Tonya Sykes Review - ChristianMusic.com

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Tonya Sykes - SOUL OF ME CD Review

MISSION STATEMENT:

1) The focus of Pre-Flight Ministries is to not only sing, minister to the needs and help prepare people for their final flight, but also to reach out to seekers and the lost with the glorious news about Jesus Christ and the hope of the Gospel.

2) The focused purpose of the songs on SOUL OF ME: Serving the body of Christ, leading others into His presence and encouraging people into a deeper walk with the Lord, which involves having heart knowledge and a relationship with Jesus Christ.

About Tonya Sykes And Her Friends.............

"Christianity is not about having head knowledge or a belief in God. It's about having heart knowledge and a relationship with Jesus Christ."

Both Tonya Sykes, singer /songwriter and founder of Pre-Flight Ministries, and Lisa Davis, who is Tonya's manager-friend, also a songwriter and co-founder of Pre-Flight Ministries, have a very strong bond in their music ministry together, through their love of Jesus Christ, as both women have experienced the healing love and supernatural deliverance from serious consequences resulting from their destructive personal choices made when they were very young women. These life-changing, healing experiences turned their lives around, as they turned from their weaknesses and began a spiritual walk with Jesus.

As a result of their personal experiences with Jesus Christ, their deep love for the Lord and through the power of the Holy Spirit, and with the support of their families they started Pre-flight Ministries together, combining their gifts, talents and love of the Lord Jesus, which has resulted in a debut CD, SOUL OF ME, a soon to be released 2nd CD, and opportunities for mission in music ministry. Pre-flight Ministries is a nonprofit organization with a spirit-filled passion to fulfill the Great Commission through a music ministry; a music ministry that promotes the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

During the week of July 23rd - 30th, 2003, Lisa and Tonya were invited to participate in a Crusade concert in Haiti. Although Lisa and Tonya were unable to raise the total of $10,000 for the Haiti Crusade, they did raise $1000, as a result of a lot of hard work and gave it to Julio Volcy's ministry (pastor that invited them). Tonya said, "The money was used for VBS, and supplied 450 children with food, fun, and the love of Jesus...we were so honored to be a part of that....we were not happy we missed it, but it was not God's time or we would have been there."

As of Sept. 4th, another door was opened by the Lord for Pre-Flight Ministries. Tonya explains this new development. "God has opened a huge door for the ministry.......Paramount a division of United Artist has given me a songwriting contract....I will be working with them from now on.....Lisa and I are so excited about this...we know it is the Lord, we just sit back in awe of Him. Who knows what God is up to?"

Paramount has chosen some new songs off of Pre-flight Ministries second, soon to be released CD demo, as songs they will promote first: They chose: "Come Together"...."Safe Refuge"...."His Name is Jesus"....and "Emergency." Paramount knows talent when they hear it, and the Lord will use these songs in a mighty way to reach out to people in need of Him.

"With no earthly credits to their names, the Lord has given them a great vision, to help bring in the last harvest. They truly believe they're living in the last days."

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Tonya Sykes..........

The teen years are a confusing, sometimes a rebellious time, and can be a rocky experience, despite being raised in a Christian home. In her late teens, Tonya got off-track and took a little detour and flirted with alcoholism, nicotine addiction, and nearly died of an abortion at the tender age of 17. After her transforming experience with Jesus, who has been known to make housecalls in various forms, she dedicated her life to loving and serving Him, starting with getting back on track and beginning a real relationship with Him, inspired by a growing heart knowledge which led to a deeper walk.

Tonya explains the change in her walk, after her spiritual experience with Jesus: "I knew about God all my life. I knew His Word, but I never knew Him. Knowing Him makes all the difference in this walk of faith."

As it often happens, Tonya's past troubles and near death experience, combined with her transforming experience with Jesus turned into a powerful Christian testimony in the form of a book, "The Power of His Love", written by Tonya and inspired by the Holy Spirit, 4 years ago. Her book explains "how God has used this tragedy to stop other girls from getting abortions."

Described as being "a wonderfully passionate person for Christ, with a servant's heart," Tonya began her music ministry for Jesus Christ at the age of 30, though she had started to exercise her gift in music during middle school and continued throughout high school. After high school, Tonya explains, "Life took me in other directions, involving home and family."

However, the Lord had plans for her musical gifts and what she has learned in her walk with Him; to serve in a music ministry for His purposes, using what He has taught her through her life experiences, combined with her musical talent. Tonya explains, "My faith and love for Jesus Christ led me to pursue a career in the Contemporary Christian music industry.

