Sunshine, Sandy Beaches and Jesus!

I wrote “That’s Only Half Of It” on a beautiful sunny day while driving across the Courtney Campbell Causeway from Tampa to Clearwater, FL. I always carried  a little recorder with me to capture the songs that would often burst out of me. This was one of those times! I was a pretty new Christian and totally new to Florida. Growing up in the Midwest I had never seen the ocean in person. I loved the constant sunshine and sandy beaches that were all around me in Clearwater. On that particular day I was heading over the causeway and loving everything that filled my eyes! “Man, this is AWESOME Lord!” That’s when the thought hit me, “Whoa! That’s only half of it! If you think this is good, it’s nothing compared to what Jesus has to give you!” As I drove over Tampa Bay this song came bursting out of me.

The truth is, whatever and however good it gets down here, it can’t begin to compare with what God’s got in store for us!

That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” -1 Corinthians 2:9

You think you have a good thing going on now? It doesn’t even come close to what God has for you if you’re His child!

 

From glory to glory!

So the thing about this song is that as I go through the verses, it just keeps getting better. All the things God tells us in His Word- it just expands and unfolds to ever greater things. In Jesus, it’s always a “That’s only half of it” because there’s always more to discover in Him!

And then, of course, there’s the very short chorus that repeats in the song.

“For the kingdom of this world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ…” -Revelation 11:15

We all know this world isn’t just beaches and sunshine. There’s some really bad stuff that goes on down here; there’s sickness and sin, sadness and pain under this beautiful sunshine we all enjoy. But even that God’s going to turn around!

“Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth,’ for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away…” -Revelation 21:1

“‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death, or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” -Revelation 21:4

That’s the kind of stuff that was filling my heart as I drove from Clearwater to Tampa. It was a ‘WOW!’ moment I’ll never forget! It was sheer joy!

A few years later I ended up moving to Ft. Lauderdale, FL where I met Clay Hecocks. Clay is the one who played piano on this song (as well as a number of other songs that are on “Jesus On My Mind”). I had worked with a few other keyboard players to try and record this, but Clay was the one who really “got it” and played the part that expressed what the song was all about. Ray Wright played bass on this song and I love how he skipped about like a ram (part of the lyrics) with his bass part. Frank Basile is on drums. Frank does custom drum recordings from his website and appears on a number of my songs. He has a gift for online collaboration if you need a drummer!