BETWEEN THE LINER NOTES
Rebecca’s One Chance
By Jennifer E. Jones
Rebecca St. James is the ultimate SHE with a new album and “book”zine. After over ten years in the recording business, she still has something to say.
Jennifer E. Jones: You’ve got a lot on your plate.
Rebecca St. James: (laughs) There’s a lot going on.
Jennifer: The book, SHE, did so well. Why release it in a magazine form for teens?
Rebecca: Ever since I began in music, I’ve had a heart for teens to point them in God’s way and keep them from going down a path that’s destructive. My audience is the family with an emphasis on young people. I’ve had an opportunity with my purity/abstinence message to speak to a lot of young people and encourage them to live for God. So, SHE Teen, specifically for teen girls, looks at the nine different areas of struggle for modern woman that SHE looked at. It makes it very relevant to young girls, looking at everything from purity to self-worth and dating. I’m excited because this new “book”zine format hasn’t been done very much in the Christian market. It’s very accessible and easy for young girls to read with the quizzes and the fun stuff. There’s also a lot of depth and content as well that could possible change their lives.
Jennifer: So there are a lot of bonuses in this one that weren’t the book.
Rebecca: Absolutely. It’s almost an entirely different book.
Jennifer: What did you learn personally from this?
Rebecca: The essence of what I wanted to do was share from my heart and my experiences what God has taught me on this journey of life so far in the last 28 years. At the same time, [I wanted to be] biblically based and really seek to be God-honoring. What we present in the books, we want to go back to God’s truth. His principles can enable us to be safe, healthy, and empowered women. Whenever I’m writing on issues like that, I’m also being reminded for my own life. It’s a good thing.
Jennifer: I saw you on Hannity and Colmes and in Rolling Stone magazine – very mainstream, high-profile media outlets. Does it ever make you a little nervous that so many people see you as the spokesmodel for purity?
Rebecca: For a show like Hannity and Colmes, I remember being quite nervous. Lots of people are watching. It’s also a tremendous responsibility to be honoring to God in what I say. There’s a real stigma attached to Christians that I want to break – kinda that Christians are irrelevant, often ungracious people. That’s not the truth for the majority of believers. I feel a lot of pressure in these high-profile situations. But really for the most part, me having this message and this platform is a great thing. I have a chance to be a positive role model, and it’s extra accountability for the life that I already committed to live. When you’re telling a couple thousand people every night on the road and then millions through media that you’re committed to remain a virgin ‘till marriage... that just helps you.
Jennifer: Have your views on dating changed?
Rebecca: I haven’t really changed my views. My position on dating -- and has been for six or eight years -- has been [based on] a few principles. One, I always want to be thinking, would God be pleased with my actions in relation to the opposite sex? Also, if I had to explain to my future husband or kids what I’m doing, would I be ashamed or embarrassed? That is a reason to change your actions. I have very strong boundaries. I want to have a friendship with the guy that I’m seeing. I will only date a believer. I am very accountable to not only speak about something but to live it. I think it’s really important that I’m authentic.
Jennifer: Switching gears, you have new music coming out. I heard that your new album, If I Had One Chance to Tell You Something, is a complete return to your first album, God. So why go back to rock?
Rebecca: I’m very much a rock chick at heart. I grew up on Christian rock. This album is really me wanting to explore those rock roots again. My last few albums have been more worship-oriented, and we chilled out on the rock. So I went into this [saying], I’m a rock chick, and I want to show that (laughs). Lyrically, it’s very consistent. There’s a worship song or two on the album. There’s a topic of having compassion for the hurting. There’s a song about forgiveness and thankfulness. The theme on the album is the love of God. The song that the title came from is “You are Loved.” So if I had one chance to tell you something, it’s that you are loved extravagantly by God. Every area of Christian life comes from the knowledge that we are loved. We only want to please God when we know that we are loved and embraced by Him.
Jennifer: That’s the one thing that people can miss, and yet that’s the core of the gospel message. He loves us knowing exactly who we are.
Rebecca: His kindness leads us to repentance. You’re right. Christians should show kindness and love. That’s the one thing that will draw people to God.
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