Questions have Artist reflecting on 9/11/01

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Dear fans and musicians of Unashamed Faith Cafe (UFC)

I feel sad having to inform you all that due to unforeseen circumstances the lovely radio station Unashamed Faith Cafe (UFC) has been airing on, had their hosting cease operations (Jan. 2016) and therefore can no longer stream.

On a much happier note yeah, Unashamed Faith Cafe (UFC) is exploring other avenues (including playing wonderful Inspirational Artist's music, as we always have) and other ways of continuing to support Inspirational Artists. UFC will keep you all up-to-date as new things unfold.

Host and creative founder of Unashamed Faith Cafe (UFC)

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Unashamed Faith Cafe (UFC) -- Celebrates

​Unashamed Faith Cafe (UFC) will celebrate its anniversary on September 14, 2015, as we go forward into our 8th season. Our host Arizzona will also be celebrating her birthday, the same day. How cool is that?!?​ ​

Many thanks for all your support,
Host and Creative Founder of Unashamed Faith Cafe (UFC)​

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Rev. Yolanda's Old Time Gospel Hour

A glimpse into what you can expect from a Rev. Yolanda Concert:

For more info on Rev. Yolanda visit:

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Questions have Artists Reflecting on 9/11/01

For me, UFC's host - the feeling of 9/11/01 begins with the personal and with the direct human loss of individual lives then expands outward from there to the world and it's landscape.

Some of the Artists that Unashamed Faith Cafe (UFC) has had the pleasure of getting to know and have given their music radio airplay -- have graciously reflected on 9/11/01.  Please visit the menu item "Questions have Artists Reflecting on 9/11/01."

Friday, April 26, 2013

Shawn Thomas Interview by Arizzona - Host of UFC

Shawn Thomas’s praisable and worshipable CD “Voice of Worship” has singable songs that are perfectly crafted for inspirational settings. Yep, even a songbook! It’s kindda possible to hear his voice singing upward, through the ceiling and out into the ethers. Without question, this is music designed to inspire worshipers to express faith through contemplation, clapping, and singing along.


Hey Shawn -- Welcome to Unashamed Faith Cafe!

Describe the path that led to production and release of Voice of Worship?

I kind of had the idea to do another praise and worship CD for a couple of years.  More and more, the churches I visit seem to be interested in not just separate concerts, but sharing in music during their regular worship services.  I found myself needing more songs that congregations could sing along with, and that we could do together in worship.

What inspired the title of your CD Voice of Worship?

The idea is that the song lyrics are taken directly from scripture – which means it’s not my words or my voice, but quotes from the Bible.  It takes my voice out of it and brings the focus back to the true “voice of worship”.

Listening to your CD “Voice of Worship”- I noticed it is based on Scriptural words instead of your own words. Can you explain why you chose this path and what it means to you?

It’s not really a new idea or anything – there are a lot of Christian artists and songs that use scripture – but in this case, it helped deflect any distraction from the message of God’s grace and love.  There’ve been a few times in recent years (I think because of opinions I’ve expressed or other songs I’ve written), that attention got drawn away from that central message of inclusive love.  Using scripture was a great way to refocus that attention on God.
What is your reaction listening to the playback of Living Sacrifice? What do you enjoy the most about this song and why?

“Living Sacrifice” is a song about giving to God what is already God’s – that everything that we are is God’s, and therefore we should strive to be an offering back to God in everything we do and all that we are.  I do enjoy listening to this track with just the simple intro and verse of only piano and guitar and then the build-up of harmonies and instruments into the bridge.  It makes it exciting to sing with church congregations because their voices build up as well as they sing.

This song is based on 
(Romans 12:1-2. 1 Cor. 6:19-20. 1 Chron. 29:10-13)

How and in what ways has the bonus track "The Christ in You" become such a personal anthem for you over the years?

I think this is the 3rd recorded version of the song I’ve released – the first in 2008 as the original arrangement, the second in 2009 as a club-remix, and then this version as an acoustic arrangement.  It just seemed appropriate to include it as a bonus track since it was on the first praise and worship CD I had released, and since it has sort of become for me a foundational statement.  It’s still the song that I say that if someone only got to hear one song from me, I hope it would be “The Christ in You.”

What triggered spiritual changes in your life to dig so deep in scripture for this album?

