I remember lying on the ground with my heart beating out of my chest. Staring at the ceiling seemed to be the only thing I was capable of doing in an effort to calm down from the intense panic that gripped not only my mind, but my body. It felt like I couldn’t breathe. The last year or so hadn’t been the easiest. I had struggled with fear, insomnia, anxiety, and food allergies that left me unable to eat much of anything.
It was that moment that I knew that I had to commit to change. I had let my emotions of fear, worry, frustration, build inside for years and never set any boundaries to pursue wellness in my soul; that is, until it fell apart with a series of anxious breakdowns. As I lay on the couch for the next several months I made a commitment to get to know the Lord. I felt Him nudge me that my physical and mental healing would be found in being with Him. Not that I had to strive to be good enough for Him; this was a new way of relating to God for me. Just a commitment to show up with an open heart every day and talk to Him. As I did, the truths about how much I’m loved and how I don’t have anything to prove began to solidify in my life.
This is where my album “PERSPECTIVE” came from. It’s a collection of songs about healing with God. It’s about how our fears and worries are not what we think they are, and nothing can ever take away what Jesus has done for us. What if you knew that everything was going to be okay? Would you live differently?
The songs “fight,” “no worries,” and “trust” explore this concept: not that the goal of life is ease or comfort, rather that it will be filled with difficulty, but we have the comfort of Lord and Savior in the midst of suffering. “slow down” talks about assessing what’s important in life and stepping away from needless hurry. The album takes the listener on a journey considering what’s really important. I used to think I wanted an easy life, but I don’t anymore. I want a good one. And everything I will ever need is found in knowing Christ. I got to watch Him unravel all my fear anxiety with His constant peace and kindness, and no circumstance can take that away.
- Sajan Nauriyal
There’s a lot mystery around us
There’s a lot of mystery to our faith
I’ve been a Christian most of my life and I’ve been at my current church for over 30 years, yet if I’m totally honest I often feel like I know less now than I’ve ever done. As a teenager I was a passionate believer and saw everything black and white, I thought I had it all worked out. As I’ve grown older I’ve experienced grief, loss, pain, disappointment and a ton of interesting and difficult situations.
When the rubber hits the road you really know what you're made of.
Through it all I’m certain that God is good, God loves us, God is faithful and God is with us. However I don’t fully understand why some things happen.
I firmly believe that God is with us in the suffering, the pain, the highs and the lows
God is with us in the mystery
God is with is in everything we face
Eight years ago I had a fresh revelation of my union with Christ. It changed my life.
I lived as a well-meaning, devoted yet somewhat confused believer. Sometimes I thought I was close to God, then other times I thought I was distant.
If I messed up I thought I was far away from God and that I had to grovel and somehow earn my place back at the table.
I thought my actions could bring me close to God.
Finally, I got set free from this thinking
The mystical reality that I am one with Christ, went from my head to my heart.
The beautiful reality is that God is always with me . I’m already in the presence of God, what’s absent is my awareness.
Galatians 2:20 says ‘I’ve been crucified with Christ, It is no longer I who lives but Christ who lives in me’. Christ lives IN us.
Colossians 2:9-15 (AMP) says; For in Him the whole fullness of Deity (the Godhead) continues to dwell in bodily form [giving complete expression of the divine nature]. And you are in Him, made full and having come to fullness of life [in Christ you too are filled with the Godhead—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—and reach full spiritual stature]. And He is the Head of all rule and authority [of every angelic principality and power].
Romans 6: 5-6 says; For if we have become one with Him by sharing a death like His, we shall also be [one with Him in sharing] His resurrection [by a new life lived for God].
We know that our old (unrenewed) self was nailed to the cross with Him in order that [our] body [which is the instrument] of sin might be made ineffective and inactive for evil, that we might no longer be the slaves of sin.
We were nailed to the cross with Him. We are one with Him.
In Him dwells the fullness of the deity and we are in Him
We are in Christ, if we feel it or not - We have been mystically joined to Christ
In the mysteries of life and faith we are not alone. God is with us.
What a huge blessing, what a hope.
by Ian Yates
I was 17 when my mom died after a 5-year battle with breast cancer. It was one of those “expected but not expected” scenarios.
