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Tag Archives: TobyMac

  • Hip Hop Legacy - an interview with Tobymac

    Posted on August 21, 2012 by John van der Veen


    His Christian music career may span more than twenty years, but tobyMac is as relevant as ever. While his music’s packed with uncompromising truth, cut-to-the-quick beats and unforgettable musical hooks, our recent chat quickly revealed he doesn’t even flinch at making himself vulnerable about his own faith-journey. From our discussion and what we’re hearing about his upcoming record, Eye On It, we can’t help suspecting that just maybe his best days lie ahead.

    FC: Let’s kick things off with a couple of questions submitted by our Twitter and Facebook followers. Do you have an all-time favorite Bible verse, or one that’s currently really speaking to you?

    toby: I’ve always really loved Isaiah 43:19 which basically says God is doing a new thing in the land, it springs forth, do you perceive it? I love a lot of things about that but [especially] the thought that God can do something new. If you’re a parent, or a husband or a songwriter or all of the above, in all those things God can do something new or something beautiful. You just have to be ready to perceive it – to be looking for it.

    FC: Such a good reminder. The second question is – if you were not doing music, what would you be doing?

    toby: (laughs) I have no idea. I’ve thought about that a few times… I used to think I had some administrative-type skills back in the day when I used to organize for DC Talk. But nowadays… the longer you’re an artist the more those responsibilities are sort of taken out of your hands. (laughs) I think I would be working with youth culture some way. I don’t know if I’d be a youth leader or a writer or a speaker or something, but I definitely think [it would be] where the Gospel and the Kingdom meet youth culture – that’s how I think.

    FC: Speaking of DC Talk, it seems like you, Kevin and Michael have periodically thrown out various bits of info about getting back together. Do you think that’s really going to happen?

    toby: The truth is I don’t think there’s any reason that we wouldn’t do something sooner or later. I mean [here’s] the main thing – is there any barrier that would cause you to not be open to it? I can honestly say – from all three of us, no. Nothing negative. The only thing that would be a barrier are positive things like Tait’s success with the newsboys, or me doing my solo record or whatever Kevin’s got brewing up, whether it’s his book, whatever it may be. I will say that when it happens, I think it will be because it is right for all three of us. Not because it’s right for one or two of us, and I wouldn’t want to do it at a time other than that. I wouldn’t want to feel like I’m forcing somebody into it. I mean, is that going to happen? I don’t know. I can’t predict it, but I know I’m not opposed to it when the timing’s right.

    FC: Since you’ve gone solo, are there certain elements of being in the band that you miss? Like having collaboration versus being on your own?

    toby: Well I think I’m always a part of collaborative efforts, it’s just the way I’m wired. It’s probably is part of my neediness as an artist, as a songwriter, as a showman, as a guy that shares the Gospel through music. I’ll admit in those things, I’m a needy man. Obviously not only for God to breathe through me – desperately needy there – but also I’m very needy when it comes to the people around me. I do songs with Chris Stevens and David Garcia or David Wyatt or Jamie Moore and we are literally in the trenches just pushing or pushing each other. I’m not a one-man show, I’m not a mastermind. I mean, I might have vision for something, but I need people that are great at what they do. I am a needy man - whether it’s [working with] co-producers or the way DiverseCity (my band) puts together our shows, whether it’s the way Amanda and I raise our kids. I’m not the kind of guy to say “I’ve got this, gimme the ball.” I’m a team player so I’ve always been collaborative from DC Talk to today. I think my band and I – as far as climbing a mountain together [goes] – as much as an artist can include a band in that, I do. It still is a tobyMac CD, but I know my band feels very much a part of what we do and we all win if it succeeds. Something that I’ll never live through again and I hold very dear is three guys packing up a U-haul, moving from their dorm to Nashville, sharing an apartment together and trying to make a ‘go’ of something. I mean, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to go, working in the crew all day to get to do one or two songs [that night]. I mean, there’s something about that that brings people together. That joint vision, that making $10,000 the first year we moved to Nashville, ya know, there’s something about that; you can never re-trace it. Even when I started doing solo I remember I was playing in the afternoons, barely able to rent a bus and there was a rebuilding process but there’s nothing like the hunger and desire to share your music with the world for the first time. There’s nothing to compare to that.

