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Archive for the ‘K-Love’ Category

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It was the 70’s. It was the 80’s. And, it was the music of my generation. It matters not whether it was rock or country, pop music was and is today pretty much all the same.

Some of my earliest music memories are of Sammy Johns’ “Chevy Van”, later rerecorded by Sammy Kershaw (again, rock, or country, guys named Sammy, it matters not). One of my first ever youth ministers at our small church in Shreveport rationalized the tune by saying he always imagined the girl in the van was his wife, and that was alright with him. I also remember my dad quizzing me about what some of Rod Stewart’s lyrics really had to say, and if I was thinking about what my choices in music had to say.

By the time of late high school and the advent of MTV, Van Halen was really moving into the popular mainstream. I liked their music, and have to admit, I still do to a degree. It’s a Memory Lane kinda thing, but I digress. You see, guys who sing about being “hot for teacher” and have guitars shaped like large bottles of Jack Daniels whiskey are probably not your best influences while sojourning thru the “Teenage Wasteland”. (another great 80’s hit by “The Who”, BTW).
but, it was not until the late 90’s and I saw one of my young ens’ gyrating to the beat of VH’s “Panama” in our living room that I was left wanting something better for them.

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Thankfully, my generation was too old for me to fall for the likes of “Nirvana”. I’m not exactly sure what “Teen Spirit” smells like, but judging from the aroma of my son’s laundry pile, much less his room, I’d say it is pretty rough. And the lyrics to Nirvana’s so named hit tune from the 90’s are equally rough. But, thankfully, the late Kurt Cobain is not a modern day Jim Morrison (“The Doors”, BTW, for the music novice reader) to my kids, with seemingly resurrection quality fame and fan pilgrimages to their grave sites. Currently populated grave sites, I might add.

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But, the “Aroma of Christ” is more our speed.

So, hit the Sony Walkman cassette fast forward button with me to the decade of the late 1990’s (that is the skip/next arrow on the iPod touch screen for you young ens’). I work at a Christian University. A Christian University that comes from a 19th Century Barton Stone/acapella singing tradition, nonetheless. For years, our University possessed ownership of a lightly followed radio station on the 80’s end of the FM spectrum, which is the “not for profit” end of the dial. One day, an unsolicited letter came from a business calling itself “K-Love”, and they wanted to buy our radio station.

At that point in history, our University was enduring a similar set of operational and financial challenges that seems to befall many such organizations around their 5th decade of existence. Young enough to be hungry, old enough to be stuck in their ways, etc, but I digress.

The media markets were just beginning to experience the dramatic changes that the internet continues to heap upon our society today, and some of the University’s best advisors and supporters with mass media acumen told us “Ask for so many $, and if they say yes, sell it”. We asked for even more than advised (a seven figure sum, I will confess), and K-Love said yes. We needed the money, and a bigger group needed the influence of the music. I firmly believe it was God’s Providence at work.

Before anyone writes me off and stops reading here because of “the issue”, stay with me just a little longer. You see, after we sold the station, I refused to listen to K-Love. They had guitars. They had pianos. And they used those things in the same arena as the words “Jesus”, “God”, and “Love”. (not the “Chevy Van” kinda love, BTW). Part of me felt like I had done something wrong. I had always been taught growing up, not necessarily by my parents, but by “The Restoration Establishment” (I can’t really say “The Church”, in this regard), that faith based music with instruments was sinful, and a salvation differentiator. But, while feeling this way, I continued to hear tunes about “Who’s Cheating Who” (Alan Jackson), etc, and not “How Great is Our God” (Chris Tomlinson), etc. And yet, some of Tomlin’s buddies and cohorts were writing new songs that we were learning and singing in our Sunday worship services, acapella, mind you.

So, “skip forward” a bit. I began listening to K-Love, and it has been life altering. I am much more open to discussing faith matters with others who don’t worship with me. My mind, body, and spirit, is moved by the music, especially when times are hard. And, in this era where our young men love Rap and Hip Hop music styles (a love I struggle to understand, BTW), I take solace in my teenage son’s “way too loud” rap music emanating from his room is by LeCrae and is screaming about living a changed life for Jesus, versus anything Eminem might try to influence him with. And, I might add, that influence in our house and in our cars filters over to countless numbers of other schoolmate teens, many who currently don’t have Jesus and are looking for something in their life.