One day she was at work, and the next her doctor told us the stage 4 metastatic breast cancer had consumed her liver and she had less than 3 weeks.
Three weeks ended up being less than 24 hours.
We live in a beautiful world, but tragedy seems to be around the corner or in our face (i.e. screen) every day. And especially now, during a global pandemic, we’re all losing something. A person. A job. A relationship. A sense of normalcy. Security. We are all dealing with grief in different forms.
Life and death are often right next to each other. The death of an organ donor who provides the miracle for a person in need. An elated family with a newborn in a hospital while a patient slips away from cancer one floor below.
It’s impossible to separate the sad, tragic parts of life from the beautiful moments.
But I believe both need a voice. If we try to simply “get over” our pain or “move on” from difficult emotions, we’re ignoring part of what it means to be human. Grieving a loss is important.
Jesus, knowing he could and would raise Lazarus from the dead, stopped and WEPT over his friend’s passing. He took time to grieve, and he was 100% certain of his friend’s future in eternity.
In other times and cultures, you’ll see mourning last much longer than the typical funeral service window we see in our modern society.
This was the inspiration behind my latest project – “Stages of Grief” Ep. The 5 songs are based on the 5 Stages of Grief penned by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance.
She initially used these stages while working with terminally ill patients to help them process their circumstances and what was to come, but it has since been adapted to help anyone understand what’s happening during grief. There has been controversy in recent years surrounding these 5 stages, primarily because they have been misunderstood as a linear formula. They are not meant to be sequential stages that lead to Acceptance where all is resolved. Instead, you may experience these stages in changing waves through different seasons of life.
At some point, significant loss will be a part of all our stories, if it’s not already. Because we are human, we are always in the process of learning, growing, and living with grief. It’s not about arriving. Be kind to yourself and others who experience grief. The best thing we can do is be present and often, silent. Don’t rush to “fix” someone who is grieving.
Of all the lyrics in these songs, the ones from Acceptance best represent why recognizing grief is so important – my hope is still healing.
My desire for these songs was to create space for people to grieve what they have lost and give words to what can often be hard to say.
I hope these songs give words to wherever you are. If you’re like me and learning to hope again, know you’re not alone.
To listen and read more, visit https://frankieorella.com/
I don’t know about you, but this whole season of dealing with COVID-19 has been pretty wild for me. Even as I sit down to write this, I have an undeniable feeling that I will be learning from this season for many years to come. There is something deeply unsettling about our routines being shaken up and this is really my first time experiencing something like this as an adult. Now, I’ve never been a particularly anxious person, but I have to admit, I have experienced some anxiety over the past few weeks and I have had to have some pretty honest conversations about it with myself and with God. I can’t say for certain if there is an overarching theme or lesson to be learned for this season just yet, at least for myself, but it seems to be in the small things where I have seen God the most recently.
After a few weeks of being quarantined to my home, a particular date was swiftly approaching, one that I dread year after year. It is the date that reminds me every year just how fragile life can be. On April 14th, 2004, my dad, my hero, passed away from a rare cancer. I would have to write a book on what I have learned and am still learning through that experience but suffice to say, as much has God has taught me, April 14th is still my least favorite day of every year. I woke up on April 14th, 2020, just a few weeks ago, only to find the main level of my house covered in more than an inch of standing water. There is no expression, no meme nor any idiom that could capture my feelings in that moment. It was almost comical that on this particular day of all days, something like this would occur. I had to dig deep. I realized in that moment that I had two choices. I could look down or I could look up. I could either focus on myself and wallow in self-pity, or I could look up and recognize where my help comes from!
Now I want to be very clear, this is easier said than done. I do not wish to over-simplify the decision to be made here in looking to the Lord but in His grace and strength, I looked up and recognized that I was not alone. My sister and brother-in-law had stayed at my house that night and they immediately sprung to action. My wife came home at 8am after working a night shift and hugged me and assured me everything would be ok. My grandfather came over and stopped the water. I could go on, but my point is this: in the midst of chaos, God is ever constant and unchanging. Sure, you’ve probably heard that before but there is no substitute for God’s peace that passes all understanding, which is why it is all the more important to remember in this season! There is no feeling that can match the truth that God’s presence is surrounding us, even now. When I fail to look up and recognize Him, I lose focus so quickly! The world starts to become more and more about me, and less and less about Him.
