“I have seen this all before, it is all too, familiar. But you, don’t ever see the bottom of, my storehouses of love” – Jess Ray.
About a year ago or so, a friend of mine shared a tune from Jess Ray’s music catalog in my Facebook feed. Honestly, I can’t remember which song it was, but I do remember I was looking for an untypical sound from today’s worship scene– and that day, I found one. I have been a steady fan since. It is only proper then, that I also share her lyrics and music along a little further to bless other potential hearts. Like a bottle tossed on the sea, with a timely message of hope, is Jess Ray’s music. I call it “hope in a bottle“. Comfort for those maybe feeling lost at sea with an S.O.S tattooed or even scarred on their heart, needing a fresh reminder of who God truly is. Her music leads us to a sweet-reverent victory similar to what is found in 2 Corinthians 12:9. “And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.“
The humility and depth of songs from Jess’s catalog like, “Humble Heart“, “Did Not Our Hearts Burn” (above), “24” and my personal favorite, “Come to My Senses” invite you into a desperate realization of a need of a Savior found. Her music seems to again and again direct us that it is ok to need a God who is much, much bigger than us, and there is true strength to be found in vulnerability. In brief remarks in the recent performance of “In The Meantime” below, Jess mentions and sings of solace and the peace to be found in God’s hands and accepting His perfect timing. I have to say I think her remarks in this video encompass a lot of what her music stands for. Hope and courage in the midst of facing fear or disappointment.
In trying to compare Jess Ray’s music, honestly I can’t think of many female Christian artists in comparison. (Which is what caught my ear initially). I will say that I believe her tracks are part of a greater singer/songwriter revival I believe is taking place in the acoustic music scene in general. Singers of the 60s and 70s like Jim Croce and Joni Mitchell come to mind. Those singer/songwriters who leave it all on the stage and stand for passion and true change. I believe Jess Ray, if not already, is heading toward that caliber of songwriting. Since we have the living Christ, and creator of all things living inside of us, Christians should rank among the most creative beings on earth anyway. So, if you’re looking for a tall cool drink of water and more tranquil worship music to download, please click the links below. -Joshua August, MCM
“God, God who never leaves me, is already working it out .God, God who’s timing is perfect is already working it out” – Wareham & Mason.
I think one of the biggest and most recurring troubles Christians often face is we so quickly forget how God has never let us down in our pasts. In this day and age with our fast-paced society, many of us stumble into the pits of anxiety, depression and worry for what the future might hold for us. The numbers unfortunately back me up on this one and I have personally have had my own touts and battles with anxiety.
As I listen to “Whisper” from Luke and Rachel I am reminding of a great many things. Mostly many words from our Lord and savior. Romans 8:28 states, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” How can we lose then right? This message echoes through the peace and intimacy of this song’s lyrics and vibe. Sometimes like little kids who ran just a little too far away from our parents, we need a call back to safety. ‘Whisper‘ indeed calls us to return to safety within our heavenly Father’s arms once again. It beckons us to remember God is already working things out. I have heard many Christian songs and messages in my life, but this is one I feel believers need to be reminded of everyday. Let us also not forget that the Lord’s voice was not in the wind, earthquake nor fire, but within a gentle whispering voice. (1 Kings 19:11-12)
Even more ironic than my previous statements, I just shared at my own church with our young people about Ecclesiastes 3:1 “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” Isn’t God’s timing just perfect? Having me share a song about timing, whilst I just taught about timing while I personally need to trust God’s timing myself? Amazing! Trust God, folks! God is proving His own Word in ‘real time’. Love it. If you like the sound of the Bethel Music scene, you’ll definitely enjoy these two worshipping hearts. Below is another personal favorite from their catalog, “Mirror Your Glory (Barnabas“. – Joshua August, MCM
“Drowning“, new single out from The Lastrumpet out 4/23/20!
I’ve known most of The Lastrumpet band members for a few years now. Even had the privilege of making a music video for them in the past for their song, “Heavy” as well as attending a live show (you can watch music video below). TLT carry the expected vibes and tones that true Christian hard rock demands. If you long for more of the days of 80s hard rock like I do, this band’s sound will do the trick. Also, few bands, especially harder Christian rock, rarely mention the name of Jesus anymore. However, TLT goes right for the vein in honoring the Lord and Savior and His eminent return. ‘Drowning‘, like many of the band’s tunes, leads us through the valley of the shadow of death and back into the arms of a loving and redemptive Father above. Complete with tasteful screams and slick rhythm it delivers. If you are a Stryper or Petra fan from past years, or even Gun’s n Roses and Black Sabbath, The Lastrumpet should satisfy your craving for solid rock, leads and harmonizing vocals. -Joshua August, MCM
“You are, Holy, Holy, Holy, God” – Georg Nordbo.
