Kingdom Rain Released

This weekend my church recorded a live worship album.  Last week, I spent several of my nights in rehearsal in preparation for this event.  It was wonderful worshipping God nearly every night.  It was also interesting to watch myself gradually grow in my open worship to God as the rehearsals progressed.

I started with standing there with my hands in my pockets, showing almost no emotion.  It ended with me not being able to stand still.  Instead, I was dancing and raising my hands and openly worshipping God.  I just couldn’t contain my joy and gratitude for what He’s done.

It was wonderful!!!  We grow closer to God with each act of worship and service and effort to know Him.  I can truly attest to that.  It’s so fitting because this worship project is about growing deeper in intimacy with God.  And I have totally done that.  The lyrics to the songs that we’ve been singing have been living prophecy in my life.

I’m so thrilled to be a part of this project and I’m even more excited about hearing the CD and reading the companion book once they are done.

I love it how the songs resonate in my head even now.  I love music and there’s always an internal radio playing in my mind.  I’m stoked to add these songs into my mental radio rotation.

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I made up a new word: Nashion.

It’s Nashville+Fashion=Nashion.

It even rhymes. Nice, eh?

I grew up in a non-fashion conscious town. Well, some girls/boys started to care about “looking cool” in high school. But that was just about name brand clothes that anybody with a decent amount of money could get. FUBU, Mossimo, Nike, Adidas, Lucky, Silver, Tommy Hilfiger…stuff like that.

Even in college, I didn’t know any overly fashion conscious people.

I’d say I haven’t encountered trendy, wannabe fashion fit-ins up until I moved to Nashville.

Now I work in the Christian music industry. I see rock stars and their posses in person and in pictures. Most, if not all of them, care about fashion, even if they claim not to. I’m referring to those punk rock people, by the way.
My belief is that everyone has a fashion. Even those who choose not to have one, still have one. Their fashion is wearing stuff that says they don’t care about fashion.

It’s like people who claim not to have a religion. There religion is no religion.

This week, I attended an upscale press conference in downtown Nashville. It marked the beginning of the big part of the Gospel Music Association (GMA) season here. Nashion was in full exposure.

Hip-looking dresses and boots. Spiffy suits and sports coats. Ties. Vests. Long blouses with jeans underneath.

Nashion, Nashion, Nashion. Considering my not-so-trendy upbringing and perennial lack of care for looking fashionable, I felt a little bit out of place among all those people.

Nobody ever really told me how to look cool. Well, my mom tried. But I was resistant to what she said was cool. I didn’t agree with her coolness opinion.

So I took on the attitude of not trying to be fashionable. I started wearing lots of t-shirts, hoodies and jeans. I wore what was comfortable, no matter how bad it looked. Through all that, I didn’t ever develop a keen, trendy wardrobe.

Now, here I am, without a fashion (or Nashion) sense. I shop at Wal*Mart most of the time because it’s cheap and I don’t have much money. I feel very uncool when I go to Wal*Mart too.

Who in history decided that Target would be cooler than Wal*Mart? Who made all the hot stores in the mall so hot? Who said Wal*Mart was sub-par? Where did that come from?

I know that my self worth doesn’t come from how I look or what I wear. God cares about the inside of me. He cares about the fashion of my heart.

I’m not feeling bad about myself. I’m not depressed. I’m just trying to find my way in the Nashion world. Maybe a snappy-dressing friend will take me on a shopping trip someday and make me Nashionable.

Since Fullness and Sinfulness

I was eating at Steak ‘n Shake yesterday evening before choir.  As I tried not to make it obvious that I was watching the family in the booth next to me, I noticed young boy in the family start to read the little Steak ‘n Shake hat.

“Sin…sinc…since 1934,” he read, carefully.

His lack of ability to pronounce that word rapidly, caused me to dwell on it.

My mind rested on the word sin.  Then, a few seconds later, it rested on the word since.

And, as refreshing as shaved ice on a summer day, God dropped a wonderful thought in my head.

He reminded me of two phrases:

Since fullness and sinfulness.

I began to ponder in which perspective I was living my life.  Am I living since fullness?  Am I thriving in the complete restoration that salvation in God provides; remembering how my life has improved since beginning to live in His fullness?


Am I just struggling to make it by, living in sinfulness?  Am I caught up in how difficult life is and feeling like I’ll never get over my sin patterns?

Fortunately for me, I’m living in the mindset of since fullness.  However, unfortunately, many of my friends are living in the other perspective.  All they can see is their shortcomings and failures.  They see huge problems and deep ruts that they’ve been stuck in for days, months, even years.

I challenge you, reader, whether you know Christ or not, to consider how you live your life.  Instead of thinking of things as the glass half full or half empty.  Think of it as where your strength comes from.  Are you living in the fullness of God or are you struggling in the sin of your flesh?

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