grafted, i am.

by grafted, i am.

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released February 2, 2015

written and recorded by grafted, i am.
recorded at Dryhill Studios by Andris Balins.

grafted, i am. is:
sam judd.
luke moran.
will negron.
ryan alsheimer.



all rights reserved


grafted, i am. Oneonta, New York

four friends, one hope.

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Track Name: sun-dry
Blood has the right away when the skin splits. It's common to cringe, common to let it drip, and huff and puff all the way, staining everything around you without addressing the remedy. Let us be uncommon Lord. A burning nerve guts a good endorphin and spoils all things splendid. A frantic crooked frame of mind aint modest with its splinters. Cinder blocks make bad hats but when you're blind and on steroids you tend to forget that. You tend to lose yourself picking fights with every rustling leaf. But look- There's seven ducklings in a straight line. They got it figured out. Follow the leader now. Shall I conform to this call to peace and give it to God to sun-dry my beast flesh? I'd be a fool to refuse this still-water invitation. Stick em up high. Put your hands in the air where the Gift Giver can see em and peace will be upon you. The only cure for a spiritual structure fire is heavenly rain. The clouds are always full, always ready to buckle and give out under the weight of a love so great. This love aint precious, 'cause it's limited like rationed gasoline in 1943, or rare like a house in Detroit that aint boarded up. On the contraire it's precious 'cause it's everywhere at all times. You ask for a sign? Inhale, exhale in January. Don't it feel good, like somebody had you in mind since the beginning of time? Tell me has the sun even once failed to rise and shine on you? Is dawn not inviting and full of hope for one more discovery, one that won't die? When heart-break breaks the levy our bodies involuntarily respond with tears, releasing a chemical that promotes well being. Phenomenon's such as this show us the true nature of our Creator- the complete expression of love. Those who have ears, hear this- "No one has ever seen God but if we love one another God lives in us and His love is made complete in us." 1 John 4:12
Track Name: the outstanding debt
I was part of an effort to reinforce my reputation as a man. I was part of a war for my own crown and my own staff. So when I walked I kept my fists clenched and my eyes set straight ahead to cut you in half. You ever hear what happened to the boy who pulled on a Doberman's tail? Well, he can only smile with his upper lip and the dog's in jail awaiting bail. Little did I know that my words were born and raised on the philosophy of ferocity. A killer bee in a bouncy house posed less of a threat to peace. "The poison of vipers was on my lips. My mouth was full of cursing and bitterness. With feet so swift to shed blood" 1 I could never sit still or stay dry. I had my sights fixed on foreheads for stamps I picked to accuse using words like wicked rotten, sewer-begotten, filthy, stupid. (I thought I was entitled to shake a finger with some rhythm, to call them out. I condemned myself.) I faced the crowd with opposition. I was ambitious to raise my fist and strike with confrontation, and shock with contradiction as I did the same. "When pride comes, then comes disgrace" 2 like throwing a boomerang, then closing your eyes, and standing in place- It's never pretty. "Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? Well there's more hope for a fool than for him" 3 this is true, but I was both of these beyond what I'm gonna tell you, and the hope God has poured out on me in His mercy is enough to carry me through the grave. "We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, carry us away" 4 but we've been bought back. We all got more in common than we don't. We all got more to live for than we could ever know right now but we can know in part and in part lives our hope. God caused me to see that all the while it was me there standing in the alleyway, sharpening my knife, and licking my chops in the cover of a dumpster. I dug a pit and fell into it just like the ones I cursed I couldn't save my own self, but even while I was digging Jesus had a rope ready. "Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love for us in this, while we were still sinners Christ died for us." 5 Our greatest delusion is believing we're always honest with ourselves. If it feels like you are dying well then I would say that now you're onto something. There's a reason. There's an answer. Reach out. Touch the walls. Notice how there's no escape at all? To realize is to bring into concrete existence something that has existed as a possibility. A possibility checked positive for reality. This is a pit. It won't spit you out. Wickedness will not release those who practice it. 6 Romans 13:8 "Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law." 1 Romans 3:13-15 2 Proverbs 11:2 3 Proverbs 26:12 4 Isaiah 64:6 5 Romans 5:7, 8 6 Ecclesiastes 8:8
Track Name: daily reminders
