A Heart Full of Song and Service

Written by Lisa M. Hendey

A Heart Full of Song and Service Christian Music Spotlight Interview with Chuck Stevens By Lisa M. Hendey

When we open our hearts and Your Word sets them free We become as You call us to be When we share Your compassion, Your mercy and love We are standing in Your presence O Lord In Your Presence, Chuck Stevens

Imagine meeting a talented recording artist who’s looking to give away most ofrepparttar profits from his CD sales, whose greatest hope is that he can use his small talents to bring praise and worship to God, not himself. You’ve just met Chuck Stevens, police officer, husband, father of five and Christian songwriter.

Chuck Stevens is one of those people I find most inspiring –repparttar 148929 ones who don’t just have good intentions, but who look around themselves and take proactive steps to make this world a better place. Having recorded his first CD, In Your Presence, Stevens now works with parishes, church projects and charities to raise needed funds throughrepparttar 148930 sales of his music. Active in his home parish, Stevens is currently inrepparttar 148931 second of his four years of preparation to become a deacon in his church.

In Your Presence is a compilation of ten songs, penned and sung by Stevens. The lyrics are simple and inspiring andrepparttar 148932 music is an acoustic folk style that makes for great listening. My personal favorite isrepparttar 148933 title track, In Your Presence, which encapsulates Stevens’ commitment to serving Christ through our compassionate service to those around us.

I’m pleased to sharerepparttar 148934 following conversation with Chuck Stevens, and encourage you to visit his web site and support his music ministry.

Q: Please tell our readers about yourself, your family, and your own faith journey.

A: I'm a very fortunate individual. God has blessed me with Kathi, my wonderful wife of 19 years and we have been blessed with (and by) five great kids, (three boys Sean, David , Chris; and two girls Jessica and Kelly) ranging in age from 8 to 16 years . I have finishedrepparttar 148935 second of four years of study forrepparttar 148936 permanent diaconate, and am actively involved in music ministry, catechetics, and other activities within our home parish, in Petrolia, Ontario (Canada).

The Church has always been an important part of our family life; in fact, Church has always been our main social outlet/connection since we move around quite regularly. I'm a 'cradle Catholic' having been raised in a traditional Catholic home, born whilerepparttar 148937 Second Vatican Council was sitting, so I grew up with allrepparttar 148938 changes while still being influenced byrepparttar 148939 traditions ofrepparttar 148940 Church which my parents cherished. My relationship with Jesus has always been important to me, even as a teen when I (as most teenagers do) started questioning everything. God continued to grant merepparttar 148941 grace to feel His presence regularly.

Perhaps inrepparttar 148942 past I didn't recognize this, but withrepparttar 148943 continuing of my studies, I have found that a more intense prayer life and setting more time aside for Scripture and quiet 'listening' have drawn me into a deeper relationship with God. This has translated itself into music. It's quite funny actually - as a teen I played in a church folk group, and then matured (or so I thought) into playing in pubs. I was playing in clubs and bars about 25 years ago, met my wife Kathi, who became my manager, then my best friend, then my wife. Shortly after that, I broke my left hand and figured, “there goesrepparttar 148944 music biz”. I resigned fromrepparttar 148945 musician's union and didn't pursue any other music jobs. About a year later, a small rural parish we belonged to wanted someone to accompany a group of children so they could sing atrepparttar 148946 Christmas Eve Children's Mass. Kathi persuaded me that I wanted to do this (even though I hadn't played at all since breaking my hand)...it wasn't until she pointed it out to me - I haven't played anywhere except churches and church functions inrepparttar 148947 25 years since then. Now I'm not suggesting for a minute “God broke my hand”; but it just shows me howrepparttar 148948 Holy Spirit takes our circumstances to lead us, if we follow, where God wants us to use our talents.

Q: Please sharerepparttar 148949 story of what inspired you to create your CD, In Your Presence.

A: I had worked on a number of songs overrepparttar 148950 past couple of years that never seemed to get finished, or that I could fill in. I had bits of melodies, bits of verse, but nothing really tangible. During our diaconal studies' year end retreat in Oxley, Ontario, we spentrepparttar 148951 Friday evening in a meditative exercise, then retired to our rooms for quiet time. Duringrepparttar 148952 course of that evening, I finished three songs that I had been working on overrepparttar 148953 years, and came up with three more. In fact, we used two of those atrepparttar 148954 Sunday liturgy that weekend. One was "In Your Presence'. As I feltrepparttar 148955 Holy Spirit's presence very strongly that weekend, particularly asrepparttar 148956 music just seemed to 'flow' Friday evening, I felt there was more than just a grace from God of finishing a few songs. I came away withrepparttar 148957 conviction that Lord wanted me to use this gift, freely given to me, to help others come to praise, worship and serve God, and to help out churches and ministries wherever and however I could. This led to another thought 'out ofrepparttar 148958 blue' that if I could recordrepparttar 148959 music, then it could be used by others for worship, prayer or just listening. In addition, I felt urged to userepparttar 148960 music to raise funds for churches and ministries. I have a day job which helps me to provide for my family (I'm a police officer),repparttar 148961 music is a gift from God, which I feel, allows me to participate in God's providence to others.

Scriptural Prayer for Guidance

Written by Jessica Gerald

Dear Lord,

1. We lack wisdom. We ask you for wisdom, knowing you will give it to us generously. (James 1:5)

2. Teach us your ways, that we may walk in your paths. (Isaiah 2:3)

3. Instruct us and teach us inrepparttar way we should go. Counsel us and watch over us. (Psalm 32:8)

4. No matter which way we turn, cause us to hear your voice saying, "This isrepparttar 148669 way; walk in it." (Isaiah 30:21)

5. In our hearts we may plan our own course, but we ask you to determine our steps. (Proverbs 16:9)

6. Please make our steps firm, and take delight in our way. (Psalm 37:23)

7. Instruct us and teach usrepparttar 148670 right way. (Isaiah 28:26)

8. Enable us to acknowledge you in all our ways, and you will direct our paths. (Proverbs 3:6)

9. At times we feel blind because we are making decisions aboutrepparttar 148671 unknown. Even so, please lead us by ways we have not known, along unfamiliar paths guide us. Turnrepparttar 148672 darkness into light before us, and makerepparttar 148673 rough places smooth. (Isaiah 42:16)

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