What is your favorite part of what you do as a member of Luminate?
Sam – I would definitely say engaging in worship. That’s always been my favorite part. No matter what the tour, I’ve always worshipped during our set. It’s cool, ’cause God will say things through me that I didn’t expect. So I would definitely say that it is on stage, but it’s not the performing aspect. It’s engaging God’s people in the way He designed me to do it. Writing’s always fun, but it’s always more fun to see what was written come to life, and first person reactions, so that’s always my favorite.
What does a normal day look like for Luminate?
Sam – A normal day on the road – we usually just fly in or drive in, go to a hotel real quick, try to get freshened up, go to sound check, and do all that stuff, and we always sign after shows, and hang out with people. I’d say the at-home days are more funny. I may wake up in the morning and go to a songwriting session, come back, mow the yard, take my wife to an appointment with our daughter, take her back, and then back to the studio – it’s just so weird how random it can be – and then the next morning I’m on a flight to Florida, and then I come back. There’s always something new, and something different!
What’s been your favorite song to write, record, and perform?
Sam – Probably “Come Home.” All the songs usually come from experience, but for “Come Home,” it was the literal story of what I was going through at the time. It’s a story of the prodigal son, and how he was off doing his own thing, and didn’t think that his father would want him back. “Come Home” is about coming back, and knowing that God never left, He’s never forsaken, and He’s actually waiting for us. That song connects with me every time I sing it, because we’re not perfect. It’s really cool to see that every time I sing it, God’s reminding me – and I can see it in people’s faces, that He’s reminding them – that we can always come back home. There is nothing we can do to get so far out of His grace that He will not accept us back, welcome us, and help us follow Him again.
Where do you find inspiration for the songs you write, and put on your albums?
Sam – Definitely life. Usually the songs of victory, joy, and happiness come from times of sorrow, confusion, and fear. If there’s somebody writing about a hope or a feeling that you haven’t felt in a while, it’s because they were feeling the feelings you’re currently feeling, to draw them to God, to pull them into that place of joy and happiness. So I would definitely say life experience. Maybe moments where I felt not close to God. Those are usually the moments where I’m drawn in, and I write a song about longing to be close to God, or sometimes I write about the way I know that God intended it to be, and that’s what draws me back in. You don’t have to be in this perfect little place to write a song. You write where you’re at, and you never know where you’re going to end up at the end of it.
What song has seemed to connect with your fans the most, and why do you think it connects with them so well?
Sam – “Heal This Home” probably connects the most from the last record. It’s about how God can restore and heal anything that happens to us in our lives, ‘cause our heart is our home. But we took the literal story of a home gone awry because they’d been married for 15 years, and they don’t feel the same way as they used to, ’cause everything’s just gotten old and stale, but it’s the whole part that God can and will restore your home. Air 1 Radio picked it up. They played that song, and they got a lot of responses from that. They’ve got, in some cases, emails where kids were able to share that song with their parents – and whenever your child
shows you a song that they think you could live by, you tend to listen more as a parent. So it’s been cool to hear stories of that happening, and it’s all just really God using their children to restore and mend what was broken in their lives.
How have you seen God use your music to impact the lives of others?
Sam –I believe God has anointed our music in a way that it may not even be exactly what the song is saying, or the sound of the music, but somehow, the Holy Spirit moves through it, and people say “I feel close to God when I listen to your music. I feel like He’s there,” live or on cd. It’s a something in the atmosphere changes kind of a deal, and that’s something that we’ve just kind of always been stand back in awe, and be like “How is this happening,” and we’re like “Well, we don’t know, but we love it, and we’re just gonna keep doing it, so God can be a part of it.” That’s definitely the best part – people feel closer to God, and they actually feel Him whenever they listen to it.
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