    FC: We don’t want to spend a ton more time talking about DC Talk because that was part of your past, so we’ll close that portion with this… There was something SO unique about how with each record your popularity swelled. What do you think was it about the group that made it so special?

    toby: First of all I would say, we can’t leave God out of the equation – God IS the equation. I think when God chooses to shoot something through and it connects with peoples’ lives, it’s bigger than we are. If any of us took credit for masterminding that thing it would be a mistake. Just like I know when I wrote City on our Knees I know God breathed that song through me. There’s no doubt about it, I believe that with all my heart. I think that we have to realize that it’s bigger than us if God chooses to do that. We can make our best plans and work really hard and be as passionate as we can be – but at the end of the day the thing that connects with peoples’ lives is beyond our humanness. Especially if it changes their path spiritually – it’s beyond what I could write, or conjure up. I’m ready to acknowledge, to recognize that. I think that [our] different personalities played a role in that [too]. I [also] think there was enough depth when it came to the vocal-thing. It was interesting vocally because it was complex. It was not just a one guy standing in front of a band singing or another guy rapping. It was complex because you’ve got this African American guy that sings soulfully for sure, but he’s also really a rock singer and then there’s this other guy – he’s a rock singer too but he can sing R & B like nobody’s business when he wants to. And then you have this other guy that came up rapping and writing songs… when you combine those things! [Also] at that time it was either a rap song or a singing song. There were very few things that ever did what hip hop does today – and that’s have a vocal hook but a rap verse. It just didn’t happen much back then. There was one group that really did it and it was my favorite group, called Houdini. There were kind of these chant-y sung choruses with rap verses and I always loved that. I thought, people love to sing a melody– why wouldn’t you put that together with rap? Then you have something. So I mean, there was that aspect of it too. I could talk about this stuff all day, but really it was God. I think the three of us having different styles and different tastes appealed to different people. It was literally like having three front men. I think the complexity of it made it interesting, I guess.

    FC: Through all of your music, it’s easy to start picking out some overarching themes. Transitioning to your new record, Eye On It, what is the overarching message that you hope to come across with?

    toby: I think there’s a kind of decisiveness about this record that I like. I do think that the themes of my life and the way I write are not going to venture too far because they’re foundational to my life. But what a record is to me is, you take those foundational themes and you rub them up against the world, what the world is doing to you. Whether I’m 26, 36 or 46, that world is ruffling me in different ways. I’m being hit in different ways but the foundational themes stay the same. So the perspective of continuing to fall back on what I know to be true in the midst of this world coming at me is what these records end up being. I am singing about my spirituality and my faith in Christ as it relates to this world because that’s what I see, what I walk everyday. As I grow in age I also hopefully grow in wisdom and temperament, so it’s all these things coming at me – I’m also looking at how it’s coming at my 13 year old son Truett. I’m writing in these dynamic ranges, these wide frequencies and I think that I continue to draw back to my foundation. My life, as it relates to my writing has been – I’ll write songs like “Tonight” all the time because I’m always re-deciding that I’m going to walk strong and fall passionately into my pursuit of holiness. But then two months later (or even two days later) I’m in the midst of grabbing things of the world and trying to let them satisfy me, so then I decide again, it starts tonight! (laughs) I know some people might just ride out this spiritual life really well and consistently, but for me I feel like it’s always a struggle. I think it comes out in lyrics. There are other themes [too], but there’s this foundational knowledge that we’re supposed to love people well and love God well as we walk on this earth. [Also about] how loving people encompasses all races and denominations and inviting everybody. Instead of arguing, why can’t we just meet at the cross? It’s all these things that have bugged me to death. I’m not really into debating scripture but I know there’s a need for it. I know we need people out there on the cutting edge of that, but I’ll be my own little part of the Body and continue to try to help us to get it right by loving each other well and loving God with all of our heart.

    FC: So you’re not just an artist - you’re the co-owner of Gotee Records, you’re a father, a mentor to hundreds of artists and a youth leader to thousands (if not millions) of people. How does one like yourself (who we suspect views himself as a normal, average follower of Jesus), go through your life in a godly manner in all of those aspects?

    toby: I think first of all my life revolves around trust – trusting God and the promises that He offers us. Amanda has this really intimate walk with the Lord that sometimes I’m jealous of. It’s real intimate and I love that about her. Me, it’s almost a little more that I just completely trust God. It might not be as intimate as I wish it was sometimes, but so far (thank God) it’s just been unshakable trust. I guess I’m just aware of how much I need Him and how much I don’t have the skill set that I need to make it in this life without Him or without friends that tell me the truth. They are living examples of people that love God more than I do! When you surround yourself with people who love God more than you, those people inspire you to love Him more, to walk more humbly, to walk more meekly and depend on Him more. Not only am I surrounded by amazing talent, but I’m surrounded by people who love God with all of their heart. They’re so willing and care enough about me to tell me the truth about myself. They’re willing to tell me the things I’m missing about myself that I need to hear, and also encourage me when I need to hear it. I’d say that’s exactly how.

