Archive | Music

Christmas in Kentucky… Everywhere It’s Christmas

On his most recent Christmas album, Steven Curtis Chapman sings a song about returning to his hometown of Paducah, Kentucky for Christmas. One might expect a song like this one to be sappy nostalgia along the lines of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” or “Tennessee Christmas,” but it’s not. This is not the song of a child, but the song of a grown man who’s walked long enough with God to know that Christ came not just for folks like him but for the whole world. It’s the best news in the world. I love this song.

In the video above, you can hear the song in its entirety as well as read the lyrics. I recommend that you do both. If you haven’t bought this album since I last wrote about it, I still highly recommend it. You can get it here.

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No Grave Could Keep – by Kenwood Music

The worship team from Kenwood Baptist Church—where I serve as one of the pastors—has just released a recording of some of the songs we sing in worship. I love this music, and I love these songs. My fellow elder Matt Damico is the leader of this group, and I am so very grateful for him, his team, and how they lead us in song every week. You can buy the album on iTunes or Amazon, but I would encourage you purchase through Bandcamp.

It’s hard to pick a favorite, but if pressed I guess I would choose “All I Need.” It’s a rendering of the end of Psalm 73:

My heart and my flesh will fail me,
but my God, You’re all I ever need.
You are my strength and my portion,
You are everything, O Lord You carry me.
My God, You’re enough for me.

You can download here or listen/download below. Continue Reading →

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Hymn to God the Father

One of my favorite poems of all time is “Hymn to God the Father” by John Donne. If you are not familiar with this poem, you need to be. Donne composed this piece near the end of his life when he was facing death (circa 1631). As he contemplates his demise, he is overcome with a sense of his own sinfulness, and he wonders how he will stand at the judgment. Donne evokes all the anguish of the “wretched man” in Romans 7:24 before he sounds a final note of hope that Jesus will rescue him at the last day.

There is a wonderful play on the word “done” in this poem, and you’ll note that it can either mean “done” or “Donne” (as in John Donne). It really is beautiful, and you can read the full text below. Continue Reading →

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Sandra McCracken’s new Psalms album

The Psalms are the prayer book of the church. We learn how to pour out our hearts to God in grief and in exultation from this book. That is why I am so very grateful to see that Sandra McCracken has devoted an entire album to singing the Psalms. Here’s the note she sent out today about the album:

One day we are going to sit around a table together and remember this life. One day we will see every hope and heartbreak with a wider view, and we will sing of God’s complete redemption in full chorus. Over these past couple of years, the practice of singing the Psalms has been teaching me how to pray, leaning into a more honest conversation with God through loss and healing. My new album, ‘Psalms’ was born out of that practice. These are sacred, borrowed words, with new melodies to help draw the longing and joy up out of our hearts and onto our lips, as we watch and wait to see His story come in it’s fullness. The fullness of God. The hope of glory.

–Sandra

Listen to the album above. You can purchase it here.

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Sweet Lorraine

I promise you’ll be glad you took the time to watch this video all the way through. I’m not going to spoil the story by describing it to you. You just need to watch it for yourself. Thank you Dane Ortlund for highlighting it. What a story. What a song. What a life.

Download “Sweet Lorraine” here.

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Steven Curtis Chapman’s “Deep Roots”

Steven Curtis Chapman has a new album out that I want to commend to you. It’s called “Deep Roots”. I suspect that the name reflects the fact that Chapman is not only going back to his musical roots in bluegrass, but also that he’s reprising songs that have meant a lot to him over the years.

The song selection includes classic hymns and old gospel songs. His duet with Ricky Skaggs on “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” may be the best track on the record. But probably my favorites are his fresh acoustic renditions of some of his early work. And by “early work,” I mean material that he recorded about 25 years ago—songs like “Hiding Place,” “His Eyes,” and my all-time favorite “My Redeemer Is Faithful and True.” Continue Reading →

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