Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

MUSIC REVIEWS and NEWS

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Keith and Kristyn GettyFacing a Task Unfinished – Deluxe Digital Edition
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This is the first album of mostly new material from the pre-eminent modern hymn writers Keith and Kristyn Getty since 2012’s Hymns for the Christian Life (though they have released a Christmas album, live album, an EP and a live Christmas album since that time). The studio album, recorded in Nashville’s historic Ocean Way Recording studio, champions mission and congregational singing, features the Getty’s excellent band, live congregational singing and a few special guest appearances (Chris Tomlin, Fernando Ortega, John Patitucci and Ladysmith Black Mambazo). The album is produced by Nathan Nockels.

The Deluxe digital edition features 17 songs. Here are a few brief comments about each of these wonderful songs, a true gift to the church:

Facing a Task Unfinished – This hymn was originally written in 1931 by China Inland Mission (now OMF International) worker Frank Houghton with music by Samuel Wesley. The Getty’s were asked by OMF to add a new chorus to the hymn, and they were joined by Ed Cash, and Fionan de Barra. An estimated one million believers in more than 5,000 churches in 100 countries joined together to sing this new hymn on February 21. The chorus below was added to the original hymn, and the recording features some excellent congregational singing:

We go to all the world
With kingdom hope unfurled
No other name has power to save
But Jesus Christ The Lord

May the Peoples Praise You – This is an upbeat hymn that features the Getty’s “green grass” band feel.  Inspired by Psalm 67, this hymn is a call to worship and mission.

May the peoples praise You
Let the nations be glad
All Your blessing comes
That we may praise
May praise the Name of Jesus

Living Waters – The mid-tempo song was released as a single a few weeks before the album release.  Christ is calling to those who are thirsty, empty, tired and broken, to come to Him, our living waters.  This song is an invitation to come and be filled and healed, and to walk in life and freedom.

O Children Come – featuring the vocals of Ladysmith Black Mambazo. A live version was included on their 2015 album Joy – An Irish Christmas LIVE. Originally written as a Christmas carol, this invitation song challenges us both to follow Christ and to go with the good news of Christ in words and in deeds of mercy to a needy world. The songs features an infectious beat and also the children of some of the band members singing along.

My Worth Is Not in What I Own – This is a wonderful hymn that we often sing in our church that was first included on their 2014 EP The Greengrass Session. It features one of my favorite artists Fernando Ortega.

My worth is not in skill or name
In win or lose, in pride or shame
But in the blood of Christ that flowed
At the cross

For the Cause – This hymn was written with Stuart Townend on the call to missions and the cause of the Kingdom around the world. It is dedicated to Danny Akin and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. The song showcases the excellent band and their greengrass sound, featuring some good percussion work.

For the cause of Christ we go
With joy to reap, with faith to sow
As many see
And many put their trust in the Son

Lift High the Name of Jesus – This is the third version of this wonderful upbeat hymn that has been released. It was first included on the album recorded live at the Gospel Coalition Conference and later on the The Greengrass Session EP. The band gets to show off on this version leading to the celebratory chorus:

Oh sing my soul,
And tell all He’s done,
Till the earth and heavens are filled with His glory!

The Lord Is My Salvation – This is a song of testimony, inspired in part by Psalm 27. The piano slowly builds.

Who is like the Lord our God?
Strong to save, faithful in love
My debt is paid and the vict’ry won
The Lord is my salvation

We Believe (Apostle’s Creed) – This song features an old melody of Keith’s that has been refreshed with a song based on the Apostle’s Creed. They collaborated on this song with their friend, John Patitucci, in a fusion of music influenced both by Jazz and the folk music of Scandinavia and Ireland. The band really shines on this song.

He Will Hold Me Fast – This song is written by Matt Merker, adapting some original lyrics by Ada Habershon. The Gettys felt it would be a comfort and encouragement to God’s people as we live out our faith in these difficult times, whether in suffering, persecution or death. The music is beautiful, with piano and strings supplemented by some effective congregational singing.

Psalm 24 (The King of Glory) – With this song, written with Chris Tomlin and Ed Cash, the Getty’s tried to capture a sense of Christ’s victorious rule of all the earth and the joy this brings to His people, as told in Psalm 24. The song has a bit of a different sound with some Eastern musical influences.

He reigns, He reigns
Jesus the Lord
He reigns, He reigns
Forevermore

O Church Arise (Arise Shine) – This song was originally included on their 2007 album In Christ Alone, and also included in their live Gospel Coalition album.  It features Chris Tomlin on backing vocals.

Beyond These Shores – This is an instrumental track featuring John Patitucci.

Consider the Stars – This is a beautiful piano-based lullaby that John Patitucci wrote for the Getty’s three daughters to help them go to sleep at night.

Jesus Tender Shepherd Hear Me – The words of this hymn were written by Mary Duncan in 1839. It was a hymn that she composed for her children.  Kristyn sings accompanied by only an acoustic guitar. Some new lyrics have been added to Duncan’s original hymn.

Let the Earth Resound – This is a 2004 song written by Keith and Stuart Townend, recorded for the first time by the Getty’s. It features some good congregational singing.

King immortal, Faithful God
Crowned with splendour, rich in love.
Let the heavens and the earth resound
With songs of praise to You.

