AlongTheWay

Standing on Holy Ground - Geron Davis’ Journey AlongTheWay 23

September 09, 2019 John Matarazzo / Geron Davis Season 1 Episode 23
AlongTheWay
Standing on Holy Ground - Geron Davis’ Journey AlongTheWay 23
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AlongTheWay
Standing on Holy Ground - Geron Davis’ Journey AlongTheWay 23
Sep 09, 2019 Season 1 Episode 23
John Matarazzo / Geron Davis

Geron Davis wrote the song “Holy Ground” when he was 19 years old and it went on to be recorded by Barbra Streisand. He discusses his musical adventure with God and the lessons learned along the way.

His AlongTheWay moments include 

  • Musically gifted - Playing by Ear
  • Signed to Music Contract in Nashville
  • Barbra Streisand records Holy Ground
  • Don’t Fret, Don’t Sweat, Don’t Forget
  • Choir Practice Special

Books Mentioned

“No Wonder They Call Him Savior” - Max Lucado

“6 Hours One Friday” - Max Lucado

“God Chasers” - Tommy Tenney

Geron's Links

Geron Davis

Geron Davis Facebook

Recorded at Christ Church in Nashville

https://www.christchurchnashville.org/

AlongTheWay Links

Watch episodes of RealLife

Email Me

More episodes and Social links for AlongTheWay

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/AlongTheWay)

Show Notes Transcript

Geron Davis wrote the song “Holy Ground” when he was 19 years old and it went on to be recorded by Barbra Streisand. He discusses his musical adventure with God and the lessons learned along the way.

His AlongTheWay moments include 

  • Musically gifted - Playing by Ear
  • Signed to Music Contract in Nashville
  • Barbra Streisand records Holy Ground
  • Don’t Fret, Don’t Sweat, Don’t Forget
  • Choir Practice Special

Books Mentioned

“No Wonder They Call Him Savior” - Max Lucado

“6 Hours One Friday” - Max Lucado

“God Chasers” - Tommy Tenney

Geron's Links

Geron Davis

Geron Davis Facebook

Recorded at Christ Church in Nashville

https://www.christchurchnashville.org/

AlongTheWay Links

Watch episodes of RealLife

Email Me

More episodes and Social links for AlongTheWay

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/AlongTheWay)

Geron Davis :

I stuck a blank cassette in and press play and record and then about 20 to 25 minutes, I wrote a song, ran to FedEx stuck it in the envelope, sent it to Nashville, then I got to thinking about it though, I can make this song better this stupid than that spend more time on it than that. So I called Linda Hill you're my friend here and said hey till true not to record the song. I think I can make it better. I like the idea but I think I can make it better. So she said, Okay, I'll tell him. So about three weeks later, she goes, Oh, by the way, truth love the song. They recorded it. You know, I'm a young writer kid. And I had been so intent on getting that song to them that I made one copy, stuck all my copies in that envelope, send it to Nashville. And three weeks later, she says that I couldn't even remember how the song land. So no, no lie out, waited for truth record, come out and went down to living band bookstore in Irving, Texas and bought the record and took it home so I can remember what's funny is it wound up being a chart song or radio some form it goes like this gentle holding on to me and guiding me so carefully. Know the lead me down through the I will have

Unknown Speaker :

to

John Matarazzo :

welcome to along the way. I'm John Matarazzo. Your host and fellow traveler. Thank you for joining me along my way is I try to become more like Jesus every day. I love talking with fascinating people and learning how God has met them along their way. Through my work as a television producer. God has connected me with some incredibly gifted people who are making a huge impact for his kingdom. When I read the Bible, I really appreciate the book of Psalms. I think about it as King David's journal filled with prayers and songs. When we know the stories behind the songs, they become even more powerful. And I know that I appreciate those words even more. In this episode of along the way, my journey connects me with gospel worship legend Jaron Davis. He has written many amazing gospel songs, including one of my favorites, holy ground. I've gotten to know Jaron and his family group, kindred souls from their many visits to Cornerstone television network, and we immediately hit it off. When I was in Nashville, Jaron and I connected at Christ Church to record this conversation. The stories behind his songs will bless you. They have already been a big encouragement to me. I'll get to the interview in just a moment. But I want to let you know that you can hear all of my episodes, even the ones that you've missed by visiting along the way, dot media, or subscribing wherever you get your podcasts. I'm also on Facebook and Instagram, so you can follow me there. And you can keep in touch by emailing me at John along the way at gmail. com. My social links and web address are in the show notes. I'd love to hear from you. And now here's my along the way conversation and the stories behind the songs with Jaron Davis. Jaron Davis, thank you so much for being on along the way. It's a pleasure to have you on my podcast.

Geron Davis :

JOHN, it is a joy to be anywhere in the world with you. We've been friends for a number of years. Yeah, I am always happy to get to hang with you. Because we were talking earlier about how it felt like the first time we met from I mean, not date one minute one, right? We just clicked and we were we had been brothers all our lives. And we've just had so many great great times with you guys at cornerstone. And when you call and told me what you were doing and coming to Nashville, I was like absolutely, absolutely anything to get to see and hang out.

John Matarazzo :

Yeah. Yeah. So I think the first time that we met you guys came to you in the Kindred souls, which is made up of your wife, Becky, your sister Allison and your brother in law. Shelton. Right. You guys came to do music for a couple of days for a telethon that we were doing right? And so you weren't just in and out. And you got to actually spend some time with us. And so, and we filmed more, we did the telethon at night, right. And then we filmed some other shows during the day. So we were together like ours, they kept you pretty busy.

