Tuesday, November 23, 2010

All To Us

Everytime I play this new Chris Tomlin CD a different song sticks out to me. Tonight on our way home from Christmas shopping the song "All To Us" came on. The words to the chorus go like this:

"Let the glory of Your name be the passion of the Church
Let the righteousness of God be a holy flame that burns
Let the saving love of Christ be the measure of our lives
We believe Your all to us"
As those words rang out I had to ask myself if the way were true of me. Is the glory of the Lord my passion. Seems like this message has been pounded into me lately. Am I living for the glory of the Lord or for the glory of myself? What happens when life doesn't go the way that I had planned? Do I still worship, do I still live to glorify the Father. What if the way the Father is glorified in my life is through trials and suffering. What if its through me simply being a behind the scenes person. Is Christ love really what gives me my worth? Is Christ really All to Me?

As the bridge rang out this phrase, You're all to us, over and over again I pleaded that that would be true of me. Below is the youtube video and I would encourage you to read the words as the song plays and ask that God would make these true of you

Monday, November 22, 2010

New Worship Albums

If you're looking for some new music, the 3 big names, at least in my opinion, in the praise and worship genre each put out a new cd in the past year.

Paul Baloche's newest CD is entitled "Glorious" and came out almost exactly a year ago. True to form this CD is full of solid lyrics and singable melodies. The best song on the album is the title track, and it's one we've already made as a regular at our church. But there's many others that will hopefully make it on our setlists eventually. "Today is the Day" is a popular one at many churches, "To the Cross" "Just to be With You" and "We Will Hold On" are all favorites of mine.

Matt Redmans CD is a little over a year old now, but a fairly new find for me. Its entitled "We Shall Not Be Shaken" and all of the songs follow in the theme of the title, songs reminding us of the faithfulness of God and that He is our strong refuge. The only one that has made it into Cannons setlist so far is "You Alone Can Rescue" and it's been an instant favorite. While many of these songs may not be "usable" to me as a worship leader, meaning songs I can lead at church, this has been one of my favorite albums to sit down and listen to in its entirety. Every time I do I leave feeling encouraged and filled with hope.

You can't say enough about Chris Tomlin and his influence on the modern worship music movement. Every CD is filled with songs that quickly become anthems of our churches, and this one is no exception. The title of the album that came out just last week is "And If Our God is For Us" which is a line from his new "hit" song "Our God." The version of "Our God" on this album blew me away, and if you buy the deluxe version off Itunes you will also receive a stripped down acoustic version of the song which is good for services that don't have access to a violin or electric guitar. The first several times through the CD I didn't hear many songs that would be able to be used in the average church. However, after going through the CD about 10 times in the past week I've changed my tune. "I Will Follow", "I Lift My Hands", "The Name of Jesus" and "All to Us" are all songs that I hope to use at Cannon in the next year or so. Solid lyrics and, if you knock it down a couple keys, very singable- seriously Chris, who can sing in that range and not sound strained.

A few others that have came out recently:

Passions "Awakening" - I never miss purchasing Passions yearly album, however I've found myself using less and less of their songs due to different reasons. This one, however, seems to be a return to their former glory. I mentioned "Our God" and "You Alone Can Rescue" in the previous paragraphs, but "A Mighty Fortress" is one we've also done - is there a better female vocalist out there then Christy Nockels? "How He Loves", "Healing is in Your Hands" and "Where the Spirit of the Lord is" are also good ones.

Hillsong "A Beautiful Exchange" I'm usually a big fan of Hillsong but can't use many of their songs in our setlists. I haven't listened much to this new album but haven't enjoyed it as much as their past ones.

Christy Nockels "Life Light Up" I like Nockels with Passion, but a whole CD of her is almost too much for me. But this is definitely an album worth having.

Lincoln Brewster "Real Life" Not a huge Brewster fan.

Gateway Worship "Wake Up the World" - Only listened once, liked what I heard but not sure its a top album on my list.

If you're tight on money like me a great way to listen to CD's before purchasing is grooveshark. So far I've only purchased Passions and Tomlins (Redman and Baloche are coming soon) so this has been a great way for me to hear the ones I can't quite buy yet.

Which ones am I missing? I'm sure theres some that I don't know about yet.