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From The Inside (From The Inside, 1978)

“From The Inside” Lyrics:

I got lost on the road somewhere
Was it Texas or was it Canada
Drinking whiskey in the morning light
I work the stage all night long
At first we laughed about it
My long haired drunken friends
Proposed a toast to Jimmy’s ghost
I never dreamed that I would wind up on the losing end

I’m stuck here on the inside looking out
I’m just another case
Where’s my makeup where’s my face on the inside

All got your kicks from what you saw up there
Eight bucks even buys a folding chair
I was downing seagrams on another flight
And I worked that stage all night long
You were screaming for the villain up there
And I was much obliged
The old road sure screwed me good this time
It’s hard to see where the vicious circle ends

I’m stuck here on the inside looking out
That’s no big disgrace
Where’s my makeup where’s my face on the inside

This week we take another look at From The Inside, released in 1978. The tracks and album are met with mixed reviews, yet the album is invaluable to Alice’s catalog.

He poured his heart out in a way that fuses honesty, comedy, and raw emotion into a finely recorded piece – one that celebrates his journey to sobriety (and the characters he met along the way).

“From The Inside was ten songs making up a concept album of all the characters I met in the insane asylum…So I went in, I was in there because of alcohol, and everybody else was in there because they were criminally insane.” – Alice Cooper

Dissecting the title track,, we find Alice recounting his time on the road. The song paints a picture of how he ended up at Cornell Medical Center in Mid-October 1977.

Alice draws the listener into the hospital and the experience with him – introducing us to the many characters he met during his visit. The songs and LP artwork take on a narrative much like that of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. The LP gatefolds open to a still shot of the inmates, further embracing the story line.

The nightmarish scenario begins as he sings about drunken nights traveled across the country. He discusses the whiskey, the crowd, and his withdrawal into the clinic.

You were screaming for the villain up there
And I was much obliged
The old road sure screwed me good this time
It’s hard to see where the vicious circle ends

I’m stuck here on the inside looking out
That’s no big disgrace
Where’s my makeup where’s my face on the inside

Has there ever been a time in your life when you were caught up in something? In your work? In your play? In your misery? In your joy? In your pain? In yourself?

These aren’t easy questions to ask or answer. However, most of us, at some time or another, have asked one or more of them. The above questions are the ones we ponder during times of self-reflection and recollection.

Alone with our thoughts, this can often become an “on the inside, looking out” sort of experience. A place you never really thought you’d ever be. A path that didn’t seem so harsh until you reached your destination, and once there, you recognize the ‘vicious cycle’ that brought you there.

For Alice, his ‘vicious cycle’ led him to alcohol addiction. But the destination can be any number of places and traps such as pride, malice, lust, greed, envy, etc. – dark places in life, ones that require intervention.

Things don’t just happen to us. Almost everything we seriously consider in this world has a physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual aspect (sometimes a combination of these) attached to it.

Illness, injury, addiction, careers, interests, and many other events carry such attributes as listed above. In this post, we will be looking at those elements and their effect on us.

Physical.
Alice vividly speaks of a time when he would wake up vomiting blood. The adverse effects of alcohol had reached a crescendo. His body was shutting down.

Physical strife is a part of this life. Whether it’s self-inflicted, unexplained, just a matter of age, or some other affliction, there’s no doubt that at some point in life, we all have or will suffer. But what does suffering bring? Is there anything good or positive that can come from it? Like most things, it becomes what you allow it to be.

God’s Word as many things to say about suffering. In fact, if you search ‘Bible verses about suffering’ on Google, you are greeted with article after article about the top ten verses, methods for healing, and other topics listed about such things. Yet, it takes a decent amount of research to find much benefit from affliction.

After digging deeper, we find several verses and stories where God’s Love and adoration for humanity are seen through one’s strife. In Job 42:5, we find Job rejoicing after walking through all the trials and tribulations of his life.

It was almost as if Job hadn’t entirely known God until he endured the horrific events set before him that took place.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 1:3-5

Suffering also forms many relationships, as well. In 2 Corinthians 1:3-5, we find a call for us to comfort others experiencing strife in the same manner in which God comforts us. A specific bond is formed between those that have confronted similar afflictions and can share that experience.

