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April 2017

Can You Keep Making Free Music? - 30 Apr 17

I responded to a post about making the transition from producing free music to making money, and how perhaps it's inevitable as you grow up as a person and an artist:

I've been doing mix-tracks for years, learning graphic design, building my studio, learning recording, editing, mixing, etc. I can still make mix-tracks, and I love to do that, so expect more, as there is still much more I want to learn the ins and outs of mixing and mastering. BUT... I'm also wanting songs on iTunes so these songs that God gives me are more easily accessible to listeners, which means I'll need to move into the professional realm. That means I have to pay for professional studio time, video production, professional album art, professional beats, and music distribution/promotion. However, I've chosen to continue to self-invest, not because I'm not interested in profits, but because I don't anything to stand in the way of people getting their hands on my music and getting God's message for them that my music carries. It would be nice if someone would come alongside me to support me financially, but I've resigned that just I trust the Lord to provide me with lyrics and inspiration for these songs, He'll also take care of the financial part of it as well, and so far that has paid off in spades. :) God is good.

How Do You Make Disciples? - 24 Apr 17

I had a brother on Facebook ask me, "How do you 'make' disciples?" This was my response to him:

 

I attended a three-day seminar in San Diego that walked me through a comprehensive discipleship curriculum. I tried it out for a couple years, but it didn't really work for my environment (it was designed in and was successfully used in China). But... it opened my eyes to discipleship and got the ball rolling. I started working on a comprehensive discipleship curriculum several months ago, but with school, it's been a little slow going.
Basically, you just intentionally offer to disciple a person, whether they are a new believer, or perhaps someone in the church you feel may have never been discipled before (and the odds are good since no one actually makes disciples anymore). Then you intentionally spend time with that person in the course of your life, inviting them to things you do, showing interest and maybe being involved in some things they do, and scheduling a time during the week to get together with them to go through the Scriptures and teach them how to BE a Christian. We go through everything from how salvation works and making sure that they are truly saved (for their own confidence and yours) and then moving on to devotions, prayer, serving in the church, Spiritual gifts, tithing, authority, Christian liberty, caring for the needy, confession, mercy, grace, forgiveness, etc. 
Thanks to the training I received, though, I also learned how to share the gospel at a moment's notice, walk someone through that, baptize them, and move on to making a disciple, but... even better, I learned how to teach my disciples how to do it as well. I basically duplicate myself.
It's cool because you're being obedient to what Jesus told us to do in the first place, but every time you walk through it with someone, you also walk through it yourself as well, so you grow and hammer those same fundamentals into your own head. That's good because you also need to be setting an example for them to follow as well.
I was blessed on Easter to take one of them to Walmart to go shopping and I bought them some socks (dude is just getting on his feet), and I picked up a couple hitchhikers on the way and shared the gospel with them, so I modeled for him generosity, compassion, and sharing the good news with strangers. I'm a screw-up like everyone else is, but it was a cool moment for me, and it reminded me that even though I'm still screwed up and behind the curve as far as being a responsible and mature guy goes, God can still use me anyway. Unlike Moses, I really do have some valid excuses why I'm really not qualified to do this, but He never said anything about being qualified to make disciples. He just says go do it. So I am, and He's growing me in the process. It's a lot of work, but it's totally worth it, and kind of essential if we're going to live the life Jesus calls us to live.
"It is no longer I who lives, but Christ who lives in me"
I'm a slave. Nothing I have is mine. Not my money. Not my possessions. Not my dreams and aspirations. Nothing. I was bought and paid for by the blood of the Son of God. :)