Updates

Love And Fear: Campaign Update 2 by Michael Nichols

We're about to close the first half of our crowdfunding campaign! If you haven't heard, I'm making a record with some amazing musicians and friends, and we're raising money for gear. When you pre-order the record for just $10, you'll get an instant download of one of the singles, "Find You In The Light." We're currently at 12% of our goal, which is amazing! When we first launched this campaign, I was as nervous as ever. Correction: I am nervous! But the response so far has been great, both in feedback about our music and in the generosity of friends and family. We've raised $580 of the $5000 we're shooting for to make this the best record it can possibly be. We actually crossed that 10% mark by the end of week 2!

As awesome as that is, we've hit a pretty big slump since then.

We have barely over a month left to go, so if you can help by preordering our record "Love And Fear," picking one of our perk packages (including anything from downloads to signed CDs, to t-shirts, posters, and microphones), sharing the campaign on social media, and most importantly praying that God will make a way for this to happen and that His will would be done.

As much as we love making music and having fun, though, this is our ministry above all else. We want to reach a world that is afraid by offering them the love of Jesus Christ. We're just looking for the means to do that the best way we know how. :)

ALSO, here's some exciting news! A fantastic friend of mine asked to interview me about the new record. She has an amazing devotional account on Instagram, so head over there and check out @shinejesus_ for some excellent words from the Father, and watch out for the interview, coming soon!

Be sure to check out our campaign on IndieGoGo and head over to SoundCloud to listen to our brand new track, "Find You In The Light."

Thanks for all of your support! :)

--Michael

https://igg.me/at/loveandfear/x/9877524

https://soundcloud.com/mnicholszero/findyouinthelight

https://www.instagram.com/shinejesus_/

Where I've Been In 2015 So Far by Michael Nichols

Hey, people!

So, I took a break for a bunch of different reasons.

I've had a lot of things to sort out. I won't go into detail as that would be a little bit boring. Suffice it to say that my battle with depression had a flare-up. There have been some things I've been dealing with, some being circumstances, some being difficult people, and some being my own issues revolving around my person, the reality and strength of my faith, and what I need to do to rebuild a relationship with Jesus that has been suffering for a while due to my unwillingness to talk about some of the things I've been going through or have already been through.

So I decided I'd start writing a memoir (I guess) about it. It's been very therapeutic, and I feel I've been able to be more honest with myself and start reconnecting with others, repairing some bridges, I guess, and start admitting to God how little I understand what's going on, and to start accepting how much I need Him, and how even when I don't feel like there are any answers, that I need to rely on the fact He's never failed before. I talk about it so much, and I know it's true, and I feel it sometimes, but I don't let it carry me or guide my feet like I should. Like the Rush of Fools song goes, "To label me a hypocrite would be only scratching the surface of who I've been known to be."

As much as I want to continue blogging here, I don't believe I'm capable of doing so in the state I'm in, nor do I think it's what God wants me to do right now. I think He just wants me to take some time to let Him be Lord again. I'm tired of the lip service, the caring what others think about what I believe. My priority should be Him, not someone's opinion or approval.

Another thing (aside from the personal) is that I'm planning to move my domain to Squarespace. What that's probably going to mean is that I will be migrating my blog from WordPress in order to work as exclusively in Squarespace as possible... but then I might not. The reason is that it simply does what I want to do more effectively and freely than WordPress. And I love WordPress, so that should tell you the difference is big enough.

During this time of personal revival, I'd love to keep hearing from you guys, so you can use the contact form here or click the social links at the top of the page (also at the bottom of this post).

Thanks for hanging out with me and for walking with me through this transition. I've been richly blessed by you people. No matter what state I'm in, high or low, Jesus is Lord, and thank God for that! See ya soon! :)

www.soundcloud.com/mnicholsofficial

www.facebook.com/mnicholsofficial

www.twitter.com/mnicholszero

www.instagram.com/mnicholszero

For the Love of Blog: Suspension by Michael Nichols

Activity on this blog will be suspended for a little while to make room for personal devotion, prayer, and seeking in some areas. It needs to just be me and Jesus for a bit. I'll send an update when activity resumes. Thanks for your continued support.

