Error
  • The template for this display is not available. Please contact a Site administrator.
Administrator

Administrator

Wednesday, 07 January 2015 00:00

2 Years In!

Today I'm thankful. Thankful to be married to my best friend and my bride. You see, 2 years ago today I asked my Staci if I could date her with the intent to marry her. My grandparents would call that "courting". After two years of dating there are still some days I that I'm amazed at the fact that I'm married. And not just married to anyone, but married to a woman God intended for me to pray for. Staci is an answered prayer.

I spoke with a friend of mine today that told me he prayed for his friends wife for 10 years. He not only prayed that he would find her, but actually prayed for specific things about her. A I listened I was reminded of a few specific prayer request that I had prayed since I was about 13 years old. I prayed that my wife would love me for more than my musical abilities, but that she would truly love me for me. I prayed that we would become friends first making it easier for us to become best friends in dating. I even prayed that she might be a little "country". I even selfishly prayed that she would be an athlete sui that we could gave athletic kids. I'm not sure if Jackson will be am all star athlete, but he sure does have potential in a name like Jackson Jett. All kidding aside. I feel more blessed today than I ever have, to not only be married to my best friend; but I'm married to a God fearing woman who encourages me like no other. She speaks her mind, but does it with love. She continues to make me feel like a much better man than I am to be respected the way she respects me. She's the mother of my only son, and the best mom he could ever have. She's the only woman I've ever loved like this. My bride calls out my sin and has made me look more like Jesus the past 2 years, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Today I'm thankful, thankful to be married to a woman such as she. And for the men reading this and you know it's been a while since you've told your wife how much you care about her. I encourage you to take a minute and write her a love note or letter...do not text her a message...actually write it out with your own hands and give it to her. She'd truly appreciate that and feel loved.

Happy 2 year dating anniversary to my bride!

Nothin' but love,
Jimmy

Monday, 10 November 2014 17:25

RBI Austin Benefit Concert with Trip Lee

There are some exciting things on the horizon for November. Not only are we performing at Spirit Fest, but we are also doing a benifit concert with "Reach Records" own, Trip Lee. All proceeds will benifit RBI-Austin (Reviving Baseball in Inner Citties). RBI Austin is a faith based non-profit that exists to engage and develop inner-city Austin youth athletically, acedemically, and spiritually, empowering them to lead the transformation of their communities.

Here's a quick video that tells you about the concert and where you can find more info. 

RBI Austin: Jimmy McNeal from RBI Austin on Vimeo.

 

Purchase tickets and get even more info here: http://www.rbiaustin.org/trip/

Hope to see you there!

Nothin' but love,

Jimmy

Monday, 13 October 2014 03:15

My Good Is Your Glory

I've had a number of friends going through much hardship and distress the past couple of months. Whether it be death, illness, the NICU, E.R., finances, or sickness, all of their situations have been difficult. There have been many prayers on their behalf, but God has also been doing something I'd prayed that he would do. He's been using the "Adopted" album to minister to a few of these friends. Some of them have reached out to me and shared specific songs that have spoken to them during this season. One song in particular is "My Good Is Your Glory". So I wanted to share this with you today.

I don't know what you're walking through, but I do pray that this video from our CD release party is as much of an encouragement to you as it was/is to them. Below you will find the YouTube video and the lyrics. My hope is that you would be encouraged and led to worship Jesus in the midst of whatever season you may be walking through right now. 

 

My Good Is Your Glory
written by Micah Vasquez, Jacob Riddle, Levi Hanusch, Wes Ardis, and Jimmy McNeal

In the chaos I live and confusion surrounds me
but in peace I remain, for The Lord keeps me safeYou are good, You're the strength of my heart and I am loved.
I am Loved

You oh Lord are a shield for me 
The glory and the lifter of my head
You oh God have a plan for me
You are good and my good is Your glory

And in this I rejoice, even when I am grieving 
That The Lord will complete everything He began

You are good, You're the strength of my heart and I am loved.
I am Loved

You oh Lord are a shield for me 
The glory and the lifter of my head
You oh God have a plan for me
You are good and my good is Your glory

The Lord is the stronghold of my life
of whom shall I be afraid
my life is bought by the blood of Christ
of whom shall I be afraid

You oh Lord are a shield for me 
The glory and the lifter of my head
You oh God have a plan for me
You are good and my good is Your glory

 

I do pray that this has blessed you today. 

Nothin' but love, 

Jimmy

Monday, 22 September 2014 20:56

An Excellent Wife Who Can Find...