Tonya relates, "When I made this decision, things began to fall in place. With the help of my manager and friend, Lisa Davis, as well as my father, J.C. Parham, I came in contact with Producer Mckelvie Wilder of The Sound Closet. With a lot of hard work, sweat, and tears, we have released a CD called SOUL OF ME."

Lisa Davis... "Lisa Davis is the right arm of this ministry, as she wears many hats; designing, interceding, song writing, and financing are just a few."

Lisa Davis grew up in a single parent home, raised by a God-fearing mother. Her teenage years were also a rocky, rebellious time in her life, as she also got off track and went down the slippery slope into the drug world.

Lisa explains her detour away from the Lord, and how He reached out to her."Though loving and faithful, my mother could not prevent me from testing the waters of disobedience. I traveled a long road of detours, leading me farther and farther from the truth that was hidden in my heart. When the Lord finally allowed me to get to the end of myself, I was desperate and cried out yo Him... He heard me and came running, and shouting, 'See me now... You're at your bottom... Look up... See me now!'"

Her reaction: "I heard Him, saw Him, felt Him, loved Him in an instant that day, and I've never looked back!" J.C. Parham..............

J. C. Parham, the father of Tonya, is also a talented songwriter and contributed the title song, "Soul of Me," for Tonya's debut CD. He has used his own musical gifts for many years and has inspired Tonya to do so as well. He has recently released 2 CD's as he follows the path that the Lord is leading him down.

Mckelvie Wilder...

Located in Anderson, South Carolina, Mckelvie Wilder of The Sound Closet, is a very talented Christian music producer who was "a key instrument in helping Tonya and Lisa get the music portion of Pre-Flight's ministries in order. Mckelvie was responsible for the background vocals, keyboard, mixing, and engineering, all which enhance the compositions, lyrics, mood of each song, for the enjoyment and inspiration of the listener.

About SOUL OF ME

Through the release of their debut CD, SOUL OF ME, Tonya Sykes and Lisa Davis, Sykes' right arm co-founder of Pre-Flight Ministries offer the listener some inspiring, touching, thought-provoking songs that truly encourage spending time with the Lord, through music and lyrics that express the faithful love that the Lord has for each one of us, his willingness to heal our hurts, his mercy, and his faithfulness and the hope that Christians have in Jesus Christ. The stunning combination of meaningful, Spirit-inspired lyrics, and catchy, moving musical compositions has produced songs that will uplift and bless the listener in his / her spiritual walk with the Lord.

CD Dedication: "That the music and lyrics of these songs will have their place in the Lord's service for His purpose, and touch the hearts of many, encouraging a closer, deeper walk with the Lord." - Tonya Sykes.

SOUL OF ME CD Songs

* * + THE BIG SIGN - Words and Music by Lisa Davis.

A light rock praise song, which makes good use of the piano to establish the snappy beat, some counter melody, which all supports the melody of Tonya's fine vocals. Driven piano / drum introduction does a nice job establishing the pop rock beat as well as providing a strong introduction to the main melody. There is a fine electric guitar solo during the interlude between verses. Nice violin sound is in background.

A song about how patient and merciful our Lord is, who time after time leads us back on track in our service for Him, like a good shepherd leads his sheep down the right path.

. Related Scriptural References: (Romans 1:17, 1 John 3:1, Philippians 1:6 & 2:15, John 10:3-5)

Lyrical Samples:

1) On a road to nowhere, running in circles round and round. How could I miss it. Time after time you've opened my eyes.

Chorus: Flashing lights, arrows pointing the way. I've been so blind, but now I see the big sign.

2) On a one way street, too many detours to turn me around, couldn't see your light, so many times you saved my life. Chorus

Hook: Keep leading the way lord, Keep showing the way Lord.

Chorus: Through flashing lights, arrows pointing the way. I've been so blind, now I see the big sign...Show me the big sign.....

* * * HUSH< HUSH - Words and Music by Tonya Sykes.

A favorite of this reviewer. A fun, joyous, bouncy song whose lyrics tells the story of how the Lord's Holy Spirit gently calls a believer to spend time with her creator. The chorus brings home the point that the Lord delights in our love and attention, as we are precious to Him. An encouraging song for those of us who struggle to find the time and make it a priority in our busy lives to spend time with the Lord, who dearly loves us as his children, and delights in spending time with us, hearing how we love Him.

Related Scriptural References: (1 John 4:19 & 3:1, Ephesians 1: 4-9, Romans 8:38-39, Psalm 37:4-7, Ephesians 3:16-19)

Lyrical Samples:

1) Deep in the night you come, kissing me gently on my face, your Spirit whispers in my ear, spend some time with me. Quickly I'm on my feet. Here I am Daddy dancing for you. Suddenly I here you say, STOP EVERYTHING.. She's looking my way.

