Monthly Archives: June 2009

Opposite Way – Leeland

One of my favorite Christian Artists is a band called Leeland.  Passionate, progressive and worshipful are just a few adjectives to describe the heart behind its sophomore album, Opposite Way.   Not only does the GRAMMY and four-time Dove Award nominated band live up to the buzz from Christian music’s most influential artists (including Michael W. Smith, Casting Crowns, Third Day, Chris Tomlin and Switchfoot to name a few), but the Baytown, Texas-bred five piece exceeds expectations through the prayerful power, and life-changing substance of their music.

“A major theme on our new album is to encourage our generation to live passionately for the Lord, even when it means going the ‘opposite way’ of the world,” muses front man Leeland Mooring, (also a respected songwriter outside of the band, who prominently contributed to Michael W. Smith’s recent album, Stand). “It’s OK to be different. It’s OK to ‘live out loud’ for God. Our goal is to be a creative outlet, helping to raise up a new generation of worshippers who do whatever it takes to make that ‘opposite way’ a reality in their lives.”

As you may have noticed,  I have been posting more Christian music on my site.  It is just where I am at right now in my thinking and in my life.  With the world closing in around all of us, I need some positive “HOPE” in my life.  And maybe just maybe …I need to take more time going the “opposite” way than the world.

With great pleasure, I present to you the “Opposite Way” for those who have ears to hear.

Stay – Safetysuit

Another great song by Safetysuit just for those of us who have ears to hear.

Still Calls Me Son – John Waller

I drug his name through godless places
And I’ve known shame that no child of his should know
I’ve seen pain on broken faces
Beyond all thought of hope
I was just too far from home
Still I always wondered when I closed my eyes

After all I’ve done
Could he run to me?
Would he kiss my face?
Could he even look at me?
After where I’ve been
should he take me back?
I would understand
I’ve disgraced him
But it would be amazing
If he still calls me son

With nothing left for me to bring him
I left my pride and turned my heart toward home
I saw my home on the horizon
And from a distance
I saw my Father
Watching for his own with forgiving eyes

After all I’d done
He just ran to me
Then he kissed my face
He would not let go of me
After where I’d been
He just welcomed me
I didn’t understand
But he put his robe on me
It was so amazing
That he still called me son

One day as I breathe my last
And I know my days on earth have ended
When every hour is spent
I will close my eyes in amazement
And I’ll hear angels
They’ll be singing

Amazing Grace
Cause he will run to me
And he will kiss my face
He will not let go of me
After where I’ve been
He will welcome me
I won’t understand
How he’ll put his robe on me
It will be amazing
That he’ll still call me son

Amazing grace how sweet the sound
When he calls me son
I once was lost but now I’m found
Cause he calls me Son

He is With You – Mandisa

Mandisa Lynn Hundley, professionally known as Mandisa, is a Grammy and Dove Award-nominated American singer and was the ninth-place finalist in the fifth season (2006) of American Idol.

Longtime fans of former “American Idol” contestant Mandisa will notice a number of positive changes on the singer’s new album, “Freedom.” In addition to a more self-assured sound, the singer is sporting a more fit physique.  “I’ve come into my own,” she says. “This album is more personal. I’ve identified my style and I’m not working with as many producers, which I think brought more focus to this album.”

Producers Brown Bannister and Christopher Stevens expertly guided these songs between styles while staying true to Mandisa’s own personality and character. They were able to extract a range of some of the most powerful and poignant performances from this artist to date, including “He is With You,” which re-teamed her with writer Ronnie Freeman, and is one of Mandisa’s personal favorites on the album because she believes it hits every single situation anyone could imagine. As she says, “No matter if you are a man or a woman or black or white or young or old, God is with you and God loves you and God will never leave you and He will never forsake you.”

“This  song means so much to me because it gives me an opportunity to share with others what I’ve been through, and what I’ve learned from so far on this journey. It really is true freedom to know that the Holy Spirit is the great comforter. So no matter what people are going through – whether it’s abuse, the loss of a child, or not having money to pay the bills – there is a God who loves you and is with you no matter what. I know when I go through difficult times, the best defense I have is to worship him, because when you magnify God, your issues look smaller. He can bring us out of whatever we’re going through and even use it for good, and for His glory.”

You’re Not Alone – Meredith Andrews

At its very essence worship is an invitation. Whether it’s a church congregation on a Sunday morning or a solitary soul reaching up to God in a moment of personal praise, worship is inviting God’s presence into our lives so we can celebrate His glory. That’s why “The Invitation” is such a fitting title for singer/songwriter Meredith Andrews debut on Word Records.

Beneath her youthful exterior and fresh-faced exuberance, Andrews is a focused artist who knows exactly what she wants to say. She creates music that serves as a personal conduit for those seeking to worship God, and she also wants to remind others of God’s desire to reach them. “God is extending an invitation to you, to you personally, calling you by name,” she says. “He knows where you’ve been and he knows your background. He knows your family situation. He knows the things you struggle with, but he’s calling you by name and he’s inviting you to come in and to meet with him and to know him.”

