Tenth Avenue North shares “Struggles” with fans

Many pas­tors and their flocks embrace a pros­per­i­ty-based mes­sage, but Tenth Avenue North is burst­ing their bub­bles with its newest CD release, “The Strug­gle.”

The pros­per­i­ty Gospel teach­es us if we do the right thing God will bless you, but God also promis­es us trou­ble and tri­als,” Tenth Avenue North drum­mer James Jami­son said. “In our lives, every day there is some­thing to strug­gle through.”

The first release off the album, “Los­ing” is a prime exam­ple of life’s strug­gles and was com­posed after a sta­tion asked the band to write a song from sto­ries pro­vid­ed by its lis­ten­ers.

The sta­tion sent us the top-10 sto­ries, and they were all very grandiose sto­ries, but they all had this one com­mon thread — dif­fi­cult times and of let­ting go and for­giv­ing some­thing or some­one in your past, “ Jame­son said. “Well, when you for­give some­one you feel like you are los­ing, and that you should seek­ing revenge instead. But God doesn’t call us to seek jus­tice, we are called to for­give. And that is a strug­gle of let­ting go, but ulti­mate­ly a weight is lift­ed off your shoul­ders.”

Jamison’s favorite song on the CD is “Don’t Stop the Mad­ness,” which asks God. “Don’t be afraid Lord to break my heart if it brings me down to my knees.”

It slaps the pros­per­i­ty Gospel in the face,” he said. “Some­times dif­fi­cul­ties draw us clos­er to Him. Dur­ing strug­gles, at times you don’t have an answer. Did I so some­thing wrong to deserve this? What is God teach­ing me, and do I need to be here? Why do I want to rush through this? If God promised us pain then it can’t be mean­ing­less. Some­times we bring glo­ry to Him by falling on our knees. The song shows that we need to be depen­dent on God and to lose sight of our com­fort and put our eyes on Jesus.”

As Jami­son puts it the band fell into this “music thing” as wor­ship lead­ers at Palm Beach Atlantic Col­lege 12 years ago, just “liv­ing and lov­ing life, and the music just took off. I nev­er thought I would be doing this full time. We just keep rid­ing the train, and it has tak­en us here.”

But at the end of the day it’s not about mak­ing music it’s about liv­ing in com­mu­ni­ty and faith, and mak­ing songs to get through sit­u­a­tions with a eye fixed on Jesus. And how to fos­ter com­mu­ni­ty on the road. Our best mem­o­ries on the road are the peo­ple. … God is using the music to touch peo­ple and to help. And this is my job to reach out and touch every­one at that con­cert — and God I need your help.

If our iden­ti­ty was wrapped up in the music, and it all fell apart so would we. But I know Christ, and I want to share the Gospel. And I’ll keep doing that. I’ll ride that to the hori­zon.”

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