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S.A.N.S. Episode 289: My Prayer for You

Since I started listening to Christian music in 1985, I have been touched by numerous songs on prayer. My spiritual mentor Coach Ken Horne played Pray for Me at the end of the first retreat I ever attended. Throughout high school and college, artists like Rick Elias moved me with Pray for the Day. About the same time, Bret Williams and In Reach released Prayer which is one of the best confessions any Christian musician has ever sang about.

Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working], James 5:16.

While scanning You Tube last weekend, Alisa Turner is the latest artist to release one of the latest songs on prayer. This is My Prayer for You sounds like something a leader or spiritual mentor would say to a new Christian. Then again, there are plenty of people currently battling health, financial and other troubling concerns. As you listen to Alisa’s song, may your heart be uplifted by the lyrics.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 30: My Deliverer

Today’s artist is best known for being a founding member of Rich Mullins’ A Ragamuffin Band. Since their final tour back in 2000, Rick Elias has released a number of solo albums, appeared as a guest bass player and served as a backup singer on several songs with friends. What I admire most about Rick is his passion to continue sharing his music at churches across the country.

And so all Israel will be saved. As it is written, The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will banish ungodliness from Jacob. 27 And this will be My covenant (My agreement) with them when I shall take away their sins, Romans 11:26-27.

I could have chosen a dozen songs from Elias’ vast collection. Yet, for today, I wanted to share the song that I first heard at the last Christian concert I attended. The lyrics of My Deliverer come right out of the Bible, following Joseph’s departure to Africa with his wife and child. Despite all of his travails, Joseph trusted that somehow and some way, the Lord would deliver him. This prayer still holds true today.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 9: Your’s and Mine

Today’s artist got me through some tough times in college. I was first introduced to Linda Elias through her husband Rick who was a member of A Ragmuffin Band. When Rick started a solo career, Linda would also serve as a background vocalist on a number of his songs. The best way to describe Linda’s music is that she if the Belinda Carlisle of Christian music. Today’s song comes from the Meaning of Life album.

Speak out to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, offering praise with voices [[e]and instruments] and making melody with all your heart to the Lord, Ephesians 5:19.

When I first bought the Meaning of Life album, I shared it with as many college friends as possible. The person who appreciated Linda’s music the most was my friend Pam from Poughkeepsie, New York. The soothing sound of Linda’s voice and the powerful Bible based lyrics made me want to shout the chorus of Your’s and Mine every time I heard it. May this eternal message lift your spirits as you listen.

by Jay Mankus

Make My Heart Like Yours

Music can be similar to relationships.  The more open minded you are, the likelihood of you accepting and embracing someone or something increases.  Unfortunately, stereotypes about an artist, genre or musician cause individuals to give up on a certain sound after a few seconds of listening.  Subsequently, the careers of millions fail, far short of where they hoped, rejected before having a real shot to succeed.

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh, Ezekiel 36:26.

Such is the case of Linda Elias, wife of Rick whose own career far surpassed hers.  Rick spent a decade as a member of Rich Mullins Ragamuffin band and his music was featured in the 1996 Tom Hanks movie, That Thing You Do.  As for Linda, following in the Belinda Carlisle genre, I thought her 1991 album The Meaning of Life would jump start her career.  However, in Christian music industry, unless you’re Amy Grant, you’re not going to get the attention you deserve.  As a result, you can’t find any of Linda’s songs on Pandora or You Tube.

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded, James 4:8.

Nonetheless, during my recent fast I have started listening to one hour of inspirational music a day.  While soaking in the lyrics to Make My Heart Like Yours, I was moved, touched by God.  This song is more like a prayer, wishing that one day our hearts will become more like Christ.  In this song, Linda confesses her failures and shortcomings.  Leaning on God’s grace, she yearns to be transformed.  As I am daily reminded of my own sins, I am eager, waiting for God to make my heart like his son’s, Jesus.

by Jay Mankus

Linda’s album the Meaning of Life is available at Amazon.com for those willing to give a promising artist a chance.

 

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