Not sure there’ve been any major changes, but of course we all continue to grow and develop in our walk with God, and so I hope as I continue to write and record that each song can be a reflection of that walk.

Your most memorable performance(s) to date, (surrounding this album) and why?

The CD hasn’t been out very long, but I have had the opportunity to sing “Lifted Up” with 3 different choir or praise team groups.  I’ve enjoyed that a lot and it has been an affirmation to me that the songs can work in worship services and with congregational singing.

Share a bit about the experience of performing live. Some people really enjoy performing live; others get stage nerves/butterflies each time. How is that experience for you?

I guess I’m most nervous after a project has just been released because all the music is still new in my head as far as memorization of both lyrics and music.  Rote memory has always been a challenge for me, so it takes several weeks and sometime a few months for me to get comfortable with all the new songs so that I’m completely relaxed and not thinking, “Oh God! What’s the next word?”

For a moment, let’s completely take Shawn out of the CD and you’re hearing Voice of Worship as if it was brand new to you. What feelings vibes or thoughts would you get from the CD?

Hmmm, I’m not sure I even know how to do that.  But my hope is that these are songs that people can have experiences of both personal and corporate times of worship.  I also hope that the scripture-based lyric helps bring us closer to the Word and our understanding of how God can speak to us.

How has your faith sustained you first personally and secondly musically?

One of my greatest joys is that I’ve been able to express my faith in music.  I love it!  I love God, and I love to sing and play music.  Seems like a natural combination. 

Please give a shout out to all who matter most and let folks know where they can get a copy of your CD.

Well of course, we all matter – that’s the best part.  :) The CD is available at and in all digital outlets.

Thank you for the opportunity! Shawn

Thank you Shawn! -  Arizzona host of Unashamed Faith Cafe  

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tom Goss Interview by Arizzona

Tom Goss is a  native of  Kenosha, Wisconsin, he spent his high school and college years as a wrestler, leaving the family sport of gymnastics for one better suited to his teenage aggression. Following a brief stint as a teacher, he moved to Washington, DC in 2004 to enter Catholic seminary. It did not go as planned, and he abandoned his quest to become a priest—but not his desire to spread a message of hope and reconciliation through his music.

Now he is winning followers across the country while still finding time to lead and raise funds for a DC nonprofit called Charlie’s Place that provides free meals, clothing and social services to the homeless. It is the perfect day job for a man who lives what he sings.

 Please tell us how you entered the music business?

It was something I stumbled on really.  I was playing music on the side for years, just as something that helped me process emotions and cope with whatever I was dealing with.  Eventually, as my other career ambitions fell to the wayside it was all I had left that I was still passionate about.

What was the inspiration behind your album “Lost Songs and Underdogs?”

I write a lot of songs.  Not all of them fit on every project.  The songs on Lost Songs and Underdogs were songs that for one reason or other didn’t fit the mold.  Many of them are dark, sad and intimate.  I loved these songs and would play them live on rare occasions however, they needed to be recorded and released in a way that would tell their story most effectively.  That’s what I set out to accomplish in Lost Songs and Underdogs.

Please share with us what you have learned from the creation of your latest album.

Lost Songs and Underdogs was different for me because I did everything.  I’m a firm believer in surrounding yourself with great minds to push you to create a bigger and better project.  However, sometimes, in doing so, you compromise what your initial inspiration was.  I didn’t want to do that for this record.  I wanted this record to provide insight into my soul.  I wanted it to be intimate and honest.  As a result I didn’t let anyone listen to it until it was done, not even my husband.  I played all the instruments and did all the recording.  I learned that I’m much more well rounded as an engineer and musician that I ever believed beforehand.

What is the process that you go through in the creation of a song?

Songwriting is very fluid to me.  Usually I pick up an instrument and something about the sound of a chord touches me.  Eventually I start to sing and then I try frantically to coral the words into a coherent story.  My writing is very subconscious.  I would never be able to write what I do if I thought about it.

Which song on “Lost Songs and Underdogs” has the most meaning for you and why?

They all do.  This album is a glimpse into my soul.  It holds some of the darkest nights of my life and speaks to my struggles to become that man I am.  I write about divorce, infidelity, death, suicide, alcoholism, promiscuity, loss of innocence and eventually – redemption and rebirth.  This is not a record that you’ll pop in and be immediately grabbed.  Lost Songs and Underdogs is best listened to in its entirety, while being present. 

