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Tuesday, 12 February 2013 00:00

7in7-Day1

Hey Guys,
So here's the first song from Day 1 of 7in7. 
This song was inspired by a sermon from "The Gospel And" series we just finished at our church. Feel free to take a listen to the sermon here: "The Gospel and Depression", it will give you some more insight to how these lyrics came about to the first song of 7in7.

 

"You First Loved Me"

immeasurable love stirs my heart
satisfied in awe of you Lord
warm embrace quickens my soul
restoration felt by your touch

waves of grace bring songs of hope
perfect love reminds my soul

you first loved me
made my heart believe
chained my soul to faithful truth
Forgiveness came through you

Calvary's Cross lifted high,
wrath atoning payment was claimed
with crown of thorns, nailed pierced flesh,
and reconciling blood from your hands

waves of grace bring songs of hope
perfect love reminds my soul

you first loved me
made my heart believe
chained my soul to faithful truth
Forgiveness came through you

Jesus Jesus Jesus Christ My Lord
Jesus Jesus Jesus Christ My Lord

you first loved me
made my heart believe
chained my soul to faithful truth
Forgiveness came through you

immeasurable love stirs my heart
satisfied in awe of you Lord

 

Nothin' but love,

Jimmy

 

Monday, 11 February 2013 21:03

7in7 Begins Tomorrow

Ok my friends, this blog is a warning and a plea for your prayers.

The #7in7 journey begins tomorrow. I will be joining over 100 other artist with the challenge of writing seven brand new songs in seven days. So this is your warning that I will be posting all seven songs on my blog, twitter, and facbook pages for the next seven days. 

This year my "brotha from anotha motha", Aaron Ivey, asked if I would join him in the endevour of writing songs specifically for the Church. I won't lie, this scares me a tad bit because I know how hard it will actually be to write seven songs; and to write seven songs for the church as a whole, aw man, that thought is somewhat daunting.

Like many artist, I'm a perfectionist when it comes to writing, especially when it comes to writing songs for the church. I mean sure, there are times when the writing comes very easy, but most of the time it's a patience trying process for me. You would think that it would be easy for a Worship Leader to come up with these songs in his sleep. Nope, not for this guy. I think it's God's way of showing me that there is no way that I can do this without him. It will be only by his grace, and his grace alone, that I will be able to write seven worship songs in seven days. 

With that said, I now just ask for your prayers. 

- Pray that God would give me the strength to write 7 songs in 7 days
- Pray that God would bring melodies, lyrics, and chord structures to my mind
- Pray that God would bring me to a place of saying, "Lord, not my will, but Yours be done"
- Pray that God would bring me to a place of worship of Himself every time I sit to write
- Pray that God would use me to bless others with these songs and point them to Himself
- Pray that God would bring me to a place of complete surrender many times during this process
- Pray that God would bless me, as well as others, with 7 new songs in the next 7 days

Thank you for the prayers. The first song will be posted sometime tomorrow. 

Nothin' but love,

Jimmy

Thursday, 24 January 2013 17:32

"The Prayer of Love"

In the last couple of years the book, "The Valley of Vision", has been a huge influence in my life as a Christian and as a writer. The book is full of prayers that were written by Puritans from long ago. And it's a book that I use/read often. You've probably seen quotes from it on some of my tweets or facebook posts. 

I recently read a prayer that really affected me and I just wanted to share it with you. My hope is that you would make this your prayer as well. 

 

"The Prayer of Love"

Gracious Lord,
  Thy Name is love,
  in love receive my prayer.

My sins are more than the wide sea's sand,
  but where sin abounds,
  there is grace more abundant.

Look to the cross of thy beloved Son,
  and view the preciousness of his atoning blood;
Listen to his never-failing intercession,
  and whisper to my heart,
  "Thy sins are forgiven, be of good cheer, lie down in peace"

Grace cataracts from heaven and flows forever,
  and mercy never wearies in bestowing benefits.

Grant me more and more
  to prize the privilege of prayer,
  to come to thee as a sin-soiled sinner,
  to find pardon in thee,
  to converse with thee;

to know thee in prayer as
  the path in which my feet tread,
  the latch upon the door of my lips,
  the light that shines through my eyes,
  the music of my ears,
  the marrow of my understanding,
  the strength of my will,
  the power of my affection,
  the sweetness of my memory.

