I’ve Got a Problem
Tomorrow I’ll know more than I do today. Or at least, I hope so.
That’s the typical pattern, right? Who of us hasn’t been horribly embarrassed by reflecting on things we did and said five years ago? Yet, at that time, it seemed like the right thing to say or do.
Sometimes I’ve wondered: ‘If twenty-years-from-now me could speak with the me-of-right-now, what would I say to myself?’ I usually think that having this kind of input from my future self would be of value.
But, sadly, I’m not so quick to extend that grace to others.
Here’s what I mean: There are Christian brothers and sisters all around me who are 20 years ahead of me already; but do I listen to them? And when they speak, do I treat their words with as much reverence as I would the words from future-me?
The Problem Played Out
Recently I’ve been listening to an excellent new album by James Hoffman. One song in particular resonated with me over the last day (it’s the song cued up below). In the song, Hoffman is singing about the experience of holding his newborn daughter. He’s reflecting on the truth of what his mother told him: ‘Now I know what my mother meant when she said I’d never understand — fully — till I held you.’
I’m a fan of Josh Garrels. A big fan. His ability to express biblical truth musically in ways that are artistically profound (both with regards to lyrics and sound) is stunning.
Not too long ago I came across a couple videos of Josh doing some live music (video for ‘Words Remain’ and video for ‘Ulysses’). Because of the quality of those projects — I’ve never heard live recordings sound so good — I was excited to discover the most recent endeavour with Josh and Mason Jar Music: The Sea In Between.
The concept is simple: make really beautiful music and record it in a really beautiful place with really beautiful accompaniment and production. The overall result is breathtaking. I ordered the video box set, which came (here’s a surprise) beautifully packaged. I watched it as soon as I could and I couldn’t be happier.
The documentary and interview/interactive approach of the film is a neat way of getting to know Josh and his family better as well. I particularly enjoyed the segment where Josh was talking about the undeniable impulse that people have when they behold something beautiful to admire, thank, and reach out to the one who created it.
A Comeback? Really?
I’m not really a fan of ‘comebacks’ for bands. If it’s over, then it’s over. Leave it alone. Especially after eight years, in a genre so niche as the brand of ska that the OC Supertones got famous playing. How could a comeback possibly be successful in their case?
To make a comeback now, they’d be stuck between a rock and a hard place. Either they would need to change their sound so much that they wouldn’t really be the same band, or they’d play the exact same style and risk being totally irrelevant.
So when my brother told me this past weekend that the Supertones had a new album out — after 8 years! — I was very skeptical. But oh man, am I glad I gave it a chance!
Yesterday I was able to add one more thing to the list of ‘Things I Never Learned in Seminary.’ Somehow our church had the opportunity to be involved in helping to put on the Toronto show for the Unashamed Tour. It was a blast to get a group of volunteers together and get a ‘behind the scenes look’ at how a show like this is produced.
Early on in the day I had the unexpected privilege getting to meet and chat with several of the artists. Fortunately for me, being as ignorant as I am, I didn’t know who most of the guys were who I was talking to. I introduced myself and we chatted, just like I would with anyone else.
I don’t often do reviews on this site. That means two things: (1) It’s not ‘professional, Challies-esque’ quality, but also, (2) I’m doing it because I want to and you know I mean it.
When I first heard that one of the members of Grace Fellowship Church (Rexdale) was a rapper, I assumed a few things. One of them was that if he’s local he probably can’t be that good. Another is that he was probably one of those guys whose life and faith must be somehow compromised if he’s actively engaging the hip-hop scene in Toronto.
I’m thrilled to say that not only were my arrogant assumptions about ‘Spoken‘ flat out wrong, but through Role Model Records I’ve also been introduced to several other local Christian rappers who are skilled and dedicated to using their art for the glory of God.
Sovereign Grace Music has truly blessed the church. Here is an album of modern hymns that I am happy to wholeheartedly recommend. It is called From Age to Age.
Musically speaking, the album is more eclectic than we’re used to from Sovereign Grace. These songs sound distinct from each other and different than previous SGM releases. At first I wasn’t sure what that would mean, since I’ve enjoyed many of Sovereign Grace’s recent albums. But this one stands apart.
Lyrically, this album is rich. The songs glory in the dynamic interplay of God’s transcendence and immanence and the majesty of the eternal God who revealed himself in the suffering servant.
Spiritually and emotionally, this album is gripping and engaging without being cheesy. I am amazed at how well the individual songwriters did at matching the musical elements to the lyrics so that the climactic points of the music serve to make the words even more worship-compelling.
I want you to hear this album so badly I’m embedding it below so you don’t even have to leave the page to hear it.
Download ‘The Patika Sessions’ for Free
Joshua Robinson, Lead Worshiper at GFC (Rexdale)
Over Christmas time the Band of Brothers from Grace Fellowship Church (Rexdale), together with some of the members of our worship team recorded, mixed, and produced a CD of worship tunes that we sing in our churches. This a collection of songs and hymns either written or re-written by members of our churches.
We are thrilled to offer the music to you to download for free! Simply click below to download the zip file and enjoy.