He Already Knows.

It’s a clear day, as I walk to the edge of my driveway. I bend down to tighten up my shoelaces and begin to stretch my entire body. Lunging forward with my hands on one knee, I stretch and tighten my hamstring muscles—left and then right. I stand erect, to stretch my arms across my chest, one side and then the other, taking a few deep breathes, and then in an instant, I’m off. You can quickly feel the almost intoxicating feeling of blood flowing through your body, as your legs and arms slowly get heavier. The fresh air and the breeze hitting your face, mixed with the heat of the sun warming your skin. Even the rhythm of your heart beat, in sync with the pace of every stride, becoming the sort of natural soundtrack accompanied by the singing birds and smell of fresh grass. As a natural side effect, your pupils dilate and colors of the sky, trees, flowers…and everything becomes more vivid. Your breaths become deeper and your mind opens up and suddenly you are in this momentary mind cleansing, euphoric state that brings you to place of inner peace.

Do you ever have those moments, when you need to take a walk, a jog, or a bike ride? I have those moments often when I need to think or clear my mind. Around my neighborhood, there is a particular trail that I enjoy; that ends with a breathtaking view, with a single metal cross that sits on the cliff edge.   On a clear afternoon, the sunset is majestic as it hugs the horizon of the valley, and everything becomes golden in tone. I enjoy the combination of feelings that I have when I experience these moments. Especially, when I am alone. There is a small bench overlooking the edge of the cliff near the cross that always compels me to just sit and talk to God. I’m sure everyone has a place they can go when they want to meditate. This morning, I went for such a jog and found myself sitting at this bench, pouring out my heart—talking to God about the things that are going on in my life and in my mind.  I found myself sort of negotiating with God about things—have you ever done that–Negotiate with God? I guess it is just our human nature because a relationship where we can talk to God requires a understanding of who He is. Often times we over spiritualize the idea of prayer when all God wants us to do is talk to Him. In fact, it made me ask myself this question: Why do I always feel compelled to talk to God at this cliff edge? What is it about the cross overlooking the valley, that gives me a sense of security to become so vulnerable to someone I cant see?

Interestingly, I felt God, with that small inner voice–speak to me and say,

“it’s not the cross on the cliff, but rather the cross in your heart.“

The truth is you do not need a particular circumstance to draw near to God. You do not need a cliff with a cross to talk to Him. Nor do you need to go on a jog or walk to clear your mind. Those things are simply the means to get to the end. Those feelings are the vehicle in which drives you to that place of sincerity. It is through those types of experiences or emotions that God uses to draw you into that “place in your heart” where you can be open, vulnerable, and honest to Him.

I find it interesting that being vulnerable with God is a lot like being in a relationship. In a human relationship, you put on a good face at first. In the process of getting to know someone, you naturally begin to share things about your life that you do not disclose in the beginning—like bad breath in the morning or your dislike for onions. Maybe, it’s the annoying way a person sings off key to a song in the car, or body odor after a long workout. These things we don’t introduce at the preliminary stages in a relationship because it is “not the best we have to offer.” But those things are normal. With God, it’s sort of the same way, except He already knows our flaws and our imperfections. He wants US to arrive at that place in your relationship with HIM all on your own; and be honest about who we are—BECAUSE HE ALREADY KNOWS. The real difference is that God is not judging or condemning; He is understanding and patient. He is kind and loving despite our failures—despite our mistakes—despite our attempt to be good. He already knows. In fact, the Bible says that “Let us the approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”  Hebrews 4:16.  Isn’t that beautiful?  Unknown-8

So today, be open with God about who YOU are. So He can be WHO HE IS. God does not want to negotiate. He wants you to surrender everything in your heart and in your life to Him, because if God is not the Lord of ALL, He is not the Lord at all. He is worthy to be trusted. Trust the character of God with your life, your weaknesses—with everything. He will not fail you. If you want that type of relationship with God, then say this prayer with me:

Lord, I surrender to you my thoughts, my weaknesses, and my insecurities. I trust that You are who You say You are, and You will always fulfill your promises. You are worthy to be trusted and I commit everything to You. You know my heart, Lord. So lead me to that place where I can be free to trust You, despite what my mind or inner thoughts might tell me. Despite all logic and all rationale—You are greater than anything. Nothing is impossible for You Lord. Thank you beforehand.

In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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When it rains, it pours.

“When it rains, it pours.”

Imagine those moments in your life when you have experienced something negative. Suddenly something else happens to add to your distress; and as if your problems could not seemingly get any worse, something else occurs.

