[unmentionables 4.0] the dating game.

I haven’t always loved talking about dating. This is a relatively new thing for me. When I started leading girls at Disciple Now weekends, they started asking me about relationships and what college boys are like. Yes. That happened…real life. I had to get comfortable sharing my experiences pretty quickly. I also quickly learned that there are a lot of different opinions out there about whether Christians girls and guys should be dating.

And so the great debate is this: Is it okay for us to date?

First of all…yowza. You ask a circle of people this question and you’ll get a circle of different answers. My friends and [unmentionables] co-bloggers have lots of different experiences and opinions regarding this question.

One friend points out that every person and relationship have their own story, reactions, and consequences. Everyone is different. There are some relationships that have very positive outcomes and there are some instances where you have to learn lessons the hard way. This friend was in a relationship that left her incredibly insecure and she drags the baggage from that relationship into every other that she has. Not just romantic – these insecurities, regrets, and weights follow her into relationships with her friends and family, as well.

Another friend says that she has dating experience and she’s glad to have dated other guys. She says, “I’m definitely not glad I have dated every guy that I have, but there is one in particular that I really learned a lot from. And that was the first one. The first guy I dated was not the guy for me. He didn’t turn out to be husband material. That being said, I learned how important communication is in a relationship. I learned it from him and our relationship that failed because we could not communicate. I can’t tell you how glad I am that I learned that lesson before I met my boyfriend, who is absolutely husband material (we just aren’t there yet).”

It’s so easy to have regrets regarding past relationships and then let that regret follow you around. What’s hard to do is to let it go. It’s so difficult for us to let God have our struggles and live in the freedom that results. Why is that? Wouldn’t that seem easier?

If you’re new to the dating scene and you aren’t sure what you want or should want, know this: It’s your choice. You can choose to see guys as brothers in Christ and cultivate relationships with them that center on seeking God or you can choose to put your desires first. You can choose to enter into a relationship that honors God or you can choose to put yourself in a situation that may result in regret and baggage.

If you’re a seasoned, dating veteran, remember this: You may have made bad decisions in the past, but that doesn’t mean you have to continue. One of my favorite verses is Psalm 34:18, “God is near to the brokenhearted.” You can let the burden go and make way for a Christ-driven relationship. You don’t have to live in the shadow of the past. 2 Samuel 22:29 says, “…my God lightens my darkness.” Then again, you may not have any regrets at all. You may have had a series of relationships that left you with happy memories, strong friendships, and plenty of positive life experiences…and there’s nothing wrong with that!

A guy friend says that dating just for the sake of dating isn’t healthy, whereas dating for marriage is. He says, “When we view dating through the lens of marriage, we see that it’s not just about finding a girlfriend, it’s about pursuing a bride.” Committing ourselves emotionally can be just as dangerous as committing ourselves physically outside the covenant of marriage. Some people have this false idea that when we date around and we’re not making physical commitments, then there’s no harm.

Another guy friend says, “Any dating relationship should have marriage as the goal. That’s not to say that asking someone out is a proposal, but it should be working toward that end. Otherwise both people are wasting their time.”

If a relationship isn’t on the path towards marriage, then what are we doing? Our culture says that guys need girls for sex and girls need guys for love. Where does marriage fit into that equation? It doesn’t.

We have a chance to end the idea that young people must constantly be in a relationship to be happy and fulfilled. What would our lives look like if we made the choice to be in love with and in full pursuit of the Savior? What would our hearts look like?

Dating is always a touchy subject in Christian circles. Some people are all for dating around and having life experiences, while others are really shut off to the idea of dating until you meeting your future spouse. While you can gain a lot of positive life experiences and make a lot of great memories in a relationship, when that courtship doesn’t follow God’s will or isn’t done in a biblical manner, problems can arise and sometimes regret can sink in. A guy told me that dating is really fun and that companionship is one of the greatest things that God has blessed us with. He’s so right! When we respect each other and honor God above all things in a relationship, it can be one of the greatest gifts.

