All posts tagged "Music"

Congratulations to Fireflight!


Harmony of Hearts is proud to announce that Firelight is the winner of the 2012 Song of the Year award! Each year Cross International gives a special award to the writer or music artist who has best conveyed the mission of our ministry in a current song. Our goal is to inspire more Christian artists to share this vital Gospel message to their listeners worldwide. Previous winners have been “Follow You” by Leeland, “Keep Changing the World” by Mike’s Chair, and “I refuse” by Josh Wilson. This year, Fireflight’s song “Proof of our Love” demonstrated the heart for the poor that we look for in contestants, and when the voting was over, emerged a winner. The lyrics in this song resound strongly with Jesus’ call to get out into the world and help the poor. The verses and chorus go: “So far away from the lives we lead each day. Love as voices hunger, and there’s no shelter from danger. All this love we talk about, talking won’t put food into their mouths. Don’t look away, don’t look away Why don’t we do something? Why don’t we do something? (If we say that we love them?) Don’t turn away, don’t turn away Let’s open up our eyes, bring our faith to life. (This is proof of our love.) This is proof of our love. Harder to see than the problems we perceive. We’re sickness, fast on our apathy and there’s no way to the suffering. All this hope we talk about, wishing won’t help those who go without.” Congratulations to Fireflight!


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Josh Wilson receives his award – post 1 of 2


On Friday of last week, one of our Cross International staffers flew up to Clearwater Florida to present Josh Wilson with the Harmony of Hearts award he won during our song competition. We want to give another shout out to Josh for writing a song that so clearly reflects Jesus heart for the hurting and the poor! Stay tuned for next week’s post where we will dig into our interview with Josh and talk about what inspired him to write such a powerful song. Congratulations Josh!


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Behold the Lamb of God!


If you only buy one Christmas CD this year, I’d recommend Behold the Lamb by Andrew Peterson. I’ve owned it for a few years and have found it a rich source of simple, profound songs that fit well into a variety of worship settings. Stream free the entire Christmas album by Andrew Peterson here. You can buy audio and printed music (plus blogs & other great free stuff, including an offer for ‘authentic toothy cow teeth for Christmas’) on Andrew’s website here.


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Sara Groves on social justice


The Minneapolis native’s new release, Fireflies and Songs, was profoundly affected by the needs overseas for the poor & disenfranchised: “The phrase ‘social justice’ can be loaded. To some people it is a political or a liberal conversation, but to me, it is a Kingdom conversation. There are people behind these stories and statistics, and God’s heart for justice burns on their behalf. I wanted to write songs that drew attention to the people like Elizabeth who know God deeply because of their suffering. There is a commonality in all of these friends, and that is the perseverance of hope.” You can stream the new release at HearItFirst.com here.


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New Steven Curtis Chapman


Live webcast tonight (10pm EST/9pm CST/7pm PST). Facebook link here, where you can see footage of Maria’s Big House of Hope, a charity he began in memory of his daughter. SCC says the events of the past couple of years (including the home-going of his young daugther) inspired much of his new release, which is scheduled for release today. You can stream the new single “Heaven Is the Face” from his MySpace page here. Good stuff from a great artist.


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Testing music


Ed Stetzer of Lifeway has seven helpful tests to filter through song selections for worship, five of which are cultural rather than theological. The third (Association test) has this anecdote: I was…speaking to a group of pastors, some of whom were Jamaican. I was challenging them to consider that there is no such thing as Christian music, only Christian lyrics. I asked if God could use jazz; they said yes. I asked if God could use country/western, they said yes. I asked a few others; then I asked if God could use reggae. They were shocked and clearly expressed that it was not appropriate. Reggae music was about drugs and there would be no reason to sing about drugs in church. They had a point. I then asked if it would be OK to use reggae music in my church where we have no concept of the drug connection. They agreed. The music was not the problem, the association was. The key question for the association test is this, “What does the music bring to mind in the heart of the worshipper?”  Note:  not what does it inspire in my heart– but what does it inspire in the heart of the worshipper. The history of church music suggests that every generation has its own music.  Today, many older Christians reject the contemporary music of the younger believers, while the younger don’t understand or use the music of past generations… His conclusion: God can use ANY form of music. God has no musical style or preference. Therefore, with the exception of the message and purpose test, the only tests that we have provided are cultural. The question is asked, “What impact does this music have on the culture via association, memory, emotions, understanding, and music?” These are not easy questions–but they are essential. Read the entire post here.


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No compromise in the worship wars


Great post here by Ed Stetzer titled “Ending the Worship Wars without a Truce.” His thoughts about ending the “periennal war over worship” includes these 5 ideas: Rally around Truth, not a truce Acknowledge that preferences are personal Realize relevance and reverence are not at war with each other Embrace humilty Cultivate consensus, not compromise. Quotables include: The reason worship wars exist is because the church thinks it is fighting for something permanent when it is actually temporary. Musical styles and service preferences are like a jacket that can be taken on or off depending upon the temperature. and this: At the heart of many of our worship wars is, sad to say, idolatry. Our worship of things other than God drives the way we contend for ways to worship God. When reverence is equated with austerity, it can reveal an idolization of familiarity and comfort and control. When relevance is equated with a production carte blanche or “freedom of expression,” it can reveal an idolization of trendiness and self and showmanship. Both relevance and reverence can cloak idolatry of cultural forms and expressions. Well said.  Read the whole post here.


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Bob Dylan for Christmas


Billboard reports that Mr. Zimmerman’s new Christmas release, Christmas in the Heart, will donate ‘all present and future royalties to Feeding America, an anti-hunger charity. Says Mr. Zimmerman: “It’s a tragedy that more than 35 million people in this country alone — 12 million of those children — often go to bed hungry and wake up each morning unsure of where their next meal is coming from. I join the good people of Feeding America in the hope that our efforts can bring some food security to people in need during this holiday season.” Street date for the release is October 13. Maybe Dylan will look beyond the U-S borders next time.  I’ve got a great charity to suggest (-; Photo cred:  Billboard.com


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Anthems on the Second Greatest Commandment


Here are some new choral anthems for the songlist that highlight the Second Great Commandment: Keep your Lamps by André Thomas:  (SATB) Medium/Easy version available from JW Pepper here. Seek to Serve by Lloyd Pfaustch; two-part choral anthem, available from SheetMusicPlus here. Learn how to partner your music with the poor here. HT:  Ted Davis @ St. Bartholomew’s Episocopal Church in Baltimore.


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