After fifteen years of leading youth and family ministry, singer/songwriter Peder Eide has become decidedly desperate. While Peder’s passion for the life-changing power of God has always been evident in his music and his life, his mission has become more intense over the past few years. And today, he is finding a boldness to speak out against what he sees as a complacent Christianity permeating the culture.
“We need less spectators to point out the fire and more firemen to run into the building,” says Peder. “We’ve got to stop talking about how we can change the world and just do it. God took a risk by loving us. We need to do the same.”
Indeed, the songs on his new CD, Rescue, convey a sense of urgency about children, family and learning to love the least among us. Though Peder has been a proud and successful partner with Compassion International over the years, he and his wife, Sherri, have literally put their family on the front lines. In 2004, the couple adopted a little girl, Makenzie, from Korea to add to their three biological children and in 2008, they went to Ethiopia to bring Teshome home. Adoption has changed the Eide family tree from a blond-haired brood to a multi-cultural kaleidoscope of kids, and made a spiritual impact in ways Peder never thought possible.
The title song of the new CD is a no-holds-barred plea for people to “Come to the Rescue” of children in need. Likewise, the song “We Are Not Orphans” reminds the listener that God’s adoption process is still alive and well today. But the song also stirred intense personal emotions in Peder as he came to the realization that his childhood trauma had affected his understanding, or misunderstanding, of God.
“I was fourteen years old when my mom died,” he says. “My oldest son is now that same age and I look at him and think of how very young I was to lose someone so integral in my life. When I became a dad to kids who started their lives as orphans, I began to understand that I had learned to be a survivor at an early age, which led me to have an orphan spirit. Trusting people never came easy to me and it still doesn’t. When you have that orphan spirit, it’s like having a crack in your cup. God keeps pouring His love into the cup, but it is always leaking. It never fills to overflowing. The crack represents fear; fear of something. The crack in my own life was fear of abandonment and of being invaluable.
“But loving Makenzie and Teshome has brought alive the Scripture in Ephesians 1 that says God takes great pleasure in adopting us. I can honestly understand God’s love on a whole new level. I love all my kids as favorites and I’ve come to believe that I am God’s favorite. I’m His favorite one. In Zechariah 3:17, the Bible says He sings over us. Think of that --He sings over me. That kind of love is pretty ridiculous.”
The songs on Rescue will surely enhance Peder’s original Taste Worship events which arm families with practical tools to transform their lives into living worship lifestyles, drawing them closer to God while growing closer to each other. This event has become a popular outreach for churches who wish to strengthen the family unit and reignite a passion for parents to become the spiritual leaders in their households. The song “That’s What Family Does” could easily be the theme song for Taste Worship as it invites families to: “lean into the love, lift each other up, cheer each other on, we do it all because that’s what family does.”
While Rescue follows a definitive pattern with its lyrics, the music is an assortment of country-influenced pop with penetrating ballads (“Take What I Have”), praise & worship favorites (“You Are Good”), and even a thoughtful interpretation of the old hymn “This is My Father’s World.” But the heart of the project is in its urgent petition for Christians to act on their faith in tangible ways.
“The word ‘Adoption’ in the Bible literally means being ‘placed as a son or daughter’ in the home and presence of the father,” says Peder. “There are times in my life that I realize I have gone into His courtyard, but didn’t feel worthy to go into His house. When the prodigal son finally went home, his dad didn’t run outside and demand an apology or tell him, ‘Oh, we are sooo going to talk about this later.’ He went out and gave him a pair of shoes. Servants didn’t wear shoes; only sons wore shoes. He was welcoming his son back to the family with no strings attached. And that’s the tender heart of God’s fatherly love for us.”
Once again, matching his walk with his talk, Peder is donating a portion of the proceeds from the Rescue CD to help the Highly Vulnerable Children’s Fund via Compassion International. The fund specifically helps children who have severely ill parents, been orphaned, or who are especially at risk for abuse and exploitation. Peder’s great passion for helping the most helpless is having a trickle-down effect in the lives of his own children. His daughter, Allison, recently announced she wanted to start sponsoring a second child in addition to the one she sponsors from Honduras.
“While I was proud of her for wanting to do it, she knew she would have to pay the monthly support on her own,” says Peder. “She had found a little Ethiopian girl who was the same age as her (11), and she was determined to find the additional monthly funds to do it. The very next day, we had a friend call us and ask Allison to babysit. She said for some reason God had very distinctly brought Allison to mind when her need for a sitter came up. It is amazing how God took my daughter’s desire and turned it into a reality so quickly.”
The song “Nothing More Nothing Less Nothing Else” probably encapsulates Peder’s heart cry for his ministry and his life.
“I’m not going to apologize if I make people feel uncomfortable,” he says. “Our generation needs to become reacquainted with Jesus and one of the best ways to do that is to spend time with and invest in the poor, the ailing, and the outcast among us. That’s how we all start out in life, but when we enter into God’s grace, we become His adopted sons and daughters. And He rescues us from our sins, our fears and our deepest sorrows. Makenzie and Teshome are Eides now. They are MY kids. No one can take them away from me. They will be Eides until they die. And I plan on singing over them all my life.”
Preview "Rescue" CD
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Just the Facts about Peder Eide
Top 10 national radio single, “Roll the Stone Away” from Taste & SeeCD
Perfect Surprise Christmas CD selected as holiday favorite by USA Today
Festivals & Events:
Sonshine (MN), Kingdom Bound (NY), Lifest (WI), Unity Fest (MI), Power of One (WI), Spirit West Coast (CA), National Lutheran Youth Gatherings, Lifelight (SD)
The 700 Club on CBN, At Home Live on FamilyNet, The Harvest Show/Live from Studio B on Lesea, Focus 4 on Cornerstone TV, Celebration show on Daystar Network
Shared the stage with:
MercyMe, Third Day, TobyMac Geoff Moore, Hawk Nelson, as well as speakers like the late Mike Yaconelli, Tony Campolo, Ken Davis, Bob Lenz, Duffy Robbins, Efrem Smith, among others.
Peder has been involved with groups such as the Youth Ministry Network, Compassion International, Youth Unlimited, Navigators, Youth for Christ, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Youth Encounter, and a variety of denominational events. He has played at major venues such as Georgia Dome, Target Center, Navy Pier, Thompson-Boiling Arena, and the Hearnes Center. In 2000, the Minnesota Jaycees named Peder one of the "Ten Outstanding Young Minnesotans.”
“It is remarkable and inspiring to see such great music flow out of the independent artist community…” --CCM Magazine
“…a relative unknown has released [an album] on par with most signed Christian artists.” --ChristianityToday.com
“One of the big needs in today’s generation is to worship - tototally worship God. When you worship with Peder Eide, you’ll be doing just that - heartfelt praise and worship to our Lord.” --Rebecca St. James, award-winning artist
“Peder came to “Studio B” and gathered the audience close for a musical ride that was refreshing for the cameras to capture. He genuinely communicated his songs in a fashion that captivated the viewer.” Dave Tucker, Senior Producer, LeSEA Broadcasting
"...playful yet spiritually challenging...Peder Eide puts the fun back into contemporary Christian music." -- Plugged In magazine (Focus On The Family)