Geron Davis :

It was fun. It was, but we got a chance to because sometimes as telethons, you go in that show up right at time, you're doing your thing, we're doing our thing. When it's over, everybody's exhausted. So we all go collapse in our respective places. But we got to actually spend time together and go to lunch and hang out and shoot this show. And, and that we were taping for future. Yeah, I think so we got to spend a lot of time and every time we came up there, we found time to hang out and laugh and, and try to find something to do outside of

John Matarazzo :

the studio. Right, which we always did. Great. Yeah, that was fun. Yeah. And one of the things that I was super excited about was okay, I, you know, when I hear you guys practice, and then perform on the telethon for the music that night, but when I found out that you are the guy that wrote the song holy ground, I just about fell over, because I'm like, wow, that song has really meant a lot in my life, at least the chorus part, cuz that's what always has stuck, right? I think that's what we did in my church, right? I don't remember the verses as much. But when I heard that, I was like, Oh, my gosh, this is the guy that wrote a song that has meant a lot in my life. And he's my friend. I didn't even know that yet. So I'd like to hear about how God has brought you on this musical journey, where music is a big part of your life. It's not the only thing in your life, but it's a major part of your life.

Geron Davis :

Yeah, it definitely is the center Lang Yeah, of what I do. I am a pastor's kid, born into a pastor's home. I'm the oldest of four. I thank the Lord for that. Because I believe if God let you be born first he intended for you to be the boss. And so I threw everything I had into developing that boss ministry over my three younger siblings. But you know, my dad's ministry was building churches, and he would go to a little church, build it up to, you know, 150 200 people, smaller community, and it was considered a big church in that area. He'd get somebody he knew and trusted and to end to be the pastor, he go to another place another look, that was my life growing up. So which meant that when your dad and mom are the pastors of a small church, and you're the oldest of the kids, that meant you all did everything, right. I mean, we were involved in, you know, so I started playing when I was five years old, went to piano lessons in first grade this back when they would let you start first grade at five. And I started piano lessons. But I had a great ear. And I would go home. And I was listening to albums by you know, the popular gospel people back when I was a kid were, you know, the Rambo's and the happy Goodman family and those kind of people. And so I would listen to those records. And I would go to the piano and pick up the song, but when I would go back to my lesson, I didn't know my less. I hadn't practiced it, but I would tell the teacher, I forgot hat goes, she would sit down and play it. Okay. Then I would sit down and play exactly what she played. Oh, wow. And she was like, Oh, good job. So I had a really great year. Yeah, yeah. But it was a little false sense of security. After about three weeks, she kind of caught on to what I was doing, okay. And so one day, she sat down and you know, same routine, I can't remember how it goes. She sits down, and she plays a different song. Then the one on the and I said that I'm played exactly what she just played. So I was busted. And so she went to my parents and, and told him, she said, you know, he's five. He's still a little immature. He's got a great ear, but you're wasting your money. And you know, we're wasting the time. Right? We'll take him out. And when he mature some them, bring them back and we'll we'll get him going. going again and I'm and never matured. She given me enough. Yeah, to start picking out songs. I know how to make chords and stuff. And I would practice for hours a day. And I just still never make tour but but my wife has committed in the interest of all teachers that as soon as that Duma tour, she's taken me back, so I'll get it. But I I grew up playing and singing in church. I think I played for church. The first time when I was about eight. Oh, wow. I played in church on a Wednesday night.

John Matarazzo :

Do you remember what you played?

Geron Davis :

I don't, I don't I just know my dad told me ahead of time what we're going to play and my dad was a great singer played guitar. My mom was a great singer played piano. Me and all my siblings are sing and play instruments. We all married people who play our kids play. My son is a is a drummer. My daughter is a member of the Christ church choir. She's a phenomenal singer to session. We're

John Matarazzo :

recording this interview right now.

Geron Davis :

Yeah. And you know, this, this comes into the picture. In my journey of when I started writing songs as a teenager, I was living about to a little over two hours from here, okay. My dad was passed during in Savannah, Tennessee, and pastor heartbreak who grew this church and was pastor here like 60 years. He he was friends of ours, and we would go to these big camp meetings. And as a teenager, I would play for him. I would play piano for the camp, maybe he would lead the singing. He's a great singer. So we became friends, his family and, and and our family. My dad preached here, we became close. And then land gardener started the Christchurch fire and Joe, his wife, who's the redhead on the Gaither videos, that was okay, the singer in the Downing's years ago. You know, they were my friends, and I would come here and play. Sometimes for special events. Landy would have me play the Oregon. This is when I'm a teenager. And so I started a group, we started traveling and seeing a me and my brother and some guys in the church, and I started writing some songs, and some of them weren't that great, but, you know, I was 15 and 16 years old, right?

John Matarazzo :

somewhere.

Geron Davis :

Yeah. And, but they were they were okay. I mean, they weren't horrible. My dad bought us a man and trailer, we traveled and sang. And we came to Nashville and recorded at the Oakridge boys studio, our first record, had several songs on there that I had written and, and it just encouraged me, you know, everybody in my little church would say, Oh, that's a great song, you know, and it just squirted a ladder fluid on my fire to keep doing what God called me to do. But I didn't really think I would be a songwriter. Okay, because I wanted to be either a doctor or a dentist, I wanted to go and one summer I worked in a dental lab, I was I was just like, interested in because I love people. And I like I've always had people skills. And so with, with

John Matarazzo :

being a dentist, you'd have a captive audience, they

Geron Davis :

