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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Soul (07/13/06)

TITLE: On Soul Patrol for Jesus
By Stevie McHugh


Usually when I wake up, the first thing I do is tell Lucy, my dog, “Good morning,” which gets her tail wagging. But today I sat straight up in bed and let out a “Whoop!” My mind had apparently been busy figuring some things out when I was sleeping. I realized that my interest in American Idol Taylor Hicks isn’t a mere distraction from my book-in-progress about the excitement of living for Jesus. Rather, Taylor’s performances are living illustrations of my book’s theme. And the enthusiasm of Taylor’s fans, called the Soul Patrol, is what I hope to inspire in Jesus’ followers.

Lucy’s head was cocked to one side, as if to say, “What’s up with you?” As I scratched her behind her ears and on her tummy, I said, “That’s what I’ve been wondering! What’s up with me and my fascination with Taylor Hicks?” I thought it all through as I went about my morning routine.

Taylor has pure passion for music. Millions of viewers like myself are electrified as we watch the naturally gray-haired 29-year-old. There is such a dynamic impact as he sings, it’s as though the music comes from way down inside of him -- as far down as his toes.

Taylor has expressed that the stage is his church. I think what we are watching when we see him perform -- with his unique, pitch-perfect voice and his moves that are reminiscent of both Joe Cocker’s spasmodic style and Ray Charles’ soulful sway -- is a man on fire, worshipping God with the gift he’s been given. Not only are his fans filled with joy that lingers simply for having heard Taylor and watched him sing, but we are also awakened to the music that he is so devoted to. Reading some of the Taylor Hicks fan sites, I’ve found that he has the same effect on virtually every Soul Patroller.

The idea that was forming all morning sparked in my heart, and I was pumped. Lucy and I played rowdily as I continued thinking about it.

What if I became a more passionate disciple of Jesus? What if -- as I lived my normal, everyday life -- people were magnetically, irresistibly drawn to Jesus because He was shining through me so charismatically? What if people were filled with joy just for having seen the sincere passion for Jesus that caused me to behave with love, kindness, and all of the other fruits of the spirit listed in Galatians chapter 5 verses 21 and 22? And then what if I captured the excitement of all of this in my book?

If believers in America were as passionate about Jesus as Taylor Hicks is about music, we would again become a clearly Christian nation. And “soul patrol” would have a really deep meaning for us because, rather than gain adoring fans, we’d gain brothers and sisters in heaven for having lifted up the beautiful Truth about the shed blood of Jesus.

Isn’t that what Jesus’ crucifixion is called -- The Passion of the Christ? What could be more riveting than for a King to die in our places, for the sake of our souls? That’s the most exciting passion of all because it’s directed toward me -- and toward each of us individually.

I was so stoked, you would have thought I had just watched a live Taylor Hicks performance. After spending extra time on my knees in prayer, reading the Bible, and being sensitive to the Lord’s guidance, I put a leash on Lucy for more than the usual walk. I was also going on soul patrol, which I was determined to incorporate into every part of my life. Before stepping outside, rather than reach for the Taylor Hicks music, I put one of my homemade scripture and music tapes into my Walkman. And I thanked God for helping me channel my revived energy back to the cause of my amazing, loving Savior.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 07/21/06
Woo hoo, I was for Taylor Hicks too! Go, Soul Patrol!
david grant07/22/06
Like the lesson here drawn from popular culture. Good job!