Tribute to Doug Kensrue

“Now that you have been disarmed, we will cross over unharmed!” (by Dustin Kensrue / Thrice ~ “Disarmed”, track 11 on Major/Minor)

Today, I wish to pay tribute to someone who undoubtedly had the greatest influence on Dustin Kensrue, who in turn has greatly impacted many of us.  I’m talking about none other than Dustin’s dad, Doug Kensrue.  Doug was not only the reason for Dustin and Thrice’s success from the very start.  More importantly, it is evident that Doug loved God and loved his family unto the very end.

A few years back, Doug was diagnosed with brain cancer and underwent surgery, to which Dustin quickly attended, leaving behind his band (on tour with Manchester Orchestra) and a host of very understanding fans who swiftly offered prayers.  Needless to say, the tour was cancelled.  No one seemed to mind, in light of the gravity of the situation.

That is, no one, except for Doug Kensrue himself – yes, this man who was fighting for his own life actually thought of others before his own needs!  You will be blessed and in tears after reading this heartfelt message from Doug to Thrice fans (c. April 2010):

I want to say how sorry I am to each of you who have to miss seeing Thrice in concert on account of my health issues. I have been diagnosed with a large brain tumor and things at this point are very unsure and serious. I will be having surgery in the next few days. Both Dustin and his brother Chase were out on tour and returned home for some precious family time. I am blessed to have the most unbelievable family to support and love me through this. Through the years I have met many amazing Thrice fans who are the most wonderful people, as a matter of fact as I was having my CT scan and the technician asked if I was Dustin Kensrue’s dad, and I proudly said Yes!!!! I love all of the guys in this awesome band and am sorry for the fact this is affecting them too. This has been a tough year on all of the guys in Thrice with family heartache, we all thank you for your prayers and good wishes!     -Doug Kensrue

So awesome to read this again – what a blessing!

I am reminded of this comforting Scripture:

“O death, where is your victory?  O death, where is your sting?”  The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  (I Corinthians 15:55-57)

Hallelujah!  Death has been completely disarmed because of Jesus’ finished work on the cross!  One day, we too will cross over from this life into the next…unharmed and undeniably in the eternal presence of our Savior!

To Dustin and family: Cherish the memories and the legacy that Doug left behind, and look forward with a smile to that glorious reunion day!

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Good Friday 2013

Today, we commemorate Jesus’ last living day before He died and ultimately raised Himself from the dead.  The day is known as “Good Friday”.  And what a good Friday it was!

Two songs by Dustin Kensrue immediately come to mind that allude to the biblical accounts of the first Good Friday: “The Great Exchange” and “Listen Through Me”.

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“The Great Exchange” (on Beggars by Thrice)

Quite simply, this is one of Dustin’s greatest works, lyrically-speaking.  He tells the story of how Jesus (the “captain”) died in place of sinners (the “enemies”) and, thus, bridged the chasm between Holy God and sinful man – the doctrine of the substitutionary atonement.  More to the point on this Good Friday, the last verse essentially refers to the traditional seventh word (“Father, into your hands, I commit my spirit”) and subsequent death of Christ in Luke 23:46:

I thought I must be dead or dreaming,
When my captain – still battered, betrayed –
Pulled me up, laid me over the beam he’d clung to,
Breathed his last, and sank under the waves.

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“Listen Through Me” (on Major/Minor by Thrice)

I love that this song was included on Major/Minor.  It was Dustin’s opportunity to basically share the Gospel on a Thrice record – and, as with his other works, he did it well!  The second pre-chorus stands out, with its direct reference to John 19:30:

The shadows all had flown clung
In the light diminished;
He emptied out his lungs,
Crying, “It is finished!”

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Have a blessed Good Friday, as you remember what Jesus did for the sake of sinners past, present, and future!

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Update on 3/29/2013 at 11:56: Corrected lyrics to “Listen Through Me” to “The shadows all had clung” – thanks to Dustin himself for the correction via Twitter!