What has discouraged you the most about making music?

Making music is not discouraging.  It is the rest that often is.  Booking and promoting, dealing with the back end industry stuff.  It’s non-stop work.  But the highs are worth it.

A few fun questions to get to know Tom Goss better:
If music were not an option, what would you be doing?

Probably get more sleep : )

What are some unusual foods you really like and your favourite simple recipe is?

I eat a lot of seafood and veggies.  I grew up thinking squid sauteed in it’s own ink was normal so that might give you a sense of what I love.  You can make that by getting a bunch of un-cleaned squid.  Clean it.  Make sure you keep the ink, just discard the spine and the head (but not the tentacles).  Saute in oil, filberts (is a nut), and oregano then drop in the squid for a couple minutes.  Tasty times!

Please tell us where folks can find your music?


Thank you Tom for taking the time to speak with us!
Unashamed Faith Cafe on Facebook

Monday, May 28, 2012

Charles K. Brown Interview by Arizzona

Charles K. Brown hails from Georgia, USA.
Please tell us how you entered into the independent music industry.
I started recording my original music and then manufacturing CDs and producing music videos.  I sort of entered the independent music industry by default.
Please share with us the creative process that inspired your album  Trouble Is...

I asked Freddy Freeman to produce an album for me. We had been making music together for some time and sort of clicked creatively speaking. When it comes down to it, we just had an amazing amount of fun creating tracks, arranging songs, original and cover tunes as well.

For your CD project Trouble Is…, how did you become involved with the bear community?

Well, it just so happens that Freddy Freeman is the founder of Bearapalooza, a brotherhood of   singers/songwriters and musicians that is more or less fur friendly.

The video for Bittersweet Refrain has been referred to as the "Cat" video.  Please tell us the story behind the video and about the cats.

Bittersweet Refrain evolved from a process whereby a lot of ideas had to be discarded and rethought. The cats are several artful objects that were either made by or belonged to my late mother. They really just ended up being in the video and were not meant to be the subject matter.  It became a bit of a  contest/challenge to count the cats and/or how many times cats appeared in the video, when Unashamed Faith Cafe had a trivial contest.

How many cats do you see?
Bittersweet Refrain by Charles K. Brown

Seven of the songs from Trouble Is... have videos now, what was that process like?

It has been a real seat-of-the-pants operation.  The first video was taken from clips on the road with Bearapalooza. We took ourselves on a tour of the Northeast USA back in 2008 and had many clips of live performances of Moody Woo. This became the first video from the album. The next step was hiring a local production company in Summerville, GA.. who had not made any music videos for clients in the past.  They mainly handled weddings and school events.  I made three videos with You One Productions and one of them was nominated for Best Folk/Jazz Video in 2011 for the RightOutTv video music awards.  It did not win, but it sure made us all proud. Two videos were made by Orlando Santiago, director of the upcoming documentary BearWorld and one video was created and edited by a good friend and amazing performance artist Kendall Kelly.

What other artist have had influences on you and your music and why?

There are too many to even name, if I had to make a top ten list, these are the first names that come to mind;  The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Little Feat, the Eagles, Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Carole King, James Taylor, Tom Waits and Stephen Foster. All of the music we grow up listening to becomes the fabric of our creative clothing. I am certainly not a genius with the metaphor here.

Tell us what you go through when you hit one of those challenging periods in making music.

Complete and utter chaos, I have gone as long as two or three years without writing a song. My original songs happen mainly when something happens to me first and I feel an overwhelming need to - let it all out.
What is next for you?
I hope to start working on a new album soon.  I have most of the songs in mind and even some of the arrangements and the players. I am doing some executive producing in the documentary world now too.

Fun stuff:

If you were not creating music, what would you be doing?

I always dreamed I would be an actor and I spent 5 years as a professional, card-carrying stage actor. I think, if I were free to do it or felt free to do it, I'd still be pursuing parts in plays.  At one time, it was my ambition to play in all the works of William Shakespeare. I let go of that dream several years ago.  I think it must take some kind of intestinal fortitude that I simply did not have to be an actor.
What would folks be surprised to find your fridge?

