Tebow Stinks  

I have never wanted to see someone succeed more than this fella.  

Not just because he’s a hardworking philanthropist who does more substantial charitable work than most of the NFL combined. But because he’s deserving.  

Why is he deserving? Well for starters, he’s a better athlete than many “starters” in the league. He has a better football IQ than most in the league. He’s better than Baker Mayfield, the entire Jets roster, and yes, even the holy one himself, Kap. 

But the main reason I want him to succeed, is because of his forked tongue haters who hate him just because. There has never been a real good reason to hate the dude. And that hate comes not just in the form of vitriol, but the dismissive “he’s a nice guy but not a pro caliber athlete” nonsense.

Really? When given the very small chance he has had at leading in the NFL he’s EXCELLED. And the only reason he didn’t keep his starting job in Denver was because of PEYTON MANNING! 

The only reason in can think why so many in the media and the NFL loathe Tebow is how he smells. He smells too much like Jesus. Jesus is not a unifier, he’s a divider and a conqueror (read your bibles). He’s the most polarizing figure in history. Hey And were told that those who belong to him smell like him. To some he’s the aroma of life. But to others, he’s the aroma of death.  

I’m not saying the dude is perfect. Or the GOAT, or any other nonsense like that. And I’m not saying he’s above criticism or doesn’t deserve any. I’m just saying he doesn’t deserve the stonewalled unfounded opposition he’s received over the years.

So yes, Tebow stinks. Too much like Jesus for some. And that’s why I am rooting for the dude! I pray he excelles with the Jags, shuts his haters goofy mouths, and Luke 21:13 comes out of it. “But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony.” ~Luke‬ ‭21:13‬ 

The overdose of empathy  

When you read the Screwtape letters by CS Lewis you learn a great many things, if you’ll listen. It’s about as insightful a work we’ve available to us on the subject of deception and how humans are deluded by demonic entities. And it’s neatly packaged in very palatable allegorical form. 

In it you’ll find a higher level deceiver communicating tips, tricks and lessons to a lower level deceiver on how to keep the human they’re assigned to (patients) away from the enemy (Christ) and focused on anything but. They’re goal is to keep their hearts far from Him and they’re main tactic, the thread that runs through all their system and approach, is distraction. 

And as I was re-reading it recently I caught a glance of something that was extremely relevant to our current climate. Wormwood (the lower level deceiver) was instructed by his uncle Screwtape (the high level deceiver) regarding a patient who had recently been converted to Christ, to press the issue of emotion. That is, in order to win him back, keep his mind from rationale and logic, keep his spirit from sobriety and soundness and agitate the relationships in his life, and give him the cynical gift of victim hood. 

The goal in that case was to distract the patient from considering the thoughts and feelings of others and only consider his own. But it hit me as I was reading. Their is a subtle double sided tactic to this that is happening right now. Not the lack of empathy, but the overdose of it. To get the patient trapped in a prison of feelings and lock the door with the key of false virtue. 

The enticing sin of empathy, as Joe Rigney put it, “would have us suffer with others for the sole purpose of their feelings and not for their good”. This my friends, is evil and a trap. It is an opioid that causes us to dive headlong into the euphoria of false virtue with no real purpose of good, recovery, or solution. Just solely for the high. 

Christ calls us to suffer with those who are hurting. This is without question. But we do so with the intention of help, healing and recovery. To suffer with someone just for the mere sake of aligning with them to make them feel affirmed in their suffering is quicksand. It is a snare that pulls you and the afflicted down together. 

Instead of jumping in the quicksand, we should keep our feet on solid ground and reach to them to pull them up. There are those perfectly content with sinking sand. And those are the unfortunate souls who’d rather have you in the trap with them then they with you where it’s safe. 

Check your feelings. Do not discard them. But honestly check them. Filter them through  scripture and posture yourself where the Holy Spirit can apply the peace that will officiate them. Close your ears to tribal thought and listen to divine reason. I know it’s easy to get caught up in the pull of current events. And the delusion is at an all time high. But there does remain an answer. And Christ not only has it. He is it. But you’ve gotta know Him to understand Him. 

