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Passion - Even So Come

Even So Come – Passion (Deluxe Edition)
Each spring I look forward to the release of the latest Passion Conference album. This year’s album Even So Come, featuring twelve songs, was recorded live at three separate Passion gatherings in front of more than 30,000 college students (Passion’s focus is students ages 18-25), at Phillips Arena in Atlanta and the Toyota Center in Houston. The album features the usual Passion gang – Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Crowder, Kristian Stanfill, Brett Younker and new entry Melodie Malone. Tomlin and Stanfill each get four songs and Crowder three. The music tends to be a combination of worship ballads and high energy worship songs which are easy to get stuck in your brain after just a few listens. There are a number of excellent songs and performances on this year’s album.
I purchased the Deluxe Edition of the album which includes four songs recorded at a late night acoustic session. It features three well known worship songs: Tomlin’s “We Fall Down”, Redman’s “The Heart of Worship” and Crowder’s “How He Loves”, along with Stanfill’s cover of the hymn “It is Well”. The Deluxe edition also includes videos of the Redman and Crowder songs. Unlike past Passion albums, this year’s does not feature one of Louie Giglio’s sermons, which was fine with me.

Here are a few thoughts on the twelve songs on the standard edition:
“Even So Come” – Chris Tomlin. One of my favorite songs on the album. This reminded me of Tomlin’s excellent “At the Cross (Love Ran Red)” from last year’s Passion album Take it All. The song went a bit long, but an upcoming studio version may tighten it up a bit.

Like a bride,
Waiting for her groom,
We’ll be a church,
Ready for You,
Every heart longing for our King,
We sing…
Even so come,
Lord Jesus come

“Shout Hosanna” – Kristian Stanfill. This song has a big sing-along chorus and pounding drums.

The same power that rolled the stone away
The same power alive in us today
King Jesus we call upon your name
No other name

“Forever” – Melodie Malone. Passion newcomer covers the Kari Jobe song. Malone’s powerful vocals on this songs makes it one of the highlights of the album.

“Lift Your Head Weary Sinner” – Crowder. A live version of a song from his excellent Neon Steeple album.

“Draw Near” – Kristian Stanfill. This is one of those worship songs in which lines are sung over and over (and over and over). At eight minutes in length it’s probably my least favorite song on the album.

“The Saving One” – Chris Tomlin. Another wonderful song from Tomlin that will be great to sing in worship services.

Your love is amazing
Grace never fails me
You are the saving one
You reach from the heavens
Hope of the nations
You are the saving one

“The Awesome God You Are” – Matt Redman. I can’t get enough of Matt Redman’s music. The only disappointment is that this is the only new song of his that is included on the album.

God, let hope arise and faith
Become the fortress of my heart
I will lift my eyes and see You as
The awesome God You are

“My Anchor” – Christy Nockels. The only song on the album from Nockels. This song will be included on Let it Be Jesus, her upcoming live album recorded at the Passion City Church in Atlanta.

“Wonder” – Crowder. I love Crowder’s music and enjoyed this new song, the chorus of which is a reworking of my favorite hymn. This is another of my favorite songs on the album.

Oh Lord my God
When in awesome wonder
Sing my soul
Your song again
Oh Lord my God
When I’m lost in wonder
Sing my soul
How Great Thou Art

“The Way” – Brett Younker. He follows up “Burning in My Soul” from the Passion: Let the Future Begin album with this high energy song.

“You Found Me” – Kristian Stanfill. This song was written by Matt Maher, Jason Ingram, Brett Younker and Stanfill. It’s another high energy sing-along song.

“The Cross of Christ” – Chris Tomlin. The album closes with the most upbeat of Tomlin’s three new songs. It’s a wonderful song that is probably already being sung at contemporary worship services.

It is the cross my only plea
The blood He shed delivers me
Our Savior’s arms are open wide
A love so great
The cross of Christ

Rise - Trip LeeRise: Get Up and Live in God’s Great Story by Trip Lee. Thomas Nelson. 240 pages. 2015
*** ½

Trip Lee is barely 27 years old. And yet he has released five popular rap/hip-hop albums and now two books. He was a Pastoral Assistant at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington D.C., where Mark Dever is the senior pastor, for four years, and recently moved to Atlanta to plant a church in Atlanta.

The foreword of the book was written by John Piper. Piper writes “One of the main things I like about Trip Lee and his book, Rise, is the interplay of reverence and relevance.“

Trip writes that this book is written for those who are young, to give hope to those who feel they have little to contribute. He states that it is written with the conviction that when a young person sees the glory of God everything changes. They Rise! He wants the book to be one that skeptics and seekers can enjoy and understand as well.