May the matter of my prayer be always
  wise, humble, submissive,
  obedient, scriptural, Christ-Like.

Give me unwavering faith
  that supplications are never in vain,
  that if I seem not to obtain my petitions
  I shall have larger, richer answers, 
  surpassing all that I ask or think.

Unsought, thou hast given me
  the greatest gift. the person of thy Son,
  and in Him thou wilt give me all I need. 

 

 

Nothin' but love,

Jimmy

 

Sunday, 23 December 2012 02:10

"The 1st Fall" - One I will never forget

Have you ever seen a black man on skis?!

skiing 4BAAAAAAAM!!!

Now you have! (doing "the wedge" pose)

A couple of weeks ago I was able to check something off of my "bucket list". Skiing!!! I can't tell you how nice it was to get away and spend some time with people I love. Man, I love the mountains. It's just so beautiful. There were many memories made on this trip, but the memory that I"ll forever remember is "The Fall."

I'll admit, this was the most painful but funniest, (after the fact) fall I've ever been a part of. My friends Jon (The Teacher) and D. (The Assistant) witnessed it all. So let me tell you all about it.....

We head to the intro level of the "bunny slope" and Jon begins my lesson. I learn how to stop, wedge, and maneuver left and right. After doing this a few times, we all begin to feel good about my skills, lol. Jon decides to take me down the entire slope and coach me along the way. "Left, right, left, now right" is what I hear as we go. I think to myself, "I'm skiing!!". Then we reach a much steeper slope...ok, it probably wasn't a super steep slope, but it definitely the steepest decline yet!  I see it, and think, uh...this could be bad. But hey, why not? Let's face the fear and roll with it!

Low and behold, I start off feeling pretty good......right turn, left turn, right turn, left turn. All of a sudden that left turn got a little tricky and I start to pick up speed. I would love to say that I mastered that left turn, but before I knew it things got a little out of control. My skis hit each other, and off I went.... actually, everything went, skiis and all...

Body flying through the air...(think of superman)
Poles going in every direction.
One ski goes to the left.
One ski flies to the right.

And I land flat on my chest, hitting the ice hard enough to bounce once, well, maybe twice. Dang, that hurt!! As I laid there, wind knocked out of me, my body hurting, I hear from a distance....

"DUDE THAT WAS AWESOME!!!" and then laughter! "The Teacher" and "The Assistant" were at each end of the hill laughing at me! The screaming and laughing finally went to concern as they realized that I wasn't getting up. They headed my way, asked if I was ok, and like an "experienced" skier, I gave the thumbs up. 

After going on a quick scavenger hunt for my skis and pole, they coached me on how to get them back on, and I was off again. 

All that to say, we had a great time!! This will be a story that I won't forget and those two will always remember!

Merry Christmas to you and yours. 

Nothin' but love,

Jimmy

 

 

Friday, 07 December 2012 00:24

I Need You Right Now

"Oh I wanna go where there'll be no more tears. You'll wipe them all away. I'll see you face to face. There, I will be home."

The last few days I've found myself singing this chorus from "Home" (a song I wrote during 7in7). I don't think I've been singing it because of the joy it does bring, but it's been on my heart because of the sadness I've felt over the last 2 weeks. My heart breaks for the friends and family members of those who have lost loved ones. My prayers have been many the last 14 days as I've sang at a friends memorial service, learned that a couples new born only has weeks to live, was told that another friends brother passed away, got a call from my sister informing me of a death in the family, found out another couple had a very late miscarriage, read that two of my high school friends lost their father, and even read a post this morning about someone loosing their newborn.  

This reality of death has brought much sadness and at one point, no words. These things were on my heart as I sat down to write this week. While writing I asked God to give me words to say when I had none but grief. He lead me to Psalm 73:26

"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."

Out of that time came this song that I want to share with you. I'm not sure where you are right now, but if you are in a place of deep sorrow, mourning, grief, numbnes, or hurt. My belief is that this song is for you today. As you listen and read these lyrics I pray that you would run to Jesus.

