Bible Belt Blues - 'God's Not Through With You'
Review by Sylvie Marie & Staff
September is Suicide Prevention Month. National Suicide Prevention Week is an annual week-long campaign (Sept. 6th- Sept. 12th, 2020) in the United States to inform and engage health professionals and the general public about suicide prevention and the warning signs of suicide. With an average of 123 suicides each day in this country, suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in America — second leading for ages 25-34, and third leading for ages 15-24. There are many great resources for Suicide Prevention including that National Suicide Prevention Life Line at 1-800-273-8255.
There is also a resource that Bible Belt Blues wants to share with the world and that resource is Jesus. Both Paula and Harold have experienced loss through suicide in their immediate families and through their song, "God's Not Through With You" (from the album "I'm Not Ashamed to Be a Christian), the duo offers a strong message of hope that will never fail you.
Harold Vega Vondenstein shows a softer side of his talent in "God's Not Through With You." If you are familiar with Harold's guitar playing and singing, then you know that he usually takes a raw approach filled with a fair amount of grittiness. In this song, Harold is very tender. His reverberating guitar almost has an early Beatle-esque sound. It's highly melodic, sweet, and flowing. Harold enters on the first verse gently singing:
"In your deepest darkest hours When all hope is slipping through Just remember God is in control And He's not through with you."
Word painting emerges throughout Harold's performance. As he sings, "the best is yet to come", the guitar opens up a bit and sounds stronger. Then when Harold sings, "God's not through with you, He loves you", there is a musical pause to make sure the listener has space to process the message. The same pause occurs on the lyrics, "Jesus sees your pain. He knows what you're going through." And when he sings about light, the guitar moves into bright strumming. Harold gives a heart-warming performance. His tender approach creates a safe place for the listener's ears and heart. In addition, the warm melody brilliantly gets stuck in your head, especially on the words "God's not through with you." It becomes a mindful mantra.
Paula Vega Vondenstein is the lyricist, producer, and visionary voice of Bible Belt Blues. In "God's Not Through With You", Paula takes a step back from the group's bold repentance platform and delivers one of the most beautiful messages offered directly to someone who is contemplating suicide. It is clear from this song that Paula Vega Vondenstein is a versatile lyricist who receives God's perfect message. A Christian lyricist "to watch" Paula's words are resonating with listeners worldwide. Suicide and severe depression are difficult to talk about, and very few people know how to talk about God to someone who is depressed. Paula deserves tremendous kudos for writing a song that is 100% free of judgment and fear. Bravo. Her lyrics are like a soft thread that, in the end, becomes a strong rope to hold on to. Paula has turned something very painful into something soft and strong, at the same time, because Jesus is both soft and strong and He can transform any rope into a new lifeline.
Paula begins with understanding and acknowledging that the listener is in a dark place and hope is fading. She hears that the person is through with witih their life, and instead of lecturing and telling them to change or do something, she says, "God's not through with you." This is poignant and powerful. What if, even when we are done with ourselves, we give God a chance to take control of our lives? Paula tells the listener God is not finished. "He loves you." And from there, light shines on the song with a vision of a brighter future where God's plans for you are revealed. Paula uses a beautiful metaphor - the rainbow after the rain. In the end, this soft thread becomes the hand of Jesus that reaches out, and Paula writes, "Just grab on tight. Grab on tight. Grab on tight." Imagine if you were drowning and suddenly you realized that there was a loving hand reaching out to you and all you had to do was hold on tight, nothing else. You don't have to bring yourself to shore. All you have to do is hold on. The loving lifeline is Jesus, who will bring you back to the shore, dry you off, give you warm clothes, nurture you, let you rest in the sun, get you back on your feet, and show you a better place.
The lyrics to "God's Not Through With You" are beautiful and compassionate. Set to Harold's sweet and tender performance, this song shows how Jesus can save a life, and how a song can show you the way. "Jesus sees your pain He knows what you're going through Jesus is the Light And He's reaching out His hand to you Just grab on tight Grab on tight Grab on tight"
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For more information on Bible Belt Blues, please visit their website.
About Bible Belt Blues
Harold and Paula Vega Vondenstein are Bible Belt Blues, an award winning husband and wife music ministry duo from Gulfport, Mississippi. Their music is reminiscent of early Mississippi Bentonia blues with a focus on full-fledged repentance and church revival songs. In 2019, Bible Belt Blues released two Christian albums, "I’m Not Ashamed to Be a Christian" and "My God, My God," and won the coveted Josie Music Award for Gospel/ Christian Duo. 2020 looks promising to Bible Belt Blues with twenty five of their songs having already received radio airplay, extensive media coverage (song reviews, articles, and interview), and numerous nominations and awards including the 2020 Josie Music Awards Finalist Nomination for Duo of the Year, 2020 Finalist Award for InterContinental Music Awards for Best of Gospel/ Contemporary Christian- America, 2020 Gulf Coast Gospel Music Awards Song of the Year Nomination, Finalist Award for the Christian Songwriting Contest, and Finalist Award for Song of the Year Songwriting Competition. Bible Belt Blues is part of a recently released Christian album with various artists, "Consecration Revival Vol. 1" by Bongo Boy Records which was submitted for consideration for this year's GRAMMY's®. Bible Belt Blues recently submitted two of their songs, "Can't Take It With You" and "Can't Take Away My Joy" for consideration for the 2021 Blues Music Awards for Contemporary Blues Song of the Year. Bible Belt Blues' songs have charted numerous times on the Roots Music Report and on WNIR Radio's Monthly Top 10 Chart since January of 2020. They were the inspiration behind the creation of WNIR Radio's new Christian Program, "Spirit & Soul." Bible Belt Blues is currently working on their 3rd album.