Category Archives: CD Review

rejoice

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All the earth rejoice
Your Creator reigns
As the only awesome God
The Alpha and the Omega
Who was, is, and is to come
Let the oceans roar
and the mountains sing
He provides for all He has made
So be comforted as He rules with grace
Rejoice, all the earth, rejoice

All the world rejoice
For the baby comes
As a humble prince in the night
The Word made flesh,
Emmanuel
The Everlasting Light
Let the warmth of heaven
reach the coldest heart
With the gospel of His grace
For His heel will bruise
the serpent’s head
Rejoice, all the world, rejoice

All the church rejoice
For your King returns
On a white horse wearing a crown
He will break the sky
with the angel’s shout
Descending from the clouds
Then the dead will rise
from the land and sea
All His people will ascend
We will reign with Him
for eternity
Rejoice, all the church, rejoice.

© 2006 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI)
By Todd Twinning

from Soveriegn Grace’s Christmas CD Savior: Celebrating the Mystery of God Become Man

Unsearchable Riches in the Psalms

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I recently returned from the Worship God 08 conference in Gaithersburg Maryland. The topic was “Discover Unsearchable Greatness in the Psalms.” At the conference, Sovereign Grace Ministries released their newest album Psalms. You can download a free song “Praise the Lord” here.

I know I say this a lot, but this is quickly becoming my favorite album. :) My favorite by far is “
Out of the Depths” by Bob Kauflin (based on Psalm 130).

Of all the songs, the raw honesty is most visible here through lyrics like “though I may fail to trust Your promises, You never fail to hear my prayer” and “when the harvest time is over and I still see no fruit, I will wait for You.”


I think one reason I like Sovereign Grace music so much is because of the genuine emotion that is expressed through the lyrics. It is not simply “be happy in Jesus.” Rather, what is expressed is genuine Christianity – struggles and trials and sorrows, but a hope in the midst of those trials as a result of our Reedemer who is steadfast in love and faithfulness.

So often, I fail to connect doctrine with my real life. I fail to see the link between my emotions and the hope found in the gospel. The words on the page don’t seem to be living. It is through songs like this that the dots begin to connect in a new and sweet way.

God, thank you for these songs. Thank you for the gift of words. Thank you for the dedication of Bob Kauflin and the other songwriters to write songs that help us to realize Your involvement in our daily lives. I pray that You would use my words, my thoughts of You to help connect others lives to Your unfathomable greatness.

Psalm 100: 4-5 Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.

die to live anew

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God has been continuously reminding me of one thing this week… His unfailing, pursuing, incomprehensible, eternal, covenental love.

His death is the everlasting guarantee of that love. His gift of salvation to me… His soveriegn offering of union with Him proves to me His unfailing love and care. I long to explore the depths of that holy love. I am compelled to understand the richness in those depths.

“And as for your birth, on the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to cleanse you … but you were cast out on the open field … “And when I passed by you and saw you wallowing in your blood, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ I said to you in your blood, ‘Live! … I made my vow to you and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Lord GOD, and you became mine.” Ezekiel 16

His is not a love that overlooks sin, rather a love that removes it. He did not merely forgive my debt, He paid it, wholly and completely.

Thanks Steve, for the reminder of what the cross did. I cannot think of your post without remembering the Crucifixion Narrative – a graphic display of the substitutionary full atonement achieved that day as the Perfect Man was cursed as He stood condemned in my place.
Thanks Josh (and Showbread), for the reminder through music that we cannot attain this life neither by peity nor by indulgence. Both lead to destruction.

But God… the Lamb…

He leads to life. He carries us to life. He redeems our life from the pit. He plants our feet on a Rock and breathes life into our dead soul. He opens our eyes and shows us His love.
I am loving these 2 albums. See Josh’s blog for a great review, for he is more concise than I could ever hope to be. :)

When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of glory died, my richest gain I count but loss, and pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast, save in the death of Christ my God! All the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to His blood.