The book is split into three main sections: getting up, growing up, and pointing up:

  1. Getting Up: This section talks about what it means for each of us to embrace our role in God’s story and rise to the calling.
  2. Growing Up: This section talks about how to grow in the roles God has shown us.
  3. Pointing Up: This section talks about how our rising points people to the glory of the God who raises people from the dead.

The book is a quick read and contains subjects that young people will easily relate to. I highlighted a number of passages in the book and would like to share some of them with you below:

  • We were made to be mirrors perfectly reflecting God’s goodness, but with sin that mirror was fractured and the reflection is distorted.
  • The myth of procrastination is that it will somehow be easier later. The truth is, it’s never easy, and putting it off only makes it harder.
  • There are several problems with writing off young people. One of them is the strange assumption that for some reason God can’t get glory from young people.
  • What do we do about those people who think we’re worthless? Be an example for them.
  • It’s powerful to see a young man in his early twenties who would rather spend time with God’s people than go to a club. It’s powerful to see a young man fighting to remain sober. It’s powerful to see a young woman finding her identity in Christ and not in what others think. What an amazing picture of God’s grace.
  • Have you ever thought about how disastrous shortsightedness can be in our lives? Too many of us are trying to live our lives with no regard for what happens later. We have to think big picture. Every decision we make is a small piece of a larger puzzle. And without looking at the big picture for reference, we’ll place the pieces incorrectly every time.
  • When it comes to morality, all of us have bad taste. None of us is born with natural moral sense. None of us has that perfect combination of heart and deeds. Instead, we’re repelled by good things and attracted to the wrong things. Because of this, when we don’t get to take part in wickedness, we feel like we’re being left out. We feel like we’re missing out on the fun. But we have it exactly backward. Strangely, we complain about missing the chance to waste our lives. That’s like complaining about being spared in a deadly hostage situation.
  • Does God want you to have a boring life? To answer yes is to say something untrue about Him. He’s the Creator of life, and it’s tragic to suggest that He might not want you to enjoy it.
  • God doesn’t try to keep us from good things; He’s the giver of all good things. He’s the source.
  • When we focus on the wicked, it seems like they have everything. But when we look at our God, we see the truth. He’s all we need.
  • There are no super-Christians, only regular Christians denying themselves and embracing their Lord. When was the last time you said no to yourself? Denying self isn’t a one-time thing, but a daily task.
  • There are really only two ways to respond to Jesus: you can deny yourself and follow Him, or you can deny Him and follow yourself. Who do you think is the better leader?
  • Scripture treats time less like an entitlement and more like a treasure. The Bible talks about time as if it’s a loan from God that we should invest well. Everything we have belongs to God, including our time. We should invest it well, putting it where He tells us to instead of robbing Him and chasing what we think will satisfy us in the moment. We should be thinking carefully about how to spend every moment for the glory of God. You should invest your time in things that have an eternal impact. You should spend your time loving God and loving others.
  • One of the most important things I learned early on is that everyone is a theologian; some of us are good ones and others of us are bad ones. What I mean is that all of us have an understanding of who God is. Some have accurate pictures of Him, and others have inaccurate pictures.
  • Build your life on the Word of God. And I don’t mean just declare that you think God’s Word is true. I mean dedicate yourself to it. Meditate on it day and night. Do what God says. Building your life on the Word of God is an ongoing process, not a one-time thing.
  • Another key to going deep is finding a good church.
  • This obsession with others’ approval has the potential to poison every thought we have, every decision we make, and every assessment of ourselves. It turns opportunities to glorify God into opportunities to glorify self.
  • Social popularity is fickle and temporary. But acceptance by God through Christ is rock solid and eternal.
  • One of the quickest ways to ensure compromise is to obsess over what other people think of you. Sooner or later, the obsession with approval will make you do something that grieves God—all so you can please other people.
  • God has given us one another to help fight our sin, but we often hide from each other in shame. That’s an understandable response for those who are still exposed and vulnerable to judgment. But our sin has already been covered, so we have no need to hide it. Why hide a bill that’s already been paid?
  • As you read this, you may have some serious unconfessed sin in your life. Please remember this: Confession of sin is your friend, not your enemy. Confession of sin can only be perceived as your enemy if you have a goal other than God’s glory.
  • Every time I confess my sin to another Christian, he has some sin to confess to me as well. Confessing your sin encourages other Christians to do the same. And it reminds all of us of our need for Jesus.
  • My first lessons about sex came from R&B albums.