are doctors, either, you know, you know, they're in there, and they need to talk, but I just thought that'd be a good career. I loved music, but I always saw it as like, sort of a sad thing. But then as I got into my teams, and started seeing Andre crouch, and Dallas home, and Reba, okay, and, you know, some of the some of the artists, the archers and and second chapter of Acts, and some of these bands, I was like, oh, wow, I could do this. You know, I didn't want to be a quartet. Okay, I didn't, you know, but I started liking the other was just sort of a hobby, the and and what I did in church, it was like part of my identity, but not what I did. You know, it was like, it's just something I'm born to do. But then I got to pick me something else to do. And my dad's mindset was, you need to have a career. Sure, no, pick a career, get to a trade, you know that i mean that, you know, kids whose parents were in the depression, that's the way they were taught. Yeah, you know, you have three or four options to fall back on. So right. By the time I got to my senior year in high school, we had made a record. We were traveling around and singing me and my buddies and, and I was starting to realize that this is what I'm supposed to do. And my dad, we built a new church in the little town of Savannah. My dad about six weeks out asked me to write a song for the first Sunday service. So I told data would and then I forgot about it, because I had important stuff going on in my 19 year old life. And he, you know, asked me a couple of times, dad, just chill, man, I know when the first Sunday is, don't worry, I'm gonna write your song. On Saturday night, the night before the first Sunday morning service. We'd worked all day, getting everything ready. It was midnight, and everybody going home with me and mom and dad, dad's walking down the hall to his office, I'm walking the other way. And he looks at me with this positive, proud smile on his face that I can't wait to hear your song in the morning sun. And my heart stopped, because I had totally forgotten about it. And I just peeled off and went into the sanctuary and sat down at the new grand piano did purchase for for the church. And here we are, you know, people are going to start getting their eight hours from Right, yeah. And so I go, I go, Well, I better not put it off any longer. And I sat down, and in about 15 to 20 minutes, God poured all the words in the music into my heart, we are standing on holy ground. And I went home, went to bed got up the next morning, woke up because I was the boss woke up my brother who was 16 and 17. And my little sister Allison sings with me now who was like 11 or 12. And taught them the parts on the chorus. And we sang it for the first time, almost 40 years ago, about 39 years ago, so. So never imagining it would go beyond that day. Right? We had great response that day that people just loved it. But you know that he was happy? I did nothing. You know, we had our first service and noun to bigger and better things, right? Never imagining that there would come a turn of events. And you talked earlier about, about what started this whole podcast, talking about things along the way. Yeah, I wish so badly. I could go back and live my life. Again, starting at 18 or 19. But with the knowledge I have met, oh yeah, you know what I'm saying? Because I've learned there were times that I would freak out. I wouldn't be in a panic. I would like how are we gonna make this happen? And now on the back end of it, I see. God had every little detail in place, and things that didn't even seem significant at the time suddenly became significant. And and play the part and later you look back, you know, the old saying is hindsight is always 2020. So, some friends of mine, a guy and girl that I knew and they were dear friends. He was a preacher. She's a friend, nominal singer. her brother's a great friend of mine, called me right after that and wanted me to travel that summer with him. And it was Tommy and Jeannie tinny. Okay. And you know, Tommy tinny, wrote the book, God chasers and he's written many wonderful books, great speaker. He hadn't written any books at that point in time. And I showed the song to Jeannie, and a couple of buddies of mine that played bass and drums, and I played keys. So we were the three piece combo and we traveled for a summer. And she loved the song. We did it every single night. At the end of the summer, she wanted to do a record a custom record, she recorded five of my songs holy grabbing one of them. And I went to the studio and my buddies played bass and drums did too. And down in Louisiana, I was living in Tennessee with my parents, and we recorded it. And Tommy and Jeannie were friends with Landy and joy here at Christ Church, okay, and they got to come copy of the record to them. And Linda Hilliard, whose husband Wayne Hilliard had a group called higher ground. Okay. Wayne wrote a song it was real significant back in that era called I Am, and, and and higher ground was was, you know, big radio group and very popular at that time. Linda, is the admin pastor here at Christ Church now, but she at that time, she was working with Landy gardener, in his interior design business and land, the gardener interiors. She heard the song and called me and said, Is this song published not published? We live in Savannah, we don't know anything about publishing. She said, Do you mind if I pitch it to a few publishers? And I said no, because I need to join Landy. So I trusted her because she was their friend. She called back within a couple of days and said tree International, which is now Sony tree. Oh, they were the largest holder of country music copyrights in the world. They had started a brand new gospel division. And Randy Cox was the head of it. And amazingly gifted guy and dear friend to this day. He wanted to sign it. And they called me I came to Nashville. And they signed me, Gary Chapman and Michael W. Smith the same week. Oh, wow. And it was just this new little company that was starting up. But that was the beginning of my journey. And it was crazy how God used that summer touring with Tommy and Jeannie, who, you know, nobody really knew back that I mean, we did right you know, but as far as the world no one Tommy tinny now is an author. Nobody knew that. And, and nobody had any idea what was gonna happen with a song, but God took a little thread and just begin to weave them together together and and brought them together for this song to happen. And it's been crazy to see how God has, through the years, taken moments and use them when they seemed insignificant to weave together things that later you look back and go. That wasn't about my song that was about his purpose that was about his plan and his kingdom and so on. It's it's very humbling to look back now and realize that a little kid who only had six weeks a piano lessons, and a one horse town, aha somehow got woven in to a big global plan of God to bring a message to people for His glory. That's pretty, pretty encouraging to anybody out there who feels like they're insignificant because I remember thinking once I kind of started doing some stuff, Will anybody you ever hear my music? Yeah, now kind of bought into this. I'm gonna ride I'm gonna, then Halloween by no means we don't have connections to the music industry. We don't have you know, and and yet, you know, here is it 40 years later and still working? Yeah. still writing. shooting a scene from for a movie Friday morning. Oh, really? Yeah. And that's cool. And, you know, it's just found out this week, I'm nominated for another dove award. I said, I don't say that. arrogantly. I say that gratefully. Because, you know, I just see the hand of God. Taking that, you know, the Bible says this, and I'll wrap this segment with this. There's a scripture that talks about reaping from fields you didn't plant. Every time I get a good blessing. I remember the season my mom and dad so into the lives of people building churches for years. And I realized that a lot of what I'm reaping is, is the trickle down benefit. Kingdom builder parents, but then from that point, the Bible says if you're faithful over a few things, right, God says, I'll make you ruler over many. I didn't write holy ground to try to be a hit. No, I was being faithful over what of where I had been planted to serve and even as a procrastinator, you

Unknown Speaker :

know, that have been so faithful. Yeah.

