"The theme that runs through my music is that the love of God is stronger than anything else we will come up against. We human beings are imperfect but God is perfect and He will complete a good work in us one day. With my future performances and albums, I would like to point to Jesus and His love for us. A love that is unwavering, tough, and bigger than we are."
Peace in Christ ~ Mitch McVicker
Mitch McVicker was born in Kansas and spent his childhood and youth with his loving family; his parents and sister, Andrea. Mitch shared with ChristianMusic.com about his early life and growing up years in Topeka, Kansas.
"My family life was really good; a real good practical Kansas upbringing. My parents instilled a good work ethic in me, respect for others, and devotion to God. My parents taught me responsibility. Doing homework and practicing music lessons and practicing athletics came before watching Superfriends, Press Your Luck, and Three's Company."
Mitch shares his early influences as being "my parents, my uncle Greg, Bob Bodenheimer, Richard McGhee and Tom Osborne."
Mitch was blessed by being raised in a Christian home, which gave him a solid foundation to start his evolving spiritual journey and walk with the Lord.
Mitch explains to ChristianMusic.com:
"I grew up in a Christian home, but it wasn't in-your-face. Like I said, it was a very practical Kansas upbringing. Church going, Bible reading, and prayer were instilled in me. The whole 'when-i-became-a-Christian' question is a difficult one to answer, as it is for many people. As I grew up, there were a bunch of times when I tried to take my faith to another level. With each instance, it seemed like I was becoming new; it seemed like that was THE time. So, I am not sure about how and when it happened. I am just glad it happened. Frankly, i don't think it's much of my business, because i don't make myself a Christian...Jesus does."
Other people came along to help him grow and evolve as a follower of Jesus and in developing and using his gifts. His mid-life influences were: Jim Smith, Rich Mullins and Brennan Manning. His present influences are his wife, Paula, his daughter, Brooklyn, Apostles Paul and John, Tom Waits, Paul Yodis, Anne Lamott and John Piper. His mentors; past and present are Brooklyn, Paula, his parents and Rich Mullins.
He was surrounded by music from an early age, as his mother was an elementary school music teacher, who was the first to pick up on the fact that Mitch had a gift for music, at age 2. Like many talented artists, his gifts surfaced early in his life.
When asked about his first performance, Mitch recalls, "My mom entered me in a talent show when I was 2. I sang a show tune and won an oven mitten."
While being involved in sports, excelling in basketball, he also sang in various choirs in church and school, and participated in talent shows. At age 11, he was given a guitar, and had several years of guitar lessons.
Musical artists which influenced Mitch as a musician are Rich Mullins, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Bob Schneider, Adam Duritz, '80's top 40 radio, soul coughing and Jakob Dylan.
Mitch McVicker photo courtesy of : http://mmcvicker.com
Christianmusic.com: When did you start writing your own songs?
"My parents put me through guitar lessons when I was 12. My mom would make me sing in church as I was growing up. I got tired of doing songs from books and started to make up my own."
When he graduated from high school, he attended Friends University, playing basketball for the college, and majoring in religion and philosophy. He was planning on being a pro basketball player. The Lord had other plans for him. While at Friends University, his path crossed the highly respected Christian music artist, Rich Mullens who was attending Friends University to earn a teaching degree in music . This friendship between Rich and Mitch grew, and when they graduated in May 1995, Rich invited Mitch to come work with him in his music ministry.
Mitch shares with ChristianMusic.com,
"Rich Mullins encouraged me to become creative, to be honest, to question, to remember that my faith is bigger than my feelings, and to hold onto the truth that the Lord builds in us. Rich encouraged me to journal, to practice, and to work on the skill of songwriting without taking it too seriously."
They started to write songs together, such as "Nothing is Beyond You" and performed in concert from '95-'97. Rich always gave Mitch a time in every concert to play his own music. By 1997, Rich and Mitch both returned to the studio to record new records, though each contributed to each other's endeavors. On the last day of recording the vocals for Mitch's album, they were in a tragic car accident on their way back to Kansas for a concert. Rich Mullens went home to be with the Lord, and Mitch hung onto life by a thread, but pulled through his serious injuries.
Mitch shares with us about this traumatic event in his life.
"The big molding event in my life, (though each day is filled with several) was this car crash. I survived 10 years ago. It killed Rich Mullins and left me in a coma with broken bones, collapsed lungs, etc. The recovery was a few years long and I had to relearn to do basic stuff that I had taken for granted. The Lord's faithfulness, inspite of my lack of faith, is mind-blowing;not because I have progressed and healed, but because He continues to construct me through ALL things. And hopefully, that event has made me more sensitive to that fact."
Going through difficult trials and struggles can give one clarity in one's blessings, gifts and weaknesses. For during times of trouble, a person can discover gifts which hadn't been used or exercised in one's life yet.
Mitch McVicker photo courtesy of http://mmcvicker.com
Mitch shares about what he realizes about the gifts the Lord blessed Him with, and the area in his life where he has to ask for help; pray for discernment.
"I think our greatest gift can also be our greatest weakness. Quite possibly the greatest gift the Lord has blessed me with is perseverance. At times, people are inspired by my ability to just keep going...regardless. This is absolutely no accomplishment at all. Rather, it is nearly an unconscious response to what the Lord has given. It's an absolute no-brainer. It's what I do...what I need to do to be me; to be faithful to what the Lord is doing in me. So it's cool, because my being faithful simply means living out the gift that the Lord has placed in me. The weakness part? I am a terrible discerner. My greatest struggle is when I come to a wall. I wonder if the Lord has placed it there to say "stop", or, is the Lord calling me to keep pushing on the wall until it falls."
Since the accident, Mitch McVicker has been both on the long road to a symptom-free recovery and the path of bringing a spirit -driven music ministry to bring the hope and love of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. As he has evolved along the way, he has passed on what he has learned about the Lord, and being his servant in a music ministry.
His newest CD, LOVE WILL RISE, is a great example of this. Christianmusic.com asked Mitch about the goal or theme of this CD, for our upcoming music review of LOVE WILL RISE
Mitch McVicker photo courtesy of : http://mmcvicker.com
Mitch explains the main theme which is expressed so well in this collection of songs:
"I never set out to write thematic CDs or put a mission statement to a record, but one always seems to stand up and make itself evident; even after the recording process has been completed. That's what happened with LOVE WILL RISE. CDs, for me, are typically a collection of songs that happen to be faith expressions. It is an opportunity to share my faith experience and point people towards Jesus through quality art.
"The theme of this cd is the title. I am trying to be a balloon; in the sense that a balloon isn't fully what it is intended to be until it is filled with that which is lighter and less dense than everything else around it. A balloon isn't truly a balloon until it rises. We are the same. Love rises. The spirit of the Lord rises. So, why don't we go ahead and be what the Lord has always intended us to be, and let ourselves be filled with that which is rising; Love Will Rise.
"Yes, Love Will Rise, in the midst of our rough stuff and struggles. Our troubles won't be taken away, but the lord will use them to construct us into who he would have us become. Romans 8.32 says....and I paraphrase...'Won't he who did not withhold his own son, but gave him up for us, continue to give us all things?' So, I guess EVERYTHING that comes our way; (the good, the bad, the smooth, the rough, the light, the dark, the easy, the hard) will be used by the Lord. It seems that many times, the Lord ESPECIALLY uses our struggles to construct us. Yes, He will twist us and turn us and mold us and shape us,.through every situation, because: Love Will Rise."
Julie Carr - For ChristianMusic.com
Sample Song Videos... Magnificent Video * Hallelujah Video
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