To whomever finds themselves reading this, please know this: you are loved. You are seen and you are heard. Your voice matters. Your presence matters. The same God who constructed the universe put breath in your lungs and what a blessing it is to use that breath to worship Him. You are not alone. God’s promises to do not fade. Now more than ever, it is important to make the distinction that worship is not music. Music is part of worship of course but that is not where it starts or ends. Worship is the position of our hearts. The more we can learn to look up and recognize God, the deeper we will move into worshiping Him in spirit and in truth. I know these times are crazy, but we are in this together and we serve a God that we can always, always trust.
by Lance Asher of Foothills Collective
Shaping Season is a two-volume project of songs that I wrote roughly between mid-2016 to mid-2018. The first volume was released April 17, 2020. The second volume is set to be released toward the end of 2020 or by the beginning of 2021. What follows is a track-by-track breakdown of Volume 1.
I actually named the album after the album art. The art is of a tree that straddled my next-door neighbor’s yard and my own. In Spring 2018, my neighbor (whose name I shamefully still do not know although to be fair to myself it’s partially because he does not speak English) was in the middle of removing the tree and I thought it was a fascinating sight to see the tree being stripped of its branches. It looked almost symbolic of what Jesus was taking me through, but it also just looked like something out of a storybook. I decided to snap a simple iPhone picture, choose a nice filter, and the rest is history.
Aside from the art, the deeper reason for the title Shaping Season is that the timeframe in which I wrote these songs was one of the most difficult of my life. In Summer 2016, I began to experience unexplained exhaustion and achiness, which over time would lead to constant bloodwork, an MRI, and a trip to the neurologist. The ultimate diagnosis was a thyroid disease and adrenal fatigue. There were times that summer where I thought I was dying. My physical exhaustion also opened me up to fits of depression and sadness that I had never experienced before. Not only were there times when I thought I was dying, but there were times when I wanted to die. And the scariest part was not being able to explain either.
The songs had already started coming before my body started fading. But songwriting as a mode of catharsis wasn’t enough. I took no pleasure in reopening wounds when I wrote songs that simply expressed how I felt without anything more. To quote the wonderful Levi the Poet, “The release is never as satisfying as the promise to fix what’s been sewn.” Man, is that true. It was in understanding that I had to write not just what I felt—for that is an inevitability—but also what I needed that songwriting became less of a venting process and more of a tool for personal sanctification. With music, the Lord was not only giving me something to work on, but He was giving me something to work through. Through songwriting, He gave me an opportunity to bring the hard questions before Him humbly and honestly and to, like the psalmist, endeavor to hope in Him whether or not that question was answered.
This was all where Shaping Season began to take shape as an album. But the season itself kicked into high gear in 2017. It started spiraling that May when my beloved dog Darcy died suddenly in my arms. I drove around listening to the Paramore record After Laughter when it dropped that night. That same record would end up being the last record my close friend Blake and I would drive around listening to a month before he killed himself on September 30, 2017. My mom would break her back less than 48 hours later. Three months after that, in January 2018, she landed in ICU after dire complications during back surgery. We were in ICU with her for three more months. For all my wrestling before this point, it was during all of this that I found out what a panic attack was.
I don’t share these stories as a sob story. I have no desire to make trophies of my tribulations, as tempting as it can be when you are suffering. This is simply the back story behind Shaping Season, a story that is less about the trials themselves and more about the One Who works all things together for the good of His children:
Track #1: The Aching
The Aching feels like an appropriate opener to this project. Not only does it introduce key themes of depression and anxiety, but it also introduces the three key subjects of my songs: God, others, and myself. Each verse addresses each subject one by one beginning with God and ending with me. The final lines are the most important to me. I wrote them after my associate pastor preached a sermon where he compared rejoicing in tribulation to how the sun reflects off of the moon. We may not perceive that the sun still shines while it’s night, but we see evidence of it right in front of us in the glow of the moon. For that we can rejoice always (Phi. 4:4).
Track #2: Fall, Sky
I wrote this song in April 2017. Looking back, it feels eerily prophetic of the days to come. I surely didn’t know what I was asking for with the words of this song or I would have never written them. This song is about welcoming the way everything around us inevitably crumbles in order to embrace the One Who never will. When all around you fails, remember the words of Peter in John 6:68: “Lord, to Whom else shall we go?” Sometimes we need the false gods of our hearts stripped violently away one by one until only the true God remains. It’s a process. Lean into it. Celebrate it even while you’re weeping.
Track #3: Inside My Shadow
Depression. It’s a word that’s used liberally now in our mental health conscious society. I’ve already used it a couple times myself out of both habit and necessity. But strangely, for all the ways we speak of it as reality, it’s a pretty ambiguous term. I often wonder if our insistence on speaking vaguely about the giant all-consuming monster of depression instead of isolating the various components that make up said all-consuming monster is actually more detrimental to our spiritual, mental, and physical health. But I digress. This song is about that monster. And it’s about what happens when that monster becomes so prevalent that Stockholm Syndrome sets in and you think you might make friends with it despite the deepest parts of your soul screaming, “This is not home.” Thankfully, I find that no matter how far I get from home, home always tends to come after me. So endures the relentless love of Jesus Christ.
Track #4: Tax Day (Blessed Be)
This is the first song I wrote for this project (along with a song called “Cell Towers” which comes at the very end of Volume 2). I wrote this in May 2016 after seeing a dear family friend (who we call our “aunt”) for the last time in the hospital before she passed away. At the time, I was still working through college and was taking a world history class. As we went through the Holocaust, I found myself going on a dark rabbit trail of pictures taken during that time. Between the personal loss I was feeling, and the unimaginable loss of the Holocaust, I found myself wrestling with the age-old dilemma of theodicy (the problem of an all-good, all-sovereign God in a world where evil exists). This song was my answer.
April 15th (aka Tax Day) is the day two of my grandparents passed away (my mother’s mother in 1997 and my father’s father in 2010). I’m the youngest child of youngest children, which means the age gap between me and my grandparents was enormous. My last surviving grandparent (my Grandpa) was 93 when he died in 2010. I was 16.
Track #5: Homebody
“Homebody” was one of the first songs I wrote for this record and the very first song I wrote on the piano. This was written as I was emerging from the very bottom of that first hole in Summer 2016. It was the first time I ever contemplated suicide in a very real way, and though I’m still not sure I’d say I’ve ever been suicidal in the sense that the choice was ever realistic or felt imminent, I remember how terrifying it felt to even crack open that door for the first time. When I talk about writing what I need, not just what I feel, this song was the turning point in that. I’d gotten to such a heavy place I couldn’t afford to just wallow in my feelings. I had to speak truth or I wasn’t going to get up. The ending of this song is a paraphrase of Philippians 1:6, which is my favorite verse and has brought me back to reality time and time again.
Track #6: Alone*
An asterisk is typically used in writing to denote further information that the text doesn’t present on its own. For me, it’s that, but it’s also a nifty shortcut to making a common song title a little more unique (I’m a bit OCD about choosing song titles that have been used a lot). The refrain at the end serves as the metaphorical asterisk to my loneliness. No matter how alone and isolated my surroundings make me feel, I’ll never know what being alone is like the way my Savior does. And He is with me.
A side note: When I wrote this back at the beginning of 2017, it was the first song I wrote where I felt like I’d established my ideal sound. I couldn’t stop listening to the demo, not because I thought it was the greatest song ever, but because it sounded like exactly what I wanted to sound like. That was pure magic and a prime example how even writing a heavy song can be joyful if you just flat-out enjoy what you’ve written. I still refer to this one as my favorite on the record even in its fully recorded state.
Track #7: Don’t Be Shaken
This song is simply a retelling of the prodigal son story. I especially took inspiration from the image of the father running to meet the son while he was still a long way off. The love of Jesus is so hard to comprehend. The ending refrain contains the third verse of “It Is Well with My Soul,” which is probably my favorite verse of any hymn. Shout out to Esther Anderson for providing the cellos!
