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MatthewWest

Faithbook MatthewWest

GRAMMY ® Award nominated singer/songwriter Matthew West catapulted onto the Christian music scene in 2003 with his debut single, “More,” the most played Christian AC song of 2003. The multi-Dove Award nominee has since released three critically-acclaimed recordings, Happy (2003), History (2005) and Something to Say (2008), while dominating radio as the most played Christian artist of 2003, 2008 and 2009, according to Radio & Records. Virtually all of West’s singles have charted in the Top 10, including the memorable hits “Only Grace,” “History,” “Next Thing You Know,” “You Are Everything” and the GRAMMY ® nominated “The Motions.” ”The Motions” was 2009’s most played song at Christian AC radio, and was No. 1 on Radio & Records’ Christian AC Monitored chart and the Billboard Christian chart for 14 weeks as well as the most downloaded Christian digital track 15 weeks running, according to SoundScan. Last year, West was asked to pen the theme song for VeggieTales’ latest Christmas DVD release, Saint Nicholas – A Story Of Joyful Giving. West recorded “Give This Christmas Away” with best-selling, award-winning artist Amy Grant, who performed the radio single alongside Matthew on Fox News programs “Huckabee” and “FOX & Friends.” Known as both a singer and songwriter, West has penned hits for artists such as Rascal Flatts, Billy Ray Cyrus, Diamond Rio and more. West's most recent album was inspired by the 10,000 letters he received, The Story of Your Life released October 5, 2010.

How Do You Imagine God?
God in America and USA WEEKEND Magazine are partnering to explore Americans' images of God.

How do you imagine God? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator A deep well of forgiveness, and an endless outpouring of love. Author of the universe and yet still involved in the smallest details of my life, past, present, and future. I imagine God to be compassionate and merciful.

My Beliefs

I believe ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I believe there are no accidents. Everything happens for a reason. I believe that I don’t always know the reason, but there is one God who does. I believe that He is the creator of sun, the moon, the stars. He made the earth and every living creature. I believe He loves the world so much that He sent his only son to die on a cross for my sins, and the sins of the world. I believe it is because of this sacrifice, that I can live a life of freedom from my imperfections, and look forward to an eternal home in Heaven.
My most powerful moment of belief was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator At the age of 13, I was a preacher’s kid who had had his fill of church. If I was ever watching television and came across a preacher on T.V., I was the first one to change the channel. But one day I was flipping channels in my home when I stumbled across a Billy Graham crusade. For some reason, I just couldn’t change the channel. Rev. Graham was talking about how there is a God that loves me, and wants to make his home inside my heart. I had heard this same thing many times before, but in that moment it seemed to become to real to me. And more importantly, this love that he was talking about, a love that would change my life was something that I wanted. My mom saw me fixated on the couch, and prayed with me. That was my most powerful moment of belief, and my first.
My greatest moment of doubt was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator The moment the doctor told me I would need surgery on my vocal chords. I felt like my career and dreams in music were slipping away, and part of me wondered if God was really with me. I just couldn’t understand why this was happening.
My spiritual life means... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator A new beginning every day.
The biggest misconception about my faith/belief system is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Well, I think many people associate the Christian faith as nothing but a set of rules that basically strip you of any fun you could have in life. Don’t do this, stop doing that… And while there is a very clear road map for living, God’s plan is not to take away our fun, but rather to show us what life to the fullest can be.
My spiritual role model is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I have two. My father and my mother. My dad has been a minister at the same church for thirty-five years, and both my parents have served there faithfully. They are the most giving, prayer filled, people I know. They have been genuine and authentic examples for me to follow in my own journey of faith.
The tenet/practice/teaching I appreciate most about my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I appreciate the promise that there is a plan for my life. That I don’t have to just wander around down here without purpose. ““For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.”” Jeremiah 29:11