Chorus: Hush, Hush, Can you hear her coming? The pitterpatter of her little feet running to me. Hush, Hush, she's gonna tell me she loves me. Sing and dance and shout how I've set her free.

2) With galaxies, moons, and stars in the way. Billions of angels singing Your praise, Still I can hear You say, Stop Everything, she's looking my way.

* * * THIS COULD BE THE NIGHT - Words and Music by Tonya Sykes.

Another favorite of this reviewer. Lovely counter melodies by guitars and piano, meld perfectly with main beautiful melody carried by the fine, expressive vocals. Great composition, plus great lyrics and vocals is an uplifting addition to the CD.

Related Scriptural References: (John 3:16, 1 Thess. 1:16-17, & 4:17, 1 Thess. 5:10)

Lyrical Samples:

1) With a broken heart, our Heavenly Father devised the perfect plan. Creating a seed of love. His only Son would come. He came, He died, He rose again, bridging the gap between God and man. Have you been washed in His precious blood. Will you surrender to His love?

Chorus: This could be the night, the King of Heaven comes back for His Bride. This could be the night, the Father's smile splits the eastern skies, in a moment in the twinkling of an eye, this could be the night.

2) He now sits in Heaven, at the Father's right hand. The Lion of Judea has given this command. Go tell the world everything that I have done. One day very soon I will return. Chorus

Hook: Are you ready for the trumpet to sound? Changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. This could be the night.

* * * + CRIMSON FLOOD - Words and Music by Tonya Sykes.

The favorite praise and worship song of this reviewer. Hauntingly beautiful song is written in a minor key. Begins with broken chords of an acoustical guitar and the mournful melody intro by an electrical guitar. Tonya's expressive vocals and light percussion, acoustical guitar broken chords, and fine electrical guitar chord / embellishment support in background. Wonderful meter change from verses to chorus, which brings joy to the good news of Jesus Christ. Also enjoyed the musical interludes between verses.

Related Scriptural References: (John 3:16, Hebrews 13:5-6)

Lyrical Samples:

1) Your soul cries out for so much more. Hoping to find your purpose in this world. You think you're all alone, but I AM by your side. Will you receive My sacrifice?

Chorus: There is a crimson flood, a river of love that flows for you. All sin is washed away from those who come to me. I'll cleanse you in My blood, Heal your heart and set you free. Come be washed away in my river of love.

2) I stand at the door, will you let me in? My arms are open wide, let Me hold you. Choose you this day, death or life. Will you receive My sacrifice? Chorus

Hook: Ahhhhhhhhhhhh, I've cleanse you in my blood, heal your heart and set you free; Come be washed away in My river of love.............

* * * LET ME LOVE THEM WITH YOUR HEART - Words and Music by Tonya Sykes.

A well done, upbeat, prayer contemporary worship hymn, which would be welcome in any contemporary worship service. Lovely use of guitars, which produce a nice ensemble, choir-like support of the inspiring melody well-done vocals of the song.

Related Scriptural References: (2 Thess. 2:16, 1 John 3:18)

Lyrical Samples:

1) Yeah, Yeah...Lord will You teach me. How to touch the world. See through Your eyes. Be used to change a life. Lead me ... Guide me. Pour out Your love, yes, pour our Your love through my life.

2) Take my hands and touch them. Look at them through my eyes, take my arms and hold them, Let me love them with Your heart. Oh please Jesus, Use me, Use me to show them who You are.

3) Lord I want to serve You. You are so good to me. Showered me with Love. Took me in Your family. You say that I've loved You. When I've loved the least of these, So lead the way I am Your hands and feet.

4) So many souls are hurting in the world today, one simple act of love. I've seen the difference it can make. Father use this willing heart, all I want to do is my part. Let me love them with Your heart. Hey ya.

Hook: Let me love them with Your heart..........Let me love them with Your heart.

* * * DADDY - Words and Music by Lisa Davis.

Another favorite of this reviewer. A narrative song which is written in a minor key, which starts with a solemn keyboard introduction. Vocals and keyboards carry the first verse. Guitars and light percussion join at the chorus. During the Hook, the song ends on a positive chord, which reflects the peace given to this child from the Lord, found in a relationship with Him.

The Lyrics were inspired from Lisa's childhood, and they really tug at the listener's heart. This song explores the heartbreaking pain of a little girl who desperately wants a Daddy to love, suffering a deep emotional hole in her heart. Though she never finds her birth father, her heavenly Lord reaches out to her in a dream with his comforting presence. Jesus in our lives can heal any emotional hole / hurt we have in our hearts if we let Him; for His love is perfect, faithful, and unconditional, and He is always with us. Kirk Franklin and Byron Cage, among many other believers who also grew up with no Daddy would agree with this message.

