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

 

A Psalms Study

Psalm 131New Century Version (NCV)

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.

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 move into the very “seeds” of becoming mature.

David is saying that we need to emulate his example.  Now we 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.

Sheepy Wolves

Be careful of false prophets. They come to you looking gentle like sheep, but they are really dangerous like wolves.  

Matthew 7:15, NCV

The old King James Version says, “which come to you in sheep’s clothing.”  There is something to be said about both translations.

Being aware.  Jesus commands this awareness, this discernment that our world is a dangerous place and dark things come out of it.  Deception is always working, the true believer must keep learning.  We must identify sheep, who are not really sheep after all.  They look like sheep, unless you get close.  They smell like sheep.  They appear gentle and kind.

But they are malignant and treacherous.  Jesus chose the word, “dangerous.”  We pretty much avoid anything dangerous. If there is a sign on the beach, and if it says “Dangerous Undertow,”  most of us will comply and our time in the water is alert and quite aware.

There are people in the world who should have that sign, as they are treacherous and deceitful.  They say many things, and there is enough there to seem authentic.  As simple believers, we feel we should trust without questions. We avert our eyes to anything unseemly or aberrant.  Isn’t this what a loving Christian is supposed to do?

Jesus never told us to be tolerant, at least not like this.  He understands that wolves will tear apart sheep, ripping them into ribbons, if given half the chance.  He commands us to exercise caution.  But already there has been way too much “sheep dismemberment” in our generation.  The flock has been chased and separated, many have already been devoured.

Jesus is encouraging us to become discerning  and aware,  and teach it to our children and friends.  We shouldn’t be paranoid, or frightened by the world that swirls around us.  And there will always be people with mixed motives and confusing thoughts.  If we are honest, we ourselves have these same things, as we are His work in process.

Exteriors are always a big question mark.  The main issue is the delicate art of observation.  The more we get to know Jesus, the more we will identify what is a lie, a trick or a deception.  The Secret Service of our country, in learning to understand counterfeiters will study at length the real currency.  It’s interesting, they don’t study the false bills, but the real ones.

Be encouraged.  He is standing right in front, making intercession for you before the Father.  The Word is ours also, and there are pastors and teachers, who are shepherding the flock.  You are targeted, but never forsaken.  Our enemy is defeated.  Do not fear, never ever fear.  We have angels in high places who are our friends.

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