Y'shua Releases New CD
Writer Author LaVella Kraft
Christian Press Release
- Fiction No
The name above all names, this, a tribute to the King. Giving Him all, gifts, talents and the completeness of self. This is the environment of true praise that we all seek and what God desires. That is precisely what you'll hear from Y'shua.
Sitting with Gary Bates and Chuck Pickers, the writers and performing artist of the Y'shua "Expressions" project, it is evident that there is a seasoning that has taken place in these two men. Honesty, tenderness and humility balance their words. Clearly they have spent time in the Refiner's Fire. According to them, it didn't occur overnight.
Working side by side, in Final Hour Ministries, a non-profit organization they formed in 1995, they committed their lives to bringing the gospel to many here in the states and abroad. Although being talented musicians, they set their instruments down and pursued the fullness of God's love and grace for themselves and the lives of others.
Before establishing Final Hour, both men had focused on and enjoyed music most of their lives, Bates working professionally in several groups in the Cincinnati, Ohio area, Pickers playing in clubs and recording several projects. Their focus was about to change.
"In 1975 when I got saved, I laid down my guitar for almost 3 years. I never touched it, dusted it or anything. I just left it there and spent time in the word of God and in a time of consecration, seeking Him", said Chuck. "I vowed never to pick it up again until I was sure it was for Him and in His presence."
Gary had a similar experience, although after accepting Jesus as his Savior he didn't lay down his guitar. He played bass for the worship team at church, but over a period of time it wasn't satisfying to him. He felt drawn to the collaboration with Chuck.
"The music that Chuck and I wrote, that's where my heart was. But music had to take a far less important place in my life. 'Cause man, I talked to my wife and Chuck and hey, music, that was my god and it had to be chopped down." He added, "I always had the desire to be worshipping God more. Once the Lord gave me the revelation of what music was about and why He created me, then I had a greater desire to play music because I knew the purpose of it."
After several years, during a time of seeking the Lord and in the midst of fasting and studying God's word, Chuck's journey in the desert was over.
"The words were just popping off the page and suddenly I was distracted for a moment and I don't know why and I looked over in the corner and saw my guitar. I felt the presence of the Lord and I heard the Lord literally say to me, "Pick it up Pickers." And I did. And in about 20 minutes I wrote the song Pick It Up Pickers and that's how it all started."
Y'shua's first project, "Song's from The Heart" was recorded in the living room of Gary's home. The two men chuckle as they remember the experience and the old recording equipment used to do the job.
A couple of years later, the second project "Living Water" was inspired by a walk near a creek bed flowing through Hocking Hills State Park. Chuck remembers, "I heard this water running and instantaneously the vision was there. Hearing the sound of it, the Lord that day just birthed the entire project in our hearts. Then when we looked at it we said wow, all the songs He's been givin' us all fit within this. He's amazing."
Gary and Chuck continued to write but God had other tasks at hand for them. Discouraged about the purpose for their music, they now began to focus on being available to the Lord in whatever He called them to do. This is where Final Hour Ministries stepped to the forefront. As they continued to pursue the heart of God it landed them in many a foreign land.
"God began to put in my spirit that it was the Final Hour, literally for the world. And I said here I am, God send me. Where do I go, where do I start? And He said go to my people Israel. Then I started to impart this vision with my wife and Brother Gary. By the summer of 1991 we were there."
While preparing Chuck and Gary on the mission fields, God started changing their mindset and renewing their dreams and hopes. Revealing to them the importance of using the talents He gave them. The music they had left sitting for so long would now have a purpose.
"The Lord had begun convicting me that He had given me a talent and I had buried it. I had to go through this whole season of repentance and everything that goes with that.", Chuck said with a chuckle.
It was then that the power of the Holy Spirit began to show them why this period of waiting was essential for His divine purpose. During another time of seeking the Lord and His perfect plan, the Lord revealed to Chuck that the years spent with the mission trips was a time of schooling for them. A time for them to minister and be ministered to. Then God gave them the purpose for the music they had written so long ago.
"I told Gary the Lord was telling me that the songs that we were trying to record when we got discouraged were not meant for then, they were meant for the dawn of the new millenium. And the minute that thing came out of my mouth we just both just broke. So all those years we had been sitting on those songs He had us in the school of the spirit."
"It may have been about two and a half or three years ago that God started dealing with us individually about burying our talents and giving us a new mindset about them. He was renewing our dream and hopes about what the music is for." Gary added, "During a thirty day fast at church, I went into a book store and picked up a book and on the first page it said, " If you will lead my people into my presence through praise and worship, I will heal, deliver and bring salvation to them." And I literally fell to my knees and the power of God hit me in the middle of this store. And I feel like that's what we're doing now. That God is using this music to plow up men's hearts so He can touch 'em."
Most music reviews tend to identify a project by comparing it to another, defining a genre or style. How can you compare unique? Now that you have experienced the heart of Y'shua, could you doubt that the Creator Himself was sitting in during the whole process?
Chuck explains, "When God's using you as a vessel to write the song, His fingerprint and yours will be on it. There is a certain signature that is there by the Spirit of the Lord."
Gary adds, "He imparts the vision of the music when we're recording. We hear it in the Spirit and by His grace we take what we hear and try to put it on tape. That's where all the inspiration comes from. It is something that the Holy Spirit births and impregnates us with and we can hear Him."
"Expressions" is more a spiritual experience for the listener than a musical journey. You will enjoy joining Y'shua as they usher you into the presence of God. The lyrics will stay with you long after the songs are over. They have achieved their purpose. "Expressions" will lead you into that most holy place. The fingerprint of God will touch, restore and heal your heart.
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