Posts Tagged ‘Jesus Christ’

Just finished a new song called “Now Is the Time.” This is meant to be a fast praise song/opener for a contemporary worship service. I wanted to write something that captured the essence of making a quality decision to follow Jesus. I wanted a no-turning-back-once-and-for-all-I’ve-made-my-decision song where we could declare together “God, I’m done with doing things my way – it’s all about you from here on out.”

The bridge to this song was written by my good friend Jim Courtney. He got the lines “I lift my hands with purpose…” one Sunday morning when the praise team was in prayer before the service. He just handed me the scribbled lyrics and I immediately knew they’d make a great summarizing bridge to this song which, at that time, was about half-written.

Hope you enjoy. Its just a demo, but I think you can get the idea of the song. VFC’ers, you might wanna go ahead and learn this one. 🙂

Now is the Time

I’m ready to answer the call

I’m ready to give my all

I lay aside the weight of sin

I’m pushing on and pressing in

//

Now is the time, today is the day

I’m getting tired of being in the way

Oh Jesus, It’s all about You now

Now is the time for stepping aside

I’m leaving my independence and pride

Oh Jesus, It’s all about You now.

//

I’m ready to run the race

I’m ready to take my place

I lay aside the weight of sin

I’m pushing on and pressing in

//

I lift my hands with purpose

I raise my voice to sing

The life that I’ve been given

Becomes my offering

© Jamie Nunnally 2011

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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…

I want to share a new song with everyone! It’s a break from the typical worship stuff I do and is more along the lines of a Christian radio song. I’m actually planning on entering this one into a songwriting contest. While my focus and passion is worship music, I like to try to write songs for all purposes and genres just to see if I can. Usually, I can’t. 🙂

The song started out as a boy/girl love song and eventually morphed into a monologue by God (Godologue?) to those who have rejected Him. I began to consider what it would sound like if God wrote a love song to the people that didn’t accept His “advances.” He’s essentially pleading with them here to reconsider their choice and make sure they grasp the full ramifications of a life without Him. Pretty heavy stuff. I tried to match the music to the subject’s tone by using “pretty” chords, a haunting melody and lots of dynamics. Hopefully it captures both the beauty of grace and the heartache of rejection. God is not to be pitied. But I believe His heart is affected when the creation He loves doesn’t respond to His call.

On a technical note, there is some distortion throughout, especially in the very beginning that is not on the original recording but is due to the free (read: sucky) service I use to post music on here. If you want a high-quality MP3 just message me.

Please let me know what you think!

I Can’t Be Here

Are you sure you understand

That if you do not take my hand

You reject the Son I sent

And love that’s closer than a friend?

//

Don’t you know and can’t you see

I’ll be gone, ‘cause you told me to leave

If you’ll cry out I’ll wipe your tears

But you have said I can’t be here

//

Are you sure you comprehend

That if you say this is the end

What you’ve done I can’t defend

And you’ll be on your own again?

//

Can you see, do you know

Will this be what you want

In a week, in a month

Down the road, later on?

//

Are you sure you’ve thought of when

This world you chase is gone again

Will your choice to serve your sin

Have consequence you don’t intend?

© 2011 Jamie Nunnally

Its fun to think about what Heaven will be like. During my years as a Youth Pastor my students were constantly asking me things like, “Will our pets be in heaven?” “Will we recognize each other there?” “What in the world will we do for all that time?” My favorite is the last question. I mean, eternity…gosh. What are we gonna do? Unfortunately the media has filled our heads with images of pudgy babies strumming harps on clouds. Man, that’s boring!

The Book of Revelation paints a much different picture of our upcoming Heavenly experience. In Revelation 4 the throne room of God is described in detail and man, its anything but boring! Crazy creatures, thunder and lightening, and insanely passionate 24/7 worship! Later in chapter 7, the saints get in on the action in a fiery, fervent display of heartfelt adoration. How fun would it be to be a part of that?!

I started thinking about Heaven’s worship circus one day and ending up writing the song “Glory in the Highest.” It attempts to remind worshipers that we have the awesome opportunity to begin practicing for our future heavenly praise party. For now, our services may only be a mere taste of whats to come, but even so, when we join in with the angels, we can experience a measure of His glory here on earth.

Glory in the Highest

Deep inside Heaven’s gates, there is found a throne of praise

The angels sing night and day, the saints adore His holy name

//

Glory, honor and power to the Maker of all things

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

//

Glory in the highest, Glory in the highest

Glory in the highest, He Reigns, He reigns

//

As we join heaven’s song, the angels dance and sing along

When we seek His holy face, His glory falls and fills this place

© 2010 Jamie Nunnally

This is one of the most confusing songs I’ve ever written. After being challenged by a line in a book by Bill Johnson, I had started praying that God would allow me to introduce one of Heaven’s songs to Earth. Several weeks later I literally woke up with the chorus to this song in my head. I jumped out of bed all groggy and recorded a scratchy-voiced sample so I wouldn’t forget it. I knew I had never heard it before but it seemed so familiar. I’m fully aware this could be interpreted as flaky at best and pure arrogance at worst but I genuinely believe this chorus is a heavenly song. The problem is, what do I do with something like that?

I began to sing just the chorus as a “tag” on the end of other songs during worship and ministry times at church and could really sense purpose behind it. Wanting to use it somehow, I made it the bridge to another song that I had been working on called “I Am Not Ashamed” but in the end, it just didn’t seem to fit. Then, I wrote verses and a bridge around it and turned it into a song about praising God regardless of the trials life can bring, a la “Praise You in the Storm” by Casting Crowns. It wasn’t bad. The problem was, while it was worshipful, it wasn’t a worship song – more like something you’d hear for offering music. Finally, I wrote the song in its current congregational worship form and feel really comfortable with it.

Musically, I decided to make this a quieter piano-based song for the recording instead of the typical full-band effort. Once I introduce it to our congregation we’ll probably have more instrumentation but for now, I like the quiet intimacy of the piano.  Special thanks to my older brother Sam for playing the keyboard on this as I play the piano like Joaquin Phoenix raps.

You Are So Good to Me

When You found me I was unworthy

I earned judgment but You loved mercy

Now your grace falls and makes me holy

You’re calling me

You’re drawing me to You

//

God Almighty, Lord of Glory

You are so good to me, so good to me

//

You’re not looking for perfection

Your desire is connection

So now I’m changing my direction

You’re calling me

You’re drawing me closer

//

Your thoughts are higher

Your ways are better

Your love is deeper

I’m bound no longer

© Jamie Nunnally 2010