Love Broke Through (2010)
The newest album from Jennifer Shaw brings together her familiar crystal vocals, stories of hope, sorrow, and salvation, and a new partnership with Nashville producer, Paul Marino, in a mix which fans will love. Top 5 radio single, Your Great Name, has already gathered radio play and new fans across the country. See http://jennifershawmusic.com for more details.
Finding Beauty (2007)
Jennifer's groundbreaking new CD, Finding Beauty, explores the meaning of God's promise of "beauty for ashes" in Isaiah 61. With themes of God's redemption of difficult circumstances for the good of those who love Him, joy in His provision, and praise for who He is, this album is a heart-felt love letter to God. Jennifer's distinctive style and gorgeous harmonies continue to bring us to a place of worship.
Be Still (2006)
Jennifer Shaw's love for Christ comes shining through her inspirational songwriting and her stunningly pure vocals in her debut album, Be Still. This contemporary Christian artist makes beautiful use of her world-class classical training to bring a new sound to the genre, and her heart for Christ is evident in her ministry.
As Jennifer Shaw prepares to release her new CD, LOVE BROKE THROUGH, which has already garnered a # 3 song on the national worship radio charts, she is still amazed at the directional change in her musical aspirations. Most praise & worship artists do not begin their careers singing as Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro, or performing arias from Puccini operas such as La Rondine and La Boheme. But then Jennifer never really meant to become a Christian singer, let alone a worship leader for a church. She was simply giving her dying father a Christmas gift.
Jennifer began her musical ambitions early in life with an intense love for the piano, and after hearing her first Beethoven sonata, she was hooked on classical music. At an audition for a piano scholarship, she was urged by her choir director to also audition in voice, and much to Jennifer's dismay, ended up receiving the voice scholarship instead. She studied her craft in New York and received a Master's Degree in Vocal Performance from the Manhattan School of Music. Jennifer has performed in over forty shows in the theater, everything from Shakespeare and straight drama to musicals and children's theater. After moving back home to Ohio, Jennifer began performing with the Columbus Symphony and later appeared at Carnegie Hall. She also became a Professor of Music for Cedarville University as well as music director for her local church, until one day the pastor came to her with a special request.
"The pastor told me, 'We'd like to transition our service from traditional to contemporary and we need you to start a band,'" says Jennifer. "So I said, 'I don't know if I forgot to mention that I'm an opera singer and I'd be terrible at that.' But he insisted that I pray about it. Oddly enough, I did feel the Lord call me to that job. I was seriously reluctant, and kept telling the Lord that singing this way was wrecking my classical voice. But God went even further. I felt He was leading me to quit the symphony AND quit teaching at the university, both of which I thought were career suicide moves. But eventually I obeyed, and started to truly enjoy leading worship with the band. Now, I love it."
Life for Jennifer and her husband and their two daughters seemed to be moving along nicely. Then, in 2003, Jennifer miscarried and unbeknownst to her, began to bleed internally. After symptoms persisted, she was rushed to the hospital only to find out that she was dangerously close to death. After recuperating for over a month, Jennifer learned that her beloved father had been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease. The family was devastated as their father began to deteriorate over the coming months. Jennifer became pregnant again and gave birth to son Toby the next year. But their brief joy turned to terror when at 6 months, her son was found to have severe hearing impairment from repeated ear infections. Several surgeries followed on her baby boy over the next few months, but Toby's behavior got more and more bizarre and extreme. He couldn't touch anything, be touched, couldn't eat anything, made no sounds except for crying all the time, couldn't get water on himself or be messy. Jennifer's charmed life seemed to be spinning out of control.
"I remember feeling like I was falling and had no idea how far down the bottom was," Jennifer recalls. "There is no other way to describe it except that when I got to the bottom, God caught me. I was still in the pit, but He was there with me, and that gave me something to grab on to. I learned that God is amazingly powerful, and that He will absolutely use all things to the good of those who love Him, even when we can't see how that could be possible in the moment. I now understand that our purpose here is just to glorify Him, and that these are 'light and momentary troubles' as Paul wrote. When we were going through everything with dad and then with Toby, I could trust God for His goodness and strength every day, trust Him with my dad, and trust Him for the strength I needed to deal with my special needs child. And He absolutely met us there. Nothing is the same for me now."