Ephesians 5:18-20 tells us: “Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

I don’t find in the Bible that people will lose their salvation if they worship with an instrument, especially while driving around in their car. I do think God has a problem with young ens’ potentially being “Hot for Teacher”, and with drinking Jack Daniels. (there’s a 5:18 topic I won’t try to touch on, today, in this already too long post. Maybe some other morning? Maybe.)

So, in trying to both wrap this up and maybe grant solace to those potentially conservative friends reading this who might be wanting to disagree and/or pray for my soul right about now, I feel your pain. It is called life, and trying to walk with Jesus in the best way possible.

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But take heart. I worship in a church that practices the style of music promoted by the group pictured above. It is called acapella, and it means “without instruments”, or voices only. It is how I grew up, it is what I am comfortable with, and I believe it makes singing and worshipping a personal thing for me, as opposed to a potential concert type experience in a worship assembly. But, admittedly, that is just me talking.

I do find it ironic, however, that this late 80’s era grouping of Acappella guys is posed to look like a cleaned up/sanitized version of cool dudes like the Van Halen picture at the beginning of this post. Just thinking out loud, there. I also find it ironic that this group can’t sound the way they sound without the benefit of synthesizers, mixers, and microphones, all electronic and manipulated. Some people might even call those things “instruments”. Hmmm.

But, as their trademark tune says:

“I’m gonna get on my knees and pray to the Lord,
give me just a one more day
oho Lord – hear my plea,
this music means so much to me.
I’m singing a soul to soul – brother to brother
– a capella – sounds good to me.”

Chris Tomlin might not have said it any better….

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and lose my Soul

A special shout out to my man TobyMac, here.    Chapter two of the Sunday morning K-Love inspirational drive now unfolds before you.    I’m no rapper, and never have been much of a singer, but these words really sank in with me earlier this week.    Take a moment to read, and see if you agree.

This is how I roll….

Man I wanna tell y’all something, Man.

Man I’m not gonna let these material thing’s, get in my way, ya’ll.

I’m trying to get somewhere.

I’m trying to get somewhere,

Thats real and pure and true and eternal.

Father God, I am clay in your hands,

Help me to stay that way through all life’s demands,

‘Cause they chip and they nag and they pull at me,

And every little thing I make up my mind to be,

Like I’m gonna be a daddy whose in the mix,

And I’m gonna be a husband who stays legit,

And I pray that I’m an artist who rises above,

The road that is wide and filled with self love,

Everything that I see draws me,

Though it’s only in You that I can truly see that its a feast for the eyes- a low blow to purpose.

And I’m a little kid at a three ring circus.

I don’t want to gain the whole world, and lose my soul,

Don’t wanna walk away, let me hear the people say.

I don’t want to gain the whole world, and lose my soul,

Don’t wanna walk away, let me hear the people say.

The paparazzi flashes, and that they think that it’s you,

But they don’t know that who you are is not what you do,

True, we get it twisted when we peak at the charts,

Yo before we part from the start,

Where’s your heart?

Tell me what’s your title,

America has no more stars, now we call them idols,

You sit idle, While we teach prosperity,

The first thing to prosper should be inside of me.

We’re free…

Not because of 22’s on the range,

But Christ came in range, we said yes now we changed,

Not the same, even though I made a fall,

Since I got that call, no more Saul, now I’m Paul.

I don’t want to gain the whole world, and lose my soul,

Don’t wanna walk away, let me hear the people say.

I don’t want to gain the whole world, and lose my soul,

Don’t wanna walk away, let me hear the people say.

How do I sense the tide that’s rising?

De-sensitizing me from living in light of eternity,

How do I sense the tide that’s rising?

It’s hypnotizing me from living in light of eternity,

How do I sense the tide that’s rising?

De-sensitizing me from living in light of eternity.

(Lord what we gon do,We’re relying on you,

all eyes are on you Lord,

all eyes are on you, all eyes are on you Jesus.)

Lord forgive us when we get consumed by the things of this world,

That fight for our love, and our passion,

As our eyes are open wide and on you.

Grant us the privilege of your world view,

And may your kingdom be, what wakes us up, and lays us down.

(Hallelujah, Don’t wanna lose our soul,

No, Don’t wanna lose my soul.)

Hey excuse me,

I’m looking for the after party,

Toby,

Haha, yeah, last door on the left, you’ll hear it.

Thanks,

No problem.

Don’t let me lose, my soul,

I’m never gonna walk away.

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