Posts Tagged ‘God’

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Time to share a new song!

I’m not sure if I heard someone first use the phrase or if it just came to me one day. But the idea of “failing forward” has become an important part of how I view my walk with Christ.  This is a balanced approach instead of doing what many Christians do – tend towards extremes.

Some see their love walk with God as a mission, a goal to be attained and an end to be reached. Did my daily bible reading – check. Prayed for at least 15 minutes – check. Didn’t cuss, drink, smoke or have gay sex – check. Now what’s on TV? The problem with task-oriented Christianity is that Christianity, by nature, is not a task. Its a relationship. Spouses who treat their significant others as items on a to-do list have marriage problems. Similarly, Christians who treat their walk with God as a daily objective won’t ever get as close to Him as their hearts desire. Its not what’s He’s asking for and they’ll never be happy because they’ll always fall short of the self-imposed chores they’ve created.

Which brings us to our next extreme: the spiritually lazy. These folks have realized that they will never be able to keep the list of rules needed to be a “good Christian” so they quit. I’ve heard this sometimes referred to as “greasy grace” where someone just does what they want and just assumes the “grace” of God will cover it. Of course what they really are counting on is mercy, not grace, but its an unbiblical mercy. They have learned to not be task oriented (that’s good) but instead they are content with no spiritual growth (that’s bad).

Instead of these two extremes, I believe God is calling us to live a life “failing forward.” With this mentality, the Christian understands that they can never please God with a check list and knows they will make mistakes. However, instead of wallowing in their shortcomings, they choose to embrace the love relationship Jesus provided (thru scriptural grace) and continue moving forward through their shortcomings. This way the objective is not perfection, but movement in the right direction. This is what will bring true growth.

So I wrote a song about it! Music and lyrics are below. It’s just a rough home demo so don’t expect the quality of my EP or anything. I hope it ministers to you!

Failing Forward

//

It’s OK to not be OK

It’s all right to not be all right

Your father knows your frame is dust

So now He’s asking you to trust

//

Jesus sees us

As we are in Him, covered by His blood

Jesus meets us

Right where we are, offering His love

And His grace is our reward

As we run to Him failing forward

//

Don’t count your sins, repent and then forget them

Come on, get back up and don’t lose your momentum

‘Cause God’s not shocked and does not get worried

He already knows you fall short of His glory

//

It’s a process that I’ll never quite complete

But still I seek His holiness in me

And if I fall I’ll crawl until I’m on my feet

Because there’s only one direction toward only One I need:

Forward, failing forward

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Time to share another song! This one is called “We Are Yours” and is intended to be a declaration of being “all in” when it comes to God. I wanted to supply words for the congregation, youth group and retreat attendees that had made the quality decision that their lives are going to be spent seeking the face of God. One of my friends who previewed the song for me said that it sounded surprisingly “dark” compared to my other stuff. It was a great compliment. 🙂 With all the things of the world vying for our attention and affection, I think its time for the church to get a little intense and shake off the things that hold us back. After all the declarations are said and done, the bridge brings the song together with a heartfelt prayer for more of Him. I hope you like it!

To all my music snob friends: yes, I know the bass is sharp. Yes, I know the drums are too busy on the 2nd verse. Yes, the tempo is a tad fast. And yes it needs some solo work on the after-chorus turnarounds. Thanks. 🙂

Enjoy!

We Are Yours

We are the seekers; we are chasing after You

We are relentless; we’ll never cease in our pursuit

We are forgiven; we are the objects of Your grace and mercy

And now we’re hungry for more than what our natural eyes can see

We are an army; our weapons are the ways of love

We are expecting to see Your Kingdom flood the earth

We are so thankful, relieved and grateful that You’ve saved our lives

And now we’re ready to be a people that reflect Heaven’s light

//

We are Yours, We are Yours

We are Yours, We are Yours alone, Lord

//

We are the restless; we’ll persevere until we see

We are rejecting all that the world is offering

We are Your children, we’ve seen Your heart and we have felt Your hand

And now we’re asking, give us the power to fulfill Your plan

//

All consuming fire, loose Your flame among us

Burn a new desire, let Your glory fill us

My home church, Victory Fellowship Church, has just released a new worship album! It’s called “So Close to Me” and features 79 minutes of music and 13 songs.

The CD was recorded live at the church during a night of praise and worship and features many original songs among other favorites of our congregation. This is an actual live album – not one that was recorded live then re-recorded in the studio. A few things were fixed here and there in post-production but there are no overdubs and you can find mistakes if you’re looking for them!

I’m so proud of the praise team at VFC. They are truly a group of servants who genuinely want nothing more than to please the Father. It’s rare to find authentic worship musicians with no pride or ulterior motives and I feel incredibly blessed to be able to lead this team! We pray that as you listen and worship along with us, the same thickness of His presence we felt in our sanctuary that night would find you right where you listen. Check out one the songs on the CD called “Alabaster Jar” below.

