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Unread 03-12-2020, 10:41 AM   #1
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Petra Song Devotionals

I'm taking Laguna Master's cue and doing some devotions based on songs from the band Petra. I hope you are blessed by them.

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Unread 03-12-2020, 10:45 AM   #2
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Killing My Old Man (music and lyrics by Bob Hartman)

I think its gone far enough
I can't take it anymore
I've got to even up the score
Before he sweeps me off the floor

I've really got to find a way
Of taking care of him for good
I know he'd kill me if he could
So I'll nail him to the wood

Killing my old man
You may not understand
He's a terrible man
Got to make a stand
And kill the old man

Every time that I think he's gone and I've finally won
He just keeps coming back, puts me on the run

I think I'd better do it now
Get my hammer and a nail
Pray to God I that I won't fail
Lest he'll keep me in the jail
And I don't wanna stay in jail!



This song was originally written for Petra’s 1977 album Come And Join Us but the record label rejected it. It was finally released on 1981’s Never Say Die. Lyrically, it expresses the same idea that Paul wrote about to the churches in Rome and in Corinth.

1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:1-4 ESV)

5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. (Colossians 3:5-10 ESV).


Each one of us has a war raging inside us. Our sinful nature fights against the Spirit. There is a tension between doing what we want and doing what is right. Paul addresses it later in his letter to the Romans (chapter 7) when he says, “I know what I should do and don’t do it. I also know what I shouldn’t do and I keep right on doing it” (my paraphrase). It is a very real battle; one I feel every single day.

The first step in the battle is to recognize that we have a problem. We have to be willing to admit that we are sinners and that there is nothing we can do about it on our own. It’s only through the transforming power of the Holy Spirit that we can become new creations. We’re forgiven (justified) by the blood of Jesus but that is just the start of our faith journey. Bob Hartman is writing about the process of sanctification. We are to listen and respond to the conviction of the Holy Spirit and willingly give up our old ways of living.

Paul says we must “put to death” everything that is tied up in our sinful natures. Bob Hartman uses the image of nailing the old self to the cross with Jesus. After all, that is why He came and died. We are saved by grace through faith in Him. His death brings forgiveness. His resurrection brings the promise and hope of new life. His Spirit brings the transformation we so desperately need.

Grace and peace.
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Unread 03-12-2020, 05:59 PM   #3
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I love this! It also makes me think of Galatians 2 and 5. Thank you so much for the reminder the we have the Holy Spirit. Much needed
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Unread 03-13-2020, 01:12 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leboman View Post
I'm taking Laguna Master's cue and doing some devotions based on songs from the band Petra. I hope you are blessed by them.
I might do a Five Iron Frenzy thread
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Unread 03-13-2020, 06:40 AM   #5
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I might do a Five Iron Frenzy thread
That would be sweet.
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Unread 03-13-2020, 06:43 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Laguna Master View Post
I love this! It also makes me think of Galatians 2 and 5. Thank you so much for the reminder the we have the Holy Spirit. Much needed
I need to hear this every day.
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Unread 03-14-2020, 08:42 AM   #7
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Whole World (music and lyrics by Bob Hartman)

Hearts are falling left and right
Children fear this planet's plight
Fatalistic fears abound
And take their toll without a sound
But through the vague uncertainty comes a bold assurity
This world is under sovereignty, divinely ordered destiny
He holds this world together with the Word of His power
Safe within His hands til its own appointed hour

He's still got the whole world in His hands tonight
And only He knows where the sparrow lands tonight
And nothing in this world can stop His plans tonight
'Cause He's still got the whole world in His hands
In His hands tonight

Humanistic lies lament
The holocaust is imminent
Doomsday prophets in the news
Predicting who will light the fuse
The fate of His creation isn't subject to a man
The final consummation is according to His plan

He's still got you
He's still got me in His hands tonight



Whole World is on 1986's Back To The Street which is the first album to feature John Schlitt on vocals. This was the third Petra album I ever heard (behind More Power To Ya and Best The System) and it has remained one of my favorites ever since. I was sixteen when it came out and we were still in a "nuclear panic" due to the Cold War. We were told (almost daily) that the "Big One" could happen at any moment and the entire world could be wiped away. I, like many people, believed the hype and fear without considering the fact that Creator God is sovereign and in control of His creation.

