December 8, 1998 / Circulation: 85! Welcome to the
In this issue: • Notes of All Sorts • Top This! • Prayer Artist of December: Wilshire • Wilshire Concert Review • Revelation 19 • 1998 CCM DL Awards • Responses to TELL ME • TELL ME "Faith without works is like a screen
CCM Discussion List - Vol. II, No. 45
door on a submarine." -Rich Mullins
Sorry for my "little" break you all! I've been letting all this information about Christian music that I've accumulated pile up. There's so much to read, but I'm sure you'll love to hear about Wilshire, Revelation 19, and what's new on the CCM DL Awards.
Jason E. notified CCM DL that Star Song has moved to Sparrow Records. It seems that Star Song & Sparrow had basically the same approach and mission for their record companies. You might want to visit http://www.chordant.com/news/starsong.htm for more details!
#1 Adult Contemporary Single-- Point of Grace / "Saving Grace" | Week 1
#1 CHR Single -- DC TALK/"My Friend"
#1 Inspirational Single --Kathy Troccoli/"Psalm 23" | Week #1
#1 Christian Retail Top-Selling Album -- WOW 1999: THE YEAR'S 30 TOP CHRISTIAN ARTISTS AND SONGS, Various
(THE JESUS RECORD has dropped off the charts!)
#1 Mainstream Retail Top-Selling Album - TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL-THE ALBUM, Various | Week #2 (Word/Epic)
Information from (www.ccmcom.com)
While I was talking to Lori, I asked her if there was anything us fans can do for them. She said "PRAY." She asked for prayer for wisdom, for guidance, and also for creativity for now, as they're about to begin working on a new project. So, I pass that along to all of you! Please, keep them in prayer. I know they'll appreciate it!
Saturday, November 21st, I had the awesome privilege of seeing Wilshire in concert here at Owensboro Christian Church...for free. Yes! Wilshire --- Michael W. Smith's second artist ever on Rocketown Records --- FREE. It doesn't get better than that! It was *wonderful!* The musicians were: Lori Wilshire on acoustic guitar, Micah Wilshire on electric guitar, Kevin VonDerHofen on bass guitar, & Jeff on percussion (a large bongo drum, plus various other instruments). (I did not catch Jeff's last name, but I'm pretty sure it started with a "R." Does anyone know?)
As you may know, Wilshire has only one album out at this time, and that album has only 10 songs. They performed every song off of that self-titled debut, opening with except for "Face" (I'm not sure why that one was left out). Several times in the concert, Micah would introduce a song & say it was off of "our-one-and-only-album." It was cute. :) Although they kicked things off with "Over My Head," just like on the CD, they didn't do all of the songs in that order. I believe the last song off of their "one-and-only-album" was "In This Moment," but they also did a few other songs. They did a rousing version of an old, little-known gospel tune which was originally done by Chaka Khan. I have no idea what the name of that song is, but that may have been the most powerful moment in the show! It was great! (Note: I searched high & low on the 'Net for the lyrics to this song with no luck. Anyone who has any idea what this song is, please email me privately!) They also led us in "Lord, I Lift Your Name on High" and as an encore, they led us in a lifting rendition of "Salvation Belongs to Our God" (a.k.a. "Be to Our God"). During "Salvation..." we were asked to be in a time of prayer & worship. Sure, Wilshire led us, but they were not interested in the focus being on *them.* Everyone closed their eyes and worshipped together. :) Remember the "Deep & Wide" song from Sunday School? Well, we did those same hand motions for the song "Deep," and in the middle of "Over My Head, they taught us how to do the "ba ba ba's" for them and had us singing that part. It was a lot of fun. :)
I will be the first to admit that, even though I had their CD, I was never the biggest Wilshire fan. But, after hearing/seeing them live, speaking to each of them personally, and hearing explanations about certain songs, I have *much* more admiration & respect for the band and their music. The most meaningful parts of the evening were when they gave insights into some of the songs. Some that I remember are: "Ms. Innocence" - Lori introduced this one, saying it was written about a girl who keeps looking for love in all the wrong ways and how that will get her nowhere quickly, because God is the Only Source of True Love. The ideas behind "Can You See Me?" came from Matthew 25:35-40. This is talking about the way all of us treat each & every person we come across. We are to treat everyone just the same way we would treat Jesus, because anything we do to them or for them is done to/for Him (that's a startling thought, if you ask me). Micah said that "If I Could" is "basically a love song." If I remember correctly, he wrote it for Lori once when she was going through some rough times. "Closer Still" & "Deep" are about longing to deepen your relationship with Christ. I wish I could remember exactly what Lori said as she introduced "Medicine." For a person like me who has gone through a lot of hard times with physical problems, loneliness, and depression, this song is a profound, poignant prayer.
