In addition to the LIVE worship project out next week I am also pleased to announce I will be releasing music video's filmed at the event. Check out the first one here!
We can't wait to see all of you this summer. Many of you have been asking about our songlist so I decided to post it here. We will not be able to play all of these during any given week but this is the list we will pull from. Enjoy!
1.This Is Amazing Grace (Wickham)
2.Nothing But the Blood of Jesus (Bledsoe)
3.Break every Chain (Bethel)
4.Open Up Our Eyes (Elevation)
6.He Is Faithful (Torwalts/Bethel)
8.Forever (Short form & Long Form)
10. One Thing Remains (Passion)
11. Glory of it All (NTS only)
12. Christ Is Enough (Hillsong)
13. Set A Fire (Will Reagan/Bethel)
14. No Longer Slaves (Helser/Bethel)
15. Jesus We Love You (Bethel)
16. All of Me - I Surrender All (Soul City Worship)
17. Holy Spirit (Torwalts/Bethel)
I am pleased to announce that the band and I will be on tour for four weeks this summer! We will once again be joining Never The Same (NTS) for three of the four weeks. We recorded our soon to be released live worship project with them last summer. Be on the lookout for the live video's we shot last year as well. Great Stuff! We will also be returning to New Camp in Dayton, TN. Can't wait to see you all!!!
I am thrilled to announce that my new "LIVE" worship project will be available on JUNE 18! Here is a shot of the cover. Can't wait!
Never The Same
Hey Everyone! If you've been following my facebook or twitter feeds you know I spent last week just outside of Washington D.C. at Centreville Baptist Church. My good friend Lane Sebring is the Student Minister there and was gracious enough to have me fill in for him while he was out on his honeymoon. (Congratulation Lane & Rachel!!) The Lord has given us a unique friendship around our love for reaching teens and seeing the church established.
Lane featured me in a recent blog post and so I thought I would pass that along to you here. His post is featured just below. You can read more about Lane and his ministry at www.lanesebring.com.
While I was on my honeymoon, Erik Bledsoe spent some time with our students and had a tremendous impact!
Erik is a Christian musician, song-writer, evangelist and conference speaker based out of Nashville, TN. He has a unique connection with our students that started two years ago when he led worship at New Camp for the first time.
From there, he's been with us at Fall Retreat two years in a row and again at New Camp. He is the real-deal when it comes to hands on ministry with the people. I would HIGHLY recommend him to any pastors or church leaders.
While he was here this week he taught XLM Sunday with 185 students in attendance! It was truly an unforgettable experience as he followed up from what he taught two weeks before at Fall Retreat.
He did other small group meetings, public school bible studies, spending time with families of students he's impacted, and leading a big Wednesday night youth outreach event for our students.
Erik is a great friend and I am so thankful that God brought him here to minister to XLM while I was gone.
In 2005 I spent about six weeks in South Africa. I had been brought over with a group of American musicians to help lead and teach worship to university students and to churches in both Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. It was an amazing trip to say the least. We met one of Nelson Mandela’s closest officials and had tea in his home. He then personally escorted us on a tour of the bush and a wild game preserve where we saw giraffe, rhino, elephants and countless wonders you read about in story books from the time your in diapers. It was like nothing I have ever done before or since.
About three days before the end of the trip we were told a surprise had been lined up for us. We loaded in a van before the sun rose and proceeded “over the river and through the woods” until we arrived at a little house on a remote beach on the coast of the Indian Ocean. We were told that we didn’t have to participate but if we wanted to, we were being presented a very rare opportunity.....shark diving. Not just any sharks mind you but Great White’s! It was just like what you’d see on the Discovery Channel. You get in a metal cage over the side of a boat and float, surrounded by bait, until the shark comes along and in an attempt to eat the bait scares you half to death. Well if you know me then you know I couldn’t wait to get in that cage. It was surreal!!! I loved every minute of it and hope to do it again someday with my family.
