Archives For Worship CDs

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Far Kingdom is from The Gray Haven’s new album, “Fire and Stone,” released on January 6th, 2015.
lyrics
There is a far kingdom
A ways from here
Beyond the storm and the sea
There will be no need of darkness
And none for tears
When that far kingdom I see

There’s a river we will know
Ever clear and ever full
From the fount that overflows
In the light of the King

And when we drink it we will find
That this joy, ever full, will ever rise
And it’ll rise on, in the kingdom
In the kingdom

There is a far kingdom
On the other side of the glass
And by a faint light we see
Still there is more gladness
Longing for the sight
Than to behold or be filled, by anything

There’s a river we will know
Ever clear and ever full
From the fount that overflows
In the light of the King
And when we drink it we will find
That this joy, ever full, will ever rise
And it’ll rise on, in the kingdom
In the kingdom

There is a far, far kingdom
There at the end of the sea
Where they know my name
And until that far, far kingdom
Calls me home
Oh, my soul, I will wait

For the river we will know
Ever clear and ever full
From the fount that overflows
In the light of the King

And when we drink it we will find
That this joy, ever full, will ever rise
And it’ll rise on, in the kingdom
In the kingdom
And it’ll rise on, in the kingdom
In the kingdom
credits
released 27 December 2014
Released 06 January 2015
Written and co-written by Dave Radford (SESAC) and Mitch Dane (Satellite Serenade).

Vertical Church Band: The Rock Won’t Move

“VCB encourages us to have a faith that stands on the Rock that won’t move.”

 

vertical-church-rock-wont-moveI turned 57 this last week and it seems the older I get the more I’m turning into that guy. You know, the one who loves the old songs and wonders why we need a constant glut of new worship songs? I’m still trying to learn how to sing the ones from last year! And whatever happened to being able to hear individual instruments? Where did this wall of sound come from?  (I can hear my bones fossilizing as I write this…) As a worship leader, I honestly do value what new songs bring to the church and I’m always on the look out for great ones. More than once I have seen a new song breathe fresh winds into the sails of congregational worship. That being said, I’ve also seen a lot of really bad songs become popular due to catchy hooks but added nothing to edification of the church. (Col. 3:16) The great songs lift our hearts and feed our souls not not only with beauty but strong truth.

Enter Vertical Church Band and their new collection of worship songs entitled “The Rock Won’t Move.” VCB comes out Harvest Bible Chapel in Chicago, pastored by James MacDonald.  Harvest  has a strong emphasis on solid doctrine and biblical preaching that shows up clearly in the worship music that flows out of the church. Yes, there is the typical wall of sound going on here (Can’t wait for that pendulum to swing!) and some of the usual over worked exultations:

I am free, I am free indeed
I am free, I am free indeed
We are free, free indeed
We are free, free indeed
– “I’m Going Free (Jailbreak)

But there are some real gems here that are original, poetic, musically inspiring and theologically tasty. Two really stand out. First is “Worthy Worthy.” Somewhat akin to Revelation Song, “Worthy Worthy” has the kind of simple chorus that one can get lost in while worshipping, but the verses are what really stand out to me. It opens with:

No pen or quill, no scribe in perfect skill
With flawless words could capture all You are
No lofty thought, no scholar of this world
Could grasp an inch of such infinity

I appreciate songs that capture the notion of how transcendent God is and the smallness of our capacity to comprehend His greatness. The second verse with the pre-chorus:

With hearts amazed and songs that never frame
The fullness of your worth and majesty
We come again and fall on bended knee
And here adore the God that we don’t see
Though we cannot comprehend such a mystery
Just a glimpse of You revealed is compelling us to sing

Indeed! His self-revelation to our hearts is compelling! How can we not worship? The melody makes the song very congregationally friendly and I can see our church doing this.

“With hearts amazed and songs that never frame the fullness of your worth and majesty, We come again and fall on bended knee and here adore the God that we don’t see”

The PR folks are trumpeting  “The Rock Won’t Move,” “Strong God,” “Worthy Worthy,” “Call On The Name,” and the album opener “Found In You.” There really are some nice songs here but one not mentioned as a “key track” that I would consider THE track is “I Will Follow.”  Why? Because we have done such a poor job of  highlighting the reality of suffering and death in our worship. I’ve been saying for some time to young worship leaders that our job is not just to instruct people in living but preparing them to face suffering and the reality of death in a godly way. I can see some of this making an appearance in several of the songs in this collection but “I Will Follow” captures it beautifully:

When I see the wicked prospering
When I feel I have no voice to sing
Even in the want, I’ll follow You
Even in the want, I’ll follow You

When I find myself so far from home
And You lead me somewhere I don’t wanna go
Even in my death, I’ll follow You
Even in my death, I’ll follow You

These are profound statements with huge implications – ones that we need to train believers to deal with. The chorus is a simple affirmation:

I believe everything that You say You are
I believe that I have seen Your unchanging heart
In the good things and in the hardest part
I believe and I will follow You
I believe and I will follow You

In the “good things and in the hardest part.” One thing that 57 years have shown me is that the hard parts are relentless. VCB encourage us to have a faith that stands on the Rock that won’t move.
 
