Free to Be the “Singy, Rappy, Gospely, Goofy” ME (IN RELATIONSHIP to others!)

Timothy Rap Record 1

On this 4th of July I am thinking of Freedom. I am thinking of it not just in terms of my freedom in independence from others, as is often overemphasized on this holiday and in our fallen humanity (although I am THANKFUL for my distinction from others too! Yay!). I am thinking of it more in terms of my freedom to be me in relationship to and with everyone else! In all seriousness THAT is the ONLY kind of Freedom there really is! You see, God the Father, Son and Spirit is the only truly FREE Persons in Relationship. They have declared that They are Free to Be One  WITH each other as Father, Son and Spirit. John 14-17. They are FREE to be with us in the image of Their human image – Jesus Gen 1, Heb 1-2. And They were FREE to create us  in Their image as male and female, together, with God and all Creation. Gen 1-2, Heb 1-2.

But, of course, this FREEDOM isn’t always understood or practiced in this way by us fallen human beings, including me! Yikes! And that explains the difficulty of me being me and you being you in our world! In my interaction with others it is not easy being me! Some people actually hate and dislike me (I can’t believe it either! Hahaha) Some people actually hate and dislike you! (and sometimes I am that people!…Yikes! Ha!)

For instance can you imagine the things I potentially face being me in my world? I have been identified by the Church as one called to be a Pastor, but hardly anything I’ve done, or like to do, actually “qualifies” me for being and doing that! Ha! Imagine the important pastors meetings I might have to attend and the answers I might have to truthfully give:

“So where did you go to school and get your doctor of ministry?” Bluffton High School, of course!

“Well, then you must have graduated with a high grade point average surely!” 1.3 (although I am sure that is still a little too high!)

“Well (sputter!) then, what classes have best prepared you for being a Senior Pastor and District Pastor?”  Working in the Supermarket industry for 14 years! Reading all the Tarzan, Fantasy/Science Fiction books I could get my hands on! TV, Movies, and more TV, especially movies of all types! And sleep, you must get plenty!

“Uhhhhhhhhhh, your sense of humor?”  Sneaking and listening to Richard Pryor and George Carlin cassette tapes with my brothers very early in life, and watching Martin, Gilligan’s Island, the Three Stooges, Looney Tunes, and The Little Rascals, NOW, of course!

“Well, uh, er, (cough!)how did you develop such an appreciation and talent for leading worship music?”  Listening to Sesame Street LP’s (especially Roosevelt Franklin) over and over (still do!), listening to Take 6 and all kinds of other good music even when my religion told me I wasn’t supposed to (got me centered on Jesus!), breaking my neck by breakdancing for hundreds of hours throughout the late 80’s – listening to all the good and “bad” music even when deacons told me to stop! Writing some of the saddest raps and love songs you ever heard (my wife still holds her ears on just the memory of  some of those as I “wooed”, I mean, “mooed” her!!), recording “tracks” between two tape recorders over and over until you thought there was a snake in the room because of the huge HISSING sound!, Playing in the high school band on Friday nights (breaking another sacred code of my then religion!), etc.

“(sarcastically)…and teaching others about this Great Dance of the Trinity?” See all the answers above and then add Spokesman’s Club of the old cult of the Worldwide Church of God, preaching to rocks in our long, stone driveway, dancing every chance I get, and proclaiming a “gospel” publicly against the Gospel for about 7 years! Tee-hee…

(And those are the few things that I think I CAN tell you without you thinking so low of me you might not ever read another word of anything I write about the Gospel! Ha!)

So, the point of all this?!

Well, I was reading Karl Barth, writing on God’s Freedom, and I got really fired up when I read, “And finally, He [God the Trinity]is always infinitely diverse in His communion with each individual angel, thing, man or believer, as compared with all the rest.”  – [Karl Barth Church Dogmatics II/1, 316] And then I understood myself better, and my “crazy” life and answers above, and the distinct uniqueness called me, and the distinct, unique weirdness called YOU! Haha 🙂

Because of Who the Father, Son and Spirit is as One Free to be in Relationship with me and you and all created things in various ways,  AND because He is One FREE to be the Way He wants to be in His Love toward me and you, THEN, He is FREE to be with ME AS I AM, and FREE to be with YOU AS YOU ARE,  in all our rich dignity AND defiance, and make of us what He wants (or doesn’t want to!) HaHa!

So, this fourth of July I urge you to remember God’s Present Freedom to be Loving and to be with you IN RELATIONSHIP TO, WITH, and FOR OTHERS, so that we will all be MORE FREE to be ourselves, MORE FREE not to compare yourselves with  others or how God might be living in others to fulfill His purposes for His creation, and MORE FREE to think of Freedom as it has been revealed by God in Jesus Christ!