Much love in Jesus' name,

Michael Nichols

For The Love Of Blog: Shot to the Gut by Michael Nichols

For a long time, I've felt that the body of Christ has suffered some crippling blows. Some of you might be thinking, "Thank you, Captain Obvious." Others might be thinking I'm starting to sound like a lunatic if I haven't already sounded as such. See, I'm not actually talking about blows from the outside. I'm talking about from the inside. My prayer is for direction. It has been weighing on my heart for more than five years, but lately more than ever. Why? I'm not sure. Maybe the Spirit of the Lord is moving. Or maybe I just had one too many Caribbean Jerk boneless wings from Buffalo Wild Wings. That being said, my prayer is also to know whose direction I'm following.

See, I'm concerned that we have been caught with our pants down so to speak. We've been dabbling in areas we shouldn't, arguing with each other over irrelevant things, and not spending enough time doing our calling in unity.

If this happens, though it's likely to be when rather than if, I'll probably dedicate a whole new mantra to it on this blog.

If you don't mind, pray for me, and pray that I follow only the leading of the Spirit on this one, as well as everything else.

Thanks, readers. Much love in Jesus' name, who is worthy to receive honor and glory.

For the Love of Blog: Content City by Michael Nichols

One of the things I've hated most about blogging is that I don't have much multimedia to offer. That's about to change.

I've been gifted a DSLR.

I haven't exactly figured it out yet, but once I do, look forward to seeing bonkers photos finding their way into my publications, as well as the occasional video episode.

I'm pretty stoked. I hope you are, too.

For the Love of Blog: New Domain by Michael Nichols

For a while, I've been between digital homes. I've been managing a blog, plus several social media outlets, plus several music avenues... and it's tiring, so I'm putting my foot down.

That's right. I bought a domain.

As an independent blog, Our Light Affliction no longer exists. This is a part of a larger-scale plan to really draw things together under one roof. I'm beginning to realize that God doesn't just move in one way through a person. It's not that His plan for us is singular. His goodness never changes, but how it shines through us does because we who are in the world change constantly.

To really open myself up to how He moves, I've come to an understanding that I simply must pull all the pieces together. This is ultimately in a very small way, but it's amazing how much a minor course-correction can do to change your destination months or even years down the road. I hope that's what becomes of this.

So to you who come here to read my blog, thank you. I'm not stopping. Our Light Affliction may no longer exist in and of itself, but it will become part of a much bigger picture in a much larger space. You'll also see updates from my work as a musician, solo or collaborative, and other endeavors toward which Jesus may direct my hands.

And it all starts here. Just like birth in the flesh and also rebirth in the Spirit of the Living God, it often takes an unravelling of what is, a cessation of what you're doing, an unlearning of what you know, and a return to the place it all began, in order that He may build something new.

Welcome.

I was found at zero.

And here I am again.

www.foundatzero.com

For the Love of Blog: You May Have Noticed... by Michael Nichols

So, there's a banner at the top of my page, now. Don't worry. I haven't been hacked. WordPress isn't putting gigantic ads on my front page. It's an optional banner that WordPress has allowed users to add in an attempt to fight for net neutrality.

For those of you who don't know about it, net neutrality is a concept that says that all the things on the interwebs should be available at the same speed, and that cable companies do not have the right to slow down data transfers through certain websites or service (Netflix, YouTube, etc.). Hot words surrounding the issue are "fast lanes and slow lanes," referring to the speed at which certain data may be allowed to travel. The FCC is currently deliberating on the rules regarding net neutrality and the potential definition of internet as a "utility."

I'm for net neutrality. As a media producer, not only do I want people to have access to what I create, but I also want to be able to upload it without hassle, and that may become an issue if we wave goodbye to net neutrality. Want to know more or join the fight? Look at the links below for a CBS headline and channel provided by Mozilla (makers of the popular open-source web browser FireFox) to contact our representatives in congress about this issue.

Also, you can click through the banner for even more info.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/net-neutrality-promoters-declare-an-internet-slowdown-day/

https://sendto.mozilla.org/page/s/protect-net-neutrality

For the Love of Blog: Being Ready by Michael Nichols

Preparedness is a difficult thing for me. I'm distractible, which leads to the disorganization of things that need to have been organized prior to a given moment. At the same time, because I don't rigidly organize my world, I have much freedom to move with the current of life. That having been said, am I a fish in the current, or am I the riverbed finding itself daily eroded?