Geron Davis :

And God, you know, one good lesson is God can do more with my last minute that I can with the with the six weeks before, you know, so, but but to see that I was trying to just serve where, where I was. And and here's an interesting thing everybody talks about, you know, Bill Clinton heard it, loved it. We sang it at his inauguration. He had it sung at his mother's funeral. It was one of her favorite songs. Barbra Streisand was there, reached grabbed a shoulder and so for this song come from, she said, I've got to record this song. And she did. She went to the Brooklyn tabernacle and sat in service to hear the choir sing. So she she wanted to learn how to get that feel. On her record, she had Andre crouch singer sing on it, Mervyn Warren, one of the original members of take six produced it. The interesting everybody that sees what's happened with holy ground, sees it all in a snapshot. You sit in about three sentences. He wrote it when he was 19, when he just teenager was recorded. Bill Clinton is the Naga Barbra Streisand recorded, you know, blah, blah, blah. You can say it in three sentences. But what a lot of people don't know is from the day I wrote holy ground, sitting in that little church in Savannah, Tennessee. Until Barbra Streisand recorded it. 18 years on by Wow. And side David sitting on the backside of pasture writing songs, seemingly so insignificant that his dad when asked by the prophet, I feel like God's going to bring the king out of this house. His dad didn't even think him qualified enough to calling right he brought everybody but is there not anybody else? Well, you know, there is back in the pasture. Yeah. You know, that's, that's what Savannah was. We were back in the pasture. Why wouldn't God go to some big? You know, I tell everybody, you know, why wouldn't God give holy ground to Bill Gates, Bill Gates, it was all 30 years ago. But I say that jokingly cuz bills, my friend. Yeah. But, you know, Bill had a track record, even back then. because he'd been writing a long time. He's older than I am. But I love the fact that God always picks people who seem insignificant Mary. Yeah, insignificant teenager from a little town. But, you know, she, she was blessed and highly favored. God looks for people not so much as what the world looks at to say. They've got ability, but he looks for availability. Absolutely. And he, he found me in that little one horse town. And let me write that song. And I've never been able to thank him enough.

John Matarazzo :

Yeah. So what are some other songs that you've written?

Geron Davis :

My wife and I have written a few songs together. In the presence of Jehovah is a is a song that one of the first songs we wrote to together, we were moving. We we had been in Dallas, Texas, Dan Dean, who's one third of Phillips, Craig and Dean, okay. We had worked for his father in law at the church that day. And now pastors. Dan and his wife, Becky, were friends of ours. And we were moving from that church to a church in Alexandria, Louisiana. We had everything we owned. And the smallest truck u haul makes Yeah. And a used Caprice classic Chevrolet. And I'm driving the U haul truck. And Becky's traveling the Chevrolet and we're going down the road don't really have much just excited about being together because she was my best friend and my favorite singer. And so we're going to this new place big church to to work. And riding down the road I just started writing we're in the, the presence when weary, the press the key, and we got to where we were going, I taught it to a small group of singers. And Becky came to me a couple of days later, and she said, I've got this verse idea, and she'd written in and out of situations, that tug of war with me all day long that struggle or answers that I need. Tonight, presence, know my questions become. And forests say no down. Read Me those words. And if I had had any random distant thoughts about ever leaving, or they were all dashed immediately, and I fell in love with her all over again, I sat down and wrote the music to those and then I wrote the second verse, But and we started writing songs together. Then we went, I signed holy ground, Stephen retailer who produced a group called truth, which was a big popular group back in that day. And they, you know, they wanted to start recording our songs. And Steve called me one day and said, Hey, I'm going in the studio with truth, do you have any songs, and man, they were, they were just one of the real popular groups back then. And I wanted to, I wanted to get a song on their project. So I sat down the piano, and that's back when we had the little ghetto blasters with a cassette tape in them. And I stuck a blank cassette in and press play and record. And then about 20 to 25 minutes, I wrote a song and ran to FedEx, stuck it in the envelope, sent it to Nashville, then I got to thinking about it, though, I can make this song better. That's stupid than that. Spend more time on it than that. So I called Linda Hill, you're my friend here and said, Hey, tell true not to record the song. I think I can make it better. I like the idea. But I think I can make it better. So she said, Okay, I'll tell them. So about three weeks later, she goes, Oh, by the way, truth love the song, they recorded it. I had been so intent on getting that song to them, that I made one copy, stuck all my copies in that envelope, sent it to Nashville. And three weeks later, she says that I couldn't even remember how the song land. So note no lie. I waited for truth record to come out and went down to living band bookstore in Irving, Texas, and bought the record and took it home so I can remember. What's funny is it wound up being a chart song or radio some form that goes like this gentle holding me guiding me so carefully. Know the lead me down. I will have for and I've had so many people send me letters, and now emails and whatever that that song, got them through a death, you know, a tragedy, a sickness, something that we're going through. And so it's real interesting, had God use use those things. I was sitting in my office one day at the church in Louisiana. The music suite was at the top of the stairs at the bottom of the stairs, it was this big room that they used as a prayer room and everything lit into the sanctuary by the stage. And my office door was open. And I heard a lady. I heard some praying. And then it got, like really intensified. You know, and I could just hear these women's voices praying. And so I get up and go downstairs and and to see what's going on, you know, because, I mean, you hear people pray. And then you hear it's like the difference when your kids are just planning or when there's something wrong, you know, it's a different kind of sound. So I go downstairs and one of the ladies I recognized as a member of the church and she said, Oh, hey, brother, Jaron, I said, How are you ladies doing? She said, We're fine. Come meet my friend. This is my friend and introduced me I work with her. And she was telling me about some of the problems she was having. I told her, Well, God can God can answer your problems, he can meet your need. So we came back on our lunch break. And we've just had the best time in prayer. And they both had tears on their faces, but they were smiling. And, and it just felt good in the room, you know. And so I'll go back up to my office, and I start sitting there. And I think, you know, if she had tried to call it 1130, to get an appointment with the pastor, you know, we were we were at church of 2000. probably couldn't have got one shoot a call to get an appointment with me. My Secretary would have told her, you know, when do you want to come? Later this week or next week? Yeah, you know what I'm saying? Yeah. But when no advance notice. She had an appointment with the King of kings and the Lord of lords, all because of what Jesus did on a cross and the veil was torn. And now everybody has access to the holy authorities. And so I got up out of my desk, walked in the choir room, sat down at the piano, and I wrote, I can go into the HOLY OF HOLIES.

