There are several Christian musicians I admire. The words they write are from the heart. Looking at the lyrics you can tell what they have been through in life or what they are currently experiencing at least emotionally. One of those artists is 4HIM. I realize that group disbanded 3 years ago, but the lyrics Mark Harris and Marty Magehee wrote for many of their songs are from the heart. Mark wrote about his experience as a new dad in For Future Generations. Marty wrote about his experience with a rare form of arthritis that was healed in Sacred Hideaway. They also wrote about how they hear God in Voice of God. 4HIM has done much to encourage me in my walk with Christ based on many of the songs they wrote. In their solo work, Marty has done the most to inspire my walk with God. There is something about the way he writes that makes me think. On the occasions that he writes a blog entry, he has a way of making you think deeply even if he is not writing many words. Recently I have discovered another artist that I first heard about around the time 4HIM disbanded. His name is Jeremy Camp. I saw him in concert in 2008 and liked his music. It wasn’t until this year that I got into his music and it really did something with my walk with Christ. There is something with the way that Jeremy writes that is different from other Christian artists I have heard. What 4HIM did for me as a teenager and into my early adult years, Jeremy has done in the last 9 months. He writes from his experience and what God has been teaching and showing him about His nature. Jeremy has 4 studio albums in addition to a worship album and a live album. The 4 studio albums each reflect a different season in his life where God has been teaching him. Stay focuses on keeping your eyes on God no matter what you are going through or how you feel about what you are going through. Restored is about how God reacts when we want to come back to Him after straying. God openly and willingly accepts us back no matter what we do and is always willing to do so. Beyond Measure is Jeremy realizing what God has given him in various times in his life whether it is a beautiful baby girl, or a wife who so loved God that she knew if someone came to Christ, her death from cancer would be worth it. Jeremy lost his first wife to cancer (several have been touched by God in some way because of it) and has since remarried and has 2 adorable girls. Speaking Louder Than Before is where Jeremy senses the urgency and necessity of the Gospel. He tells us, as Christians, that we need to proclaim the good news of Jesus to everyone. He also tells us about the transformation that comes with believing in Jesus as savior and that any issues we have in life now will pass away.
As I reflect on the ministries of 4HIM and Jeremy Camp I see some differences. With 4HIM I was more of a fan of the hypercrazed teenager variety. When it came to their solo work, I was an adult and a little mellower. I find that I do want to encourage them especially Marty. With Jeremy Camp, we are the same age and the fan thing is completely different than it was with 4HIM. As much as I get excited about seeing or meeting Jeremy, I really want to encourage him, his wife, and their girls. What God has done through his music in my life blows me away and that’s a good thing.
Is there a Christian musician that God has used to touch your life? If so, what are you doing to encourage that artist to keep their focus on God and what He has called them to? Have you committed to praying for them often not just when they send a notice for a needed prayer concern (ie injury or other health issue)?