Tag Archives: Art

For My Fellow Addicts

The Unheard Website: by Dallas Fluegel

Introducing The Unheard article by Dallas Fluegel

Click the link above and discover The Unheard where my friend Dallas Fluegel brings a mixture of flavors from the musical world to your ears. Below is a taste of Dallas’s’ work and I pray it moves you as it has moved me. For The Addicts. Enjoy!


Breathe Again by Swingin Hammers

Nashville Tennessee’s Swingin Hammers is Benjamin Rupe, father, husband, and a shockingly authentic human being. Ben describes himself as a fighter by nature and his mission is to “challenge unto life.” What does that mean!? I’m sure we can find out. Swingin Hammers currently sits at 6,473 monthly Spotify listeners making him a prime candidate for our artists spotlight.

Swingin Hammers released his self titled album in 2017 and Quite, Vol 1 in 2020. The song that really got my attention was Breathe Again from the Album Swingin Hammers. It is a raw, heartfelt ballad expressing deep, emotional truths. The song is simple, but stunning. It can have me nearly in tears and smiling in the same 4 minutes. There is so much I can say about it, but Benjamin was kind enough to tell me about the song and I will share that with you after you give the song a listen. Lyrics, Meaning, & Commentary below.

LYRICS (Courtesy of jesusfreakhideout.com)

Stepping out into the light
Look around you say it’s alright
It hurts to peel the bandage off
But I see now just what it costs

It’s like I can breathe again
It’s like I’ve got a heart within
It’s like I can feel again
Just learning to breathe you in

When I was clear, oh so honest
About the doubts and confusions in my mind
You did not, no, cast me down to hell
You just looked at me and you kindly smiled

It’s like I can breathe again
It’s like I’ve got a heart within
It’s like I can feel again
Just learning to breathe you in

Oh cause I been runnin’
Away from confession
I been lookin’ for healing
Where it’s not mine to find
Without the pain of a strong love
That loves enough to wound

It’s like I can breathe again
It’s like I’ve got a heart within
It’s like I can feel again
Just learning to breathe you in

It’s like I can breathe again
It’s like I’ve got a heart within
It’s like I can feel again
Gotta learn to, gotta learn to breathe you in

Meaning (according the author)

“Breathe Again is a song about how excruciatingly painful and how unbelievably freeing confession is. It was written with my porn addiction in mind mostly, but also my previous life in alcoholism as well. At least those are the two most tangible ones that I think of. I remember having to confess that sin of porn over and over again and how every single time it felt like a bandage that just needed [to be] ripped off. It was exhausting and TERRIFYING every time, but it would free me of my sin. All of that’s based off of 1 John 1:7-8. Here: 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. All that to say, Jesus is incredibly kind to us.”

Commentary

When the Church is done right it is a breathtakingly beautiful institution. I remember my first taste of confession. I remember being afraid to say what I was going through. I remember being scared of being kicked out of the group. And then I remember my friends responding with a smile and some of the most powerful words in the world, “Me too.”

You did not, no, cast me down to hell
You just looked at me and you kindly smiled

Wow. What a moment. To know that I wasn’t alone in my brokenness meant so much to me. Overtime I have become fully known and fully loved. Being fully known means my church group knows my past and they know my thought life, past and current. They have heard the darkest, most vile thoughts of mine and have welcomed me into their home. It’s crazy. It’s wonderful. It is powerful.

Benjamin says Swingin Hammer’s mission is to ‘challenge unto life.’ I think this means he wants encourage people to not live a life of mediocrity. The life he is imploring us to is one of authenticity and meaning where we can be fully known and fully loved, then fully know and fully love others.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come that they may have life, and have it in all its fullness.” ~ Jesus in John 10:10

If you want to hear Benjamin’s additional commentary on the song you can find it below.

You can find Swingin Hammers on their website or follow them on FacebookYoutube, or Spotify. You can get a free copy of Swingin Hammers most recent album here. You can buy the self titled album, Swingin Hammers on iTunes or Amazon.

As always feel free to share the music, the website, or maybe even both with your fellow music lovers.


This article from Dallas speaks so much to me because addiction is real, a real problem, and whatever addiction it is… will suffocate the life out of us if we let it. Benjamin is singing to the heart of multitudes that are drowning in addiction, suffocated by the waterlog torture of false satisfaction and pleasure. But when you encounter the truth of Christ! You can, BREATHE AGAIN!

What Does Home Mean?

“”Can you hear me say, “I love you” from across the sea?””

Much like my friend Dallas Fluegel, I contain no musical talent but love how Dallas is contributing to the musical world by his website “The Unheard“! And through his vision am inspired to share in that contribution spreading the word to those unheard; ha, that rhymed! But in all seriousness… everyone, because the unheard need be heard much more!

I’ve been listening to the song Oslo by De Joie (Kaley Rutledge) and meditating on the question given by Dallas at the end of his article…

WHAT DOES HOME MEAN?

This song is beautiful! And you can read about it with the lyrics by clicking the link above in that question (“what does home mean?”)!