"...through the deepest possible pain. God is enough. He is good. He will take care of us. He will satisfy us. He will get us through this"  - Piper

"I Need You Right Now"

hold me in Thine arms
console my heart with truth 
wrap me in divine love
comfort me with Your grace

in this storm be my strength
in this hurt secure my faith
be my refuge, Lord be my rock
i need you right now

flood my fears with trust 
secure my thoughts with true belief 
fix my eyes to Your faithfulness
feed my soul with Your words

in this storm be my strength
in this hurt secure my faith
be my refuge, Lord be my rock
I need you right now


Nothin' but love,

Jimmy

Tuesday November 13th was a big day for Austin Stone Worship. We released our first Christmas Album titled "A Day of Glory (Songs for Christmas)". If you have not purchased this album, first off, where have you been, and secondly, what the heck is wrong with you?! I'm kidding, but seriously, GO GET IT.

This particular blog is about one of the songs from the album, "Rejoice Oh Joy of Heaven is He". I co-wrote this song with my friend Aaron Ivey. And to be honest, after writing and finishing a Christmas tune, I can humbly say that writing Christmas songs for Corporate worship are the hardest songs in the world to write. It took a brotha like 9 months to write this tune, but it was definitely worth it. 

This song started with an idea of picturing the morning of Jesus' birth, knowing that this would be the baby boy who would rescue, redeem, and reconcile. He would be the one who would endure our curse and rise from the grave.  I basically wanted to encapsulate the gospel in the writing of this song. So, after much prayer, these were the first lyrics to come out.

"Wrapped in manger laid the one who would be slain. He who'd take our place, and bare our sin and shame"

Soon after, more lyrics came and then nothing, I mean nothing. I'd work on the song for hours multiple days and still, nothing. The right lyrics just weren't coming. Not sure if it was writers block or fatigue, but a brotha needed some help. So I set up some co-writing times with Aaron Ivey. Ivey brought a fresh look to the song for me. And with that we added a bridge and dissected some of the lyrics, and not too long after that I was able to say some of the best words a writer could ever hear. "That's it, it's Finished!"

I'm humbled that God would give us this song to sing this Christmas season. I do hope you enjoy it, but ultimately I want God to get glory from you as you worship him through the listening and singing of this song.

You can find/download the theology behind the lyrics, charts, see videos on how to play the song, and purchase the album HERE.

Rejoice, oh Joy of Heaven is He 
written by Jimmy McNeal and Aaron Ivey

born that starry night
the joy of souls delight
Christ the Spotless Lamb
Christ the Great I Am

hail the new born King
resound with praises sing
Holy is the Lord
The Son of God now born

Jesus Savoir 
Faithful Reedeemer
Rejoice, oh Joy of Heaven is He
Christ Beloved
Humble Deliverer
Rejoice, oh Joy of Heaven our King

wrapped in manger laid
the one who would be slain
he who'd take our place
and bear our sin and shame 

there the gift of gifts
the Fathers Promised One
with angels now rejoice
our King of Hope has come

Jesus Savoir 
Faithful Reedeemer
Rejoice, oh Joy of Heaven is He
Christ Beloved
Humble Deliverer
Rejoice, oh Joy of Heaven our King

all heaven and earth collide in glorious songs of hope
our long awaited King now born on humble throne

Jesus Savoir 
Faithful Reedeemer
Rejoice, oh Joy of Heaven is He
Christ Beloved
Humble Deliverer
Rejoice, oh Joy of Heaven our King

 

Nothin' but love,

Jimmy

Friday, 26 October 2012 14:04

7in7 (day7) "Home"

Glad to say that my fall #7in7 is complete.

I want to preface this last song with this: This is not a political statement, just a truth of my longing for what is to come, HOME!

Song7:

http://soundcloud.com/jimmymcneal/song7

"Home"

sin's running wild round here
lies alter lies of sufferings pain
while time shapes the sound of
graves whispering our names

oh I wanna go where there'll be no more tears
you'll wipe them all away
I'll see you face to face
and there I will be home

slavery's binding souls
cancer moves untamed
orphans reach for care
while lives are killing lives unborn

oh I wanna go where there'll be no more tears
you'll wipe them all away
I'll see you face to face
and there I will be home

I'm a stranger in this world
hating the sin I see
clouds won't you roll on back
and Jesus come
come Lord Jesus come

oh I wanna go where there'll be no more tears
you'll wipe them all away
I'll see you face to face
and there I will be home

 

Nothin' but love,

Jimmy

Friday, 26 October 2012 05:53

7in7 (Day6) "I Love You - Granny and Paw"

There are a lot of things I've been blessed with that I didn't get to choose.

