Jon Bauer was born on March 1, 1977. He lives in Alberta, Canada with his wife Andrea and their two kids. Jon has been a worship leader for twenty years, performing in Canada, the U.S., Europe, and Asia. He has toured with such artists as Newsboys, Steven Curtis Chapman, and Francesca Battistelli. He has won 7 GMA Canada Covenant Awards and has had one Juno Award nomination. In addition, he has had 12 Canadian Christian radio hits. Jon’s 7th and latest studio album is THE LIGHT IN US (Crossway, 2016). The album was produced by Rusty Varenkamp, with whom Jon co-wrote all ten songs. In a press release, Jon states: “This album shares a healing journey I have been on the last couple of years as I have leaned on the faithfulness of God even when I have not felt Him near. In His time-not my own-He has brought complete healing and has used the trials of this life as a testament to His greatness. My prayer is that these songs would draw others who are walking through a valley to press in even closer to Jesus”.
Opening the album is ‘Your Love is Beautiful’, a terrific modern pop song that begins with these words of testimony: “You broke the chains that were secured around my heart/And tore down every wall/And it’s like gravity had pulled my world apart/But You would break my fall/I can see/The sun is rising on the horizon/From the sky/Down to the ocean/Love is in motion/We will shout/Your love is beautiful (2X)”. ‘Light in Us’ is the cheery pop title track. It speaks of God’s goodness: “Through all the doubt and the fears we’ve known/Your love is stronger and it makes us whole/We can feel it now, feel it now/Joy is in our hearts, it’s in our eyes/Hope is in our blood/It’s running wild/This fire can’t be hidden/It’s burning deep inside/Oh God, You are the light/The light in us”.
‘You Just Want My Heart’ is a lovely ballad of spiritual surrender: “I give You everything I am/I give You everything I’m not/You just want my heart (2X)/I give You all that’s left of me/I lay it down cause I believe/You just want my heart (2X)”. ‘Where the Sidewalk Ends’ is an adult contemporary ballad that reminds us to tend to the least of these: “There’s a man down on the corner/He can’t be more than my own age/He’s tired of sleeping in his cardboard box alone/And I don’t think he expects his luck to change.../There’s an orphan in Uganda/Collecting bottles on the streets/And all he really wants is a chance to go to school/So he can leave the slums for a better place to sleep.../This could be the only shot/We could be all they’ve got”.
Next up is ‘Say Something’, a light rock number about those times when God seems silent and afar: “Sometimes I feel all alone/I’m at the end of my rope/I’m trying to keep my head above the water.../Will You come and speak to me?/Lord, say something/Oh say something/I need to know that You are here with me”. ‘Come Alive’ is a soft country track of gratitude to God: “You paint the colors of the sky a different shade/Creating beauty in my life that doesn’t fade/Each day now full of wonder/And as I watch the pages turn and life unfolds/I feel the goodness of Your hand and all it holds/Your Spirit greatly guides me”.
‘Even If (No One Can Separate)’ contains this bridge of strong Christian testimony: “You have overcome the grave/You have broken every chain/Our only hope is in You/You alone have set us free/You alone are all we need/Our only hope is in You”. ‘Great is Thy Faithfulness’ is not a cover of the classic hymn. This modern worship song does though, also declare who God is and what He has done for us: “Your love is patient/Your love is kind/And Your love brought me/Yeah, it brought me to the light/Great is Thy faithfulness, oh my God/Your mercy is all that I see/Great is Thy faithfulness, oh my God/And all that You’ve given to me”.
‘You are my Everything’ is a well-written love song to Jesus Christ: “Forgiveness holds me to Your side/How I long to know You/Nothing else will satisfy/For You are my refuge.../Glorious Lord/You are my desire, my desire/King of my heart/You are my desire, my desire”. Last up is ‘Starts With Us’, a call to action for Christians: “Let’s come together/Light it up tonight/Cause if the world needs love/It’s got to start with us/Tear down the walls and break ‘em open wide/Cause if the world needs love/It’s got to start with us.../So paint your piece of the mosaic now/Let love make it beautiful/Sing your melody above the crowd/Let love make it beautiful (2X)”.
THE LIGHT IN US is a marvelous light pop album heavily influenced by modern worship and adult contemporary music. These ten songs will appeal to fans of artists such as: Jason Gray, Jeremy Camp, and Bebo Norman. This is an album that has daytime Christian radio written all over it. These songs help us declare our love to God and also remind us of His love for us. Jon’s vocals are quite pleasant and the instrumentation is skillful. Instrumentalists used were: Ben Phillips, Jacob Lowery, Mike Payne, Peter Mol, and Rusty Varenkamp. This record, which I’m rating 100%, glorifies God and God alone! He is depicted as being actively concerned about us and directly involved with transforming our lives if we let Him. For more info visit: www.jonbauermusic.com.