Track #8: Life Noise
I wrote this song after attending an Andy Gullahorn house show in November 2017. I absolutely love his songwriting and I guess I was inspired by the way he seamlessly merges humor with dead seriousness in his songs. I wanted some levity. Plus, I’d written most of the songs for this project and had already aired out my pain and insecurities, but hadn’t talked about my fear of the songwriting process itself. It felt like a good fourth wall break in the album: a song about writing songs. One of my deepest desires in putting music out is to encourage and bear up underneath others with my songs the same way guys like Andy, Levi, My Epic, and Andrew Peterson have done for me. But the tension comes when the means I’m using to encourage necessitate vulnerability on my part, which is basically what songwriting is. I always fear the brutal honesty will cancel out the comfort. But then again, where are comfort and truth without vulnerability? And what comforter’s arms am I trying to usher people into? God’s? Or simply my own?
Track #9: Kalmar’s Song
I don’t want to spoil it, but Andrew Peterson has an incredible book series called The Wingfeather Saga. This song is entirely inspired by the third book in the series called The Monster in the Hollows. There’s a character in the book whose story resonated with me so deeply that I wanted to write a song around him. It was also a way to pay direct tribute to Andrew Peterson’s work. His music has had a bigger impact on me than anyone else’s and it’s the reason any of these songs exist. I feel like he’s discipled me with his music similar to how one of my pastors has discipled me with his friendship. It gave me the courage to start writing and the desire comfort others through my work the way I’ve been comforted through his.
Track #10: Lifted
The outro of “Kalmar’s Song” that I wanted separate from the track just so there weren’t three five-minute songs on the back half of the record. This one is all Allen Odell, my too-close-to-classify friend who produced this record and made all of this happen. If you like how this album sounds, thank him.
Track #11: On Fallen Things
There is a man named Paul David Tripp whose sermons really helped me grow during this period. I built this song around this one snippet of a sermon on YouTube. The moment I heard it I knew it had to be in a song. It also gave me an excuse to bless others with someone’s words that aren’t my own. It’s a personal respite to just sit back in the latter half of the song and listen to Tripp do his thing.
Track #12: Shaping Season
I wrote this three days after my mom entered ICU in January 2018. We didn’t know what was going to happen next. I was home alone. It was 3am, maybe 4, and I couldn’t sleep. This is the only song I’ve ever written in the middle of the night and I can’t tell you how it came about. I can only tell you that it did. At the time, I think I was trying so hard to process what was going on around me and wanted to condense the events of the last couple days into a song. The first verse is about the spiritual pep talk I got on the way to ICU. All I knew was things had taken a very sudden turn for the worst and my associate pastor drove me because I was so distraught I couldn’t see straight enough to drive myself. The second verse is about my family. I won’t get into it here, but there are stories about what the Lord showed us as a family in those times that are remarkable. I consider the chorus (“There is not a hole too deep for us…”) to be the thesis statement of the album, so it made sense to make this the title track. I consider it the centerpiece of both Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 rather than the end of Vol. 1. And it’s blessed me to see the ways this song has already blessed others around me.
Track #13: Nosebleed
There is a place about 25 minutes away from home in the small suburb of Grayson, Georgia called Grayson Coffee House. This is where I did much of my studying for school, a good portion of my songwriting (both there and in the park across the street), and where I played my very first gigs around Gwinnett County. It’s one of my favorite places in the world. It’s also usually what I’m referring to when I talk about a coffee shop or doing coffee with a friend. This one particular time I was meeting there with my good friend Zach who had just come back from his mission field in Nepal (it might have been an accidental meet up because we both had a knack for studying there at the same time). We were having one of those much-needed iron-sharpening-iron kind of talks when my nose suddenly started gushing blood. Since we were outside, he had to run in to grab napkins and by the time he came out there was already blood all over my face. For the rest of the conversation, he kept having to interject where there was still a little blood that needed to be wiped off. I thought, “Life is like that sometimes,” and wrote a song about it. I don’t know where I’d be without faithful brothers walking me through my darkness and teaching me how to live. Many of my songs are built off of conversations, but this particular song is basically a compilation of many different ones. The concluding lines are both a paraphrase of 2 Peter 1:3 and based off a conversation I had with my associate pastor soon afterward (that faithful associate pastor who seems to keep coming up is named Jess Arnds by the way). The line about “chasing ghosts” is from a counseling practicum class I took online, where one of my class partners was counseling me for my anxiety and introduced me to that term. The first verse is where I started writing the song: my friend Gary’s house out in rural Jackson County, Georgia. He gave me that first line so I ran with it (Gary’s house is also where Allen and I recorded the stem for “Tax Day”—the only other recording place apart from our church and Allen’s house). This was also the last song I wrote for both Volume 1 & 2.
