Friday, August 14, 2009

It's a Beautiful Sound...

To have found You, and still be looking for You,
It's "the soul's paradox of love."
You fill my cup, I lift it up for more.
I won't stop now that I'm free.
I'll be chasing You
Like You chase me.

For the last 13 years of my life I've had this amazing "soundtrack" that the Newsboys have written. I know that sounds a little extreme. It's a slight understatement actually. When I was 12 I started listening to Newsboys. It was prime CCM time, dc Talk had just released Jesus Freak, Jars of Clay was in the mainstream and Newsboys released Take Me To Your Leader. It was a good time to be a Christian pre-teen. I was ridiculously active in my youth group and went to Knott's Berry Farm for a music festival that the boys were headlining. I had not ever really been to a concert. My best friend, Jennifer and I found ourselves a nice spot right up front and took in the show. I loved it! Holy Macaroni! I loved it! Like typical teenage girls we had to stick around and be giddy and get autographs. Cloud nine! Meeting a band! Autographs! Talking to the band that you had just seen play! We were *smitten*. I know that sounds slightly bizarre since they are a Christian band, but we were 13! Jen fell hard for the blonde bass player, Phil Joel (he was still Phil Urry then...) and I went for the less obvious keyboardist, Jeff Frankenstein (yes, that's his real name). The internet was a brand new novelty for us and we spent the following summer scraping together whatever information we could about this band. Printing ridiculous amounts of band pictures and watching the Newsboys' movie "Down Under the Big Top" over and over again. I can still recite lines. We took on "nicknames" that were Newsboys related. Early the next year we recruited our friends Molly and Allison into the Newsboys fan club of YCC.
Even though some of my friends grew out of their Newsboys fandom, I never did. Obviously it matured though. I saw them several times in Jr. High and High School. I've met them more often than not at shows. I even used one of their cell phones. I know it's not a big deal and it's not like their super famous. But c'mon! It's pretty rad that I got to meet my favorite band growing up and they were more than willing to interact with their fans. When most girls were pining over N'Sync I was listening to Newsboys. How many girls were meeting Justin Timberlake at every N'Sync concert?
That's the light side of my love of Newsboys. They are a fun band, but more seriously they are a band with a heart for God. Their worship is INCREDIBLE. When I was 14 I got really sick with mono which led to Fibromyalgia. I had Fibromyalgia way before it was cool and there were pills for it! The doctors didn't know what it was for a long time and I had to go on home study in 9th grade and missed quite a bit of 10th grade. During that time I had my source of encouragement and worship: Newsboys. When I started college and had been dumped and cheated on, I could not live on a diet of Dashboard Confessional alone, Newsboys helped me to realize who I really needed in that time.
Some of my most earnest prayers were said while listening to Newsboys. The most incredible time of praise I've ever had was when the boys came to Saddleback in 2005. I've never seen a preview of heaven like I did that day. The song that I always sing when my heart is heavy is the Newsboys version of "Blessed Be Your Name". It feels like God gives them the songs for my life so that I can worship Him accordingly.
For my birthday this year we saw the Boys. It was different. Peter Furler is no longer the lead singer but Michael Tait (from dc talk) is and he did an awesome job. I still felt the connection that I've always felt. Did I stand in line to meet them with my hubby? Heck yes I did. Do I carry my autographed ticket stub in my wallet? Why yes I do. Did I get my picture taken with them? Of course!
Even though my life has changed and the way I relate to the "boys" has changed, my love of their music hasn't. It's grown with me and been a constant in my walk with Christ. I'm eternally grateful for that.


Molly said...

Very nicely put. Indeed, we were lucky to be Christian pre-teens when were. As a "grown-up" I'm so glad that my boy band phase was Christ centered. I think I'm going to have to through in my Take Me to Your Leader CD next time I'm in my car.

admin said...

I suggest you do! I've really been listening to them again and I love it. It helps me get through my day. :)

Bonni said...

What Molly said! Which is essentially what you said first. It was a beautiful time to be a Christian teenager, in terms of music. I was happy that my bands were lesser known than Backstreet Boys or whoever. More of them to myself, I thought! I remember finding a radio station that played Newsboys, dcTalk, Steven Curtis Chapman, Geoff Moore ... back then The Distance was still with him ... and being in bliss!

Later in life, I went to Cornerstone Festival in Illinois a couple of times. It was such a treat! Good quality music of every genre that praises our God.

I'm not too aware of CCM any more. The Christian radio stations bug me with their "positive hits" that really say nothing at all. (Ya don't have to say "Jesus" in every song, but c'mon, at least inspire some brain activity in your listeners!) Bah humbug.

Still love to pop in a Newsboys or SCC or Audio Adrenaline CD. :-)