Posts Tagged ‘Chris Tomlin’

I posted my top ten albums on Facebook and my wife challenged me that I posted no Christian albums. Well she wasn’t following close enough because I did in fact post two of the ten, to be truthful there were many others I could have listed but those two were my absolute favorites. I am posting my ten favorites here, along with a video from each. Again it’s really hard to do this, but this is an overview of some of my favorites.
1. DC Talk-Jesus Freak

2. Newsboys-Take Me to Your Leader

So many great songs on this one so I went with the title track.
3. Chris Tomlin-How Great Is Our God

Chris Tomlin is one of the great songwriters of the church. but in this case he outdid himself. He was commissioned to reimagine Amazing Grace. It might already be the greatest song of all time. Chris made it better.
4. Audio Adrenaline-Underdog

5. Skillet-Awake

6. Third Day-Offerings A Worship Album

7. David Crowder Band-Church Music

I love Crowder. As it was with Chris Tomlin, there are so many great songs to choose from. I ended up going with this one because it has one of the coolest videos ever made.
8. Stryper-To Hell With the Devil

9. Mercy Me-I Can Only Imagine

One of the best songs of all time, period.
10. Casting Crowns-Casting Crowns

When I first heard this song, I actually wept, a lot. This song is prophetic and a wake up call to the entire body of Christ.

Okay I know I said ten but there is one more I need to add (okay there’s a lot to add but I need to get other things done. Mark Schultz is among the best musical storytellers of our time. See if you don’t agree.
11. Mark Schultz-Mark Schultz

I read this book in a single day and it is great. I was using it for research on a sermon series I am planning on the subject of praise. I first heard about the book on the Chris Tomlin tour when Darren Whitehead presented his message on the topic. I must say it was really intriguing. Just as there are four words that translate to “love” in the Bible, there are seven that translate to “praise.” The book looks at and defines each of these words while talking about the application of each concept to worship. Chris Tomlin then adds a musical application to each chapter. There are plenty of Scripture references to see the application more clearly and a study guide with each chapter. This book just mite change the way you look at worship and I recommend it highly.

There are times where the future is so bright you’ve got to wear shades… and then there are those other times when the path ahead is as clear as mud. There either seem to be no good options or a billion choices of which precisely none feel right. What do you do in times like that?

You make the one right choice. You choose to trust God and walk out your faith. You choose to do the next right thing and you pray. The Scripture says “Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” If you look at it right something becomes clear. We are usually not going to see the big picture, but God will light the path enough to see the next step. After that, it’s all trust.

I can’t speak for you, but I am in this place right now and I could sure use your prayers. Last night, my wife and I went to a Chris Tomlin concert and before we went in, I asked God to speak to me, and I believe He did. I feel like what He spoke is something to keep to myself for now, but I will say this. I have no idea how He will so what He said He will do. There seems to be no earthly way, and I will confess, I wrestled with it a little, and yet, I choose to believe in the One who is far beyond the Earthly way. I cannot wait to see how He pulls this off and I look forward in great anticipation.

He is God. He is good.

It looks nothing like him, and yet it really tells us all we need to know. It’s something we wear around our necks. Sometimes I think that means we get it and sometimes I think it means we thoroughly miss the point. We’ve made it something beautiful, yet in reality it was something hideous and horrible that only Jesus could make beautiful. It’s the cross. A device of death and torture that Jesus turned into a symbol of life and hope. It’s the picture of His mission and the picture of God’s love and our value to God. It shows us that we were worth so much to God that He was willing to sacrifice His perfect Son for us in our sorry, broken, sinful state. It’s an instrument of death and the gateway to life.

That one picture says so much. How can we take it’s message to the world?

I was driving to my office one morning and I heard Chris Tomlin’s Amazing Grace/My Chains Are Gone and it hit me. What must it have taken to touch that song? I mean it may be the most famous song in the world, or at least in Christendom.  As I understand it, he was commissioned to do it for the Amazing Grace movie, but I still have to applaud his courage. I mean that song has been recorded by thousands of artists, it’s beloved  by millions, (maybe billions), it may be the greatest song of all time.

What’s even scarier is he made it better. It’s to the point, at least for this writer, that I am disappointed if we move from verse to verse without  singing , “My chains are  gone…” Chris Tomlin made the best song in the world better—not an easy feat. As I listened to the song I started to wonder how he did it. I’m sure Tomlin would give all glory to God and so should we, but that’s not what I mean here. Why is it that “My chains are gone…” makes the song resonate.

I mean this is not the first time people tried to change Amazing Grace, you know? When I first came to Christ, there was a movement to take the word “wretch” out of it. This was in the great movement toward self-esteem. I thought that was ludicrous and a big part of the problem with American Christianity. If we can’t see ourselves as wretched without Christ, no wonder we can’t see our need for a Savior. John Newton the man who wrote the song had no problem with seeing himself as a wretch, His life went through a transition from  slave trader to abolitionist by the very Amazing Grace he wrote about. We are all wretches in need of grace.

Tomlin brings the grace into focus and adds three more things, freedom mercy and God’s love. He holds on to Newton’s assertion that we are wretched sinners saved by a wonderful amazing grace. He reminds us we don’t have to stay wretches, that through Christ we are set free from the “sin that so easily entangles” because our chains are gone and we’ve been set free. He reminds us of the flood of mercy that washes over us all and shows us that it is God’s amazing love that brings about the Amazing Grace.   The new chorus is intensely personal, almost forcing the singer to claim these things for himself/herself, and I believe it is in this that the improvement comes. The song becomes even more about God’s intensely pers0nal relationship with us and his great love for us. We are wretches but God is good and He sets us free.

It’s really tough to improve a classic. Mess it up and you’ve put a mustache on the Mona Lisa, but handled just right and with God’s help, you can come up with something that is…  well… AMAZING!

Louie Giglio illustrates how the heavens declare God’s praises. This video is extremely well worth watching.