Related Scriptural References: (Hebrews 13:5-6, Matthew 7:7-8, 2 Cor: 1:3-4, Matt. 6:33, John 14:1 & John 10: 27-30)

Lyrical Samples:

1) Everyday as a little girl, I remember coming home to an empty house. Wiping the tears from my clouded eyes, I went through that door, And shouted out loud.

Chorus: Daddy! Daddy where are You? Daddy!! Daddy I love you. Daddy! I really need you. Did you hear me Daddy? I said I love you.

2) Weary and tired from my desperate search for a man I had never seen. Slumped over in a corner with a tear-streaked face, there was nothing to lose, I cried myself to sleep. Chorus

Hook: Then He came, He came to me in a dream, My Heavenly Father. "Here I Am, Here I Am, Here I Am child. Here I Am."

* * * + Title Song: SOUL OF ME - Words and Lyrics by J. C. Parham.

The favorite praise/prayer hymn on this CD of this reviewer. Music accompaniment that supports the transcending melody, heart-felt vocals and meaningful lyrics has a spiritual aura that swirls over the listener, bringing a peace to the mind and soul. Lyrics are a comforting reminder of the enduring characteristics of our Lord, and His promises to us which help relieve the tension of life and inspire the listener to depend on, trust in and pray to the Lord.

A personal praise prayer hymn to the Lord with a lovely melody, written in the spirit of a praise Psalm, describing the close relationship between a believer and the Lord, where the believer depends on the Lord for guidance, discernment, friendship, support, empowerment, and for our spiritual growth and development, so that we may be more Christ-like, and have an effective ministry for the Gospel.

Related Scriptural References: (Philip. 4:6-8, 1 John 2:5, 1 John 18-24)

Lyrical Samples:

1) Like wings upon the wind, we seek and desire, that breath of hopefulness to take us much higher. I see within Your eyes, a sparkling seed, extending from You into the soul of me.

2) Expressions of the heart, can be timid or bold. I need You by my side as my life unfolds, You've been a bright light that's helped me to see, far and beyond the soul of me.

Bridge: You mean the world to me. You're my best friend. Meeting You is when my life began. You took me to that mountain top, and spread my wings so wide, then you whispered in my ear, It's time to fly. You're my shelter from the storm, You distance me from harm. Your flame in my heart, burns brighter than a star. I was captured like a bird, until You set me free. You're the keeper of the doorway, into the soul of me.

Bridge Hook: Then You whispered in my ear, it's time to fly. Speaking to the Soul of Me. It's time to fly. Fly, fly,...It's time to fly.

* * * FOR ALL ETERNITY.....Words and Music by Tonya Sykes.

A praise song with a catchy rhythm, brought out by fine electric guitar work, interesting piano support and light percussion, hints of keyboard which all come together to provide fine support for the infectious melody, punctuating the lyrics.

Related Scriptural References: (Psalm 116:1-2, John 3:16-18, Psalm 119)

Lyrical Samples:

1) You're what I need your all I want. I give it all to you my Lord. Whatever you say is what I'll do. You are my King and I do love You. I need You, Jesus yes I do.

Chorus: For all eternity I'll sit at your throne, bow before You, sing You a love song. You gave Your life to set me free. I'll gladly lay my crowns at your feet.

2) I don't know what my future holds. But I am sure I won't be alone, even though we're still in this world. His Spirit says it won't be long, all God's children are going home.

* * + I DON'T WANNA RUSH YOU - Words and Music by Tonya Sykes.

Another peppy, rhythmic prayer song, which is a conversation between a person in prayer with the Lord. Nice use of light percussion, keyboards, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, which provide as ensemble fine support for the vocals, both rhythmically and melody support. Nice dynamics.

Related Scriptural References: (Romans 8:28, 2nd Peter 3:8-9, John 11:5-7, Philip. 4:19)

Lyrical Samples:

1) A destiny awaits me, a plan for my life. I'm here for a reason. Prepare me for my flight, there's a time, there is a season.

Chorus: I don't wanna rush You, I'll wait on Your perfect time. I am gonna trust You. I feel like I could fly, tell the world about You. That's what I want to do, but I don't wanna, I don't wanna, I don't wanna, I don't wanna rush You, rush You.

2) Remove the floor of heaven, pour out your love, send forth revival, cover the whole earth. Is it the time, Is it the season. (Music interlude) Chorus

Reviewed by: Julie Carr - Christianmusic.com To find out more about Tonya Sykes, Lisa Davis, their CDs and their music ministry, visit their website: www.preflightministries.org.

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