It was during this process that Jennifer decided to write some songs and record them just for her father as a Christmas present. A CD entitled Be Still was her first foray into recording Christian music, and it quickly got picked up by over 300 radio stations across the country and even around the world in places such as South Africa and Australia. In less than six weeks, she had sold enough CDs to pay for the entire project. It was yet another directional shift in Jennifer's own personal musical plans.
Jennifer's father died in 2006 and Toby was diagnosed with a neurological condition known as Sensory Processing Disorder, a condition described as a neurological "traffic jam" that prevents certain parts of the brain from receiving the information needed to interpret sensory information correctly. Through therapy and miraculous intervention, Toby has begun to live a more normal life.
The songs on LOVE BROKE THROUGH certainly reflect the mountain of intense moments in Jennifer's life and the lessons learned in the midst of it all. The CD's first top radio hit, "Your Great Name," was a no-brainer addition to the album after Jennifer heard the song. "The lyrics spoke to me so much of what we had been through, and what we had learned - that everything of value that's done, and everything that's possible, is possible through the name of Jesus."
Many of the songs that Jennifer penned for the CD were inspired not only by her years of despair but with her encounters on various mission trips, especially the title cut. "I was talking to a young man from Ruthin, Wales --an area that is very dark. It's a coal town where the jobs have left and there is very little hope. The suicide rate here in the US among young people is about 1 in 2000, but in Ruthin it is 1 in 50. He was telling me how he met the Lord, and his face was just shining with the love and hope of God. It was just an incredible contrast and transformation."
"Asante sana, Jesu" is a song that came to Jennifer during her trip to Africa. "I was leading worship at a church in Nairobi, and they opened the service with the people singing those words which mean, 'Thank you so much, Jesus.' When we were in Kenya, we saw some of the most difficult living situations, and yet the Christians there had such joy. We met one local pastor and sat in his dung hut with chickens hopping in and out of the door, and he was telling me all the amazing things God has done; how he had started 10 churches of 500 people meeting under trees. I was so inspired by him, and his faith and trust in God that I wrote this song for him and the other Kenyan Christians we were privileged to meet."
Produced by renowned Lifeway songwriter and producer Paul Marino, LOVE BROKE THROUGH features six songs co-written by Jennifer. But the CD's final cut is a classical benediction that Jennifer ends every concert with -- "E'en So Lord Jesus Quickly Come." The song gave Jennifer a chance to dust off her operatic vocals and stretch to the ethereal melodies she first fell in love with as a child.
"Honestly, this whole thing of having a music ministry never occurred to us," Jennifer admits. "The idea of me trying to be a contemporary singer was so ludicrous, but it was fun, and dad liked it. I wanted him to have a gift, and never thought people would hear it outside our church. It became such an encouragement to us during the darkest days, but now I see God giving us a brand new ministry, and growing it like crazy.
"Our entire focus is different now. Before, I wanted to follow Christ and live a nice, comfortable, respectable life with some accolades thrown in there to remind me that I was special. Now, all I want is for people to see Christ. I feel a definite urgency and impatience with wasting time on things that don't really matter. Christ matters. And that's it."
My new music video for "God Loved the World" is out and I would love to know what you think of it! This was an intense process - I had no idea how much work we would have in front of us, but I really wanted it to be the visual representa...
(login or sign up to read more)
Hi, everybody, I'm sorry I've been so absent here, but it was for a good reason! We went on tour to the UK and Kenya, and then came home and made a new CD, so I've spent most of the last several months going back and forth to Nashville, and I love t...
(login or sign up to read more)
- Most Recent Reply: 11/01/09 - 11:52 AM
Heading to the UK and Kenya!
4/24/2009 - 9:20 PM
Just a week now before our tour to the UK and Kenya - can't wait! It's been amazing to watch God open doors and work out all the timing, and it looks like an incredible tour.
We're crazy busy right now trying to get everything ready ...
