Fifteen years ago tomorrow, an unsuspecting world awoke on that Sunday morning to the news that Rich Mullins, Contemporary Christian singer/songwriter, had been killed in a crash on an Illinois highway. He was probably best known for having written the song Awesome God, but let me share some other quotes, musical and not, for your edification and, perhaps, growth.
1: ♪♫♫♪♪♫ Save me from slick pop sounds laid down in virgin vinyl grooves. Save me from any woman who’d be turned on by the aftershave I use. Save me from trendy religion that makes cheap clichés out of timeless truths.
2: As we age, we begin to forget stuff; our joints stiffen; our heads go a little soft…getting old is part of getting past whatever illusion we have about ourselves. It is part of getting free
3: ♪♫♫♪♪♫ Faith without works, baby, it just ain’t happenin’
4: It used to be really popular to wear little buttons…that said, “Smile, God Loves You.” And that would always hack me off, ‘cause I go, “You know what? God loves everybody. That doesn’t make me special. It just means that God has no taste.”
5: ♪♫♫♪♪♫ When he rolls up his sleeves, he ain’t just puttin’ on the ritz
6: At the Y today, this one guy…talked a little bitterly about how I seem to have it so good. I suppose I do….I think I would envy me too, if I didn’t know me better
7: ♪♫♫♪♪♫ There’s a loyalty that’s deeper than mere sentiment, and a music higher than the songs that I can sing. The stuff of earth competes for the allegiance I owe only to the giver of all good things
8: I think a lot of American people are infatuated with God, but we don't really love Him, and they don't really let Him love them. Being loved by God is one of the most painful things in the world, it's also the only thing that can bring us salvation and it's like everything else that is really wonderful: there's a little bit of pain in it.
9: ♪♫♫♪♪♫ Talk about your miracles; talk about your faith: My dad, he could make things grow out of Indiana clay
10: You can never get so healthy that you don’t have to continue to eat right. Because every day I have to make the right choice about what I eat and how much exercise I need. Spiritually we’re in much the same place.
11: ♪♫♫♪♪♫ Well the Lord said “let there be” and there was, on the earth below and in the sky above. Then he knocked off work ‘cause it was Friday night; come Saturday morning everything was just alright
12: Sometimes it concerns me, the number of people who can quote my songs…but they can’t quote Scripture—as if anything a musician might have to say would be worth listening to….If you want entertainment, I suggest Christian entertainment, because I think it’s good. But if you want spiritual nourishment, I suggest you go to church or read your Bible.
13: ♪♫♫♪♪♫ You was a boy like I was once, but was you a boy like me? I grew up around Indiana; you grew up around Galilee
14: The Bible is not a book for the faint of heart—it is a book full of all the greed and glory and violence and tenderness and sex and betrayal that befits mankind….It does not give us answers fitted to our small-minded questions, but truth that goes beyond what we even know to ask.
15: ♪♫♫♪♪♫ You never know who God is gonna use; a princess or a baby…or maybe even you or me
16: When Christ has stripped away…all of our lame, Protestant kind of stupidity, all of our Catholic hang-ups; when Christ has stripped away everything that we have invented about Him, then maybe we will encounter Him as He really is. And we will know ourselves as we really are.
17: ♪♫♫♪♪♫ Love is found in the things we’ve given up more than in the things that we have kept
18: I am a Christian, not because someone explained the nuts and bolts of Christianity to me, but because there were people who were willing to be nuts and bolts
19: ♪♫♫♪♪♫ When I leave, I wanna go out like Elijah
20: If you give a tithe, you get rid of ten percent of the root of all evil. You should be giving ninety percent, ‘cause God can handle money better than we can.
21: ♪♫♫♪♪♫ Sometimes I think of Abraham, how one star he saw had been lit for me. He was a stranger in this land and I am that, no less than he
22: When I started writing songs, I thought you had to say everything that you knew in every song. You can always tell a young writer because they always do that. And you just kind of go, "OK, I know all about your theology, but I have no interest at all in your song."
23: ♪♫♫♪♪♫ I believe what I believe is what makes me what I am. I did not make it; no, it is making me
24: Never forget what Jesus did for you. Never take lightly what it cost Him. And never assume that if it cost Him His very life, that it won't also cost you yours
25: ♪♫♫♪♪♫ I’d rather fight you for something I don’t really want than to take what you give that I need
26: Scriptures don't teach us to be assertive. The Scriptures teach us—and this is remarkable—the Scriptures teach us to be submissive. This is not a popular idea
27: ♪♫♫♪♪♫ I will be my brother's keeper, not the one who judges him. I won't despise him for his weakness. I won't regard him for his strength
28: If you want a religion that makes sense, go somewhere else. But if you want a religion that makes life, choose Christianity
29: ♪♫♫♪♪♫ The hope of the whole world rests on the shoulders of a homeless man
30: So go out and live real good and I promise you'll get beat up real bad. But, in a little while after you're dead, you'll be rotted away anyway. It's not gonna matter if you have a few scars. It will matter if you didn't live.
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Truth is...there is no greater wish for me to confer upon you than the two words that accompanied Rich's autograph: BE GOD'S!