"An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels...Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised" - Proverbs 31: 10,30

My wife is a gift. She's not just any gift, but a precious gift from The Father of Lights. 

There is no way I could have found her on my own. This is God's doing. As I read this poem from Proverbs 31 that begins and ends with mention of a woman's excellence, I can't help but think about my bride. Trust me, she's not perfect but there is an obvious distinction that sets her apart from any other woman I've known. I'm thankful for my "granny", mom, mother-in-law, sisters, aunts, teachers, friends, and many other great women. But if you ask me, my bride surpasses them all.

I chose her and still choose her.

She loves God more than she loves me. She not only helps me see the man that I can be, but I'm a better man because of her. She believes in me and sees Gods hand over my life. I'm encouraged and sharpened the most by living life with her. She respects me like no other and I've learned what hospitality looks like because of her. She is a kind, funny, to the point, honest, sinful, beautiful, broken woman of character that admits when she's wrong. She can cut and wound me like no other, but is quick to ask for forgiveness and offer grace when I do the same. God uses her to humble me, and oh how she does this so well! I'm not just thankful for her, I'm grateful.

What people see on the outside is only a small glimpse of the woman that she is. "She is far more precious than jewels". I'm married to my best friend. There is no wrong that I wouldn't share with her. Actually, she already knows too much for me to think that I couldn't share everything. We've confessed and continue to confess the most delicate, intimate, and darkest parts of ourselves with one another. I have nothing to hide from my wife. Yet, she is still with me. It's the kindness of the Lord that leads us to repentance. And more often than not the kindness he's given in a "helper suitable", my wife, has led me to confess often. I'm a better Christ follower because of the light He shines so often through her. She fears the Lord and I praise God for her today. I don't want to run this race with anyone else but her. 

She is my bride, best friend, teammate, companion, beloved helper suitable for me, and my wife of 1 year. 

She is better than good for me. There is sure excellence in God choosing her for me. I love waking up beside her. I love making her laugh. I love living life with her. She gets me and calls me out when it's needed. I wouldn't trade a millisecond of our story, not one, because every moment, every breath, and every trial has been for our good and God's glory. This has been the best and hardest year of my life, and I love my wife more today than ever before.

I will shout it as far as this voice travels. I LOVE MY WIFE! I choose her and will continue to choose her until death separates us. I truly am blessed to have someone like her because "an excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels...Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised".

Nothin' but love,

Jimmy

Tuesday, 16 September 2014 22:25

The Power at Work in Me

"Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit give life" -2 Corinthians 3:4-6

Have you ever read something that leapt from the pages and struck the deepest parts of your heart? No matter what part or where it struck, it did something to you. This is what I experienced Sunday morning as I was reading the sermon my pastor, Matt Carter, had prepared. In his sermon he shared his own experience of when he first felt the Holy Spirit's power working through him in his life. As he shared the story something his wife said to him jumped off the pages and shook me to the core. Matt had just preached an incredible sermon where he saw God move in power and his wife came up to him and said "That wasn't you". As I read those words I felt like those words were exactly what I needed to hear.  

"That wasn't you" reminded me that any compliment that I've received stems from a working of the Holy Spirit in me. It reminded me of how much I need God to move in power anytime I stand on any stage. To know that I'm being used by God just, simply put, wrecked me out. I laid in bed weeping. Convicted, encouraged, and humbled that God would actually make use of this sinful man that I am. He truly is finishing the work that he began in me back in 6th grade. 

If you've ever been moved by a song I've sang, one of my blog post, touched by my words, a service I've led, music I've written, my marriage, friendship, encouragement or whatever. I want you to know that I'm terrible with words, most of the time I forget simple words that I just flat out can't remember let alone put together. I struggle with approval and control so I constantly war against my thoughts as well as what people think of me. I've been singing since I was a kid, but never wanted to be a worship pastor. Truth be told, I used to make fun of Contemporary Christian Music because it was different and wasn't the "Gospel" music I grew up with. It takes me hours, sometime days to write a worship song. Blogging and being vulnerable with people doesn't come easy for this guy who keeps his cards close. I come from a divorced home in Waxahachie, TX and a long line of womanizers, adulterers, thieves, convicted felons, alcoholics, and abusers. I fear that I will fall into the same sin pattern and make the same mistakes the men in my family have towards their kids, wives, our family, and others. To this day I stand as one of the few men in my family bold enough to say, "Follow me as I follow Christ". I'm broken, sinful, and fail often. Looking at my lineage and my past I shouldn't even be in the position that I'm in and doing the things that I'm doing. The only explanation I have for it is this: 

"Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us..." - Ephesians 3:20

God, God has taken my story and my life and done super abundantly far more in both quantity and quality than I could ever ask or think. It wasn't me. It wasn't my doing or something I conjured up. My life has been shaped by God himself. And I'm no different from you.