The evidence of longing litters the streets in the cracks of sidewalks. 'Despiration', without the reveletory explanation point. A period, multiplied three times is haunting enough, but it doesn't divide it just annoys. It's just a noise obstructing your sleep. Petition for division. We must be cut asunder. Plead for demolition of toxic carnal blunder. Underneath all that pavement lies an eager redwood anticipating more than just a sliver of sunlight, waiting on something harsh like a record breaking winter to chip away at the surface, to infiltrate and weaken that which suppresses the life underneath. There's life underneath. We're all born waiting on a breakthrough, because there's no substitute for light. We all got our own ideas of what light is until true light enters the room, bursting through, exposing every impostor, dashing them to pieces. For a short while we see things our own way... that'll come to a screeching halt. You'll find there's a whole bunch of dead bodies in the sunflower field but if you plug your nose and don't look down you can still pretend you're walking on dirt mounds and rotting tree trunks. We see what we want to see. Rationalizing incessantly. I drank a glass of denial every morning to appease my need to scream but I still shouted as I dangled from a mile-high ledge, crows pecking at my fingers as if I was already dead- I was. And they were daily reminders. But the ledge I knew, deceived by familiarity I hung there like a spider caught in its own master web, not completely sure if this was prison or just a place I called home. The crows mocked, "You're losing your grip!" but I could yell louder than those birds could squawk, "I got it covered!" A dove appeared and disagreed, and relentlessly offered to carry me to safety. Hallelujah, I gave in. If we only knew how hot the flames were crawling up from the basement we'd do more than just turn on the AC and call it good, but sometimes you got to get eye level with hell to get a better point of view which might just be, "Where's the nearest bucket of water? I'm certain now this is fire and I am burning." Check the bottoms of your shoes, are they sticking to the ground? This fire burns lucid as long as it can but nothing's got more stamina than our own ability to hide from the truth. Dive head first into Living Water, and the flames will scatter like darkness at dawn. I repeat. The fire must relinquish when extinguished when you bury your heart in Living Water.
Track Name: loose tin roof
To the sound of a loose tin roof blowing in the wind, together we gather a qualm from within- "Our whole purpose of being here surely can't be to live like there's not one?" We can't afford to overlook another sunrise or to hold our breath until death holds us, waiting on a new year's day to revisit a resolution that never left the ground. Beloved, why wait? Yesterday's gone and tomorrow's working on it, but today contains with every insistent minute remaining the swift power to change you. You've made it this far. What more evidence do you need that all's not lost just somewhere you haven't looked yet?
Track Name: victory at a distance
Friends, something inside of me breaks every time I greet a grown man asking, "How you doin today sir?" and he replies in between a groan and a sigh, "Just another day in paradise kid." Not knowing that this place really exists or that if he becomes like a child a reservation would be his. He doesn't know. He never read the words Jesus spoke quote, "Indeed the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." 1 Then again maybe he did but he's all too familiar with a stab in the back to expect anything but so he puts his trust in nothing. And it's just like the world to keep victory at a distance with all it's convincing scare tactics and its system of resistance. It's all interference. It's all blinding darkness. It's the heartless faith embargo mandated by shadows with an exception to faith in nothing, only to faith in the King. You see he's got faith in his theory that all of a man's days amount to nothingness in death because "Death initiates nothingness." he says. "From oblivion I came to oblivion I shall return little man. It aint glamorous but it'll have to do." "Says who? Who says you gotta settle for a nail through the shoe every step of the way until one day you don't wake up? Let me ask you this- the author of that lie, he didn't happen to have two horns and a pitch fork screaming bloody murder all through the night did he? 'Cause believe it or not that liar and the liar who leads the whole world astray is one in the same. It's this wicked whisperer who came to kill, steal, and destroy, to deploy delusions to keep men's hearts from knowing true, unrivaled, undiluted, not looted, not bought, not taught, not earned, but freely given joy, and yes, he's got a foothold on many but there's an Almighty Revolutionary daily setting captives free with shackle shattering love he displayed nailed to a tree and He says you can live forever. "Enough kid. I enjoy your enthusiasm I really do but for the love of God there aint no heaven and there sure as hell aint no God so get yourself a damn clue. Wash out your brains. Refrain from the insanity that humanity has any kind of order other than calamity and it'll be just fine. It won't be great 'cause 'Great's' a lie, but at least you won't be spending your days enslaved to a mirage in the sky. Besides, if there was a God, He don't got no love for me or for you but I'm sure He's up there having a blast watching us drop like flies and turn to ash." Friends, I don't have to wonder who's been whispering that thought into his ear, year after year, ever since the day his grandfather died, the same day all the kids at school laughed as he cried- mourning the sudden nothingness of the only man in his life. His father wasn't around, he was too busy getting high. Maybe that's you? I imagine you wanna scream. I'll scream with you. "Sir, you gotta hear me all the more. Let me tell you about a Father like no other father you've ever heard of before. Ready to adopt and embrace at the drop of a tear and restore all the years the locust have eaten. The locust have pillaged your soul huh? Well, I wish it wasn't so, but it's not the sun that causes night to fall. That's just the operation of the universe. Unified life with love it's not a tall tale, it's the solution. It's not all twisters and hail but when it is, "He shall cover you with His feathers." 2 "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him." 3 "Hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?" 4 "So we set our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen, for what is seen is temporary." 5 It's temporary. 1 John 4:14 2 Psalm 91:4 3 1 Corinthians 2:9 4 Romans 8:24 5 2 Corinthians 4:18