Rebecca Jean St. James has accomplished more in her 10-plus years of being involved in Christian music than most people accomplish in a lifetime. She owns both Dove and GRAMMY Awards, is a celebrated speaker, a member of the prestigious presidential prayer team and a best-selling author.
The Australian-born singer also starred in “!Hero the Rock Opera” and VeggieTales’ “An Easter Carol,” adding “actress” to her list of credentials. And she just released her ninth full-length album, Live Worship. But when off the stage, St. James is a lot like most of us. The 26-year-old loves spending time with her family (she has six siblings!) and decorating her new home. She struggles with loneliness and keeping herself out of a spiritual slump. Keep reading to find out what she considers her biggest regret, what she thought of the movie, “The Passion of the Christ,” and whether or not this purity spokeswoman has a boyfriend.
1. Do you have a boyfriend? — Jan Keys, Firebaugh, Calif.
I’m not seeing anyone right now. I was last year. Right now I’m waiting to meet that one man that God has for me. It’s definitely a desire of my heart to get married and have a family, but I don’t feel that God has brought that man into my life yet!
2. When you are feeling lonely and wanting a boyfriend, what helps you take that off your mind? — Jocelynn Sikl, Santa Clara, Calif.
I think it’s really more damaging than good for me to dwell on the fact that I wish my future husband were in my life right now. It’s better for me to be thankful for the place in which God has me. Then I will have a positive, hope-filled outlook on life and I will be a thankful, grateful person. I also know that if I were to just go out and try to make something happen with the wrong guy — that’s doing more harm than good to my life. I know it’s going to be a miracle for me to meet somebody that has a similar life experience and can relate to the pressures of leadership that I face. He is going to have to be a really unique man.
3. Who is your best friend? — Paul Jigg, Battlehorse, Md.
Her name is Karleen. She is married with three kids. It’s amazing — she lives a completely different life from mine, yet we have so much in common! I constantly see how God has ordained our friendship and provided us for each other.
4. Describe a typical day in the life of Rebecca St. James. — Karen Hollon, Topeka, Kan.
Today, for instance, I woke up around 11 a.m. because I went to bed around 3:30 a.m. I have done 11 interviews. As soon as I’m done with the remaining interviews, I will go to work on my new book, “SHE.” Hopefully, I will have a bit of a nap somewhere, though I don’t usually get one! Then I will get ready and go do a “meet and greet” and have dinner before tonight’s show. I will do my concert, sign autographs and meet people afterwards. Then I will go back to my bus to chill out a little, go to bed and then start the next day.
5. Do you have someone help you pick out your outfits and do your hair before a concert? — Cameron Teater, Powell Butte, Ore.
For my stage outfits, I pick them myself. Sometimes it’s a challenge to find things that are modern and funky and still have an element of modesty. For videos and photo shoots or important award shows, I have someone who helps me put together my outfits. I do my own make-up and hair for my normal concerts.
6. What is the one item you have with you everywhere when you tour that you couldn’t do without? — Mindy Burton, Nancy, Ky.
Definitely my Bible! I can’t go a day without that.
7. When will your new studio album be out? — Kevin Statler, Shippensburg, Penn.
We’re actually going to start the writing process this summer. It will (probably) be out sometime next year. On the new album, I really want to go back to my rock roots and push the boundaries on some new edgy and creative things musically, as well as still stay true to the Bible and keep the worship element.
8. What was it like to be a part of VeggieTales’ “An Easter Carol?” — Shirley Hentges, Moberly, Mo.
I loved playing an animated character! The only thing was I started getting teased by my friends. They kept on saying I was “Suzie Squash!”
9. How did you get the role as Maggie in “!Hero the Rock Opera” and how much fun was that? — Ryan Renfro, San Diego, Calif.
I have had a good friendship with Eddie DeGarmo (the creator) for years through working with him at my record label, ForeFront. He was the one who masterminded the whole concept of “!Hero.” He asked me to play the role of Maggie. I really enjoy playing this role because, to me, she gives hope to all of us. You see the transformation Jesus makes in her life. When Maggie first meets Jesus, she’s a sinful woman of the streets. As “!Hero” continues, you see her unfold as a soft, loving woman who is very protective of Jesus.
10. I understand you are involved with several organizations that are bringing help to needy people (especially children) overseas. Which organizations are you involved with, and how did the Lord draw your attention to them? — Henry (Hank) Scally, Albuquerque, N.M.
Compassion International is the one I have consistently supported in my ministry for over a decade now. I have seen hundreds of kids who are being sponsored and whole communities that are being impacted by Compassion’s outreach.