    FC: Thanks for the honesty there. Ok, let’s transition to a few “bullet” questions, just one or two word answers.

    toby: If I can manage that. (laughs)

    FC: Ha! Ok, so what is your favorite cookie and why?

    toby: I don’t know what it’s called, but that peanut butter cookie with the Hershey’s Kiss on top; that’s my stuff right there. I have a friend of the family that makes them for us sometimes and she knows I just look forward to that day. (laughs)

    FC: Favorite restaurant?

    toby: Oh man… In Franklin (TN) we have one called Red Pony. It’s, uh… the chef would probably kill me if I called it an American bistro, but it’s a local restaurant. If you want something that more people could relate to outside of Franklin, believe it or not, Whole Foods is way out there. (laughs) Just go to the food section and dine like we did last night. I also love Asian food.

    FC: Have you ever been cow tipping or snipe hunting?

    toby: I’ve been snipe hunting. I got absolutely bamboozled on the snipe hunting – I was ALL in. I have been cow tipping, but we couldn’t find any cows.

    [For more Four Questions With... blog series, click here]

    FC: Are you a book reader?

    toby: Yeah, I just finished The Hunger Games series and I’m reading Eugene Peterson’s Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places. I love that book. I’m just kicking it a few pages at a time, but it’s rocking my world.

    FC: What music are you listening to?

    toby: We listen to a lot of reggae at my house. And of course I love to go back… The Police, the things I loved growing up, Hall and Oates. Currently in regular rotation at my house would be anything from modern worship to Mat Kearney. It’s kind of just on. [What’s playing just] depends on who has the wheels of steel in their hands.

    FC: Thank you so much for taking time to chat with us today and for being so vulnerable. We really appreciate you.

    toby: My pleasure. Thanks so much.

    Bonus - Toby talks about his new single, Me Without You

    Lyric video for Me Without You

    Are you as excited about Eye On It as we are? Prebuy today and get a special premium offer. Keep your eyes peeled for the release August 28th.

    This post was posted in Interviews and was tagged with Featured, TobyMac, Isaiah, Kevin Max, Tait, DC Talk, Newsboys

  • Four Questions With... (part 4)

    Posted on August 10, 2012 by Family Christian

    We thought it would be fun to ask four questions to some of your favorite artists.


    Question 4:  What has God been teaching you lately?

    David Zach (lead singer from Remedy Drive) - The biggest thing that I've been paying attention to lately is the idea of continually being born.  I keep on making the mistake that a list of steps or a formula will be the way to renew my soul - but then I keep realizing that the only chance I have to be made new again is through a redemption that's already been set in motion.  It's really easy for me to look to ritual or 'doing the right thing' rather then dependence upon the voice of a King that turned on stars in the sky just by speaking.  The biggest thing God has been teaching me lately is that salvation is an exciting, dynamic and essential thing.  Remembering that I'm blood bought, loved more than anything and a prince of a Kingdom behind the skies makes me want to run after this hope that I can't see - makes me want to let God reshape and repair this heart of mine and renew a right spirit within me.

    Jekob Washington (from The Washington Projects) - Patience, & giving up control. I've always been one to hold on tightly to my desire to hear something a certain way, or see a vision develop the way I'd like it to. God has been teaching me that it's not about what I want, it's about what He wants from me.

    Jason Gray - To be led by the Holy Spirit in a level I haven’t given myself to before. For instance, my mentor has helped me to see that when I’m headed into a conversation, I may be tempted to speculate about what I might say, or to prepare myself for whatever the other person might say so I’m ready for anything. I make these speculations based on past conversations. So I’m always projecting into the future based on my past, which in essence means I’m only ever talking to myself. But the Holy Spirit only speaks in real-time, and when I abandon all my speculating (which is really a form of damage control and trying to have an edge), his voice emerges. This is why Jesus says in Matt 10:19 - 20 to not worry about what to say when we stand before the authorities, because we will be given the words we need. To be tuned into the spirit this way—in real time—invites the voice of the Spirit into all of my interactions, my ministry from the stage, my songwriting, and every moment.

    Andrew Peterson - Not to trust people at church camp who promise you free Snickers bars for every snipe you catch.

