Shaken, Not Shattered
When five generations before you have devoted their lives to spreading the gospel, it seems only natural to follow their lead, but Matthew Hagee has been adding his own unique chapter to his family's legacy as a pastor, author, television host and songwriter. He and longtime family friend Randy Travis recently co-wrote a song titled "Freedom Isn't Free," and Hagee's current book, Shaken, Not Shattered: Finding The Purpose, Passion and Power to Stand Firm When Your World Falls Apart, has been striking a chord during these tumultuous times.
"The first thing that each and every individual needs to take into account is [whether] they [are] connected with their source," Hagee asserts. "Are they in touch with what I call 'the original design'? As human beings we were originally designed by the hands of God and created in His own image. He called fish out of water, he called plants out of the ground. When you remove fish from water or remove plants from the ground, they die. When God created human beings He called man out of himself. When you remove a man from the source, which is God, in essence that man dies. The first thing you need to do when you come into a time of shaking is to make sure you are in touch with God, and if you are, then know that everything is going to be alright, and if you're not, find out why not and get back in touch with Him just as soon as you can."
"The pop quiz is really two simple questions and the good news is that you don't have to really study hard for the exam," he says with a good-natured laugh. "Question one is 'has God brought me this far for it all to end right now?' The way I encourage people to answer that is to look back over everything God has brought them through, every time He has provided and protected and led, and had His angels and His hand intervene in your life. Nine times out of 10 the answer to that question is going to be no. The second question is 'what will the quality of my life be if I don't move forward?' A lot of people who are hesitating to make a decision or pursue a priority are afraid of what the future might hold. Ask yourself this question, 'what will it be like if I don't pursue something, if I don't make a decision, if I don't take the next step?' The truth is you'll never know the exciting things God can do until you walk on faith."
"Randy [Travis] came and visited our family, as he does on a periodic basis, and he and I got caught up in conversation about life and the things of this world," Hagee recalls. "We were taking notice of how many people were taking freedom for granted. We decided we ought to write a song and sat down, and in just a few moments, had come up with the lyrics to 'Freedom Isn't Free.'"
"It was the most terrifying musical moment in my life because other than what we had written down on paper that night, there was no song," Hagee says. "We hadn't recorded anything and we hadn't rehearsed anything. I sure didn't know he was going to call for it, but we pulled it off and at the end of the song, the response of the people in the room was so emotional."
"We also released a video on YouTube and the desire is that instead of trying to create music for the market, we want to create music with a message that might find a place in expressing a lot of the things that Americans are feeling right now," Hagee shares. "I've never seen so many people frustrated with the direction of the country and looking for answers. In a lot of ways 'Freedom Isn't Free' sums up something they'd like to say. I'd like to know that people are willing to listen and support music that has a message like that. You hear people say from time to time, 'that's my song.' Anytime I hear that I'll always follow it up with 'well, what makes it yours?' and sometimes they'll go 'oh, I just like it.' But hopefully they'll say it's because it puts to music what it is they wished they could say."
About the Writer
Deborah Evans Price has covered Christian/Gospel music for Billboard magazine since 1994. She also contributes regularly to Country Weekly, CMA Close Up, Devo'Zine, Christian Single, HomeLife, BMI Music World, and other publications.
A Nashville resident since 1983, Deborah has held editorial posts at Radio & Records, Country News, American Songwriter and Billboard. Amy Grant, Trace Adkins, Brad Paisley, Charlie Daniels, 3 Doors Down, Third Day, Don Henley, Bon Jovi, Chris Rice, Sandra Bullock, Mercy Me, Alan Jackson, Smokey Robinson, Carrie Underwood and Steven Curtis Chapman are among her many interviews. Additionally, she's a sought-after music industry analyst who has been interviewed on CNN, MSNBC, TNN, The Today Show, and ABC PrimeTime Live, among other outlets.
Deborah is a member of the Gospel Music Association's board of directors and a graduate of Leadership Music. She resides south of Nashville with her husband, Gary, and son Trey.
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