Deeper Worship Is On “The Rise” – the new Jon Owens EP…

It’s been a long time coming, but The Rise has arrived!

I’m a worshiper who, when looking for a soundtrack for “getting my praise on”, craves that sound that goes beyond cultural barriers and lends it’s musical sustenance to this generation. That’s what’s always attracted me to the songs of Jon Owens. It’s been a while since the Arise album came out (Fire Burns, Kingdom Come, When I Praise Him and Son of Man were all congregational classics), and of course the Son of Man (Bless the LORD) epic rendition on Tye Tribbetts “Stand Out” album. There were other projects that Jon wrote for and led on but if you’re like me, we’ve been waiting to see what God gives Jon…

Jon and Kelley Owens have been exemplary in their worship and leadership amidst the turmoil they’ve seen in life over the last few years. God called their beautiful baby daughter Aria Joy home to Heaven a few years ago. I must say that as a friend to Jon and Kelley, the way that God has walked them through such deep grievous process has been such a beautiful testament to the grace of God on their lives. “The Rise” comes from a new level of depth in experiencing Gods relentless grace in their lives. “We Cry Holy” is an anthem that was written in that place.

To Jon and Kelley and their beautiful family – thanks for your tireless work serving Every Nation as a movement throughout it all. I believe with new depths come new heights with these new EP’s and the ministry that grows from this… We love “The Rise” and can’t wait for “The Fall” later this year!

Go get it y’all – CLICK HERE

20140410-112608.jpg

20140410-112839.jpg

“Make Moves or Make Excuses” – Andy Mineo meets Sway.

Sway, Andy Mineo and Heather B on Sways Universe

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, I’m always on the look out for Christ and those representing Him well in popular culture.

Andy Mineo, much like his Reach Records labelmate Lecrae is definitely a great example of that in hip hop culture. His recent EP “Neverland” which was released a couple of weeks ago, sat at number 1 on iTunes upon it’s debut. No, not the Christian charts. THE charts.

Here is Andy Mineo being interviewed by MTV VJ  and Hip Hop legendary cultural figure on his show, Sway’s Universe.

(Please be aware, there is some use of language which may be considered offensive, used by callers and others (NOT Andy haha!) but this is the culture that we’re called to impact and Andy is there!)

Definitely praying for Andy Mineo, Lecrae, Reach Records and all who are actually in the culture bringing and representing our King Jesus with excellence. Let’s be challenged to be excellent in our skill and prayerful in how God will give those of us who are believers and followers of Christ opportunities to represent Him well.

Are you Walter Mitty?

(Over the next few days I’ll be posting a few devotions as we at EN Central commit to a time of prayer and fasting to kick the year off!)

The original movie based on the short story starring Danny Kaye

John 10:10 says “The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy, but I (Jesus) come to give you life and life abundantly.” I’ve often reflected on that verse and seen the Jesus who calls us out to live the adventure in abundant living – not to settle for a life of merely respiratory progression towards death.

Upon viewing the movie Walter Mitty, (based on the 1939 short story of the same name which spawned the nickname for anyone who was stuck in a rutted life that was totally drained of spontaneity, but had a tendency to dream a vicarious life of thrill.) I began to think about that passage from John – that maybe the enemies agenda was not to literally to “kill and destroy” us necessarily, but also to kill our spirit and destroy any possibility for us to step out in faith and come alive in the adventurous purposes of God.

What differs though from the existentialist blossoming of Walter Mitty, and the emergence of a believer who has the revelation by the grace of God of the adventure that lies ahead in the abundant life that Christ offers, is the death perspective. Walter Mitty would live on the edge of death “testing the limits of the human spirit”, and in the process, try and hope to come alive. Christianity calls us to be crucified in Christ, in order that we may experience the abundant life.

Nothing wrong with adventure – it’s what we were made for. But it’s an eternal thrill ride when you hold the hands of the Screenwriter, Producer and Director of the greatest piece of art ever made – HIStory, the way it was always intended before the world even existed.

Most played in 2013… What was yours?

Here’s 7 songs I had playing the most in my headphones… What were yours?

Lorde and HAIM

OK 2 disclaimers:

1) this is not a church worship songlist so for those who might be expecting something of that nature – maybe in another blog? And some of these are not necessarily by Christian artists… Great music is great music.

2) This doesn’t mean that I bought all these albums – this is purely based on the actual song.

 

James Blake – Retrograde

Been watching this guy perform live – he is amazing… But I must say, this song from “Overgrown” is so beautifully sung and produced, I really got lured into the lush vocals and minimalist production. Had me tapping this beat on Maschine along to it upon listening to it.

Pharrell Williams – Happy

I must admit, I can’t stand it when people turn their phones on in movies. But I just couldn’t help myself upon watching Despicable 2 and hearing this song – I immediately recognised Pharrell’s vocals, so immediately went onto iTunes and bought the song. I’ve been happy ever since, well, at least this song does put a smile on my face.

Gungor – I Am Mountain

If you’ve been following this blog, or you know me, you’ll know just how much I dig Gungor. So what if worship leaders don’t necessarily go to their last two albums for worship songs to sing in their congregations, Gungor are doper than ever. This song really is a reflection of that dopeness…

Walls Group – Perfect People

You had me at “This song is not for you”… Just infectious. This was by far the song (and music video) that myself and my kids were singing together the most this year… Gotta love them Walls! Now Kirk, can we get that new album?

Sarah Cheng-De Winne – Parallel Lives

No one can accuse me as a resident of Singapore, that I’m not down with local Singaporean music. Good music is good music, and I think that Sarah has one of the best produced albums to come out of the little Red Dot. Great songwriting, great production makes for a great music! Also, although my wife and I are musicians, it’s really hard to find common ground in tastes – thanks Sarah for providing an album of common ground for the both of us! Keep it coming!

HAIM – Falling

Ok – I’m not that much of a HAIM fan, but I am a huge fan of this song… When it came to the “Guitar vs Synths” discussion of this year, I definitely swung a lot more towards the Synth side of the debate. I’ll be honest when it came to funkier retro-synth inspired albums this year, I was checking for Passion Pit, Daft Punk and Chvrches albums… But I have to admit, that I played this song a ton more times than “Get Lucky”. If you remember the 80’s, turn this one up in the headphones and tell me this doesn’t inspire you to get your “Footloose”, “Fame” or “Electric Bogaloo” on…

Lorde – Royals

She’s super-young writing great songs, of which this one epitomises the strength of her developing talent. And oh, did I mention she’s a kiwi? When most of us kiwis were riding driving Holdens in our dreams, she was driving a cadillac before she could get a learners permit? She was destined for international success and sharing hair stories with Taylor Swift.

What were yours?