Lastly, a certain amount of growth, maturity, and refinement are products of physical pain. In James 1:2-4, we find the power of perseverance. Combine that verse with Isaiah 48:10, and we find that our true character is revealed as we walk through the “fire,” so to speak.

During these times, who’s character will emerge? Your own nature? Christ’s nature? Maybe a combination? It’s easy to read and claim that physical strife makes us stronger, but it’s something more to believe it and discover its meaning while enduring the pain.

Emotional.
We are emotional beings. This album is filled with emotion – the emotions of Alice. As he dealt with the healing processes of sobriety, traces of anger, regret, vulnerability, fear, etc. were revealed.

While it’s true, most of the album is about other folks in the sanatorium; there’s still a heartfelt confessional playing out as the record spins. It’s evident.

Emotions are tricky. Depending on our state of affairs, we may find specific places in life where we control our emotions, or we might find them controlling us. The three main ways to deal with our emotions are: 1) to manage them, 2) let them control you, or 3) suppress them.

Maybe we have a firm grip on keeping our cool at work, yet lash out irrationally at loved ones in the home. Perhaps we have suppressed all emotions for a parent, spouse, or another friend/family member we once cared about deeply. Whatever the case may be, we can’t escape our emotions. We must learn how to utilize them – not hide from them.

The Word shows us that Christ, like the rest of humanity, was emotional. He displayed several emotions during his time here on earth. In fact, we find some unexpected emotional responses to unlikely scenarios as He walked this earth.

“For the joy set before Him, he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” – Hebrews 12:2

Stop and think about that verse for a moment. Jesus was joyous about being humiliated, beaten, and finally crucified on the cross? Why? Because he knew it was the Father’s will. He knew that His sacrifice was the Father’s gift to humanity.

Another emotional moment finds him angry at the Pharisees. In Matthew 23:33, it reads, “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?” Jesus was angry at their actions. He was upset with those leaders for abusing their power. For making claims, they had no right to make and for condemning others when the Pharisees were just as guilty.

Christ’s range of emotions was vast. He showed compassion (Matthew 9:20-22, John 8:1-11), suffered in agony (Luke 22:42), displayed exhaustion (Mark 6:31, Luke 5:16), became full of sorrow (John 11:33-35), and many other emotional states. Using Christ’s example, we find responding with emotion is natural.

It’s part of human nature. However, what we also see is Christ using a healthy amount of self-control when exercising His emotional responses. We must do our best to strive for the same.

Mental.
There’s a civil (or maybe no so civil) war being waged between His Spirit and our flesh. That war fought on the battlefield of our minds. It’s the fiercest war we face as believers.

The way we think is not always Biblical, but the truth is, we are the gatekeepers of our thoughts. We have control over them. We can displace them with His Word. We decide what we let in and what we keep out.

Our thought process and mental health can control the way we live and may influence the other aspects mentioned above if we allow it. Mental toughness takes practice. However, mental preparation dramatically reduces your chances of being ensnared by the traps laid forth by the enemy.

“The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.” – Psalm 119:130

The Word gives us many guidelines concerning our thoughts. However, Psalm 119:130 lays the groundwork for our mind perfectly.

If we are to walk with Him, we must ingrain His Word into our daily lives. We must be able to draw upon scripture and apply it to our everyday thoughts. He has spelled out who we are to be and how we are to think. It’s not a secret.

It’s about taking every thought captive and turning it over to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). It’s a process. The process of a lifetime. A struggle where battles are won and lost along the way. But we fight to win the war.

One of the most important things to remember and know is that His Will for us is perfect (Jeremiah 29:11, 1 Timothy 2:3-4). We must not buy into the world’s perspective. A life walked with Christ is not one lived in captivity.

He doesn’t ask us to submit our thought process to Him in bondage. He asks us to present our thoughts to Him that we may be FREE. Where He is, there is freedom (2 Corinthians 3:17).

Spiritual.
The spiritual side of things requires faith. It requires a willingness to trust and know that there is more to this life than the tangible aspects. Like the other aspects, we can decide whether we want to acknowledge the significance of its presence or not.