    Phil Vischer (VeggieTales and What's In the Bible creator) - Just because it isn't easy doesn't mean it isn't valuable.  We always look for great results to show us we're in God's will.  But God's will is more about obedience than results.  VeggieTales was a massive success - a success on a numerical scale I may never see again.  But numbers can be a dangerous way to look for God's will.  Or, as Albert Einstein once said, "Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts."  It isn't about numbers.  It's about obedience.

    Jon Micah (from Kutless) - Trust Him completely. When things seem out of control I can always be reminded that HE is in control. There is no challenge too great for God, I must simply put my faith and trust in His strength and not my own.

    KJ-52 -Be myself! Be exactly who God has created me to be and never be embarrassed or insecure about it...

    Jason Atkins (from Harbinger Media) - Joy is a choice married to faith, supported by hope, and governed by love.

    Barry Graul (from MercyMe) - God is always in control. There are however circumstances in life that I want to control, but know that I have to rely and wait on God. He is now teaching me patience.

    Laura Story - He's teaching me that I'm not a big deal. I read the first chapter of John this morning, the part where John the baptist tells the pharisees that he not only is NOT the Christ, but he's not even worthy of untying Jesus' smelly sneaker (my translation). As someone who plays a lot of concerts these days, stands on a lot of stages with spotlights and has my name and face on posters, its easy to lose sight of the fact that I am not the main attraction here. I know its the simplest of prayers but one I must return to daily: "He must become greater; I must become less" (John 3:30).

    Tobymac - To continue to trust in God and the promises He has for me.

    Danny Riley (from Gold City) - I am learning that I should look at the trials in my life as opportunities to watch God work, knowing that He is making me the man He wants me to be. I'm learning to trust Him. I was involved in an accident one time, Bus vs. Ford Ranger. The 2 girls in the truck were drunk. The bus had little damage, but the truck... Wow. I was amazed that the girls were alive. They were both ejected from the vehicle and walked away practically injury free. Why? Because they were so drunk their reaction time was yesterday. When the accident occurred, they didn't resist it, they just went with it. When trials come, we shouldn't resist, we need to yield. God is our strength. He will fight our battles on one condition... Get out of the way and allow Him to take control.


    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Featured, TobyMac, MercyMe, Remedy Drive, The Washington Projects, Jason Gray, Andrew Peterson, Phil Vischer, Kutless, KJ52, Laura Story, Gold City

  • Four Questions With... (part 3)

    Posted on August 9, 2012 by Family Christian

    We thought it would be fun to ask four questions to some of your favorite artists.

    Questions 3:  Have you ever gone cow-tipping or snipe-hunting? If not, would you be willing to go with some of the Family Christian folks?

    David Zach (lead singer from Remedy Drive) - Neither.  I would love to go cow-tipping or snipe-hunting with the Family Christian folks.

    Jekob Washington (from The Washington Projects) - Wow. I've only eaten cows, I've never tipped them, & I'm not even sure I know what snipe-hunting is. But in both cases the answer is "Yes" I'd love to go with the Family Christian folk.

    Jason Gray - I did go snipe hunting once as a kid with my uncle and cousins. However, I’d be happy to go again with the Family Christian folks :-) Not cow tipping, though. That’s just mean.

    Andrew Peterson - This question is perpetuating a lie and I refuse to answer it. Both cow-tipping and snipe-hunting are fake. No matter how hard you try, you can't push a cow over, and if you walk in the woods for seven hours looking for snipes you'll probably get seven ticks and a spider bite, then your friends at church camp will ridicule you for the rest of the week. Or so I've heard.

    Phil Vischer (VeggieTales and What's In the Bible creator) - No, neither of those.  I once, however, led a late night bear hunt with Mike Nawrocki on the campus of our Bible college.  Since all bears like puppets, we put a puppet inside a bag and dragged him around as bait as we traipsed through the woods.  Sure enough, a large, furry creature rushed out of a marsh toward us with something in it's mouth.  We figured it was a bear carrying a fish.  Turns out it was someone's dog, carrying a stick.  We named the dog "bear," declared his stick a "fish stick," and he joined us for the rest of the bear hunt.  25 years later I still have that puppet, and his last name is still "Bearbait."

    Jon Micah (from Kutless) - I've done my fair share of Snipe hunting. I actually used to be a Snipe hunting guide!

    KJ-52 -Yes... At our FCA retreat my senior year of high school we took a bunch of the cheerleaders snipe hunting in the swamp... lets just say they didnt ever catch one but they did scream loudly when we busted out the swamp and scared them..

