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The Burning Edge of DawnMusic Review: The Burning Edge of Dawn by Andrew Peterson

Singer-songwriter and author Andrew Peterson returns with his eleventh studio album, produced by friend Gabe Scott. In comparison to his previous studio album Light for the Lost Boy, Peterson has stated that the album is more joyful. Friends Ellie Holcomb and Caleb Chapman of the band Colony House add backing vocals on a few of the songs.

The album features 10 new songs written by Peterson with Scott between February and May 2015. The process of making this record was a departure for Peterson, since most of the songs were written during the recording process. Having just completed writing The Warden and the Wolf King, the final book in the Wingfeather Saga series, Peterson went into the studio with very few songs completed. As a result he has stated that “It meant that I had no choice but to write about exactly what’s happening in my life right now, in real time. And what’s happening is that I’m seeing the first glimmers of sunrise after what feels like a long, painful night. These songs are about joy.”

Andrew has stated that “This album is the result of looking hard at a lot of painful stuff and arriving at the conclusion that when God the gardener tears open the earth, he’s doing it in order to bring about something beautiful. If you want the joy of the harvest, you first have to plant the seeds; and anyone who has planted seeds knows that the soil must be torn open. That’s how joy works. I know that now.”

Here are a few brief thoughts about each song:

The Dark Before The Dawn – This is a song of joy and hope and of looking forward. He is ready for a change. I liked the thought that the same wind that does damage is going to blow the storm away and that darkness is a small and passing thing.

I believe that that light is going to come
This is the dark before the dawn

Every Star Is A Burning Flame – This is a story song with references to Idaho, Tennessee and Louisville. He sings of being on the inside looking out, and seeing the sky as it’s going to be again one day. He can imagine the host of heaven singing out loud.

We Will Survive – Andrew has stated that “’We Will Survive’ is a song I wrote for Jamie about a tough season I went through last year. She has been a steady reminder of God’s good intentions during long months of uncertainty”.

Tell me the story I still need to hear
Tell me we’re to make it out alive again
I need to know there’s nothing left to fear
There’s nothing left to hide
So will you look me in the eye
And say we will survive?

My One Safe Place – This is another song written for his wife Jamie. It is written from one broken person to another. He sings that she is his oasis in the eye of the hurricane. I like the idea of “running away home to you”.

I believe in the love of the father
I believe in the power of grace
I believe in that He brought us together
You are my one safe place

The Rain Keeps Falling – Andrew has stated that “This one was partly inspired by a Luci Shaw poem called “Forecast.” The song features his good friend Ellie Holcomb, along with his daughter Skye singing harmony. It is a very honest song (as all of his are), featuring piano and some strings. He is tired, there is pain in his heart, as the rain keeps falling during “a season of night” in North Carolina, while his wife was praying for him back home. I liked the line about Dying to live, but learning to wait. A calming “Peace, be still” refrain adds hope to the song.

Rejoice – This song is a bit more complex musically. It is hopeful and joyful, and based on Paul’s letter to the Philippians 4:4: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice”.

I Want To Say I’m Sorry – Featuring an acoustic guitar, this is a song to a friend. He wants to say he is sorry, but he doesn’t know how. He has said words that he wished he hadn’t. He is sorry for his words that have hurt his friend. He drew the line and built a wall between them. He recognizes that the fault is his and he must trust in grace and give it time. He calls the song their communion hymn.

Be Kind To Yourself – This is a song to his daughter Skye who deals with self-condemnation. He performed this song when we saw him in concert on August 29 when he was accompanied on drums by his 15 year-old son Asher. He sings that he loves Skye just the way she is, and the way the Lord is shaping her heart.

How does it end when the war that you’re in
Is just you against you against you?

Gotta learn to love, learn to love
Learn to love your enemies too.

