His 2012 recording, Angel Band: The Hymn Sessions, reached Number Two on Amazon’s Hot New Releases in Contemporary Folk chart. In 2013, his album All Things Bright & Beautiful: Hymns for the Seasons was nominated for a Gospel Music Association Dove Award. The project, which Andrew performed, produced, and arranged, stayed at the top spot on Nielsen Christian SoundScan’s Instrumental chart for twenty-five weeks.
When not on the road, Andrew resides in Franklin, Tennessee.
Which came first for you, writing music or prose?
Songwriting has always been my first love when putting pen to paper. When you tie words that you want to have impact, words that you hope will take root in your heart and the hearts of others with a memorable melody, it has a way of translating from your mind to your heart. But the beauty of prose is space. You have the word count and attention span of the audience to really dig deep into thoughts that matter. So for me, writing a book gave me freedom to really explore many more thoughts than a three-and-a-half minute song could ever accommodate.
The Author and Creator of our lives often writes in a twist that ultimately blesses us more than our original plan. Have you ever experienced such a “Divine Detour”?
Of course! The heartache from a relationship drove me to the space and grace of Wyoming to think, contemplate, connect with myself and with God, several years ago. In that wandering experience, the unusual gift of a piano (my primary instrument) in the middle of an old hunting lodge in the Shoshone National Forest, where I was hiking and pondering, gave me the ability to use my primary skill, music. It helped to work out some really deep wounds in my heart, and that spawned the songs for my first record which paved the way for my career today. I am convinced that God is in the details.
I have had the privilege of walking alongside a couple of close friends as they attempted to rediscover, or perhaps discover for the first time, who God is and what that means for the big picture of their life and the lives of their families. For both of these friends, that included dealing with scripture. Having grown up with a legalistic, religious experience, where scripture was used as a tool for manipulation and control and eliciting inappropriate guilt and shame in their young spiritual lives, these friends needed to be able to have open-handed and open-hearted conversations once again with other Christians and with God. This book was first a response to them. To reopen scripture as the greatest written revelation of who God is and as an opportunity to discover God. As God’s character is revealed throughout the history of His relationship with His people, as identified in scripture, Ginny Owens (my co-author) and I took the time to see where God is intersecting with our own stories from life in the twenty-first century. This began to paint a better picture of who God really is. Once we know who God is, we can better discern what it is He wants from us. As we respond to what He wants from us, our lives are imbued with richer meaning and context.
What led to your collaboration with Ginny and the unique format of the book?
Ginny and I have been friends for over a decade. Our publisher, Thomas Nelson, first approached us with the idea of collaborating after discovering our long friendship. We said, “Yes!,” immediately.
God often uses our writing to teach us something. What did you learn in the process of compiling and writing Transcending Mysteries?
I continue to learn that the mystery of God is more deep and wide than I could ever begin to define in this finite structure of humanity. And doesn’t that make Him beautiful?
A few fun questions…
Whether on tour or at home, what is your favorite comfort food and why?
Mexican food. Give me some chips and pico!
What’s the name of the last GREAT book you read?
Little Black Sheep by Ashley Cleveland. It is categorized as a memoir but is so much more.
In the story that is your life, are you the tall, dark stranger; the romantic lead; the mythical warrior; the mad scientist; or the child in an adult’s body?
Mad scientist, no doubt. I am creative, what else would you expect?
I’m a dog lover. Please tell us about your pets, if any, or your favorite pet as a child.
I currently do not have pets, but I do love dogs . . . with a soft spot for other people’s dogs. It’s so much easier to love a pet that you don’t have to feed, bathe or pick up after!
Thank you, Andrew! It’s a pleasure to have you as a guest at DivineDetour.
Thank YOU for taking interest in our first book. We are honored . . . Anything you need, let us know.
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