BETWEEN THE LINER NOTES
Phil Stacey: Into the Light
By Hannah Goodwyn
Phil Stacey became a household name when he graced the most famous stage in the music biz today. As a Season 6 finalist on American Idol in 2007, Stacey knew he found his calling -- ministering through music. After months touring with his fellow American Idols and the release of a self-titled Country album, Phil Stacey returned to his Christian roots with Into the Light.
CBNmusic.com recently talked with Stacey about his new album and God's call upon his life.
Your first project post-American Idol was a Country album. Was it an easy switch to Christian music?
It was definitely an easy switch. Joining the Provident team has been just a dream come true, particularly because probably my favorite artist ever is Rich Mullins, and he was with Reunion Records. Just loved him. And of course, I love so many of the artists that are on their roster today.
In serving the Lord, you always see a destination. We're on a journey, but we always see a destination. Right now, I just feel like I'm at the pinnacle of what I've always been supposed to do. I just feel like this is the culmination of a lifetime of ministry. This record is exactly what my heart is; it's the opportunity to share what I've always wanted to share with people. So it's absolutely perfect.
What message do you you want to share?
The message could be themed in Psalm 46:1. The Lord is our refuge, and our strength, a very present help in the time of trouble. I've always kind of felt like an encourager. I've always had friends that came to me for encouragement probably because my dad was a pastor. I think there is an encouragement in knowing that you're not the only one to go through trials. Everywhere I go I meet people who's homes are foreclosing or they're getting laid off at their jobs. And I think it's important for us to remember, according to II Corinthians 5:17, that we're a new creation, old things have passed away. I think that part of that "old things are passed away" is our need to worry. In Matthew 6, Jesus is telling us, you don't have to worry about the clothes that you're going to wear; you don't have to worry about if you're going to have a roof over your head because I'm going to take care of you. A lot of people need to hear that message right now.
Tell me a little bit about your new album.
The CD is called Into the Light. Again, this is a culmination of a lifetime of ministry. The thing that I could say is I listened to these songs repeatedly. I think most artists hate to hear themselves and I'm that way most of the time. And I think with this, the message of the songs, it's very powerful. It takes you through the whole spiritual journey. It's starts with that devotion; I've got a song that Bebo Norman co-wrote called "With All My Heart" ... just starting with that utter devotion, love the Lord with all your mind, soul, and strength. And it takes you through the valleys, like the Rich Mullin's song "Hard to Get", where sometimes you feel abandoned by God. One thing that I've learned in this lifetime of ministry is that God is anything but predictable. He's never going to use you the way you thought he was. You always take random turns. I never would have imagined I'd be on American Idol. You may not have ever imagined you'd be doing exactly what you're doing. He never uses us the way we thought He was. Inevitably, in the course of that journey, we're going to feel abandoned, like we did something wrong. But at the end of the day, there is always a valley to get to the mountain.
Do you have a favorite track?
I really don't. I thought I did, you know. It's a cliché answer, but I absolutely love every one of these songs.
Which one did you originally think was your favorite?
Upfront, "Hard to Get." Rich Mullins never got to record it and it found me at a time in my life when it was perfect for me. It has a very encouraging message because most ministers aren't allowed to talk about their doubts and fears. Rich is kind of famous for jumping right into those unchartered territories. In a ministry setting, if you start to doubt or have fears and you talk about it, you could get fired. You would lose your job. You're certainly going to be a stumbling block for people, so you've got to keep that in, you've got to hold it in.
This is just the song that says, you're not alone. And God understands that; God understands that you're going to feel that way. But at the same time, He's got you in the palm of His hand. If you've given your life to Him, you can trust Him with it. He's going to take you exactly to the place that's going to give you the life that's absolutely fullest, the most abundant life you can possibly have.
Hannah Goodwyn serves as the Family and Entertainment producer CBN.com. For more articles and information, visit Hannah's bio page.
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