They would be shocked to see there was nothing in it, but some condiments, some bottled water and some cans of ginger ale for medicinal purposes.  I eat out most all the time or carryout, as the case may be.

Where can folks find your music and more about you?

The CD is available for download or for physical copies at most digital outlets, primarily at Cdbaby, Amazon and  iTunes. We started a blog for the album, but have been lax at updates. The videos for Trouble Is... can be seen on YouTube, if you search Charles K. Brown  Trouble is... It makes the world go 'round. One of them was nominated for Best Folk/Jazz Video in 2011 for the RightOutTv video music awards.  It did not win, but it sure made us all proud. Two videos were made by Orlando Santiago, director of the upcoming documentary BearWorld and one video was created and edited by a good friend and amazing performance artist Kendall Kelly.

Charles K. Brown's websites:
Charles K. Brown 

Thank you Charles for taking the time to speak with us!
Unashamed Faith Cafe on Facebook

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

"Finally" with Kim Wisdom by Arizzona

Finally" is Kim Wisdom's first CD. She believes that the message through these songs are continuing to be revealed in her own path on this journey.

Kim shared - “Her greatest pleasure is singing gospel and choral music for the greater good of the community. Nothing makes her happier than  to touch our community with song.”

Please tells us how you how you entered into the gospel music industry.

At the age of 10, my mother entered me in a gospel singing contest. Needless to say I won that event. There was a country gospel band attending that contest and asked if I would go on the road with them as a featured artist. Thus, I joined the group and began touring and singing with the “Born Again Gospel Singers" and 4 years later the manager of the group decided that I was talented enough to sing on my own, so we began the process of recording my first solo LP. At the age of 15 I had successfully recorded my first Album. I eventually came into my own and performed primarily as a special music artist while ministering to teens. I toured Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.
On your CD “Finally” - how did you decide what songs to include?

You know that is when the power of God just takes over. When I decided to move forward with this CD, I had no idea where to start on song choices… I was going through a very rough time in my spiritual life and the songs just started coming to me. If you notice, the songs I chose are all about realizing that I have a friend in Jesus and everything is going to be alright. God gave me a couple of songs of gratitude by bringing in “How great thou art” and “You are Holy” making sure that I remain humble and grateful in all things. However, with songs like “Daystar” and the “Lighthouse”, those were my vision of help and love that God sends to us all as a reminder that God is omnipresent. So, this whole process was God’s message to me…. If someone else were to be blessed by my message & song then that is a blessing in and of, itself.  But this project and these songs were a direct message to me from God and that message continues to evolve on this spiritual journey.

I am also a southern Gospel singer, and southern gospel needs to be kept alive. I have chosen to stay with this genre, because let’s face it, it is hard to take the country out of the girl, but the message that these old songs provide; that the hope and love that we all yearn for needs to be kept alive. They are truly the genesis from which Christian music has come.
What was the recording process like?

The funny thing about the recording process was that I chose the songs that I believe God called me to choose but it was not until I heard the first playback of the entire CD that I went AH HA!  That is when I realized that God was speaking to me and only me. The process was easy… I felt so comfortable and knew that I was doing was what I was supposed to be doing. I only spent 12 hours in the studio for the recording time. That was a blessing as well. God took my hand and said Kim, let’s get er’ done.

When you look back on the recording experience for “Finally”, what memory immediately comes to mind?

I brought in a very talented friend of mine, Lynne Weynand, to listen and critique me during the recording process.  Her spirit and the synchronicity of understanding what I envisioned as an outcome, was unbelievable. When she could tell I wasn’t where I wanted to be on a particular song, she just knew when to step in and talk to me about the song and the message I wanted to share.  Numerous times, she was able to bring me back to that place in the song and the spirit and with that centering we came up with the sound that I wanted.

What other artist have had influences on you and your music?

The Gaither Vocal Band with their beautiful harmonies
Cynthia Clawson the purest voice and incredible message
Janet Paschal unbelievable spirit and sultry voice
What would folks be totally surprised to learn about Kim?

