Great Worship Music from the Loft

bethel-music-the-loft-sessionsOne of the finest worship albums I know is an unplugged offering by the leaders at Bethel Music. Called “The Loft Sessions”, this beauty is musically pure and spiritually powerful!

The videos take the experience up several notches further still, in my opinion.

Here are two samples of what I’m talking about.

 

 

Brokenness Aside

My Twitter feed served up this devotional based on the song “Brokenness Aside” by All Sons & Daughters.  I only skimmed the article, but I have soaked in the song on numerous occasions.  Inspired by the concept, I offer the following reflections birthed from this artful piece of worship.

These touching lyrics are below, and if the song is unknown to you, then THIS will help you “feel it”.

Brokenness Aside
Leslie Jordan and David Leonard

Will your grace run out
If I let you down
‘Cause all I know
Is how to run

‘Cause I am a sinner
If it’s not one thing its another
Caught up in words
Tangled in lies
You are the Savior
And you take brokenness aside
And make it beautiful
Beautiful

Will you call me child
When I tell you lies
Cause all I know
Is how to cry

CHORUS

“Will your grace run out if I let you down?  ‘Cause all I know is how to run.”

I lived in a state of fear for years, certain that God’s nature must be as fickle as mine.  In my finest moments, perhaps I am courageously consistent, steadily stepping toward God.  But how few are my finest moments!  The vast majority of moments involve failure to meet even my own lax standards, let alone the brilliantly holy nature of the One Without Beginning or End.  Wearied myself by my inconsistency and unfaithfulness, it seemed only logical to conclude that God must sigh an exhausted sigh every time I returned in need-filled prayer.  Stumbling the same path repeatedly was furiously frustrating to me, yet apparently it was not frustrating enough, as I was apt to be there again the next day.  Every taste of personal disappointment worked to foster in me a belief that God’s dominant emotion toward me must be, at best, an obligated kindness.  I mean, I would be frustrated enough to give up on such weakness.  Surely God would too.

How pleasant to be woefully wrong about Him!

Will you call me child when I tell you lies? ‘Cause all I know Is how to cry.”

What a joy to sense God speaking over me as “His son”.  The acceptance of the Father is staggeringly hard to accept.  Truthfulness is so foreign to our crooked-to-the-core natures.  Love freely given makes a mockery of the merit-based systems that we so proudly function within.  Surely God cannot maintain His affection and commitment toward children so quick to compromise, so prone to wander.  And yet, PRAISE GOD, He does, for His faithfulness is based upon the integrity of His being rather than than the fragmented states of the rest of us.

And that is indeed very Good News.

‘Cause I am a sinner
If it’s not one thing its another
Caught up in words
Tangled in lies
You are the Savior
And you take brokenness aside
And make it beautiful
Beautiful

The distortion runs deep within us.  The moment we shore up one gap, we create another.  There is simply not enough wholeness within us to cover up our brokenness, not enough fabric to hide the nakedness.  Yet God, the Abundant One, wades into the depths of our deception, cuts the cords that bind, and miraculously brings beauty from ashes.  From Genesis 1 onward, the Spirit of God hovers over formless voids of darkness, shaping them into conditions that sustain thriving and God-honouring life.  There is One striving to work such wonders in every life today, and Yahweh is His name.  You can be certain that He is hovering over life as you know it today.

If you haven’t yet heard “Brokenness Aside”, then let your soul be fed by clicking below.

Peace on you today, my friends.

Worship Training

For any who have ever desired to experience public worship in fresh ways, the following chart may prove handy.  It will give you a place to start, regardless of where you find yourself today.

No go learn some actions!

Why Worship?

Revelation 4-5 describe a vision of God’s throne around which are crowded a host of worshipers.  In speaking of this passage and its image of worship, Eugene Peterson puts these thoughts out there…

“In worship God gathers his people to himself as center.  Worship is a meeting at the center so that our live are centered in God and not lived eccentrically.  We worship so that we live in response to and from this center, the living God.  Failure to worship consigns us to a life of spasms and jerks, at the mercy of every advertisement, every seduction, every siren.  Without worship we live manipulated and manipulating lives.  We move in either frightened panic or deluded lethargy as we are, in turn, alarmed by spectres and soothed by placebos.  If there is no center, there is no circumference.  People who do not worship are swept into a vast restlessness, epidemic in the world, with no steady direction and no sustaining purpose.” (taken from “Reverse Thunder”, p. 60)

Worship as more than ritual, music, or sermon… Eugene, surely you jest!  No, surely you’re dead on!  And I need some of that in my life pretty much every day I wake up.

On the other days, I can get by without it.

Taize

This has done good things for my soul recently.

And no, some of you won’t like it at all.  Taize is this style of worship: Song, scriptures, spoken words all woven together that feels very “Catholic” or something like that.  But it crossed my path recently and brought me significant blessing.

They’ve got a great website to check out.  Click on the “MP3 and Podcast” link to check out what this is all about.  Their podcasts can also be downloaded for free from iTunes.

So go and be blessed.

Spoken Word (6/30)

Check this out. This form of worship expression strikes my chords.

It’s like the meeting place of Scripture reading, public prayer, artistic expression, finely-tuned language, rap, and more.

This first video introduces a woman named Amena Brown and some of her story.

This second video gives you a sampling of what I’m talking about. I hope it blesses you, as it did me.

Here’s one more if this is doing good things for you.

The Worship Industry

Go HERE to view a short video on worship by Brian McLaren.

It’s done by The Work of the People, a fantasic website of “visual liturgy” that I found through Derek Webb, who happens to have a new album out.

Did you get all that?

Start with the video, if you like.