The beginning of the year can be a whirlwind. From new deadlines and projects and having to learn new schedules or meet different groups of classmates or co-workers. While this can be exciting for some, it can be intimidating for others. Whether we are feeling anxious or joy about the day ahead, it can be a great reminder to start our day with praise. Steph Carse newest project, My Shining Hour, is a collection of deeply personal original songs of faith.
It includes renditions of “Amazing Grace,” “How Great Thou Art,” Elvis Presley’s “Crying in the Chapel” and Bob Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love.” Like Reach Out, his previous project, My Shining Hour is being produced as an album and television special to air internationally.
Carse honed his skills as a world-class vocalist, traveling the world singing anthems of hope and inspiration, selling over half a million records. His journey has been nearly a quarter of a century in the making. He grew up in a diverse music-loving family and has been exposed to many genres of music from very early on including opera, country, rock, gospel, pop and more. It is not surprising that throughout his career, he has recorded and preformed a wide variety of musical styles.
This new project is a powerful statement delivered by an artist who has seen all his dreams come true, yet has experienced great loss. These experiences have drawn Steph closer to God. “After pursuing happiness through achievement and success for most of my life, I realized that my shining hour came at the moment I found boldness in my intimacy with God.”
A personal passion of Steph’s is revealed in the song “Awesome”—a desire to raise awareness of not only the danger of bullying, but also the power of words.
Carse shares the meaning behind the song.
“I wrote this song to remind all of us about the Psalms 139:14: I thank you because I am awesomely made, wonderfully; your works are wonders—I know this very well. Today with all the bullying happening, a new generation is growing up having their spirits crushed by lies.”
Enter to win a copy of My Shining Hour here.
You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me. Psalm 139:1-5
Praise God. Find a new worship album to start your day. Play it as you get ready, as you drive to work or school or as you do your morning routine. Music has a powerful way of affecting our outlook and attitude. If you can’t find a worship album, ask a friend, small group member or your worship pastor for their recommendations. Many churches do worship events. Get a group of friends, your small group or your family together and go to a worship night together. If you can’t find one, do a small one. It could be something as simple as having someone play songs on a guitar or listening to a playlist as you sing and pray together.
Worship God throughout your day. Worship is more than just singing a song on Sunday. It is a lifestyle, a 24-7 moment-by-moment decision to follow God. Take a step back and evaluate if there are areas of your life that need an adjustment. Sometimes it can be helpful to ask a trusted friend, mentor or small group member for their feedback. There might be actions or attitudes that you need to change that aren’t representative of Christ and what He has called you to do.
Don’t be afraid to worship. It can be intimidating to sing in front of other people. It can seem like others are watching us as we raise our hands or kneel. Don’t be afraid to pray, sing, shout or cry as you worship God. If someone criticizes or makes fun of you, leave that between that person and God. Sometimes it can be helpful to be around others who worship without abandon or whom don’t care what others think. Pray and ask God to help you worship freely.
Excerpts pulled from Carse’s website. We were given copy of My Shining Hour by Frontgate Media. All of our thoughts and opinions are our own.