Sunday, January 27, 2008

Testify To Love

Warning: Vulnerable moment here. :) This song brings tears to my eyes almost every time I hear it. In fact, I just looked at youtube to find a video for the song and it seems that many people have been creative, making their own videos for the song, so I listened to it four times and I teared up during each listen. What can I say? I'm a softy sometimes!

There is a lot of love, grace, mercy and peace in this song. Not just "me" receiving it from God, but love, grace, mercy and peace that goes around as we reach out and share our lives with each other.

A couple of years ago, my daughter "graduated" from preschool and they had a ceremony with songs, skits and other activities. One of the songs the kids sang was this song. Actually, a "grown-up" sang the verses and then the kids sang the chorus. It was hilarious and cute, because you could see these little 'uns getting ready to sing their part each time the chorus came up, and when it came they would sing it out LOUD (almost to the point of shouting it out) so that everyone could hear them. Priceless. :)

Avalon - Testify To Love


  1. Hi Joel;

    A vulnerable moment here from me to bookend yours, but differently, confession, most “Christian” music does not “touch me”. I find most of it very lame, pathetic and lacking “power”. I know many in the Church would think I am speaking heresy here, but I am speaking primarily here of style of music although also often the lyrics.

    It seems so much “Christian” music is adult contemporary or has country influences. Now I am 43 and like some adult contemporary but so much of it sounds like continual Elton John (obviously I am speaking style here). And well country music may as well be camel grunts for me, actually my apologies to the camels out there…

    I did become a Christian at 28 so I don’t have sentimentality towards the music, I didn’t grow up with it touching my life or thinking that his kind of music is “just the way we do church”. Interestingly I would prefer the hymns to a lot of the “modern” music. I like a very diverse allotment of music but it seems that overall “Christian” music follows few threads of creativity (obviously I am aware of the various kinds of Christian music, I know there is Christian rock etc, but I am talking about the preponderance of music, the typical not the extraordinary like U2 for example).

    I am not trying to be a complainer, downer, Church hater (I love the Church) or troublemaker here; just thought it would make for an interesting aspect of the conversation here. You know how much of a fan I am of yours… so I know you will hear the humility and genuineness I intend even if my words do not express it well… in other words if my words seem harsh they are not intended to be, I am leaning on the grace of my brothers and sisters here…

    By the way I enjoyed the music and video… honest!

  2. Hi LS,

    Having spent 11 years in Christian radio, all I can say is you're a senseless, pathetic fool... LOL Just Kidding! Ha ha!

    Actually I'm in full agreement with you, and that's the honest truth. As opposed to the dishonest truth? LOL Anyway I'm not a fan of Christian music. I do like some music that comes out of the music business known as CCM (contemporary Christian music), such as this song. When I posted this blog, I decided not to spoil the actual post with some thoughts that I have of the actual band. Avalon, kind of like Britney Spears, the Backstreet Boys and other such fabricated "bands," was put together specifically for marketing purposes. They are a "product." There are many, many "bands" like this in the CCM world (as is also the case in the general music market). That said, I think the individuals in Avalon are sincere, and having seen them live in concert and listened to them talking on the radio, I believe the members of the band really have a passion for what they're doing.

    Anyway, my point is that CCM is an industry that is run by ratings and record spins. It's based heavily on marketing. It's based upon what sells. And so the appearance and sound of popular Christian artists is "formulated" to fit a particular listening audience. Again, I have to back away from that statement somewhat, because I do think that some of the more 'established' artists have a lot of freedom to make the music that they want to make (but how did they become established in the first place, if not for marketing?), but overall the artists you hear on the radio are stuck in the small box of making "radio friendly" music.

    3 1/2 minute songs is the result. Canned music is the result. Formulated music is the result. Lame, pathetic lyrics are the result. Cookie cutter artists and music are the result. You get the picture. The "problem" (in my opinion) is that this stuff sells! ;) Obviously there is a huge CCM market. Many people do like it. And you know what? If people like it, who am I to say that they're wrong for listening to it?

    But one cool thing is that there is also an underground 'market' out there. "Rebels" (both artists and fans) who don't play by the "rules" and who make the music that they are truly inspired to make and who listen to music that they really enjoy. It doesn't sell as well, but of course it's not marketed nearly as much either. You don't hear it on the radio because you don't have record label "trackers" calling radio stations trying to get them to play their artists' songs. Program Directors at Christian radio stations have to turn down a LOT of music every week, because it either doesn't fit the format or because they already have too many tunes in their rotation. The underground music, no matter how great and wonderful it is, doesn't stand a chance because it generally doesn't fit the radio stations formats.

    Well I could go on and on (I guess I already have!), but like you I am also not complaining nor trying to be a downer. I'm just telling it like it is, or at least how I see it.

    Bottom line for me is, I listen to all types of music, both on the radio and stuff that I have in my personal music collection. If I personally like a song, I'll listen to it. If I don't, I won't. I was once a huge cynic about all this, but now I just live and let live. :)

  3. I enjoyed reading what both of you had to say about this...thanks for the vulnerability in choosing to talk about it.

    I do want to say one thing about the song, Testify to Love, though. When I first heard this, it was at the end of a 'Touched By An Angel' episode called, 'The 151st Psalm' and Wynonna Judd was in this particular one. Her young son was dying from a terminal illness and he had a list of things he wanted to accomplish before passing. His best friend and the angels came alongside to help him do this and Wynonna sang this song at the end....the tears were flowing, needless to say as the little boy sat on the porch, while his mom and people in the neighborhood sang together. I have loved this one for years and still do. I prefer Wynonna's version though, although I'm not a fan of much country music at all.

    One other note - God really used Touched By An Angel in my life for a season because every single time the angel, 'Monica' (played by Roma Downey) would tell someone in the last 20 minutes of the show that 'God loved them' I would just was very healing for me at that point in my life.

    Sorry to go on for so long. Thanks for listening! :o)

  4. No problem, GW, go on as long as you like! I also loved the part in Touched By An Angel when she said God loves you. Actually it was more like "God luuv's ewe" in her Scottish accent. ;) But yeah, that was always my favorite part. I didn't watch the program a whole lot, but I always loved the redemptive quality of the program.

    I vaguely remember the Wynonna episode. I do remember seeing her in the show but the storyline you mentioned doesn't stick out to me. I'm sure her version of Testify To Love was a great one!

  5. Thanks Joel. :o) I've always felt very welcome at your blog. LOL, very good Scottish accent, I might say. ;o) I agree with you about loving the redemptive quality of it. Same here.

    Really? How neat that you remember it at all! I've never actually spoken to anyone else who had seen it. If you ever get a chance, I recommend it. It's one of the best, in my opinion. Oh yes, her version is very warm and beautiful. I'll see if I can find it to put on my blog, how's that sound? :o)

  6. It's always funny to see Roma Downey on other TV programs these days. She'll always be that angel. :) And she'll never sound right without the accent. LOL

    Hey, that would be neat if you found the Wynonna version of this song. I'll keep my eyes open to see if you find it and post it on your blog!

  7. It really is funny! I agree, she'll always be Monica in my eyes and heart. Haha, true about the accent!

    I haven't been able to find that version of the song yet, to put on my blog. Sorry for the delay. I'll let you know if I'm able to locate it. :o)

  8. Wow! Abba led me right to what I needed so I've just finished the blog post.

    Have a great day, Joel!