CCM Classic Focus on Bob Ayala

Blinded in his youth, Bob Ayala began performing in 1969 at The Salt Company, a Christian coffeehouse in Los Angeles, CA. He released his first album in 1976 and was also voted Best New Artist that year by CCM readers. He later became involved with Keith and Melody Green‘s Last Days Ministries and released an album on their record label in 1985. In December 1999 he released two independent albums and he continues to perform concerts.

 
 Bob Ayala has been a Performer/songwriter and a member of ASCAP for 3 decades. Blinded from his youth, He didn’t let this slow him down and began his CCM performer/songwriter career in the 1970s. By 1980 he recorded 3 albums with Myrrh Records, a division of Word.  In the mid 1980s he released his fourth recording project on Sparrow records.

Bob was a staff writer with Hosanna! Integrity music for 3 years. They recorded about 20 of Bob’s songs. After the contract ended, a mutual decision was made to not renew as most of what he was writing and wanted to write was not in the worship genre, which was their main emphasis at the time. Despite having been a performer since he was 14, his passion was songwriting, more than performing. Bob’s strong suit has always been as a lyricist.

Recently, he has set his sights on plying his talents to writing main stream country music, and finds himself coming full circle, as much of his early music had definite country influences.

“Pour Through Me”

Since he is one of my definite favorites, I can’t help myself.  This cassette was called “Rescued.” I listened to it, over and over, until the tape wore out.  This was way back in 1986, when I was doing high-visibility evangelism with a dozen other believers, out of a ratty old Victorian in the Mission District of San Francisco.  His music helped come through this challenging time of my life.

“Its My Dream”

Both of these are songs from YouTube. But this is a sad song. It gets shared because of the excellence of music and lyrics (I love the gentle sax.) I am really excited to share them, as Bob Ayala was a profound influence in my life.

Please go to the BB Classic Christian Music Index and see what else is listed.  We have dozens of great CCM artists from the 70s and 80s.  I know you’ll be blessed.  http://brokenbelievers.com/classic-christian-music-index/

The Mystery of His Face, Psalm 131

A Psalms Study

Childlike Trust in the Lord

A song for going up to worship. Of David.

1 Lord, my heart is not proud;
I don’t look down on others.
I don’t do great things,
and I can’t do miracles.
2 But I am calm and quiet,
like a baby with its mother.
I am at peace, like a baby with its mother.

3 People of Israel, put your hope in the Lord
now and forever.

Psalm 131,  New Century Version (NCV)

The Christian, the struggler, and the mentally ill should become prolific readers of the Psalms.  Some of us will need to take meds, that is true.  But the Psalms are pretty much required as well.  We diligently need to take a physical dose of our daily medication.  For believers, Psalm 131 is a spiritual dose that is just as mandatory, and just as necessary.

This particular Psalm is unique, and deeply insightful.  It begins its work in us right at the start; the superscription.  “A song for going up to worship,” and it strikes me that a work must happen inside of my heart.  It is a preparation that will take me higher, and help me see God more clearly.  I need to worship.

Verse 1 states the certain issue we have; it is called ‘pride.’  What David says seems to be a very arrogant and audacious thing to say.  There is a truism that you think you’re humble, you’re not.  A church once gave an elder a medal for humility.  But they had to take it away, because he wore it everywhere. To claim you are suddenly liberated from pride, knowing ears perk up.  It is almost always a sign of danger.

Take it at face value, King David states that he has a real contentment with limitations and weakness.  It appears that he has been freed from the vicious cycle of needing to be the center of everything, ‘in the mix,’ and very significant.  He admits ignorance, and something quite significant works its way into us through this psalm.  There exists a definite place where we must renounce “ambition.”  Are you content to be the simple servant now, and delay the accolades and praise until you get to heaven?

Some make themselves, literally sick by the deep dark quest to be important.  In verse 2, we connect with some astonishing imagery.  A baby!  I am like a little baby being held by my mom. It’s not an issue of sophistication, but simplicity .  Of having limits, but not applause. How can this be?!

