Guitar Legend Les Paul Passed Today

•August 13, 2009 • Leave a Comment

You can check out this article on Les Paul to read more about his passing. He was 94. Les Paul was a major innovator in the music industry and was a key player in the rise of rock and recording. He made a mark on the music industry that will last forever and he will be greatly missed.

The Heartfelt Fight

•August 11, 2009 • Leave a Comment

We give in and let our brokenness consume us every minute of every day and in our hearts and minds there is this spiritual war going on and it never ends. We may rest but God keeps fighting, we may sin but God keeps swinging the sword. I was watching this scene from “The Last Samurai” and Tom Cruise’s character is beaten down, stabbed numerous times, and yet he keeps getting up and taking more. This is the perfect picture of the heartfelt fight. It’s the war raging inside of us this very moment. You might not feel it but it’s there I promise.

I don’t think we can ever get past it nor do I think many of us have a true desire too. We stand and watch the battle unfold and instead of taking up a sword and fighting how we should we fight to keep hold of that which has a hold on us. We find freedom in Christ but are slaves to our broken nature. We are standing in the middle of the heartfelt fight, between the beauty and the chaos (thanks Aaron). How can we live this way? Both slave and free? If God put down His sword could we defend ourselves in the heartfelt fight alone? For how long?

Life On this Side of the Cracker

•July 31, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Man it’s has been a crazy week. Im sitting here at the house with Lauren waiting on a new nurse to come that is going to fill in when we need it. Church has been busy. We have had a lot going on inside and outside our student ministry from camp to possible mission projects, to just life. I want to get back to the posts from camp but have not had a chance yet to sit down and think through the week. Reflection is such a cool thing. Time is flying fast. I have done a few photo gigs this summer which has been cool. If your in need of inexpensive family photos let me know, I’m always in need of some cash to help our family pay the bills.

Lauren has a surgery scheduled on the 21st of August to repair her palate. It should take about 3 hours and she will be in the hospital for a couple days. Hopefully everything will go well. We will likely be up there with her the entire time as she is older and knows when mom and dad are not in the room. Don’t know if I can handle going through another surgery again but to make it this far is truly by strength that is not my own.

Student Life Camp Part 1

•July 18, 2009 • 1 Comment

This last week is going to come over a few posts as I try to organize my thoughts. Here is the first.

I’m still sitting here in awe of this past week as we drive North on I95 heading toward our home in North Carolina. Chapel Hill/Durham seems so distant while I sit here and reflect. Geoff is doing a great job driving, and we have been talking a lot about life love and ministry this week. He is going to start work on a new website for refuge student ministries and I can’t wait to share it with you when we have our re-launch. My goal is for it to be a hub/outlet for our student ministry and a place where our students can come together and share in the vision God has laid on my heart and their hearts this past week.

Lives have been changed. Hearts broken. Our God lifted in worship by 7,000 voices singing endlessly of His love. Our students and others at the camp have been changed, touched, and flipped. Three of our 14 students who attend are now following God. Four others have decided that the way their living is not God honoring and that change needs to happen and it starts with their hearts, with mercy.

I was amazed to see our student worship outwardly. To worship freely with their “posture” and how it changes in the presence of God as Louie Giglio said. Till this point in our student ministry there has been very little of that. It was great to see our adult leaders doing the same, engaging God in ways they never had before. Our students have found that they can pray for each other and they need to. They found unity in laying hands on each other, praying, and embracing as the flood gates opened and hearts where poured out. I don’t think there is a person who came with us that did not shed a tear as God moved the mass of students and adults we called Student life Daytona Beach.

I loved this moment. We where sitting in the nosebleed section it was dark and Louie was talking about loss and asked if anyone had lost someone recently and a lady sitting alone in front of me raised her palm ever so slightly. I put my hand on her shoulder and she began to weep, a few moments later our students, students who earlier would have never ventured out to show love and compassion for a stranger put their hands on her and you could literally feel her shudder as the hands of love and understanding from complete strangers in the dark reached her. She was not alone. There was a God who loved her and still loves her and will always love her and there are His people who are willing to be the catalysts for that love.

Our student ministry now sponsors a child through Compassion and you will be hearing more about that on this blog. We have started with one child and the students hope to sponsor more within this one Compassion project to invest their time and money long term in one area, which I think is amazing. It’s a vision that I have had too and God is moving in it and thorough the organization of Compassion. The students picked out four kids and we talked about each and their needs and decided on a one child in Indonesia which is 86% muslim and a nation of Islands in the Indian Ocean. Our students are now making a dent on the world and are helping to move one child out of poverty. I’m blessed to have teenagers who have a desire to help children in need.

I believe for the first time our students discovered the love of the God of Refuge. The God who comforts the broken soul. The God who provides shelter. The same God of salvation that reaches to the depths of our hearts and pours His love and mercy on us. This week our students meet that God face to face and their posture changed.