11. What’s the most powerful thing you have witnessed God do? — Ken Brown, Oxford, N.C.
When we first moved to America in 1991 and my dad’s job had fallen through — so many miracles happened! That was the most dramatic move of God I have personally witnessed in my life.
12. If an atheist or agnostic walked up to you and asked you to prove that God is really alive, what song or scripture would you use to back up your answer? — Margaret Chase, Lakeview, Ore.
I really wouldn’t use scripture because atheists and agnostics aren’t going to believe that scripture pertains to them or that it’s even really truth. I would probably share with them some of the miracles God has done in my life — even through my songs. One of my songs, “Wait For Me,” came miraculously in about 30 or 40 minutes — as I had been praying God would provide a song that I could sing about purity. In 10 years of ministry, “Wait For Me” has connected with more people all over the world than anything else I have ever written. I have seen God provide in so many ways in my life. When I first came to America, my dad lost his job. We had no car, no furniture or food. Sometimes we didn’t know where the next meal was going to come from or how we could pay the bills. We prayed about it, and then we would see people show up at our house with groceries or furniture. Checks would come in the mail that would just cover our bills. Someone actually paid the bill for my little sister to be born in the hospital — and to this day we don’t know who! For all these reasons I know God is real.
13. What do you do when you get into a spiritual slump? — Melissa Wallace, Avondale, Ariz.
One thing I know about Christian life is that it takes consistency — seeking God whether you feel like it or not. Reading books by Christian authors who I respect helps me a lot and several times I have received wisdom from my pastor. Just having people praying for me, and praying myself, that God will stick a fresh word in my heart-these are ways I seek God when I need a kick-start in my faith.
14. Have you ever gone through a crisis in your life that affected you so much that you almost walked away from your singing ministry? — Maria Lyons, York, Penn.
When I became ill with Bell’s Palsy and was suffering from exhaustion at that time — that was probably the closest I came to moving out of music to a bit easier form of ministry! (Editor’s note: St. James was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy in 2001 after keeping a hectic career schedule for about a year. Bell’s Palsy is a temporary condition that causes the facial muscles to become paralyzed.)
15. Do you encounter fans that tend to put you, rather than God, on a pedestal? If so, how do you respond to them? — Eric Hoelmer, Rome, N.Y.
In my shows I’ve always tried to be very real. People sometimes feel they know me really well because I have that goal. After my songs, people who see me in concert will see that I point upwards to God — wanting people to applaud Him and see Him as the power behind what I do.
16. What makes you a role model off the stage? — Stephanie Ng, San Francisco, Calif.
I really see the “role model” aspect of my life not just being a stage thing, but also being a real-life focus for me. I want to be consistent whether I’m on the stage or off. Being gracious to people backstage, taking time to sign autographs or just being real with people — going the extra mile to be loving to my friends or my family, the band — these are things that I’m not perfect in, but I attempt to do in my life. I talk about important issues like purity, taking a radical stand for God and spending time with Him. I think it’s so important to live what I say.
17. Do you have unsaved loved ones? If so, how do you witness to them? — Tressie Reid, Fresno, Calif.
I don’t have any unsaved loved ones in my immediate family. The thing that speaks loudest to non-Christians is when they see us not only talking about God, but also living our faith 24/7, the best we can.
18. Have you seen “The Passion Of The Christ?” What impact did it have on you? — Jennifer Irons, Locustville, Va.
“The Passion of The Christ” is definitely the most faith deepening film I have ever seen. I wept and empathized with Jesus like never before. The most gripping scene for me was the part where Jesus had just stumbled underneath the weight of the cross. What really gripped me was that Jesus turned to His mother in the midst of His pain and said, “Mother, see? I make all things new.” I loved the power in those words and the realization that He came to make all things new for all of us.
19. If you could spend an afternoon with Jesus, what would you ask Him? — Patti Jackson, Glendale, Ariz.
Jesus, show me how to live a life that’s more pleasing to you.
20. What character in the Bible do you relate to the most? — Tony Gnecco, Livermore, Calif.
Probably James. It’s my favorite book in the Bible. It’s a very straight-ahead, in-your-face book. It’s really very gripping in its approach. Australians are noted for being pretty straight ahead and in your face so I think that’s part of why I relate to James’ approach so deeply.
21. If you could change one thing from your past, what would it be? — Josh Mora, Fargo, N.D.
I probably wouldn’t have pushed myself quite so hard in the work area. I have probably over-taxed my body at times. I would say to younger artists, who are just perhaps starting out in Christian music, to learn balance. Sometimes it’s OK to say “no” when you know you don’t have much left-physically, emotionally or spiritually
Copyright © 2004 Christian Music Planet, used with permission.
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