Last Friday I had the privilege of interviewing Randy Stonehill and you now have the privilege of watching it. And it is a privilege. Randy is so quirky and unpredictable that he’s just entertaining to be around. In this interview Randy talks about his conversion experience in Larry Norman’s kitchen upon their first meeting, and about the Jesus Movement, and what we can learn from it for today.
Randy’s conversion story is amazing grace. It’s a perfect illustration of what he shares later in the interview about how the Holy Spirit leads us. Larry led Randy to the Lord on their first meeting, and as Randy tells it, neither one of them knew what they were doing; they were just following, somewhat timidly, what the Lord was doing. That hasn’t changed. That wasn’t a factor of the Jesus Movement — as if this is the way God worked then, but He doesn’t work that way anymore — it’s the way He works now. It’s the way He always works with us clueless human beings. Following the Holy Spirit is a little like flying by the seat of your pants.
As Randy says, we need to give the Holy Spirit all the room He wants in our lives. The Holy Spirit should never be an afterthought. He wants to fill our hearts and minds with Himself. He wants to use our talents and gifts to the glory of God. Let’s focus on that. Be tenacious about letting Him move. Give the Holy Spirit the green light, and perhaps He will honor that the way He did during the Jesus Movement, and the way He has actively participated with us throughout human history.
“Let us be conduits of the Spirit while we still have a pulse.” – Randy Stonehill
Good interview, John and Randy – thank you.
Oh – and, nice photo above (courtesy of the Ministry of Silly Walks**??)! 🙂
I understand what Randy was talking about when he met resistance from the small church(es) that complained about his hair, pants, and loud music.
I DJ’d at a Christian radio network in those days and management (along with some area pastors) butted heads with Program Directors and DJ’s over Randy’s music as well as Amy Grants songs, The 2nd Chapter of Acts, etc.
The last radio station I worked at (in 1989) partially acquiesced by providing a late-night time slot of two hours on Saturdays to play “that kind of music” in an attempt to draw younger listeners to the station. If they were drawn to Jesus in the process, too, great! But gaining that target audience would certainly boost the demographics, increase the ratings, and bring in more advertising dollars.
Plus, in managements mind, broadcasting “that music” late one night a week would be less likely to offend or alienate older listeners and certain Christian sponsors – and it would show some sort of (slight) effort at reaching out to youth within the radius of our listening area.
One benefit, I must admit though, was that management was more-than-willing to accept offers of free tickets for radio station employees and promotional giveaways for any of the shows performed by these “suspect” musicians.
So, at least, I did get to see some good live performances for free despite the fact I wasn’t allowed to play the music!
Rock on, Randy, and…
**See Monty Python
Bob, long ago we attended a certain church that, thinking they were honoring God. had nothing good to say about ‘that’ music. or ‘those’ bands. A youth leader once made his teen group leave an Imperials concert because “they moved in beat to the music they performed.”
In the Hudson Valley, the local Christian music station also played ‘that’ music only on certain days and times. I enjoyed listening to a certain speaker, Wayne Momblau (spelling?) who thought and spoke outside the acceptable Christian box. The station pulled him, despite protests, because he upset the big donors. I stopped listening to that station and listened to my ‘heathen’ collection of music instead.
You know…Randy Stonehill, Amy Grant, Petra, Andre Crouch. Love Song, Mylon LeFevre and Brokenheart, David and The Giants, Russ Taff, Don Francisco, Dion, Whiteheart, Mark Farner, Dan Peak, Kerry Livgren, Richie Furay, Michael Card, Scott Roley, Phil Keaggy, Steve Camp,…and so many others. We were so moved by this music and their testimony that we formed our own band to share it wherever we were invited.
Once, our band was hired to provide music for a teen outreach. At the last minute, the very conservative elders informed us we couldn’t do any music that included drums. There went half our sets, and we gave a watered down performance for kids who were wearing Megadeath tshirts. We did sneak in an acoustic version of Amazing Grace sung to House of The Rising Sun music.
We learned that the division between ‘Christian’ music and ‘secular’ music was man-made. That all talent is God-given. And that music has great power to unite or divide. We chose to unite.
Notice how for the radio stations and record companies, everything was driven by the bottom line. That means the message came from the musicians regardless of what anyone said. That’s why the songwriters and musicians were the prophets.