Love God, Love Others

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” – Mark 12:30-31

We’re so honored to lead worship wherever we go and yesterday was no different at the leadership seminar across the bridge (George Washington, that is). It was such a blessing to see church leaders, new and old, encouraging & showing love to one another.

This was the core of the seminar: love. And all throughout the day, I witnessed small encounters of love between others. Whether it was during the games, at the appreciation dinner, or in worship, love was evident and displayed. If we can’t love ourselves and one another, how are we to go out into the world and show that same love?

I believe that when we focus on loving God and our relationship with Him, everything else will fall into place. Loving Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. It’s difficult loving others on your own but when the love of God is working through you and you’re reflecting that love, the rest will come naturally.

It’s a game changer for sure, but where do we start? Well, we’d like to challenge you this week as Thanksgiving approaches (fast) to really consider what you’re thankful for. God’s blessed us all with so much and we take these things for granted more often than not. Why not simply start by loving God and loving others with a gratitude that is a response from God’s blessings? For many of us, today may be Thanksgiving Sunday at your church. Let’s be thankful and let’s show the love of God in all things!

Reflection Song: God Our King

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Epic

The word “epic” can be defined as: a long poem or narration telling of heroic deeds, figures, or adventures. But more commonly, we probably use it as an adjective defined as: monumental, great, grand, etc.

Either way, we got to be a part of Saga Church’s pre-launch service last Sunday for their new ministry: EPIC.

It all goes back to where we come from with our band name, Shameless Plug. Everyone has a story to tell and at the center of ours is Jesus. We want to make Jesus our shameless plug in this world so that He would be that epic heroic figure.

In John 3:16-17 it says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

We experience so many moments and events in our lives but nothing is as epic as the way that we were saved by the grace of Jesus Christ! If we had one reason to boast in His name and proclaim the good news, this would be it!

So today you may be considering things to be amazing and awesome, but what’s receiving the glory? Do you see God as epic as He really is in your life? Let’s shift our perspective to the great story that God is writing in our lives and be bold & boast in Him!

Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” – 1 Corinthians 1:31

Reflection Song: God Our King

Shine A Light On Slavery Day

P6 (enditsquare)

Shameless Plug is #InItToEndIt. Today is Shine A Light On Slavery Day. You may have heard of the #ENDITmovement – perhaps from TV, online, from Passion… but what they started this year is called 27×7 to help put an end to modern day slavery – about 27 million people are trapped today: children, women, and men all around the world. This isn’t a third world problem. Join our team of 27 and give $7 that will go to 16 coalition partners to help END IT. And then you can create your own team of 27 and watch the ripple effect! Make an impact, join Team Shameless Plug, be FREEDOM FIGHTERS!

https://secure.enditmovement.com/team/shamelessplug

In The Light

We just spent most of this week with Pilgrim Youth Group at their “In The Light” winter retreat. Looking back, I can’t imagine a better way to wrap up 2014 and kick off 2015! There were incredible times of worship, fellowship, and new relationships being made… an all-around encouraging retreat. But when I heard the theme “In The Light”, I couldn’t help but think about the old dc Talk song from my own youth group days. The lyrics go like this:

I keep trying to find a life on my own, apart from You
I am the king of excuses – I’ve got one for every selfish thing I do
What’s going on inside of me? I despise my own behavior
This only serves to confirm my suspicions that I’m still a man in need of a Savior

I wanna be in the light as You are in the light
I wanna shine like the stars in the heavens
Oh, Lord be my light and be my salvation ’cause all I want is to be in the light

Maybe you’re reflecting upon the past year and as you look at yourself you see darkness, regret, or shame. But on the contrary, we are co-heirs with Christ who are meant to shine! We’ve all heard the passage before from Matthew 5: you are the light of the world… So where does that leave us?

We ought to strive to be the light we were meant to be – to strive to be more like Jesus! We believe 2015 is going to be a great year… not just because of all the new movies coming out or our own personal New Year’s resolutions, but because it’s another year to press on and reflect the image of Christ (and you can’t create a reflection without light!). That means in your schools, homes, workplaces, etc. too!

Start this new year by admitting that you’re not perfect but need the One who is. Jesus is the One we need and the One we need to obey. Let’s work on being more like Him, making our lives holy and pleasing sacrifices of worship, and trusting in His holy Name. No regrets, no guilt, no fear… let this year be a year where you prosper – make 2015 a great year for a new “you” to be in the light and shine the light of God!

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

Reflection Song: Christ Is

Honesty Is The Best Policy

If we are to follow Christ then truth, honesty, and integrity are essential. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Honesty is a necessary component in following after Jesus. Conversely, dishonesty will pull us away from Him.

This past weekend we led praise at the New Life Summer Retreat, which had the theme Honesty. It was a really authentic time of worship and growth. Unlike your “conventional” retreat, there was no guest pastor to preach amazing sermons. Instead, testimonies were shared within small groups, and several were shared during the main session. We were really encouraged by these powerful stories and it was apparent how relationships were beginning to grow because of them.

