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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews


  • 1999 30 Mar
As many of you already know, I grew-up in Florence, SC, in a Christian family! My dad became a minister on the 3rd Sunday in May 1969. (That's the way we keep the calendar in the Black Church). On the 3rd Sunday in May 1969, I became a Christian. God used this event in my Dad's life to draw me to himself. We were in church every time the doors were opened. As a matter of fact, we were the ones who opened them. We were the 1st ones there and the last ones to leave. My dad was the "Preacher".

I grew-up loving my mom and dad and the God they served who I knew was also my God! They taught me how to pray and to rely on our God for everything. The word of God was always proclaimed in our home and church and I never once doubted one bit of it. Mom and dad taught me to be very sensitive to the word of God.

We were always discussing scripture, especially scripture from the Sunday school lesson or from dad's sermon.

After Sunday afternoon dinner, (we always ate at home), my brother and I would have a preaching contest. We would compete to see which one of us could remember the most of dad's sermon. I always won! No lie! I could almost remember the sermon word for word! I guess I admired my dad so much, I was always trying to be like him! He always started his sermons by saying, "Our text for today" and I could and still can say it just like he does. He always read the key verse twice and very slowly. Every week I had it memorized. If I did not understand the meaning of it, mom and dad would simply tell me the meaning.

It took me a while to get John 3:3, "you must be born again." I asked the same question Nicodemus asked Jesus, basically, "how could this be." My dad, of course, explained that because I had asked Jesus to live in my heart and His spirit was now inside of me, I was "born again." I believed, I received, but I did not fully understand until later--and I learn more about being "born again" every day.

At seven years old, I was very literal, and this was a tough one, but if my dad had it, and it came from Jesus, I wanted it. That's how God drew me to himself. (My fathers double-teamed me) God's word was never argued, but was always held with deep respect in our hearts!

My mom was a public school teacher for 31 years and she also was very quick to remind me of the word of God in any and every thing she and I would talk about. I guess I grew-up with a deep respect and love for God and for his word. Even when I did not understand, I never questioned the authenticity of it.

Looking back, I am thankful to God for giving me a rich Godly heritage! I thank Him for saving me at the tender age of seven, and teaching me his word and his ways, "One Step at a Time."

(Editors note: That's the title of Alicia's current radio single from her new album ==Faithful Heart==.)

In the fall of 1980, I left mom and dad for college, and it was then and there, where God began to show me where my faith was. I still needed my parents to explain spiritual things to me, and they did. I was a secret agent for God in college, until I was asked to play piano for and direct the schools Gospel choir. It was then that I started to feel more responsible for knowing God's word for myself! I did OK.

From college, I went to work at PTL, Heritage USA, for two years. Here, I was exposed to doctrine that I had never heard of before in my life. I had grown-up Baptist and it just seemed like everyone in college was a Baptist. At PTL, I was exposed to the nations, and every denomination one could ever imagine. The foundational denomination at PTL was Assembly of God. I had never heard of it and to be honest, it was a little frightening. Again, I went to mom and dad and again, they helped me understand what was going on.

From PTL, I joined the group {{TRUTH}}. I found myself on a bus with 25 (it seemed like 25,000) people who I did not choose as friends, and they had not chosen me to be their friend. I was scared out of my mind. There seemed to be as many opinions about God as there were people. I thought I was pretty well grounded in my faith by then, after all, PTL was a huge challenge and mom and dad had taught me very well. I realize now that my parents taught me God's word and not church doctrine. Thanks guys.

TRUTH was a challenge because I could not get away from these people or their opinions. I say opinions because the question was very often asked of scripture, "What do you think that means." This question should never be asked of scripture. For six years, I read the Bible, and books about the Bible, and would journal daily what I thought it all meant. I must have 20 or more journals from my days in TRUTH.

I thank God for his Holy Spirit in me as my resident teacher, so all was not lost, but all I learned was what someone else thought the Bible was all about. I had no way of knowing if what I believed in my heart was Truth or not. Again, I am thankful for God's Spirit, he taught me quite well, but I was left without knowing how to know for sure that the songs I sang and the NUGGETS I shared from stage were really biblical. Of course I would call good ole mom and dad, and they would keep me on track.

I was growing, I was learning, and Mr. Breland (director of TRUTH) let me share a lot while I was in TRUTH. His wife, Ms. Linda, helped me develop a daily quiet time, and taught me how to keep a journal.

After six years of growing in the discipline of Bible reading, reading books about the Bible, and writing down what I thought it all meant, the day finally came for me to leave TRUTH and test my spiritual wings as a solo artist!

So off I went. For a year and a half, I said and sang everything I had learned over the past 23 years. I was shocked, embarrassed and even afraid of the dryness in my soul, after being in ministry for only 18 months. I HAD NOTHING ELSE TO SAY!

Alicia Williamson, Ms. "There Is A Hope" herself, thirst for God. My soul yearned for the Living God. Much to my surprise, I did not call my parents. This was perhaps a sure sign of a little spiritual maturity.

