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29 September 2008

My music, my faith

Julia Anne Seal is a Christian singer/ musician/ songwriter. She writes about her faith as a musicia

By Julia Anne Seal

I have been on stage for most of my life, most of the time leading worship at my church along with some very talented Rock/Blues/Jazz musicians and singers. I have been married to a wonderful man for 19 years and he serves along with me in the sound ministry.

The greatest challenge in leading worship in a “band-setting” is drawing a line between being on stage and performing, knowing that I am playing for an audience of One. You have to have a great deal of confidence to do what we do, and yet keep the pride in check. It is a very fine line that we walk, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

What I bring to the table is my God-given ability to manipulate my voice to blend and harmonize with just about anyone. Some people hear voices… I hear tones. I do this while playing my acoustic Martin guitar, which adds to the challenge. (Everyone else plays a Taylor along with their other instruments, so I keep them in my prayers!)

I have gone out on tour, worked on multiple CD projects, including my project “Poiema,” but I honestly love singing at my church more than going out on the road. We get a chance to touch lives and help people experience true worship. To sing to the Creator of the Universe is an incredible privilege. I am not sure why He chose me, but I am very grateful that He did.

I also teach the younger singers to be worship leaders. Watching someone grow and eventually be able to join me on stage is the accomplishment that I am most proud of. When I hear them sing I am so proud of them and in awe that God would use me to touch someone’s life in this way.

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My heart is also with the women (and sometimes men) who are victims of domestic violence. I have held workshops on helping the church to identify the problem and step in to help the victims. After telling my testimony at concerts I usually have a line of ladies waiting to tell me their stories. We pray together, cry together, and they hopefully leave with some hope. This is an epidemic that touches all of our lives. The church is not exempt. We need to step in and help the helpless, especially for the sake of the children, who are caught in the middle of this terrible war in the home.

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As a Christian musician I have been given a unique gift and along with it comes a responsibility. We are watched closely by those in our community, our jobs, and especially our church. We can just as easily help someone down a destructive path if we do not take this calling seriously. Once your life is on the stage it is no longer your own. This is just part of the package, one that I accepted and eventually embraced. When I mess up, I need to be the first to admit that I was wrong. This can be a better witness than any of the songs I sing, so I must do it well.

This is the life of a Christian Singer/Songwriter/Musician. It is a very rewarding life, and I thank the Almighty God for giving me this privilege every day of my life.
In Christ,
Julie Seal.