Hope Darst is a Fair Trade recording artist and a worship leader at the Belongingco church in Nashville alongside the likes of Natalie Grant, Mia Fieldes, Meredith Andrews, and many more well-known worship leaders and artists. But a record deal and commercial exposure were a long time in the making for Hope. It was a dream she had all but given up on.
Hope felt from a young age that she was destined to sing. She had tried to launch her career several times, but to no avail. As she describes now, her dream was put on hold for years as God worked on her from the inside out. She calls those her "basement years" when she was learning to be a great wife and Mom, delaying her lifelong musical aspirations.
But all that has begun to change. While diligently seeking the Lord and practicing her faith in contentment and obscurity, God has steadily been increasing Hope's visibility as a worship leader and songwriter. Opportunities she could not have engineered have been found and she is now launching a music career at a time when many would be looking to leave touring and public ministry for a quieter time at home.
But God had different plans and more than a few surprises waiting for Hope.
Debuting at radio during the first weeks of the global Coronavirus pandemic, her first single after years of waiting in the wings, Peace Be Still, should have been shut down like the rest of the world. Instead, it has become a massive chorus of faith during this crisis. And no one is more surprised than Hope herself.
"All I cared about, John, was God. I want the Spirit of God to be on this song, "Hope tells John Chisum during this powerful interview. "I've heard it said before that, when you write songs from an encounter with the Lord, you lock up that encounter within the song. And when it is sung over people or when other people sing it, they, too, then have that encounter released into their own lives."
In this personable interview, John Chisum and Hope Darst discuss the deep work in her heart as God released her from lifelong fears and the overriding need to please others, even above pleasing Him. Hope shares the story behind the song and encourages us all to live into the healing work God wants to do in our own hearts.
If you're struggling with fear or you've got dreams buried in your heart that don't seem to be coming true, you're going to find a lot of encouragement and inspiration in this conversation with Hope Darst. It will give you fresh faith and the encouragement to keep believing in God, yourself, and the dreams of your heart, despite all the odds at work against them.
You can connect with Hope Darst at https://www.hopedarst.com/ and on all streaming outlets.
BEC Recordings' artists Andrew Enos and Michael Landingham ("Lion & Bear") have suffered more than their fair share of loss and tragedies. The young California natives, actual brothers-in-law, have adopted the theme of lament for their music. And rightly so.
Michael and his wife lost their twin sons within days of their birth. It was their first pregnancy. Then Andrew and his wife lost a son to stillbirth. Michael's sister later lost her battle with cancer and Michael, a worship leader, found himself caught up in an alcohol addiction that was only broken as God brought new music, and new opportunities, to the duo.
In this powerful conversation with John Chisum, they discuss how the unusual blend of grieving and creativity brought them together to begin their band named after the two animals David slew before conquering the giant Goliath. Michael, through tears, texted a poignant verse and chorus recorded on his cell phone to Andrew that became the catalyst of their first single "Held By Your Love."
"There's just nothing that can prepare you to be holding your lifeless child, but I think there are beautiful things that come from tragedy," says Andrew. Showcasing the heart of both a lion and a bear, the duo's self-titled debut from BEC Recordings serves as a fitting introduction to the pair's experimental sonics, boundless creativity, and thoughtful lyricism, revealing they're not afraid to wade into the pain with people.
"Lion & Bear bring a fresh sound and message to the BEC Recordings roster," says Brian Ortize, BEC's A&R Director. "Not only is the music powerful and emotional, but there is personal story of hope and healing behind every lyric."
Andrew and Michael's belief that "lament and comfort can exist in the same song" is echoed in every track. Every listener will find healing and comfort for their own distress and loss. Listening to the music of Lion and Bear feels like tapping into the heart of the psalms, those sometimes agonizing laments and exclamations of sorrow mingled with hope and praise.
Host John Chisum says of the interview, "The band is new, but the depth of these guys is amazing. Our conversation was all about how the pain is real, yet, somehow on the other side of it all, God shows you that He's been with you in it all along. He's big enough to receive your lament in the hard times and your songs of praise in the good times."