If you are a Christ follower we're no different than Paul, Peter, John, Spurgeon, Dr. King, Francis Chan, Beth Moore, John Piper, your pastor, or any other Christ follower you respect. We are all broken and matted clay continuing to be shaped and molded by "The Potter". The same Holy Spirit that uses their stories also is at work in your life and lives in you. This is what brought me to tears Sunday morning. Not that I'm broken and busted, but that this same Holy Spirit lives inside imperfect me. I pray this would happen to you as well as you pray "to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us..."

Nothin' but love,

Jimmy

My son is now 9 days old today. Here he is....Jackson Jett McNeal, and judging by the smile on that handsome face of his, I think he was having a pretty good dream. 

IMG 20140818 111102 resized

I still can't believe I'm his dad, but his feet, nose, eyes, gas (as Staci would say), eyebrows, and toes are evidence that "I'm that boy's pappy". It's been a life-changing week to say the least; full of memorable moments and images I hope never to forget. One of which happened this morning...

It wasn't because of the projectile urine that almost hit a brotha unexpectedly, twice, yes, twice in one night. Although that was unexpected and hilarious, it was a walk that I hope to never forget. My first father & son prayer walk. As I pushed his stroller around our neighborhood, I was reminded of one of David's prayers from 1 Chronicles that I've been praying over Jackson since he was in Staci's womb. 

...Grant to Solomon my son a whole heart that he may keep your commandments, your testimonies, and your statutes..." 1 Chronicles. 29:19

The first thing that David asks for his son Solomon was a whole heart, not a good heart, nor the heart a good person, but an impartial heart that is whole. A whole heart that is useful, vibrant, and full of life. He asks for this because he knows that with a whole heart one can keep the commandments, testimonies, and statutes of God. That's the kind of heart that I continue to pray that Jackson would have. I want him to know Jesus and point others to Christ with both his words and his deeds. I'm begging God to grab his heart and make it new so that he would not only be a man of character, but a disciple who makes disciples.

As we walked passed tree after tree and I saw glimpses of my own shadow casting down on Jackson, I began to pray for someone I don't pray for enough, myself. I want to be a good dad. I look at the lineage I've come from and see how easily I could follow in the footsteps of most of the men in my family line. I have fears of making some of the same generational mistakes my dad made, that his dad made, and so on. Even with me knowing Jesus as my Savior I'm not exempt from making the same mistakes as they did. I don't only pray that I would be a good father to Jackson, but I pray that I would be an obedient, God fearing disciple maker. I know I'm not perfect and will never be, but I want my imperfections to always point Jackson to the only perfect man to walk on this earth, Jesus Christ. That's the reflection of my lineage that I want to pass on to my son. 

I don't think there will be many other firsts as memorable as this. I love my son dearly and believe one of the best things I could pray for him is this prayer of a whole heart and that God would use him as one of HIS own. I'm thankful for this gift God has entrusted to us, but make no mistake, God is the one who has gifted us with the life of Jackson Jett McNeal, and God is the one I continue to surrender Jackson to. 

I am one blessed man, and just wanted to share this to not only help my forgetful mind, but also encourage other moms and dads to do the same. 

 

Nothin' but love,

Jimmy 

 

Friday, 25 July 2014 17:39

Jesus is Better (Live)

It's rare that I find my self in tears after watching a YouTube video. Seriously, most of the time it's because I'm laughing so hard I just can't control myself, but recently that has not been the case.

We released another video yesterday from our Adopted Album CD release Party that has not only taken me back there, but has brought me to tears as I've watched and listened.  I can't help but worship God as I continue to declare and beg Him to make my heart believe that Jesus truly is better. With that said I just wanted to share the video with you today. I knew that God was doing something amazing that night, and I'm blown away that it actually translated through film. I'm praying that as you listen you will be moved to worship just as I have.

 

Also, here's "My King Forever" that we posted last week.

Nothin' but love,

Jimmy

 

 

Wednesday, 25 June 2014 15:31

I'm going to be a father...

Well my friends, Staci and I are 33 weeks in, and 7 weeks away from holding our son for the very first time. The thought continues to hysterically cross my mind with both alarming fear and invited joy.

I'm actually going to be someone's real Dad.
Let that sink in for a minute....