(login or sign up to read more)
Hey, everybody, I'm excited to announce that the new kid's CD is here! It went up on my site - jennifershawmusic.com at the beginning of the week. You can hear clips of all the new songs in the store, and get lyrics too.
This CD is called "God i...
(login or sign up to read more)
Hey, all, did you know I have been blogging the tour on my site? I have pictures up, and stuff we've done, and I realized that I haven't been posting it here, but you might be interested. If you go to my site - www.jennifershawmusic.com - and click...
(login or sign up to read more)
Seasons Greetings, and all my best for your Christmas and the coming New Year! Here is your copy of Decembers Trail Mix, and sometime next year, I will be publishing the first volume of Trail Mix for Narrow Path walkers.
~ WE CAN DO NOTHING WITHOUT PRAYER [when it comes to spiritual things] ~
While we know that God answers prayer in three different way...
1) Sometimes He'll say, YES!
2) Sometimes He'll say "NO!"...
3) Other times He'll say, "Are you kidding?" As your Father, I have something so much better than this, so wait on me and see the customized answer to your plea...
When God answers our prayers, He can grant our request through His most perfect will, and then there are times He will grant our request through His "Permissive will!" We just need to know that He will not do anything, unless we pray, which is why we're told several things about prayer:
1) To gather with others when we pray, because where two or more gather in His name, He will be there, and He will do it for us! (Matthew 18:19-20)
2) We are reminded to pray without ceasing!" (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
3) We are to pray in Jesus's name, knowing that what we do not know how to put into words [through prayer], the Holy Spirit will do for us! (John 14:12-14 and Romans 8: 26-27)
4) Finally, prayer must be done in a spirit of faith, and faith is believing in that which you can't see or touch, but still know is and will be because God said so! (Hebrews 11:1)
**E. M. Bounds said many things about prayer. His words are very uplifting, and I want to share a few of his infamous quotes as I close this description out:
-->"We cannot talk to God strongly when we have not lived for God strongly. The closet cannot be made holy to God when the life has not been holy to God."
-->"Prayer puts God's work in his hands-and keeps it there."
-->"Prayer is our most formidable weapon, the thing which makes all else we do efficient."
-->"Every mighty move of the Spirit of God has had its source in the prayer chamber."
FINALLY - "We can do nothing without prayer. All things can be done by persistent prayer. It surmounts or removes all obstacles, overcomes every resisting force and gains its ends in the face of invincible hindrances."
---> So, let us prayer together, and when needed, let us pray for you!!! <---
><> I'd Rather Have Jesus and One Angel, than a Fully Armed Military Regiment! <><
Here's this month's Trail Mix. As we travel the Narrow Path [Matthew 7:13-14] we often grow weary and need spiritual nourishment to sustain us and keep us moving forward! I try to provide some nourishment monthly, and I pray this blesses, edifies and lifts your spirit!
Last night, I went to Burger King to get our dinner. I noticed the parking lot lights were not working, and it was eerily dark! As I left the car and headed to the door, a menacing looking young man, cam quickly out of the darkness toward me. Thinking he wanted to ask for some money, I hurried into the store. However, that didn't stop him, as he followed me into BK and walked around the store, as if he was casing it. Even the manager, after she knew he wasn't with me, became concerned, as they just had a customer beaten and robbed five days earlier!
The manager instructed the employees to keep an eye on her and me, as she walked me back out to the car. I couldn't help but notice the young man, still lurking in the darkness of the lot, like a hungry animal waiting to pounce.
I won't lie and say that I wasn't concerned, because when the short hairs on the back of my neck stand up and do everything but say the "Pledge of Allegiance" it is a sign from my spirit that something is a miss! Still, with Jesus, I always feel safe, and while I felt the guy glaring at me as he walked around the inside of the store, I just remembered this promise from Psalms 91:7-16, and claimed these words,
"A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come ear you. Only with your eyes shall you look, And see the reward of the wicked. Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place, No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways. In their hands, they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone. You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot. Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore, I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life, I will satisfy him, And show him My salvation."
Hang tough for Jesus, children, He hung tough for us!