Well I’m back in the land of Oz, dealing with the dreaded jet lag after what was another absolutely fantastic trip to Israel. Sometimes people ask me if I ever get tired or bored with the trip and the honest answer is categorically no! There’s always so much more to learn and see and it’s a real privilege to share the land and some of the incredibly significant Biblical sites with fellow Aussies. The jet lag is frustrating but it’s worth it to see the look on people’s faces when they see something for the first time or something they’ve read in the Bible or heard about suddenly becomes clearer or vastly more understandable because it now has context and setting. J
So now to this week’s new music on Vision.
Kari Jobe: ‘Find Me On My Knees’ from her Where I Find You CD released last year on the Sparrow label
This song is about the ever-on-going daily struggles that this life throws at us and dealing with the fallout from them. For the believer, it also means dealing with the ‘Where’s God in all this?” question. The truth is that God has already given us the answer to that question; His Word, which is perfect, true and absolute, tells us that He will never leave us for forsake us, and going through a struggle is not evidence that He has changed His mind or gone elsewhere. It’s just that sometimes the struggles can seem so overwhelming at times that it can be easy to think God has forgotten us. There is however an important element to the Christian life that we need to keep in the forefront of our daily lives and it’s the importance of prayer. Prayer is God’s way of enlisting us in His will and His work and that God is in control of all things in the universe, including our personal lives. If we’ll take the time to humble to humble ourselves before Him and seek His will and direction for our lives – even if it’s just a cry for help – we will know the kindness and mercy of God.
Seventh Day Slumber: ‘I Am Not The Same’, from their Love & Worship CD released on BEC, 2012
"These lyrics have a deep meaning to me personally, particularly the lyric that says we were 'adopted and healed'. Growing up without a father left me empty and feeling abandoned. I wondered what was so wrong with me that my own dad didn't even want me. It wasn't until I gave my life to Christ that I realised the love of a true Father; a Father that would never leave me or abandon me; a Father that looks beyond the brokenness and the rubble in my life and sees the beauty of His creation. Not only did He take me in but He healed my broken heart and gave me hope and a future." - Joseph Rojas (Lead singer)
Matt Maher: ‘Lord I Need You’ from the All The People Said Amen CD, released in 2012 on Kingsway
When the church gets together every week and we worship and we remember the Gospel and we remember the Old and New Testaments and we sing songs, many of the new songs that we sing come out of the legacy of the old songs - the hymns.
'Lord I Need You' is inspired by the hymn, Lord I Need Thee Every Hour.
CS Lewis said it best in his book The Four Loves; he said there is a type of love that we never mature out of, he called it 'Need Love', which is basically the love that we have for God that comes out of the point of our need, and it's a love that we will never grow out of. That's something that is uncomfortable for a lot of us because we live in an age that highly values being self-sufficient and self-reliant and self-determined.
Yet, we should find so much reassurance and hope in knowing that we need Him every second of our lives and by knowing that every hour and every moment He is willing to meet us in those needs, and He will never leave or forsake us and that's something worth saying Amen to.
Praise & Worship - 7-8pm & 12-1am each day
Chris Tomlin: ‘Whom Shall I Fear’ from the Burning Lights CD, released in 2012 on Sparrow
Chris Tomlin co-wrote this song with Ed Cash who actually prayed the words of the chorus when his wife was struggling with anxiety attacks in the middle of the night, he would pray for her and she'd settle back down but the attacks were reoccurring. He wrote down the words of his prayer which are statements God spoke to His people Israel in various different passages in Isaiah where He promised to go before them and also be their rear guard.
When Chris Tomlin heard these few lyrics he immediately thought of the story of Elisha being surrounded by his enemies and his servant went into a panic, Elisha told him not to be concerned because there were more with them than against them. Elisha prayed that God would open the eyes of his servant so he could see the army of God surrounding them, the horses and chariots of Israel. (2 Kings 16)
Chris puts it this way, "This message is exactly what the Church needs. Our story is not a story of fear, it's a story of faith. Everywhere you turn it's fear. Fear of the economy collapsing. Fear involving relationships. Fear of cancer and sickness. Fear of divorce. Fear, anxiety and depression holds us back like we are in chains. It seems like more and more that the world is getting crazier. Fear affects old and young people.
Fear is no respecter of age, socio-economic status, or anything. It is a condition of the heart. I just think it is good to have this truth in our hearts. Whom shall I fear? In the midst of crisis or anything that we come up against, it is powerful to know Who stands behind us and Who goes before us.
Most of the time our eyes are focused on what's in front of us, if we could see the spiritual realm, our enemy wouldn't cause us fear. Those who are with us are far more than those who are against us."
Youth Hour - 9:45-10:45pm Sat
Hyland: ‘Power & Love’ from their Finding Our Way CD released in 2012 on Tooth & Nail.
Hyland sing a story we’re all familiar with. If someone was to look at our lives would they find the evidence of the sinful crimes we’ve committed against God? Yes. Would they see brokenness and struggle? Yes. But that’s not the end of the line for us because God who is so incredibly rich in His mercy sent His Son to die in our place on the cross for our sin and when we come to Him in faith and put our trust in Him He takes all that sin and brokenness and brings deliverance and liberation. We become the recipients of His act of redemption and that is really the beginning of our love story with Him. What we were is not our final epitaph, for the believer what He is doing in and through us for His glory is our final epitaph and it’s all in His hands.
