MP3 Aaron Hansel - Where You Are
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Kurz-Beschreibung von CDbaby: Marrying the knack for great writing and catchy pop/rock songs, Aaron's unique voice combined with unashamed confessions and reflections of real life make "Where You Are" an excellent addition to your CD library.
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Without a doubt the call of every Christian is to know Jesus more and to make Him known. I claim this calling. But there is something more than just proclaiming the gospel that drives me. That is to also be a source of encouragement to believers and seekers alike who are desperate to know they are not alone in today's struggles. Galatians 6:2 commands us to "carry each other's burdens and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ". If pride hasn't carried us off to a place where we think we can handle life on our own then often we just hide in the shadows of shame thinking no one could possibly understand our struggles or failures. But guess what? You and I are NOT alone, no matter how bad Satan would love for us to believe that. I don't claim to have the answers and solutions, but I have an ear to listen and a shoulder to lean on. So do you! As a songwriter I am not afraid to convey my failures. Because when I am weak, He is strong! But I also desire to point to the One who takes my failures and turns them into strengths. Matthew 11:28-30 tells us of Christ's invitation to come and rest. That's what I hope to extend in my shows as well. Come, hear the truth, enjoy the fellowship of others who are so much like you, and take a moment to rest and think about His love and promises.
When I was about 6 years old I got a Casio ROM keyboard for Christmas. If my parents were looking for a way to keep me occupied at that hyper age, they scored! That keyboard kept me busy for hours a day.
The Casio awakened my interest in music. Before that time I don't remember much of the music I had heard. But after that I remember the music my parents listened to with much detail. Being an Oklahoman, of course it was country music. I grew up listening to the likes of Kenny Rogers, Crystal Gale, Eddie Rabbit, etc. Soon I discovered Night Tracks on TBS and MTV. I jumped from the smooth, emotional vocals and disco balls to the beat driven songs of Aha, Dire Straits, and of course Michael Jackson. (Not a great role model these days, but what an artist!) Those were the 80's though. I went through the huge kaleidoscope of music from the 80's til now. From Kenny Rogers to Kenny Chesney, Aerosmith to Matchbox 20, Bel Biv Devo to the Backstreet Boys, and DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince to.....well.....Will Smith, I'm surprised I was able to settle on a music style.
In those formative years I was introduced to something else as well, church. At about the same age my family started attending a small baptist church in my home town of Alva, OK. I remember sitting in the packed pews that were illuminated in a soft yellow hue by the sun shining in the stained glass windows. I tried to sing along with mom and dad to the hymns, trying to sound just like them. They both have great voices, along with twin brother, Steve. But besides that, I remember hearing the teachings of God and the love of His son, Jesus Christ. I didn't know who this was, but I knew He suffered and died. My mom would come in at night and pray with us that old favorite prayer, "Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take". I began to ask mom who Jesus was and why He had to die. I understood the principles, a little, and would even pray that God would take care of Jesus in heaven because He was hurt so badly. But I didn't realize He came to save me from my sins. I didn't know I was a sinner.
So, at the early age of 6, 2 very important seeds were planted in my life; music and faith.
Life would go on. Moving to new towns, leaving friends behind and making new ones, building good memories and of course the bad ones. Eventually high school came and I started developing deeper interests in certain things. First, with the encouragement of some friends, I joined the high school choir. I grew to love learning to sing correctly and using my ear to harmonize. I was supposed to be sight reading, and was alright with that, but it was just easier for me to wing it. Second, and obviously, I developed an interest in girls! One specific girl though.
Her name was Lindsay and she was intelligent, talented, graceful.......ok, ok, she was HOT! But over time I learned she had these other attributes as well. But she had another attribute that was foreign to me. She was a Christian. After dating for a few months she invited me to attend church with her and her family. Well, actually it was more like, "You're coming to church with me or I'm dumping you!" So with much conviction, though I'm not sure it was of the Holy Spirit, though probably was in a round about way, I went with her.
At the age of 11 my family fell apart. Which is a different story. But needless to say, church was no longer a factor in my life. So getting back into church was a little unnerving. Thankfully, though, it wasn't too bad. I found several of my friends from school actually attended there and I was welcomed warmly by the members. As the weeks went on I learned more about my sinful nature and about this Jesus who died for me to save me from my sins. I remembered stories about Him from when I was 6. Now things were making sense. It wasn't long that I began to feel that "tug". I knew I wasn't saved. I knew who Jesus was, but hadn't received this gift of life and forgiveness. I resisted for a few weeks but finally the Holy Spirit granted me the courage to make the commitment, receive Jesus, and to do that horrifying act of going in front of the church to profess my faith. Well, not horrifying, but Satan sure wanted me to think I was the only sinner in there and that everyone would be ready to throw those stones. Quite the opposite happened, if you can imagine that. Seemingly, the entire church embraced me and welcomed me to the family. A week later I was baptized. Though I confess I was looking around for that dove, I knew I was saved!
