay off some debt. My wife and I are young, and we have what I’d consider a very little amount of debt, but I feel partly responsible because I know some of it was due to my buying/selling/trading of gear. Plus I’ve been drooling over these BSBs for about a year now. With that said, I was able to buy this, a hardshell case from a dude on my local CL, and still have some money to pay down on debts.

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