Advice from an [unmentionables] collaborator:

I feel the best way to learn about successful marriages is to look at the examples of others who glorify God better together than apart. Proverbs 15:22 states “plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” Seeking the direction of an older married couple or woman even in your dating life helps you learn without tying yourself to emotional heartache that carries into your future marriage.

[next up: making the most of your single status.]

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[unmentionables 3.0] an unprotected heart.

I read a book called, “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” [IKDG] by Joshua Harris. One of the first things in this book is about going through life in a series of short-term relationships. There’s a girl who has a dream that all of her groom’s ex-girlfriends were lined up behind him on their wedding day. Think about having all of your past baggage and relationship mistakes with you at the altar. Imagine having all of your ex-boyfriends or girlfriends standing in a line next to you. Not only could that potentially be incredibly uncomfortable, but what would they have to say about you?

Would they mention all the promises you’d made to them about a future together? Would they stand there feeling betrayed and misled?

One of my guy friends thinks this idea is dumb. Ha! Isn’t it interesting how girls and guys view things? When I read this in IKDG, I thought, “Oh, man! That makes so much sense! How humiliating…oh wait…they’re not literally standing next to you…but still!”

One of my [unmentionables] collaborators says that she connects songs, restaurants, movies and places with past boyfriends. She assumes that it will be hard to create a life centered around joyful moments with her future husband when places they go to or things they do may bring up past hurts. She said her youth minster once told her that each thing you do with a boyfriend prior to your husband is one less thing you save for him. This is true not only with sexual boundaries but with other experiences as well.

Whether we want to admit it or not, each relationship, each kiss, each indulgence is like taking a piece of our heart and giving it to someone else. Then we stand there on our wedding day to give whatever is left to our future bride or groom. For some, there’s a lot to offer. For others, we have scraps of our hearts left to offer up. This can be caused by past relationships, physical abuse, emotional abuse, etc.

An [unmentionables] friend says, “My heart is full and I could right now, today get married to my boyfriend and he wouldn’t get some chipped-away-at heart. Sure, I’ve been hurt, I’ve had sex before, but thinking your heart is anything less than full and perfect because you have loved another is the work of the devil, who wants to make you feel worthless…God had forgiven me a long time ago. I just had to forgive myself. My heart has never been fuller.”

Later, we’ll talk about forgiveness and redemption – healing our hearts. We’ll talk about how Christ makes them whole again.

Another analogy that an [unmentionables] collaborator shared is that our hearts are like stickers. When we give our hearts to someone, it’s like taking that sticker and sticking it on them. When we want to take our sticker back, we have to peel it off and it leaves behind that sticky residue stuff – a piece of our heart. If we keep sticking and unsticking it on someone, it loses its stickiness. Dating before marriage does have its benefits in some situations; there are lessons to learn and relationships to build. However, not every relationship will have its benefits. Some can leave us bruised and broken. These relationships harden our hearts.

[next up: dating.]

Advice from an [unmentionables] friend:

Guard your heart. My friend mentions how men often give “love” to get sex and women tend to give sex because they want love. (This is something that is talked about a lot in Shannon Ethridge’s “Every Young Woman’s Battle.”) When a woman wants emotional support and attention, she tends to accept physical needs. As women, we have this intense desire to be loved. Sometimes that desire goes so far and is so intense that we’re willing to do just about anything to feel loved.

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[unmentionables 2.0] a bit about wedding season.

I’m at that stage in my life where I’ve seen every episode of “Say Yes to the Dress.”

Wedding season is always an emotional roller-coaster for me. I’m also that girl at every wedding that’s crying. It’s amazing how easily I can cry. I’ve always said I’m not a “cry-er”…I’m more like a “weep-er.”

“Always a bridesmaid (or wedding guest) never a bride.” That’s so stupid. Whoever came up with that phrase should be…she should be…she’s the bane of my existence whoever she is. And we aaalll know it was a “she!”

Wedding season does have positives for us single ladies. For one, we get to see dozens of examples of weddings. We make note of all of the little things we like and copy and paste in our brains the things we don’t like.