Once I came back to America people asked about my trip: How was it? What did you do? Did you have a good time? Wow, I was overwhelmed, not by there questions so much but by how to answer them. I mean, what do you say when someone asks you what it’s like to stand 30 feet away from wild giraffe or float in a cage with Great White sharks literally inches from my face? What words do you use to describe that? Nothing I could’ve said could communicate everything I’d felt. But when I met someone who had been to South Africa the conversation was entirely different. There was very little said, it was mostly understood. They would say things like, “Wasn’t it just awe inspiring?” or “Can you hardly wait to go back?” or “I still haven’t gotten over my trip!” They didn’t ask many questions because they knew. They knew there was nothing I could say to communicate the way the trip had affected me and that perhaps anything I did say might feel like I was cheapening the experience.
That’s exactly what it’s like to try and describe my love for my son. What can I say, what words are there to describe that...feeling, if it is a feeling? How is that quantifiable? How do I make sense of the way I can wake up at 2:00am and miss him when he’s just the next room over? How do you understand the sincerity of my joy when I tell you “he peed on me.... again” like it’s an honor badge? Really, how do I describe that? I don’t know that I can describe it with words but I’ll try to show him, everyday for the rest of his life, just how much I love him by the way I live. Of course I’ll try to tell him, after all I’m a songwriter (words are never in short supply), but it will be the way my love for him causes me to act that will make all the difference.
So how do I describe our Heavenly Father’s love for us, knowing that my love for my son Henry is just a small shadow of the love God has for us? What would I use to measure it? What would I compare it to? I could tell you when I look at the mountains I hear the Father say, “Yeah, my love, it’s big like that” or when I look at the ocean He whispers, “My love for you, it’s wider than that”, but even the mountains and ocean fall short. It’s only when we look at our Heavenly Fathers actions that we even begin to realize just how incomprehensible His love for us really is. It’s only when we realize that His love for us caused Him to give up His own Son’s life, crucified on a cross, so that He might redeem our lives to Himself in exchange for the life of Jesus, that we understand that we cannot understand. There is no measure for that kind of love, there is no comparison.
I thought I had a pretty good understanding of the gospel six weeks ago. Since Henry’s birth however, I am convinced I am clueless. I’ll just be honest; I wouldn’t give up my son’s life for any of you. Yes, I’m that “selfish”, if that’s what you call it. If you don’t have kids it’s not a lot different than asking me about my trip to Africa. Trying to describe my sentiment is futile. For those of you who are parents you know exactly what I’m talking about. I don’t have to defend the way I feel to you. You just get it.
“For God so love the world that He gave His only begotten Son...”, I understand the value of that statement a little more today than I did six weeks ago, but I’m still a long way off.
I've been asked to do a “Story Behind the Song” post for a website called Singers Club.
They hope to offer “He Is Greater”, the 3rd track off of “God In Search of Man”, as a featured download in the months to come. I thought I would give you all an sneak peek before it hits their site.
“My wife and I have had 11 friends go through divorce in the last three years. There have been many tears shed as we have walked with each of them at different levels. There is no consistency among the occurrences; they range from one year married to 28 years of marriage. The reasons are just as varied from outright fraud, to infidelity, to simply not stewarding their relationship and growing a part.
While walking for over a year through the divorce process with one of my best friends and mentors, my heart began to break for him in a way it never had before. There were too many obstacles and too many lies to process; we were overwhelmed. Late one night while praying about it with his son we began to worship the Lord together. Immediately the song just started pouring out of my mouth, “He Is Greater, He Is Higher, and there’s so much love lifting you up, He is Stronger, He Is Greater!” It was a surreal moment. We were both aware the Lord was giving this song as a reminder that no matter what we were facing, no matter how insurmountable the obstacle, He is greater.
How about you? Do you ever feel hopeless? Lost? Listen to the words of the song:
“I don’t know what it’s going to look like or how He will work this for your good. All I know is He is able, He is Faithful!”
Whatever your going through, now matter how bleak the outlook, now matter what the doctors say, no matter how long it’s been, no matter how numb you are.... He Is Greater.