Have you ever felt like this?

Sometimes we go through a myriad of problems, and just feel like giving up. Like a boxer in the ring, getting pummeled by his opponent; upper cuts break his defense, and one hit after another–almost knocking the fighter unconscious. In a sudden attempt to save the fighter from any further physical and emotional damage, the coach throws the towel into the center of the ring, in an effort to signal the referee to end the fight.

Life can beat us up just like that.
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We have all lived those moments when we want to throw in the towel. Life can be relentless and unforgiving—making us feel like “when it rains, it pours.” Fortunately, we can choose to look at our life circumstances differently. We can choose to believe that in every experience, God has mapped out both the good and the bad. In fact, if you believe that God is sovereign, then you have to also believe that “nothing happens in life without first passing through the hand of God.”

So while we can wrestle with trying to understand why things are happening in our lives, it is probably much easier to submit to the fact that:

“…God has a plan.”

The bible says that “God causes all things to work together for good…” (Romans 8:28). In other words, if you believe that God is controlling our every circumstance and experience, then He is doing so intently. Ultimately, we make life choices—some good and some not so good. But, God is still in control.

We can spend our energy trying to fix situations or prove our innocence. We can expend our energy trying to navigate solutions, or to demonstrate our integrity. Truthfully, that is not what God wants us to do in these situations.   Psalm 34:18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Maybe God is guiding us to this lowly place where we can be truthful and real about our spiritual health; a place where we can be spiritually naked in order to return to that rightful place before His feet.

Use everything in life—both good and bad—no matter how overwhelming—no matter how pressing the situation—to move to a place of humility. Remember that God is not calling us to pretend we are spiritual—He is simply calling us. Lastly, It is not about being a perfect Christian—as much as it is about being perfectly in need of God.

Lord, I know that despite what happens in our lives, that You are in control.  Today, I submit to You and surrender everything to Your will.  I yield my life to you–all my desires, aspirations, hopes, dreams–I place everything that I am–into Your hands.  I thank you for being my constant reminder that life is bigger than circumstances–and that any mountain before me–You are able to move.  You call us to do the possible, while You do the impossible.  Move mountains today Lord.  I trust You always.  In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

 

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All My Burdens

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Download “All My Burdens” for Free. Click here. For mobile users   Click here.

There may be times in our lives when everything seems to be going wrong; or perhaps our lives aren’t blooming the way that we had intended or hoped for. Maybe you’ve hit a season of despair, sadness, or anxiety and you feel like giving up. One of most cherished verses in the Bible says:

“God has turned my mourning into dancing, and he clothed me with gladness…”         Psalm 30:11

Sometimes I think people can confuse those words as positive affirmation, but David the psalmist is declaring his faith in God. It is not by our emotion but rather our faith that should dictate our responses to situations.

When I wrote “All My Burdens” I thought to myself there are many times when I have ran out of words to pray and have exhausted my vocabulary when speaking to God about my issues or the situations I am praying about. “All my Burdens declares that when we have ran out of things to say, then sing! When we have ran out of words, then “shout!” Those are the moments when we can find value in our vulnerability and see the beauty of God’s redemption and forgiveness.

It is in our weakness and in our brokenness, that we finally begin to yield to God. We reach a point where we can stop trying to figure out our problems and let God carry our burden. It’s almost as if God audibly says “Are you done struggling?  Will you allow me take over now?”

We must believe that despite the weight of our failure, God will always carry our burden. We must believe and rest in the words of Jesus in John 16:33 when he says,

“Rejoice for I have overcome the world.”

So as a discipline, make it a habit to declare moment to moment, perhaps even with a random melody of your heart, that HE alone is your peace. Even with a song, a cry, a jump, or a shout–declare that you believe personally…and pray it upon your heart…

That HE he will carry  “All my Burdens.”

Download “All My Burdens” for Free.  Click here.  For mobile users, Click here.

 

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Life is a beautiful thing.

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So its been some time since I actually sat down to write a blog entry…and the truth is, I’ve been unmotivated.  Ever since I was sick in 2013, I feel like life punched me in the stomach and I’ve remained in this perpetual state of breathlessness.  Have you ever been punched in the stomach or ever have had the wind knocked out of you?  Its that feeling…but its life that has remained standing over me…like a big bully–peering down and waiting for the slightest response.