Unknown Speaker :

I can, please, and

Geron Davis :

just because of God's plan, I can never imagining that song would be nominated for an award one few years later, and that piano in that choir room, my friends of the New Zealand, you're familiar with the Netherlands, they're one of the top Southern gospel group, okay, and they're on the Gaither videos. And and, and they called, they'd heard my songs and wanted to know if I had anything. So I sent him a few songs. And I had written a song for a group of four older people in our church, they were old enough that they couldn't learn the songs. And they'd have to pull out words, and but the letters had to be bigger, you know. And so I thought, unless it was just simple, simple, simple. So we were getting ready for the Christmas concert not about we they had some beautiful star Bethlehem the last three years. By George, they're not saying beautiful star Bethlehem again. And so I had sat down at the piano and wrote them a song. And for them to sing, and I thought, okay, they can, they can do this one. And, and then the Netherlands called and I thought, I almost didn't put this on there. Because it was just so simple. You know, it was written as a quick fix for, you know, older people learn easy, but I stuck it on there, just as an afterthought, almost, they recorded it. And it wound up going to the number one spot in the nation epic. I mean, I have a plaque with number one, it was the in the news, it was the number one song and it was just a little song says, I'm glad. Jesus he's more than just a story. He's the King of glory in Jesus is. So it seems like I have this gift or quirk or Curse of things that I do in a hurry. Somehow do great and you know, holy ground and and, and I'm glad Jesus is you know, all these have gone. And I rates

John Matarazzo :

because Jaron got out of the way. And

Geron Davis :

of course it is I teach that in, in writing classes at worship conferences and writing seminars, that, you know, I think, God, let me write enough stuff, because I believe he says, study to show yourself. Every good Every good gift comes from him. That's, that's obvious. So but and he'll let me do you know, right? Eight or 10. And they're good. And they do good, because I've worked hard to get to work and and studied under people who made me better. But then at the last minute, he'll throw one on me. And, and it'll be the best one on the whole record, you know? And, and, and I said, it's just God's way of going. Lest you get up on a really high horse, young man. Let me show you what I shouldn't do in the last minute. Yeah, you know, but it's also a good reminder that I'm not doing this by myself, that he does have his hand he does rule and reign in the affairs of men. And I've seen him on this journey. You know, the music industry, the music, business, music ministry, ministry, in general, is not easy. anything these days is not easy. But I've seen God come through in so many ways, when we would be at a transition. And you know, when we were transitioning from Dallas to, to Louisiana, it was a little bit scary. But you know, I was going to a church where the, the two people playing piano and Oregon had been playing that church longer than I had been alive. I mean, we're talking about some people who were, you know, rooted in their positions. And here, this young kid is in my 20s going in to do this. You know, I should have been terrified. I guess I was too young and stupid to be terrified to even know I shouldn't be. But it's amazing how God gave me wisdom beyond my years, and those people became my best friend. And to this day, I love them. They love me. It's just interesting how, when we left there, we'd been there 13 years had some incredible things happen there. Mercy saw me, holy of holiness. I know the peace speaker in the presence of Jehovah, all songs that were sent to them down off songs that we wrote, when we were there at that, at that place, and so it had become a comfort zone. And, you know, when, when it's time for transition, if where you've been, is bad. It's easy to transition, then it's easy to go. The ladder is gonna be great. I'm ready to go to the grinder. Yeah. Not when were you been as great. And you feel that being led to transition? Yeah. I don't want to transition this really good. This is better than I've ever had it. I'm making more money than I've ever made. I like the people better than anybody I've ever liked. Before I, you know, we've got the biggest house we've ever had, you know, my boss in our, I mean, whatever your love this is in your life. My kids love this place. Whatever your best is, when it's at the top of the game, but you feel God moving you to another season. That's when it's about trust. And you have to say, like you said earlier, God's going to trust me. I have to believe that the latter will be although I'm having more blessing in my life now than I've ever had. Yeah. He's nowhere near running short on additional blessings to pour out on me. I'm thinking it can't get any better than this. I wanted Amy Grant or Sandi Patty to record holy ground. I never even dreamed about Barbra Streisand. You know what I'm saying? Yeah, I thought I was dreaming big. And God goes, dude, sit down, sit, you know, stupid ZF down for a minute. And let guys show you what dreaming big looks like. Gosh, yeah. And and, and so I believe learned in all these years. That's why I said I wish I could go back and read live life, knowing what I know, when we left that church. My wife's brother had been sick, and with cancer for 18 months, and then he died at the age of 30. And her dad had passed away. Six months before he found out he had cancer very suddenly. And, and so it was just like, blow after blow. So yeah, her brother found out he had cancer in a two week time period when he didn't have when he didn't have insurance. And so, you know, the family done everything we could to help make sure he got the best care and glad to do it. Everybody wanted. But so we had sin in our taxes. We paid credit card bills down. We were doing this thing we had walked away from our job. We're still living in Louisiana had not moved to Nashville yet. But we get a tax bill. That's $9,000. And what you're this, this is when we had just left our job in Alexandria before we moved here. So this would be like 26 years ago. Wow. Yeah. And my son, my son was two. And my daughter was six. And so we left a job. We got two little kids. We were putting every bit of royalties. I mean, we were starting to make some royalties, but not big money. And we put all of that on paying off all this debt with incurred, you know, for helping take care of him. And Becky asked me I was getting on a plane to go to a conference in California. And she said, what are we going to do? I mean, at that point, it might as well have said 90,000 because we could come up with 90 about as easy as we could 9009. We like what we basically know what we thought it would be based on the year before. So we were like, Oh, my word. And until I go back. Yes. And I know this. God didn't bring us here to sell the land map from Honduras. He's never let us now. I got on the plane. Becky stayed there. And I said, I had to talk with God. I said, God, come on, man. You know, I'm trusting you. I don't have anywhere to turn. I don't have anywhere to pull it from. And I get out to the conference. And Craig done again, with who was with integrity at the time came to me and said, Have you gotten your latest ASCAP statement? I said no, I had a few radio things. But I didn't do a lot of ASCAP money, you know, mental? And I said no, not yet. He said, Well, I think you're going to be pleased ASCAP has done a different kind of scan the trial thing this quarter, and instead, I think you're going to be pleased. And I said, Oh, okay. And I mean, Matt, my biggest ass kicked out of fortune. I might make a total of at that point in time. $5,000 a year.

