Rebecca St. James: It was amazing. I'm an idealist and I'm a romantic and all that, and so I dream stuff to be better than it turns out to be a lot of times. But man, this actually exceeded my expectations spiritually, emotionally, physically and mentally to fully have a real break. I keep being reminded of that Scripture that talks about the young man dreaming new dreams and new visions. That's how I feel - that I'm just a woman that has a new dream now and my heart is energized. I got to kind of just hang out in Nashville and be in one spot for awhile and actually got to see friends and went to have coffee and do projects around my house and get into cycling. I actually started going to an improvisation class recently too. *laughs* I just kind of got to be a kid for awhile, you know? It was really great. Then I traveled some. It was just a really powerful time in my life.
Rebecca: One of the things that happened was that I think I got a fresh love for music. When music is what you do, you actually don't listen to it that much on your own free time. Or at least I find I'm that way. I think I've spoken to other musicians who feel that way too. It's just like, when that's your world, you come back home and you're in the car and you just want silence. I think during that time I was just able to listen to new music and get a fresh heart for music. I'm also real passionate about family films and really upping the standard with that. If God allows me, I would love to work more into film. We're actually talking to a couple of major film companies in Los Angeles and having meetings about that. So for the people that are reading this, if you feel so led, please just pray for us because we really just want to be led by God and if He's in it, we'll just walk through those doors and if He's not, we just don't want to be a part of it. I'm just kind of trying to remain with my hands open and trust Him.
Rebecca: Feist, for sure. I went to a Feist show actually in Nashville at the Ryman. She really inspired me. She uses a lot of different instruments in the show and a lot of extra creativity. Two of our shows now actually feature the banjo and mandolin and a xylophone and all of this random stuff, maybe even an accordion. We're not sounding country at all though, but just adding lace to the show. It's been really awesome to do that. I'm actually playing guitar in my show now, which I've never done before. On my God album, I had a song called "A Cold Heart Turns" and I play guitar on that track and I'm actually doing that track live now. So that's been really neat to kind of explore that on another level. Some of the other groups I've really gotten into include a local group from Nashville called Paper Route. I love their stuff. Oh, the Once soundtrack! I massively got into that. I loved the film and the soundtrack is just awesome and the songs are just so strong and passionate, really passionate.
Rebecca: Yeah, we're actually just starting to talk about a new album. By the end of the year, we're hoping to have a project out. Probably some of the albums that I've just talked musically will factor in. I'm just trying to be creative and think outside the box. I'm excited to get to see what that will end up sounding like.
Rebecca: Yeah! Wait for Me, which is a book of mine that's been out for five or six years now, we've repackaged that so it has a study guide with it so people can go a little bit deeper. And then there's a book called Pure, which is talking about purity of the mind, body, and spirit and that purity really comes from your heart, so it's kind of getting the heart into gear so that we can live out purity in a culture that's telling us to do the exact opposite of being pure. It's real practical and really relational. It's a 90 day devotional book with stories from my life but also questions and Bible verses that can kind of take somebody deeper each day with God.
Rebecca: Yeah. And, I mean, you also put spoken words, which are so powerful. Words have power to give life or to destroy it. And then you put music - which is crazy powerful - and a visual together and you've got power to transform a life. I really think that we need to be, as Christians, involved in every form of art and culture.
Rebecca: Yes, I believe so.
Rebecca: It's really an interesting time in Christian music because there's a whole lot of talk going on right now as to what Christian music is gonna look like in the next ten years because of all the downloading and not paying for music. I mean, the industry is just kind of getting smaller and smaller at large, not with just Christian music. Some people are saying that Christian music as we know it may not exist for much longer. You'll have people like me and you who are all about worship and all about ministry and then you'll have your Christians within mainstream music and that'll be it. There won't be this genre within the whole of Christian music. That's kind of what's being talked about. I think I'm kind of feeling the rumblings of that. I think upholding a strong standard of integrity as Christians no matter what you do for a living is really key and really important. Living above reproach has been a really important concept to me. We all have to defend our actions before God and live right for Him, so I'm not wanting to point a finger. I just want to lead by example. I want to have a pure conscience before God, and hopefully by all of our examples we can impact people around us, both Christians and non-Christians.
Rebecca: I think just to be real and transparent and vulnerable and authentic. I'm reading The Road Less Travelled by Scott Peck, and it's not really a Christian book but I think there's a lot of truth in it. I also recently read The Shack which is by William P. Young which is absolutely extraordinary. It's a fiction book about pain and asking the deepest questions about why we experience pain when there's a good God or how there could be a good God when people experience such pain. It's a very, very powerful life-changing book. The one that I'm reading right now is really talking about honesty and the importance of integrity and honesty in our lives and how when we start to be dishonest and start to hide things, that's when we get into all kinds of problems and disorders and dysfunctional relationships. I think just living in truth is the thing for me. I think for a long time in my Christian life that I felt like I had it all together and I felt really strong and smiled when I was crying on the inside. As I've matured as a Christian, He's teaching me things all the time and I know I'm never going to arrive. It's just this process of going and learning and being messy sometimes in my life and admitting that and saying "Sorry Lord, help me to learn." But I'm just learning to be really authentic and being real about what's on the inside especially in trusted community but then also in ministry to a certain level and just saying "Look man, I'm in major pain at certain points in my life and I don't understand this or that and don't have it all together." It's about just being really honest about that. That's really important.
Rebecca: Yup! You're just dry and like "God, where are You?!"...
Rebecca: Yup! Yeah. It's important to be broken and to be free to be broken, because we all are.
Rebecca: I was on the first round, but there were actually three rounds. The second one was when The Passion of the Christ had just done its big deal and [the tour] got canceled. We ended up doing one show at the Ryman here in Nashville. There was another round that just happened in the last year or two that they tried to do and they did one or two shows and the whole thing got canceled. It was long, it was gonna be a month or something like that. The show was powerful, like when we would do "He's Not Here" at the end. I mean literally, on most nights, we'd have people standing up one by one all across the auditorium raising their hands and praising God. It was powerful; I got goose bumps just talking about it. I would love to do it again.
Rebecca: Mostly family film. The screenplay that we've written now, which is based on this book by Kristin Billerbeck called What a Girl Wants, is a romantic comedy. That's kind of where my passion is right now. Maybe I'll do drama or something along those lines in the future.
Rebecca: I don't know if I wanna be Lara Croft, you know? *laughs*
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