January 4, 2012
Congratulations to all my Trinity family who traveled down Route 66 this year! Over the next few weeks we’re celebrating the accomplishment and hearing testimonies from those who read through the Bible in 2011. Whether you read some of it, most of it or all of it, I’m sure there were great rewards. To me the greatest reward is knowing God more. I walk away with a bigger view of God, his character, his sovereignty, his relentless, unfailing, perfect love that keeps inviting us to a relationship with him, and his amazing grace that made a way to redeem our sinful mess through the cross. Honestly, each time I read through the Bible it reminds me how much I do not know and often raises more questions in my mind than answers. While I feel a surge of faith, I also sense my faith being challenged. My favorite part of the Scriptures is the stories that exemplify God’s personal love and demonstrate what faith looks like (and often doesn’t look like).
To that end, I was recently introduced to a musical project that is simply amazing. It is a 2 CD set called, Music Inspired by The Story, with eleven songs from the Old Testament and seven songs from the New Testament. This project was a collaboration between songwriter Nichole Nordeman who wrote all of the lyrics and Bernie Herms who wrote all of the music. The songs are sung by some of the top Christian vocalists of our time. The music is simply wonderful, beautiful and dynamic, exquisitely orchestrated, and flavored with clever musical variety. What makes this project outstanding is that each song doesn’t just tell the story of a biblical character; it also captures their relationship with the Almighty God. Every song plays out a personal conversation with God, interaction between the Creator and the created one. Raw emotion, tender trust and genuine worship define this project. My faith is challenged and encouraged by each song. I suggest you buy it and/or consider giving it as a gift to someone who has completed Route 66.
Here are some quotes from other folks:
The songs are written from the perspective of the individuals and my heart resonates with the cry of their hearts; Adam & Eve “If I could, I’d rewrite history, I’d choose differently…”, Moses “If there’s anything good in me it must be You” and David “When the world looks at me, I pray all they see is my heart looks like your heart”. ~Sheri Blakey
Music Inspired by The Story is stunning and prayerful and, while not specifically a worship album, it has ushered me into some very intense moments of personal worship. One night several weeks ago I was listening to the song “How Love Wins” which is from the perspective of the thief on the cross. One line completely gripped my heart, “For all my many sorrows and regrets, nothing could compare to just this one. That in the presence of my King, I cannot fall upon my knees. I cannot carry you up to your throne. You, instead, will carry me back home.” The song then transitions from the chorus of “this is how love wins” to a short, revamped chorus of the hymn “Nothing But the Blood.” It was a beautiful connection and a moment that absolutely made me kneel, experiencing the Lord’s presence that was so close at that moment. Reading these stories in the Word of God is so powerful. Then having them put into beautiful songs that are completely infused with the Spirit is incredible and an experience you don’t want to miss. This project has blessed me over and over again. ~John Owens