Sunday, October 08, 2006

Reviewing "Praise is Rising" - Live Worship from Together on a Mission 2006!

It is rare that I disagree with my friend Luke Wood on anything - we are astoundingly alike in lots of areas! 99% of his posts I read, I find myself nodding in agreement, yet my review of the live worship album from Brighton must differ from his just slightly! He said that none of the songs struck him as particularly incredible. However the song he mentioned as his favourite - "Yours is the Kingdom" - made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Indeed the wonderful Kate Simmonds cry at the start set the tone; "Let's give glory to God this morning; all the glory is His!" but to me the theology in the song summed up the conference perfectly. And what a life-changing world perspective to carry through your week!

I am going to follow the style adopted by Scott in his excellent review of Lou Fellingham's debut album and comment on a few of the songs that struck me and then sum up the album for me.

Praise Is Rising - It is fitting that the title track should open the album. The atmosphere is tangible as you hear voices crying out then the music fades in. The song begins a familiar theme that occurs in many of the songs on the album - "We find strength". This is not a light, fluffy album of celebration but rather a triumphant shout of the people of God knowing that He is God through suffering.

Never Let Go - I admit this song didn't grab me as we were being taught it, but it very quickly won me over with again it's faith-filled words of the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints. The mission that we are on isn't easy but it is so worthwhile!

Sing To The Lord - I wish that there were more of Lou Fellingham's songs here and sang at Brighton but this is the representative. It is great that she lead it on the album. It can't fail to stir your spirit and lift your heart to God even if you don't feel like it!

We Come To Praise You - Finally! Kate Simmonds is the lead vocals. This is my only complaint with the album that there is not more of her. I know that this is due to a problem with her voice (we saw Terry Virgo praying for her at CCK the Sunday before the conference) but my only complaint is that the album misses her passion, zeal and fervour.

You Reign Supreme - A Kingdom statement that Ern Baxter would have loved. He is sovereign!

Yours Is The Kingdom - This for me was the song of the conference and of the album. It opens with a call to worship from Kate Simmonds and is fast paced and thrilling. It will stir your heart with the truth of our mission. The earth lies in wait to be taken by the people of God - yet the job is already done for He has gone before us! All we have to do is go into the land and take it! It will be quite some time before I tire of blasting this out in my car or in my home!

Party Song - A surprising but welcome familiar to the album. The Prayer Meeting Night saw me really "get" the international feel to the conference and begin to enjoy it and appreciate it and there are places during the song where Evan Rodgers makes it clear that we are an international family on a mission.

I have found that each Brighton conference I attend is like scaling a mountain peak. Each time I climb slightly higher and find that I can see slightly further, experience slightly more and learn new things. I spent quite some time discussing "Praise is Rising" with Scott and we both agreed that it is an excellent mark of how the conference itself felt slightly more "serious and business-like". That isn't to say we didn't celebrate - and how! But the theme, "Together on a Mission" said it all. Yes we will go partying, but we are going. There is a great work to be done and the time for dancing in circles and waving streamers may be over. This isn't an "easy listening" album for a quiet Sunday afternoon! This is a stirring, dynamic album that is for a hard Monday morning when you are wondering what it is all about. This album will remind you - Yours is the Kingdom! And He is so so worthy of all our praise!

It is a must-have! Go buy it!


Anonymous said...

I think the key here is how one views a live worship CD. You can view it passively and merely absorb the music that is played or you can take the approach that you have. That of a pile of 12 stones - a memorial or a remembrance to the event that it has captured. I suspect that this album is so significant to you because of the significance of the event.

Your review has set the tone wonderfully for those of us who were not at the event, to not forget to tie the two together. The conference reports and the music! For the two should not be divorced. I hope that those who do buy this CD do not divorce the conference from the music and merely enjoy it as a "good CD".

Many thanks for this.

Dr S A J Burgess

Baxter's Boy said...

Well ... I've just finished listening to David Devenish's Training Track on Mission from the Brighton Conference and he said, "My belief about the future governs the way I live now". Quite similar to my favourite quote of Dave Holden's, "Your Eschatology governs your ecclesiology".

If I believe that the Gospel through the Church must absolutely be triumphant before the end of the world then surely my life must be sold out to that cause and therefore the question is begged can ANYTHING be passive in life? Surely every book we read, every CD we listen to, every DVD or video we watch should be affecting our motivation to go out and fulfill the Great Commission.

And if it isn't then the question should be asked, why then are we indulging in said activity?

So yes - in answer to your question, I tend to listen to CD's in terms of remembrance and reclaiming.

James B said...

We're allowed to have fun surely?!

Baxter's Boy said...

There's nothing wrong with fun. My question was - do we have any excuse for doing anything in a passive sense - i.e the state of mind in which we watch T.V.

John Piper preached an excellent message at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and made the point about T.V that basically we have no business watching it. He spoke of the television draining our lives, dulling our minds, killing our passions.

Thats my concern. God has given us a mighty unfathomable tool in our minds and in our brains. Are we using them to His glory to further His Kingdom?

Luke Wood said...

I totally agree with you about "Yours Is The Kingdom"... it has helped so much since I got the album.

Even I was surprised by the fact that none of the songs particularly struck me at the conference itself. Having said that, we can't have sung Yours Is The Kingdom more than once or twice when Mobilise were in the room, and as I pointed out on my blog Jesus My Only Hope wasn't sung once with us - a shame as those are my two favourites on the CD.

Brighton was so amazing for me, completely life-changing and full of direction, which I will be sharing more about on my blog when I finally get internet in my house (you can blame BT for that), and that will include how some of the other songs on the album played a part in that!

Actually, now I think about it, in terms of individual songs (the Thursday nights can never be beaten in terms of the whole worship time in my opinion), it was We're All In by Simon Brading which struck me the most, but that was only sung at Mobilise, and for most people will be a Newday 06 song more than a Mobilise one.

By the way, Kate's leading at ChristChurch London on Sunday, and Greg is preaching, an ideal Luke and Dan special - sadly I can't go - can you? 4:30pm in the Picadilly Theatre.

Luke Wood said...

Sorry I meant Sunday 22nd, not this Sunday.

Baxter's Boy said...

Ohhhhhhh ... you have made me such a happy excited man!! You are right - this is a Luke/Dan MUST!! At first my heart sank as we have friends over on the Saturday night and I didn't think I would be able to make it for a Sunday morning 10am start ... BUT! Christchurch start at 4:30pm!! So I'll be definately there!

The only downer is that you can't! :(

A million thanks for this news pointer!!

Anonymous said...

You didn't mention the Mark Altrogge song, "Jesus My Only Hope" - what did you think of that.