An Exchange of Words

Here you will find stories, thoughts and ideas from The Exchange.

The Constant State of Being Consistent

Consistency: steadfast adherence to the same principles, course, form, ect.

How is consistency formed? What does it even look like? A lot of times, I think we look at our human nature to try and find consistency, and are shocked when we don’t find it. More and more there are people being hurt, lied to, mistreated, and abused. Some people don’t keep their promises, talk behind each other’s backs, and say one thing yet do another. Our world is not a place of the constant. I wish we could say that even our best friends or spouses are constant in the way they treat us and others, but often times it’s not that way. So, after thinking over all of this, and understanding that there isn’t always consistency in this life, where can we look?

We are searching for someone to always be loving, caring, and forgiving, but in order to find someone like this we must look elsewhere. We have to look beyond this natural life, and look to our Creator. The God of the universe is the only thing that will ever be perfectly constant. He is the only thing that is always loving, caring, and forgiving. In this world, all we as humans can do is forgive, but we won’t ever really be able to forget. However, it says in His word that He actually has to forget and never remember our sins. This is overwhelming joyful news—that God has actually forgiven us even before we committed a mistake! If God really is who He says He is, and this is absolutely true, then He is someone I know without a doubt that I can turn to for consistency.

"In this darkness which we find, all these demons that we fight, who can we run to? What can we cling to?" -Feel It In Our Hearts (a song on our upcoming EP)

Mikey Moore
The Exchange

Just Listen

Recently, I rode the bus home to Seattle after playing a show at a local college. According to Google, the route I planned to take would go to the University of Washington in northeast Seattle, where I planned to transfer to another bus. But when my bus pulled up, it said “Downtown Seattle” instead of “UW.” This was the last bus of the night, so I got on it!

Thirty minutes later I was sitting on 3rd Avenue in Downtown Seattle, waiting for a transfer to come (fortunately, I knew another bus to get me home). I reflected on the event we had just played—I felt like I was going through the motions, standing there, talking to people, saying “thanks for coming” and sending them on their way. I was tired from a long week of classes. I felt empty and drained. I wondered if my heart was really in tune with God, if I had really shown the very Love we get on stage to sing about.

​Then something amazing happened—I got up to glance at the bus schedule. Several seconds later, a man came up behind me. I turned around to face him, and quickly estimated that he was homeless due to his rugged appearance and the two large bags he carried. He smiled and introduced himself as Mark. He said he was trying to get enough money to buy something to eat, and that even pennies would help. I responded with “Hi, I’m Tyler. Let me see…” I have a pocket in my backpack that I dump all my loose change into, so I cleaned that out and gave it to him. It was about a fistful.

Mark thanked me for the help, and we began to chat. When I mentioned I just came from a gig, his eyes lit up! He was a musician too. Mark told me about his old band, the songs they wrote, and how he wished they had played more gigs. He mentioned that the last few years had been very hard for a variety of reasons. My bus came. Mark said he had to go, so we shook hands and he thanked me for the help. I said “God bless you” as we parted, and he answered with “you too, Tyler.” Although our conversation was brief, I could sense that Mark was happy for more than just the change I gave him—he was happy that I treated him like he mattered.

I got on the bus, and it hit me. This man had just poured out his life to me, told me his story, and I may have been the first person all day that stopped to listen! This is the exact situation described in our song, Tell Me Your Story, which I had performed only hours before. I sat there, stunned. God had literally redirected my path so that I could listen to this man. On a night that I questioned if I was useful to God, He showed that He can still use my weakest moments for His glory.

Tyler Mays
The Exchange

Christmas is the worst! Well at least 2 days after is……..

My dad used to joke that “The day after Christmas is better than Christmas day.” As a kid, this rang true to me! The day after Christmas was THE BEST because I got to enjoy the presents which I had waited for all year long. But if the day after Christmas was “the best”, then the second day after Christmas was probably the worst. By then, I had played through all of my toys, explored everything about them, and lost excitement. Thus began the next year of waiting for Christmas Day.

This concept of waiting, arrival and disappointment still rings true in our lives today. As a national touring band, we have been privileged to see many of our dreams come true! Often times I find myself pushing, fighting, and enduring towards a dream, only to arrive and find that it won’t last. We can only play in front of a big crowd for 30 minutes, hear our song on the radio for 5 minutes, or shake the hand of a lifelong inspiration for a brief moment. Sometimes, we are left wondering “what is next?”

As Christians in the music industry, we want our purpose, goals, and next steps to center on Jesus Christ. Without Him, we would be chasing the next big dream only to find it leaving us empty and disappointed. I encourage you to know Jesus! As a band, we have found that knowing Him brings purpose, meaning and lasting joy to life instead of the temporary happiness that is so easy to pursue.

Britt Espinosa
The Exchange

Stop Thinking!

Let’s take a moment to not think. Wherever you are right now, reading this post, just take a moment to close your eyes and not think. Go ahead, it’s ok, this post will be here when you open your eyes again. But really, take about 20 seconds to clear your mind of all of your worries and stresses. You might think that what you just did is odd, but in fact it is very important. Sometimes we all get so caught up in life that we forget to slow down. This can be especially evident in our walks with Christ—we have bills to pay, papers to write, and people to see. We have all these things that pile up in our lives, and sometimes the time left for God is just the scraps we have at the end of our day. Hopefully we wouldn’t do that with our friends or our spouses, so why should we do that with God, the one who desires our time and loves us more then anyone else can?

Instead, what if we did the opposite? What if we started our day spending time with God? What if we could use that first part of our day, right when we get up, to forget what we are going to do that day, tomorrow, or next week? The key is to just sit, ask for God to speak, and then listen. Pray for your friends, school, spouse, or other countries. Pray that God would strengthen you today, and help you to draw near to Him. When I do this, I often find that my day and my countenance is different. How I treat others is more Christlike, and I tend to see people through God’s eyes and not my own. Things in my life that were stressful before don’t seem as big. It’s when we intentionally spend time with God that He becomes greater, and everything else becomes smaller. So, take some time today to be with God—allow Him to help you stop thinking so much about life, and more about Him.

Mikey Moore

The Exchange

Grace

I just woke up thinking today about grace. How we don’t deserve it, and can do nothing to earn it from God. We can’t make God love us any more or any less. Isn’t that crazy!? All we can do is trust in God that what his word says is true, “For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— not from works, so that no one can boast.”- EPH 2:8-9. You can do all the right things yet still not earn grace, and you can do all the wrong things and not lose God’s grace! All you need to do is simply say “God, I give all of my life to you. I die to myself and allow You to live through me. I want You to be Lord of my life”. Then His grace that you can’t earn takes action and God says, “It is I who sweep away your transgressions for My own sake and remember your sins no more,” Isaiah 43:25. Isn’t that amazing! This is a love that me and you can’t even fathom which makes this even more incredible. When someone wrongs us or hurts us, we still can remember what they did if if we forgive them, but God promises us that he can’t remember. Today let that be the hope that carries you.

Mikey Moore

The Exchange

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