Focus On: Garrett Russell And Silent Planet

Focus On: Garrett Russell And Silent Planet

The Ministry

Recently, I had the opportunity to meet a man who stood out from others in the way he represented the Christian faith. Garrett Russell is the lead singer of the Christian metalcore band Silent Planet. What stood out to me the most out of anything was his treatment of his fans and his willingness to speak to them about any topic.

Silent Planet began playing small venues in Los Angeles in 2009. Garrett Russell started the band as a result of a calling he felt from God to express his Christian ideals through music. He chose to name his band after the book written by C. S. Lewis, “Out of the Silent Planet.” His band makes a point of speaking to real world problems through their music. So far, the band has released two EPs and a full album.

Garrett is an artist who is known for pouring his convictions into his music. In songs like "City Grave," he tells the story of a human trafficking victim. In "Tiny Hands," Garrett speaks to injustice and evil through the story of a woman who lived in Nazi Germany. The EP Lastsleep tells the stories of women who were oppressed by domineering regimes. Silent Planet makes a point of speaking to real world topics.

One thing that Garrett Russell is famous for among his dedicated fan base is his kind treatment of them. Often for Christian artists, interaction with fans is where the “rubber meets the road” pertaining to the faith that they hold. Even if a Christian artist broadcasts nearly spotless orthodoxy, they seems to lose some legitimacy if the same orthodoxy does not affect how they treats people. Garrett and Silent Planet make excellent fan interactions a primary characteristic of their music making. I was able to speak to Garrett after one of Silent Planet’s concerts about the meaning behind one of their songs, "Tiny Hands." The first thing he did was thank me for coming to hear the performance. During the few minutes that I was able to speak with him, I felt more valued as a human being than I had for months before. Garrett kindly explained the meaning behind his song and gave me a hug when I complemented his music. I walked away feeling like I was the most important person in the world. I realized then that the way his band operated put them in a unique position to witness to non-Christians in the heavy metal community. By being so open to any questions asked of him and by treating his fans so well, he and his band put an accurate face of love and kindness to the name of Christianity. What non-Christians need is an example of Christ.

In my opinion, a loving example of Christianity is something that many non-believers are missing. How many more might come to Christ if we simply treat them with love, rather than immediately judging their sins? The metal community is one that contemporary Christians often judge, but really there should be love if people are to come to Christ. I would like to be the first to say that I appreciate Garrett Russell and Silent Planet for being an example that the metal community needs.

Cover Image Credit: Solid State Records

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.

Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

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The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.

Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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Short Stories On Odyssey: Roses

What's worth more than red roses?


Five years old and a bouquet of roses rested in her hands. The audience-- clapped away her performance, giving her a standing ovation. She's smiling then because everything made sense, her happiness as bright as the roses she held in her hands.

Fifteen now, and a pile of papers rested on her desk. The teachers all smiled when she walked down the aisle and gave them her presentation. She was content then but oh so stressed, but her parents happy she had an A as a grade, not red on her chest.

Eighteen now and a trail of tears followed her to the door. Partying, and doing some wild things, she just didn't know who she was. She's crying now, doesn't know anymore, slamming her fists into walls, pricking her fingers on roses' thorns.

Twenty-one and a bundle of bills were grasped in her hands. All the men-- clapped and roared as she sold her soul, to the pole, for a dance. She's frowning now because everything went wrong, but she has to stay strong, for rich green money, is worth more than red roses.

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