I expressed this emptiness to my friend Mandy, who was one of my college students, and was working in my office. Mandy Ward (Fath) told me about Precept Bible Studies. My heart was filled with joy because I really needed something to replenish my spirit. At that time my church was without a pastor and without a minister of music. This left me with a sense of longing for a refuge.

The Precept class that I could attend met on Tuesday mornings at 9 A.M. I was so excited. I knew God was leading me there. When I got there the teacher basically said these things:

--Welcome to Bible study.
--We are here to study God's word
--This is not a prayer group except for very urgent needs. --Write your requests on this sheet of paper and we will give the list to the entire class.

She repeated, Welcome to Bible study, we are here to study God's word. I will pray and we will begin.

At least this is what I thought I heard. Rest assured we were not there to answer the question, "What do you think that means?" We were there to answer three questions:

--What does the word of God say? (Observation)
--What does the word of God mean? (Interpretation)
--How can I apply what it says and what it means to my life? (Application)

That's it. That is the way we approached the entire word of God. What revelation! Never again was I to ask or answer, "What do you think the word of God means?" Who cares what I think! The Bible says and means what God wants it to, and my job is to find out what that is. My opinion is NOT necessary. The first Precept course I took was Romans. It took us two years to finish the book. How gracious God was to start me off here, confirming my life in him.

I am fortunate in that I have Christian parents, and lots of grounded Christians around me. You may not be as fortunate. The ones around you may or may not be biblically accurate. You must know God's word for yourself, whether or not you are in full-time Christian ministry. For the first time in my life I was able to articulate what I believed about God and his word. My words were not from mom or dad and any Christian leader, I now knew, "Thus saith the LORD!"

I was, and still am learning, what God's word says, what it means, and how I can apply what it says and means to my life. Mom and dad and others gave me fish, Precepts Ministries taught me how to fish. Now go fish.

I get really tickled now when there are sound problems in concert. When the music is crazy, I just preach the word. I cannot begin to describe the confidence I have now. I know all the lyrics are biblical, and I share only the part of the word that I have studied inductively, that is, without commentary, but allowing scripture to interpret scripture. God has given us music to open our hearts and his word to fill our hearts. I am thankful for every opportunity I get to plant a garden for God.

Our ministry is much more than just good Christian entertainment. Don't get me wrong, there is a lot to be entertained with, nevertheless, God has clearly shown us that this is a ministry of the word of God. He has called us to minister to the church, and that is where you will find us. Thank God for the music: it gets people in the doors.

Another gift God has given me as a result of being a Precept student, is the opportunity to travel with, sing for, and learn from the author of these studies, Kay Arthur. God is allowing me to travel with Ms. Kay to all of the Friday afternoon Women of Faith events. We were just together in Grand Rapids, MI, at an event for women at Calvary Church, and I will be at her event for women in Chattanooga in August. Later this month, my husband Richard and I will travel with Kay and her husband Jack, and Precept Ministries to the Land of the Book, Israel.

What a gift from God it is to be with Ms. Kay. Being with her is far more that I could have ever asked God for or could have ever cleverly planned in a marketing meeting. In our meetings, I deliver the music, which opens the heart. Ms. Kay brings the word of God, the seed, which fills the heart. Then she and I pray for rain and wait for harvest.

Being with Kay is a "God" thing, not just a "good" thing. Isaiah 64:6 says that our "righteous deeds," or "good" deeds, are but filthy garments to God. That is, our good ideas that are not God's ideas are menstrual cloths to God. I hope that grosses you out, because that is what our "good" ideas that are not "God" ideas are to God.

There you have a good observation, interpretation, and application.

I try very hard not to use my friendship with Ms. Kay as a means of promoting my ministry. I am thankful for our relationship, and pray that God would us it for his glory only and always.

My prayer for the future of my ministry comes from 1Thesselonians 1:6. I pray that the gospel that goes forth from our ministry would not go out in word only, but in power, in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction.

There are other Bible studies that are absolutely fabulous. God directed me to Precept. Wherever he leads you follow. I would suggest however, that you incorporate the Inductive Method of Observation, Interpretation, and Application into whatever lesson you are studying.

Here are my final NUGGETS from God's word. These are easy and they mean what they say. Ask God how you can apply what they say and mean to your life:

Hosea 4:6--My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being my priest. (Convictingisn't it?)

Daniel 11:32b--the people who know their God will display strength and take action. (We know God through his word)

Remember our successes may or may not be a God thing. Only what we do in light of God's direction in our lives, will be of value at the Judgment seat of Christ.

2Corinthians 5:10--For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

Remember Jesus is the writer of the Book of Life. (Exodus 32:32)

In closing, my prayer for you dear friend is from Colossians 1:9-12:

I pray that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will, in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may walk (live) in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God. I pray that you would be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience, joyously. I pray that you would always give thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the Saints of light.

Be blessed now with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ


Jeremiah 29:11