    Jason Atkins (from Harbinger Media) - Not yet. We have cows all around us at the farm and talk about it regularly. It would be fun and an honor to hunt snipes with the folks from Family Christian.

    Barry Graul (from MercyMe) - Have tried the cow tipping, almost got stampeded. What is a snipe? I wanna see one.

    I could be coaxed to ride in a safari jeep with night vision glasses and watch the Family Christian folks cow tip and snipe hunt, for, say, some double stuff Oreos? Oh, and I will be wearing running shoes in case I have to exit quickly, not looking back. You understand.

    Laura Story -I have never gone cow tipping but I'm always up for an adventure. :)

    Tobymac - Yes, I have been both cow tipping and snipe hunting.  The cow tipping was unsuccessful because we couldn't find any cows.  The snipe hunting trip was crazy.  I was totally bamboozled by the whole process.  Convinced that we would find a snipe.  Of course, I came up empty handed.

    Danny Riley (from Gold City) - I have, unfortunately, been snipe-hunting. I won't be falling for that one again. I would love to go cow-tipping though... Call me


    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Featured, TobyMac, MercyMe, Remedy Drive, The Washington Projects, Jason Gray, Andrew Peterson, Phil Vischer, Kutless, KJ52, Laura Story, Gold City

  • Four Questions With... (part 2)

    Posted on August 8, 2012 by Family Christian

    We thought it would be fun to ask four questions to some of your favorite artists.

    Favorite Place to Eat

    Questions 2:  What is the best restaurant you have ever been to?

    David Zach (lead singer from Remedy Drive) - Emilio's in downtown Chicago.  It's a Spanish tappas place.  The dishes are very small - almost like a whole meal of appetizers (tappas) but it's great for a date because you can try each thing together and then wait for the next one to come out.  The caramelized fried bananas are the best at the end.  Plantains actually.

    Jekob Washington (from The Washington Projects) - Fleming's Steak House in San Diego.

    Jason Gray - I have to name two, both in the Twin Cities: Chino Latino—a fun and trendy urban hotspot that blends foods from the hot zones: Indian, Mexican, Asian. I also love Punch Pizza—one of only a handful of officially certified Napoli pizza joints in North America. With super fresh ingredients, a wood burning oven that bakes your pizza in 90 seconds, a fun atmosphere, they make a distinctive pizza that pleases my kids as well as my foodie friends I take there.

    Andrew Peterson - That one that served chocolate chip cookies.

    Phil Vischer (VeggieTales and What's In the Bible creator) - I recently had the opportunity to take my 15 year-old daughter to Club 33, the private dinner club inside Disneyland.  While it isn't necessarily the best restaurant I've ever eaten at, it is really, really good and the experience is very unique since you have to walk through Disneyland to New Orleans Square, find an unmarked door, ring a buzzer for admittance, then ride a small glass elevator up to the restaurant on the second floor.  Way cool!

    Jon Micah (from Kutless) - Without a doubt, Fogo de Chao.

    KJ-52 -I can't name the "Best" but the Columbia restaurant in Ybor City (TAMPA) is one of my favorites because my dad did all the tile work on the outside of the building and it's very historic restaurant (over 100 years old) and reminds me of growing up in Ybor City.

    Jason Atkins (from Harbinger Media) - Le 58 Tour Eiffel. (The food is likely not the best ever but not far from it. Regardless, how many times can you eat from an observation deck in the Parisian landmark - Eiffel Tower? Second Choice - Scalinatella in New York's Upper East Side - best food ever in my mouth.

    Barry Graul (from MercyMe) - I don't remember the name but there's an Italian place in NYC that serves a white sauce pasta dish and I'm pretty sure the noodles have been bathed in butter. So yummy!

    Laura Story - Easy. its a place in Banff, Canada called Nourish. we went there for our 5 year anniversary and ate there about 3 times in 5 days.

    Tobymac - The Red Pony in Franklin TN. If you have never been, you will never understand. Amazing food.

    Danny Riley (from Gold City) - I've been to a lot of great places, but oddly enough, the best is a restaurant called "Classic On Noble" in Anniston, AL. They have a fried green tomato salad (that was not a typo) that is incredible. Their shrimp and grits are life altering.


    This post was posted in Music, Food and was tagged with Featured, TobyMac, MercyMe, Remedy Drive, The Washington Projects, Jason Gray, Andrew Peterson, Phil Vischer, Kutless, KJ52, Laura Story, Gold City

  • Four Questions With... (part 1)

    Posted on August 7, 2012 by Family Christian

    We thought it would be fun to ask four questions to some of your favorite artists.