We are asking for $10 donations for this CD in order to raise money for new sound equipment. If you’d like to get a copy, they are available at our church or just click HERE to donate $10 (Paypal, Credit/Debit) and pay to have it shipped directly to you.

Have you ever wondered if there is some secret to Christianity that you haven’t uncovered yet? Maybe you see other Christians hearing from God all the time, confident in their faith and doing great while you feel like you’re barely getting by. Some Christians they feel like they’re on the outside looking in. Everyone else “gets it” while they struggle. Everyone else wears their Christianity like a perfectly sized coat while their spiritual clothes just don’t fit right. So many feel that if they could just uncover that special truth, have that one mountaintop experience, or understand that one eye-opening concept – then they’d finally feel like the rest.

Well, I am here to tell you today that I, Jamie Nunnally, posses that super special secret. Are you ready? Really, ready? Cause this could change your life. You’re sure? OK, here it is:

THERE IS NO SECRET.

Seriously. The secret to Christianity is that there is no secret to Christianity. There’s no bestseller book by the latest Christian author you have to read, no sermon you must hear and no divine revelation you must receive. Being a Christian is done by faith. By sheer definition, faith means you don’t always “get it” but you’re willing to trust anyway. It means you don’t always feel like a Christian but you still believe Jesus is saving you. We are called believers, after all!

So if there is no secret, how come we don’t always feel like its working for us but working for others? Well first off, your walk with God is not based on what you feel – its based on constant interaction with God regardless of how you feel. This is the essence of Christianity: Get up in the morning. Spend some time with God (worship+word). Go to work/school/whatever God has set before you and do it as an act of worship to Him. Love (serve) others as best you can. Call on God when you fail. Share Him when you feel prompted. Enjoy your life. Go to bed. Get up in the morning. Wash, rinse repeat.

That’s it. The life of a Christian is a life of being constantly aware of God in your daily life, asking Him to guide you and obeying the best you can. There’s no secret that all the other “good” Christians have. They’ve either been at it longer than you so they’ve had more practice or they’re faking it. Either way, don’t compare yourself to others. That’s not fair to you since you know all your faults but you only know about others what they let you see.

So that’s the secret: there is no secret. Don’t spend your Christian walk chasing after an unattainable benchmark. Just sync up with your Father, through Jesus, and learn to let the Holy Spirit lead you. Do it consistently, everyday and watch how God begins to move in your life.

I just finished a new song called Hope Remains and I wanted to share it with everyone. Still trying to decide if its congregational and appropriate for Sunday morning worship or not. Feel free to weigh in. Our praise team at VFC was supposed to do it for special music last weekend but it just didn’t work out.

Lyrically, I wanted to focus on hope – that eternal, remaining gift from Heaven that seems to always take a backseat to faith and love (1 Cor. 13:13). I wanted to write an anthem that showed what it looked like when we emptied ourselves – our fears, questions and insecurities and just held on to the hope of our salvation through Jesus. The song ends with what is hopefully a very rousing and effective declaration that no matter what life hands us, we will cling to hope and let it be the anchor of our souls (Hebrews 6:19).

Musically, I tried to keep it simple enough to sing but interesting enough that it didn’t sound like everything else. The turnaround and bridge chords/melody are extremely pop-typical so I tried to make the verse and chorus chords/melody a little more unique. And I love the guitar part on top of the chorus (“All that I am…”) – it just sounds so pretty to me.

Ok, so here are the excuses: I recorded all the instruments in 2 hours and all vocals in 30 minutes so its not like this is gonna be high quality, people! But hey, it didn’t cost anything! 🙂 I hope you enjoy the song and pray that you’re encouraged to hold fast hope!

Hope Remains

Hope is rising up and strengthening my faith

The fear that held me back has now begun to fade

 //

All that I am I give away, ‘til nothing is left, just hope remains

//

Hope is sinking in and keeping me secure

And as I trust and wait, I patiently endure

//

All that I am I give away ‘til nothing is left, just hope remains

I’m confident that God will save and as I believe, my hope remains

//

So when the pressure’s building and I can feel the weight

I know my God still loves me I won’t hold back my praise

When disappointment finds me and things don’t go my way

My joy will not be stolen, no one can take my faith

And I won’t stop pursuing,  no I won’t be afraid

Though I’m not sure what’s coming I know that hope remains

//

Whoa, hope remains

So in part one of this series, we discovered that Romans 12:1 is essentially triple dog dare by the Apostle Paul. He was issuing a strong challenge to Christians that he didn’t want them to ignore. So what was he daring them to do? Let’s look at the rest of the verse after the dare (I’m using the Amplified version):

“…and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God…”

Do you keep the mercy of God in view as you move forward? Or do you only use it for your rear view mirror? So many Christians seem to relegate God’s mercy only to their past. Sure, they believe He’s forgiven them for what’s already occurred but while that’s certainly good, its incomplete. Recognizing mercy for your past brings freedom to your personal history but without mercy fueling your hope for the future, you won’t have the confidence to move forward in Him. His mercy is new every morning – not just for yesterday’s sake but for the sake of today! You don’t have to be afraid of mistakes you’ll make today or tomorrow – keep His mercy in view.