My Faith History

As a child I believed ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I would get to Heaven because my dad was a minister. Because I had connections…
My spiritual journey has been ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator A process of my faith in becoming real to me, more than just a family association.
I was raised as ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator A Christian
Are your beliefs or practices different from your parents? If so, how and why? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator For the most part, my beliefs and practices are still the same as my parents. I do attend a Baptist church now, even though I was raised in an Assemblies of God church. But my parents never stressed the importance of denomination as much as they did the importance of a personal relationship with Christ.
If you have children, did becoming a parent change your relationship to faith? If so, how? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Yes, I have two little girls now. I have so much to be thankful for, and I am amazed by the beauty of God’s design. I don’t know how anyone can look at a little child and say there is no God.

How I Practice My Faith

Where and when do you practice your faith? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator My faith is a part of everything I do. It’s in the songs I write, and the concerts I perform. It’s in the church I attend, and my time with my family. I practice my faith in trying to spend time alone with God daily, reading my bible and keeping a journal.
Does your family practice more than one religion or faith? If so, how do you blend the traditions? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator If so, how do you blend the traditions?
How easy or difficult is it to live your faith? Why? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator It is anything but easy. The pursuit of a Godly life is never promised to be easy. I am human, and at times, painfully aware of my tendency to fall off track.
In my house, the thing that most represents my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I hope, when it’s all said and done, that the lives my children lead will be what most represents my faith. I hope that my marriage and my relationship with my wife does the same.
The song/book/film that most represents my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator All the songs I write represent my ongoing journey of faith. It’s like these songs really map out my journey, the good, bad, and the ugly. My ups and downs, my storms, and revelations.

Religion & the Public Square

What should be the role of religion in politics? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I feel that in the name of being politically correct, our country has removed certain essentials that our nation’s foundation was built upon. Without religion, our politics would be void of any moral compass, (which seems to be the case often.)
Should courses about religion be taught in public schools? Why or why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I do not feel that courses in support of any one religion should be taught. Private schools are in place to provide that. But I do believe the Pledge of Allegiance should be included in daily activities. I believe teams should be allowed to pray before games, and students should be free to express their faith on campus.
Should the Bible, Torah, Quran or other religious texts be taught as works of literature in public schools? Why or why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Yes, they are works of literature.
Is interfaith dialogue important? Why or why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Yes. I believe interfaith dialogue is important. I don’t believe hate and division will bring about change in our world. But I also believe that there is only one way to Heaven. I do not believe there are many religions who have the answer. There is one God, and one way to the truth.
Do you feel comfortable discussing your faith with others? Why/why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator It depends on the situation. Discussing your faith with someone who shares different beliefs can be difficult. But I really try to make sure the way I live my life every day is a good example of my faith before I even talk to someone about my faith. Otherwise, if my actions didn’t reflect my beliefs, I would feel even less comfortable, knowing the two didn’t line up. I don’t ever want to be seen as hypocritical.
Do you feel that you have a duty, because of your faith, to put your beliefs into action? What are some of those actions? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Yes, I believe I have a calling. I have given my life to God. I have exchanged my plans and dreams, for God’s plan and dreams He has for me. I could make any kind of music, but I feel called to make music about life that is filled with the hope I find in my faith in God.
Are religious beliefs compromised by engaging in politics? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I think they can be. It’s like anything else in our lives. If our actions contradict our beliefs, then our beliefs will be compromised. Sometimes I feel like there is so much corruption in politics, I’m not sure how to protect my beliefs from being compromised. But at the end of the day, all I can do is prayerfully pursue the right decisions when voting or engaging in politics in any way.
Has 9/11 had any impact on your thoughts about religion? Are you more/less interested in learning about other religions? Do you feel more/less comfortable expressing your religious beliefs? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator On 9/11 I saw a country that goes out of its way to remove God from politics and schools, cry out to Him in our hour of need. It only strengthened my belief that the world needs a savior.

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Published October 11, 2010

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