This coming Monday I will have a carpal tunnel surgery on my right hand. That means that it will not be very easy to compose on a keyboard. That is, after all, what brought me to this situation in the first place. It’s your fault. If you wouldn’t read, I wouldn’t write, and I wouldn’t be going numb every time I sit down! Nah, I know where the fault lies. I would ask you to keep me in your prayers, and also my family – who will no doubt be taking care of me for the next week or so while I have the loss of that hand. This is the first year I have ever met my health insurance deductable. Between my leg and my hands I managed to get beyond the deductable and into the area where the insurance company actually has to pay something. I’m sure they’ll get it back. Now I could wax elephant about losing the use of this important limb and all of the spiritual allegories that could be explored in that. Actually, all I am really thinking about is losing the use of my hand. I’ll think about some lessons learned after I learn them! Most of today I have been conscious of the things I’m doing that I will not be able to do for some days next week. David Kilbern worked me hard this afternoon, trying to eek out the last bit of help he could get from me for the week.
For anyone who doesn’t know, I’m a huge Chris Tomlin fan. Chris has a special gift with both lyrics and music that lift up God’s glory and move one to bring out expressions of praise and worship. Chris Tomlin’s blog is located HERE and his website is located HERE. One thing I appreciate about Chris is that his music is filled with catchy melodies that capture your spirit and make you want to sing along. At the same time he has some awesome rock riffs that give him a gritty sound that has me reaching for the volume button. The Christian music industry certainly takes notice of Chris Tomlin’s work. Artist of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Song of the Year (for “How Great Is Our God“) and that’s not the complete list. A read through his song list is a roll-call of contemporary praise and worship’s greatest hits.
Chris Tomlin’s latest release is See The Morning, debuts at number 15 on the Billboard charts and it is not disappointing in the least. Appropriately the first song is titled How Can I Keep From Singing? The first chorus on the new CD reaches down into the Christian’s heart and moves us to sing out loud with him:
How can I keep from singing your praise? How can I ever say enough? How amazing is your love? How can I keep from shouting your name? I know I am loved by the King and it makes my heart want to sing.
I can hear this being led at every youth event and many contemporary churches as soon as they can learn it! Made to Worship, the next song, keeps the uptempo beat going all the while affirming that “He has filled our hearts with wonder so that we always remember … You and I were made to worship.” A rocking guitar accompanies the listener through the no-fear-anthem Let God Arise, encouraging us that “His enemies will run for sure, And the church will Stand, she will endure.”
The mood shifts a bit at the next entry, Everlasting God, but the theme remains the same: trust in God who never grows weary of defending and lifting us the weak. A simple but poignant piano begins Glory in the Highest before it ascends into a hand-lifting crescendo of praise. As if this affirmation of God’s power and sovereignty gave him a new sense of confidence, Chris rocks into Awesome Is The Lord Most High, shouting “Raise your hands, all you nations. Shout to God all creation. How Awesome is the Lord Most High.”
“Glorious, over us, You shall regin glorious” continues the praises of God’s place in our lives. A simple but beautiful acoustic guitar introduces the song of thanks, Uncreated One. Chris’ voice betrays his genuine love for Christ as he sings, “From heaven to earth come down, you laid aside your royalty, to wear the sinner’s crown.”
After a few contemplative songs, the next song moves us to Rejoice as we “see the mercy in the mighy hand of God“, joining even the angel voices that rejoice before God’s throne. Gratitude for God’s mercy drives Let Your Mercy Rain, because “You reached down and lifted us up, You came running, looking for us, and now there’s nothing and no one beyond your love.”
How does one end a CD that overflows with both big rock rythems and gentle introspective ballads? Amazing Grace seems appropriate. Tomlin, however, carries the message of the song further by adding his own composition onto the song when he sings, “My chains are gone, I’ve been set free, My God, my Savior has ransomed me. And like a flood, His mercy reigns, unending love, amazing grace.”
After spending time with Chris Tomlin’s See The Morning CD, I was strengthend in faith as I contemplated the rule of God in my life, my need to trust Him more, and the wonderful mercy of God. Head on over to his website and if you like that style of music, I recommend that you purchase his CD and spend some time letting those themes wash over your heart.
So what does Chris Tomlin have to do with my surgery? Nothing, really. But if I were being clever I would say that the themes of this CD will give me comfort as I go under the knife. No matter what happens, God is reigning, and I pray that his mercy will rain in all of our lives.
Have a great Sunday.