Recently, I experienced a low point. One of those, “no one will ever want me or love me or want to marry me so I’ll never have children and always just be the cool aunt and teach other people’s kids and I’ll be a sad lonely old woman that has a bunch of cats and people pity” kind of days. Okay…more like weeks. Then I attended a wedding that was so very Christ-centered that it snapped me back to reality.

It really was an important moment in my journey down the path of self-pity. God’s timing is always better than mine. Why would I want to rush into a relationship just for the sake of being in a relationship? If I’m not ready in God’s eyes, then I’d be a crap girlfriend. Been there, done that. If I’d be a crap girlfriend, then that can only lead to being a crap wife. We all deserve an awesome, Christ-centered relationship and marriage because we are children of the creator of the Universe. That’s something worth waiting for. When I’m busy feeling sorry for myself, I miss out on rejoicing with my friends in the love that they’ve found.

When I was in early high school, I was feeling discouraged because all of my friends were dating and I felt like nobody wanted me. I remember talking to a friend about how I was feeling and she said that I should start dating. That way, I will know what I want in a husband and I’ll already have some relationship experience when I meet “him.”

I’m really old fashioned. I’m not the type to just walk up to any ol’ Joe and ask him to the sock hop. (Did I take the old fashioned theme too far?) Don’t date so that you can weed out the bad ones. There’s a great Gardener doing the weeding and upkeep for you. He’s handling the hard part. You just have to hold tight. I’m not saying its wrong to date…I’m just saying that there’s a lot of awesome things that come from waiting, which we’ll talk about more in future posts of this series.

Patiently wait for His best.

One of my friends says that she didn’t seek to glorify God in her past relationships. She also didn’t strive to guard her heart. These both taught her important lessons, but also cause her to bring a lot of emotional baggage into her future marriage. I hope my husband will love me for me and not for how much dating experience I’ve had.

Our Christian culture tends to lean towards teachings about finding the right person, when in reality we should be striving to be the right person.

“He’s the one…”

“She’s the one…”

What about you? Are YOU the one? Are you being the best version of yourself? A guy friend told me once, “Every girl wants Prince Charming right now, but they don’t realize that their prince may not be ready yet. Girls will chase after any guy who gives them attention hoping that they’ll somehow grow into the man they dreamed of, but not every frog turns out to be a prince.” Wouldn’t it be best if we entered into a relationship when God says we’re ready, when we know we’re ready, and when we know the other person is ready? Let’s just all be ready! Relationships can suffer when the timing isn’t right. This is especially true if friends become a romantic couple before the time is right. Some damages seem irreparable. Don’t worry. We’ll talk more next week about dating! My friends have given me a lot of different opinions! Exciting stuff!

I remember the first time I read Song of Solomon 8:4, “Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires” (NIV). I also love the NLT version, “Promise me, O women of Jerusalem, not to awaken love until the time is right.” I love the idea of making a covenant with God, promising Him that we won’t push the boundaries of ourselves and His will and that we will wait until the time is right.

I love this post by Michael Lawrence!

[next up: an unprotected heart.]

Advice from an [unmentionables] friend:

Get to know guys in groups. Develop friendships before anything else. Sure, you’ll have that chemistry right off the bat – in many cases. But take things slowly times a billion. Don’t be alone with a guy. If there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that regardless of how well you think you have self-control…you don’t.

You know I’ve always got a song to relate things to! This is one of my favorites by Christy Nockels, “Already All I Need.”

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[unmentionables 1.0] a new series on the things we don’t talk about.

Nobody likes to talk about the hard stuff. I think most of that comes from conflicting ideas about what Christians should and shouldn’t be doing regarding sex and relationships. Nobody wants to look like a “bad Christian” for having different ideas. Nobody wants to have people’s opinions of them changed.

I want to preface by saying I’m not writing to damn those who have already fallen to sexual temptation. And by “fallen”, I don’t mean beyond the reach of help. And by “help”, I don’t mean you are downtrodden and that I’m looking down my nose at you. Most of us are victims of sexual temptations, be it thoughts or actions. Those who aren’t are either really blessed or lying.

