The Blessing of a Song

Photo by Jefferson Santos on Unsplash


These days, watching the news or scrolling through social media often leaves me feeling discouraged and drained. The world is chaotic, full of noise. High tensions. Pointing fingers.

But Christians are called to stand firm in the faith, to be rooted in Christ, and to be examples of how to live boldly, and to be examples of how to live righteously in such confusing times.

I want to thank Bruce Nevin Haines for submitting the song “To Raise the Standard,” which reminds us of the importance of laying everything down at the cross for the sake of true peace. Please enjoy this timely and poignant song. I hope you are encouraged today.

—Dyane



Bruce Nevin Haines, singer-songwriter

Maryland-based singer-songwriter Bruce Nevin Haines developed a passion for songwriting at an early age. He has penned over 200 songs, and he strives for each one to resonate with life-changing truth and emotion. His influences are varied, but Haines prefers the acoustic guitar-driven styles of Bruce Cockburn and Dan Fogelberg. He is married to his wife of over 35 years, Carole, and has three adult children. For more, visit him on Soundcloud and YouTube.

Music Monday: Gracefully Broken, by Tasha Cobbs Leonard

A sister in Christ sent me this song, and I instantly fell in love with it. If you are broken, had a rough 2018 and are looking for encouragement and purpose for 2019, or if you just want musical support to help you approach our wonderful Heavenly Father, listen and receive His blessing.

Let’s start 2019 strong in the Lord!

 

 

“I’m holding nothing back

I surrender!”

From “Gracefully Broken”

 

Be blessed! Looking forward to a great 2019 with you!

–Delia

We are Called to Love

It’s easy to fall into a rut in our Christianity. We choose the music we like and have our pick of worship artists to listen to. The market is flooded with books that encourage godly living and promote clean, Christian content. And, thanks to Netflix and other sources, we can easily tune-in to Christian shows or movies. Not a bad deal, right?

What about our online communications? Well, after surfing the Net a while, we often find our ‘niches’ and settle in to build virtual relationships with people we have things in common with.

People of similar values.

Similar ideas or world view.

Similar methods of worshipping.

In short, people we feel comfortable with.  

A few weeks ago, I realized how set I was in my ways. I’d recently joined Instagram (find me there at: christian.creative.nexus) and have been posting images and links from this blog on that platform. Things were going alright. The number of followers increased at a reasonable rate. Until I posted the link to my Freaky Friday Music Jam post on Andy Mineo, a Christian rapper I really like. Apparently, a lot of other people like him, too!

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My Instagram exploded with likes and follows. I was thrilled, thinking : ‘This is great! What an amazing response!’

Then l looked closer at who was responding. Mostly rappers and music producers and their threads featured images of a lifestyle that is…atypical of a ‘squeaky-clean Christian’. It’s true that just because Andy Mineo is a Christian, and surely he has a lot of Christian followers, it’s also true that he could have many followers who aren’t Christian. That seemed to be the case, because it wasn’t clear from the threads belonging to the new followers if they were Christian or not.

I struggled with how to respond and asked God for wisdom. My first concern was how Nexus followers might react if I followed back. As you probably have experienced, there’s an almost overwhelming urge to reciprocate when someone follows you. But, as a Christian, the last thing I want to do is be a stumbling block to a brother or sister.

New Living Translation : 1 Corinthians 8:9
But you must be careful so that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble.

 

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Also, personally, I wasn’t keen on having my thread regularly filled with some of those images.

At church on Sunday, our pastor was preaching about the sovreignty of God. That sent my mind in various directions, and one of the thoughts that made me pause was this :

1- Christians come in all shapes and sizes and from different backgrounds.

2- In this case, my brothers and sisters in Christ are battling it out every day in the music and movie businesses, some of the most notoriously difficult missions around.

3- They have to overcome temptations, stresses, and spiritual attacks and traps at a level I know nothing about.

4- Not only all that, but the eyes of the world are constantly watching them.

I felt bad. Bad for not seeing it like that before, and bad for being more concerned about what people thought of me rather than looking beyond that to the needs of my brothers and sisters who need support.

Romans 14:13-23 English Standard Version (ESV)

Do Not Cause Another to Stumble

13 Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. 14 I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. 15 For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died.16 So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. 19 So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.

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I wanted to write this post as a means of standing with those warriors, to shed light on a situation that I don’t hear many people talking about, and to express my committment to praying for them. I hope to encourage others to pray for them as well.

I don’t claim to understand everything about God and His ways. Sometimes, the Bible seems confusing and difficult to understand, and we struggle to know how to act in a godly manner. What I’ve written about today is something I’m still chewing on, but one thing I do know: God loves all His children and we are supposed to love one another, too. We might not understand each other’s calling, or how we enact it, but we are called to love and pray for one another, not to judge. 

We are one Family. There is one Body of Christ. We must lift each other up!

New Living Translation John 13:35
“Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

 

Music Monday: “Background” – Lecrae feat C-Lite

I’ve been thinking a lot about what kinds of posts to add to the blog, and one topic that frequently comes to mind is how to deal with disappointment. Disappointment when our dreams don’t turn out the way we expect, disappointment when we don’t get that deal, contract, interview, or whatever. Disappointment that we aren’t as popular or as successfuls as someone else. 

Or, the opposite. What if success suddenly falls into our laps? Are we ready for it? Do we have the supports and structures in place to survive a sudden influx of work and responsibilities? Can our egos cope with it? What about our family and friends?

There are tons of variables, too many to name. But the one thing that remains true is that whatever our situation, we need to submit to God. He knows the plans He has for us, knows the timing for each aspect of that plan, and has measures put in place to support us in failure and in success.

If we look to Him, submit our plans, hopes, and dreams to Him, we can accomplish our work with the full confidence that He is managing everything by the power of His more than capable hands.

I love this song Background by Lacrae (feat. C-Lite). I’ve listened to is many times but yesterday it really hit me. Probably because I also need constant reminding to trust God with everything and to look for Him for my success.

I hope you enjoy the song. The lyrics are included, which will make it easier to follow. Please listen with an open mind and heart. If we truly give our hearts, gifts, and talent to God, there’s no limit to what He can do with us.

Blessings on this Monday morning!

Freaky Friday Music Jam: ‘You Will’ by Andy Mineo

One of the best discoveries I’ve made on Spotify is Christian rap and hip hip. Rap and hip hop are not my favorite music genres, but whether I’m at the gym or cleaning, they get me fired up and make unpleasant activities seem less, well, unpleasant. (I’m looking at you , Treadmill!) I enjoy the rhythms, the rhyming, the God-focused messages, and one thing that is often lacking in Christianity today: an often bold, in-your-face message that makes you look long and hard at yourself.
Andy Mineo was an amazing discovery. Often playful, deep, and usually moving, his music is amongst my favorites. I had wanted to post the video for You Can’t Stop Me but the words are so fast that it’d be hard to follow. Also, I find the video might be distracting when what I hope people focus on are the amazing lyrics. So, I am posting You Will, another great song with a poignant message for anyone struggling in their walk with God. If you’re feeling lost, discouraged, misunderstood, or rejected, this song is for you. Look up! God is on your side and nothing can change that. Every promise He made to you, He will fulfill in His time and in His way.
So, enjoy this song, follow the lyrics. And if you’re like me, you’ll need A LOT of space to jump around, and maybe even head bang. A little.
Happy viewing!

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