Andrews felt the call into music ministry very early in life. Growing up in Wilson, NC, she started singing in church when she was only six-years-old. “I remember the first song I ever sang in church was ‘I Love You Lord,’” she recalls. “Then me and my mom would go around to other churches in our area and sing Southern Gospel music.”

Andrews attended Liberty University where she majored in family and child development, and planned on working in an orphanage after graduation. She was born an only child, but her parents provided homes for many foster children. “We had about 20 kids come through our home in a period of about 10 years,” she recalls. “We ended up adopting three of the boys. They are my brothers now. I forget they are adopted.”

Seeing the impact her parents and their faith had on other children was an inspiration to Meredith and she had planned on a life of service, working to help children. However, during her junior year at Liberty, God revealed His plan for her life. “It was an amazing time of worship,” Andrews says. “Looking out at the student body with their hands in the air, you could tell that the presence of the Lord was so sweet in that place. It was like the Lord just dropped something into my spirit saying ‘This is it. This is it! This is what I called you to do.’ I remember thinking, ‘This is the thing that makes me feel most alive.’ It is also the thing that I feel like the Lord takes the most delight in and I feel closest to him when I’m doing it. That doesn’t necessarily mean being in an arena leading worship, it also means when I’m behind closed doors. Private worship must precede public worship. If what I’m doing on stage isn’t first birthed behind closed doors, then it’s inauthentic. I can’t take people where I haven’t been with the Lord.”

Just as God led Andrews to Liberty University, he opened doors in Nashville that led her to sign with Word Records. “I wasn’t really looking for a record deal. It just fell in my lap,” says Andrews. “I’m so humbled by it all. It’s obvious that it’s the Lord’s hand and not my own.”

Andrews wrote or co-wrote every song on “The Invitation.” Produced by Jason Ingram, the project not only showcases Andrews’ skills as a songwriter, but her engaging vocals as well. She has a clear, pure voice that draws the listener into her songs and points them to the heavenly father.  It’s a message that also resonates powerfully on the stunning ballad “You’re Not Alone.”

It is with great pleasure that I present it to “those who have ears to hear”.

While I’m Waiting – John Waller

With the release of his sophomore solo project, While I’m Waiting, John  Waller, the Georgia-based singer/songwriter delivers a stunning eleven-song treatise that overflows with a message of trusting God, even during those painfully long seasons of waiting. “The important thing to remember while we are waiting on God is to not just wait, but to actively wait,” John declares. “Serve, worship, and be faithful with what you have, where you are…even while you wait.”

When a friend suggested John write a song about waiting on God, the idea just clicked. “Everyone can relate to the pain of waiting on God,” John says. “I wanted to pose the question, ‘What do you do when you are waiting on God?’ The answer is, you continue to be faithful where you are. You continue to serve and worship while you are waiting. I wrote “While I’m Waiting” in about ten minutes. I never dreamed it might end up in a movie.”

Not only did “While I’m Waiting” end up in FIREPROOF, the No. 1 independent movie of 2008, it became a focal point of the film and the only song played in its entirety. The themes of John’s song resonated so strongly with the film’s message that the producers scripted an entire new montage around it. The theatrical release’s 4 million viewers’ response to the song was immediate and visceral. “While I’m Waiting” hit a collective nerve and people began clamoring for more.

Please enjoy a wonderful song with a beautiful message of God’s plan for our lives.

Joy in the Journey – Michael Card

I issue a new addition to the files for “those who have ears to hear” with an insightful and soul stirring song of our walk with Christ called “Joy in the Journey” by Michael Card.

One of my favorite songs by any artist.

In a career that spans 25 years, Michael Card has recorded over 23 albums, authored or co-authored over 19 books, hosted a radio program, and written for a wide range of magazines. While he has penned such favorites as “El Shaddai”, “Love Crucified Arose”, and “Emmanuel,” he never imagined selling more than 4 million albums or writing over 19 #1 hits. The popularity of his work seemed a stark contrast to his goal in life, to simply, and quietly teach the Bible.

Although music provided him the opportunity to share insights gained through extensive research, writing songs alone limited what he felt called to share. Card would frequently agonize over having to condense the vast depth and richness of scripture into a three-minute song. And so he fell, quite naturally, into the field of book writing where he has garnered numerous awards.

In everything he does, Card seeks to encourage his audience to join him in his own journey to know and be known by God by asking questions and entering into meaningful discussion with one another. Card’s vision is to edify the body of Christ around the world by sharing experiences and resources in the context of community in order to help facilitate the growth of smaller and more intimate communities within his audience’s own churches and neighborhoods.

My hope is that you have Joy in your Journey in following Jesus Christ.

There is a joy in the journey
There’s a light we can love on the way
There is a wonder and wildness to life
And freedom for those who obey

And all those who seek it shall find it
A pardon for all who believe
Hope for the hopeless and sight for the blind

To all who’ve been born in the Spirit
And who share incarnation with Him
Who belong to eternity stranded in time
And weary of struggling with sin

Forget not the hope that’s before you
And never stop counting the cost
Remember the hopelessness when you were lost

There is a joy in the journey
There’s a light we can love on the way
There is a wonder and wildness to life
And freedom for those who obey

And freedom for those who obey…