I hope you enjoy this week’s new music editions on Vision. I’ll be back again next week with more great new music to share with you.
Thanks for coming back to Vision New Music Blog...in case you’re wondering...yes I’m still in Israel...well actually today I’m in Jordan and we’ve been visiting a number of important Biblical sites one of which is Petra, the red rock city associated with the kingdom of Edom, where Jacob’s brother Esau and his descendants used to live. Esau was very red and hairy when he was born and came to be known by the name Edom which means red. We’ll be heading back into Israel on the 25th, Anzac day and among other places we’ll be seeing we’ll be spending some time in Beersheva where the 800 Lighthorsemen made their famous and magnificent cavalry charge that liberated the city from 400 years of Turkish Ottoman oppression and occupation. We’re expecting it to be quite a moving experience.
Now to focus on the new music beginning to air on Vision today.
Rhett Walker Band: ‘Come To The River’ the title track from their Come To The River CD, released on Provident, 2012.
Rhett Walker wrote this song one day when he was feeling totally overwhelmed with the stresses of his life. He desperately wanted to be a husband and father that was Christ honouring and he was really struggling with being able to do that well. This was compounded with other struggles like being able to earn enough money to provide a good home and meet the necessities that his family had; he leads a band and there are all manner of situations that have to be dealt with on a daily basis.
He was feeling so overwhelmed that one day he just got into his car and drove until he found himself beside a river and he just poured his heart out to the Lord and said that he really couldn't do any of these things well on his own, he needed Christ's help to be what he was supposed to be in leading and providing for his family and in serving Him rightly.
He knew that he needed to come to the river of God's forgiveness and God's provision and allow God to wash him and equip him for all that he's been called to do.
God leads all believers to this point and uses various methods to bring understanding, in Rhett's life God used a river and when he stood there he said, "Lord, I surrender to You, have Your way and I'll follow."
Tenth Avenue North: ‘Worn’, from their CD The Struggle released on Provident, 2012
'Worn' is a tender ballad that acknowledges our ‘human frailty’ and the ‘rest’ that awaits in our heavenly Father's arms. As a young father, balancing the responsibilities of music ministry and raising two young daughters, Donehey is well acquainted with physical and emotional exhaustion; and in this song, he shares one of the most vulnerable vocal performances on the record. Yet even in the midst of struggle, fatigue and alienation - emotions every human battles with - the song celebrates the sovereignty of God in every aspect of our lives. "We're going to struggle until the day that we die," says Owen of the song's message, "but we don't have to struggle to earn what God has provided for us."
Josh Wilson: ‘Carry Me’ his latest radio single from on the Sparrow label 2012.
Six months ago (around July 2012), I woke up feeling lightheaded and sick to my stomach. I had no clue what was wrong, but I figured I would feel better as the day went on. I didn't. The next two mornings, I felt progressively worse, and finally, my strange symptoms culminated in severe chest and shoulder pain, difficulty breathing, and almost passing out.
Becca, my wife, took me to the emergency room because we thought I was having a heart attack.
The doctor did a number of tests, and after 30 excruciatingly long minutes of waiting, he told me my heart was fine. He said that I had experienced a major panic attack, which simulated the same symptoms of cardiac arrest. I was so relieved, and we drove home thinking my experience was simply a one time thing. It wasn't.
Over the next few months, I continued to deal with anxiety and panic attacks, some of which woke me up in the middle of the night. There were times I couldn't feel my arms and legs, and other times I was sure my heart was going to beat out of my chest. I had to cancel a number of concerts while I tried to get everything under control.
Over and over I reminded myself what Paul said to the church in Philippi. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let you requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7). I needed the peace of God to guard my heart and my mind, so every time I experienced a panic attack, I prayed for that. I would wake up each day and say, "God, this day belongs to you. I can't make it without you. I literally can't breathe without you. I need you to carry me." And He did carry me, and He still does. He carried me through each day even before I experienced the anxiety, but I just didn't realize it. It took these difficult moments for me to realize how much I need Jesus.
The truth is, we all need Jesus to carry us. We are lost without him. As Augustine said, "our souls are restless until they find their rest in You." Maybe you struggle with anxiety. Maybe you're dealing with something else, like divorce, abuse, financial troubles, or doubt. Perhaps everything seems to be going well in your life, but even if that's the case, Jesus is the only one who can sustain you, whether you realize it or not. Colossians 1:17 reminds us, "He is before all things, and in him all things hold together."
I still struggle with anxiety, but God's peace has been palpable during my trials. He is teaching me how to truly rely on His strength instead of my own. He is teaching me that just as he holds this universe together, he also holds my heart.
My prayer has been, and will continue to be the chorus of my song, "Carry Me."
"Carry me, carry me, carry me now, From my sinking sand to Your solid ground, The only way I'm ever going to make it out Is if you carry me, carry me, carry me now." -Josh
Youth Hour - 9:45-10:45pm Sat
Hearts Of Saints: ‘Our Generation’ from their For All Of Us CD released in 2012 on Shamrock Media Group.
This is very much a declarative song that wants this current young generation to be a generation that won’t fudge on truth, that won’t fudge on courage or for standing for what is right. No small feat when you consider the direction of our western society and the ethical and moral confusion that is so prevalent in every sphere of society. At the end of the day, Hearts Of Saints wants this generation to do all for the glory of God.
Well that’s another week of new music done...please come back again next Monday for more new music news on Vision, until then, take care of you and yours.