MY TAKE

As I listen to the song, I experience a mental simulation of myself walking along this shore of a sea or ocean. And as I’m walking along… I peer out across this vast expanse of water, incapable of seeing where the water meets the shore on the other side. I wonder to myself, “”can she hear me say, “I love you””.

I especially resonate with this idea of hope for home to know, “I love you”, while in the same verse communicating, “I’m wild and free”. Funny, because essentially that’s saying, “I’ll miss you, but don’t worry, trust me, I’m in good company.” I think there is this sense of security we have from home that gives us this ability to roam as though wild and free. And as you can see, Norway is a long way away from home.

I’ve never been to Norway, but have been to Germany. My grandma saw me off with a prayer and there I went, far from home on a mission trip to Weimar with my church at the time. I’m so impressed with how this song fits the description of feelings experienced at a particular stage in my life far from home, wild and free. But when I was there did my grandma hear me say, “I love you”, from across the sea? And, “don’t worry, trust me, I’m in good company.”

The meaning of home, for me, at that time, was my grandma. I was at a crossroads—a very difficult time in my life in my early to mid twenties. I was in a very broken place, vulnerable, but through unexpected events and immense amount of love and care from the God in my grandma… I found the meaning of home. I can hear God say from across the sea, “I love you”. And because I can hear it, my home is complete.

So now here I am away from home, not too far off from my twenties at 32, married to my beautiful wife, Laura. Saying from across the sea, “I love you”. And wonder… “can she hear me?”

To think on that causes me to feel something special. A metaphor with the potential to penetrate every soul with the sound of God. Because just like we tell home from across the sea (metaphorically), “I love you”. So too does God from across the other side of life because death will eventually be abolished. We can hear Him say, “I love you”. And we don’t have to worry, we can trust Him, because we are in good company.

You can know that you are in good company because of the seal of the Holy Spirit given by God through believing in Jesus Christ. When we make the personal decision to accept the Word of God as the truth that it is, we are claiming the gift of the Holy Spirit to seal our salvation from death and resurrect to life eternal by faith in the work of God. We are incapable of salvation apart from this help of the Holy Spirit to sanctify our souls from living amongst the enemy of God, that enemy is the dust of death.

That is why I believe we can feel a sense of security here on this side of eternity, wild and free in good company, because God is where our home is. Can you hear God say, “I love you”, from across the sea?


Why was she called, Woman?

Featured photo: Ben Jacobi www.bdjphoto.com 

Segment-3

22 The Lord God [t]fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. 23 The man said,

“This is now bone of my bones,
And flesh of my flesh;
[u]She shall be called [v]Woman,
Because [w]she was taken out of [x]Man.”

(Genesis 2)


In the providence of God, I understand the—woman for man—to mean something beyond the mechanical act of reproduction (be fruitful and multiply). Because, why not just continue to make men as suitable helpers for maintaining the garden? And the simple truth, I believe, is… Love. Is not the personality and nature of God defined as Love? But, with that understanding… I also see an appropriation for the order and governance of that nature, because of—what is evil; meaning that every aspect of creation (until the enacted fruition of Lucifer) was in perfect harmony with God. But what happens in the event any part of creation attempts to become apart from the Creator—what becomes the nature of that ‘part’ of creation? Or… If any created *being* attempts to be as god apart from the true God, then… What becomes the nature of that god? Because there is only One True God that is defined as Holy, Good, Truth and Love. A nature apart from that God, is evil!

So, is it not appropriate for there to be … set consequences, a course that leads to Hell for that which is evil? Of which is automatically entrusted and determined by the True God? (Because believe me, I’d rather it be me condemned not to believe for the sake of every other person to believe and be saved). But that reasoning is a result of what God has done and is doing in me because of believing in His Word as transforming my character into the likeness and image of Jesus. Not because I’ve attained righteousness. But because of an actual relationship with an eternal God through time with His Son (Word of God), it may sound crazy, but Jesus is teaching me about the meaning of what is true.

What had happened in the heavens before that imperfect occurrence on Earth? An evil influence (desires) manifested from the hearts of angelic beings that are now imprisoned until the time of the end. But at the beginning there was only… Harmony. The pure and holy form of intimacy between God and Creation, Man and Woman, Groom (Christ) and Bride that produces the light [or experience] of life in perfect harmony with God as Love. Do we as finite beings assume God is not love and alone because we refuse to see and not believe the ordination of God by the nature of our imperfections? How else is creation going to understand the process of its making if not by the revelation of Jesus? I mean, come-on! How are babies made? So then how does creation exist? The reason she was called “Woman”, I believe, for three reasons:

∞ Wisdom

∞ Love

∞ Life

Which, I think, these three combined produces an enlightenment to an intimate relationship with God. A woman is the answer to how our universe is expanding. The answer to every phenomenon and anomaly. The very Person of God functions as a marriage. An invisible God is manifested through the nature of creation (be fruitful and multiply). In more words… God is the nature of a perfect man and woman multiplying/producing the creation of everything. An invisible Spirit (seed) planted in the womb of Creation. And, it is by that nature of love, we exist! But this is only revealed by the name of Jesus because God calls Him, Son…

See you in the next segment…