Archive for Mark Heard

Remembering Mark Heard

Posted in Jesus Music, Legends, Mark Heard with tags , , , , , , on August 19, 2008 by rezband1

by Mark Hendricks-

The art of Mark Heard has helped to change my outlook on Christianity.

There have been many artists of music that have had a great impact on me, from all types of genres. Thanks to Mark and a few others, I even have difficulty separating music (as well as other forms of art) into spiritual categories. Oh, I still understand the convenience of labeling certain types of music as bluegrass, progressive rock, doo-wop, etc. But gradually through the years, I began to grasp the futility (and folly) of attempting to categorize the “spiritual bent” of artists’ creations. Some folks still believe that you can do this according to lyrics,,,,I don’t. I think that that argument falls apart as soon as you evaluate an instrumental song that has no lyrics. “But has it still been dedicated and offered to God with as much sincerity as the song with lyrics praising our Creator?”, I would ponder. Mark Heard helped me to think this way. He helped me to go deeper.

You know, I believe that many people struggle with really opening up their minds. They fear to question long-held beliefs. What some would classify as “brainwashing” may merely be an attempt to rid your mind of “tape-recorded” principles that are useless (and actually detrimental) to helping us to grow into the spiritual beings that God intended us to become. Our parents’ generation didn’t have it all right, including their teachings about God. This doesn’t make them bad people, nor necessarily flawed in many ways,,,,it just makes them human.

And I think that was an important observation that I began to understand by listening to Mark Heard’s music. I recall the way I felt when I first heard certain lines from his lyrics. From “One Night Stand”, a song describing his thoughts on living life on the road—

“ I hit the depot half-past seven
I took the bus to a cheap motel
I went to sleep and I dreamed of Heaven
When I awoke I was back in Hell..”

And this refrain from “In The Gaze Of The Spotlight’s Eye”, a song about ministering to strangers from the stage—

“And….ooooh…I want to go home

I wish that this night would end
But….ooooh…. I’ve got to go on
And shoot from the heart again…”

My initial feelings upon listening to some of these lines were…..”back in Hell? Is this really what he thinks of this world? Hell is supposed to be so much worse than this world. Is he whining?” And…”He wants to go home? Isn’t he supposed to be the happy Christian putting on a brave face and doing what God wants him to do? Quit griping…shut up and sing…’re a Christian who is supposed to share your faith with joy”….etc…etc…

I was young, early ‘20’s. I have actually repented for some of my thinking then. As I grew in Christ, I began to see that I was getting hung up on semantics….and I began to realize that Mark was just being brutally honest…something that many Christians need help in doing. Mark was showing me himself….his soul…..without all the “evangelist trappings”. He was saying, it’s okay for us to acknowledge that we feel feelings like humans do. It’s okay to question. We do not always need to “put on a brave face” if we are not feeling brave. God knows our hearts anyway.

It is the reason that Mark rarely smiled in “posed” photographs. He thought it was deceptive to do that. He thought that there are too many artists perpetuating a myth that Christianity was “living a happy life all the time.” Mark smiled, but when it was genuine, not when told to.

It is insightful to know that Mark studied L’Abri and their principles. Look it up….he would probably want you to.

He sang to the Christian and non-Christian alike……he sang to people. He could be very direct when singing to the Church, as in these lines from “We Believe So Well”—

“But we believe so well, don’t we tell ourselves?
Don’t we take exclusive pride that we abide so far from hell?
We might laugh together, but don’t we cry alone?
For the ashes and the dust we’ve swept beneath the holy throne…”

Many in the pews (or, more accurately, the concert seats) wanted to bolt, or at least bristle. Thank God many didn’t. I was one of the latter, who eventually welcomed someone who was willing to broach subjects and thoughts often regarded as taboo by the Church in general. And he could do it with an accommodating vehicle in music…..good music.

Mark was really not a revolutionary……not even a rebel, really. He was just a great songwriter, musician, poet….a true artist. Some folks get all hung up on the whole “Christian first….then your human-ness” thing. Mark really didn’t. But if he did, he probably wanted to be known as a human being who also happened to believe in Christ. After all, God didn’t create Christians…..he created humans….and saw that it was good. More importantly, I don’t believe that it was important to Mark to be “known” at all.

