Monday, June 11, 2012


Steve Green was born on August 1, 1956 in Portland, Oregon to missionary parents.  He spent a lot of his early life in Argentina.  Early on in his musical career he sang with the group Truth.  After this he sang backup for the Bill Gaither Trio.  In 1980 the Gaither Vocal Band formed.  Steve sang tenor with them for two albums.  Following this, he was a founding member of the Christian rock band White Heart.  After a short stint with them he released his first solo album which was self-titled in 1984.  It was decidedly more inspirational in nature musically.  I remember around that time going to our local Christian bookstore with my Dad.  The goal was to buy me a Christian cassette that was contemporary in sound, but did not have a rock beat (which was thought to be Satanic), and where you could hear the lyrics plainly.  Believe it or not, David Meece and Michael W. Smith were considered too heavy musically!  So, we settled on Steve Green.  He passed the test!  Over the years Green has been involved with organizations such as the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Focus on the Family.  My two kids have enjoyed his two HIDE 'EM IN YOUR HEART children's projects from the early '90's.  I highly recommend them!  Steve's latest project is PEOPLE NEED THE LORD-NUMBER ONES (2012, Sparrow Records).

The album begins with Steve's very mellow signature song, 'People Need the Lord'.  It was written by Greg Nelson and Phil McHugh, and is also the oldest song on this collection, having been released in 1984.  The song reminds us as Christians to be observant when it comes to the spiritual needs of others: "Every day they pass me by/I can see it in their eyes/Empty people filled with care/Headed who knows where/On they go through private pain/Living fear to fear/Laughter hides their silent cries/Only Jesus hears/People need the Lord."  'We Trust in the Name of the Lord our God' is an upbeat, joyful song written by Steven Curtis Chapman.  It is one of four songs on this collection from 1994's WHERE MERCY BEGINS.  Ephesians 2:8 says: "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God."  The song's lyrics draw from this verse: "Some trust in the work they do/We trust in the name of the Lord our God/'Cause by His grace all the work is through/We trust in the name of the Lord our God."  'That's Where His Mercy Begins' continues with the theme of the goodness of the Lord: "And He wasn't surprised at where I had been/He was waiting for me at the end of my sin/And the heaven I found in the hell I was in,/That's where His mercy, That's where His mercy begins."  The wedding favourite 'Household of Faith' written by John Rosasco and Brent Lamb is next.  It is a duet between Steve and wife Marijean that speaks of the good intentions a Christian man and woman have at the start of their marriage: "Here we are at the start committing to each other/By His Word and from our hearts/We will be a family in a house that will be a home/And with faith we'll build it strong."

'Teach me to Love' is from 1994's compilation album PROMISE KEEPERS-A LIFE THAT SHOWS.  The song features another former Gaither Vocal Band member Larnelle Harris and is spot on vocally!  It is a song of genuine repentance: "There's no power but the power of the cross/That can melt my hardened heart/And show me all the pride and arrogance/That tear our souls apart/For injustice that you suffer/And for our nation's shameful sin/I humbly ask for your forgiveness/We need to learn to love again."  'Love One Another' was written by Jon Mohr and Randall Dennis.  It speaks of the kind of love non-Christians should see displayed by us: "Love is always patient, love is always kind and always gives itself away/Love is there to serve, it doesn't seem to mind, never has a harsh word to say/Slow in passing judgment, quick to forgive/It gives its life that the world may live."  Nice, soft touches of electric guitar and children's voices are used.  James 1:17 reads: "Every good and perfect gift is from above coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."  'Glory to You' a contemporary pop number for the time (1994) echoes the sentiments of that Bible verse: "How do I express/My love and gratitude?/For all I am and ever will be/All depends on You/Where in the world would I be/Had You not reached out to me?/All the good I have in life/Can all be traced to You."  'Sing Children Sing' is a nice, warm song of praise: "Jesus, loving Savior/Constant companion/Creator, yet our brother/We lift holy hands and applaud/For we who were paupers are now sons and daughters of God/Sing, children sing/Let your voices ring/Sing, children sing/A joyous refrain like the sound of a sweet summer rain."

Those who appreciate Petra's song 'Creed' and Rich Mullins' song by the same name will value 'We Believe' written by Nathan Digesare and Dan Scott.  This song really shows Green's vocal strength and finds him certain and sure in his faith: "So if the mountains are cast down into the plains/When kingdoms all crumble, this one remains/Our faith is not subject to seasons of man/With our fathers we proclaim/We believe our Lord will come as he said/The land and the sea will give up their dead/His children will reign with Him as their head/We believe."  'Find us Faithful' from 1988 has always been one of my Steve Green favourites.  It draws from Hebrews 12:1-3 and is an anthem that exhorts us: "Surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses/Let us run the race not only for the prize/But as those who've gone before us/Let us leave to those behind us/The heritage of faithfulness/Passed on through godly lives/Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful."  'Unto Me' was written by Twila Paris in 1998, making it the newest song on this collection.  The song has great background vocals and boils true religion down to the following in a peppy chorus: "Go and find your neighbor/Find a friend in need/Go and find a widow/There's a hungry child to feed/When you help the helpless, that is true Christianity/Whatever you've done to the least of these, you have done it unto me."  'Great is the Lord God' uses horns to good effect and has a happy sound to it  It exalts the Lord: "He has found me in my misery/He has freed me from my shame/He has saved me from self-tyranny/Holy is His name."

'He who Began a Good Work in You' is a delicate song of promise based on Philippians 1:3-6 and benefits from a pretty female guest vocal: "He who began a good work in you (2X)/Will be faithful to complete it/He'll be faithful to complete it/He who started the work/Will be faithful to complete it in you."  'The Mission' is another great spiritual anthem.  The chorus reminds believers in Christ of what one of our key priorities should be: "To love the Lord our God/Is the heartbeat of our mission/The spring from which our service overflows/Across the street/Or around the world/The mission's still the same/Proclaim and live the Truth/In Jesus' name."  Exodus 20:4-6 makes it clear that our God is a jealous God.  'God and God Alone', another Green favourite of mine from the 1980's, was written by Phil McHugh and is a song of praise born out of love, not fear: "God and God alone/Is fit to take the universe's throne/Let everything that lives/Reserve its truest praise/For God and God alone/God and God alone/Will be the joy of our eternal home/He will be our one desire/Our hearts will never tire/Of God and God alone." 

Steve shares the following on his website: "Today the gospel is more precious to me than ever.  I realize that God's grip on me far surpasses my ability to hold on to Him...In the end it will be clear that He alone is the hero of not only my story, but of all our stories."

I recommend PEOPLE NEED THE LORD-NUMBER ONES to fans of great inspirational music and light adult pop music.  I also recommend it to those who wonder where all the real singers are these days.  I'm rating it 92%.  For more info visit: