Fearless BND’s Christy Johnson: ‘Love More and Fear Less’ (Part 2)

John FarrellBy John Farrell17 Minutes

John Farrell: What is a distinguishing theme of your album, Fear Not, that sets it apart from your others?

Christy Johnson: We always want people to experience this music. We want people to find healing, find breakthrough, and encounter His presence at the end of the day. So, that theme’s going to stay no matter what kind of styles change.

I think the styles have changed. That’s the biggest thing you’re going to hear is some people going, “You used to be rock and roll. What happened?” You got these old fans, and this music has a new sound. It has a different sound. It doesn’t mean we don’t want to write that kind of music. In fact, my husband and I have chatted a little bit about, “What if we kind of did a little bit of that style in another album and we kind of do some stuff that the old fans were really loving?”

We want to do that style too, but I think the biggest differentiating factor you’re hearing is the style has changed, but I think it’s just because what God is doing. It’s a sound of the revival that’s happening within the community we are in. People are getting saved. There’s been new life. People are being set free and with that you’re just getting the sound that’s coming. We’re fine having certain people that were attached to it.

It was me and two other singers. We were part of this, and it’s more of a band feel. This is not that feel. This is a worship movement of people that can come in and sing and it’s fluid. If you have the heart to serve your local church, which in our case is Fearless LA, you have the heart and the skill set to come in and be part of what God is doing in LA.

I think that’s a little bit of the difference that you would know about the past. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just more of a band feel and now this is more of a worship movement, if that makes sense.

JF: It sounds like, in the future, you’d be interested in revisiting your sound.

Christy: Yeah. We would throw in the record Love Riot in our car lately. We love that music. It’s not that we hated it. It was just something came different from what God was doing here. But when you look at Latin music, we were like, “This is awesome.” There’s something that pulls a different side out of you when you worship. The heavy guitars and the sense and the music that we’re writing then.

I think that that’s great now and I think we could totally do another record that would mirror that moment and that time. We’re definitely talking about that. We don’t want to get the cart ahead of the horse. We’re just releasing this album. Let that saturate for a little bit, but then if that’s something that people are loving and really connecting with in worship and there’s not much of that out there, I would say, I think that that would be a cool thing to do.

To Fear or Not To Fear

JF: What song best sums up the spirit of the Fear Not album?

Christy: “Fear Not” is a song that’s on the album, and that would definitely sum up this album. I pulled it from a lot of different Psalms, a lot of scriptures that had to do with fear. I just Googled it to be honest.  “Where are all the fear scriptures?”

You’ll hear little nuances of different scriptures in there. Psalm 91, a little bit in the bridge. I think it was kind of a weird thing how the song even came about.

My husband writes a lot of the music behind some of these songs. He was on a walk in the arts district, and he had a little tune in his head. He did a voice memo and sent it to me.

I have three kids and I’m just listening to it, but I moved on because all my kids are screaming at the time and I was like, “Well, that’s a cool melody.” And I moved on. Jeremy was like, “Did you listen?” I go, “Yeah, it was great.” He goes, “No, no, no. I think there’s something to it. Could you write some words?”

I was at the house all by myself with all three kids and I was like, “I’m going to figure this out. We’re going to write some words.” So, I wrote some words. We just had the chorus, “Fear not You’re with me. I’m standing on Your truth. Fear not You’ve called me. I’m reckless in pursuit. You’re my light, my song in whom shall I fear. Though I walk through fire. Your presence is here.” We had it.

We had a conference called “Fear Not” coming up. We had a band rehearsal before this conference coming up. We were in the band rehearsal – we didn’t even plan on practicing the song; it wasn’t done yet – and Jeremy was there and he goes, “Honey, just pull the song out. Why don’t we just try it?”

We tried it in band practice. It felt like there was really something to it and I was like, “This is sounding cool, but there’s only a chorus.” We got to conference. It was about third session in and there was a band practice right before the session. Jeremy goes, “Hey, I want you guys to play the song at the session.” It’s like five minutes before it starts. The band freaks out like, “We’re not ready for it.” Jeremy was like, “No, no, we need to do the song.” And they did the song; it blew up.

The Holy Spirit was so thick like the power of God was in the room. It was just a moment that you could remember from the whole conference. It was like the conference song. It became the conference song from that point on. Kids were chanting it, young people, all ages in the room shouting, “Fear not you’re with me. I’m standing on Your truth.”

