Posts Tagged Music

Fantastic Friday’s Feature: Lift Up The Light

With two of my past Friday Features (J.S. Bach and Andrew Peterson), you may have noticed that I am very musically inclined. Music has always been and continues to be one of the most important factors in my life. Something about it drives me and moves me more than any other art. My older brother once asked, “If you had unlimited money to spend on one thing, would you pick books or music?” I chose music, simply because I think I spend more money on that than books (though, honestly, it was a tough choice).

This week, I’m featuring perhaps my favorite worship album of all time. The group is Oaks Worship, which is known for their musicians Shane & Shane. This album has a few of their best songs, along with many other original tunes that have quickly landed a place in my head, which is a good thing.

One track, “Creation Calls You Father” highlights God’s glory in creation and in redemption. “Everybody who believes in this song now, praise the God of all eternity!” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEViaBuJg6I

Another great track is “Every Good Gift”, based on James 1:17, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKlB7fn7Dl8

These are just two of 13 awesome tracks. Whether you want it to use in your personal worship, or just to have something moving to listen to as you drive, this album is it. Most of the songs can be found on Youtube, but I encourage you to purchase it here on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lift-Up-The-Light/dp/B004RR3TBO/ref=sr_shvl_album_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1329510666&sr=301-1

Blessings on your weekend!

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If you have anything you want me to feature, or just that you think I should know about, please, leave a comment! 

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Fantastic Friday’s Feature: J.S. Bach

This post is letting out a bit of my inner nerd, but I’m all right with that, because not only do I love this man’s many compositions, I have enjoyed learning about his life as well. I hope you do as well.

J.S. Bach lived from 1685 – 1750. During his lifetime, he was most famous as a church organist, but today, we revere him practically as the “patron saint” of classical music. Most other famous composers – Beethoven being the most significant one – came after him and were influenced by his music. A few years after Bach heard a famous organist playing, he decided that his purpose in life was to create “well regulated church music to the glory of God.”

Everything Bach did was for this purpose. His orchestrations were signed “S.D.G” – Soli Deo Gloria, latin for “To the Glory of God”. In his book of the Little Organ Book, a “secular” work, he wrote in the beginning, “To God alone the praise be given for what’s herein to man’s use written.” His son once said that all of them “were in the habit of beginning all things with religion.” Everything was spiritual to Bach, even smoking. He wrote in a poem:

“On land, on sea, at home, abroad,
I smoke my pipe and worship God.”

J.S. Bach took to heart this quote from Martin Luther, who was an influence on Bach’s life: “I wish to see all arts, principally music, in the service of Him who gave and created them. Music is a fair and glorious gift of God. I would not for the world forego my humble share of music. Singers are never sorrowful, but are merry, and smile through their troubles in song. Music makes people kinder, gentler, more staid and reasonable. I am strongly persuaded that after theology there is no art that can be placed on a level with music; for besides theology, music is the only art of affording peace and joy of the heart… the devil flees before the sound of music almost as much as before the Word of God.”

And work Bach did. He accredited his genius not to any particular ability, but to practice, telling a student, “Just practice diligently, and it will go very well. You have five fingers on each hand just as healthy as mine.” He also once said, after being asked about his musical prowess, “I was made to work; if you are equally industrious you will be equally successful.” In a world where distractions are constantly vying for our attention, this thought is key. Bach did much more than the average person, but he never complained. He instead found joy in his work, and did his very best to glorify God. We say we don’t have the time; but are we being honest? Bach’s life is an example that there is far more time in our day than we could ever have imagined, if we would but search it out and “redeem” it (Eph. 5:16).

You can find an excellent album with 100 pieces of Bach’s music, and many other classical composers, for just $1.99 here on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Bach-Supreme-Classical-Masterpieces-Masters/dp/B005WW94ZS/ref=sr_shvl_album_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1328318625&sr=301-3

Many of the facts and quotes came from a great book called “Spiritual Lives of the Great Composers” by Patrick Kavanaugh. It’s an amazing book, and very encouraging to read if you love classical music.

Blessings, my dear readers! S.D.G.!