I've always wanted to be on top of things when it comes to this blog. I want to be free to move with the current, but then I also want to know that the current I'm surrendering to is taking me somewhere good. I don't want to be at the mercy of my environment, which can be merciless, interestingly enough. I don't like to half-do things, but because of my tendency toward minimal rigidity, I find myself doing exactly what I don't want to do. (This must be how Paul felt while writing Romans 7.) Unfortunately, that affects my blogging by making my posting frequency inconsistent despite a mile-high stack of drafts.

I recently discovered this magical little feature called "scheduled posting." Now that I know about this, I don't really have an excuse. I can keep writing drafts, but when I finish them, I can schedule them to publish as far in advance as I decide. I don't have to worry about setting deadlines for myself if I just set things up ahead of schedule, then stick to that schedule. I can take writing breaks when I need to take them without worrying about falling too far behind the flow. What that means for you, reader, is that I'm going to be working behind the scenes, planning ahead, and though you might not see much out of this blog for the next few weeks, when you finally start seeing me post again, expect much.

It's not just the blog that frustrates me, though. Unfortunately, this chaos tends to invade many area of my life--yes, my bedroom is a total mess--but by knowing ahead of time what should be happening, maybe this chaos will be brought into check. This cannot happen without God's help, though. Ultimately, the fact that I don't plan ahead, which leads to unpreparedness, tells me that I don't trust God to help me if those plans fail. After all, how can I be disappointed by failed plans if I don't make them? But then how can I truly say I trust God unless I step out on that limb? I don't know the future. For all I know, I could lose everything and it not even be because of anything I've done... but why should I do nothing? Why not take risks? Why not make investments? Why not build relationships? Why not ask for God to build His kingdom in me?

If I don't make myself ready for things to come, when they come, they will either pass me by or knock me down. It's time to brace myself. It's a big future in a big world with a big God.

For the Love of Blog: The Graduate by Michael Nichols

It's been a while, readers! Let's catch up! Pour yourself a cappuccino, kick back, relax, and let's do this thing.

The past several months have been fairly crazy for me. I've been finishing up my last few classes for my Associate of Arts degree, playing gigs, recording and producing the band I'm currently with, and sleeping given the opportunity. Now, a part of that is over. I finished the classes, and I'm wrapping up the recording project, hoping to have everything mastered by the end of August and ready to roll not long after.

Being caught up in all these things has left me in a strange state. This moment in my life is very much a transition. The state of my job is changing, which is leading to the slow change of my level of independence and complete engagement in my career and what I believe to be the ministry God has called me to. I've got to pursue that now, and not delay. I might not always have the chance to be a conduit for the gospel of Christ through music, but I will always have my ability to teach math and apply it in whatever field I choose -- I will always have that, but I may not always have an opportunity to reach people for the Lord.

What part does this blog play in that? At this point, I'm not 100% sure, but I'm going to start again soon.

On a similar note, I've decided to rekindle my flame for fiction. Yes. Believe it or not, I used to love to write fiction. For a while, I've had this Idea in the back of my mind, but I think now is the time to implement it. The idea is to create a new blog site for use as a fictitious record, a chronicle or journal as it were, of a Christian observing the end of days as the tribulation unfolds. Most people I've encountered believe that Christians won't endure the tribulation, but after reading a passage in Revelation 6, my thinking changed:

"9 When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; 10 and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11 And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also."

This radically changed my interpretation of eschatology throughout the Bible. What makes us so special, that we will be exempt from the tribulation? Furthermore, how can the battle at Armageddon occur if there isn't another side? There are numerous contrasts throughout Revelation where a line is distinctly drawn between believers and nonbelievers (for example, between those with and those without the mark of the beast), proving that we too will be part of the tribulation, though we may not experience the same things.

When I first read the above passage I realized what it said: we who follow Christ will become aliens, illegal to the world. How would we take it if this alienation happened now? What if there were no more cathedrals? What if the presses on which Bible are printed were burned? What would we do? The fiction that I intend to begin will seek to answer questions like that. When everything we thought we knew about our world and though we had in our possession falls apart, then what?

Want to know more? Follow the link at the bottom of this post! I have not uploaded anything yet as it is a work in progress, but when I do, if you go ahead and follow the page, rest assure that you will get the latest news! Thanks, as always, readers! God bless! :)

http://undertherevolution.wordpress.com/