Tuesday, May 8, 2007

We are the soldiers under God's command...

...we hold His two-edged sword within our hand!
I can remember it like it was yesterday. Summer of 1987. I was given a copy of Stryper's Soldiers Under Command as a gift by my Confirmation Sponsor. I had their posters on my bedroom wall. My first concert was their To Hell With the Devil tour. And Oz Fox, their lead guitarist, was my hero. I'll never forget the time, after sending him a letter, that I got the mail and saw Stryper on the return address! He wrote me back! It was sooo cool. I still have it. He wrote about music but also about putting my faith in Jesus. This guy was ranked among the top three heavy metal guitarists and was encouraging me to put my faith in Jesus! Awesome!
They truly were great heroes to have. My friends used to make fun of me because I was active in Church and sang in the choir...you know, "Joel the God-boy". And they would make fun of the fact I liked Stryper, the "God-band"...that is, until they listened to them play. Then my friends would shut up, because you couldn't argue with the fact that they played metal better than anyone else. And that became my m.o. in high school...you could call me a dork or whatever you wanted, but put a guitar on me and I was a different kid.
It's funny, back then I loved God but didn't completely understand what it meant to make Jesus the Lord of my life. That came in college. And here I sit 20 years later writing to you from the library of the seminary I'm attending preparing to become an ordained minister. And I just got out of the car with the stereo cranked as loud as it can go...rockin' to Stryper. I may 33 years old, in my second career, a husband, Dad and going bald but I will always rock for JESUS!
Sold-iers, so-ol-diers...un-der command!
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