best that I've ever gone to, and I've gone to quite a number of concerts.
I've been listening to RSJ for about 10 years now, since the late 90s. I've
always loved the diversity in her music, but most especially, her passion.
She's very outspoken for teen/young adult abstinence and for the pro-life
movement. I remember her song "Wait for Me" (which she sang, btw) from when
it was first released and it truly is powerful. She's written several books
on the subject as well as a new(er) devotional series "Pure", that's a
30-month series on how to dedicate yourself to God, mind, body, and soul.
Really, these are things that every young girl needs to read & hear, so that
they can make a commitment to themselves and to God now, rather than after
mistakes have been made. But then as the song says, "there is forgiveness
and a second chance..." God offers redemption and a new life, for the old
has gone and the new has come.
RSJ even sang a brand new song that hasn't even been released yet! "Shoulda,
Coulda, Wish I Woulda" or something along those lines. A really fun song.
One of my favorite things about the concert was that it was very worshipful
as well as fun... she sang a number of worship songs where she had everyone
stay in their seats and just go to the place where it's just them and God.
One of the songs was "Breathe" wish has been a worship song that has.. I
don't know.. it speaks to my heart. "This is the air I breathe".. and I have
to ask, "God, am I breathing You? Am I allowing you to be the very substance
of my being, my life force, my air?" That is a question I try to ask every
day, because I don't ever want there to be a day that God isn't in the
forefront of my mind and the center of my life.
Towards the end of the concert she called for a time of prayer and had the
altar open as she prayed, sang, and gave one of the best in-concert altar
calls I've heard in a long time. You can see that hers is a real faith, not
something for show, but something she lives and breathes and is a part of
who she is.
Another thing I loved was that she has her brother, Joel, sing with her on
most of the songs. In fact, Joel and one of her younger brothers, Luke, have
recently formed a group and are recording their first cd right now with
Warner Music or something like that. They sang two songs during the concert
and Matt ended up buying their EP. Pretty good stuff. They're both as
commitment and outspoken about the purity movement as their sister. Which,
talking about family, turns out that RSJ is the oldest of SEVEN kids. I LOVE
IT! She has FIVE brothers and one sister... hehe.. Micah and I looked at
each other and were like.. we like that family... Kind of reminded me of
Shulers once her brothers came out. Especially since Luke looks like he
could be Phillip or Jacob's older brother. But it was awesome to see her
interact with her brothers. They weren't just siblings, they were friends.
The last part of the concert dealt with RSJ sharing her thoughts and
feelings regarding the Pro-Life movement. She shared a song, a lullaby
really, called "Little One" that's from her new movie, "Sarah's Choice." The
song made me cry and then some. I just sat there, with my hand on my belly,
letting the words wash over me. The song isn't out on CD or anything so I
recorded it from her myspace and will be sharing it hopefully tonight, along
with the words.
The movie "Sarah's Choice" is just being released this month and is RSJ's
first starring role in a film. The movie is pretty well made for a
small-time film but it's message is really powerful. RSJ plays "Sarah" a
women who is one the fast-track for a big promotion, only to find out that
she is pregnant. The clinic she goes to calls it a "fetus" and compared it
to a pencil eraser.. but Sarah knows that it's a baby, no matter what size
it is. She struggles over her friends telling her to "just get rid of it",
only to find that the girl had an abortion when she was 16 and is still
living with the pain. Her boyfriend doesn't want to take responsibility and
her mom and sister are trying to support her, yet remind her of God's love..
and how she can't destroy a life. Sarah is given three dreams by God,
showing her what her future could be... the joy she could have with her
daughter, or the pain and loss that she would have to live with for the rest
of her life. In the end, she has a choice to make.
They showed the film after the concert and I don't know if there was a dry
eye in the entire building, guys included. As the ending showed and the
song, "Little One" played, I sat there with my hand on my tummy, feeling the
little one growing with me.. and I couldn't imagine going through with
something like that. No matter if this baby didn't exactly fit in with my
"plan"... little he or she is a gift from God and deserves to be loved as
the precious miracle it is. I was so thankful that I didn't have to face a
choice like that.. but at the same time sending up a praying for those very
ones facing this choice, this decision...
Afterwards we were able to get our cd signed by RSJ and have a picture taken
with her. I even got to talk with her for a few minutes and explain how much
the movie and her songs and words had touched me. I told her a story of my
family and she asked questions, then thanked God when she heard of His
grace, redemption, and joy that He had given.
In the end, I felt like inviting her out to Village Inn or someplace, just
to hang out. I wouldn't mind having her for a sis-in-law (eh, Matt?) or even
just a friend...
All in all, a wonderfully awesome night... it was fun, thought-provoking,
emotive, and worshipful. In other words, highly recommended.