Image hosted by
Random thoughts of a Tennessee fan on life, sports and more TV shows than any one person should be allowed to watch.
About me
Name: Michael
Location: Nashville, TN
E-mail me!

View My Complete Profile
100 Things About Me
My Facebook Profile
My Wish List
Syndicate Big Orange Michael

The Latest News on the Vols

Also For Your Reading Pleasure
The Rocky Top Brigade
Image hosted by

For Your Listening Pleasure (Podcasts)
Slice of SciFi
Two Insane Fans: The Statler and Waldorf of Doctor Who commentaries

04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004
05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004
06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004
07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004
08/01/2004 - 09/01/2004
09/01/2004 - 10/01/2004
10/01/2004 - 11/01/2004
11/01/2004 - 12/01/2004
12/01/2004 - 01/01/2005
01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005
02/01/2005 - 03/01/2005
03/01/2005 - 04/01/2005
04/01/2005 - 05/01/2005
05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005
06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005
07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005
08/01/2005 - 09/01/2005
09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005
10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005
11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005
12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006
01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006
02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006
03/01/2006 - 04/01/2006
04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006
05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006
06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006
07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006
08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006
09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006
10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006
11/01/2006 - 12/01/2006
12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007
01/01/2007 - 02/01/2007
02/01/2007 - 03/01/2007
03/01/2007 - 04/01/2007
04/01/2007 - 05/01/2007
05/01/2007 - 06/01/2007
06/01/2007 - 07/01/2007
07/01/2007 - 08/01/2007
08/01/2007 - 09/01/2007
09/01/2007 - 10/01/2007
10/01/2007 - 11/01/2007
11/01/2007 - 12/01/2007
12/01/2007 - 01/01/2008
01/01/2008 - 02/01/2008
02/01/2008 - 03/01/2008
03/01/2008 - 04/01/2008
04/01/2008 - 05/01/2008
05/01/2008 - 06/01/2008
06/01/2008 - 07/01/2008
07/01/2008 - 08/01/2008
08/01/2008 - 09/01/2008
09/01/2008 - 10/01/2008
10/01/2008 - 11/01/2008
11/01/2008 - 12/01/2008
12/01/2008 - 01/01/2009
01/01/2009 - 02/01/2009
02/01/2009 - 03/01/2009
03/01/2009 - 04/01/2009
04/01/2009 - 05/01/2009
05/01/2009 - 06/01/2009
06/01/2009 - 07/01/2009
07/01/2009 - 08/01/2009
08/01/2009 - 09/01/2009
09/01/2009 - 10/01/2009
10/01/2009 - 11/01/2009
11/01/2009 - 12/01/2009
12/01/2009 - 01/01/2010
01/01/2010 - 02/01/2010
02/01/2010 - 03/01/2010
03/01/2010 - 04/01/2010
04/01/2010 - 05/01/2010
05/01/2010 - 06/01/2010
06/01/2010 - 07/01/2010
07/01/2010 - 08/01/2010
08/01/2010 - 09/01/2010
09/01/2010 - 10/01/2010
10/01/2010 - 11/01/2010
11/01/2010 - 12/01/2010
12/01/2010 - 01/01/2011
01/01/2011 - 02/01/2011
02/01/2011 - 03/01/2011
03/01/2011 - 04/01/2011
04/01/2011 - 05/01/2011
05/01/2011 - 06/01/2011
06/01/2011 - 07/01/2011
07/01/2011 - 08/01/2011
08/01/2011 - 09/01/2011
09/01/2011 - 10/01/2011
10/01/2011 - 11/01/2011
11/01/2011 - 12/01/2011
12/01/2011 - 01/01/2012
01/01/2012 - 02/01/2012
02/01/2012 - 03/01/2012
03/01/2012 - 04/01/2012
04/01/2012 - 05/01/2012
05/01/2012 - 06/01/2012
06/01/2012 - 07/01/2012
07/01/2012 - 08/01/2012
08/01/2012 - 09/01/2012
09/01/2012 - 10/01/2012
08/01/2013 - 09/01/2013
10/01/2017 - 11/01/2017
11/01/2017 - 12/01/2017

Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Happy (belated) B'day to Rebecca St James
I can't believe that I missed the birthday of one of my favorite singers yesterday--Rebecca St. James. I've been a big fan of Miss St. James' for a while now and I heard on the radio that her b'day was coming up. But somewhere in the muddled mess that is my brain, I thought her birthday was today, not yesterday.

Shows you what I know...

Now, before I get going too much farther on this post, let me warn my faithful readers that this is gonna be a long one. And it's going to be a bit different and a bit more personal that some of the stuff I post here. I know, I know...I'm that wacky guy who loves TV too much and reads more than he should. But I feel like this is something I really want to say and since this is my blog, after all, I figured why not? But it's not my usually, happy go lucky posting and I do share a bit about my own personal faith and my Christian walk.

