God-Breathed Songs with Andrew Ripp
From panic to peace, finding transformative music in his newfound purpose
When Andrew Ripp, singer and songwriter, talked with Family Life Radio, he described a time when he left his pursuit of music. He sold his guitar. He had been on the road doing music for himself, “hitting music hard,” as he put it, and he began to experience frightening panic attacks. That’s when he felt called to stop music and wait for a time. Out of obedience to the Lord, he left his label manager and his publisher.
For the first time there was nothing on his schedule. One morning Andrew’s wife noticed he was looking at his calendar on his phone. She wisely commented,
“Just because there is nothing on your schedule doesn’t mean it’s not full.”
That immediately made sense to Andrew. He realized now he could fill his empty schedule with things he previously didn’t have time for. He also encouraged others to:
- Take time to be with the Lord.
- Walk the dog.
- Notice the flowers.
- Work out, if that is important to you.
- If you have lost your smile, look for it down the street as you walk. Take your time and you will find it.
These activities are very important to Andrew. He explained,
“Put the things on your calendar that are going to bring you closer to the person you want to become.”
“Do you want to be more like Jesus? Then spend time with Him.”
He began to think of other things he wanted to fill his schedule with, like listening to music and allowing it to touch his heart, rather than listening out of desperation for inspiration for his next song.
One day while he was listening, a line from a song hit home with him: “You’re not alone. You’re going to be okay.” He had not realized how forgotten he felt at the time and that song encouraged him. He sensed the Lord telling him that this is a gift He gave Andrew, the ability to make weapons for people. Songs are tools; they are weapons.
“The song ‘Fill My Cup’ is a sword,” Andrew explained. “I make weapons and pass them out to people in hopes that they’ll use them for good.”
Being outside fills Andrew’s cup. It frees his mind. If he is anxious, he can walk outside barefoot in the grass and being amid the beauty of God’s creation soothes him. The Lord created you, but also created many incredible places – not just mountain-top places that are beautiful landscapes, but also ordinary places.
“I walk around my neighborhood with my dog, feeling a breeze,” Andrew said. “There’s just something about it that frees me from my mind. I just love being outside.”
God’s creation reflects His glory and power. Its magnificence points you to Him as Creator. Truly, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge” (Psalm 19:1 NIV). They reveal the knowledge of God.
Often, it is when Andrew is outside that he receives inspiration for a song. This happens when he is not trying to write.
One morning he was sitting on his front porch having a quiet time journaling. He looked over to his left and noticed a rose vine. He’d owned his home for 10 years but had never noticed the rose vine the way he did on that particular morning. He knew it was one of those moments when it wasn’t him trying to get a song. He was not even thinking about music. But the nature of a beautiful flower began to speak to him by way of his journaling and the Lord gave him the words to the song “Roses.” He doesn’t even think he had anything to do with the words.
The world doesn’t need just more songs. But what it needs is God-breathed songs.
“The world needs songs that are divine,” Andrew explained, “the ones that are for everyone, not just for me to record a song that’s successful.”
In order to arrive at those divinely inspired songs, it takes spending time with the Lord. Many people never figure out who they are because they never give themselves time to sit and realize who they are. “They come out with guns blazing all the time,” Andrew described. “They must get to the next thing. They are looking for success at each turn as they kick down doors, so to speak. As you learn to wait on God, you must give your younger version of yourself some grace.”
Andrew became more intentional the more he gave himself space to realize not just who he is, but whose he is.
As he got older, Andrew began to recognize his divine call. It took time.
“Quiet time alone,” Andrew explained, “Sitting with God even when there is no praying, singing or reading, just spending intentional time – that brings me closer to who He made me to be.”
Giving up his own attempts at music, getting himself out of the way, brought Andrew to a rewarding dependance on God, who inspires his writing with gratefulness and an authentic love for people who desperately need His hope.
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