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Fantastic Friday’s Feature: Andrew Peterson

I’ve decided to start something new on my blog. There are many people, books, and the like that I want to share with you, dear reader, but feel it’s not appropriate for my usual Monday post. So in addition to the aforementioned postings, I want to start featuring the many things that have made an impact on me in some way, shape or form. Thus, the Fantastic Friday Feature is born. And who better to start us off than that “Fool With a Fancy Guitar” Andrew Peterson?

Andrew Peterson is perhaps my favorite Christian musician. He is a masterful lyricist, wrapping words together that tell grand stories and evoke powerful emotions, music and poetry flowing together. Unfortunately, he isn’t as well know as some of the other artists on the air; but somehow, I don’t think that bothers him. His purpose isn’t to please the petty people who run radio stations, but to glorify Jesus Christ, writing songs that lead listeners deeper into Him. No matter how much I listen to his music, I never get tired of it; every time it feels fresh, new, and just as enjoyable as it was at first; perhaps even more.

I own four of his albums, which are not all of the songs he has written. I can only tell you about these four, then, but I imagine all his songs are as good as these. Andrew Peterson has also written some books, known as the Wingfeather Saga, which I have not read. If I do, and they are as I would expect, you, dear reader, may expect them to be featured.

These are the four albums I own:

Behold the Lamb of God, Counting Stars, The Far Country, Resurrection Letters Vol. II

Behold the Lamb of God: The True Tall Tale of the Coming Christ – The title was inspired by C.S. Lewis, who called Christianity a “True Myth”; meaning that all the stories, legends and tales Lewis had read before contained shards of truth; but this one, though like the legends in its epic grandeur, was actually true – that makes it the best Tale of all. This album is basically a journey through the Old Testament, speaking – sometimes loudly, sometimes softly – of a coming Savior, leading up to its culmination in the birth of Christ, Emmanuel: God with us. One of the best (and most fun) songs from this album is “Matthew’s Begats”, but this album truly needs to be listened from start to finish to truly appreciate it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3u18qNpEE7k

Counting Stars – The songs on this album are ballads, containing some of the most beautiful pieces. The digital booklet which came with the album when I bought it on iTunes closes with what has become one of my favorite quotes: “There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty forever beyond its reach.” –J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings. This album also features the only song with a music video, “Dancing in the Minefields”:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Gs3fg_WsEg&ob=av2e  (Apologies for the channel this appears on; it’s the only version on Youtube, though)

Also, two more of my favorites, “In the Night” and “The Reckoning:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ynV2Fm9Qpc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYyuD0EMqsA

The Far Country – The easiest way to describe this album is by saying it is the grander themes of Narnia and Middle-Earth put into song. My favorite songs on this album are “The Far Country” and “Little Boy Heart Alive”:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wcfj8A2-0g8

I cannot find a sample of “Little Boy Heart Alive”, which is most unfortunate for you, dear reader, for I own it and can enjoy it as much as I want. You’ll just have to trust me on it, or find it yourself.

Resurrection Letters, Vol II – He explains this album the best himself: “These songs are bound together by the theme of resurrection in our lives and in the world around us. It wasn’t until we were recording the album that I knew I wanted to tell a bigger story, and that this would be part two. Part one is Christ’s resurrection, which made a way for ours; it was the turning point in the Great Story. I’m currently working on the songs that will comprise Resurrection Letters, Vol. I. These many years of waiting will only be a sentence in the story. This long day will come to an end, and I believe it will end in glory, when we will shine like suns and stride the green hills with those we love and the One who loves. We will look with our new eyes and speak with our new tongues and turn to each other and say, “Do you remember the waiting? The long years, the bitter pain, the gnawing doubt, the relentless ache?” And like Mary at the tomb, we will say: “I remember only the light, and the voice calling my name, and the overwhelming joy that the waiting was finally over.”

“All Things New”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57tnsby_4kk

“Hosea”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBYw3-1KSoc

That’s Andrew Peterson. Ever since I discovered his music a year ago, I have enjoyed it thoroughly. I hope you shall as well.

Blessings.

 

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