John Matarazzo :

Okay, so an ASCAP is

Geron Davis :

American Society of Composers, also the authors and publishers, okay, there's three that column PR pros, performance rights organizations, ASCAP, C, sag and BMI, and they handle radio, television, any kind of broadcast music that that they collect for that. The publisher collects for print, okay, you know, books, sheet music, that kind of thing. So, so I called Becky I said, Well, you know, has anything come from ASCAP? No, not yet. Okay, well, Craig said, It thinks it's gonna be good. So I said, that'll be something to go on it. You know, I thought, even if it's thousand bucks is great as hell. Yeah. She called me the next morning. And she said, If you hadn't worn me, I would have fallen out cold in the floor of the post office. I said, Really? She said, guess how much your ass cap check was? I go? I'll shoot half thousand dollars. She said, Well, now let me tell you this is a song you and I wrote together. So I got one ASCAP check. And you got one ASCAP check. They're both the same amount because it's 5050. Right, right. I said, Oh, okay, so 500. She said, $12,500. I go, Oh, my gosh, you get half that and I get she says no, that's your check my checks the same amount know, we got $25,000 my gosh, something we had never gotten that kind of money on at a time when we were facing a crisis. But we had gone to the next season. Wow. And you know what the song title was. And when my wife read me the title, she started crying. And she said, I'll never doubt him again, the song title was what he is, will never change. And he has kept us even when we didn't understand. When we had questions. We would we there been many times I'm gonna tell you, you know, then we at that time, we thought we knew what trouble was. We'd never even raised teenagers at that point. So so you know, we've really learned what what troubles like. But in that trouble, in those times, we've learned that he's, he's a friend that sticks closer than a brother and he never leaves. never forsake says close. So then a brother, he's Chi and true. A friend,

Unknown Speaker :

friends, provider for

Geron Davis :

his children, he used to tower to screen and strong. And remember, I want to say to anybody listening, whether you're a writer, whether you're a singer, whether you're a pastor, whether you're a factory worker, if you're a believer, if you're a believer whose faith has been shaken, I want to let you know what God's done for me, he'll do for you, he doesn't love me any more than he loves you. He took a little country boy with not very much to offer, and said, I'm going to use you not because of what I had to give him. But because he knew that I would trust him and give him all the glory. And so I encourage you, I don't care how bleak The situation is. Same God, because the sunrise this morning, same God that will make the moon come out tonight and put all the stars in Blaze. At same God loves you and wants to keep his hand and your life. And I'm here to let you know, if you totally trust Him, casting all your cares on him. Because he cares for you. You're going to discover the quality is will change next week, you can say and a year from now you can tell somebody he is true. And true.

John Matarazzo :

That's beautiful. And that's such an appropriate song forgot to do that miracle with Yes. And that's

Geron Davis :

because it never was a big song. It never was a big song. It had just gotten randomly picked up on some network. And they used it to calculate things that we're trying this new system, or we kind of project and and so it wasn't necessarily based on even that the usage of that song. It was a random title random? I think not. That was God telling two young kids who were terrified. Yeah. And in the middle of transition, that I got you, Hey, I'm never going to change. And I'll always have you. And it was a great lesson for us. And and we've had to depend on him. I'm not gonna say we've never gotten scared or worried or concerned since then. But it's always been something we've gone back to in the Bible, when something significant happened that would build an altar, right? So that everybody who came along there or every time they passed that way again, that would be reminded of what God didn't it. We built an altar on that on that moment. And we've gone back to it many times I say, okay, God, you did this. Do it again, because he is the same. That's amazing.

John Matarazzo :

Jaron, how does God speak to you? And do you remember the first thing that God spoke to you?

Geron Davis :

You know, having grown up in church. I don't remember necessarily the first time God spoke to me. But I remember even as a kid, when my hands would barely reach, I would go up during after service people and want to touch the piano. And, and I remember a lady showing me cooked notes to do, because I just wanted to touch them what and bang, and yeah, and she would show me what key she was in. And I could barely reach up. I mean, my hands are above my head doing that. But I would stand there with tears running down my face because I felt the presence of the Lord. And I wanted to respond with music. You know, why would I ever want to be a doctor? That should have been a college? Right? Music is how you talk to God, bro. Oh my gosh. I remember I remember as a kid, so many significant moments. But a lot of my song ideas have come in church, from sermons and listening to pastor's own podcast. Little, you know, watching TV, sitting in a service. It just in those times of worship, I get so many ideas that I just, I just write down. So God God talks to me in many different ways. Sometimes he talks loudly, you know, with holy ground, he spit it out. It was an instant download. Yeah, with P speaker. It was a he gave me a chorus on the way to the funeral of a friend who had died way too early from a brain tumor, and wrote the chorus for his the first person the chorus for his family that we sang. But it took me two years to get the second verse. So, you know, I never really know how God's going to do it. The song was nominated for a dove award this year, is a song that I wrote with some friends of mine, wine, hon. Joel Lindsey and Taran de green. And we were in New York in a writing room. And Miranda said she wanted to write a song about the Second Coming, but not call it rapture or second coming. She said, like, healing like when the healing comes when, you know things are made right and everything is fixed. And so we sit there and Joel and Wayne are phenomenal writers and longtime friends of mine. So we're sitting there and all four of us are working on lyrics. So it takes about an hour and a half. We get it done. It's about time for the day to be over. Turandot wants to go to the restroom and sitting in the studio in New York while she's in the bathroom I just sit down sir the CT the right seems very wrong the week