Check out today’s artist spotlight worship song “You Are“, by Georg Nordbo. This song brings much needed clarity, depth and versatility to today’s worship scene. With raw truths and emotions, Norbo brings us back to the more simple roots of Christianity that God probably intended for us to find. The chorus even merits Biblical reference from Isaiah 6:3, “Holy, Holy, Holy is God-of-the-Angel-Armies. His bright glory fills the whole earth.” Through the haunting vocals of this song you can almost imagine how the angel-seraphs singing over God might sound singing this phrase. The more you listen, the more you’ll enjoy this song. We promise.
Also, if you like the vibes of, “If I Had A Heart” by Fever Ray, then you’ll definitely dig this song’s tone as well. -Joshua, My Christian Music
“Let love and grace shine through my face.” – Emma Grant, artist.
We believe Emma Grant is part of a company of singer/songwriters the Lord is raising up in this hour. The dreams God places in our heart are from Him & never really expire in His eyes. “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4) Release the sound God gave you this month like Emma Grant. Her song, “I Don’t Hate You” is a breath of fresh air and warm embers from across the pond. It encourages an internal strength to be found once again, with reconciliation, faith & love. The song leads us to not ever hesitate to make things right, and what better way do that then with a song. -Joshua August, MCM
Bill Withers, iconic soulful singer-songwriter has died.
Bill Withers is and was a legendary soulful singer who influenced so many different modern day artists, including myself. He sang major hits including “Ain’t No Sunshine”, “Grandma’s Hands”, “Use Me”, “Lean on Me”, “Lovely Day”, and “Just the Two of Us”. My personal favorite is, “Ain’t No Sunshine”. In just a 15 year (1970 to 1985) musical span Withers altered and influenced the world as a 3-time grammy award winner. This included probably his most wide-spread and beloved hit, a number 1 hit single, “Lean On Me”.
You know one of the greatest measures of an artist’s success is how much other artist’s cover their work and Bill’s songs have been covered, reinvented and sang by countless others. For a craftsman to influence another craftsman is a great honor.
As a prophetic voice, a prophetic question plagues me through the timing of Bill Wither’s death. When I was a youngster, probably 12 years old or so we had a talent show and for the finale we sang Bill’s hit, “Lean on Me”. We all put our arms on each other’s shoulders, fifty or so of us kids. It didn’t matter the color, race or sex, we all leaned and swayed together. ‘Lean on Me’ which was released well even before my time, 1972 is more than just a hit. It is a declaration to the common man, to help his fellow common man in his hour of need. This is also a Biblical principle, Mark 12:31 states, “And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Wether Wither had gospel roots that paralleled this song isn’t totally pertinent. What is pertinent however, is that during this COVID-19 quarantine we have to ask, “Are we as humans missing the mark?” Are we hoarding and accusing instead of being a shoulder for those in need to lean upon once again? Did Wither’s passing mark a death of Mark 12:31 in our modern human nature? An era of where mankind leaning together has all but died? *Just some food for thought.
R.I.P | Bill Wither | (July 4, 1938 – March 30, 2020)
During this time of confinement, most of us have at least a little more time on our hands. This could be the perfect time to dust off some of your dreams of old or to make new ones. The Lord was laying this on my heart today, yet again, for singers/songwriters who have laid down their gift song– to pick it up once more. To release that original one-of-a-kind sound that only you have as an individual.
If there is one thing that is for sure, “life happens”. Kids happen. Careers happen. Discouragement happens. The Word of God says the Lord has given all measures of gifting and also talents. The songs that are in your heart and the songs you sing to the Lord, He placed there! These beautiful poetic utterances are designed to touch and reach people through song, that only you can reach.
Encourage yourself like one of the greatest worshippers in the Bible, King David, when his own people wanted to kill him and his life seemed to be crumbling apart. He reminded himself of who God was and how He came through for David many a time in his past. This is more of a prophetic encouragement post, but God is calling His psalmists forward, to lead the forefronts of battle once more. Sing, sing, sing and sing some more! Release your proclamations of Spirit and truth. The Lord says you are worthy and called by me.