A Song For When We’ve Denied Him

I really appreciate this song which explores Peter’s betrayal of Jesus – his pride on the front end and his lament afterward. It helps me also remember and lament the ways in which I too have denied Christ. There is comfort in knowing that Christ knows all along – just as he did for Peter – how we will fall. And that he mercifully continues to grant us the promise of true repentance, “when you turn…” Peter’s denials and restoration offer great hope for all of us.

Some select lyrics:

When she asked her question

That servant girl she broke my heart

I knew she was the message

That You had spoken all along

And two behind her followed in the prints her feet had made

Said they’d seen me walking with You, said my tongue gave me away

But I swore against their charges, claimed You I’d never known

Just in time to hear the bird You promised, lift its head and crow

Lift its head and crow

Oh Jesus I wish You were wrong wrong wrong

Wrong about me

“Jesus is Denied by Peter” by Poor Bishop Hooper

A Song of Refuge And Reggae

I appreciate how the serious themes of this song contrast with the upbeat reggae style. It’s this kind of unexpected juxtaposition that makes me want to lean into a song. The music is feel-good music (reminds me of my youth in reggae-loving Melanesia), but the lyrics deal with those times when we are feeling anything but good. Anxiety, spiritual depression, and emotional chaos push the song writers, and us, to desperately seek refuge somewhere. Will we find our refuge in the One who offers himself to us unconditionally, regardless of the state of our emotions and feelings?

Check out “Hiding Place” by Chris Howland on the YouTube link above.

A Fight Song From Revelation 19:1

A friend I’ve been praying for for three years came to faith a few days ago. We were completely surprised. His best friend and I met with him at a coffeeshop as he confessed his brokenness and sin and need for true faith. Among the passages we looked at together was Luke 15, the parable of the lost sheep and the rejoicing of heaven when one sinner repents. This is likewise a song of celebration. I love how this song steadily builds musically, grounded in the lyrics of praise from Revelation 19:1. Make sure to listen to the whole thing, especially for the transition at 2:35 and for what comes around the 4:20 mark.

I can hardly listen to this sound without tearing up. Imagine the kind of musical beauty and worship coming in heaven.

A Song of Welcome for the Unfaithful

When I saw the title of this song, “O Come, All Ye Unfaithful,” I thought it was a typo. But just before I texted my pastor who sent out the service plan to make a joke about it, I decided I’d look it up, just in case it actually was a real song. Not only is it a real song, it’s an amazing song.

O come all you unfaithful 
Come weak and unstable 
Come know you are not alone 
O come barren and waiting ones 
Weary of praying, come 
See what your God has done 

Christ is born, 
Christ is born 
Christ is born for you 

O come bitter and broken 
Come with fears unspoken 
Come taste of His perfect love 
O come guilty and hiding ones 
There is no need to run 
See what your God has done 

He’s the Lamb who was given 
Slain for our pardon 
His promise is peace 
For those who believe 

So come, though you have nothing 
Come He is the offering 
Come see what your God has done

“O Come, All Ye Unfaithful” by Sovereign Grace Music

A Song of Celebration

This week some of my teammates were able to lead a local man to faith after studying the Bible with him and his wife for a couple months. His profession? “I believe this. This is true. What do I need to do?” His wife has not professed faith yet, but she is close.

The angels rejoice at one sinner who repents. We are rejoicing here at this answered prayer. Here is an appropriately celebratory song!

A Song of A City No Longer Forsaken

There was about a decade where I gave up on listening to Christian music outside of worship times in church settings. All the peppy and shallow CCM had left me pretty disillusioned with the whole Christian music scene. But during that period, whenever I happened to hear my friends listening to Sojourn Music, a quiet hope was kept alive that solid truth could indeed be wed to skillful music that stirs the soul. For that, I am incredibly grateful. The powerful effect on my spiritual affections of eventually recovering the importance of tasting God’s beauty through music is one of the reasons I post a song every week.