Two years ago when I began recording these songs with Allen, I never thought that I’d be releasing this album during a worldwide pandemic that would separate me from all of my friends. Some of these songs feel extra bittersweet because they remind me of times of suffering, but that suffering was done in community. Now it feels like all of that has been taken away. But it also feels appropriate that the Lord would place me in a position where I truly have to rely on Him as I put out a record that’s about just that. Be careful. If you pray for holiness, He will make a way. And that way is not always easy.
I’m looking forward to continuing the story (Lord-willing) within the next year. I’m really excited about this next batch of songs and a few of them are my very favorites on the entire project. If anything, I hope you enjoy the music itself. But my deepest prayer is that these songs invite you into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. He entered into the sin and death that looms over us only to conquer it and cast it off so far that it will be a distant memory. My pastor friend Jess recently said to me over the phone, “When we get home, the water we perceived to be up to our necks will have shown to barely touch our ankles.” If there’s one thing I want you to take from this record, or this blog post, it’s that. Paul wasn’t lying when he wrote in Romans 8:18, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”
The suffering is real. But the stories are true. Praise God from Whom all blessings flow.
Daily Communion was a song written out of a critical heart towards the ritual of communion. A little bit of background about me.... my father was a Baptist minister and church planter from 2003 to 2015. I was raised in the church and grew up pretty critical of it. And one of the observations I often had growing up was that the activity of communion just seemed like a really dry and lifeless exercise exuded by a ritualistic prayer and complemented with dry paper wafers and shots of Welch’s grape juice. I never really understood this community exercise. My personal experience in the church had led me to believe this was often more a drab ritual rather than an act of true genuine intimacy, especially when we see Jesus at the last Supper sharing a meal with his closest friends and even calling out someone's betrayal.
So this song is a counterpoint to what I've experienced and a reclamation that daily communion with one another -- with our lovers, with our family, and with God is such a tender and personal and intimate exercise where we can become vulnerable and have ultimate liberation in that vulnerability. As I was writing this song, the imagery of the parable of the Lost Sheep connected with me the most -- that we can rest in the arms of a lover that in reckless abandon, takes care of us without judgment or fear and celebrates when we are gathered back together.
Music-wise, I finished writing Blue Ridge State around that same timeframe and in this weird guitar tuning (EADGAD), and Daily Communion was written centered around the chorus - a declaration of my desire to be with God and to participate communing with him.
All of my life I have loved the Lord. I have always walked with him, worshiped him, and relied on him. Even when I would start to wander, nothing compared to who he is for me. But you know those times, within our humanity, that we can’t seem to get certain things out of our heads? Whether its confusion, trauma from the past, fear of the future or the present, ect.? I was dealing with one of those moments one day when we were, at the time, in the middle of the recording process for my latest EP All I Need. I naturally started to talk to the Lord about it, picked up my guitar, and in a desperate manner began singing the now bridge, “Only you can make this right, make me clean, heal my sight.” I very much so did not want to let my mind continue to go through its continuous cycle, always coming back to the things I had dealt with in my life that were causing fear and depression for my future and present. Out of that simple bridge came the rest of the song. The verses and chorus’ became the melody of the pattern my mind had fallen into for so long. This song became my release into my healing. It sings the words I needed to confess my emotions and grab hold of the understanding and faith that all I needed was to let the Lord become present in this area of my mind and it would all be made right.
As I mentioned before, we were in the middle of our time recording the EP when the basis of this song was created. Prior to this moment, I had each of the songs I had written for this project chosen and ready to go. I was so set in my choices and vision, but of course it’s just like God to turn things around in the simplest and biggest ways to change what you thought you had going. I believe that for artists, if God gives you a song He doesn’t just want you to sing it, he wants you to learn something from it and live it out. I was living in that reality with the songs we had already recorded so when the Lord gave me the song Make This Right, I knew we needed to make the necessary changes in order to get this song into the project. The song fit perfectly, and was just what I, and the project, needed.
Whoever is reading this today, I want to encourage you to have faith that God is all you need in your time of trouble. Whether it’s a physical trouble or mental. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purposes.”