I’ve been reading a few books about sexual temptations and the Christian life. I’m not going to be one of those people who pretends that they don’t deal with sexual temptations. I’m a human being, after all. A 20-something college student human person. That’s a recipe for disaster.

One of the books I’ve been reading is called, “Every Young Woman’s Battle: Guarding Your Mind, Heart, and Body in a Sex-Saturated World” by Shannon Ethridge and Stephen Arterburn. Whew…that’s a really long title! I didn’t realize it until I started typing it! I’m going to write a series on sexual temptations and the Christian life. Don’t know why…I just think I’m supposed to.

I also don’t think I’m supposed to do it alone.

That’s right! I’ve got a group of awesome ladies who have agreed to be guest bloggers and collaborators for this series. This new series about the “tough stuff” is going to be written using 7 brains. That’s a lot of information and a lot of life experiences. I really believe God will utilize this partnership for His glory and that together, we can encourage others. I’ve even managed to wrangle up some guys to give their perspective on a few things!

Be looking for posts in this new series: Unmentionables.

I’m really excited about this project. If you want to follow along with this series, make sure you’re subscribed so you’ll be notified when a new post is up! Email me your thoughts if you have something to say at a2911student@gmail.com

Some of the books I’ll be referencing are:

“Lady in Waiting” by Jackie Kendall and Debby Jones

“I Kissed Dating Goodbye” by Joshua Harris

“Every Young Woman’s Battle” by Shannon Ethridge and Stephen Arterburn

“The Fantasy Fallacy” by Shannon Ethridge

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a lesson on architecture.

{Yeah…you knew I couldn’t stay away for long!}

I remember hearing a speaker debunk the term “cornerstone.” I remember thinking about Coldstone Creamery everytime he said “cornerstone.” Nothing can distract you like ice cream.

A cornerstone is a foundation stone. It’s the first stone set in the foundation, in a structure. So everything revolves around this one stone. How the entire structure is set is based on the placement of this one stone. If it’s tilted or off by even a little bit – the whole structure suffers.

Jesus is the cornerstone of our faith. Ephesians 2:20 says, “Together, we are His house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus Himself (NLT). Paul wouldn’t write that the whole Christian faith was dependent upon the placement of the one Jesus if He wasn’t solidly, firmly planted…a firm foundation. No amount of weight or heavy storm can sway this Cornerstone. He is unmoving – firmly planted. Those built on this Cornerstone rely on His steadfastness.

The old hymn “The Solid Rock” tells of being supported during the storms of life, when floods overwhelm. It talks of hope being built on His righteousness. “I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly trust in Jesus’ name.” As a part-English major…the imagery and metaphors in this hymn bring a smile to my face. There’s no house of temptation, no structure of self-reliance, or any kind of brick and mortar life that can sustain your life like the frame built on the one and true Cornerstone. Nothing stems from this base that can be moved.

The way a cornerstone is for a structure, an anchor is to a ship. Hebrews 6:19 says, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure…” (NIV). An anchor may be out in the ocean, but when it’s set in the ocean floor, it’s not going anywhere. It digs in and sets up shop until the ship is ready to move along.

“In every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil.”

Life moves on around me so quickly that I have to stop and catch my breath sometimes. I get lost in the storm and make decisions that I regret just because I have no idea what’s going on! I hate feeling out of control. While the world may spin on, He’s there…waiting for me. Cool, calm and collected. Talk, dark, and handsome. No? …why not? My anchor holds… The one holding me down – holding me together – holds strong. He doesn’t let go…doesn’t move…isn’t swayed. He’s standing firm and sure.

Hillsong United’s song “Cornerstone” uses the hymn I talked about before and adds a new chorus. I can’t tell you how often I listen to this song. I love the acoustic (chapel) version, too. I especially love the lyric, “…weak made strong in the Savior’s love.” I am weak. I am so weak. But in the Savior’s love, alone, I am strong. When I recognize the Cornerstone my hope is founded upon, my strength is there. All other ground is sinking sand. 

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the last you’ll see…

…for a while, probably.