You can access Lion and Bear's new music on Spotify, Apple Music, Youtube, and wherever great music is streaming.
You can connect with them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/lionandbearband/
You will enjoy getting to know the endearing Elle Limebear, a brand new GMA Dove Award Nominee for New Artist of The Year. In this conversation, John Chisum discovers Elle's passionate heart for reaching others with hope through her music and songwriting process. They also discuss what it's been like for her to grow up as the daughter of a Christian Rock Star.
Elle grew up watching her father, Martin Smith , minister as the frontman of the groundbreaking British worship band, Delirious?. She found herself at home in front of thousands of fans at festivals or in the smaller setting of their local church.
Elle's love for Jesus naturally compels her to love, love, love people! She actively serves as a Youth Pastor and Worship Leader in Brighton, UK, while creating music that is already speaking to listeners around the world through her recordings, the self-titled EP, Elle Limebear and her new CD Lost in Wonder.
The future looks bright for Elle Limebear. Her tenderness towards God is authentic and transparent. Her sweet humility and even the surprise of all that is happening for her in music is beautiful and engaging.
You can follow Elle on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can also sample her new music at Elle Limebear Music
We've loved having you as our guest today! To hear other insightful conversations with the artists you love , please subscribe to Song Revolution with John Chisum right here on AccessMore . You can also share our podcast with friends by using the convenient social media icons on this page.
The 5-time Grammy nominee, Matthew West, is hitting the reset button! He has found himself in a brand new season of leadership to younger artists and producers and a flood of productivity after a self-described "desert season" that has finally come to an end.
With a whole new attitude and new young producers, Matthew has crafted a fresh sound on his new album, Brand New, co-produced with 20-something producer/keyboardist A.J. Pruis. Along with a new podcast, there's a new studio, and his brand new Story House Music record label with Provident Label Group
If you've been a Matthew West fan in the past with songs like "Hello My Name Is," "Do Something," "Grace Wins," "Mended," and his early 2020 Covid-inspired hit single,
"Take Heart," you'll love this up-close-and-personal interview with show host John Chisum.
John digs into what's most important to Matthew at this point in his long career and how he's paying it forward by encouraging and mentoring a younger generation. Matthew shares candidly about the moment he realized that his story wasn't as important, or as interesting, as the thousands of tragic stories his fans were sharing with him and how he's turning the microphone around to the crowd more than ever through his ministry called "popwe nation."
You can find a lot more information at matthewwest.com and follow Matthew on all social media platforms.
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Few churches have had the global impact that Bethel Redding and it's spin off ministry of Jesus Culture Music have had over the past dozen years.
Kim Walker-Smith, one of the original Bethel worship leaders, helped launch a movement of worship and intimacy with God that has touched the nations and spearheaded ministry through the wildly popular Jesus Culture movement... and she's not slowing down.
John Chisum has a candid conversation with Kim about worship, the struggles of leadership, managing family and ministry, and the traumas of her childhood that have made her a deep-feeling worshiper. Kim shares openly about childhood abuse and trauma and the miraculous healing journey God has led her through from her book, Brave Surrender: Let God's Love Rewrite Your Story (Zondervan: 2019).
Celebrating the release of her new solo album Wild Heart, Kim says, "My last record, On My Side, was a collection of songs written from a desert season of my life. I was processing grief, anger, and pain. God met me in the desert and brought life and healing. Emerging from the desert, ushered me into a season fresh with new life. This new album is a strong declaration of freedom and who God is. On the other side of a desert season is growth, deeper connection to Jesus, and a new authority. In the desert, all my doubts and questions came to the surface. I wondered if God was truly as good and as faithful as He says. I asked if He could truly bring the freedom I longed for and the healing I needed. He met me in that place and not only proved His faithfulness, but taught me in greater measure who He is."
If you love Bethel Worship and Jesus Culture, don't miss this powerful conversation with iconic worship leader and songwriter, Kim Walker-Smith.