Rebecca St James

I've been a big fan of Rebecca's for a couple of years now. I don't think it'd be going too far to say she is, by far, my favorite female singer--not just from the contemporary Christian scene but from all genres. I'd have to say that if you asked me to pick a favorite song that she does, I'd be hard pressed to do so. To go total fan-boy here, I am a fan of all her songs and each one is a favorite of mine. But it's not just that her music is great, it's the message behind it that really gets to me.

But what really gets me about Rebecca and her music is the huge impact it had on my life back in a time when I really, really needed to hear the message she had. I am not one of those people who hears a song by Shania Twain and says, "Oh yeah, Shania is talking about me in this song..." but I do feel as though, at times in my life, some of Rebecca's song have spoken directly to me and hit me exactly where I live.

One of those times was the summer of 2001.

There's not a lot of things I like to remember about the summer and fall of 2001. Yes, Tennessee beat Florida in the Swamp, sending Steve Spurrier packing to the NFL and there were some good things that happened, but overall, it's not one of those periods in my life that I'd be programming into the DeLorean to go back and visit if I had the choice. It was a hard time for me personally--my grandfather was extremely ill, we nearly lost my sister and my dad was in the Pentagon on September 11th. Needless to say, our family was under just a little bit of stress.

Now, before all this turmoil had started in my life, I'd re-discovered Rebecca St. James' music. I'd been in one of my favorite stores on the planet McKay's Used Books and CDs one day, browing the CDs when I came across a copy of Rebecca's CD "God" for a very reasonable price. I picked it up and figured, "Hey, why not?" and bought it. I put it into my car's CD player and started listening. I admit I was familiar with the title track when I purchased it, but not a lot of the other songs on the disc. So I had no idea how the fourth song on the CD would impact me--it was called "Speak to Me" and it became for a kind of a prayer over the next weeks, months and years of my life. I think I listened to that CD at least three times that day--once driving around and twice while playing some games on my computer. I even listened to it again on the way to church the next morning. If it were possible to wear out a CD, I'd probably have done it with this one the first weekend.

Image hosted by
It took me all of 24 hours before I was scouring music stores and buying up all of Rebecca's CDs that I could find. I pretty quickly assembled as close to a complete collection of her CDs that were in print as possible and I began to discover just how much I loved her music. Now, I'm a fan of contemporary Christian music and I love it. But there are times with some artists that I find myself wondering if they're not a bit like Cartman from an episode of South Park a few years ago. In the episode, Cartman forms a Christian band because he's told that he can have less talent, but make a lot of money just by changing a few lyrics in a song to God or Jesus. In the end, Cartman's true nature shows through at exactly the wrong time and his career comes crashing to a halt. Now, I'm not saying that every contemporary Christian artist is like that, but I've heard a few in my time that I honestly wonder about.

I've never had that feeling with Rebecca. Listening to her music, I found myself being touched by her ministry. This wasn't just a way to make money for her, but was her way of using her talents to glorify God. And she wrote a lot of her own songs, which greatly appealed to me. I honestly think I tried to wear out her CDs "God" and "Transform." (both of which still get a heavy rotation in my CD player to this day).

I found her music during what I like to call the calm before the storm of 2001. It helped me and like I said, it really hit some depths in my heart and soul. But I had no idea how much her ministry through music would help me in the days and weeks to come. I remember going on a looooong road trip to Memphis with my sister to visit my grandfather in the hospital and help Mom out and listening to the music with Susan. We both enjoyed it and we had a good time bonding as brother and sister a few weeks before we nearly lost her.

This week, our minister, Thad, talked about times in your life when we face trials in our Christian walk. God sometimes withdraws a bit from a bit and we don't feel His presense as strongly in our lives. This is meant to be a time of growth in our lives--not only personally but in our walk wit Him. We have to acknowledge that we've moved apart and get back with God. There is a scriptural basis for this--when Jesus is being crucified, he shouts out "My God, why have you forsaken me?"

During that time in 2001, this happened to me. I know it now looking back. In the midst of it all, I couldn't have told you what was happening, but I knew something was going on.

Until one day, while driving home from work. I remember the exact place I was too. I'd just exited at Walker Springs Rd in Knoxville, passing the shopping center with Books-a-Million in it and getting ready to turn left onto Kingston Pike to head toward the Y for my daily regiment of swimming laps. SportsTalk was in a commerical (it was close to football sesaon and I was eager for things to get started) and so I flipped over to the contemporary Christian music station. As I did, the DJ informed us that Rebecca St James had a new song and began to play it.

The song was "Breath" from her album "Worship God." I understand now that this is a song that is a popular song used a lot in contemporary worship and covered by many contemporary Christian artists. But that day in 2001, I'd not heard it before. Or at least not that I remembered.

