Amazing Stories Behind Our 2 Newest Songs
Wed., Sep. 16. 2015 1:47pm EDT
J. Jackson, lead singer and lyricist for ApologetiX here again.
I wanted to share with you two really cool and touching testimonies that happened while we were working on our two latest songs, "Cöstly Trüth" and "Try and Try Again":
1. Cöstly Trüth
Mötley Crüe's original was about a drug dealer named "Rat-tailed Jimmy." Our parody is about a similar guy who left that lifestyle for Christ and then went back to the streets to preach the Gospel and to help others get clean. Now they call him "Radical Jimmy."
I was talking to one of our fans via email about that song shortly after I completed the lyrics, because I knew that fan's daughter had recently gone through struggles with overcoming drug addiction, and I hoped it would encourage him. He already knew about our song "Addicted to Christ." I didn't give him specifics about the new song, just the concept. He replied:
"Your new song is about my brother -- addict in his teens, drug and alcohol counselor in his late 20's until his mid 50's."
Now, I knew that that fan had a brother who'd died a little over a year ago when a truck pulled out in front of his motorcycle, but I'd forgotten he'd been a drug and alcohol counselor, and I didn't know he'd been a user before that.
Then he added, "I have a new friend — I think God gave him to me to replace my brother -- that has been clean 21 years, and his main life ministry is helping addicts."
Since the song dealt with people so similar to our fan's new friend and late brother, I replied, "I don't suppose either of their names is Jimmy? That's the name of the guy in the song." And he responded:
"My brother was Jim! I never called him Jimmy, although my mom and aunt did."
2. Try and Try Again
Ozzy Osbourne's original was about how he made a successful comeback as a solo artist after being fired from Black Sabbath.
Our parody is about how you can make a successful comeback from something called "besetting sins." You may have heard pastors use the term. The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable defines a besetting sin as "a fault to which someone is especially prone, a characteristic weakness. Beset means literally 'surround with hostile intent', so the image is of the forces of sin besieging a person."
Yes, the Bible says we're all sinners (Romans 3:23, James 3:2), but each of us has particular areas of weakness, and Satan knows how to attack those weaknesses and turn them into stumbling blocks for us. The most obvious examples are addictions involving sex, alcohol, and drugs, but there are many others.
The enemy wants to tell you that you're the only one struggling with your particular issue and that you'll never overcome it, but the Bible says "No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it" (1 Corinthians 10:13).
In early July, I was emailing with a fan who was going through a struggle with that sort of thing, and I wanted to encourage him, so I shared the lyrics for "Try and Try Again" with him. I didn't know if he was familiar with Ozzy Osbourne or the original song or if he even liked that sort of music, so I didn't know if some of the impact would be lost.
He responded by telling me that before he came to Christ, one of his favorite artists was Ozzy Osbourne, and he'd seen Ozzy in concert more than any other artist. He also said that "Flying High Again" was always one of his favorites and he'd worn out a couple of cassette copies of the album from which it came, because he'd played it so much back in the day!
I love how God does things like this. What are the odds that the first fan's brother would be an ex-addict turned drug counselor named Jimmy or that the second fan had loved Ozzy and "Flying High Again" so much before they came to Christ? I especially love these "coincidences," because God used them to encourage fans listening to our parodies and to encourage me as a writer, trying to listen for His voice.