I have 4 faith heroes, well actually 5, but one was not written about a lot. All of them are dead for us here on earth. But they probably keep God busy a lot. Well one of them anyway. 🙂
Let me introduce them to you in no particular order.
He was born October 21, 1953. If you know nothing about him, he wrote the hymns “O Lord, You’re Beautiful” and “There Is A Redeemer”.
After becoming a Christian he and his wife, Melody, purchased the home next door to their own to provide housing and care for prostitutes, drug addicts, and the homeless. Later they rented five more to do the same. In 1979 Keith surprised many by refusing to charge money for concerts or albums. Keith and Melody mortgaged their home to privately finance an album called “So You Wanna Go Back To Egypt.” The album, which featured a guest appearance by Bob Dylan, was offered through mail-order and at concerts for a price determined by the purchaser. In May 1982, Keith had shipped out more than 200,000 units of his album – 61,000 for free. They started Last Days Ministries and began publishing a newsletter that was sent out to 300 000 people worldwide.
Keith died July 28, 1982 in a plane crash with two of his children, three year old Josiah, and two year old Bethany along with 8 other people. He was 28 years old.
I heard one of his songs on a compilation album and went “What?” I was hooked. He had an obvious love for God. He was intense, fiery and he challenged me with his songs and with what he said. His music was not prettiest, but it was beautiful. Listen to psalm 23 as he renders it. His songs were a mixture of happy, sad, serious, playful and sometimes downright scary. (The sheep and the goats.) He sang with emotion and it touched everybody listening to his songs.(The prodigal son). His music is a reflection of what was happening in his life. And through his life and music, he gave words to what I felt in my heart. I think the biggest gift he gave me was emotion. To follow God not just with my head, but with my heart as well. My closed up heart started to feel. He gave me a steely determination to follow God, no matter what. He helped me to ask uncomfortable questions. For that I will always thank him from the bottom of my heart.
Here is a few of his lyrics.
Make my life a prayer to You
Make my life a prayer to You,
I want to do what you want me to,
No empty words and no white lies,
No token prayers, no compromise,
I want to shine the light you gave,
Through Your Son, you sent to save us,
From ourselves and our despair,
It comforts me to know you’re really there.
Oh, I want to thank you now, for being patient with me,
Oh, it’s so hard to see, when my eyes are on me,
I guess I’ll have to trust and just believe what you say,
Oh, you’re coming again, coming to take me away,
I want to die, and let you give,
Your life to me, so I might live,
And share the hope you gave to me,
The love that set me free,
I want to tell the world out there,
You’re not some fable or fairy tail,
That I made up inside my head,
You’re God, The Son, you’ve risen from the dead.
Song To My Parents
I need to say these things cause, I love you so,
And I’m sorry you get angry when I say that, you just don’t know,
But there’s a Heaven waiting for you and me.
I know it seems every time we talk I’m only trying to just make you see.
And it’s only that I care, I really only want just to see you there.
Please try and overlook my human side,
I know I’m such a bad example and you know I’m so full of pride.
But Jesus isn’t like that, now He’s perfect all the way,
I guess that’s why we need him, cause by ourselves, there’s just no way.
And it’s only that I care, I really, really only just want to see you there.
To see you there.
Open Your Eyes
Open your eyes to the world all around you, open your eyes, open your eyes.
This world is much more than the things that surround you.
You must arise, and open your eyes.
Sometimes we’re too busy to share, but Jesus wants to care, to care.
Open your arms to the naked and shivering, open your arms, open your arms.
We need a little less taking, a whole lot more giving.
We’re so safe and warm, we can open our arms.
And love a little bit stronger, and pray a little bit longer, longer.
Jesus says, when we love someone in His name, we’re loving Him.
Jesus says, when we touch someone in His name, we’re touching Him.
And we’ve got to show them the light, we’ve got to pour out our lives.
Open your hearts to the ones who are desperate,
open your hearts, open your hearts.
They may never repay you, but their souls are worth it,
The life you impart when you open your heart.
Jesus loves all men the same,
So we’ve got to go out in His name.
If you do not have it, go and buy his music. It is one of the best investments you will ever make.