Leading and Struggling

•July 7, 2009 • Leave a Comment

it would seem counterproductive to me, if we all gathered in a room and experienced the most hype “worship experience” with hands raised, voices belted, free/outward expressions of our love for God WITHOUT translating that into stepping into the world and acting on the things we sing about…

I think Aaron Ivey has something here. Jump over to and read the post. So many times we do this in church and in life. We get this gun loaded with hype and shoot it off missing the target of action on so many levels. I’m blown away and challenged by his words and I think you will be too. It’s worth the read no matter what you do as a “leader.”

Aaron also has a new album out that you should go to iTunes and purchase in it’s entirety. I’m going to have a review of it coming soon. If your seeking something new in your ears or on your “hi-fi”, then you can’t go wrong with this.


News & Updates

•July 2, 2009 • 1 Comment

I really having nothing major to report.


Yes I do.

Lauren went to the ER cuz her Dad is an idiot and accidentally ripped out her g-tube when she was sleeping on my lap. Do to this ER trip (it was slammed pack there) Rebecca had to leave a dinner she was at for work and Lauren seems to be getting sick. It also messed up a night of playing Fallout 3 on my 360 but that’s no big deal I started over anyway.

Lauren went to the ENT doc Monday and had a good appointment. They downsized her trach to a 3.0mm and upped her from a neo to a pediatric (it’s longer on the inside). Everything looked clear when they scoped her too. Mind you she still has two pieces of tumor and at this point always will. Also the doc said that 3 months after the plastics guy repairs her palate the trach will come out. We see him in 2 weeks to get that rolling. We are guessing the surgery will be August so maybe by November she won’t have it anymore, unless of course she has a rough winter like she did last year (we where in the ER or admitted to Duke at least 2 or more times per month).

Lauren is now getting sick from the ER visit we had Sunday night. She will be seeing her regular doc this afternoon.

In other news we are gearing up for VBS and Student Life Camp over the next two weeks with our church. It’s going to be crazy. If anyone has a DV camcorder I could borrow (with a DV to firewire cable) for the next two weeks that would be great. You just have to live close by so I can come get it.

Sorry I’ve been slack on blogging.

More Justin Teseniar Band Photo’s

•June 25, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Happy Birthday and Such

•June 25, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Thanks for all the happy birthdays I got on Tuesday… you all made me feel so young. The 3 cakes I received will make me and others fatter, all were and are delicious (still eating off of 2 of them).

Check out Aaron Ivey’s new album, “Between the Beauty & Chaos” it’s available on iTunes and you can’t go wrong with this beautiful work of art that exalts God and the struggles of life.

You should check out The Carolinas too while your at it. New record just dropped for them too.

Edited more photos tonight for the Justin Teseniar Band, they should be up in the morning.

Quick Thoughts

•June 18, 2009 • 2 Comments

Driving to SC to play music at a wedding tomorrow

My Mom is up from FL and going with me to said wedding

Lauren has an eye appointment tomorrow at Duke, we are betting we will be doing patching again

Lauren is really on my mind tonight, I’m trying to put my head around everything and it’s kinda rough (she’s fine, It’s personal and just not an easy night for me)

Father’s Day, my Birthday, and our 6 year wedding anniversary in a matter of weeks.

VBS at church coming up

Student Life @ Daytona Beach for our student ministry in July, looking to meeting up with a blog friend

World Changers starts Sunday

Need to carve out family time

Need to pay bills with money that does not exist

Trying to remember to bring David back his CD’s tomorrow

Did I pack deodorant?

Letter to God

•June 15, 2009 • 1 Comment

Why would you die for me? Why would you give your life over for me so long ago, long before I walked this earth, long before my parents or their parents walked this earth? I have done nothing do deserve this type of love. Why would you do this for me? I cannot grasp your idea of love and your idea of forgiveness. Yet, you pour it out onto me.

In my shame and brokenness, I crawl before your feet. My tears, they stain your skin with my filth yet in your holiness they are continually washed away. You are far from condemning, but gently lay your hands on my head and speak to the very depths of my soul. To places that only you and I know exist. You speak to my soul; and you speak for my soul. If you did not speak for it, it would be banished for it as I said is full of shame and brokenness. Some of which is of it’s own accord and some of which was brought about by the very nature which you created in me and in the others who have gone before me, even to the first of your creation.

I do not blame you for this nature but thank you for it. For in this nature you have given others and myself knowledge and the idea of choice from the moment time began and it is through this nature and the idea of choice that I must live and in doing so die to self and to the breath I take. Your hand still lay gently on my head, you intercede for me today and every day, speaking on my behalf to the one I cannot see. Do I desire it? Yes. Do I deserve it? No, but I thank you for it. Without you I would be nothing.