Unknown Speaker :

the straw

Geron Davis :

souls in next

Unknown Speaker :

H

Geron Davis :

longing to be set

Unknown Speaker :

free

Geron Davis :

graves one day soon when the healing and in like 10 minutes I wrote the music to this thing and and so I know in those moments, regardless of where I am, that's god yeah, there's a download from the Lord and and so he usually speaks to me through lyrics and music. He's He's spoken to me in other ways, too, but it's never a set thing. I think if it were if it were somebody asked buck Rambo one time about daddy songwriting. You know, one of the greatest lyricist of all time. He said, you know, where does? Where does daddy get all those songs? He said, don't you think about Newegg go get a few. You know, there is no rhyme or reason. It just happens when it happens. But there's no doubt in my mind that is

John Matarazzo :

God. Wow. Jaron, through our conversation, we've covered pretty much all the questions that I normally ask, which is awesome, including the if you could go back to yourself in the past. What advice would you give yourself? And could you just kind of wrap that up for us? What if you could go back in time and speak to yourself? What would you what exactly would you say?

Geron Davis :

You know what I would say to a younger set if I had new everything on and now. Don't fret. Don't sweat. And don't forget? Don't fret, because it's not. It's not all in your hand. You've got someone who has told you cast all your cares on me, I'll care for you. You've got someone who said I'll never leave you nor forsake you've got someone who said, asked it closer than a brother. And so there's no need to fret. He's got this, he said that he would not. It's like the disciples who when Jesus told him in the boat when they started, Don't you care that we would die? And he said, Oh, ye of little faith. He didn't say that. Because they had gotten fearful. He said it because in half the journey, they had forgotten that when they got into he said, Come on, boys. Let's go to the other side. He had already declared, we're going to the other side, before they got the this. Are you going to let us die inside? Kaz and I heard one old preacher say he calmed the storm because he knew it'd be easier to come the winds and waves than then to come this. So so you know, people have we have a tendency to fret Yeah. And and all that does is suck the joy out of this moment of life. And it's the devil's way of causing me to be, you know, to fret. So I have no joy. I'm worried it's anxiety. It's, you know, all of the stress. Yeah. And and so I would tell my younger self, don't fret. Even if you don't see the answer, don't fear it would be don't sweat. Don't, don't try to work harder than is necessary. Because you can only do what you can do. Sometimes people we as we as human beings, think we have to do what God and what you're hearing in the background, this crushed church choir coming into rehearsal. We're in the Christ Church. We're in Christ, you're sitting on the platform, in the choir room is up behind the platform and getting ready. Yeah, it's Wednesday night. So they're all they're all coming in. But I've tried to App tried to make things happen before for God, you know, I do my part. And then I try to do God's God's not a slot machine. You don't you don't put in your money and put in your request. He wants you to sit down have relationship. And don't try to tell him what to do here. God have worked this out do this and will be good. He says, Why don't you ask me? You know, what do you want? What do you want to do? God? Where do you want me to go? So I wouldn't try to sweat that doing God's God's job. I would do my everything. I could put it in God's hands and rest there, then I wouldn't forget. Get out. Don't forget. The Bible says, bless the Lord and forget not all his benefits. He has gotten more benefits for you. And there's no there's no expiration date on him. And so, just don't forget what he's done. Don't forget what he's capable of. Don't forget what he's promised. And don't sweat. Relax. Don't fret. He's gotcha.

John Matarazzo :

I like that. I think I won't forget that.

Unknown Speaker :

That's a T shirt. It is a tour shirt. Yeah, don't fret. Don't sweat and don't forget. That's great. Jaron, do you have a life verse?

Geron Davis :

You know, I have I have a couple but one of my, one of my favorites. Because

Unknown Speaker :

it's, it's the hardest.

Geron Davis :

It doesn't seem the hardest, but for people like me, who feel like my wife says if I ever since for a moment, somebody is not in charge, attend to nominate message. Um, it's just being raised in a pastor's home. It's being a pastor on staff for 15 years. I just have this thing of wanting to go and go y'all y'all do that, y'all. You know, I sit over there. Hey, why don't we do that? You know, it's just my nature. So it's hard for me sometimes to sit. And when I don't know what's going on? I'd rather you tell me no, than wait. Okay, so the two scriptures that are my life scriptures that mean a lot to me are Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not to your own understanding but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path is that one Trust in the Lord with all your heart? That's hard for me sometimes I want him to tell me what he's gonna do. But don't ask me to trust you. And then don't tell me at least send me a list so I know where we're going. Right? You know, it's like getting in the car and going I'm just going to give you turn back turn but I'm gonna let you know what the destination one No, I want to know, you know, yet that's it's hard for me to to give up control. And then the other one would be they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength and mount up with wings as eagles. They'll run and not be weary walk in that thing. You know, I tend to be a Dewar a fixer. Yeah. And if I get to a mountain, and I can't see a way around, and I can't see a way over by George Jago Rana, drill, a big ol, one of those big ol earthmoving machines. And I'll drill and tunnel my way through that mountain. Will God let me? Well, God, let me get to the other side. Yeah. Because he said he will give you the desires of your heart, but at what cost? To me physically, me spiritually relational in the people around me that have to put up with me while I'm digging through this solid wall of rock. When if I had just laid it on the Lord, the Bible says in that scripture, you'll mount up with one not as a spear as an eagle. And I've never seen a mountain. That was any kind of challenge for an eagle. I just saw right over it. That's good. So a lot of times in the not waiting and digging through. We lose the opportunity for God to renew us to renew our strength, and then fill us with wings. So that what two weeks to tunnel through, we could soar over in about three minutes. And so I you know that that's a tough one for me sometimes and learning to wait because I equate having grown up in ministry I equate doing with plan of God. And sometimes he just wants you to sit Be still and know that I'm God. And the beast still part is tough for me. The waiting for me, trusting is tough for me. But you know, one day I'll get it but the time I die, I'll finally get it. And then and then you go you know you don't you don't. But you have no choice. But to be still. Yeah, yeah, you'll be when they put you in that box and shut the lid, you'll be still but but trying to trying to trust him is is a challenge. But in the times I've been able to do it. I've seen him do things that are so sweet. And so wonderful. And I go wow, I just, you know, Thank You, Jesus and helped me to learn this better. And yeah, my wife, and kids have tried to tell me, you're not perfect dad, but sometimes I think I am. And I want to tell God what to do in that funny. We want to that's like the lady who came to the the lady who came to the whale in the middle of a day that had five kids behind her all the time, like a different Daddy, you know, and Jesus was sitting at the whale. And he he said, Give me a drink. She said Why are you a Samaritan talking to me? And he said, If you knew who was asking you this you would. And this woman is not the best reputation and down coming in the middle of the day just to avoid the crowd. Nobody went to the well in the middle of the day they went in the morning or evening because of the cool right temperatures. So she did she was avoiding people people. And and and her first reaction is well UG say we worship and I'm going like Lady, you're wanting to talk the word with the word. You know, Jesus was the Word became flesh. And just like that, that sometimes we as human beings want to tell God what to do. You know, I think we need to say do just shut up, sit down, and let God be God. So I

