People > Projects

Me, recording artist Lee Givhan, and producer Delon Lawrence

It’s done. The recording project started four years ago—putting the book of Revelation to song—has moved from our hands into others’ who will refine, polish, and package it until it returns to us in a two-CD unit filled with the creative blood, sweat and tears of over 25 singers, writers, musicians, artists, and engineers.

Whew.

The recording will move from our hands into others’ hands, which will pop it into ever-changing types of devices designed to move the music from disc to ear. Finally ears will hear, and nervous systems will feel pulse, chord and tune. Hopefully brains will comprehend the poetry. Then reactions will flow in—ringing affirmations, at times swelling into superlatives; but also the criticisms of everything from that particular vocal to the instrumental treatment of such and such to the cover art to the artistic choices to “too tame” to “too wild” to this should have been done like this . . . what were you thinking?

By the grace of Jesus, I won’t be elated by flattery or dejected by applause. My flesh surges with as much pride as yours, but God has been overwriting it with better things. See, people are bigger than projects. Yes, God told us to occupy ourselves, work in His vineyard, stay busy, and bear fruit; and I believe God specifically asked me to bring this creative idea to fruition. But in the middle of the marathon, He taught me that the ones I ran beside mattered more than the finish line, the trophy or the headlines. In fact, they were the finish line, the trophy and the headlines.

Religious zealots like me love to work, work, work, for God. Actually, by virtue of a driven temperament I’d work, work, work regardless. My bloodlines set me up to take great pleasure in the plan and execute function of my cerebral cortex. So there’s nothing other-worldly or noble about my drive, really. If God didn’t have hold of my heart, the same drive that runs Christian music projects might run a large brothel or meth house. We love to baptize such things, dunking them in holy water till they shimmer with seeming spiritual virtue. But in and of themselves, great works—even great religious works, mind you—don’t indicate the presence of God. Love does.

Over and over, through the tediums and aggravations inherent in recording music, God would remind me that people were greater than projects; that the people I worked beside mattered more than the project we worked on. Specifically, my producer, Delon Lawrence, who slaved day and night (and toward the end, to a worrisome point), mattered more. When inevitable disagreements and cross purposes arose, I’d find myself saying over and over, “I’d rather flush every one of these 45 tracks down the toilet than lose your friendship.” And I meant it. Because Jesus has taught me what really matters, I meant it.

Without love, I am nothing. People > projects. Amen.

11 thoughts on “People > Projects

  1. Nathan

    So true . . . and I’m finally coming to that realization myself!! Blessings . . . and I look forward to some good listening! Have a wonderful week!

  2. Yvonne

    You have such a fantastic outlook! I love your attitude and your humble analysis of doing God’s work. I praise God that He has such a willing worker in you. You are truly an inspiration. It’s lovely to get your spiritual thoughts every so often in my work day.
    Thank you and keep up the good work.

  3. John

    Well said, Jennifer! People do matter more than things, beliefs, opinions, etc. Trying to apply this to my life as well.

  4. Paul

    Great news! Can’t wait for it to be available.

    And yes, you will receive feedback from many different perspectives…and God will be glorified in the way your music reaches hearts for Him.

  5. Eric and Monique

    Congratulations Jen & team. That is so exciting. I am not 100% sure but this revelation project seems unprecedented in the music world. So glad that this project was taken on. Blessings to you all, can’t wait to hear the music,

  6. Patricia

    Great to hear !
    4 years….you have your degree in “The Lamb Wins”.
    One ongoing thesis.
    Way to go…

  7. Carolaine

    I’ve sent your request for prayer for your “major surgery” to a couple church friends, two of whom were at last Fall’s Adventist women’s retreat in Washington.
    Pray our Lord give you all of His peace and total healing.

  8. Sophie

    I love that people>projects!! And I love you for making it so clear!!

  9. Ashleigh

    I just had a God a moment reading this. I love this line: “But in the middle of the marathon, He taught me that the ones I ran beside mattered more than the finish line, the trophy or the headlines. In fact, they were the finish line, the trophy and the headlines.”

    This has been my struggle in post-secondary. Often I find myself focusing more on my grades and my schedule and forget the whole reason Jesus placed me in school. It’s all about people.

  10. Ashleigh

    I just had a God a moment reading this. I love this line: “But in the middle of the marathon, He taught me that the ones I ran beside mattered more than the finish line, the trophy or the headlines. In fact, they were the finish line, the trophy and the headlines.”

    This has been my struggle in post-secondary. Often I find myself focusing more on my grades and my schedule and forget the whole reason Jesus placed me in school. It’s all about people. I hope I never forget this.

  11. Jennifer JIll Schwirzer

    That’s great, Ashleigh. So glad you had that God moment and may you have many more and finish school with flying colors.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *