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Mac Powell and Aaron Watson

May 3, 2013

What do Mac Powell and Aaron Watson have in common? They are both Godly men who are taking their God-given talents and sharing them with others. While Powell typically sings Christian rock with his band Third Day, he has taken on a new self-titled solo project singing country music. That reminded me of Watson’s 2006 CD titled “Barbed Wire Halo”, where he strays from his Texas Country style to release a CD filled with songs of faith and Scripture.

Aaron Watson’s “Barbed Wire Halo” CD has ten songs, and three readings of Scripture by country musician Billy Joe Shaver. Interestingly, the CD starts with I’ve Always Loved You, a song about God’s love for us written by Mac Powell and originally performed by Third Day. His approach to this song takes it to a new audience. He also sings his hit song “Barbed Wire Halo” which the disk is named. This is a “story-telling” song, telling the story of a person’s spiritual life. Interspersed between these songs of faith are readings of Scripture by an old outlaw country singer, Billy Joe Shaver. Shaver’s voice with the crackling of an old record adds gravitas to the Scripture, making it authentic. He ends the CD with several old hymns.

Aaron Watson is a man of deep faith. His website (http://www.aaronwatson.com/) has a link to his blog, Barbed Wire Halo Blog, which is a story of his walk of faith. There is a link to sponsor children through World Vision. Moreover, he brings World Vision sponsorship packs to all of his concerts! He uses his country music to share his faith in venues many preachers and pastors would not be able to enter to share the Gospel. He walks the faith he claims publicly. His tweets typically include pictures of his young ones enjoying time with their Daddy. He is authentic. Because of this, he has an opportunity to use his country music to open doors for him, and then he carries his faith in those doors with him. He proclaims the Lord in word and action.

Mac Powell took a step in the other direction and cut a solo project. It has all the sounds of southern rock and country you would expect from a native of the Deep South. It was a divergence from the Third Day sound, but for a follower of Third Day it will take a few times through to separate his voice from the group. This project is nothing less than high quality and worthy of listening. The lyrics do not undermine his faith; in fact, they bring a life story to it. The music has a solid drive to it and sucks you in. You can hear the joy in his voice as he sings these songs. He has opened a new opportunity for himself with this CD.

In the song, “Carry You,” he sings of a steadfast love and commitment in a marriage. It is a beautiful song for husbands to hear and reflect on. While it is a country song with no mention of Scripture, it is filled with Biblical truths about a marriage. He sings of a servant hood type of love a husband has for a wife. What better to bring that message to the wider audience outside of the church walls?

Another highlight to this project is “Hold On To Me.” This again is a song about a marriage that is being buffeted by the trials of life. Powell sings of the steady strength of the husband to be a rock in the storm. It is a powerful ballad which is needed inside and outside the church walls.

Some would say Powell’s gifts belong in the church or with Third Day. They might say his singing music that is not strictly faith-based is an offense to God. This is a sad commentary on our view of church and calling on a person’s life. Powell took his amazing gifts and chased after a dream of his. God has gifted him with these talents and he is being a good steward with them by taking this new opportunity. In doing so, he has opened doors into new venues and new opportunities to show and share his faith. He is bringing songs about Biblical values in a plain country package to the world at large.

These two are Godly men, who are blessed with talents that they can take their faith into the world. Just as Aaron Watson took a risk making a faith-based CD, Mac Powell did also by making a country one. They followed the path they felt led to travel. One could say they are brave disciples of Christ, pursuing His calling on their lives. It is interesting how their careers crossed in one song as they headed the same direction on two different country roads. Go get each of these CD’s and enjoy them.

This brings up a question for each of us. Does God want us to stretch you in a similar way? Maybe you spend the all of your time in a Christian “bubble.” Is God challenging you to step outside that bubble with your talents to reach people outside the church? For those who rarely find themselves with Christians to fellowship with – is God asking you to reach into the church with your talents and fellowship in the church, building a church into your life? Take a look at your life and see if God wants you to step outside your current comfort zone to make a difference.

Now take a couple of minutes and take a look at Aaron Watson singing “Barbed Wire Halo.”

 

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