Sickness is an interesting thing though, because not only does illness affect you physically, but it also can affect you emotionally and spiritually.  In fact, anything that stands to change your life (whether it is illness, death, divorce, etc), can leave a lasting impression that can either hurt you or help you make the changes necessary to live differently.  Now that I am no longer sick, I find myself in constant self-assessment mode, evaluating myself and all of my life decisions.  It doesn’t mean that I’m perfect.  Nor does it mean that I’ve remained in a state of debilitating depression, and no longer live life or work.  No. LOL  Now that I am physically well, I’ve returned to ministry, lead worship occasionally, play guitar and even still write songs.  I’ve maintained full time employment, and have continued to travel…  Life is a beautiful thing–full of accomplishments and failures, sprinkled with greatness and mistakes–and this is how life is.

Interestingly, over the course of these few years, I’ve paid more careful attention to the way the days have passed and have watched my life virtually tick away before my eyes, like the hand of a clock as it turns second by second–round and round it goes.  If you have been through life changing  and stunning or shocking events, than what I am describing will probably relate to you more.  Nevertheless, life has a funny way of doing something strange to our minds.  We have days where we feel beat up.  For some, the idea of not being who we were called to be or not accomplishing what we’ve always wanted–can carry the consequence of anxiety.  This is because we live in an age where we are taught to be goal-oriented.  We are taught that we must achieve certain goals before a certain time, in order to be “successful.” We live in a time where we seek validation and constant reminders of how awesome our lives are…or affirmations about what we think we deserve.  We are flooded with narcissistic social media posts of how beautiful we see ourselves and post egotistical catch phrases about pursuing our dreams.  I mean, I understand that a positive mind can drive us to attain certain goals; and fleeing negativity may help us avoid the constant barrage of social criticism.

But how do we avoid falling into that trap?  The trap of feeling inadequate or unaccomplished?

The answer is we don’t. It is just apart of living.

Listen, the Bible says that “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18 NIV)  And while life is beautiful and full of amazing moments and joyful experiences, it is also full of heartache and pain.  It is full of gut-wrenching and painstaking days–but with a purpose!  You see, God intends that everything that happens in our life to occur with the goal of pointing us to HIM.  I realize that cancer is not of God. Death and Divorce is not of God.  So many things occur in our lives, happen as a result of our life decisions, and other things appear to be pure happenstance.  I mean, no one plans to have cancer.  But consider this for a moment; that every thing that happens in life is purposeful. 

After I was sick, my life changed completely.  In fact, I don’t think things will ever return to what I thought was normal.  But I have found that while I am not leading thousands of people in worship, or recording music like I used too.  Perhaps I am not taking professional promotions in my career, or pursuing higher education anymore.  Maybe I don’t wear the latest clothing, or have the newest car.  Maybe I even have a few more gray hairs in my beard and have gained a couple of more pounds–but there is one thing that has not changed.  That is the call that God has on my life.  It is the same call that God has on your life.

Our call is to be close to God. Our call is to constantly pursue God in our lives.                      And if there is anything that we must constantly affirm is the truth that God loves us despite our failures and despite our mistakes. That God has carefully designed us and everything that we experience occurs with the intent to make us into the people that God is calling us to be.  Even our pain is purposeful.  As difficult as it is to understand, we must believe that.  For myself personally, I will no longer allow myself to feel inadequate or unaccomplished.  In fact, we will experience seasons in our lives–seasons of highs and seasons of lows.  In fact, from this day on,  I renew my trust in God and despite what others may say or think, the beauty of Christ is the ability to be renewed daily and constantly.  Believe that over your life as well.

Lord, I trust You.  I trust that what you have allowed in my life is with a purpose. I trust that whatever happens in my life, first passes through your hand, and nothing occurs without your fore-knowledge.  I trust that even in my mistakes and in my failures, that there is a plan.  May my heart and mind remain focused on you; and may your blessings come to my life, not because of merit, not because of what I deserve–but simply because you love me.  Thank you Lord.  I trust You In your name I pray.  Amen.

 

 

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Brand New Start.

If you take a moment to look around and assess the state of our world and the health of the church, you would quickly see that we are in an age where secularism is dominating our churches. Legalism defines peoples relationship with God, and accepting Jesus in our lives is as casual as buying a shirt at Forever 21.Philosophy is dominating our schools and it has become more popular to read Pinterest and Instagram for spiritual advice, rather than opening the Bible.What is happening to our generation?This period of reflection didn’t just occur because I was momentarily captivated by a religious YouTube video. My reflection has come through a life changing experience that occurred over the past year.   This experience impacted me in a moment that devastated me physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It was so devastating, that I even stopped doing a lot of things I loved to do like playing guitar, leading worship, and recording music.IMG_0911I’m sure that many people can relate to experiencing something dramatic and life changing. But when this happened, it stopped me “dead in my tracks” and hit me at the core of my very faith system. It even brought me to a place of understanding of why the world, and even the church appears ill in our present day. When bad experiences occur in life, its normal to ask ourselves “why?” In my personal experience, I asked God,”Was it something I did? Or Was it my sin?” Often times, in the most awful moments, the enemy has a way of always, I mean ALWAYS reminding us of our sin.

And I will be the first to admit that my spiritual life was rocked. The truth is that we all fall short of God’s glory. When we read the scriptures, we find that Jesus took every opportunity to remind his followers that everything in life happens with the intent to direct us to God. We experience the good and bad with the purpose that God would receive all the Glory and Honor in the end. So here I am one year later, I am so grateful to God to be able to proclaim that my faith is in tact, but definitely, still a “repair in progress” And now God has put in my heart this present question, “what am I going to do now?”

This has been such a difficult question to reflect on because I know that I am far from perfect.  I feel that in many ways I fall so short of God’s expectations. I battle myself and my sin constantly; yet some how in this realization and through this experience, I feel closer to God.  I feel that God has a way of reaffirming our dependency in him– in just the way a loving Savior would. It has literally caused me to wade in a state of humility and lowliness. I find myself being very apprehensive when making life decisions because I don’t want to live autonomously anymore. I need God. I confess to needing him more than ever.  And I need his Saving Grace desperately.

So first, I would like to ask for your prayerful support as we trust God in this brand new start for “Henry Martyn.” We know that we live in perilous times and that our generation and its faith is being challenged daily. I find that it is the perfect time in my life to re-evaluate my return to the expression of music as a means to share what God has done; not in perfection…but with “fear and trembling.” My heart is longing to return to that place of ministering the loving grace and saving power of God more than ever. I want people to know that God is bigger than ourselves, he’s bigger than our problems, and he’s bigger than our sin.  I just would like to say thank you to all those who prayed for me, and more importantly, those who have remained connected with us through the body of Christ. Remember, “Only one life, it soon will pass. But only what’s done for Christ will last.”

In love,

Mario

Henry Martyn Band

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Henry Martyn on Instagram!

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Be sure to download “Instagram” to your smartphone.  Get exclusive pictures and stay in touch with us.

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Premios Arpa November 18, 2012

As many of you may or may not know, this weekend, I had the privilege of participating in Los premios arpa in Mexico City. In the world of Spanish Christian music, this is a pretty prestigious event. This event celebrates “Christian music (in Spanish)” with some of the most well known artists such as Marcos Witt, Jesus Adrian Romero, Annette Moreno, and more. To be in the presence of so many talented people was surreal for me–because I never imagined myself or the band to ever arrive at this level of acknowlegement. You see, Henry Martyn began years ago with three guys (myself, Jose, and Sam) ministering in parks of rancho cucamonga, in the streets of Tijuana, and as far as the country of India–without ever considering the thought of recognition–but rather out of a pure love for worshipping God and seeing people come to the knowledge of Jesus Christ. But On this night, after years of volunteer service to God, we were recognized internationally as one of the top Independent Bands by premios arpa for 2012. And although, we didn’t win the actual award, I experienced something amazing nonetheless.

I realized that the value of my life or the value of Henry Martyn as a band and ministry isn’t defined by any award, nor is it defined by how many “likes” we have on our Facebook bandpage. It is not defined by how many albums we sell on iTunes or whether or not we play at a home bible study or the Pepsi center in front of thousands of people in Mexico City. Rather, as I prepared to go to sleep, I layed my head on my pillow, and just began to pray and thank God for his grace and mercy over my life. I began to thank God for the opportunities we have had over the years, as a ministry to share the amazing message of hope and love to hundreds if not thousands of people. And I realized that the true value is found as we “decrease” and allow God to be the center and the focus in everything we do in our lives, and that the real reward is seeing peoples lives changed by the power of the gospel. I’m so grateful to have lived this experience, because everyone needs to feel validated at some point in their life. Everyone wants to feel that their life is purposeful. But the most amazing thing tonight is that this validation didn’t come from the recognition of an award–but rather the realization that Jesus loved me enough to die on the cross–for a pathetic sinner like me. I’m so grateful. And for that reason, so long as I have breath in my lungs–I will continue to praise Him with everything that I am. With or without a band–nothing will ever stop me from giving Glory and Honor to the King of Kings…to whom I am eternally indebted to for saving my life. I just want to say thank you to everyone who has supported the band over the years and those who have prayed for us. Please continue to pray for my life and the future of our ministry.
May God continue to bless you.
In Christ and in love,
Mario Sanchez
Henry Martyn Band

