Artist Spotlight Hope Special 1

‘Hope Special’ featuring Josh Baldwin, Joel Houston from Hillsong United and Chris Cleveland from Stars Go Dim

Josh Baldwin’s first single ‘Stand in Your Love’

That song was like Baldwin’s other songs, that may have taken a whole year to write. “This song was not like all of sudden, boom, it came”. Sometimes I feel like I have to fight & wrestle with a song, and then that’s what makes it great in the end. “Because I fought for this and I grabbed every bit of goodness I could out of something that maybe wasn’t as good and then made it this”.

This one (Stand in Your Love) was just the Lord, which is awesome. There’s no way I could be like “yeah, I’m really talented, I’m just surrounded by talented people”. It’s like “nah, the Lord dropped this in on us”. There’s no way it was Him. When we wrote it I felt like “man, what a happy song”. It gave me joy. I remember taking it home and just reading through the lyrics and thinking “these lyrics are really heavy hitting, I feel like they address things that are serious. And what’s going on in the church, with this fear and discouragement, when the enemy tried to come in with lies. I felt like there’s something to, the fact that we can write something to encourage those  who are going through fear and going through this every day battle.

Every day battle of depression and discouragement and anxiety that been hitting people. We can address people in a way that actually felt joyful to me. Obviously the truth of being in His love, casting out fear, but also just the joy of knowing what He did and what He’s done and how we actually can live in life from victory. It just kind of came out of nowhere, which has made it even more special to me. 

Joel Houston Powerful song ‘Another in the Fire’

It’s a song I wrote with Chris Davenport who is a great friend. He came up one day and said “Hey Joel there’s a song we’re going to write together”, I said “oh sounds fantastic”. He was quite assertive about it. He said it’s called ‘Another in the Fire’. And I said “I understand what you’re saying right away”. And that’s all we had kind of right away. From there we kind of just fleshed out this story. Where it was coming from, I think, I was in a particular season, he was in a particular season. In particular he and his wife had just had a baby boy and were getting bad news, the child who was basically being diagnosed with autism. So just trying to figure out that and where his faith in God operate in the real time. I think sometimes we do this as human beings, but we also do this a lot in church. Sometimes we getting really consumed with what’s happened yesterday & the past.

So it’s easy to believe in the God of the bible or it’s easy to believe in what God might do one day. But there’s this moment that we live in and that’s all we have. I think trust, which is a better word for faith really, is what do you depend on and what’s your foundational place of trust, what does that look like in your day to day walk. It’s tough because that’s all we have.  

The song is a story of ‘okay God was faithful then, so we’re going to believe that He’s going to be faithful now and we’re going to believe He’s going to be faithful to the end’.

Chris Cleveland sharing about his burst appendix and God helped him through that time

I was frustrated honestly, because I didn’t want to take a break. When we’re not on the road, we’re not making money and I needed to make money to provide for my family. But I knew that God was calling me into something else. So I was kind of fighting it. I fought it really hard until I just had no other choice to be honest with you. Going from that place of frustration and learning how to step into a place of faith and really saying “okay God you got this, I’m going to trust You to take care of this”. That’s really what this record is speaking about and it was a difficult place for me to get to. And one that, once I dove into, realised that I place a lot of my own identity and a lot of my own value and worth for who I was in me as a performer, me as a singer. 

So when I was just a dad, or husband or Chris at home, not on stage, not at a mega church, I’d really lost a lot of my identity. The first song ‘You know me better’ really spoke to me in those moments and ministered to me while I was going through that before they ever made a record and that’s why some of these songs are so powerful for me and why this project means so much to me now.

A special thanks to Josh, Joel & Chris for taking the time to chat to us. We pray that you all continue to glorify God with all your heart. God bless!