  • I know sex is a good thing, and treating sex as a disgusting thing to be avoided is unacceptable. It’s one of the greatest, most enjoyable gifts God has given us. My problem is the way the world celebrates sex.
  • Sex is meant to be a physical expression of a greater reality: the coming together of a husband and wife in marriage.
  • Sex is beautiful, but outside of marriage it loses everything that makes it that way. Marriage itself is a symbol of an even greater reality: Christ’s love for His church.
  • Sex outside of marriage is a perversion of God’s gift. We are sinners, and our sinful hearts distort everything, including the great gift of sexual desire. Thus, lust is the horrible disfiguring of our sexual desires, turning a good man into a monster.
  • It may be more common for guys, but it’s not rare for women. There are many women who struggle with porn, and the more we pretend it’s only a male problem, the less women feel comfortable talking about it. This is an everyone problem. It seems to have affected all of us. It’s rare to meet someone who hasn’t been touched by its devastating effects. And I’m not just speaking about the nonbelieving world. This is a dark struggle for many Christians. The difference has to be that we fight. And our God has given us the power to do so.
  • At the root of our porn problem is discontentment with God’s plan for our sexuality.
  • Some of us need to delete our social media apps because idle clicking always leads to the same place. We need to tell our friends all our dirt. We need to get accountability software. We need to get rid of our laptops and phones. Are you willing to do the drastic things you need to do?
  • There is no halfway or lackadaisical way to fight lust. If you’re not fighting your sin, you’re befriending your sin.
  • My goal is not to say that the younger you get married, the more holy you are. I just want to dispel the myth that we should delay adulthood and only consider marriage after we’re thirty or older. Whatever age you are, seek to view marriage the way God does.
  • This isn’t to say our peers always give terrible counsel, but we shouldn’t avoid counsel from older folks because we don’t like it. We should hear their counsel and measure it by the ultimate source of wisdom, God’s Word. That’s why I’m encouraging you to specifically spend time with godly older people.
  • Another natural way of gaining wisdom would be strengthening your relationship with your mom or dad, if they’re believers.
  • Here’s the grey rule: embrace things that lead you closer to Jesus, and reject things that lead you away from Jesus.
  • The question is not whether or not you will face trials. The question is, how will you respond when you do?
  • As I write this chapter, I still haven’t been healed. It continues to complicate every area of my life. In fact, the book is being turned in a week late because chronic fatigue left me bedridden for a few days the week it was due. I’m still praying the Lord will heal me, and that He’ll give me grace to glorify Him in my weakness. My energy is never the same from week to week, but my God is.
  • Ultimately, whatever it is you’re doing, it’s for God. Paul wrote to the Colossians: “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ” (Col. 2:23). No matter where you are or what you’re doing, your supervisor is Jesus. He’s the one who will reward you, and He’s the one you’ll ultimately answer to.
  • What we do with our lives every day, whether at school, a desk job, or keeping the home in order, is our most basic opportunity to glorify God. That’s what your role in His story looks like day in and day out. Instead of waiting to be offered a new role, play the current one well.
  • When you put your faith in our compassionate God, it leads to a compassionate life.
  • Showing compassion is one of the clearest ways we can visibly show people what the gospel looks like.
  • As a minister of the gospel, you have one primary task: proclaim Christ. We get bogged down, confused, and discouraged because we get away from the main thing. Tell people about Jesus.
  • At the core of this gospel message is the truth that God is holy, man is sinful, Christ was perfect and died for sinners, and He rose from the grave. And those who turn from sin and trust in Christ will be saved. That’s the message you’ve been called to preach.
  • If joining a church seems more like a nuisance than a privilege, that could be evidence you still have some growing to do. It’s much more than an annoying necessity in God’s eyes. And I want to encourage you to be excited about the things God is excited about. He loves the church, and we should love the church as well.

Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence – married to my best friend Tammy, a graduate of Covenant Seminary, St. Louis Cardinals fan, formerly a manager at a Fortune 50 organization, and in leadership at my local church. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop, and to use their strengths to their fullest potential. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinder themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony, and Achiever, and my two StandOut strength roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book of the Bible, and Colossians 3:23 and 2 Corinthians 5:21 being my favorite verses. Some of my other favorite books are The Holiness of God and Chosen by God by R.C. Sproul, and Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. I enjoy music in a variety of genres, including modern hymns, Christian hip-hop and classic rock. My book Called to Lead: Living and Leading for Jesus in the Workplace and Tammy’s book Study, Savor and Share Scripture: Becoming What We Behold are available in paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon.

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