Being more free to be my “Singy, Rappy, Gospely, Goofy” self WITH YOU, and desiring to share with you His Good News in a rich variety of ways, here is another rappy song I created and perform TOGETHER WITH my  local congregation, New Life Fellowship of Baltimore, Maryland, each month! Come by this July 14th and you’ll hear us dance, clap and sing to it again!

DON’T CLICK THE LINK BELOW if you don’t want to hear the song:

God’s Good News Is Being Preached

(***”Rap and Lyrics by me. Music from “Different Now”, (C) 2002 Gotee Music. All Copy Rights and Ownership go to “Out of Eden”. I make no money on this and only rap/sing it to my congregation.

14 comments so far

  1. jkharri4 on

    THANK YOU!!!! I sooooo want that. Freedom to be me in relationships to and with others. Unique, loopy, odd and weird as that may be. Hahaha Freedom to be the me I was meant to be in Christ. I needed to hear that today….cuz I was just beginning to think I was REALLY crazy for just wanting to be MYSELF. Definitely GOOD NEWS!!! AWESOME SONG!!!!!

    • tjbrassell on

      Thank You jkharri4! Thank the Triune God that, Revealed in His Son Jesus, you DO have just that kind of Freedom to Be the REAL You in relationship to others! In Him, you’ll become more and more free to be the real you! You are NOT crazy to want to be distinct in that union! Peace and Love! 🙂

  2. Tony Marra on

    That’s my Pastor..the best “Singy, Rappy, Gospely, Goofy” Pastor in the whole world!

    • tjbrassell on

      Thanks Tony! And you are one of my favorite assistant pastors in your distinction…hahaha…TRUE STORY! Much Love! 🙂

  3. Jill Valentine on

    I read this week, “…(God) always respects the freedom and independence that he has given us” from Prayer by Simon Tugwell. It made an impression on me. We have the freedom to be ourselves, to make our own choices even, knowing that they may not be acceptable to others, or to the church.
    I love what you’ve written Pastor Tim! You are one of a kind…the nice thing is, we ALL are!! Of course, some of us are a little weirder than others….!!

    • tjbrassell on

      Momma Jill! How great to hear from you and to read of the Spirit’s confirmation of the Freedom He has shared with us in union with Him and distinction from Him! Yes, each of us, one of a kind (and I love and like your unique kind by the way! 🙂 Peace, Love and Every Blessing to You and Your Household!

  4. Bill Winn on

    Hey Tim, you rock dude! I really like this post. Without our physical freedom from tyranny our Triune God-given freedom would be oppressed. The distinction and personhood we have been given is most precious and brother you are generous with yours. Your willingness to give of yourself and share your passions is a big part of what makes you such a good Pastor and even better friend. If you were not the kind of person who would boldly share the Good Gospel I might still be preaching that western dualistic skubalon sandwich! Much love Timothy!

    • tjbrassell on

      Thanks Awesomely Bill! So true how we are all somehow tied together and can find ourselves “twisting” up the freedom of other relationships when even one in our lives is twisted! I appreciate being your friend in our favor from THE Friend and I am surely GLAD you are a proclaimer of the Good News because you are such a talented speaker you could sell gobs of those “western dualistic skubalon sandwich[es]” if you wanted! Ha! Now you sell the Incarnate “meat” of the Gospel and peoples is eating good! hahaha… 🙂 Love You!

  5. Carrie Smith on

    Love it! The post, the rap & you – thanks for sharing your uniqueness with us and remind us of our own uniqueness too. 🙂

    • tjbrassell on

      Thanks Carrie! I still think fondly of the special acknowledgement of YOU in Columbus at the Converge East Conference recently! 🙂 I was so proud of you (and so were all the others! Keep on being the YOU in Christ especially called to proclaim this Freedom with Jesus over the World and His Flock and waitresses at the restaurant! 🙂 Love you and your family very MUCH!

  6. Doug Johannsen on

    What a song! Just love it…the screen was totally dark, but the words turned the light on – so leave the light on :)…get it?

    • tjbrassell on

      Thanks Doug! Your thoughts and encouragement I find to be very punny but enLIGHTening! 🙂 I get it! Love AND like you MUCH!

  7. Jerome on

    Just loved it!!! Hope to see you in FL!!

  8. tjbrassell on

    Thanks Jerome! Looking forward to seeing you in FL too! Absolutely! Love and Every Blessing to You! 🙂


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