Being honest with others isn’t easy in a time where we hide behind communicating through text messages, Facebook statuses, and Instagram comments. It’s so easy to mask your true self. But the testimonies shared were powerful and displayed how God has worked and is working through each and every one of us, molding us into the son or daughter He intended for us to become. What I was reminded was that honesty not only shows your character, but it also shows your faith. Throughout the Bible we are assured that it is impossible for God to lie. That’s a lot harder to say for ourselves… but with God setting the example, we ought to strive to be more true to others and to ourselves.

Proverbs 11:3 says “The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.”

In fact, we heard many stories of struggles, difficulties, and straying from God. A lot of it was covered up by deception, lies, and even trying to fool oneself. But as soon as they shared about how the truth was discovered (or re-discovered), that because of Jesus Christ we are a new creation, the stories took a turn where lives began turning back towards God the Father!

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

I thought of my own testimony – of who I was and who I’ve become because of Christ. We’re all constantly changing and experiencing changes. So it is important that we never lose sight of what’s ahead so that we stay true to who we ought to be in Christ. Surround yourself with honesty, truthful people, so that you too can be more honest and open with others, yourself, and God.

Today, let’s remember to stay in the truth, speak and live the truth, and you may also be helping others around you to the Truth! Jesus, the author of eternal salvation, is the way, the truth and the life… Let’s motivate and cultivate honesty through the love He’s shown us!

Reflection Song: Only You

Unending Praise Turns 1!

Can you believe that we released our debut album Unending Praise 1 year ago today? We’re so thankful for all the supporters of our music & ministry over the years, and we know that this is just the beginning!

Still don’t have a copy of our CD?

Why settle for $14.98 at FYE, $19.09 at Tower Records, $23.39 at Amazon, $28+ on eBay, or anywhere else? Here are a couple ways to get our CD as low as $5 for this 1 year mark!

CD Baby has a deal that offers 3 CDs for $5 each (including Unending Praise). Unfortunately, it’s a bit tough finding albums this way, so we’ll also be running a promotion in our store for merch bundles. If you’ve always wanted our Snellen T-shirt for cheap, this is your chance too! And as always, you can stream our music with services such as Rdio (direct link).

New music is on its way! We’ve written several songs already and can’t wait to share more information soon on how we can make this happen together. Thanks, everyone, and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

(Wow that’s a lot of links. But one last thing: don’t forget to subscribe to our mailing list to get a free download of our Easter song “He Has Overcome”! Stay tuned tomorrow as we continue our blog series for Lent.)

SoundCloud Giveaway Winners

Congratulations to our winners! Watch the video below to see if you won a copy of our CD “Unending Praise”. Winners will be contacted later today through SoundCloud messaging:


Be sure to download “Unending Praise (Young Weather Remix)” available on iTunes tomorrow! It’s just the first in a series of remixes we’ll be releasing to commemorate the 1 year since our debut album.

So you may have missed your chance to win our giveaway today but you still have a shot at our Facebook giveaway for a chance to win our Unending Praise Ultimate Prize Pack! Entering is simple: just like us on Facebook and fill out the “E-mail Signup” form in our menu tabs. The winner will be selected Friday, February 21 at 12PM EST.

Thanks, everyone!

Facebook Fan Giveaway

Wow! I guess we underestimated the potential support on Facebook! We were supposed to hold a giveaway to celebrate 200 likes on Facebook but that came and went in a blink of an eye! So now at 300+, one lucky winner will win a major Unending Praise prize pack. (Sorry! US residents only. If winner is outside the US, they can cover shipping costs or we will have a redraw.)

To enter, simply ‘Like’ us on Facebook and sign up for our mailing list at www.facebook.com/ShamelessPlugBand with the “E-mail Signup” tab – Winner will be selected on February 21 at 12PM EST!

Next week we’ll announce what will be in the ultimate Unending Praise prize pack! Thanks everyone, and stay tuned!

How To Vote For “Christ Is”


With only 7 days left for voting, we wanted to share the fastest & easiest way to vote for us. In case you missed it, we were selected as one of 30 to be considered for the AAW Collective 9 charity compilation album. We can only make Top 10 with your help! The song is our current radio single “Christ Is” (which is on the radio charts right now, right above Steven Curtis Chapman’s “What A Friend We Have In Jesus”… Wait… Seriously? What an amazing songwriter of our time!).

To vote, you’ll need a SoundCloud, Google, or Facebook account. Simply hit play below and click the |Like| button that appears… and you’re done! And just for voting, you’ve entered our own giveaway; we haven’t yet decided exactly how many will win or what the prize(s) will be, but you’ll want to be a part of our “Christ Is” vote count so that you won’t miss out! [Winner(s) will be contacted through the messaging system in SoundCloud]

Thanks for voting and supporting – we’ll let you know what happens when voting closes February 13, 11:59PM CST!

Update: Voting is now closed, and the SoundCloud player may not appear above.