I love my grandparents! And I've wanted to do this for a while now, so I figured #7in7 would be a great start to writing a song dedicated to them.

So granny and Paw, this one is for you (Day6):

http://soundcloud.com/jimmymcneal/song6

"I Love You - Granny and Paw"

8 kids to call your own
27 grandchildren plus more
God only knows the price you've paid
oh the sweat and all tears, the sacrifices made

I know I've said it time and time before
but day by day the words means so much more

I love you, I love you
I love you, I love you

You taught me how to walk by faith
and how to pray in Jesus' name
I am thankful for all you've done for me
to call you my grandparents, oh what a blessing

I know I've said it time and time before
but day by day the words means so much more

I love you, I love you
I love you, I love you

granny and pa I do
I hope my life speaks the truth
so paw and granny before you go
theres one thing I want you to know

I know I've said it time and time before
but day by day the words means so much more

I love you, I love you
I love you, I love you

 

Nothin' but love,

Jimmy

Wednesday, 24 October 2012 04:53

7in7 (day5) "Trust Me I Know"

Got to co write with my brotha, NIjalon Dunn. Thankful he was willing to share his story, and yup, it's a hip hop tune!

Shout out to The Cratez Beatz for the beat.

So get ready, here is a hip hop tune 4ya for day#5!

http://soundcloud.com/jimmymcneal/song5

"Trust me I know"

I know it's a tough topic to touch on
But you need to share it
I know it's a tough topic to touch on
But you need to share it

I speak with sarcasm I don't say this gladly
but thanks to Facebook I found my daddy
It's a tough topic to touch on, trust me I know
and I fought the same battle got the scars to show
I took a look at his pictures man we look just the same
my first hope I hope he remembers my name
See my nose, his nose, from the way I wear my clothes
the repetition of these thoughts are starting to get old

I know it's a tough topic to touch on
But you need to share it
I know it's a tough topic to touch on
But you need to share it

I've seen men come and go but I was waiting on him
my family said he wasn't coming they was hating on him
at least that's what I thought at least that's what I hoped
it was this train of thought that through the pain help me cope
step pops left my momma, grandaddy left my granny
got me scared to grow up be a man and start a family
But in the name of Jesus through the pain and the hurt
Lord break me free from this generational curse

I know it's a tough topic to touch on
But you need to share it
I know it's a tough topic to touch on
But you need to share it

But love came as a man Jesus Christ is His name
It may sound a little crazy at may seem a little strange
He was punished in my place carried the cross for my shame
it was that Sin-absorbing, sin-covering, forgiveness he gave
O what of love Thanks to Jesus my heart has been changed
O what a love, I'm adopted He knows my name
So pops, I forgive you of all these things
I'm on my knees now hoping and praying you change

I know it's a tough topic to touch on
But you need to share it
I know it's a tough topic to touch on
But you need to share it

 

Nothin' but love,

Jimmy

Monday, 22 October 2012 14:09

7in7 (day4) "What Kind of Love is This"

The service this Sunday at The Austin Stone was good for my soul. The love of God and the truth of me being his child, just wrecked this brotha out. I came home, hit record, and this is what came out of that recording. 

Song4: 

"What Kind of Love is This"

You have searched me and know me 
Lord what love is this
You have cleaned me up and brought new life
what kind of love is this

Abba Father Lord of All
You are the light of my soul
Abba Father Almighty God
Your the one who makes me whole

You have kept me and fed me 
Lord what love is this
You have brought me in, claimed my life
what kind of love is this

Abba Father Lord of All
You are the light of my soul
Abba Father Almighty God
Your the one who makes me whole

Lord who am I that You would call me Your child
Lord who am I that You would call me Your own
Lord who am I that You would call me Your child
Lord who am I that You would call me Your own

I've been set free, forgiven
Lord what love is this
I've been chosen, adopted
What kind of love is this

 

Nothin' but love,

Jimmy