    The Best Cookie

    Question 1:  What is your favorite kind of cookie and what do you like about it?

    David Zach (lead singer from Remedy Drive) - I like the oatmeal raisin cookie.  It's a desert but I get the sense that I'm still getting something positive for my body with the iron from the raisins and whatever makes oatmeal healthy.

    Jekob Washington (from The Washington Projects) - Chips ahoy (Regular). The prefect milk dipping cookie.

    Jason Gray - I’ve always been a big fan of the classic chocolate chip cookie, but these days I’m more inclined to enjoy a delicious shortbread cookie, especially if it’s thick and crumbly. It’s perfect for dipping in my coffee.

    Andrew Peterson - Chocolate chip. What do I like about it? Well, the taste, I guess.

    Phil Vischer (VeggieTales and What's In the Bible creator) - I love a good sugar cookie.  And the very BEST sugar cookie can be found at my favorite sandwich restaurant, Potbelly.  Yum!

    Jon Micah (from Kutless) - I have to eat gluten free which makes cookies difficult.  There is a shop in Lake Oswego, OR called Crave that makes the most amazing gluten free deserts I've ever had.  They were featured on the Food Network's Cupcake Wars  and won in their competition against regular cupcakes with their gluten free cupcake.  Any cookie from their shop is a pretty solid choice.

    KJ-52 - The kind that my wife makes... Before we stared dating she used to do all the baking at this Bible study we used to go to... She won me over with her baking ha ha... It just reminds me how much I love her.

    Jason Atkins (from Harbinger Media) - My bride Shannon's version of a Neiman Marcus cookie (Oatmeal Chocolate Chip with both white and milk chocolate chunks). First, I like that it is a Christmas tradition. Second, seriously they are Heaven's gift to the taste bud (textures - crunch, creamy, chewy; taste with salty sweetness from the chopped nuts mixed with chocolate) I sometimes wonder if Jesus whipped up a batch when nobody was looking.

    Barry Graul (from MercyMe) - Double stuff Oreos

    Laura Story - Those big monster cookies with oatmeal and M&M's and all kinds of goodness.

    Tobymac - Peanut Butter cookies with the Hershey's Kiss on the top.  The bomb.

    Danny Riley (from Gold City) - Chocolate Chip... That is the classic cookie, you just can't beat it. And, I LOVE chocolate.


    This post was posted in Music, Food and was tagged with Featured, TobyMac, MercyMe, Remedy Drive, The Washington Projects, Jason Gray, Andrew Peterson, Phil Vischer, Kutless, KJ52, Laura Story, Gold City

  • So Long, Self - an interview with Andrew Palau

    Posted on June 14, 2012 by John van der Veen

    The son of an international evangelist, Andrew was born with the blood of a soul-winner in his veins. But as his recent book The Secret Life of a Fool reveals, a different energy motivated him for much of his life – rebellion. Andrew’s life is a testament to the saving grace of Jesus – how His blood can put a man on a journey from shame to grace…

    Andrew Palau

    Family Christian: So, is this your first book?

    Andrew Palau: Yes. I came to the Lord 19 years ago and I’ve had it on my heart to share this story in printed form, but I’ve always felt a check in my spirit because it’s a little humbling. I understand why God didn’t really open the door until now… With greater life experience and maturity it’s been a much more effective tool than it would have been before.

    FC: So your dad is Luis Palau, an evangelist who is known all over the world. If you grew up with what we imagine was a stable background, what happened to make you turn away from the Lord?

    Andrew: That’s a good question. It wasn’t a moment in time where I just ejected from whatever faith I claimed to believe. I would describe it more this way: I was raised in a Christian home and my parents are regular folks, but they were faithful. With my mom and dad, what you see is what you get, and that is a good thing. So I never really changed my mind about the Lord, I think I just never really received the truth for myself. I heard the truth, I was compelled, I saw the value [of faith], but there was another thing at work in me… rebellion. I loved to party and I liked to impress my friends, so I turned primarily to that. And once that hook is in you, you’re hook, line and sinker. It’s hard to explain sometimes [why I didn’t accept Christ] because I was without a human excuse. I didn’t have a deep dark secret – just my own foolish, rebellious self-seeking heart.

    FC: So your struggle wasn’t that you were super-rebellious toward Christianity, it was more an enticement to the things of this world…?