Start there. Focus on knowing Him in the secret place so you can represent Him accurately in the public space. Watch your step. The trap of empathy is everywhere. Steer clear of it. Once in its grasp, it is very difficult to get out.


I am a person who has this uncanny ability to always look forward. Mind you, it's not that I have never looked back in my life. Believe me, I have, and I have the scars and fail report to prove it. I just learned a long time ago that God has given humans this beautiful thing called hope. And that hope has always been an anchor for the serenity of my soul. And if I'm honest, the sanity of my mind too. It is a wonderful thing to be able to look forward to something. And that something right now for me is my new EP set to release this Thanksgiving. 

I couldn't think of a better time to release publicly songs that were birthed out of a very trying time in my life. Being able to experience the, love, loss, pain, and promise of a season and than quantify my feelings that came from it in 3-4 minute snippets called songs is a tremendous accomplishment. And I am truly grateful for the opportunity. 

"Tennessee" is a compilation of songs that came out of a difficult season in my life. The murder of my childhood hero and close relative, the loss of a ministry, the near destruction of my marriage and my own demons I struggled with. These songs represent how I came through and out on the other side. "Tennessee" represents transition. Two and a half years ago my life forever changed and God opened up a door for my family and I to pursue new horizons. To chase dreams and to make a life for ourselves we could of only dreamed of before. 

This is the beauty of God's providence and the stark reminder of a very familiar passage of scripture. "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28. He turns terrible situations around and causes them to result in His Glory and our good. Ryan Grimshaw produced the project and He and I could not be more pleased to share it with you. If you haven't already, go to iTunes today and download the single "Tennessee". God bless you and keep trusting the one who holds your tomorrow. 

What's in a name? 3 reasons why I changed mine.  

Identity. It's a funny thing. Some people go their entire lives knowing exactly who they are and what they want to do. Never needing any clarity they drift through life content with what they know and are ok with that. And that's, well...ok. And then there are those introspective creative folks. You know the type. The starving artist, troubled soul who never seems fully satisfied. Their fashion sense, career path and music taste change more than a teenage girls mind. They are always trying something new, looking for that freshness that seems to come and go faster than the flavor in a piece of teaberry gum. 

I happen to be one of those types. An introspective muser. Born into a bit of an identity conundrum I was surrounded by mystery in my little mind not really knowing who I was. For example,  It was like I had 3 dads. My Granddad who is like a father to me, my biological dad who sired me and my step dad who took on the responsibility of raising me. Why is that important? Their names. That what was important to me. Their names held a sense of honor. It represented who they were and what they were about. And the one that I would wear would be the one that I would honor with my life and, consequently, the one I would draw from for my own identity. 

So what is in a name? Well as far as the Bible is concerned, everything.  As matter of fact, when Jesus taught people how to engage God in prayer the very first thing He told them to do was revere God's name. One of the Ten commandments was dedicated to respecting God's name and never using it vainly. Heck, God is so into names and there significance He gave His Son a name so great that it is the only name that when confessed, can save a persons soul. Why? Because God see's a name as being connected to who someone is. Their identity. Their value. What they stand for. 

So you're probably wondering, whats that have to do with me changing my name? I'm glad you asked. My identity. Me dealing with who I am and rolling with the punches. My legal name is still Brian Paul Pflieger. However, recently I did adopt a pseudonym for public use and here's why:
  1. Rebranding. 2 years ago I was able to fulfill a life long dream and move to a city I have always wanted live. Music city. Nashville, Tennessee. There were several reason for that move but the one that fits our context in this blog is music. In particular, a musical artist. In this world the rebranding of ones identity is a normal thing. It helps you stay current and connect with a wider array of audience over a longer period of time. I felt it was time for me to undergo this process in order to get headed in the right direction artistically. Also, from a marketing standpoint, Rhea flows of the tongue better than Pflieger. 
  2. Restart. When we moved to Nashville I was beat up by ministry, my past and other people. I felt I needed a fresh start. And apparently so did God, so he gave me one. Redeeming my name is important to me. And sometimes, you need another name to help in that journey. 
  3. Remembrance. In May of 2012 a close relative and one of my childhood heroes was senselessly murdered in his own home in front of his mother in cold blood. This man was very precious to me and the rest of my family. It was tragic. He was one of the last remaining men on my mother's side to carry my Grandfather's name. That name being Rhea. So, when I was contemplating with the idea of changing my name his memory and my Grandfather's honor won out. Thus the name Brian Paul Rhea. 
Maybe you're at a place where you could use a fresh start. A rebranding if you will. It may not constitute a changing of your name but it may require some serious reconsideration of your current state. Think about where you're at now. Now think about where you wanna be and start praying, thinking and planning on how you will get there and don't be afraid to change. 

