I don’t remember when I first read Shaun Groves’ blog. Or how I got there, although I’m guessing it was while I was reading about Compassion International when we were deciding to sponsor a child. But whenever and however, I thought I’d like it, so I added it to my Google Reader. And it’s been there ever since, which can’t be said of all blogs I’ve subscribed to at one point or another.
And then this summer I started craving new music. There wasn’t anything wrong with the old music. I just needed something new to put on repeat. That’s how I am with music. I find songs I like, and I listen to them over and over.
Shaun Groves has a new album coming out that is worth putting on repeat. Shaun is an advocate for children living in poverty, and does something about it through his job with Compassion. And he does something about it with the other things he does, like making good music.
Recently, Shaun invited bloggers to ask him three questions. So I did, of course. That journalism blood will always run through me, even though I haven’t once been tempted back into a newsroom since embarking on my stay-at-home mom career. Yet I haven’t stopped writing and soaking in stories.
So, here’s part of the story of Shaun’s coming-soon album, “Third World Symphony.”
1. What makes this CD different than anything people have heard you sing before?
OK, seriously, I’m a different guy now. It’s been six years since I’ve released a full-length record and I’ve not the guy I was six years ago. There’s a lot less “me” and “I” in the lyrics this time. There aren’t any metaphor songs – something I was kind of known for way back when. My voice has changed too – singing so often for so many years has weathered it a bit I think – jury is still out on whether that’s a good thing. And the reason I make music has changed as well. I’m not trying to sell a lot of CDs so I can pay my bills. I’m truly attempting to connect the first world to the third world for the betterment of both. And I think this change in purpose is reflected throughout the record.
2. How do you balance ministering to others, through Compassion, with this album and in other ways, while keeping your family a priority?
My wife helps tremendously with this. Together we decide how many cities I’ll be in each year, block important dates on the calendar, and decide together when long stretches of overseas travel fit best within our family’s schedule. We currently cap my travel at 80 cities per year. And I’m not gone more than four days in a row unless it’s overseas. Then, when I’m home, I have a great deal of freedom on my job to work when odd hours. So, I can eat with my family, take a break to throw a football or dominate in a game of Candyland – that sort of thing. We have a pretty great life. I don’t take it for granted.
3. What three things do you hope people take away from listening to these 10 songs?
I hope listeners get a glimpse of the wisdom and beauty that God has allowed me to experience in being with our brothers and sisters in the third world. I hope they think of that when they think about the poor – not only do they need us but perhaps we need them more. Their perspective and gratitude and all that they’ve given me and I’m now passing on in song. I hope also that listeners do something. Whether that’s a simple prayer of thanks or simplifying their life or sponsoring a child through Compassion International. I hope they act on the inspiration.
Lastly, I hope they gain a more complete picture of the gospel, of the mission of Christ. He didn’t come to earth, live, die and live again to forgive my sins and take me to heaven when I die. He did all this AND provided for my physical needs everyday of my life by giving me the Church, empowered by the Spirit, focused on the kingdom, preaching AND healing as Jesus did to the ends of the earth. That’s the whole gospel – May your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven – inside our hearts and throughout every aspect of our lives.
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