Those who Wast Rich Beyond All Spendor – This 1934 hymn, is another one written by Frank Houghton. It begins with beautiful strings, and only a piano is added as we focus on the lyrics sung by Kristyn.

Lyrics to these songs (with the exception of “Jesus Tender Shepherd Hear Me”) can be found on the Getty’s site here.

music news

  • VaporizeAmos Lee, one of my favorite artists, is back with a new single, his first new music since 2013’s Mountains Of Sorrow, Rivers Of Song. Listen to it here.
  • Exciting upcoming releases – U2 is working on Songs of Experience and Matt Redman has started on a Christmas album.
  • Two Neil Youngs on a Tree Stump. Did you see the Neil Young and Jimmy Fallon duet recently on The Tonight Show?
  • Facing the Music, Finding the Mission. Keith Getty writes “In coming back to this calling, I began to freshly realize four things that reinvigorated our cause.”
  • Missional Hymns—An Interview with Keith Getty. Ed Stetzer interviews Keith Getty regarding Keith and Kristyn Getty’s excellent new album Facing a Task Unfinished.
  • Happiness by NEEDTOBREATHE. Watch the new video of “Happiness”, a song from NEEDTOBREATHE’s upcoming album Hard Love.
  • This Rapper Might Be America’s Next Evangelical Leader. Michelle Boorstein writes ““This generation doesn’t have a Billy Graham,” said LaDawn Johnson, a sociologist at Biola University, an evangelical school outside Los Angeles where Lecrae performed in April. “We’ve lost any kind of significant evangelical leader people could point to, and Lecrae is in a position where he could definitely for many young people be that voice and be that model.””
  • Float. Watch the music video of Switchfoot’s new song “Float”, from their forthcoming album Where the Light Shines Through, to be released July 8.
  • Heroes and Villains: Is Hip-Hop a Cancer or a Cure? Check out Lecrae’s latest TED Talk. He states “When we prostitute things like misogyny and violence for the sake of entertainment, we perpetuate villainous ideas as heroic. Hip hop is one of our generation’s perpetrators, but is also the art form that can turn this ship around.”
  • The Sower’s Song. Check out this lyric video for Andrew Peterson’s “The Sower’s Song”.
  • Salvation Works. Check out this live version of Jennifer Nettles “Salvation Works”, which is included on her new album Playing with Fire.
  • Crowder’s Beard Launches Solo Act. The Babylon Bee (Your Trusted Source For Christian News Satire) reports “Crowder’s wildly popular musical act may be in trouble, as its star member and frontman, Crowder’s majestic and elegant facial hair, has announced it’s leaving the band in order to launch its own solo career. The beard cited creative and personal differences as reasons for the split.”
  • Sweet Victory. Watch Trip Lee’s music video for his song “Sweet Victory” featuring Dimitri McDowell & Leah Smith.
  • Song Captures Mother Teresa’s Spiritual Darkness. Matt Maher states that his song “‘Firelight’ is a song about disillusionment and that very frail prayer of asking God to burn and shine in the midst of that and to continue to light the way through darkness.” Listen to the song here.
  • Money & Fame. Check out this video of NEEDTOBREATHE doing an acoustic version of “Money & Fame” from their forthcoming album Hard Love, to be released July 15.

Music Quotes: 

  • In spite of it all…God is good. Because of it all… God is good. Lecrae  
  • I love many genres of music but am getting sick of how hard it is to protect my kids from the sexual/misogynist output that’s all around us. Matt Redman

Song of the Week “My Worth is Not in What I Own” by Keith and Kristyn Getty with Fernando Ortega

This week’s song of the week is the “My Worth is Not in What I Own” by Keith and Kristyn Getty. The song is from their new album Facing A Task Unfinished. They are joined by Fernando Ortega, one of my favorite artists. Listen to the song here.

My worth is not in what I own
Not in the strength of flesh and bone
But in the costly wounds of love
At the cross

My worth is not in skill or name
In win or lose, in pride or shame
But in the blood of Christ that flowedKeith and Kristyn Getty
At the cross

Refrain
I rejoice in my Redeemer
Greatest Treasure,
Wellspring of my soul
I will trust in Him, no other.
My soul is satisfied in Him alone.

As summer flowers we fade and die
Fame, youth and beauty hurry by
But life eternal calls to us
At the cross

I will not boast in wealth or might
Or human wisdom’s fleeting light
But I will boast in knowing Christ
At the cross

Two wonders here that I confess
My worth and my unworthiness
My value fixed – my ransom paid
At the cross

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Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence ~ married to my best friend for more than 37 years, a St. Louis Cardinals fan, a manager at a Fortune 50 company, a graduate of Covenant Theological Seminary, and in leadership at my local church. I enjoy speaking about calling, vocation and work. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop to their fullest potential and to utilize their strengths more fully. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinders themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony and Achiever, and my two StandOut strengths roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book and Colossians 3:23 my favorite verse. Some of my other favorite books are Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper, The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul, The Prodigal Son (originally titled A Tale of Two Sons) by John MacArthur and Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I enjoy Christian hip-hop/rap music, with Lecrae, Trip Lee and Andy Mineo being some of favorite artists.

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