I started singing when I was 10, by the age of 15 just after I finished recording my first LP,  I became very ill. I had to retreat for 6-8 weeks and just rest. Seems God blessed me with a few talents, as I was also a very good softball player.  Planning for the future and college, I was forced to make the decision to sing or play ball. There was just not enough time in the day to do both. Decidedly, there was not a college scholarship for a country gospel singer; so I chose to concentrate on my athletic career. It paid off and a scholarship to Sam Houston State University followed. One of the greater misfortunes in my life was that I became involved with the wrong crowd and soon lost everything. I began doing drugs; my family cut me out of their lives, not only because of drugs but also because I came out as a lesbian. It would take years for me to get my life back in order and to start singing again. I am so blessed to have that second chance to utilize the gift that has been so graciously given to me by God.

Currently, I am on the Executive Board of Directors for a choral group, Resounding Harmony. It is a 150 voice mixed chorus that sings only to give back. We choose charities and raise funds for them by performing two concerts a year. We have averaged $20,000.00 per concert to donate to the beneficiary charity.This chorus is a blessing and a great way of becoming a philanthropist through beautiful music.

What is next for Kim Wisdom?

I just want to continue to share the message that God provides to me. I will continue to sing for myself and hope that maybe I will touch lives and help someone out there that finds fulfillment & healing in the message through song as I did and still do. It is truly, why I did this …. Not for glory or fame. God knows how to speak to me and that is through music… and for once I listened and I continue to hear the message. Sometimes the message is not always the same, so I continue to keep my heart open as well. I will continue to be a voice through choral music with Resounding Harmony and work on raising funds for notable charities.I do have a Christmas CD on the horizon… I will keep my heart open about that possibility and see where God directs me on that path.

Kim Wisdom sings "God is Still Doing Great Things"

Time for shootouts to anyone and anything that matters. Where can folk find your album for sale?

I am grateful For Shawn Thomas and the work he is doing to spread GLBT music. He is a great advocate for Christians that tend to get pushed aside because of their beliefs.I am so grateful for my partner, all of my friends and family and their continued love, friendship and encouragement.

I haven’t quite made it to iTunes, that is also on my horizon.  For now, my music can be found on Facebook at:

Kim Wisdom's song "Morning's Coming"  is on the Spiritual compilation CD -- UP Vol. 2. (Unashamed Praise)


Thank you Kim for taking the time to speak with us!
Unashamed Faith Cafe on Facebook

Friday, March 23, 2012

"Gotta Do it Anyway-Hallelujah Kindda Day" by Shawn Thomas

The second single from "Covered and Created" by Shawn Thomas. It's a fun video and song that makes ya wanna get up and dance, in a gotta do it anyway kindda way!.

Shawn Thomas’s website:

To Purchases CDs
Available on itunes

Interview with Shawn Thomas

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

"Covered and Created" with Shawn Thomas by Arizzona

Shawn Thomas is an openly gay Christian recording artist. His intention is to share the message of God’s of love and grace through music in order to build unity, understanding, and acceptance while still encouraging personal responsibility, self-reliance, and the development of conviction and values. Along with a fun-filled musical experience of sharing and praising.

Describe how you entered the independent gospel music industry?

Hmmm – hard to make a long story short… I didn’t plan to go into ministry. I think if I had, it probably wouldn’t have worked. I had recorded several secular CDs in the 1990s. Sometimes people would say to me after hearing my recordings, “you should sing Christian music” -- but “Christian music” to me meant hymns because the church I grew up in only had traditional and classical music. I didn’t want to sing that style, so I never paid any attention when people would encourage me to sing Christian music – even though they probably meant “contemporary” Christian music.

I didn’t know what contemporary Christian music was – I had barely even heard of Amy Grant, much less someone like Steven Curtis Chapman. Then in 2002 I started writing music that had Christian and Spiritual lyrics – not really on purpose – just what was coming out of me. I had no idea what I was going to do with this “pop” style Christian music. I thought that no one would want to hear it. Then a friend of mine invited me to sing at his church and do one of my new songs. I thought he was crazy, but he said his church liked “that kind of music”.

It opened up a whole new world to me of worship and praise music and contemporary rock and pop Christian music. So I released the CD, “Everything I Am” in 2003, still with really no idea what I was going to do with it. I was invited to sing at a couple of more churches, and thought, “well, maybe I’ll just visit a church every once-in-a-while and sing a few of these songs.” But within a few months, the opportunities to visit churches started coming more often and by the end of the year I was traveling more weekends than not. I had no idea what I was doing or how to do it, and now 8 years later, I still don’t know what I’m doing or how I’m doing it, but somehow it’s working and I’m loving every minute of it and I’m filled with gratitude and awe every step of the way.