“….make a decisive dedication of your bodies….”

Look, you’re not just going to wake up one morning and magically act like Jesus. While you’re here on earth, you have a flesh and your flesh is never going to want to do what’s right.  We say the wrong things, we serve ourselves, we forget our purpose. We Christians have to make the choice everyday – a decisive dedication of our bodies – to walk in the Spirit and not follow the dictates of our flesh. Not saying its easy, but its necessary!

“…a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated)…”

I’ve always heard the word “holy” defined as “set apart.” Thats a good definition. Even better though are the phrases “other than” and “something else.” Holy is the word you use to describe something when all analogies fail. It’s untouched by everything you might compare it to. It stands alone. This is why we tell God He’s holy during worship. He is “other than” anything else. He is “something else.” We are called to be “other than” too: separate from the world and given completely to Him. Have you ever seen on-fire Christians loving others unconditionally, full of faith and changing the environment around them for the better? Now that’s something else!

“…well pleasing to God…”

Wanna make God happy? Impress Him by giving Him all of you. Imagine that you finally saved up enough money to order that brand new car you’ve been dreaming of. You visit the dealership, choose all of your options and make the down payment but weeks later when the car arrives, its missing the steering wheel, the rear bumper and the front right tire. You’d be upset wouldn’t you! Well, God purchased you with the blood of His Son. Imagine how frustrating it is when you hold back and deny access to those parts of you that provide Him with a complete ministry vehicle that He can use. God is not impressed with how loud you sing during worship or how many verses are underlined in your Bible. He is impressed when He gets all that He paid for!

“…which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent)  service/worship”

The Greek word translated here as “reasonable, rational, and intelligent” is logikos where we get the English word “logical.” Not allowing the Amazingly All-Powerful, Incredibly Intelligent King of the Universe full access to your life is just plain illogical. Really, it just makes no sense. What are you afraid of? Be smart – go ahead and go all in!

I encourage you to be 100% totally sold out to Him. Go ahead, try it. What are you waiting for? You’re not gonna get a better deal! He loves you. He wants you. He’s calling you. Answer Him.

I triple dog dare you!

I was warped at an early age.

But it was the good kind of warping. My parents made my brother and I memorize scripture as young children. There’s a story that has reached legendary status in the Nunnally family that tells of my then four-year-old older brother being asked what his name was by a stranger at the beach. He replied, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.” Classic.

One of the verses I memorized as a kid was Romans 12:1. Unfortunately, there weren’t nearly as many Bible translations back then so the New King James was the most modern version around. It started “I beseech you therefore brethren by the mercies of God…” Not exactly kid-friendly vocab, huh? Who the heck says “beseech” anymore?

I was recently reading this verse again and decided to look up all of the different translations for what was originally translated “beseech.” I found that it had been replaced with urge, appeal, beg, and plead in most newer versions. The English definition for the Greek is to “summon, admonish” or “exhort.” Its almost like the translators didn’t quite know how to capture the full depth of what the writer, Paul, was trying to get at. I began thinking about this and was reminded of the “dare scale” used by children on playgrounds and adults who never grow up. As a reminder, if one of your friends wants to dare you to do something, they can employ any of the following dare options:

1. The basic dare. Ex: Dude, there’s that girl you like. I dare you to go talk to her. This is used when the dare-ee would probably do the dare without being dared to begin with. The problem with the basic dare is that it can easily be ignored.

2. The double dare. Ex: You don’t wanna talk to her? Come on, I double dare you, bro. Now we’ve taken this thing up a step. You can’t just ignore a double dare. The dare-er has just given the dare-ee something to think about.

3. The double dog dare. Ex:  You’re such a chicken. Just do it man. I double dog dare you! Ok, this has all of the sudden gotten serious. Not taking a double dog dare will subject you to ridicule for days, even weeks and is fair game for all future proof of wussiness. Game on, baby. Game on. (Note: some less civilized areas of the country use the “double dirty dog” or “double dirty dead dog” dare, but this is not recommended as I think we can all agree its beneath us.)

4. The triple dog dare. Ex: This is so ridiculous! I can’t believe you! You’re such a pansy! Go talk to her! I triple dog dare you! Ok, now we’ve reached critical mass and the triple dog dare has been used. This is essentially a kill-shot by the dare-er where they are pulling rank and demanding the dare be done.  No person in their right mind would ignore a triple dog dare. You just don’t do that. It doesn’t matter how awful the dare is, not performing a triple-dog dare is much worse.

I think the Apostle Paul is handing the Romans a triple dog dare here. He’s essentially saying Look, there’s really no other option here. Quit dragging your feet, just bite the bullet and do it already.

So now that we’ve established the importance of Paul’s triple dog dare, what is he daring us to do? Whats so important that he uses the trump card of all dares? We’ll look at that in the next post…