 How can we stay silent
 When the noise of praise has gone?
 Our tongues can't dare keep quiet
 Til His Righteousness shines like the dawn

 How can we grow tired
 When his return is nigh?
 The skyline will burn bright again
 Like a diadem on the crown of Christ

 A brand new name,
 Straight from the mouth of God,
 The orphaned ones now take
 Through the waning years He preserves His own
 In a City No Longer forsaken

 How can we not clear the way
 With such open grace?
 How can we withhold our prayers
 To the God who spares all who His seek His face?

 A brand new land
 Tilled by his tender hand
 the thorns and thistles break
 From the desert sand the harvest comes
 In a city no longer forsaken

 Unbend the road, the Savior rides!
 Send up the signal high
 Over the gravel waste, His highway runs
 In a city no longer forsaken
 Every door will be stained with Salvation's name
 In a City no Longer Forsaken

“A City No Longer Forsaken” by Sojourn Music

A Song When God’s Grace Seems To Good Be True

Songs like this remind me of the outlandish promises of God – and that they are still true, even if outlandish. The food and the water are for those without money? A place at the table for the unworthy? Surely not! Yet that’s exactly what grace is.

It is not as we've seen, 
it is not as we've read, 
it is not as they've said. 
How we need to forget, 
we need to reset 
and be like children again. 

Are you hungry and have no money? 
You can sit at this table. 
Are you thirsty and unworthy? 
You can draw from this well.  
Are you weak, are you poor are you wanting for more, 
in the quiet of your heart? 
To yourself you say I wish someone would pass my way, 
and give me a new start. 

Sweetheart, stop cutting your sweet arms, 
no hope, smoking dope and drinking your life away. 
lets dance and sing, lets eat from the tree, 
Come down to the river with me.  
It may be too good to be understood, 
but its not too good to be true.  

From the dust we came, 
to the dust we all will go. 
We brought nothing with us, 
we'll take nothing on, 
Heaven knows keep in mind, 
it'll take a little time, 
But darlin' you're gonna find where you came from. 
Don't let your eyes deceive your heart, 
believe the best is yet to come.  

It may be too good to be understood, 
but its not too good to be true. 
He may be too good to be understood, 
but he's not to good to be.

“Too Good” by Jess Ray

A Song When We Struggle to Understand God’s Ways

And who doesn’t struggle to understand his ways at times? I appreciate the humility and the boldness of these lyrics as a struggling believer speaks with God about seeking answers.

Could I steal a word with you 
Can I offer you my hand 
Though it seems your time is priceless 
I can’t help myself but ask 

Every term you make is foreign 
Every breath a mystery 
It's the answers that I’m going for 
It’s the answers that I need 

How can I hope to ever see to understand 
I’m a broken mind in a broken man 
How can I hope to understand 
Even all the angels don’t know 
They’ve never seen every side of You 
All eternity can’t hold 
The majesty the whole sight of You 

Is it me who forms the puzzle 
Is it me who sets the trap 
Though I’ve tried so hard at knowing 
Maybe you never wanted that 

I can see my heart is hardened 
I can see that flesh is stone 
But I will pray my blind eyes open 
I will pray my off ears on

“The Whole Sight of You” by Poor Bishop Hooper

A Song for Traitors Like Us

I really appreciate how this song explores the story of Edmund’s treachery in Narnia and how it is a parable of our own sin and redemption.

Had I seen the melting snow?
I saw and trembled
For this a power I did not know
Though I was bound with chains
She was cruel but beautiful
And I was greedy
And like a slave I then was sold
By the way she said my name

Father, save me!
I the traitor
I who knew and ran from Love
I can hear the
In the rhythm of the drums

Though I knew all hope was lost
And this what I deserved
I had been conquered by the frost
But on my skin it burned
Cause she had power over me
At her touch I turned to stone
But in her eyes I saw a fear
A deeper magic her own

And when I looked him in the eyes
I felt the weight of all my sin
For I knew what the law required
A death for death, a traitor's end
But when I thought I feel his wrath
Despaired and filled with shame
He bent down to search my eyes
With such love whispered my name

Father, save me!
I the traitor
I who knew and ran from Love
Father, can you
Hear the Lion
It is written
Blood for blood

“Blood for Blood” by Sarah Sparks