Between the Liner Notes
Shane and Shane: The Pages of Their Lives
By Rebel Taylor
CBNmusic Guest Writer
I met with Shane Barnard and Shane Everett in Abilene, Texas, on day 67 of a 74 day tour. The duo was a little road weary and longing for home, yet even then, the passion of their call to share the gospel was still evident.
With 10 years of ministry behind them, Shane and Shane have each recently come through a season of re-evaluation and self-examination. The fruit of this season is their CD Pages. As I sat down to talk with them, I asked Shane Barnard, who wrote each of the songs on the CD, what is the inspiration and message of Pages. His reply was that Pages is literally that; pages from his journal filled with the highs and lows that most of us find in our own journals.
“One day is a mountain top experience, and I’m flyin’ high, and the next day, I’m in the valley crying out to God or wondering why I can’t love Him more.”
As I talked with Barnard, he made one thing very clear. He is called to share the good news of Jesus -- the gospel of Jesus crucified. For this season of life, he says he is privileged to share “the old gospel to a new tune” through music.
Barnard confessed that for him, he has struggled in ways that Martha did in Scripture. For too long, Barnard considered God’s love dependent on his actions and he struggled to simply be loved for who he is and to return that love to the Father.
Through this journey of re-evaluation, God has broken through these misconceptions. Shane is now experiencing the deep, unconditional, encompassing love of the Father and is learning to love Him in return in a way he has only dreamt of before. During this time, God in His sovereignty has placed a new love in Barnard’s heart. He will wed Bethany Dillon on March 29, 2008, in her home town in Ohio.
There is an unmistakable twinkle in his eye and he can’t help but smile as he mentions her name. Barnard says this journey first grew him closer to the heart of God so he could begin to really understand love in a new way. Then God opened his heart to this new love with Bethany.
“I’m amazed at the gift God has given me in Bethany. But He had to show me what true love was before I was ready to receive the gift.”
Shane Everett’s season of examination had similar experiences with differing results. When I asked Everett what part of his heart is reflected in the writings of Pages, there was a sigh as he talked about the softening God has done in his heart.
Although Barnard writes the music they sing, Everett says that the closeness the two share comes from experiencing the highs and lows together.
“Over the past 10 years, our relationship has grown from buddies, to ministry and business partners, to brothers as we share life’s ups and downs in a very real way. Our difficult times and the normal things brothers go through have been the glue of our relationship. There’s no going back now. There is a security between us that bonds us for life. I guess the best way to say it is that if we were two trees, I’m the tree right beside him. We receive the same water, we face the same storms, and experience the seasons together. I feel this album captures our song.”
They’ve shared the trials of life on the road, the joys of marriage when Everett married Kelli six years ago, then grief in the death of Barnard’s father in March of 2007. And they’ve experienced the delight of new life when Shane and Kelli welcomed daughter Olive into the world last February.
Everett says that he is just beginning to understand the love of the Father now that he’s a father himself. During this season of evaluation, Shane has found himself taking on a stronger managerial role with the band, which he admits, can be tiring and a little difficult at times. With a chuckle he says, “Yes, I do feel like I’m daddy to a lot of people when we’re on the road. And like with kids, no one is ever happy all at the same time.”
But the fathering heart God has placed in Everett is growing daily with his unexpected love for Olive. “I just didn’t expect to feel this way. I’m 33 years old and am having all of these new feelings and emotions, and just when I think I’m used to them, here come more. I’m just learning to understand the sacrifice God made for us. I would die for Olive, and yet He sent His Son to die for me. It blows my mind when I think of it from the perspective of a father. It is unfathomable that He would make that kind of sacrifice.”
A scare with Olive’s health sent Everett and Kelli reeling. While the condition went undiagnosed, the couple was forced to confront the depth of their faith. “We had to recognize that Olive is the Lord’s, and whether she lives or dies, God holds her and us, in His hands. Ultimately, it was a trust issue for us. The fire of that season drew us closer together as a couple, more than we had ever been, as we sought the heart of God for our girl.” Thankfully, Olive’s condition is under control and she should out grow the problem within a couple of years.
Their view of fame and accolades is simple: “We love where we are right now, but we hold on loosely knowing that God may lead us down another path at any time.”
The Shanes share one common mission: “Ultimately, it all comes down to one thing; we do this for the sake of the Gospel. The message is the same, Jesus crucified, set to a new tune.”
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