I won't lie, although there are many joys to having kids, there are a couple of things I don't look forward to when it comes to having a new born; like projectile vomit, flying discolored baby poop, diaper runs (both and), urine samples on my shirt, mistaking "milk" labeled containers for actual milk, taking 100's of photos to get "the one", non-stop crying with no relief, and late nights just to name a few. But you know, there's a huge part of me that believes that those crazy things will somehow form a bond between Jackson and myself. I think those will be a few of the moments I call "bitter sweet" in the next 6-9 months.

While I was leading worship at FCA camp a few weeks ago, I was hit by a tear jerking reality. I'm going to be a father...Duh...I know, but as I played catch with one of the leaders 5 year old kids, I realized that I would be teaching my son, MY SON, how to catch a football one day. I'd be the one showing him how and why you should keep your eyes on the ball when it's coming right for your nostrils. I get the privilege of teaching him what it means to be a "little man" while sharing words from my own experiences into what it means to be a Godly man. I get to share the gospel with my son........yup, I'm crying right now. I think that may happen a lot these next 7- 12weeks. My kid has no clue who Jesus is, and Staci and I get to actually tell him about the one who knit him in her womb.

"For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb." (Psalm 139:13)

In order to finish this blog without more waterworks, I'll need to keep it short.

I still can't believe I'm going to be a father, but I do pray that with my mistakes, victories, and failures I point Jackson to the Father I look to for guidance, leadership, acceptance, perseverance, love, joy, refuge, care, and truth. I get to point him to the greatest Father any man could have, my "Heavenly Father". 

I pray that the same would be the case for you if you have children of your own.


Nothin' but love,

Jimmy

Wednesday, 11 June 2014 15:05

Car Stereos and Gifted People

My good friend Fabs Harford, an incredibly gifted writer, just posted a blog about the new "Adopted" album.

I can't deny the tears that welled up as I read these encouraging words. 

Find it here: Car Stereos and Gifted People

I pray her blog encourages you as well. Feel free to let her know if it does in her comments section. 

 

Nothin' but Love,

Jimmy

Wednesday, 14 May 2014 13:39

A Week to Remember

Today I'm reminded of God's faithfulness as I sit and reflect on the last week of my life. Oh what a week it has been!

Although there were many obstacles that seem to always find a way on the beaten path, it happened. It really happened! My first solo album "Adopted" became available 05/06/14. The day I had dreamed about and prayed for actually came and not only that, it came with much surprise and unexpected acclamation.

If I'm honest, I didn't expect this album to do much at all, but I knew I should pray for big things and believe that it was possible for those things to really happen. So I prayed. Among many other prayers, I prayed that God would use this album to point people to himself and that He would get glory from both Christians and non- Christians alike as they hear the gospel in these songs. I asked and continue to ask God to do with this record whatever He pleased and He has used this album to increase my own faith and trust in Him as a "prayer answering God". Not only did it make it to the top 5 on iTunes (Christian/Gospel) charts, sit next to Justin Timberlake on the top 200 albums charts (via a hilarious text from my drummer), break through on the billboard gospel charts, and bring about a small glimpse of heaven at the CD Release Party, but I've gotten emails, texts, facebook, and twitter messages from a number of people sharing how the album has touched them and pointed them to Jesus. I've even had friends who aren't Christians purchase the album because they know me and want to support what I'm doing. And with that, God is using me and my bandmates to share the gospel over and over again as they listen to theses songs.

I won't lie, being on charts such as Billboard and iTunes has been a dream of mine since seeing movies like "Great Balls of Fire", "The Jacksons - An American Dream", "The Five Heartbeats", "The Temptations", "Ray" and many others portraying the story of no name artist making it "Big". I would sit and watch these movies and dream of the day that my name would be in lights and climb the billboard charts! Although I am humbled by the incredibly cool things that have happened, I'm even more astonished and in awe at the fact that God has used this dream of an album to minister to many. This makes me more excited than anything else and even brings tears to my eyes as I write this reflection.

To see the messages and hear the stories of families and lives being impacted by this "Adopted" album amazes me. It makes me want to pray for more things, it makes me want to pray for even bigger things, and it moves me to worship. I'm humbled that God would allow this kid with a dream to be used to bring people into His presence and hear the good news of the Gospel preached through song. I ask that you would pray with me that God would continue to use this Adopted album to minister to many as people purchase it on iTunes and Amazon. Feel free to share these links with others and continue to spread the word: iTunes / Amazon

 

Nothin' but love,

Jimmy