Como muchos saben, este fin de semana tuve el privilegio participar en Los Premios Arpa en Mexico D.F. En el mundo de Musica Cristiana en Espanol, este es un evento prestigioso. Este evento celebra la musica Cristiana con unos de los mas conocidos artistas como Marcos Witt, Jesus Adrian Romero, Annette Moreno, y muchos mas. Al estar en la presencia de tanto talento fue algo surrealista para mi–porque nunca me imagine que yo o la banda llegaramos a este nivel de reconocimiento. Henry Martyn comenzo años pasados con 3 chavos (Yo, Jose y Sam) ministrando en parques de Rancho Cucamonga, en las calles de Tijuana, y a paises tan lejos como la India–sin nunca considerar el pensamiento de reconosimiento. Lo haciamos por un amor puro de alabar a Dios y ver a la gente llegar al conocimiento de Jesus. Pero esta noche, despues de años de ser voluntario en el servicio de Dios, fuimos reconocidos internacionalmente como uno de los mejores grupos independientes por los premios Arpa de 2012. Y aunque no ganamos el premio, experimente algo aun mas grande.

Me di cuenta que el valor de mi vida o el valor de Henry Martyn como banda y ministerio no es definido por ningun premio, ni es definido por cuantos “likes” tengamos en Facebook. No es definido por cuantos discos vendemos en iTunes o que toquemos en un estudio biblico en un hogar, o en el Pepsi Center en frente de miles de gente en Mexico D.F. Mas bien, mientras me preparaba para dormir, descanse mi cabeza en la almuada, y empeze a orar y dar le gracias a Dios por la oportunidad que hemos tenido durante los años, como un ministerio para compartir el maravilloso mensaje de esperanza y amor a cientos o miles de personas. Y reconocí que el valor verdadero se encuentra mientras dejamos que Dios sea el centro y enfoque de todo lo que hacemos en esta vida, y que el galardon verdadero es de ver vidas cambiadas por el poder del evangelio. Estoy agradecido de haber vivido esta experiencia porque todos necesitamos ser validado en cierto punto de la vida. Todos quieren sentir que su vida tiene proposito. Pero lo mas maravilloso de esta noche es que esta validacion no vino de el reconocimiento de un premio–vino de la realizacion que Jesus me amo tanto que murió en la cruz-por un pecador como yo. Estoy tan agradecido. Y por esta razon, mientras tenga respiro-Continuaré a alabar lo con todo lo que soy. Con o sin banda–nada me va parar de dar le Gloria y Honra al Rey de Reyes…. A quien eternamente estoy endeudado por salvar mi vida. Queiro dar le las gracias a todos los que han apoyado la banda por los años y a todos los que han orado por nosotros. Por favor sigue orando por mi vida y el futuro de nuestro ministerio.
Que Dios me lo bendiga.
En Cristo y en amor,
Mario Sanchez

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2012 Single Release – “Grande Eres Tu”

We are excited to be releasing the first of three singles on iTunes for 2012.  Henry Martyn continues to work on new music and wanted to show some appreciation to our supporters.  God Bless You abundantly.  Be on the look out for the premiere of “Grande Eres Tu” music video!

If you not done so, go download our latest single today.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/grande-eres-tu-single/id557098796?uo=4

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Nominated:: Best Independent Album of 2012

We are honored to be nominated by Premios Arpa in the category of Best Independent Album of 2012.  Please pray with us, that God takes us to the next level–in serving others through our ministry.

 

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Get ready for HM in 2012

Now that the dust has settled from the rush of the New Year, we momentarily take our breath at the thought of what God has for Henry Martyn in 2012. I, personally, have always been a person of ambition–setting my goals and planning accordingly; and as believers, we cannot make the mistake of thinking that our lives are autonomous from God. For that reason, we’ve hit the ground running and trust that as we pray, God would continue to be the center of what we attempt to accomplish as a band and as a ministry this New Year. Please pray with us–that whatever we do, the sovereign hand of God is upon us, that we may be effective in our homes, communities, and “…to the ends of the earth.”

May God Bless You.

Happy New Year!

Photos courtesy of S8ved Photography

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