Monthly Archives: February 2011
Church music is becoming less and less like church music and the paradox of this fits well with the new United Album ‘aftermath’. The album’s theme is about the paradox nature of the cross… a symbol of failure and death, now a symbol of life and victory.
So what does church music sound like?
Well if you are a fan of Martin Luther then you may be a fan of church music sounding like the music that is played outside the church… if that is the case then you might like this album. This album has a real UK Indie rock feel… and it adds to the album as a whole.
The album starts off with a delicate almost ‘Dylanesque’ song called ‘Take Heart‘ written by Joel Houston starts of the album… a song about hope in the middle of all the doom and gloom in the world at the moment, a perfect start to ANY ablum… the next song ‘Go’ slides back into the style you are most used to with this band, good old fashioned indie rock… this proves to be a red herring.
This album is really diverse and I love this album for that… but at the same time this album seems strangely familiar, United have been doing their homework… taking the best of their favourite bands and artists and making it United-ish… there was more than a couple of times when I thought “wow that sounds just like…” but it really didn’t matter, because it was done so well. ‘Bones’ has Sarah Mclachlan almost celtic feel.
‘Aftermath’ builds in a way that only Hillsong can (similar to ‘This is our God’) using the bridge as the high point of the song, I can’t remember a Christian band doing this so well since Delirious?
The real difference is for this album the keyboards are starting to come to the front once again… this comes out the most on ‘Light will Shine’ mixing a quirky keyboard motif and pop rock styles usually the realm of bands like David Crowder Band… and with bands touring more and more together with conferences like Passion there may be more bands trying new styles. I personally think this is great, anything to get Christian music sounding better gets a thumbs up from me…
Those who have known Hillsong for any length of time would know there is always at least one anthemic ‘Conference’ song and ‘Nova’ foots that bill directing everyone back to God… imagine a whole conference singing “Our God be praised forever”
The album finishes with a song we’ve been singing along with for a while the Reuben Morgan and Chris Tomlin collaboration “Awakening”… now before you think “I’ll skip that song… this has been done differently to what you have heard before this version is a lot more raw, even grungier.
This is a great album…
Is it a great church album? I’m not sure… there may be a few songs that can be used “Search my heart” comes to mind…
But I’m in the belief that the songs have to be simple… in a good key for people to song and easy to pick up… I’m just not sure that ‘aftermath’ ticks all those boxes.
It is however a great Christian album.
If that’s enough for you to worship with… then listen to this album.
If you like this album check out: Leeland ‘Opposite Way’
Everyone is so quick to make excuses for why they don’t follow God…
“You don’t know what my life is like right now”
“But you don’t know my past”
“I’m too old to make a difference”
“I’m too educated to get involved in anything religious”
But the Bible says…
“The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7
Or in other words, God doesn’t see YOU the way that YOU see YOU.
You might think that you are not good enough or may not think that you have the energy to investigate what Jesus said… or you just might be scared that God just might answer those prayers that you want to pray…
but here is the news…
YOU NEED TO GET OVER YOURSELF!
God… the creator of the Universe has plans for you… he has given you talents and dreams, and on top of all that, he can see the WHOLE picture.
Us… can only live in the moment… can only see what is around us… can’t change outside influences.
Who would you back??
If it’s God then why don’t you get over yourself and get on your knees and give your life over to the ONLY one who can truly make a REAL difference in your life.
But… My past…
Look at Paul… a person who got enjoyment from hunting down Christians and in at least one case he was there as they were killed.
YET… in ONE encounter with God he was changed.
God not only used this man who was filled with hatred towards Christians but used him to spread the Gospel to the known world at that time… But got him to also write over half of the new testament.
David… a simple shepherd boy… uneducated… became King of a nation
Noah… a farmer… became a builder and saved mankind.
(add your name here)… a (add profession here)… after giving their life over to God… was able to ___________________ through the power of God.
GET OVER YOURSELF… and give it over to the ONLY one who can make the changes your life needs.
In this day and age where knowledge is so accessible people are reading anything…
Even some Christian leaders are giving messages that are boarding on self-help rather than Gods help and it can get confusing. Unless you know the things that God or Jesus said then you don’t know the difference between what is crooked and what is straight.
We are starting to forget the promises of God because we’re not reading the promises of God and meditating on them and letting them soak into our soul… or as Eugene Peterson the writer of The Message Bible says in reference to reading the Bible he says “Eat this book”…
Are we reading fast food Bible rather than getting our teeth stuck into the succulent tenderized piece of Gospel. Are we reading a second hand view of the Gospel rather than getting stuck in and see what Christ says directly to us…
Are you listening to the watered down, ‘makes me feel good’ type of words written by the latest international best-selling author … or are you going straight to the source.
There are some really good authors, and there are a whole lot of others that are just a waste of your time and a waste of your money… choose the books you read wisely.
Do you know what are the promises of God are?
Have you read Gods commands?
Get into your Bible… take note of all the red parts and take special note… these are the words of Jesus… read them… soak in them.
If you don’t have a Bible that has the words of Jesus in red… then get a highlighter and in the time your reading your Bible go through and highlight the words that Jesus said.
If you are looking into what Christianity is… don’t look at Christians, we get it wrong often too… just like hundreds of heroes that we read in The Bible.
If you are searching for God read the words of Jesus.
Have you notice that in the Bible there are a lot of principles… but there aren’t a lot of things that tell us HOW to do things… why do you think that is?
Well… I think its because God gave us tools like our conscience, the Holy Spirit and church community to guide us to make the right decision and come up with methods that best suit our needs… based on where we and our community around us is at.
The Bible says “Parents train your children…”
Ok is there a special schooling you would like us to follow?
Does it have to be a Christian school?
Is a school uniform important?
Is that home schooling?
God doesn’t give us that information why? Because he is giving us the freedom to do that ourselves based on Gods timeless principles based on the Word of God. The Bible
What seems clear to me is to listen and really lean into the principles and stay true to them… but be flexible on the methods.
We start looking and becoming just ‘religious’ when we start to say that we have to do things a certain way.
Have you been in a ‘debate’ with someone who has the same principles as you but doesn’t agree with you because you don’t do things a certain way… and more importantly do things THEIR way.
It may because they are blinded by they way they were taught by someone they look up to. I personally believe there are many ways to bring people to Christ and I will use a different ‘technique’ based on the situation… but I know others who stick to the same method and don’t budge on that… because that is the way it HAS to be.
I have 5 kids and treating them all the same just doesn’t work… We have basic principles in our house like “you must clean your room” however we have lots of methods to help stick to this based on the different child’s needs.
1 principle – different methods
Wasn’t that the differnce between Jesus and the Pharisees in relation to the Sabbath… they had lots of rules… Jesus didn’t.
They had the same principles about the Sabbath being Holy… Jesus agreed with them on this… but they wanted Jesus to conform to their METHODS
The bottom line is… different people have different methods of doing things and not everything they do is going to fit in with the way WE do things… they have their own methods.
However if they are following the basic principles that are in the Bible but not the same method as you then you need to trust that maybe God is doing something different for them.