I know I am getting a bit slow at getting these out, but regardless of when they come out, there will still be 40 posts/days of getting out of my comfort zone. 

It’s mainly her fault.  LOL!

So on the first day of this challenge to myself, I posted the following:

“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” (Revelation 3:14-16)

For something to be hot, it must be heated. To be cold, it must be cooled. If an object is lukewarm, then it is either being equally heated and cooled, or being neither heated nor cooled. If you are to be hot, then you must be sufficiently heated. Every stimulus you allow in your life will either heat or cool your love for Jesus. 

This is an excerpt from the book “Not a Fan” by Kyle Idleman, and it is the mantra for this blog.  Read it.  It’s great.  If I truly believe in the power or Jesus, which I do, then I have been called to be on fire for him.   I need to be doing as much as I can to keep Jesus at the forefront of my mind each and every day.  There is a lot about this passage and the comments by Idleman that is moving, but for today, I am focusing on the very last sentence.  “Every stimulus we allow in our lives either heats or cools our love for Jesus.”  Friends, TV, Facebook, and the one I will tackle today, music. 

I really love music.  As a matter of fact, I will give a big kudos to my church, Woodcrest, and to our music director Chris Mitchell.   My mom and dad have recently started coming to our church, this is another story and post all in itself, but let’s just mention that there is a reason my dad has not been to church on a regular basis in the last 30 years.  He gets bored.  I don’t know how, because I am absolutely riveted, but he does.  He would typically come at Christmas and I would always silently hope that he wasn’t “the one.”  The one that fell asleep.  Ugh.  Anyways, he came this Easter as they have been coming for the last couple months and he told me that this was the first time in his life that he wished the church service hadn’t ended so soon. 

Of course, I was thrilled.  And then he said, “It was all because of the music.  I really loved the music.”  Music speaks to our souls and with smart phones, Pandora, I-tunes and all the other technological advances, many of us are listening more and more.  But what are we listening to?   I think music is more powerful in our lives than we give it credit for. 

I love the beat of certain songs.  I find myself listening to a song over and over and then realizing what the words are, and being mortified.

Here are few titles and lyrics that I actually have on my playlists. 
1.  “You Look Better When I’m Drunk”  Ok….I’m not sure I need to go much further on this one, but here are a few of the lyrics.  It’s catchy alright….the beat is good, but is this cooling me off or heating me up for Jesus?   Is my teenager listening to this?

You look better when I’m drunk
You look better,
You look better when I’m drunk
You look better

It’s the right night
To make the wrong moves gotta
Bad case and nothing to lose
When the
Lights out we have an excuse,
Is this romance
Or is it the juice?

I might be crazy but I think
Tonight has only begun (gun, gun)
Your not my normal type
But we can make an exception (on, on)

A little less thinkin’ and a lot more drikin
That’ll work for me tonight (oh, oh)
When the room starts spinnin’
And we start sinnin’
I begin to realize

You look better when I’m drunk

2.  My Way by Usher

Yo See,it’s rare that you find people like us
Cause all ya’ll other out there doin’ what I’m doin’
Or tryin’ to do what i’m doin’ but you can’t
Cause i do it my way
What about you
Huh,huh Come On

I Do
Any & everything you want to
Make your girl say ooh ooh
Why’s he so fly
She beeps me,whenever she wanna get freaky
You can get mad if you want too
Say whatever you want be she still gon’ give it up
Cause she likes it..

She likes it my way,My way
You can’t satisfy her needs
She keeps runnin’ back to see me do it
My Way, My Way

So, I am fairly embarrassed to say, I really like this song.  There is something about the beat that I love.  I run to it a lot.  But more embarrassing than the fact that I just like the song, is the horrible message.  Ugh!  Can you say contamination?  Now, I know some of my friends are going to make fun of me for listening to those songs, but it makes a point. 

I’m just thinking about how much more music our teenager probably listens to than we do and what messages she is getting from it.  It is no wonder we get off track. 

Those songs are NOT lifting me up.  They are definitely not bringing me closer to Jesus.  I bet Jesus can get a groove on better than anyone….but I can pretty much guarantee He isn’t dancing in Heaven to those songs. Just think of how many times we, or our children, listen to lyrics that send us the wrong messages.  How many times per day are we sent the wrong messages versus Jesus’ message? 

That is a powerful thought.  How many crappy songs do you hear in a day and how many times do hear or see God’s word or his wisdom in a day?  I get up and read my bible in the morning, but then if I listen to non-Christian music and watch TV and then peruse facebook and then get my friend’s opinion, how many more times am I being bombarded with society’s message versus God’s messages?  A lot!  I’m just going to say, I am getting cooled a lot more than I am getting warmed. 