For folks that might not know please tell us what the message is behind Shawn Thomas’ music and what Aaron’s Rainbow Project is?

I’m an openly gay, contemporary Christian singer/songwriter with a ministry that includes an outreach to the GLBT community. I visit churches, groups, and events hoping to share the Grace message of God’s Love, through concerts, workshops, and spoken message.
My middle name is “Aaron”. Actually my birth name was Aaron, and then I legally changed it to Shawn Aaron Thomas in the 90s. Before I was involved in music ministry, I had already set up “Aaron’s Rainbow Project” in order to self-publish songs and release recordings. Then as the music ministry grew, I named it “The Ministry of Aaron’s Rainbow Project (ARP)” as a way to be able to talk about the music ministry without directly talking about myself. I didn’t want to have “Shawn Thomas Ministries” because I didn’t want the focus to be on me, but on the outreach and message of the ministry.

Faith is a huge part of your music. Please tell us what Faith means to you.

Paul tells us in Romans that it is our Faith that makes us “righteous” or “right standing” in the eyes of God. The song “By Faith” that appears on the CD, “Worship & Desperation” is based on that concept.
I had a friend once explain to me that people often think of Faith as being the opposite of doubt – but that she believes the opposite of Faith is certainty. If you are certain of something, then you have no need for Faith because you already know everything for sure. If you have doubt, then you have to rely on Faith, because you don’t have certainty or proof. Pretty cool…

Please share with us who Shawn is as a child of God and what that image looks like?
I have no idea how to answer this – ha! :)
I do know that we are all created in God’s image, and that creation is the vessel and temple inside of us that hopefully we choose to share with the world.

It has been three years since your last original album; in what ways have you seen yourself grow personally and musically?

It’s been a fun few years in getting to work with other artists in recording and production through Shawn Thomas Studios. I’ve had the chance to work on everything from country to hard rock to dance. You learn a lot working with other artists and how they create and play their own music. Obviously some of that rubs off and I find myself incorporating techniques, licks, and ideas that I picked up from other artists. What a cool thing!
Also since I’ve been touring most weekends of the year, I’ve become more confident on the guitar and playing live and even “unplugged” more than in years past. There’s a lot more guitar in the recording of “Covered and Created” than on previous CDs.
I think another thing that’s interesting as a songwriter or recording artist, is that when you release a “new” project – it’s new to everyone else, but for you a lot of the material is months or even years old because you’ve been working on it and getting it ready. In addition, up until the point of releasing a new project, you’ve been performing your previously “new” stuff, knowing that you actually have other “new” stuff that nobody can hear yet, because you’re still promoting your previous “new” stuff! Crazy, huh? I guess, my point is that when you hear an artist performing a “new” song, chances are that emotionally and even musically, they may have already moved on to another place with other music that’s inside them and just not released yet. It’s like what you release and put out there tends to be a few steps behind where you actually are in your life and music. Weird, I know… :)

Your latest work double-CD “Covered and Created” uses scripture for lyric, please tell us how this has influenced the new “Created” songs?

Two of the original songs have lyrics taken directly from scripture:
“The Everlasting God” is taken from Isaiah 40:25-31.
“Hands Up” is taken from Psalm 63:1-4, 134:2, 47:1, and Revelation 19:1 & 6
A couple of others are based on either the message contained in scripture, or inspired by the story:
“Not Unspeakable” is inspired by the courage and strength of the disciples to continue speaking the name of Jesus even in the face of prison, beating, and death (Acts 5). The song lists many of the names used for Christ in scripture such as Messiah, Emmanuel, Prince of Peace, Light of the World, etc... Another song, “Welcome to a New Day” celebrates the theme of all things being made new in Christ. (Isaiah 43:1-7, 16-19 and 2 Corinthians 5:6-8)

Very intriguing song title "This is How I Worship You" - please share with us how this song came about and what it means to you?