I’ve had some people ask me why I haven’t been posting…I’ve had neither time nor inspiration since my last post. I’m sure now that I’ve posted this, a flood of posts will come pouring into my brain and I’ll start blogging again. Maybe that’s what I need.

But for now, farewell, blogosphere. I’m taking a wee break from you, old friend.

Until next time,

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the social media blurb.

I’m a terrible blogger. I weave in and out of writing, get busy, forget, remember, get excited, write, post, then forget again. Sometimes I have this revelation and think, “Ah..I’d like to write that down somewhere.” That’s when I’m come cyber running back here. Hey, friends. It’s been a while.

I experienced another Disciple Now this last weekend. I’ll be honest…I was very nervous about this one. I can’t explain why…I just felt like I didn’t have anything to offer up to the girls in my group.

Saturday morning, my co-leader and I felt like we’d hit a wall with our students. We read aloud what we thought was a pretty simple verse, but the girls just didn’t quite understand what was being said. We struggled and scratched for them to take the text deeper, but we just kept rearranging the words and finding synonyms in the hopes that we’d just move on.

I’m sure the girls could feel how frustrated we were. We so desperately didn’t want them to leave without feeling the gravity of the gospel that we made it about us.

We just wanted to be good teachers. We wanted to be good leaders. I’m sure somewhere deep down I wanted one of my students to stand up in front of all the other students and talk about how great of a leader I was and how much she learned from me.

What is that??

The moment we become so selfish as to beat the gospel into people for our own sakes is the moment we lose everything Christ lived and died for.

After sharing my frustrations with other leaders, I realized what I was saying. The more times I verbalized my feelings, the more I understood how selfish I was being. Since when is sharing the gospel about me?

The gospel speaks for itself, first of all. We read through some of Romans 8 to try and help the girls to understand the gravity of the lesson and all of a sudden it all clicked. I didn’t serenade the girls with my fantastic reading skills. I’m a master reader…my professor told me so. God’s word shone through the darkness of our confusion and clarified and enlightened.

Why do we do that? Why do we try so hard to get the world to see us as a “good Christian”? I don’t even know what that means? What on earth is a “good Christian”? None of us are good. We’re depraved and sinful, but the love of God changes us and it’s by His grace and mercy that we are able to serve Him and His people.

I started realizing how we use social media to up our Christian status. I scrolled through my Facebook news feed and found statuses directed to God. Those prayers aren’t kept private, between ourselves and God. What’s the point of posting them? So people will “like” them? What does that do? Does it get to God’s ears faster?

I post song lyrics, yes. I post Bible verses, yeah. What’s the purpose? Am I doing it so people will “like” it and see that I’m an active Christian? Or am I doing it because it’s something God put on my heart to share in the hopes that someone that needs that encouragement will see it?

There’s probably not even anyone that reads these posts, but I write them in the hopes that someone is on the same page as me. Or that someone can find encouragement that they aren’t the only one.

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my daily Spurgeon.

I have this really great app on my phone called “Spurgeon Morning and Evening” which has some kind of post – you guessed it – every morning and evening. I’m a Spurgeon fan. Who’s Spurgeon, you ask?

Charles Spurgeon was an English preacher during the late 1800s. He wrote dozens of books which have been translated into many languages and is quoted in sermons every day across the world. He’s one of the most influential Christians to date. That’s quite a legacy.

Spurgeon wrote a book called Morning and Evening: Daily Readings, which is what this app is all about. Both this book and the app have daily readings for both morning and evening for a year. I love the convenience of having Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening on my phone so that I can recap or reread wherever I am.

Reading Spurgeon every day is like reading a Shakespearean sonnet of love and devotion to Christ Jesus. His words are like those in the King James bible with the “thou” and “thy”s, but it’s strangely refreshing. These daily readings make me stop and really think. Not only do I have to really process what he’s saying sometimes, but I also have to translate it to make sense in my brain. It’s really beautiful. This is a daily reading where I don’t catch myself glazing over the words or skimming just to come up with a summary.