–written by Mark Hendricks, 2008

Reflection on the Word and on the world is necessary, both for holy living and also for wise communication of the gospel to those around us. Paul spoke the same truth, but he presented it in different ways depending on whether he was in a synagogue with Jews and God-fearing Gentiles, or whether he was on Mars Hill with pagans. To communicate faithfully we have to work at understanding the intellectual climate of the times in which we live.L’Abri principle

Article by permission by Mark Hendricks

Wikipedia Info


Gone But Not Forgotten…

Posted in Jesus Music, Keith Green, Larry Norman, Legends, Servant with tags , , , , , , , , on August 12, 2008 by rezband1
Not Forgotten

Not Forgotten

So many musicians and friends from the Jesus Movement and the aftermath of that movement are getting up in years. Many have already left this earth and hopefully have entered that ultimate communion with the Lord.

Some were known as fiery “Prophets” like the late Keith Green who one moment would seem like a Paul or Peter and the next would be wrestling with his own shortcomings of being human. Larry Norman was called the Father or Grandfather of a movement that was short lived but impacted the world and Christianity greatly. Larry was as much of an enigma as Bob Dylan and till he died of heart failure on Feb. 24th of this year, Larry still seemed shrouded in mystery. No one can deny the impact he had on a movement that brought us so much in terms of music and ministries into the 21st Century.

Lonnie Frisbee not a musician that I know of but definitely an influence for those that came to Calvary Chapel looking to be disciples, many of course were musicians and Calvary Chapel took them in an Lonnie was one of the leaders to help them. Lonnie’s struggles would also become more evident and there is even a documentary done about Lonnie.

Calvary Chapel was a beehive of new ideas and struggles for a batch of many new converts with long hair and rowdy music. Coming to Jesus was usually a simple prayer followed by Bible studies and worship and baptisms. People that have left us early on like Bill Sprouse from The Road Home were one of the popular country rock bands from Calvary Chapel at the time.

California was a hub for Jesus Freaks spreading to other churches and opening new ones like The Vineyard. Keith Green started to attend here in 1973 with his girlfriend Melody who soon married at The Vineyard Church. Keith started his own Intentional Community and Ministry soon after, called Last Day’s Ministries. In the Early 80’s while taking off in a small plane to look over Last Day’s Property Keith and others including two of his children died when the plane crashed during take off. Keith really made us aware of Missions and making Jesus Lord of our lives and was and still is greatly missed.

Later on others that came along like Mark Heard, Denny Correll and Rich Mullins would leave us. Rich came after the Jesus Movement but many felt he brought the principles of that Jesus Movement back to the Christian Music industry. Many were affected by Rich in deep ways with his worship music and life the same way Keith Green or Larry Norman touched someone.

Mark Heard was a great producer, songwriter, and engineer that would be praised by Bruce Cockburn, Phil Keaggy and many others. Mark’s poetic lyrics and intelligent music sent tremors through the whole church and beyond.

Gene Eugene of Adam Again and other groups like the Lost Dogs died all of a sudden in his sleep at a young age (40), like Mark, Gene was amazing in the studio or on stage. Gene was responsible for Christian Music turning more alternative in the 80’s and 90’s.

Roby Duke, Mister “Blue Eyed Soul.” Roby wrote moving lyrics and music in the R&B and Pop Jazz genre. He left us with some of the most compelling lyrics, many written during his own turmoil’s in life. His last video of him singing “I Shall See God” shot just a few days before his passing, seemed to foreshadow history. Roby left us with the simple but profound words “I’m older so much older but I still believe.”

In the Midwest, Jesus People Milwaukee Separated into different traveling groups, one of these groups ended up being The Highway Missionary Society eventually settling in Oregon. the band Servant came from HMS and had a great guitar player named Bruce Wright who ended up Going to be with Lord in 1993 from cancer. Another guitar player that left us was Jon Linn in 1989? Larry Norman’s lead guitarist. Jon “Wonder fingers” and Bruce sure could play those blues!

Many have left us and are going to in the future. It amazes me how I looked up to all these “heroes” as a kid and realizing the only true hero is Jesus Christ. I learned so much from them and it was usually heart changing. Many of these early Pioneers had earth shattering experiences of Love and Grace and true struggles that many are not aware of. Hopefully through the pages of all their lives and ours, Jesus will somehow be glorified. Even if it means to show us how human we are without Him.   -MP

Denny Correll –

Keith Green –

Larry Norman –

Rich Mullins –

Lonnie Frisbee –

Gene Eugene –

Mark Heard –