Unknown Speaker :

have I've tried to

Geron Davis :

I've tried to learn from those those moments but those scriptures have meant a lot to me and I'm trying my best and hope hopefully by the time I'm 80 or 85 I'll have mastered a little better. Yeah.

John Matarazzo :

Do you have any books that you would recommend for me?

Geron Davis :

You know what? Some of my favorite books have been that I've gotten so many so many song ideas. books that make me laugh and cry and and on a plane with other people that can get some weird looks at you one minute you're laughing the next night are sobbing and blow and snot you know that's who who am I sitting next to max Luke Kato is such a great writer. But he has a book called No wonder they call him the Savior. And he has a book called six hours, one Friday. And then he has a book called the applause of heaven. All of the those three books have have meant a lot to me. he's a he's a phenomenal writer, just a phenomenal writer. But his writing is just in such a way that it just speaks to the heart and speaks to the Spirit. And he's he's been a big blessing. Amai

John Matarazzo :

Yeah. Well, Jaron, thank you so much for being a blessing to me and allowing me to join along your way and just kind of give me a snapshot of your life and how God has used you in music. And thank you for sharing some of those songs as well. That's really special. I appreciate that.

Geron Davis :

And I enjoyed it. John always loved being with you, man.

John Matarazzo :

This was one of those times that I wish this was also a video podcast. My time with Jaron was amazing. You heard us mention that the Christ church choir was starting their practice. As we were finishing up our conversation. Jaron introduced me to the choir, and they all of a sudden surprised him by doing one of his songs. And then the director asked him to help them work out a few parts. It was so much fun to see someone with such a god given gift flow in that ability. Jaron continues to use his musical gift for the kingdom. And I can tell you firsthand that he makes sure that he has fun along the way. His personal stories of learning new facets of God's character and then writing that into song were such a blessing to hear directly from him. There is much more blessing going through the journey than we anticipate because it makes us all the more grateful when we reach our destination. Geron story of how God has used his song holy ground is almost unbelievable, but it's totally true. Barbra Streisand really did record his song with the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. God has taken that song way beyond what Jaron thought possible. When I hear a story like that, it makes me wonder What has God given me and you that he wants to do more with than we can imagine? If we will trust him with that and let him promote it, he will be faithful to make it happen. The songs that Jaron played for us were songs of prayer and response to God. Holding on to the promise of what he is will never change is something that Jaron and his wife Becky will never let go of. Sometimes I need to be reminded that God's gentle hands are holding on to me, and I don't need to fear for I am in his gentle hands. How do we respond to our situations? Do we put our trust in God's hands? I know I don't always but I need to. If you're like me, you probably need to improve in this as well. I'm asking God to help me trust him more and respond in faith. No matter what my circumstances may be. You can do that, too. It's simple, even though it's not easy, but I promise you, it's worth it. God wants relationship with us. And that makes it easier to trust the Lord with all our heart and lean not on our own understanding. In all our ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path. As Jaron so eloquently said, Don't fret, don't sweat. And don't forget. If you'd like more information about Jaron, I'll be providing his links as well as the book recommendations in the show notes. Thank you for listening to along the way. If you've enjoyed joining me along my way, please share this with a friend who you think will be encouraged by this podcast. Also, please rate and review along the way on iTunes. It helps more people discover along the way. You can subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts. You can follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and through my website along the way dot media. You can always email me at John along the way at gmail. com. I want to leave you with something special. I recorded a little bit of a choir at Christ Church, surprising Jaron with one of his own songs, and then asking him to help them a little bit. This was a real treat. Here's the Christ church choir with house of prayer.

Unknown Speaker :

Here we go 123. Now

Geron Davis :

what you have to do is make sure you put that in as your default. Because you have to pull that up every time

Unknown Speaker :

not whoever's up here telling you you like a store.

Geron Davis :

That's how we do it just has to be your norm. Okay. All right. So going to the chorus

Unknown Speaker :

Shall we?

Geron Davis :

Make sure on a word like prayer

Unknown Speaker :

that the altos are moving and then the tenors move

Geron Davis :

at the last minute, it's easy for those who are holding one note to start to lender trail off, but it has to be there to be the foundation for all these courts that

Unknown Speaker :

are going on. Okay, here we go.

John Matarazzo :

I hope that you've enjoyed this part of my journey, and may you realize when Jesus is walking with you along your way