The last full CD of new material that I released was Worship & Desperation” in 2008. The biggest change for me in that project was that I focused on praise and worship music and how music can be used in services and even personal time with God. That’s a part of me now – music as worship – so I’m pretty sure praise and worship music will continue to be a part of the music that I release as well. “This is How I Worship You” is an example of that. While “Covered and Created” is not a praise and worship CD as a whole, there are definitely a couple of songs on it that are still intended to be worship songs.
Someone recently challenged me with the idea that God doesn’t need “worship” – that if God needed us to worship Him, then wouldn’t that make God selfish and self-centered? But I think the error in that question is that it assumes from the beginning that worship is something we created and are giving to God. I believe worship is a gift from God to us – it’s for us, not for God. When I say, “This is how I worship You” I’m affirming and celebrating that I have exercised my free-will choice to lift up praise and glory to God – not because God needs it or even demands it – but because I love God and enjoy expressing it - even need to express it. Worship is also something that brings people together, which is also something that we need. Corporate worship brings the various creations and images of God in each of us together making the image bigger and dissolving the boundaries that separate us. Worship is just one of the many gifts we receive from God – not because it’s for God, or because God needs it – but because God loves us and knows that we need it.

Please tells us about two of the “Covered” songs on your new CD “Covered and Created” that are not part of Acoustic Wednesday (videos) and what inspired you to choose these songs?

“The Way I was Made” was originally recorded and co-written by Chris Tomlin, a contemporary Christian artist and worship leader. I like it a lot because the chorus reminds me of this poem:
"Dance as though no one is watching you. Love as though you have never been hurt before. Sing as though no one can hear you. Live as though Heaven is on earth." (Alfred D. Souza)
I would never presume to know what his intentions were in writing the song, so I’m not suggesting or projecting anything here – but as a gay man, there is power in the lyric, “I wanna be the man I was meant to be. I wanna be the way I was made.”
“Orphans of God” is just truly an amazing and powerful song. My partner Brian and our friend Jeremiah Cummings sing the song with me on the CD as a trio. It was originally recorded by the Christian group, “Avalon”. Brian knows some of the history about the song and one of the songwriters – but you’ll have to hear Brian explain it and tell the story himself sometime when we perform it live. Ha! (that’s mean, I know…)

Everyone should have equal opportunity to enjoy music. How would you convey your new CD (the music & lyric) to the hard of hearing community.

I’ve had people who are deaf or who have hearing loss purchase CDs from me before at concerts and such. Some tell me they listen by feeling the vibrations of the beat and rhythm. In worship settings, several of the songs from “Worship & Desperation” have multi-media that go with them including the lyrics.
In recent years, I’ve also witnessed that sign language is becoming more and more a part of worship expression – not just for those who can’t hear, but for everyone. I’ve seen sign language used in dance and movement during songs, and have even used it some myself in concerts. I’ll invite everyone to learn some basic words and use their whole bodies to lift up praise and worship as we sing.
The first weekend in August, I presented a lot of the new music from “Covered and Created” for the first time at a concert at the church in West Palm Beach, FL where my partner, Brian, is the Pastoral Associate. There is a group from Fort Lauderdale called “Shine Ministries” that does sign language interpretive dance and they participated in the concert as well.

If you had only a few minutes to perform one song that would have a great impact on the world today. What song would you sing and why did you choose this song?

People often ask, “What’s your favorite song that you’ve written?” I always have trouble with that question because it’s hard to choose one song, when each original song means something different and is special to me. But a couple of years ago, a woman I had not met before and who had not ever heard of me or any of my music, asked me “Which one of your songs would be the best example of what your ministry is about?” Now that’s a different question. Today, my answer is still the same: “The Christ in You” (from the CD, “Worship & Desperation”). If I had to sum up my faith and any message I hope to convey with one song that I’ve written, it would be “The Christ in You.” The lyrics remind us that in all our trials and conflict, God and Christ are alive in us, and that as Christians we are called to not only reflect the Christ inside of us, but to remind those around us that we see Christ living in them.

Single from Covered and Created - "Hero"

We'll let "Hero" by Shawn Thomas from the "Covered disk" speak for itself - do enjoy!

Shout out time to anyone and everyone that matters most to you. Where can people find your music?

Hey! (there’s my shout!) – or maybe I should say “Hallelujah!” and fall-out in the Spirit for a real shout! Ha! :)
The main website is Others include and

Thanks Shawn for all you do and reminding us all to keep-on-singing Hallelujah!

THANK YOU Arizzona and UFC for the opportunity to be interviewed.