what? ANOTHER new cd?

Posted by on Apr 12, 2012

Yes, it’s true! Just 7 months after the release of “Detectives of Divinity” – the “latest and greatest” SmallTall Music release – there’s ANOTHER new CD in the works. How can this be? I’m glad you asked! We are putting together a “compilation album” of songs drawn from my 5 CDs released over the past 10 years. Brian McLaren and Dave Csinos have written a wonderful introduction to the project, and we look forward to sharing it with a broader audience! You can pre-purchase the CD here. This project was sparked in conversation with Dave Csinos, organizer for the “Children, Youth, and a New Kind of Christianity” conference in Washington, D.C. on May 7-10, 2012, which will include speakers like Brian McLaren, Shane Claiborne, the Wallis family, Ivy Beckwith, John Westerhoff, Tony Campolo, and many others. I was delighted to be asked to lead music at the conference and to be one of the co-planners/leaders for the worship times, and in our conversations the idea for this project bubbled to the surface. Of all the songs that I’ve written and released over the past 10 years, what would be the “top 15″ that Dave Csinos and Brian McLaren would want everyone at the CYNKC conference to know and to share with their communities when they returned home? Well, the selections have been made… we’re calling the compilation “New World Coming,” and it’s available for pre-purchase here… These are the tunes (and their source albums), including a brand new recording of “You’re Not Alone,” with the inimitable Charlene Nafziger on piano… 1) New World Coming (from Detectives of Divinity, 2011) 2) God’s Love is for Everybody (from God’s Love is for Everybody, 2002) 3) Peace Meal (from Detectives of Divinity, 2011) 4) You’re Not Alone (new recording, featuring Charlene Nafziger on piano) 5) I Will Bless You (from A New Heart, 2009) 6) Disciples-In-Training (from God’s Love is for Everybody, 2002) 7) A God Who Makes Friends (from God’s Love is for Everybody, 2002) 8) Take Good Care (from My Money Talks, 2007) 9) Enough For All (from My Money Talks, 2007) 10) When You Learn to Follow Jesus (You Will Act A Little Strange) (from God’s Love is for Everybody, 2002) 11) Thank You (from Can’t Keep Quiet, 2005) 12) Infiltrating the World (from A New Heart, 2009) 13) No Longer Strange (from Detectives of Divinity, 2011) 14) Peace Be With You (from Can’t Keep Quiet, 2005) 15) Detectives of Divinity (from Detectives of Divinity, 2011)  You Can Shine (from Can’t Keep Quiet, 2005) What do you think? What would YOUR “top 15” list look like, from the past 10 years of smalltall...

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words for easter

Posted by on Apr 5, 2012

The mystery, horror and hope of this season – so central to Christian faith – is something that I have struggled to find ways to sing. How to understand the meaning(s) of the cross… how to SING this… continues to be a challenge for me. On Monday we had a great session in the studio, recording a new version of “You’re Not Alone” with Charlene Nafziger on piano. The timing of the session hadn’t really struck me until we started recording this song, all about solidarity in suffering – our solidarity with each other, and God’s solidarity with us. Doing this at the beginning of Passion Week was especially moving for me, and especially with the recent awareness of new suffering and pain in the lives of a number of people I know. I received a note this week from someone saying that she and her family are spending time with my song “For You All Things Are Possible” – a setting of Jesus’ words during his time of struggle in Gethsemane, just before his crucifixion. The conviction that “for you all things are possible,” and yet the intense wrestling match between “please take this cup from me” and “not my will but yours”… “Lofty Words,” the last track on my latest CD, is a setting of 1 Corinthians 2, and includes these words: I have decided that I know nothing Nothing but Jesus, and Jesus crucified. What kind of wisdom is this, you may ask me What kind of power can be revealed in one who died? There is power revealed in weakness There is Spirit in this mess This is far from human wisdom It’s the power of God I guess… And I hadn’t really thought of “Infiltrating the World” as an Easter song, but as I wrote an e-mail today, and debated what to say, I realized that this lyric said it: I pray that you’ll be strengthened for all that lies ahead And I pray we’ll pay attention to what the Spirit says As we’re not-so-secret-agents in the ancient urgent cause Of the One who died and rose again, infiltrating the world with the love of God… Those lyrics represent a little bit of my struggle, anyway, and my prayer for you, and for all of us, this...

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