J. & the Talents – The Chase

This is a song I wrote about a week ago, called The Chase. It’s about how we as humans so often try to run away and hide from God, and live life according to our own terms, yet realize that God never stops chasing after us, even in our brokenness and denial. He is the god who loves us enough to repair us, but ultimately the choice is up to us if we accept His repair or not. The lyrics are posted below, and I hope you like it.

Can this mercy unearth me, a puddle wash me clean

Can this world see my stains I’ve hidden underneath?

You are the God who sees all things, I hope you don’t see everything

I’m but a soul with reason to run, You chase me with your mercy


I’m running away, but you won’t stop

I fall to my knees, Caught in your love, My God

I feel your grace pursue me, yet I hide from you

If I can’t face my own fears, then how can I face you

Why do you cahse a broken soul as it runs from loving you


Chorus 2

You took my shame, you healed my pain

What did I do to deserve this love, Oh God


Lord, let your mercy unearth me, your grace wash me clean

(© Joel Helenbolt)

OUR PRIDE IN BURDEN (and giving them both up)

Please take all my burden, please take all my shame.

This is the last line of a song I wrote (which you can listen to here). Sounds kind of selfish, doesn’t it? Have you ever looked at scripture and the things we ask of God and said to yourself, “I’m not going to get involved in that, because those people are just people that can’t deal with their problems, so they resort to putting them on their ‘god.’?” It all seems incredibly selfish. I know that if five people told me to deal with all of their issues for them, and to free them from those things they struggle with, I’d feel completely overwhelmed, and would probably yell at the people, telling them to take responsibility for themselves rather than making me solve their problems.

I’d blow a fuse given five people’s problems. God has nearly 7 billion people to worry about. It doesn’t seem morally right to me to give Him that kind of stress. It all seems slightly irresponsible.

And then I remember who God is, and that is a God who cannot be put into a box. That is a God who died for the evil in us. It’s the God who created the world, and the stars, and the universe! He created animals, and plants, and US! He parted seas, stood up rivers, brought to life a man who had been dead for four days, and conquered death himself in three. He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The reason we are able to ask God to take all of our burdens and shame is because HE IS WHO HE IS! He is GOD, and he is plenty capable.

The real reason it may seem selfish to ask God to take these things from us originates entirely from our pride. We are often too proud to acknowledge how much power our God has over us. We are often too proud to let our God take over the things we first believed we could handle ourselves. We are often too proud to recognize the incredible gifts God has given us – one of which being freedom from our burdens!

Until we begin to see ourselves as we truly are – weak, broken, and prideful – we won’t be able to recognize our need for Christ. Until we being to see God as He really is – almighty, all powerful, just, forgiving and merciful –will we be able to recognize the importance of letting God handle our burdens. He is usually the only One who can handle them – so let Him handle, and praise Him that He is able to free you from having to handle those things on your own.

To any non-Christians reading this, you’re probably scoffing. You’re probably thinking I’m incredibly irresponsible, and that I never answered the question of why we are able to put our struggles and burdens on God. And to be honest, it’s not something I can explain, or we can understand until we grasp what it means that this God we serve died for scum, and then conquered death. He died for the worst of us so He could see the best in us. Of every religion on earth, the God of Christianity is the only god who made it His own responsibility to save His people. We don’t have to meditate, or keep good karma, or do good deeds to reach salvation – we simply have to believe that He did it for us, and once we truly grasp the reality of that one act, it is impossible not to fall in love with Him, and live our lives for Him. Honestly, it seems quite foolish not to trust someone who decides it’s worth it to die for you.


He who is not busy being born is busy dying.

I’m guessing that’s something you’ve heard before. We all use it, or something similar to it, to describe how busy and awesome and energetic we are about our life. It’s a line we tell people when they tell us we have too much going on. It often turns into a line to validate our busyness.

And, honestly, it’s kind of disheartening.

How are we supposed to always be in a state of birth? I thought that’s what junior high, high school, and college were for? I thought after that, it was all an arrival. It was all pastel-colored balloons and warm milk at the first request. After all, we’re no longer paying to work – we’re now getting payed. Doesn’t arriving look like a little piece of paper with a watermark on the back?

If only life was that simple. And meaningless.

The truth is, we are creatures in constant evolution. Anyone who has experienced enough life to look back can tell you that. We change daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. We always have something we don’t have time to finish, and we’re always filling ourselves with information we’ll never use again. To realize how much you’ve changed just look back on the last five years.

For me, I decided to steer away from a career I’ve wanted since I was six. I started writing and reading for fun. I’ve learned what grace is, accepted it, and put away the legalistic religion I lived earlier in life. I’ve grown closer with some friends, lost some others, and made some new ones along the way. I’ve learned a college degree doesn’t equal success, almost quit, and decided against it. I’ve gone to one school for longer than normal, finished one school earlier than expected, and decided I’m probably going to go to another school for something I never would have predicted, all the while committing to remaining open to whatever wrench God throws in there along the way. I’m prepared to be scared – I’ve even grown to the point where I look forward to it. I’ve learned that change is usually good, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time. I’ve grown closer to being born, but my due date still hasn’t come. I’m still in the process.

That’s the beautiful thing about life. There’s always a glowing red exit sign we can follow to something different. We’re never trapped, even if it really feels like it sometimes. God is too big for that. The exit sign may lead to something that scares us, but if He showed us the exit, He’ll make sure we can get through whatever is on the other side as long as we trust him and push forward.

God is good at changing directions. If He asks, go ahead and let Him change yours. It’ll likely scare you to death, but you’ll love where the next exit will take you.


Hey all! This is a (poorly recorded) song I wrote about two weeks ago. It’s about the false pictures we’ve portrayed as Christians, and about the false definitions of Christianity we’ve shown the world through living a religion of legalism and acts rather than grace and mercy. I hope you like it – the lyrics are posted below the video.

Love is for lovers and men just the same

I’ll wait for your waiting and maybe I’l change

You show me your mercy I show you disdain

You seek recognition I long for the same

If patience is virtue and knowledge is gain

I’ll sit in my waiting and pray just the same

For this minute to hurry these blankets to fall

The inside to show me your knowledge of all


I see your heart

It’s written on pages and given to all

I call for strength

Yet I deny the meaning I deny the fall

I deny the plan that is better than all

They say time to decide, I’ve shown you my soul

Is it heaven or hell is it sulfur or gold

This decision is bigger than riches or flames

Or good deeds or bad, it’s accepting His grace


Your people are dirty Your people are stained

They look down believing their good deeds to save

Yet I can’t find those words in this book of it all

It simply says our deeds led to the fall


Chorus 2

Please see my heart

Is it worthy of saving can grace cover all

Please take my pain

I’m dead to the world, alive to the grave

Please carry my burdens, please carry my shame

You fixed all my folly repaired all my shame

Put to death my subconscious gave life to my veins

I’m dead to the world, alive to the grave

Freed me from my burdens freed me from my shame