Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Vacation=New Music.

I'm back!
After a few weeks of being "off', it was nice to be back in NewSong like normal last Sunday!
Carlos Whittaker was here and did an amazing job leading us in worship and I loved getting to hear more from him. And then I went off to North Carolina with the family and the boyfriend and enjoyed a fun Labor Day weekend. While I was gone that week, Landon led worship, which is such a blessing and special treat. And I'm really thankful that he's so happy to lead for me!

The family, the boyfriend, the church!
That Sunday, while we were in North Carolina, we all went to JD's home church, Mountain Grove UMC in his hometown, Morganton, NC. It's a tiny church that is over 150 years old! The members there are incredibly sweet and welcoming. It's a small congregation, around 25 per week, which is a completely different environment from Christ UMC! The amazing thing about the Body of Christ is that even though it's a completely different environment in that smaller church, Christ binds us together deeply. It feels as if you're going to a cousin's house. You're not there all the time and it's a little unfamiliar, but the familial values are apparent and strong, and everyone is welcoming. So we had a great time and they all were so happy to see JD!

Since I didn't have to pick any worship songs for the past few weeks, I've been able to download some new music and sift through it a little. Part of my job as worship leader is to pick through worship songs that are presented to me and find what's good for us to sing together. I really study and grade songs on a hard curve. If there is any question in the lyrics, I don't want us to sing it. So sometimes, I can knit-pick and forget to enjoy the music.
But since I wasn't grading the songs, I was able to really enjoy and sing along to some new tunes. So I'd like to share some of those with you today, just in case you're looking for some good new Christian/worship music!

Paul Baloche, one of my favorite singer/songwriters and worship leaders has put out a new album called The Same Love. Confession time: A few of songs have some good beats and I've been car-dancing to them a lot while driving! This album isn't pop, country, rock, acoustic or any other typical genre. It's just Paul Baloche. And I love it! Kathryn Scott and Kari Jobe sing on the album and they are incredible.

Chris August just released his second album The Upside of Down. I've been excited about this album for a while because I loved his first album so much. Now that I've gotten it, honestly, it wasn't what I expected, but it's GOOD! The lyrics are coming from a deeper place with more honesty and less poetic hiding than most Christian artists are will to expose. One song, "Restore" really hit home because of the past few years. It's about marriage and the struggle to stay together sometimes. I'm not married, but I've seen enough divorce to know that this song needs to be sung and heard.

For a throwback, I got Steven Curtis Chapman's Re:creation. On this album, he included some new songs and re-created some of his older songs. SCC is a little old school for my style, but he's got some good lyrics and catchy melodies. And let's face it: we all know that I'm a sucker for a good acoustic album. I've been caught dancing while drying my hair to this one. Plus, one of my favorite new songs is "Long Way Home" which is on the radio now and on the album!

For one that's not exactly worship music, Dave Barnes' album Stories to Tell is really, really, really, really good. I'm not exactly sure what to write about it, which isn't good, because I'm writing about it currently. But all I know is that I love it. If you're looking for something a bit different, this is it. There are a few songs that you can tell he wrote when considering his wife and so it's nice to hear some "love songs" (ew.. that just makes me cringe, but I don't know another way to say it) that are still Christ-centered, but not ashamed in how he feels about her.

And for one more, a song that I can't get out of my head and can't stop singing. "Jesus at the Center" by Israel Houghton (Israel & New Breed). This song has brought me to worship more times than I can count in the past week. The lyrics are simple but deep. Every time that I got frustrated because I felt as if I had been wronged, I've listened to the first line and been reminded that Jesus is at the center of it all. Not me. I always need to be humbled by Him and this song challenges me every time I listen to it.

So now that I've shared a little about some songs that I love, here are some more songs that I love because I got to sing them with all of you last week:
September 9th:
"Savior's Here" by Kari Jobe
"Cornerstone" by Hillsong Live (definitely one of my favorite new worship songs!)
"A Mighty Fortress" by Christy Nockels
and for offering "Remind Me Who I Am" by Jason Gray

And when Landon led, he led the following songs on September 2nd:
"God is Able" by Hillsong
"Hosanna" by Hillsong
"Overcome" by New Life Worship (or Jeremy Camp)
"Healer" by Kari Jobe (or Hillsong)

 and "Lord I Need You" by Chris Tomlin.

Have a great week and I'll see you next Sunday morning!!

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