    Andrew: Yes, but of course they go hand and hand. That “if you’re not for me, you’re against me” thing… So [when you’re in rebellion] you’re simultaneously against the Lord. For me, it wasn’t a sense that this [way of living] was foolishness toward God; it was a desire to impress friends. It’s embarrassing to say, but it was basic fundamental selfishness, looking for a high, constantly looking for relationships with women that I could take advantage of. The world says “That’s living, go for it,” and in your heart you say “Yeah, I’m going for it.” Then 27 years later, I’m trapped and all of the results that I was warned about are starting to surface.

    FC: So did you realize you were making selfish choices along the way or did you kinda grow into it and one day just discover, Wow, I’m in bad shape?

    Andrew: I grew into it. I was very duplicitous because I didn’t want to cause trouble. For me it was the weaselly, wormy way to follow the path of lease resistance. I was happy to just work my way through my stages of selfishness. I didn’t care who I hurt, I only cared about accomplishing the things I wanted for myself.

    FC: So what finally changed?

    The Secret Life of a Fool

    Andrew: I think some things began to shift and change; some of the things that had become the foundation of my life. Like, what had been fun started to become a trap. Eventually it began to evidence itself for what it really was... the foundation began to crumble. And well, the results: shame and guilt just started to build up. The world says guilt is bad but the fact of the matter is you’re guilty because you’ve done wrong and there’s a penalty to be paid. No matter what the world says, that’s a burden [to live with]. I couldn’t really slough it off. I mean, I could in seasons and become callous to it. But if I was awake in bed at night, sober and away from the people who said everything was fine, my mind would just flood with all of the garbage in my life, the people I had hurt and the lying, cheating, stealing and arrogance. It was out of control and I hated that feeling. So to rid myself of facing those anxieties, I would party or drink by myself. Abusing alcohol – that’s a way we mask. I don’t recall overtly looking out to say “maybe this God thing is the thing.” It really was the efforts of others in my life, interceding, sharing an alternative and possibility. I’m so grateful that people didn’t give up on me.

    FC: So where were you living during this time?

    Andrew: I was in LA for awhile. I went to the University of Oregon in Eugene and then went to Boston, worked my way up the corporate ladder, putting a good face on. I was working in retail so I slowed down my partying because I had to get up and go to work. I’d had dark days. The drugs in particular were haunting me, not just the Lord and people engaging me, but the darkness that comes along with drugs and alcohol. [They] confuse, confound, discourage – that was happening in Boston. I did put a mask on, I was good at going through the motions… and that was up until 1993.

    FC: So, in your book you share an experience that happened in a bar…

    Andrew: It should have shaken me up more, but I never did forget it. It didn’t change me initially. [In the book] I described a couple of incidents where the enemy was revealing his desire to have me. So the music was pounding and out of the blue, this guy approaches me and says “You’re a believer. You’re a believer, right?” So I thought someone in the bar knew who I was. To get him off my back, I said “yes,” overtly hypocritical, and when I did he said, I knew it, “I’m a follower of Satan too.” I really don’t know how to identify that thing. It was a spiritual encounter and it really did shake me up. Without a loving but bold, clear intervention of God’s people listening to His Spirit, the Gospel and the power of God unto salvation, I don’t know where I would have ended up. My parents in particular kept close relationship [with me] so when my time came; they were able to be used by God in that work. What I desire for myself is what I saw in my parents’ life. And not just for me, but as an evangelist, watching God work in their lives is powerful, very exciting.

    FC: So looking back, can you identify what some of the hurdles were that kept you in that cycle of sin?

    Andrew: You know, the multiplicity of lies that we buy-into are just beyond me to capture, but… I’d say, a desire to soften our stupidity and foolishness. I try to be so honest in this book. I could find a million ways to blame [other people for my unbelief], but what good is it? The Bible says we are without excuse; the evidence is all around us. God is calling us and we’re without excuse! The biggest challenge [I see] is we want to blame the Church or hypocrisy we saw, or [Christianity seems] obtuse and doesn’t keep up with the times. But no one is going to stand with us in that Day of Judgment. We’re going to face the Maker and we will be solely responsible for our actions. Being confused about that is deadly.

    FC: What do you think about the Church in America?