The word in Hebrew, isn’t “baby,” (as in newborn) but baby, but more like a small toddler.  A “weaned” child more is a better translation.  A weaned child no longer needs his mom’s milk. You can guess that it makes the child more content.  He doesn’t fuss, or nuzzle his mothers breast, demanding his food.  The child no longer receives his nourishment this way.  There is a contentment, a simple desire just to be with mom, just because he wants to. This is a significant step into maturity.

To me, verse 2 is the centerpiece of Psalm 131.  OK, let’s apply this spiritually.  There was a time when it was necessary for me to have my mother’s milk. I screamed and would throw a terrible tantrum if she didn’t feed me from her breast.  I would starve if she didn’t give me her milk. For all practical purposes, it seems we use God to get what we need.  But we grow, and become mature.

David is saying that we need to emulate his example. 

Now we can come into God’s presence– just to be with Him.

That’s all.  So simple.  As a child, we just want to be where He is at.  We have no ulterior motives, there is no manipulation.  We seek His face, and not what is in His hands.

If we connect the dots, we find that we land right back to the opening superscription.  This is an amazing concept of worship– the real kind.  As a struggler, a rascal and mentally disabled, I must start at the beginning– again and again and again.  I have to worship.  I can only do this if I become a little boy again.  I finally realize I must throw ambition and pride overboard.

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A Walk in the Clouds

What Jesus intends for us is to learn to walk in the supernatural.  Each disciple must learn to walk out a life that is totally beyond him.  We need to learn how to walk in the clouds.  The things He has done for us are definitely and profoundly “out-of-this-world.”  He provides an exceptional power to us who have tasted a gentle grace.

We have not been elevated to this place without understanding the humility which this new life is rooted in.  He provides the power; we provide the humility.  Or at least that is what it seems.  But a “Jesus walk” will always take humility and perhaps even a brokenness of heart before it can work.  It’s like if I was to give you a new 2011 Jaguar.  It’s a beautiful car, no question.  But if I don’t give you the keys, the  car really isn’t yours.  It can sit in your driveway, but without the key all it is, is an exterior ornament to your success.  It goes nowhere, without the key in the ignition.

Humility is the key you need to power your Christian life.  If you don’t have humility you will never “walk in the clouds.”  And without it, you will undoubtedly end up traversing something, way less then what could be an amazing supernatural walk.

Your life was meant to be lived out on the margin of supernatural understanding.  We have never been walkers, but fliers.  We mount up with wings, just like the eagles.

“But the people who trust the Lord will become strong again.
They will rise up as an eagle in the sky;
they will run and not need rest;
they will walk and not become tired.”  Isa. 40:31

Will you walk, or will you fly?  What does your theology allow?  Will it permit soaring, and gliding?  Yet He approaches us.  He asks us, “Do you believe that I can make beauty out of ashes?”

“I will give them a crown to replace their ashes, and the oil of gladness to replace their sorrow, and clothes of praise to replace their spirit of sadness. Then they will be called Trees of Goodness, trees planted by the Lord to show his greatness.”   Isaiah 61:3

 

 

Getting Fixed

“I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.”

Isaiah 43:25, ESV

We have a hard time forgiving ourselves from our sins; and ironically the Lord has a hard time remembering them.  Obviously, He is not becoming senile on us.  Yet He chooses to become “forgetful.”  Especially forgetting those dark evils, and twisted agendas.  Once we do enter into His covenant, we find this God who forgets all of our sins waiting for us, His arms wide open and running to us.

There is something noteworthy and special about a forgiven sinner.  In a deep sense we have been altered.  We have become a new creation,  (that word can easily be translated as “species.”)  Something tangible has happened, a definite alteration has taken place.  Something new and totally different– the forgiven believer now exists! “If anyone belongs to Christ, there is a new creation. The old things have gone; everything is made new!” 2 Cor. 5:17

Our sin has been extracted from our hearts.  For the first time, we have the ability to say “no!”  We can now turn and go the other direction.  We can walk in such a freedom and awareness of being loved that it really easy to let Him change us from the inside out.

“For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.”

Hebrews 8:12, ESV