It goes like this:

This is the air I breathe
This is the air I breathe
Your holy presence
Living in me

This is my daily bread
This is my daily bread
Your very word
Spoken to me

And I, I'm desperate for You
And I, I'm lost without You
Oh Lord, I'm lost without You

This is the air I breathe
This is the air I breathe
Your holy presence
Living in me

Image hosted by

I can remember the first time I heard those words "And I, I'm desparate for You...and I'm, I'm lost without you." I can still remember the big yellow sign for the Disc Exchange and tearing up, realizing that I was lost and desparate for God. I pulled off the road as soon as I could as the song continued to play and sat there, just weeping. It was at that point, I realized that I'd gotten away from God and I was desparate for Him. And not desparate in that way that people had talked about you in high school--the gee, I couldn't get a date if I tried, desparate. I was just searching, yearning, needing God..and the thing was, He was there. He'd been there the whole time but like a fool I'd been trying to shoehorn Him into what I thought I needed instead of letting Him work His will in my life and follow where He led. I can say that day helped me to cry, to weep and to mourn about the things happening in my life, but it also led me to a new sense of peace as I renewed my commitment to follow God. To daily be desparate for Him and to not worry about what anyone else would think about my desparation.

That song, by Rebecca, put into words things that had been boiling under the surface for a long time...and brought them out. And it hit me where I lived and it changed my life. I know I've said that I don't really have an all-out favorite song that she does, but if I had to pick just one for the sheer transforming power it's had on my life, it's this one. It's one of my favorite songs now and it's been done by a lot of artists, including Michael W. Smith, but I have to admit I have a huge bias toward Rebecca's version of it.

So, that's just a little bit of why I love the music of Rebecca St. James. And why I am thankful that she has answered the call to share her gift in this way. I've never met her and I may never meet her. But if I do, someday, I'd like to go up, shake her hand and tell her this story about how her answering her call has impacted me and helped me hear mine better.

(UPDATE 1:15 CST: Reading some comments, I've received and re-reading some of the above paragraphs, I realized I didn't say what I was thinking as well as I should...but I'm gonna leave it and say this. At times in my life, I've gone into a testing of my faith. And while God is with me in that, part of it is that God lets me go off and do the test on my, that I will realize that I am desparate for Him and have to be dependent on Him. My thing is--I will go into a test and think, yes, I can do it all on my own and this is when the test starts to get increasingly difficult....after all, it says that we will never be tested beyond what we can bear. So, I know there's no test I can't handle or pass, but part of the test is the continued re-realization that I can't do it all alone. And that is a huge part of what this test showed showed me that I thought I could handle everything and be the reliable, rock solid person and all the while I was falling apart inside. It was only when I gave up all that I was holding onto and left it with God and stopped thinking I could do it all that I began to learn the lesson behind the test. Alas, I'm thick-headed and this will have be reinforced again and it has been at several points since 2001, though only one time as severely and as breaking me down to the very rock bottom of who I am...)

posted by Michael Hickerson at 7/27/2005 10:28:00 AM | |
WOW!! Michael, I got "God-bumps" reading this, along with a few tears... May we all be desperate for Him!
Post a Comment

Follow me on Twitter!

    Follow me on Twitter!
    This is a Flickr badge showing public photos from bigorangemichael. Make your own badge here.

    Recent Comments

    Best Middle Tennessee Blogs

    Web Sites I Visit
    Daily News Journal
    Doctor Who News
    Go Vols
    Go Titans
    The Tennessean
    The Tennessean's Titans Coverage
    Trek Today
    TV Guide On-Line
    Washington Post Redskins Coverage
    USA Today

    2007 Team Schedules
    Tennessee Vols
    Tennessee Titans
    Washington Redskins

    Favorite Authors on the Web
    Orson Scott Card
    Peter David's Blog
    Keith R.A. DeCandido's Blog
    Neil Gaiman
    Elizabeth George
    Philip Gulley
    Stephen King
    Donald Miller
    Lisa Samson's Blog
    Robert Whitlow

    Musical Links
    Carolyn Arends
    Sherrie Austin
    Lee Domann
    Dust And Ashes
    Fleming & John
    Sara Groves
    Jennifer Knapp
    Jars of Clay
    Carolyn Dawn Johnson
    Cindy Morgan
    The Monkees
    Nickel Creek
    Nothin' Fancy
    Rebecca St. JamesRay Stevens
    Steep Canyon Rangers
    Williams and Clark Expedition
    Rhonda Vincent and the Rage
    Jaci Velasquez

    Blogging Links

    Powered by Blogger Weblog Commenting and Trackback by Listed on Blogwise
    << ? Blogaholics Anonymous # >>

    My Blog Chalk

    Michael/Male/31-35. Lives in United States/Tennessee/Smyrna, speaks English. Eye color is brown. I am in shape. I am also creative. My interests are Reading/Swimming laps.
    This is my blogchalk:
    United States, Tennessee, Smyrna, English, Michael, Male, 31-35, Reading, Swimming laps.

    You Are Visitor

    Free Web Counter

    Looking For Something Specific?
    Search this site or the web powered by FreeFind

    Site search Web search

    Powered by Blogger