Both of today’s readings were about prayer. Prayer is something that is sorely taken for granted. We get to speak directly to the Creator of the universe and know that we are heard. How amazing is that? I’ve decided in the last few months not to tell people that I’m praying for them unless I’m willing to commit to actually praying for them. All my life I’ve both said and heard people say, “I’ll be praying for you.” I know in my life, I’ve said those words and not always followed through. I don’t want to give people that feeling of being prayed for if I’m not willing to actually do it. Since I made that commitment, my prayers have become stronger. If I decide to verbally tell someone I’m going to pray for them, I know that I’ve made a promise and I’m going to follow through with it. Christ gave His life to close the gap between the Father and I. I won’t take that for granted. I’m not sure if we throw out the word “pray” too much, or if we don’t say it enough.

One of my favorite quotes from today’s readings is something that I posted on The Twitter. (Yes, I’m aware it’s not actually called “The” Twitter.)

If that isn’t encouraging and reassuring…I don’t know what is. The morning reading also says,

“Think not that your prayer, however weak or trembling, will be unregarded. Jacob’s ladder is lofty, but our prayers shall lean upon the Angel of the covenant and so climb is starry rounds. Our God not only hears prayer but also loves to hear it.”

No prayer is too low for the God of my heart to hear. There is no cry or tear that is beneath Him. He wants us to lay our worries at His feet. 1 Peter 5:7 says for us to cast our anxiety on Him because He cares for us!

I encourage you to get this book of daily readings or download this app. If you can’t do either, websites like these have email subscriptions where you can get the morning and evening readings sent directly to your email account every day:

http://www.heartlight.org/spurgeon/

http://www.christianity.com/devotionals/morning-and-evening-charles-spurgeon/

Or if you’re on The Twitter, you can follow the “Prince of Preachers”, himself…

“God cares about little things…He really does.” (John Piper)

Currently reading Twelve Extraordinary Women by John MacArthur (and I’m obsessed with it.)

a reaction to a rap movement.

I stole this from Instagram. This was taken by Andy Mineo (@andymineo).

I’m probably the least reliable blogger in the blogosphere. I write when I have something to write about. I feel like that’s better than just writing for the purpose of writing…maybe that’s just me.

This weekend, I had the privilege to attend a concert on my college campus. I attend the University of Texas at Arlington (Go Mavs!) and we have a new arena on our campus that opened in March. We’ve hosted Drake, Passion Pit, Flo Rida, and soon we’ll have Rick Ross on our campus. I didn’t or don’t have tickets to any of those shows. My first concert in this new College Park Center was 116 and it’s a concert I’ll never forget.

The Unashamed tour consists of Christian artists such as Andy Mineo, KB, Derek Minor (formerly known as PRo), Trip Lee, Tedashii, and Lecrae. We’re talking about Christian rap, here. I’ve talked about these guys before in this post and also a bit here. If you aren’t familiar with the latest Christian rap movement, you’re thinking of some kind of hokey, groovy rap that is a thing of the past. These guys are completely in tune with different aspects of the rap culture, but are proclaiming the name of Jesus through their incredibly Biblical lyrics. At the concert, my friend and I would catch ourselves no longer jamming and rocking to the songs, but being still…just taking in the lyrics.

I’m still reeling from the incredible messages of hope and life that were shared on that stage. Also I’m still freaking out because it was such a great show…very entertaining to say the least. Those guys are all over the place…SO much energy that I could feel it up on the balcony.

6,500 people heard theoe messages + those 6,500 people went home or tweeted and shared those messages. That’s a movement, my friends.

One of my favorite moments from the concert was when Lecrae said something along the lines of (because I have a terrible memory..)

“If you live for their approval, you’ll die from their rejection.”

Our culture is all about making other people happy, and not in a way of serving them. Popular music, movies, TV shows, etc., tell us that our lives should focus on fitting a mold and, in the words of Trip Lee, being a robot. There is so much life to lose if we live like this.

One thing I noticed as these artists were sharing their stories is that none of them started with, “Oh, I grew up in church…I always tried to follow God’s commandments and be involved in every church activity….”. These guys have some real stories about things that I’ve never experienced before in my life. This morning at my church, they showed a video that talked about how most of the people we read about in the Bible weren’t perfect. I say most because a lot of the stories are about Jesus, who was perfect…so there’s that.