The Power Of A Great Affection – Andrew has said that “This is the closest thing I’ve written to a corporate worship song in a long time, and tells a little of the story of my life with Jesus. I read somewhere that about 100 years ago, when someone became a Christian they often said, “I’ve been seized by the power of a great affection.” That’s a beautiful sentence if ever there was one. That affection seized me and has never let go” Andrew wrote the lyrics and co-wrote the music with Gabe Scott. This is one of my favorite songs of the year.

This is now the theme of my song
And now I must forgive as I’m forgiven
And even when the shadows are long
“I will sing about the Son who’s risen.”
And his kingdom has no end
His kingdom has no end
So Father, I will give you thanks and praise
The Son has opened wide the gate of glory
He declared your mighty love and gave us grace
And I will tell his story, it is my story

The Sower’s Song – is a song about the leading of the Sower (God). Andrew sings “Abide in me Lord as I abide in You” It is a powerful and hopeful closing song that builds throughout, and is perhaps based on Isaiah 55:10-11:

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

This is a very strong album. It is personal, serious and intimate about his what was going on in his life as he wrote these songs between February and May of this year. The songs fall into a soft rock, acoustic rock, and country genres. The music perfectly complements the lyrics. Highly recommended.


  • Guilty. Here’s the video for “Guilty”, the new Newsboys song that will be featured in the Spring 2016 film God’s Not Dead 2.
  • Adore: Christmas Songs of Worship. Chris Tomlin’s new Christmas album is now available for pre-order on iTunes. When you pre-order, you receive the song “He Shall Reign Forevermore”.
  • Andy Mineo breaks down ‘Uncomfortable’ song ‘Now I Know’ for Genius. Rob Markman of Genius recently interviewed Andy Mineo about “Now I Know,” track No. 3 on his new album Uncomfortable. Mineo told the stories behind rhymes about once thinking Jesus was white and his mother catching him having sex.
  • It was a big week for Chris Tomlin ~ the premiere of his new song ‘What Child Is This?’ featuring All Sons & Daughters. Check out the new song from his upcoming Christmas album here.

Music Quotes:

music quoteKB: The great mistake made by most people is hoping to discover in themselves, that which is only to be found in God.

Fernando Ortega:

~ A great piece of art reflects the glory, imagination and creativity of God, whether the author of that piece acknowledges Him or not.

~ When I get to Heaven, I imagine I’ll be sweeping the mansion floors of many I had deemed to be less theologically sound than I.

Lecrae quoteLecrae:

~ Don’t let the compliments go to your head or let the criticisms go to your heart.

~ Remember what God brought you thru yesterday and stop worrying about today.

~ Extend to others what God regularly extends to you. Love. Patience. Forgiveness.

Andy Mineo: If you’re not driven by the mission, you’ll be driven by the cars. Focused on what you’ve been getting, more than becoming who you are.

Song of the Week

Good, Good Father by Chris Tomlin

Chris Tomlin recently released his version of this song, written by Pat Barrett and Tony Brown, and has been recorded by Housefires. You can listen to Tomlin’s version of the song here.

Oh, I’ve heard a thousand stories
Of what they think You’re like
But I’ve heard the tender whisper
Of love in the dead of night
And You tell me that You’re pleased
And that I’m never alone

You’re a good good Father
It’s who You are, it’s who You are, it’s who You are
And I’m loved by You
It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am

Oh, and I’ve seen many searching
For answers far and wide
But I know we’re all searching
For answers only You provide
‘Cause You know just what we need
Before we say a word

You’re a good good Father
It’s who You are, it’s who You are, it’s who You are
And I’m loved by You
It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am

Cause You are perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways to us

You are perfect in all of Your ways
Oh, You are perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways to us

Oh, it’s love so undeniable
I, I can hardly speak
Peace so unexplainable
I, I can hardly think
As You call me deeper still
As You call me deeper still
As You call me deeper still
Into love, love, love

You’re a good good Father
It’s who You are, it’s who You are, it’s who You are
And I’m loved by You
It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am

You’re a good good Father
It’s who You are, it’s who You are, it’s who You are
And I’m loved by You
It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am
You’re a good good Father

You are perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways

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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