Hebrews 1:1-4 (ESV) reads:

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

While I do believe that we were created to rule over creation and that we should be good stewards of the planet, it is arrogant to believe that we can destroy something that Scripture says is sustained through the power of Christ. Bob Hartman correctly points out that the existence of all things is due to God and nothing we do can change that. We we give in to fear-mongering and believe the absolute worst it's as if we're telling God that we don't trust Him to sustain His creation. God has promised to make all things new (Isaiah 65:17; Revelation 21:5) and that includes the earth. We did not create the universe and we are mistaken if we believe that we can somehow destroy it.

I confess, we are living in confusing times. As I write this (3/14/2020) we are facing a global pandemic. There is a deadly virus making its way across the entire planet. To ignore or deny it is foolishness. Some people are giving in to the fear being peddled in the media while others are ignoring it as some sort of conspiracy. I don't believe either is a proper response. As a follower of Jesus, I am trying to live by His words in Matthew 6:34 when He tells His disciples to not be anxious about tomorrow. I do believe that we should act responsibly in the face of uncertain times but we should never stop trusting God. We need to smart and take the necessary precautions to remain healthy. However, we do not have to give in to fear and panic. We should remind ourselves that He still has the whole world in His hands.

Grace and peace.
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Unread 03-25-2020, 11:36 AM   #8
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I was in North Carolina with my family for the past week. Now I'm back here and pretty much quarantined so I hope to have some new posts every few days.

Computer Brains (music and lyrics by Bob Hartman)

Everything that you do and see, one more event in your memory
Every bit takes another bite without control over wrong or right
You must screen every entry made, the consequences must be weighed
The only way to security is every thought in captivity

Computer brains, put garbage in
Computer brains, get garbage out
Computer brains, programming you
Computer brains, what can you do?
Break out

Are you a user or being used, has your memory been abused?
Take random samples from your mind and analyze what you may find

You can clear all your memory and be transformed when you find the key
Think on the things that will bring you peace, confusing data soon will cease


1985's Beat The System was the last studio album before Greg X. Volz left the band. It is also somewhat of an anomaly because all the bass, drums, and most of the synths were programmed by a studio guy named Carl Marsh. John Lawry joined the group in time to add a few synth overdubs but the only two members who really performed on the album were Bob Hartman and Volz. The album is synth heavy and quite a departure from all previous albums. That being said, it is still a fine album and remains a personal favorite.

Computer Brains is the second track and musically fits the tone of the lyrics. There are computerized voices and noises all throughout and while dated in 2020, I believe they work. Petra often put biblical references in the liner notes with the lyrics. This one references the following:

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. - Phillipians 4:7 (NIV)

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. - 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)

I have been a professing Christian for the majority of my 49 years. For most of my life I have allowed myself to consume secular entertainment without giving much thought to the effect it was having on me. There have been times when I was more discerning and if I'm honest, I seemed to fare better spiritually when I did so. The lyrical hook "Put garbage in, get garbage out" is a computer term that dates back to the late 1950s. The idea is that if you enter faulty data into a computer you can't expect positive results. GIGO has been defined this way: The integrity of the output is dependent on the integrity of the input.

It has been said that the human brain functions like a supercomputer. Scientists suggest that every single experience in our lives is somehow stored there. We can't easily access all of that information but it is there. Many of us have experienced the negative results from entering faulty data or contracting a computer virus. The results to the hard drive are devastating, often rendering it useless. How much more dangerous is it to willingly consume things which are spiritually damaging? How can we expect to produce godly fruit in our lives if we're filling our minds with things of the world?

Have you ever remembered the lyrics to a song you hadn't heard in years? I am constantly remembering bits and pieces of songs, books, movies, and television shows that I no longer want to remember. The problem is that they are forever there in my memory banks. I can't physically erase them. However, I do believe I can dilute the effects by avoiding future exposure and by filling my mind with godly things. I may not be able to completely erase those thoughts but I can commit myself to setting my mind on the things above and letting the Holy Spirit help me put aside the rest.

Grace and peace
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