    Andrew: We have our weaknesses and we should identify them, but there’s nothing new under the sun. We can look back at history going in cycles, but right now I’m excited about the young people. I’m 45. We’re young and our peers are leading the church in America. We have a good legacy and I love the heart of our people. The young people love their cities and the people around them. [People] are engaging their communities, taking a relational approach to sharing the Gospel. It’s exciting! I was so far away at their age; I’m excited to see fired-up, committed, young people in service to the Kingdom. It’s a good day in America. We need to dedicate ourselves to the power of the Gospel with massive strides in our festivals and outreaches, a heavier emphasis on really leading the way. We need to be champions of the least and the lost. We can’t lose sight of building a foundation for the Good News to be delivered. Keep pressing on to be champions of good deeds and loving people. There’s nothing kinder than giving the invitation to the banquet saying “c’mon you gotta come!” I hear these ideas, “if necessary use words,” I can see how that can be a huge wakeup call, but then again, you can’t share the Gospel if you don’t use words. The younger generation can go in a big pendulum unnecessarily, it’s important to stay in the center [of that balance].

    FC: (teasing) It’s a shame you can’t be a little more bold, Andrew…

    Andrew preaching at a Palau Association event

    Andrew: (laughs) So I was out of that old life 19 years before I wrote the book, but I’ve been sharing my testimony from right out of the gate. You know that passage, “those who have been forgiven much, love much”? I think those of us who have been more radically rescued are equally humbled, and maybe less confused about what is necessary. A rescue operation [for unbelievers] is what’s necessary – for all that God has done for us, what is keeping us from joyfully enthusiastically sharing the Gospel?! We have to rescue those who are staggering toward slaughter! Proverbs 24, right? I read this and I was broken. Verse 11-12 says “Deliver those who are drawn toward death, and hold back those stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, “Surely we did not know this,” Does not He who weighs the hearts consider it? He who keeps your soul, does He not know it?” I was so convicted, it has a little bit of a negative spin, but the Good News resonates so deeply. I know the eminence of that in my life. But [think of] that idea that God would repay us for what we’ve done… the soul-winners crown, a beautiful unnecessary gift. The master said go, so I go... I have these motivations and encouragement. The other [verse] I love but don’t understand is Daniel 12:3 “Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, like the stars forever and ever…” What does that even mean? Who is that for? Those who lead many to righteousness? I guess the jokes’ on me – it’s no less true for a baker, attorney, barista, student, pastor or evangelist, our work is to prepare others for works of service; to mobilize the body to action… preparing them to receive the crowns of righteousness that we’ll just throw back at His feet anyway. Like you said, I get excited.

    FC: (laughs) So what do you and your family do to relax?

    : A lot of my family members are in the ministry, so we’re traveling all of the time. When we can all get together, it’s few and far between. With small kids at this age, I just revel at being home, getting them off to school, being involved in their sports, life and life in abundance. I don’t think about relaxing too often, but when I do, I do it in abundance! My wife is Jamaican, so we go [to Jamaica] whenever we can. My wife’s side of the family loves the Lord too, [so we understand the meaning of] “to whom much is given, much is required.” When I look at what God rescued me from, and what my life is in this free nation that I live in – there’s a lot required of us. The more we engage, the more we can have that in abundance.

    FC: What music artists do you like to listen to?

    Andrew: Well you know I listen to tobyMac! We’re brothers-in-law. When I came to the Lord at 27 it was at a Luis Palau crusade, I met the woman I later married and her sister was dating tobyMac. I knew nothing about Christian music, and he’s a Christian rapper, so I thought, are you crazy? But he’s incredible… Once I grew in my faith, I thought man, I’d been to a lot of Grateful Dead shows and enjoyed live shows, but I had never seen anything like Toby’s show.

    FC: Did he pay you to say that?

    Andrew: (laughs) I’m gotta face him again soon, so I might as well get the word out now.

    Needless to say, Andrew has moved from one rebellion to another. This time, it’s a rebellion against the stuff of earth, a rebellion against a casual, status-quo Christianity. Today, Andrew is not just recognized as a son of an evangelist, but he is an evangelist in his own right. He helps to bring organization and creativity to the outreach events of the Palau Association, regularly sharing the Gospel with tens of thousands worldwide.

    Andrew can also be heard on a daily program titled Reaching Your World which airs in over 25 countries on more than 850 radio stations.

    Click here to learn more or purchase The Secret Life of a Fool

    Follow Andrew on Twitter and Facebook

    This post was posted in Books, Interviews, Missions and was tagged with Featured, Missions, TobyMac, Andrew Palau

  • New TobyMac Me Without You single

    Posted on June 4, 2012 by Family Christian

    Here is the lyric video for the new TobyMac "Me Without You" single.
    Let us know what you think of it.

    You may purchase his new single here.

    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Featured, TobyMac, Music

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