See from His head, His hands, His feet, sorrow and love flow mingled down! Did e’er such love and sorrow meet, or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine, that were a present far too small; love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all. (Isaac Watts)

Father hear my voice, be it small. Here I am, though I am nothing at all. Dost thou still see something to love in me? If it be, You will carry me away that I might live today

To Christ, who won for sinners’ grace by bitter grief and anguish sore; be praise from all the ransomed race, forever and forevermore. (additional lyrics by Showbread)

By God’s grace, in union with Him, these thoughts will direct my life. This truth will provide light to my steps and hope to my often weary heart.

…but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5
… we were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. Romans 6

The Beginning – Showbread

Come Weary Saints – part 2

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How do you define a good CD? Is it something that makes you feel good? Is it something that evokes a certain emotion or reaction? Is it something that is pleasing to your ears? What makes it “good”?

I would like to propose that “Come Weary Saints” the newest album by Sovereign Grace Music is a good CD. Good, not because it makes me feel good, but good because of what it is about. I posted earlier this morning about one of the songs. Since then, the CD been on “repeat” in iTunes and has been playing over and over again. Over the next few days, I plan to post in more detail about each of the songs.

One thing I’ve noticed is that this CD is about hope. But its not about a hope based in the absence of trials, its about finding our hope in Christ – choosing to trust a Hope right in the midst of trials. This hope and peace does not means what the world typically thinks of as hope and peace. Its not a “feel good” thing at all.

Our hope is found in the love of Jesus. My freedom is found in Him, not in the abscence of trials or struggles. The third song on the album “As Long As You Are Glorified” talks about this hope.

It is a song I desperately need to hear over and over again, and a song that my selfish and prideful heart wants to skip. My heart willingly thanks God in times of blessings and days of sunshine and then grumbles when it rains. It is hard to sing wholeheartedly “let your will be done in me – I long for nothing else but that You are glorified.” Those words hurt. Those words don’t easily roll off my tongue.

They need to be learned. They need to be rehersed. They need practice, for I tend to neglect those words. I forget that my God is sovereign (“Sovereignty is the exclusive right (legal or moral entitlement) to have complete control over an area of governance, people, or oneself. A sovereign is the supreme lawmaking authority, subject to no other.” (definition taken from Wikipedia)). I forget that God is loving. My heart looks away from that Hope. I forget Psalm 23 – that God accompanies in the valleys (2. Cor 12:9, Mk 14:35-36, Lam 3:21-24, Hab 3:17-19) but that He also leads through the valleys (Job 42:12-17, Genesis 45).

I want to learn this lesson. I don’t want someone to write about me one day what was written about the children of Israel in Psalm 81.

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Shall I take from your hand your blessings
Yet not welcome any pain?
Shall I thank you for days of sunshine
Yet grumble in days of rain?
Shall I love you in times of plenty
Then leave you in days of drought?
Shall I trust when I reap the harvest
But when winter winds blow then doubt?

Oh let your will be done in me
In your love I will abide.
Oh I long for nothing else as long
As you are glorified.

Are you good only when I prosper,
And true only when I’m filled?
Are you King only when I’m carefree,
And God only when I’m well?
You are Good when I’m poor and needy
You are True when I’m parched and dry.
You still reign in the deepest valley
You’re still God in the darkest night.

Oh let your will be done in me
In your love I will abide.
Oh I long for nothing else as long
As you are glorified.

So quiet my restless heart
Quiet my restless heart
Quiet my restless heart
In You

Oh let your will be done in me
In your love I will abide.
Oh I long for nothing else as long
As you are glorified.

Written by Mark Altrogge
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Father, give me more grace to trust in You. Let your love compel me to say “no matter what – your will be done.” God, your glory is amazing, and I only glimpse the fringes. May my life highlight your glory. May you be satisfied with my sacrifice – not a sacrifice of words, but a sacrifice of praise from a heart that is full of You.

Come Weary Saints

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Yesterday, I received a copy of the new album from Sovereign Grace Ministries, “Come Weary Saints.” This album is a beautiful reminder of God’s sustaining grace through every trial we face. I have the feeling this will quickly become one of my favorites. (the link to purchase the CD can be found here .)

the line-up is as follows:
1. Hide Away In the Love of Jesus
2. So I Will Trust You
3. As Long as You are Glorified
4. Oh the Deep Deep Love
5. Every Day
6. Through the Precious Blood
7. You Have Always Been Faithful
8. Healing in Your Wings
9. Joy in my Morning
10. Glorious
11. I Have a Shelter
12. It is Not Death to Die

Though each song is a reminder of God as the solution to (and greater than) each problem that we face, I want to focus on one song specifically that already been an encouragement and challenge to me – “Through the Precious Blood.” A post from last week was as a result of God using in my heart 3 words from the sample version of that song – “grace upon grace.” As the trials heap up in my life, as I feel bombarded with wave after wave, my Father promises freely grace upon grace.

This grace is not a cheap grace -it came at great cost – through the precious blood of Christ. Grace from a Father that has ordained every step I take. Grace abundant from a God that makes no mistakes. Satisfying grace that is offered to us freely.

Scripture assures us – that God is soverengly using our difficulties as tool to make us more like His Son. We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (Romans 5: 3–5). While we know these things are true, in the midst of our hardships we can lose perspective. Problems can loom large, and our hopes can grow dim.

Come Weary Saints is an invitation to redirect your focus to the God whose love has been forever demonstrated at the cross of Calvary. As you listen to these songs, may your faith and joy in the Savior be strengthened for the challenges you face, now or in the future. (review from http://www.sovereigngracemusic.org/albums)

CD Review – Savior

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I recently received a copy of the Sovereign Grace Christmas CD “Savior” (thanks Bob!) and wanted to post a review on what this CD is all about. (FYI- it can be purchased here: http://www.sovereigngracestore.com/ProductInfo.aspx?productid=M4185-00-21).

“Savior” has become one of my favorite Christmas CDs for many reasons. Not only is this CD packed with fresh new songs to listen to during the month of Dcember (seriously, there can only be SO many versions of Jingle Bells and Deck the Halls!!), it is also packed full of theological content. Each song explores deeper the mystery of God becoming a man and has given me a richer understanding of the word “Incarnation.”

But the greatest reason I love this CD is the emphasis of the paradoxical birth of Christ is evident in every song. God becoming man – What does it mean? How is this possible? What does this mean for me? That is what this CD answers. And it answers the “why” as well. Why was it necessary for Jesus to be born? Why would an all-powerful God subject Himself to the limits of man? He came motivated by love and obedience – love for His children and obedience to His father. He relinquished His rights to bring me hope, peace, and to meet my greatest need. He came to die.

Currently Sovereign Grace Ministries is offerring a free download of “Glory Be To God” – a great song of rejoicing as a result of the Incarnation. (download here: http://www.sovereigngracestore.com/ProductInfo.aspx?productid=M4185-06-51) and has the entire CD streaming on the SG radio (http://new.sovereigngrace.com/radio/SaviorCD/wimpy.asp).

My favorites on the album are:
“Hope has Come” is a triumphant rejoicing of the hope we have in Christ. Once we were slaves in misery and now we have been given Hope through Him! He has come to break sin’s power and set us free!

“Glory Be to God” is a song rich in theology with an explanation of how that applies to me – My action should be “Hosannah – Glory to God for what He has done!” Again, the result is hope and joy. He covers our disgrace. He’s conquered where we’ve failed (in EVERY area).

“Sleep Jesus Sleep” – this song is a “double-favorite” of mine. Not only is it a sweet lullaby with a beautiful melody – but also it talks about the humanity of Jesus. He is not just fully God. He is fully man – He understands my life and my individual struggles. Through the Incarnation, He is the Creator who now requires sleep. He is the King who is now dependent on others for protection and care.

Excerpts from various songs:
“God is born a man today”

“You who came to us in weakness
Born to us in poverty”

“God invisible appears
Endless ages wrapped in years
He has come who cannot change
And Jesus is His name…”

“Being’s source begins to be
And God is born”

“See the One who spans the heavens with His hand
With fingers so small
See this babe so poor all of heaven adores
He’s the ruler of all”