Check out the promotional video below and click here to get the song The Rock Won’t Move with leadsheet from Noisetrade!
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Jeff Ling is the Pastor of Clear River Community Church in Northern Virginia.

If you’re not already familiar with Tree Hill Collective, I would encourage you to discover their gift to the church. I became a fan after hearing their One Redemption collection and I have looked forward to subsequent releases. Their website describes their ministry in these words:

“We are a network of songwriters, independent artists, and music industry professionals who exist to create and share the very best worship songs and to craft and make freely available all of the resources the church needs to use them.”

That is a great and worthy vision!

Their latest release is called Shelter in the Wind and features the songs and vocals of Mia Koehne. There is a sampler available on Noise Trade and it’s well worth a listen. The four songs range widely from the elegant single piano and vocal of the title track to the full band and rap insert of You are Holy. I’m particularly drawn to the simple anthem We are More than Conquerors. Once again, the Tree Hill folks know how to make space in their music. Rather than bury the vocals under the usual barrage of U2 riffs and extra keyboards, producer Jeff McCullough lets the vocals stand front and center. One of the nice things about this is that it allows a small church to think “we could do that song!” as opposed to “we could never sound like that.” In an “industry” (hate to have to use that word!) that is driven by name recognition and radio airplay there is so much great music that gets overlooked. It’s unfortunate, and I hope this blog may help to promote some of the very anointed and talented songwriters in the church today. Tree Hill Collective is helping to make that possible. Follow them on Facebook to find out about more.

Click the cover below to listen or to get a free download from Noisetrade

 

 

watts photo1Love the titles people use to give to essays and books. This is one from Issac Watts:

“A Short Essay Toward the Improvement of Psalmody: Or, An Inquiry how the Psalms of David ought to be translated into Christian Songs, and how lawful and necessary it is to compose other Hymns according to the clearer Revelations of the Gospel, for the Use of the Christian Church.”

It’s free as an ebook at Amazon.

By the way, Sojourn Music out of KY has produced two solid collections of contemporary treatments of Isaac Watts hymns that I highly recommend :

From the Sojourn site:

“In the midst of the Reformation in England, Isaac Watts recognized that people needed to see the gospel in the psalms and hymns of the church, and they needed to sing them in language and metaphors that they understood. In this, he became not only the father of the modern hymn, but the pace-setter for contextualizing the gospel for the people of God.

As musicians, pastors and songwriters, our desire was to explore the hundreds of hymns that Watts wrote during his lifetime, to learn from the incredible range and depth of his lyrics, and to re-envision those songs with modern language and melodies.


The songs are re-imaginings and adaptations of the hymns of Isaac Watts, the ‘Father Of English Hymnody.’ Watts was an extraordinary pastor and poet. These songs, these snapshots of the gospel, can profoundly help us to see Jesus as more beautiful and more believable.”

Click either album cover to hear samples or purchase.

 

 

 

 

All About Worship Collective Vol. 4 – Free for 90 Days Only! 

The folks at All About Worship are providing a great service to the church with the release of these albums and the accompanying charts. Take advantage of this offer right away!

“The vision for the Collective is to be a resource of quality, top-notch, corporate worship songs for local churches all over the world…AT NO COST TO YOU!…thanks to the generous artists, songwriters, and record labels!”

And that’s exactly what it is.

The collection on Vol. 4 includes material by the familiar (Israel Houghton, Aaron Shust) and the not so familiar but should be! (Drew Lay, Jamie Nunnally) One of the stand outs for me is “How Great the Love” by Sean Hill and Milton Gardner, a simple and beautiful gospel proclamation that would serve any church well.

“Nail pierced hands, a bleeding side
blameless life condemned to die
For my sin He was crucified
How great the love of Jesus Christ.”

Links are below for info and charts. You can find this and more at All About Worship

Here’s the set list from their site:

Volume 4 Track List: 

1. Join in The Sound – Brothers McClurg
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2. We Are Free – Aaron Shust
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3. Fearless – Travis Ryan
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4. To The One – Harvest Bashta
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5. I Call You Jesus – Israel Houghton & New Breed
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6. Hallelujah (He’s Alive) feat. Dave Fitzgerald – Roma Waterman
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7. More Than Songs – Stephen Miller
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8. Glorify – Drew Ley
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9. How Great The Love – Sean Hill
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10. Lord We Worship You – Jamie Nunnally
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11. You Make Us Strong – Northstar Arts
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12. Song of The Lamb – Harvest Bashta
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