Leah Cripps: Contemplating Love

Monday 20th February 2006

Tony Cummings put some questions to Reading-based singer LEAH CRIPPS.

Leah Cripps: Contemplating Love

Tony: Okay Leah, tell me about yourself.

Leah: I was brought up in a Christian family and surrounded by praise and worship. Both Mum and Dad encouraged me to learn the piano and guitar. But poor health didn't make my life easy, I suffered from acute asthma and eczema and a number of food allergies, not to mention a hole in my heart! School life presented other challenges. I kept walking with God despite the jibes from my classmates. I was no angel though I did my best for Jesus. Meanwhile, my younger brother, Michael, and I became part of the fraternity known as PKs - Pastor's Kids. Such a label brought its own pressures and I found it difficult to find acceptance. My love of music developed during my time at school. When I was a teenager, a back problem interrupted my progress on the tenor saxophone, so I reverted back to the guitar and singing. I found release in ministry through the group The Continentals, with whom I toured the UK and the Channel Islands. By my late teens I was writing and composing songs.

Then, in my early 20s, a miracle showed me God's love in a new light. In the latter stages of pregnancy, doctors were very concerned about the hole in my heart and wanted me to give birth in 'a controlled environment.' So a scan was carried out to ascertain the size and location of the hole. But to the consultant's amazement, the once audibly and visually evident condition had disappeared! I had a healthy son.

I am entirely in love with my Lord and everything I do is devoted to him, and my prayer is that in everything I do I will glorify him and that I will continue to live a life that is pleasing to him. The best personal expression of our love to God is by living a worshipful lifestyle. In a lot of ways I thank God that, through my negative experiences and my uncertain circumstances, he taught me what it is to put my trust in him alone, to focus on him and commit every aspect of what I do to him. My husband Steve is a talented musician and technician. We devote our time and energy to promoting Christian music because it delivers a message of hope and unconditional love.

Leah Cripps: Contemplating Love

Tony: Your new album is very different from your first one.

Leah: 'Witness' was a provision of opportunity for family and friends to be involved in a music project that would allow us all an expression in our worship to God. Professional musicianship just didn't come into it. We had a heart and a determination to reach out with that expression of love for God and that's what we did. Everyone involved took time off work and we booked our local church during the Easter holidays in 2004 to set up a mobile recording studio and record what would later become the first album I released which featured all my own written material with the exception of two songs. Inspiration from experiences in God kept coming so I continued to write in the hope of releasing another album but after much thought my husband Steve and I decided that although we enjoyed our recording experiences in relation to the first album, we couldn't expect everyone involved at that time to commit so soon to another project. Along with that, I wanted to attract an alternative audience and sing songs that bridged a gap between negative experience and spiritual fulfilment in Christ. Songs that brought the two together, conveying blessing, so each song on what would later become 'Contemplate This Love' carries a simple yet driven message of hope, love and foundation in Jesus Christ. To do this successfully we needed a fresh sound, something that would attract our intended audience - beats and alternative styles in music including rap. 'Contemplate This Love' was recorded in a professional studio and the direction of a music producer was enlisted. In total we spent just over 12 months on the recording releasing on January 28th 2006.

Tony: How involved are you in local church ministry?

Leah: My husband Steve and I are very involved in local church ministry. Steve and I lead worship on a regular basis at St Saviours Christian Centre (Elim) in Reading and we consider this to be our spiritual home and destiny. We're involved in leading praise/worship at our youth services on occasions and I have plans to facilitate a 'adies cell/home group, beginning with the Purpose Driven Life (40 Days Of Purpose Campaign). We're grateful to God for blessing us with so many resources, things we can use to glorify him including music which we feel is our priority at this time.

Leah Cripps: Contemplating Love

Tony: What plans do you have for the future?

Leah: We have been blessed in recent months/years to have travelled extensively with our music/message. Last year we participated in concerts locally, nationally and internationally, the highlight of 2005 being our six-day missions trip to Latvia where we delivered worship seminars and performed at four different concerts/music events across the nation. We continue to accommodate those who are interested in seeing/hearing what we have to offer but we're taking a short break from extensive travel because I am expecting our second baby early in the summer. We will continue to be as involved as possible in our home church and in local events; we hope to resume "full service" by January 2007.  CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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