Michael W. Smith
It was amazing to come together with so many other believers and worship the Lord amid the beauty He created at the Gorgein George, WA. The candle light service at CreationWest led by Michael W. Smith was soooo beautiful and such a highlight. So was the worship time led by Dave Lubben. I bet if you like Smitty, you'll like Lubben -- here's an excerpt in case anyone is intersted:
Distinctive debut worship artist Dave Lubben (A Place Called Surrender—Vertical Music) doesn't really try to play down his checkered past. The youthful mistakes he made, and the grace that has beautifully re-routed their outcome, now work together in telling why God must truly be lifted up in praise above all else.
Just 27 years old today, Dave was raised in Fargo, North Dakota and attended church regularly, but admits he maintained a self-centered, rebellious life. Still not having a personal relationship with his Maker, a musically inclined Lubben quit high school at age 16 to travel as lead singer with a successful rock band. The fans and the freedom were nice, but he still felt empty, and finally reached out to find his true purpose.
" That was when I cried out," Dave says. "When I turned my life over to Christ, He began to dramatically change it for the better and for His glory."
Lubben went back to school with a developing spiritual commitment, but still felt the struggle between earthly and heavenly desires. By graduation, his girlfriend Maggie was pregnant. They married soon after, and the kids had their own child that Christmas, a daughter named Alissa. Months later, as the accelerated marriage fell apart and divorce talks began, Dave met with a pastor and pursued Jesus with a new intensity.
" I came face to face with the truth that divorce isn't an option with God, and that Jesus Christ was offering to help sustain our marriage and give us the abundant life that only He can give," Lubben explains. "So we surrendered to His ways and invited Jesus to be the center of our marriage."
Since then, Dave and Maggie have experienced eight wonderful years as husband and wife and welcomed three more children: son Noah and daughters Selah and Lydia. The Lubbens are surviving and thriving proof that Jesus rescues lives, marriages, and families - a recurring theme in Dave's songwriting.
Throughout those turbulent yet enlightening early days of adulthood, Lubben also managed to earn a degree from Minnesota State University, where his passion for music never wavered. In 1999, he networked his way to Nashville for the annual Gospel Music Association convention and met Petra drummer Louie Weaver. The Christian rock veteran helped him record an independent album, and the process led Dave to another deep spiritual gut check as it related to his career ambitions.
"My number one passion in life was to create and share my music all over the world. I'd sacrificed everything for it and left behind school, my friends and my family," Dave remembers. "I thought that there was nothing wrong with that, but God was making it clear to my heart that Jesus Christ is the only one worthy of that kind of abandon and passion. So I surrendered my life's ambitions to Him."
A part of that surrender involved letting go of the pride that came with Lubben's obvious creative talent. Instead of seeing his own name in lights, Lubben determined to spread Christ's fame and live for His glory. He stepped back from the traditional music industry bid, took a youth ministry job in Fargo, and only recently moved to Portland, Oregon where he now serves as worship leader for Meadow Springs Community Church.
In fact, A Place Called Surrender was recorded live at Dave's former church in North Dakota. The project is well-titled, with lyrics that center on his relief that God is the sovereign star of the show. Still, Lubben does prove to be an exceptional singer and writer as well; his pop worship style brings to mind a gamut of hit makers, from Steven Curtis Chapman and Chris Tomlin to classic U2. The company he keeps on record is also testament to his gifts. Nathan Nockels (Watermark, Passion) handles production, Christy Nockels (Watermark) sings background vocals, and Scott Dente (Out of the Grey) plays acoustic guitar.
As he has done so often in life, Dave seeks God in song after song. Titles like "Lord Most High," "We Need You," "You Are the One," and "You Reign" are self-explanatory, as are the tenderly sung words of "Lay It Down," the fourth track in a quiet, worshipful suite; "I am not my own. I am Yours."
Most poignantly, the night A Place Called Surrender was recorded marked the last time Lubben would share corporate worship with his friend and mentor, Dan Roelofs, who died of cancer just two weeks later at age 33. That painful experience, ultimately overcome by joy, defines what Dave has learned and longs to share with everyone.
" The night of worship we shared was captured on this recording," he says. "God showed us through these songs and through Dan what it means to live life in a place where joy isn't dependent on circumstances, where our ways are abandoned and God's ways are embraced. It's the place where Jesus is calling you and me to come and find peace. It's a place called surrender."
David Schrader is a freelance writer living in Nashville, TN.
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>>By Norwegian Princess (Tuesday, 12 Aug 2003 21:45)
I have seem michael w smith in concert twice now, and everytime it is the most awesome experience of my life. I am a born again christian and I didn't have any idea about anything having to do with any spirituality. I was raised with no christian values, until my father remarried and my step mother is a christian. She took me to see michael w smith a little over a year ago with third day and ever since, it has changed my life. I owe her and michael w smith my life!!!!!!!
>>By sarabeth6972 (Tuesday, 25 May 2004 14:25)
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