All this because I got hooked up with this hot girl named Lindsay. Well, God has His ways and I have no doubt He placed her in my life to lead me to the truth of Jesus. Not only did Lindsay and I get hooked up, 5 years later we got married. She's still that godly woman, even more so now, and continues to rub off on me, causing me to seek to be the man I supposed to be in Christ. Not only Lindsay, but the 2 beautiful children God has given us, my son Cole and daughter Nicky, keep me looking to Christ!
Back to becoming a Christian. As I began to get more involved in church, God led me to other Christian friends and mentors who had a passion for music as well. I soon joined the youth/college choir and was given the opportunity to sing solos in church. Which was absolutely terrific and mind numbingly frightful at the same time. I still love the adrenaline rush of the stage!
My first influences in Christian music were groups like 4HIM and Phillips, Craig and Dean. A few friends and I decided to start a similar group called BNC (Brother-N-Christ). There were 8 of us and we actually were booked to perform pretty often at area churches. BNC lasted for a few months until school took some of the guys away. I was distraught by that, but God wasn't through giving me opportunities. 4 of the remaining members of BNC started a Christian rock group called Crimson. What's this? Christian rock? Could it be?
During my freshman year in college I frequented a downtown gym. One day, the usual rock music was playing loudly when I heard some of the words sung by one of the bands on the radio. It was a secular radio station, but this group was singing something about "if I can't swim after 40 days and my mind is crushed by the crashing waves....". I was immediately offended. How could this band being played on a secular station exploit God's Word for their own gain? After telling the guys in Crimson they kind of laughed at......okay, they rolled on the floor. They told me it was a new Christian group called Jars Of Clay and the song was called "Flood". Jars Of Clay was a sincere Christian group that had written a song that had a mainstream pop/rock sound and it was growing in popularity. Next thing I knew, Crimson started covering Jars Of Clay songs as well as artists like Steven Curtis Chapman, Third Day and Geoff Moore.
As we covered these songs we were led to write originals as well, telling our stories as young Christians and trying to bring something pleasing to God. We were booked pretty regularly in northwest Oklahoma. We even recorded one CD and had a song played on the same radio station I had heard Jars Of Clay on. We had fun for awhile. But college, careers, and other dreams brought an end to Crimson.
I came into a season of being refined by God. I was a Christian and a singer/songwriter. But my heart wasn't right. I was itching for fame and looking at big goals. But God put the reigns on me. He didn't remove the passion for music or the desire to sing for and about Him, but He placed me in a cooling off period to collect my thoughts, learn about Him and His Will, work on my skills, and learn that dreaded and unnatural trait, patience.
A few years later, married and having moved to Oklahoma City, God began to open doors once again. I was given the opportunity to take some of the songs I'd written during the cooling off season and make my first solo CD, "Blind Man's View". I learned and incredible amount of how the studio works and met some vital people who helped me and continue to help me along the way. I was seeing stars again, but as the CD was completed I began to realize the stars were starting to fade. I realized I had a long way to go as an artist. Not only that, but I had gone through some rough times that God used to remind me that He chooses to use me, but can and will accomplish His plans without me if necessary. During this humbling time I continued to write and learn about grace. God taught me to be content where I am, with what I have, but be excellent with it and to not settle. Though I'm still learning, He started something new in me. A few years after "Blind Man's View" I believed God to be leading me to another project.
I contacted a local artist named Charlie Hall. I asked him if he'd be willing to listen to some songs and consider producing an album for me. Being an artist and worship leader himself, God was using him and he was staying busy. But He did lead me to another godly man who might be willing to take a listen, Kendall Combes. Kendall was one of Charlie's guitarists but he had also worked on projects with artists like Mercy Me, Jamie Smith, Radial Angel, etc. Kendall was willing to take a listen and decided to take a chance on me. After a few months of work and building a solid foundation for a producer/artist relationship, "Where You Are" was born.
After the CD was completed I was excited, but very cautious about moving forward without humility and God's guidance. He blessed me with not only a group of very talented musicians, but friends and accountability partners as well. We became a family. I struggled about trying to form a band name, but God revealed to me that though He provided this band, we would stay "Aaron Hansel". I believe this because with my name on this ministry, I can't hide behind a band name. This is me, who I am. Blemished and still being refined. But by God's grace and tender mercy, He uses me and the abilities He's provided to be a witness to others who think they can't be used because they aren't perfect. He's using me to let those who are struggling and have faced hard lessons and failures and have lost hope know they aren't alone.
From the road I'd been on, I finally figured out that this wasn't about fame for me. I have been given a chance to tell of God's grace through my own experiences. God doesn't just minister to others through my writing and confessions though. He ministers to me as well. As I write, I hear more of what He wants to say. What He tells me, He wants you to know too. That's why I write and sing.
22 years ago God planted 2 very important seeds in my life, music and faith. Those seeds are still being watered and nourished. One season they go through great growth and bear much fruit. Another season they lie parched in the ground begging for rain. No matter what season they're in though, because they were planted by God, they never die. He is the gardener who sustains those seeds in and out of season. Not because I'm worthy. But by grace.
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