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My soul, which You have redeemed, will sing!

Psalm 71:23 My lips will shout for joy, when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have redeemed.

I’ve been thinking for a while that I needed to write a little article (which has turned into a massive article!) on some of the music that is currently in my life. I have been becoming more and more convinced lately that the greatest aid to living the Christian life is an ongoing delight in the Lord, and for many of us that ongoing delight comes through God’s Word, through prayer and praise – conversation with God – and through music, especially when it combines the first two. Stated another way, I find music to be the vehicle for voicing my soul’s prayers and delights.

So I’d like to talk in this post about some of the music that has voiced my soul’s prayers lately. This is not intended to be a comprehensive list, nor do I contend that all this music will do you good. But I suspect that some of it will do you good, and I encourage you to explore this idea of finding delight in God through music that expresses Scriptural themes – not always in the words of Scripture, but with Scriptural principles as the underpinning of the music.

Before I really get into this I want to mention something about cost. It is true that pursuing delight in God in music costs money, but I feel it is money well spent. I’ve spent some money on the music I’ll mention in this post, some on iTunes, some on Amazon. But I have also gotten much free music lately from an outfit called Noisetrade. Many of the albums I’ll be talking about have been available in whole or in part from this site, which does ask for a ‘tip’ if you like the music.

In my own recent experience, there is one outstanding starting point for this discussion: The Hymn Sing Live in Nashville by Indelible Grace. Indelible Grace puts old hymn texts to (somewhat) modern tunes. I discovered this album shortly before Ruth’s wedding this summer, and the album actually took firm hold my heart on Ruth’s wedding day, early in the morning, with the song “The Sands of Time are Sinking” (which we have sung at church). The first verse spoke to me both about the wedding Ruth and Joseph had been waiting for and the larger celebration that all believers long for:
The sands of time are sinking, The dawn of heaven breaks;
The summer morn I’ve sighed for – The fair, sweet morn awakes:
Dark, dark had been the midnight, But dayspring is at hand,
And glory, glory dwelleth In Emmanuel’s land.

One of the things I love about these hymns, as Kevin Twit says on the album, is that they focus the eyes of our hearts on Jesus who really is more believable and more beautiful than the other things that vie for our heart’s attention:
The bride eyes not her garment, But her dear Bridegroom’s face;
I will not gaze at glory, But on my King of grace.
Not at the crown He giveth, But on His pierced hand;
The Lamb is all the glory Of Emmanuel’s land.

As a result of enjoying The Hymn Sing I have pursued other albums by Indelible Grace including:
Wake Thy Slumbering Children
(By the way, Indelible Grace is releasing their sixth album soon)
Buy in iTunes
Buy on Amazon
and The Road Sessions by Matthew Smith, who leads the Indelible Grace touring company.
Sweet are the Seasons
Buy on Amazon
But there is more to life than ancient hymns! There are also modern hymns! A few months back I bought the latest album, Awaken the Dawn, by Keith and Kristyn Getty, and I’ve enjoy most of the modern hymns on it. We’ve sung several at church:

Come People of the Risen King
All Around the World
By Faith
Buy on Amazon
Buy in iTunes
Some of you know that I’ve long been a fan of Andrew Peterson. I eagerly awaited his latest album, Light for the Lost Boy, released this summer, and I’ve really enjoyed it. This album seems way more tightly themed than some of his earlier work – partly because his own boys are growing up. Here’s an essay on Rabbit Room that gives some of the background.

Not many of the songs are on Youtube yet, but I hope to do one or two myself soon:

The Cornerstone
Rest Easy
The Voice of Jesus
Buy in iTunes
Buy on Amazon

In another direction, recent car troubles have caused me to listen more to KSBJ than has been my habit, and one of the songs that caught my attention was Kari Jobe’s “Steady My Heart.” It’s from her new album Where I Find You

Steady My Heart
Find You on My Knees

Buy it in iTunes
Buy it on Amazon

One of the neat things about Noisetrade is that you can try before you buy. I’ve downloaded several albums that I thought I would like, but just haven’t. Some of these may still grow on me. I’ve also downloaded a couple of albums on which I’ve really liked several, but not all of the songs.

For example, I several many of the songs on the album Wounded Healer by The Followers. I’d like to do lyric videos of a couple of these!

God’s Eternal Now This is probably my favorite.
Morning Star Rise
Enfold Me

This album is still available (as of 10/5/2012) on Noisetrade
Buy on Amazon
Buy in iTunes

Another ‘Noisetrade’ album is the eponymous Young Oceans. My son-in-law really likes this album, and I have enjoyed much of it:

Come Holy One
None But Thee

A Sampler is available on NoiseTrade
Buy it on Amazon
This album (and many others) are also available for purchase on Bandcamp

In some ways the album that started my whole current delight in music was Josh Garrels’ Love & War & the Sea In Between, which is still a favorite. His previous album Jacaranda also has some good stuff!

Zion and Babylon My favorite from this album. Interesting video!
Rabbit & the Bear

Buy it in iTunes
Buy it on Amazon

Shortly after getting addicted to Garrels, I ran across Michael Gungor, and I’ve really enjoyed some of his (their) stuff.

Let There Be
When Death Dies Probably my favorite from this album.
This is Not the End
Cool video of Beautiful Things (actually from a different album)

Buy it on Amazon
Buy it in iTunes

So many more that could be mentioned! One of the artists on the early Incredible Grace albums was Matthew Perryman Jones, who has released several albums on the secular market with strong Christian themes. His latest album, Land of the Living is a little blunt by my usual standards, but the Scriptural principles are clear. (Yes, there are occasional adult themes in this.)

The Angels Were Singing
O Theo
Land of the Living

Buy it on Amazon
Buy it in iTunes

Finally, for those who think I completely gave up on classical after Ruth’s wedding, here’s my favorite artist from my research for her playlist: Brian Crain

Andante Cantabile
Andante Affetuoso

Buy it on iTunes