"I'm reaching for heaven/Down on my knees/Down on my knees/I'm finally getting nearer to heaven/Nearer to thee" —from "I'm Not the Only One Asking"

Mindy Smith's sophomore release, Long Island Shores, contains some elements of her 2004 debut, One Moment More. The soothing soprano vocals are there and the blending of Appalachian, folk, country, blues, jazz, gospel and pop music is evident.

Yet, her second disc is less hard-hitting spiritually than her first. Gone is the assured faith the minister's daughter and former seminary student displayed when wrapped in the arms of her Savior in "Come to Jesus." In its place is a more tentative display of faith.

In "Out of Control," Smith speaks of her struggles with spiritual issues and the need to give up power. She writes, "What it means, what it really means/It's time I let everything go/That's killing me and turning me/Spinning me so out of control/I don't want to let go."

Finding a Christian who doesn't have the same struggles would be difficult. At times, though, Smith's battles seem to reach deeper. In an interview with Teen Ink, she said, "I'm not your typical churchgoing girl like I should be. I feel bad about that, but I can't do it. I'm committed to my spirituality and my faith, but sometimes I stink at it."

The introspective songwriter's words show that she not only recognizes her own flaws, but also works on improving herself. In "Peace of Mind," she sings, "I need peace of mind and a gentle hand/As I try to change the way I am/And hope God forgives me when I can't/I need peace of mind and a gentle hand."

Smith also seems to wrestle with some orthodox beliefs taught in Christianity. In the song notes for her tune, "Little Devil," she states that she believes the ...

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