Some embrace the Spirit. Some have found it easier to ignore or suppress it. And others may not even know or understand that it exists.

God’s Word is saturated with accounts of unexplained miracles, blessings, and the existence of the spiritual realm – the unseen events that bring us to Life. A new Life in Him.

Ephesians 2:1-10 references the spiritual world – that there is a spirit of this world – the ruler of the kingdom of the air (the enemy) – and the Holy Spirit – the spirit of salvationmade available to us through Christ Jesus.

While it may seem confusing that such forces carry power (God’s power being all-powerful and the enemy’s relying on us to grant him power), it’s not ambiguous. It’s quite apparent.

If we begin searching for it, we must know that it’s not found in some scientific theory or equation. It’s discovered through faith – the practice of faith (and usually not on the surface but deeper within).

For instance, the power of prayer and transformation can be seen all around us, but it requires that we also seek His will (Matthew 7:7, 1 John 5:14-15). It’s not just a ”believe it, and He will do it” sort of deal. It requires that our desires align with His Sovereign Will (Acts 4:28), His Moral Will (Matthew 22:36-40), and His Permissive Will (Psalm 37).

We should not expect God to move or respond if our plea requires the opposite of His nature. If our prayer asks Him to be something different than who He is, we should not expect things to change. The further we walk in alignment with His Spirit, the more we begin to notice His Kingdom here on earth.

We begin to see our prayers matching His Word (John 17:1-25). We see people bearing His fruit (John 15:1-8, Galatians 5:22-23). We see the church (His people) working together to accomplish His works. We see Love. Unconditional Love. Love that gives without asking for anything in return (John 15:13).

We see change and transformation in the most unlikely places. We see His Spirit guiding and controlling the hearts and minds of those that seek and love Him. Are His people perfect? No. Do they fail? Yes. But is He evident in their works? Yes.

Accepting Christ and embracing His Spirit does not strip away the imperfections of humanity. It acknowledges that there is more. It recognizes that we have faith in knowing that righteousness comes not through our works but through Him. We are made righteous through His Spirit.

Wrapping this up, we are complex creatures. Everything we experience carries with it one or more facets of our being. Whether it’s physical, emotional, spiritual, mental, or a combination, our interactions with life are seen through those lenses.

We were created that way. Our minds and bodies are comprised of many moving parts, processes, and functions – things we can’t wholly comprehend through our understanding.

Yet, we take great comfort in knowing Him as our Creator and Lord (Romans 1:20). We know that through His Word, the aspects of this life will begin to make sense.

He’s given us the blueprints to follow. The question is, are we willing to?

In conclusion, “From The Inside” is a great song. One that makes us examine our own thought process and well-being.

It forces us to analyze the direction our life is heading. Could we “wind up on the losing end”? Are there areas in our lives where we need help? Do we feel as if we are failing in certain areas? Maybe with family and friends? Maybe at work? Perhaps just life in general?

Up to this point, Alice Cooper, the man, had been trying to be Alice Cooper, the character, on stage and off stage. A task which nearly killed him.

“All the guys that tried to be their image on stage and off stage died – they all died early if you think of it. Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Keith Moon, look down the list. If you can make it past 27, you might have a chance of living.” – Alice Cooper

Luckily, the ones that loved him most made the tough decision to intervene. If you or someone you know is struggling, seek help. Confide in someone you trust.

Be willing to recognize that life isn’t meant to be walked alone. It’s meant to be walked with Him and with one another. It’s not intended to be pretty. It’s designed to be a process – one that leads to transformation.

That’s it for this week. Be well and catch you next week!

Until then, keep Walkin’ in Faith and Rockin’ with Alice!

Have you accepted Christ as your Savior?

If you would like to accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, please pray the following prayer:

"God, I believe in you and your son Jesus Christ.  I believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave to save me. Today, I invite Jesus into my heart to stay.  I make you Lord over my life. Make me new. Wash me, Lord, and cleanse me. In Jesus Name, Amen"

If you have just prayed that prayer, we want to celebrate your new victory with you.  Please contact us at prayers@oceanfloorministries.com so we can welcome you into the kingdom.  We don't want you to have to walk alone and we have some resources we would like the opportunity to share with you.

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