After the concert, I went to the merchandise table and bought a 2nd copy of their CD (I gave the other one away after that), a poster, and one of these neat little necklaces they had. I got in the autograph line, but since I had quite a while before I could leave, I let everyone else go before me. When I finally got to Lori & Micah (Kevin & Jeff were taking down equipment), I introduced myself as "the last fan," which got a laugh out of Lori. (I love making people laugh!) I was able to talk with her for about 5 minutes, and I spoke with Micah just briefly. If you've never seen her, Lori is a petite little thing, so I jokingly asked how such a powerful voice came out of such a tiny person. Micah overheard and chimed in to say that "the Laws of Physics do not apply to Lori." :) Both of them signed my poster and CD. As I was walking away, Jeff walked by. I introduced myself and asked if he would mind signing the poster. We talked for a bit while he did that. He asked for traveling mercies as they drove back to Nashville that night (especially if Micah was driving (lol)). He suggested that I go back in the sanctuary and find Kevin. I did, and we talked for a few minutes while he put up his guitar, searched for a marker, and signed my poster. All of them have sparkling personalities. :)
[note from Allison] So remember to keep them in prayer. Specific prayer requests are listed above in the Prayer Artist column.
(Revelation 19)  Then the angel said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!...These are the true words of God." At this I fell at his feet to worship him.
As a child, I wondered why John would worship an angel. John, an apostle! How come if I knew that Jesus Christ was the only one who should be worshipped, John didn't? Well, I was wrong. You see, I didn't bow before an angel who led others into worship with God. But I may have esteemed some Christian artists higher than I should have at times. Sometimes I have listened to *their* words and have been more concerned about what they thought than sometimes what God thought.
I don't mean to pick on Amy Grant, and this is not her fault anyway, but I met Amy Grant at an Amy Grant Fan Club meeting last year. I tell you one thing: her fans were snapping away picture after picture and it was really idolatrous.
I remember being late for church, because I was in the car, being so excited that they were airing Carolyn Arends' interview and she was talking about the Internet. Now, it's OK to like artist interviews and to really like music that put Christian artists put out. But sometimes we can get caught up with the artist instead of God's work behind that artist.
Revelation 19 continues and says,  But [the angel] said to me, "I am a fellow servant with you...Worship God."
What I respect about Rich Mullins is that he always pointed to God. He said, "But mostly, I hope you [will] know Jesus through whom God has wildly and ferociously loved us."
And I encourage that you would know Jesus overwhelming more than you know about artists and their songs.
We have a few categories that do not have enough nominations, or, there are very few nominations. Please nominate things for these categories, no matter if you have already voted before:
Favorite Inspirational Album:
Favorite Rock Album:
Favorite Urban Song:
Favorite Urban Album:
Favorite Independent (Indie) Album:
Favorite Short Form Video:
Favorite Long Form Video:**
Favorite Concert Experience:
Can't be categorized:**
Favorite inspirational artist:
Thank you very much! Voting should start next week, or the week after. Everything is almost ready!
*If you haven't nominated artists, songs, etc. for the 1998 CCM DL Awards, e-mail me and I'll send you the categories.
**this category has only one nomination
A. Who is...?
(Allison) A background singer for many Christian artists (including Gary Chapman, Chris Rice and Michael W. Smith) that I found out was touring with Billy Joel.
-Shelley (Phillips) Breen
(Christina S.) A member of Point of Grace, whose anniversary is the same day as my brother's!
B. What do you think defines Christian music, the words or the artist?
Or something else?
(Christina S.) Both
(Rebekah) Definitely the mix of lyrics, personality, and the fact of being vocal about their faith. There are some so called "Christian" bands that I don't consider a Christian band in the least.... or... you could also refer to what Christian Ergueta from Ghoti Hook told me:
"I don't know if anyone has ever read anything by Francis Schaffer. But if you have, there's actually a book by Frankie Schaffer, his son, and it's called "Addicted to Mediocrity". It basically talks about how the arts of the church have been basically abandoned. So the effect that the Christians can have in culture through the arts has declined in the twentieth century. That's a really sad thing. I think a lot of that has to do with the whole Christian music industry that tends to put itself in a box that's only for Christians and that's also for the churches who are afraid to use what's different and not traditional. The Holy Spirit moves in different ways, some which are traditional, and some ways are just for the moment for the group of people type of thing. For example, Bach, Beethoven, and Handel... when you think of classical music, you think of those people as some of the stronger people that made the best music of that time... those three people were Christians...you've got Mozart who wasn't one, but it kinda gives you an example. In the music, without any lyrics, was it Christian or non Christian? Christian or secular? It was music, right? ok...that's the whole idea. We want to do good quality music that's gonna influence culture, because music actually goes into your soul, ya know what I mean? Art: when you look at a painting of a beautiful woman, is it Christian or non Christian? [What about] when you see a picture of a baby, a painting, an old lady? We are made to be reflections of our creator... of God... and when you look at God, you look at some of his creativity...just look at the nature around you, all the different types of trees, different types of animals, different types of people, men and woman, they all kind of look the same, but they are all different. Their eyes, hair, and noses are different. Why does he opt to make them different? Does he do it for a purpose? Did he make everyone's nose different for a purpose or did he do it just to make everyone look different? I think that's why he did it: to show up the depth of his creative ability. As Christians, we should be try to explore the depths of our creative abilities in way to show what God has done."
A. What do you think about Collin Raye's crossing-over into the Christian music industry, from country? Do you think that people will continue to accept him as a Christian music artist?
B. [Imagine!] You will be offered 8 free tickets to any Word Records' artist of your choice anywhere in the United States if you never buy an album that Sparrow Records releases. Would you do this? What would your opinion of Word Records be?