That song became that conference song where there was a moment attached to the song for people and encounter time. Then we took the song and go, “Okay, we need to write more to it now. This is cool, but let’s say more.” So, Jeremy took out the car one night, he grabbed his guitar and started playing the bridge and came up with that melody ,“If every star in the sky has a name.”

I wrote words to it, and we wrote the verses and it became this whole song. Then before you knew it, every time we play it, it’s just like the Holy Spirit comes and the people are lost in worship. It’s such a statement to make. I think it’s so powerful to make a “Fear Not” statement –  “You’re with me” – because you have to remind yourself there are so many lies that you’ve come into agreement with that you don’t even realize through the whole week. Then there’s a moment where you can come together and say, “Fear not, You’re with me, I’m standing on Your truth.” And fear just begins to be crushed in your life when you begin to declare those words.

I think that’s a big song for our church.

Healing Through Song and Prayer

There’s a song called “At Your Name” that’s probably my favorite now. It’s going to sound biased and it’s not because I wrote it, but there’s a moment that’s attached to this for me and a story. Six months ago, my father had a cardiac arrest and fell on the ground. He literally died for about a minute and ended up dying six more times in the process of them bringing him to the hospital.

I was in LA, my dad’s in NorCal. He’s a pastor of a large church. I’m a pastor’s kid, been raised in church. He’s pastoring there at The House Modesto. My mom calls me and says, “He’s not breathing. I don’t know if he’s going to make it.”

He gets rushed to the hospital and basically every life support machine was on my father. He wasn’t alive. They were keeping him alive through life support machines. He was in a medically induced coma. They basically said, “You need to fly here from LA as soon as you can to say your goodbyes to him.”

I was a mess. I couldn’t believe it. It was out of nowhere. I went into the hospital room, and I saw my dad on all these life support machines. I came up to him and I remember the song that I’d written where the bridge says, “Healing’s coming now. Sickness has to bow at your name. Fear is losing ground. Freedom’s song is breaking out at your name.” I leaned over and put my hands on him and began to sing that in his ear. I just sang it over and over, “Healing’s coming now.”

As I did it, I saw some nurses fidgeting around. They started moving and going to some of the monitors. I said, “What are you guys doing?” They go, “Well, his blood pressure is doing a little better so we’re dropping some of the medications.”

From that moment, I knew that God was healing him. I kept singing and singing and I kept worshiping. This is the power of worship in general. I just prayer for healing over him and I kept singing that song. A week later they took the breathing tube out of my dad.

They’re not Christians. They said, “This is a miracle that your dad’s alive. He should be brain dead. He should have no kidney function. His heart should not even be beating on its own, but somehow he is alive and it must be something that you’re doing.” I said, “I told you it’s because we serve a God that is a healing God.” So, this song has so much significance for me because my dad shouldn’t be alive today, but I’m celebrating the fact that he is.

JF: Wow! You gave me chills. I’m sorry to hear that happened to your dad, but God is good.

Christy: Yeah. God is so good. My dad wrote a book – which is so funny – in the hospital while they said he was not going to make it. He had a book that was in a publisher’s hand called, “Why Am I Not Healed?” That’s a question a lot of people ask is, “Why I’m not healed?”

He said, “I’m going to write a book about this.” I said, “You know what? God’s going to heal him, and he’s got another chapter to write in this book.” So, we called the publisher and said, “Stop publishing it.”

He came to life; he got better; he wrote another chapter at the end of the book and now this book is out with this new chapter at the end. It’s pretty crazy. It’s called, Why Am I Not Healed?

It talks about the process that people go through when they aren’t healed, but then he was healed. It’s just a pretty cool message that he’s got in this book. God had a plan in it all and it’s just a testament of the power of the Word and what we declare. That’s what this is. It’s a whole record of things that we can declare. It’s truth. It’s the Word of God. It’s words of life, words of healing, words of breakthrough for you and your family and friends.

This is what you need to speak over everything that you’re experiencing. Extreme fear, extreme depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, discouragement, hopelessness. This is what’s going to get us through. It’s worshiping. It’s using our weapon, picking it up, and giving us authority over some of these things that we feel like are going to kill us. We’re going to make it through. We want this to be a tool that if people get this in their hand, they go, “Gosh, I made it through this in my life because I was able to sing some of these words.”

For more information on Fearless BND, learn more at fearlessla.com

Featured Image Credit: Fear Not (Spoken Word)