"If we don't change, we don't grow. If we don't grow, we aren't really living." ~Gail Sheehy


The key to better Songwriting: Critique 

I remember when I first started writing my own lyrics and attempting to put melodies to them. I would get so excited that I was able to put the two together and, from what at least I thought at the time, forming into a song. I would then take it to my mom and sing it for her. Always the encourager, she never wanted to discourage me and would tell me how wonderful it was. That had to have been rough for her listening to those gems in the early days.

And just like any creative endeavor, you just can't keep it to yourself. I had to share it with someone. That's the payoff. When other's are impacted by it. So I sang for my mom because well, she seemed to like it. 

Years would go by and I would continue to write songs and hone my craft. In all honesty, I've always been a bit hasty when it came to sharing my work. I learned the hard way that not everyone was able to see the potential in my unfinished masterpieces.

I started soliciting the feedback of people other than my mom and found out that everything I wrote was not actually a #1 hit. Crazy, I know. But true nonetheless. Many time's I would receive feed back that would crush my heart and, in my immaturity, would walk around devastated for days over one small critique. Many times mad at the person who gave me the feedback I requested. What I learned in that process as painful as it was, was the tremendous value of others perspective. Perspective and advice that would lend to making me a better songwriter. 

I believe it is a good thing to have others listen to and give feedback on your music. It sharpens you not only as a writer (performer, artist etc), but it also builds character and fortitude. 

3 things to remember when soliciting feedback:
  1. Make room for Mom.
     Let those who love you no matter what provide the necessary motivation you need to be inspired. Family, friends, that crazy Facebook stalker that likes everything you post. Let your grandma proclaim to the nations and the cashier at Walmart that you are the most talented person alive! You need to be encouraged. It's fuel for the journey. 
  2. Get a second opinion. Just like a medical diagnosis can require a different professional opinion, so too can a song. Respect their opinion, listen and consider it, whether good or bad, get 1 to 3 more perspectives. This will help in giving the song some clarity and direction going forward. 
  3. Believe in your stuff. Having confidence is the best thing you can do for your music. Without it, no matter the talent level, if you don't believe that your music is great no one else will. No matter how professional the person you are asking, they are NOT the final authority on YOUR music. You are. 
It takes a bit of courage but I believe as you let others hear your music and respond to it you will find yourself writing better songs with something to say. 

I do not make Gospel music... 

...the Gospel makes music in me.


I find it interesting how people are so quick to label. We tend to quantify things so readily into neat, tidy little boxes so we can define them. But in our attempts to understand things many times we dilute them by reducing them to narrow minded opinion's or hasty conclusion's never really grasping their true meaning. We love to segment and compartmentalize.

This most definitely applies to the world of music. We herd musicians and artists into tidy neat little groups called genre's. While I understand the concept and am not anti-genre or style by any means, I do however, think some leverage should be given to musicains who don't want to make genre's, but want to make music.

I have sung, played and written what is traditionally called Gospel, Christian, CCM and worship music my entire career as a musician. I have also written music that would not be considered "Christian" music as well. I've written about my life as a human being. My life and experiences as a father, husband, a son. My struggles and failures, my triumphs and successes. Many of which do not have the traditional stock Christian lyrics in them. Does that make them less christian?

I am not a Christian musician. I am a Christian who happens to be a musician. I do not make christian music. I am a Christian who happens to make music. I do not make worship music. All my music is worship. I do not make Gospel music...the Gospel makes music in me.

So, If you are a musician, of any background, let me encourage you, make your music. Not style or genre's. That happens naturally. Just make the music that you are hearing. That melody that is fluttering in your heart. That rhythm that keeps taking over your feet. Those lyrics that won't leave your head. Make it. Play it. Write it! Somebody needs to hear it.