So, today’s challenge is for the next 33 days, I am only going to listen to Christian music.  I can tell you, I am pretty close to that right now.  I have realized how much it nourishes my soul versus anything else I can listen to.  I’m not watching much TV either.  In the car, I listen to K-love (in Columbia that is 96.1) and when I cook dinner, I plug in my phone and listen to K-love or Pandora through the web.  Now, I am not saying there aren’t some great songs that aren’t Christian, but what I am saying is that Christian songs will nourish your soul.  They will set you on fire instead of cooling you off.

When I first started listening, I had this notion that Christian music is kind of sub-par or dorky.  I also was a little intimidated to turn it on in the car if someone else was in the car.  What if they don’t believe or they like rap music?  They might really be weirded out by me listening to the Christian station.  So, if you have had these thoughts, you are not alone.  But, let’s be real here. The more I have listened to it, the more I love it!   It is not sub-par.  And, is it better for me or anyone to listen to the contaminating words that are in a lot of music or to the words of Christian music?  Again, I am not sure why I got the notion that my faith should be hidden or that it is weird.  Isn’t it weirder to be listening to a song about sex in the car with your kids or your co-workers?  That’s weird.  But we have just grown accustomed to it.  It’s just accepted. 

Today I will nourish my soul and listen to Christian music.  Here are a few songs I love.  Of course there are many more so if you don’t happen to like these, keep listening.  One great thing about K-Love is they have a free song download (every day, I think).  So, you can get a good mix of Christian music for nothing. 

  1.  Carry Me by Josh Wilson:  I’ve heard from a lot of people….and some of you need to be carried right now.  How about these lyrics?  Hope….

I try to catch my breath
It hasn’t happened yet
I’m wide awake in the middle of the night
Scared to death
So I pray god, would you make this stop
Father please hold on to me
You’ve all I got

Carry me, carry me, carry me now
From my sinking sand
To your solid ground
The only way I’m ever gonna make it out
Is if you carry me, carry me, carry me now
God carry me, carry me, carry me now

  1. Take You Back by Jeremy Camp:  Love it!  Listen to these words!

The reason why I stand
The answer lies in you
You hung to make me strong
Though my praise was few
When I fall and bring your name down

But I have found in you
A heart that pleads forgiveness
Replacing all these thoughts
Of painful memories
But I know
That your response will always be

I’ll take you back always
And even when your fight is over now
Even when your fight is over now
I’ll take you back always
And even when the pain is coming through
Even when the pain is coming through
I’ll take you back

 

  1. What Faith Can Do by Kutless:  In the depths of our marriage despair, I listened to his a lot.  Listen, listen, listen.  It’s soooo uplifting.

 

Everybody falls sometimes
Gotta find the strength to rise
From the ashes
And make a new beginning

Anyone can feel the ache
You think it’s more than you can take
But you’re stronger
Stronger than you know

Don’t you give up now
The sun will soon be shining
You gotta face the clouds
To find the silver lining

I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do

 

  1. 4.      Forgiveness by Matthew West: This will be a topic of another post as well.  Convicting and true….

 

It’s the hardest thing to give away
And the last thing on your mind today
It always goes to those that don’t deserve

It’s the opposite of how you feel
When the pain they caused is just too real
It takes everything you have just to say the word…

Forgiveness, Forgiveness

It flies in the face of all your pride
It moves away the mad inside
It’s always anger’s own worst enemy
Even when the jury and the judge
Say you gotta right to hold a grudge
It’s the whisper in your ear saying ‘Set It Free’

 

  1. The Words I Would Say by Sidewalk Prophets:  I love starting my day with this!

Three in the morning,
And I’m still awake,
So I picked up a pen and a page,
And I started writing,
Just what I’d say,
If we were face to face,
I’d tell you just what you mean to me,
I’d tell you these simple truths,

Be strong in the Lord and,
Never give up hope,
You’re going to do great things,
I already know,
God’s got His hand on you so,
Don’t live life in fear,
Forgive and forget,
But don’t forget why you’re here,
Take your time and pray,
These are the words I would say

Amazing.  Just reading those words is awesome!  There is hope. There is Love.  God has his hand on you. 

  1. Reckless by Jeremy Camp
  2. Your Love Never Fails by The Newsboys
  3. Undone by FFH

 

I could go on and on.  There are tons of songs that I wanted to put on here.  Music is powerful.  The messages it sends are powerful.  If you don’t think it is powerful in your life, you can bet it is in your children’s life.   And, maybe it’s time to start listening to some music…that nourishes your soul.

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