Our culture has come to this conclusion that Christians are great people who always do the right thing. I wish that was right, but it just isn’t. We aren’t good. GOD is good. As Christians, we should see people the way God sees them; love people the way God loves them; hunger for God the way He wants us to. God doesn’t use perfect people because THERE AREN’T ANY TO BE USED. We all have stories that can be used for God’s glory. Some of us are going through trials that only God’s grace can rescue us from and we aren’t quite to the storytelling part of our walk with God. Just know that His love never fails. He is able. Our God is mighty to save.

Now for some of my favorite jams from each of the artists on the tour:

Andy Mineo – KB – Derek Minor –  Trip Lee –  Tedashii – Lecrae

I would also really like for you to watch this video. You’ll enjoy it. Lecrae is dancing…that’s all I’m saying.

Here’s a list of the artists that work with Reach Records, which includes the artists on the Unashamed tour. You can get a lot of FREE MUSIC from these guys. Follow them on Twitter and you’ll find all kinds of links to download their music for free.

Have you seen any of these guys in concert? What’d you think?

a “wait…what?” moment.

“Well, Christian popular music is generally bad. And rap is generally bad. So that would make Christian rap doubly bad.”

When I first read this sentence, I literally laughed out loud. I took “LOL” to a whole ‘notha level. [This sentence was posted on a Yahoo! Answers page.]

“Christian popular music is generally bad.”

The word “bad” means “of poor quality”. So, I’m not sure if this person is saying that Christian popular music isn’t produced very well, the music isn’t entertaining, or the lyrics aren’t good. Also, it’s “generally” bad? Generally. Meaning mostly bad. For the most part, popular Christian music is bad.

Let’s do a little experiment, shall we? iTunes, away! Did you know that the Christian & Gospel genre has its own iTunes page? If it was generally bad and people generally didn’t listen to it, I don’t think iTunes would go through the trouble of making it its own page.

TobyMac currently holds both of the top 2 spots on the genre’s top albums chart. (This is because his latest album also has a deluxe edition.) How many years has TobyMac been on the Christian music scene? Like a billion? Just kidding. But seriously…a long time. If his music was generally bad, I don’t think he’d have been successful.

I know…I’m being Cynical Caitlyn again. I just hate that Christian music has such a bad rep! Christian music has made a huge impact on my life and I know a lot of people who would agree with that.

I know that a lot of people hear “Christian music” and they think of Steven Curtis Chapman or Michael W. Smith. Both of these men are incredibly talented and are cornerstones in the Christian music universe, but they sound very similar to each other and they’ve sounded the same for the last 25 years. Christian music is now as diverse as a popular, secular radio station.

Tenth Avenue North sounds nothing like Bethany Dillon. Lecrae sounds nothing like Hillsong. Chris August sounds nothing like Group 1 Crew. But unlike secular artists, these Christian artists all have one thing in common: Their music isn’t about them!

They’re not wanting to make more money, they want to further His kingdom!

So while you may not be a Michael W. Smith fan, you have hundreds of other options and no two of them sound the same. There’s nothing general about the Christian music world. These artists don’t even “generally” love God. They adore Him and it shows in their music.

“And rap is generally bad. So that would make Christian rap doubly bad.”

Secular rap is bad. I think it’s safe to utilize that “general” word in reference to secular rap music. Secular rap is generally irreverent, racist, sexist…need I say more? Christian rap music, however…is powerful. There are exceptions to this, after all. Karmin, for example, is one of my favorite groups.

It’s encouraging, uplifting, and heck…it makes you want to get up and do something with your life. I love Christian rap. I’ve written about the 116 Crew before. They’re actually going to be on my campus on October 27th of this year. [TobyMac will also be here on October 4th.]

Lecrae recently dropped a new album called “Gravity” and man…I literally can’t think of any words to describe it that would do it justice.

You’ll just have to listen to it for yourself! What do you think about this quote? Do you agree/disagree?