Thoughts on Passion’s Whole Heart

Is this Passion’s Whole Heart, delivered to us here in 2018?

I’ve followed Passion Conferences since 2000, even writing a review on this blog about one of their albums, and taking any opportunity to bring them before our church or students.

My well-versed and trustworthy friend returned from this year’s Passion conference saying, “Passion was good this year.”

“Oh yeah? But how was the music?”

He replied, “This is easily their best year in, well, maybe ever.”

Can I just take a moment and say what you’re thinking? I hate it when someone tells me what to think, like, “Bro, this movie will change your life” or “Oh my, that person is just the best” or “You’ll really like* that dessert that has milk, buttermilk, heavy whipping cream, and cream cheese. Life. Changing.”

*I dislike milk heavy items, so I’ll never ever believe you if you say this to me.

I digress.

So when my friend told me this, I thought, “I’ll be the judge of that.” I found a track online and thought it sounded weak. Of course, wanting to exert my superior, although somewhat removed, opinion, I told my friend, to which he said, “You should listen to it again.”

Four weeks later, I’ve sang four songs from the album to my daughter almost each night for a week, the life-giving lyrics resonating deeply within as we sing their truths.

“Almighty God,” written by Daniel Bashta (the How He Loves writer) and Sean Curran (side note: a guy in Atlanta once gave me Sean’s number to call if I ever needed a worship leader. Wish I would’ve saved it), has a great message, as any song about God being Almighty is a good song. We don’t have enough of those in rotation, do we?

“God, You’re So Good” is the track I heard online about a month ago. The tracking and mixing wasn’t final which makes a bigger difference than you’d imagine. On second listen, this song speaks to God’s goodness. What is really powerful are the identifying statements in the bridge, where you’re reminded of what Scripture says of you, “I am blessed, I am called/I am healed, I am whole/I am saved in Jesus’ name.”

The best line of “Whole Heart” is “Your love/it comes with no conditions/You give us your whole heart.” The writing is anthematic, shouting declaratively about God’s love.” Also what I love about this song? Louie Giglio has a writing credit on it. Yep, Louie has written songs for Passion since it’s inception, I believe. His songs are sparse, but his lyrics are so deep to the soul.

My favorite song, at the moment, is “More Like Jesus,” pictured above. A couple new to the Passion leadership helped write this, and in it, the chorus gently and prayerfully says, “If more of You/means less of me/take everything. /Yes all of You/is all I need/take everything.” May we be more like Jesus.

His name.

His fame.

Worship music helps orient my heart around what matters most (sure, I listen to 80s and 90s almost every day too, but I indulge on a daily diet of worship songs too).

Maybe we could all be more aware of what music points us toward.


Get Your Boots On

In short, get your boots on.

Tim Foreman of the band Switchfoot recently said,

We spend far too much time talking about being Christians or what it means to be a Christian and not enough time actually being a Christian and showing people through action what being a Christian actually looks like…”

Right before he made that statement, he admits that Switchfoot sees “hints that the Church is getting its boots on and rolling up its sleeves.” But it begs the question, “What are we doing?” And more specifically, “What are you doing?”

So here are the questions: how should/can we show people through action what being a Christian actually looks like? And the follow-up, what are we currently doing to show people through action what following and living like Christ looks like?

10 Tracks That Take You Back and Make You Slack

I work. Usually. And as I work, I like to use Grooveshark to make the day go faster. Getting to handpick what I listen to means that I can increase productivity…

…but it also means I can lose sight of the task at hand and begin to “jam out.” Right there. At my desk. Just screaming at the top of my lungs as if I’m at a concert and no one else can hear me.

Except my secretary does, and she often “checks in on me,” just to make sure I haven’t lost my mind.

Which is debatable. But what on earth could possibly side-track me so much that I’d be playing air guitar like Bill and Ted right there in my office?

Songs with killer intros. You know the ones I’m talking about. The songs that have the best intros are the ones that you seem to get stuck in your heart, right?

The songs that I seem to love the most are the ones who made great first impressions. First impressions are powerful. Why? Because of this: a first impression defines and directs. A good first impression keeps your interest. A bad first impression turns you away.

So, two things:

  1. What do you think about first impressions? Do you agree that a song can make a first impression?
  2. Here’s my list of 10 tracks that take you back and make you slack. These songs always cause me to turn up my radio or iPod or computer. Always.
    1. “Heavy” by Collective Soul
    2. “Bittersweet Symphony” by The Verve
    3. “Clocks” by Coldplay
    4. “Beautiful Day” by u2
    5. “Thriller” by MJ
    6. “You Get What You Give” by the New Radicals
    7. “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor
    8. “Wayward Son” by Kansas
    9. “Wake Up” by Arcade Fire
    10. “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns N Roses

Like my list? Agree? What did I leave out? And also, why do you think first impressions are so powerful? What do you think about first impressions?

Should I Quit Listening To That Mixtape?

For some Christians, boycotting music seems like the “thing” to do, y’know, that one thing that says, “That’ll show ’em.” But does it? And who’s really missing out when we quit something that certainly adds beauty and hope? Let’s look at the question, “Should I quit listening to that mixtape?”

Confession: I sometimes get fixated on a particular subject. Once that happens, I compile research like it’s going out of style. Case in point: whenever my daughter would fall in love with a new show on Nick Jr. (I love that channel), I’d immediately go to Wikipedia. My goal? To find out all I could about that show.

And I still do that today. I’ve always done that. In fact, whenever I’m thinking of booking a band, I start with hours of research.

Speaking of bands, I was listening to Tree63 the other day, and it got me to thinking, “Where’d they go?” They won a Dove award for their first album. They’ve toured extensively. I’ve even gotten to interview the band as well as setup for them (on two separate occasions). So, what ever happened to the band famous for the line “My heart is where my treasure lies” and “Look what You’ve done for me? Your blood has set me free”?

I did some looking. And what I found, as a Believer, I didn’t really like – they went their separate ways, and the lead singer is doing political music.

That got me to thinking: there are a few bands out there (that I’ve listened to) that, well, have some black marks on them.

For example, not too long ago, a well-known singer addressed his homosexuality. The week following, in my seminary class, there was confusion: “I loved his song; now what do I do?” For most, we kept on listening. But for some, they saw the situation as a black mark on his music. They chose to never listen to, play, or sing his music again.

Metaphorically, they tore his music to shreds.

Or, sometimes Christian musicians have affairs, and someone asks, “I loved his/her song,” or, “Their album changed my life; now what do I do?”

And metaphorically, some tear the music to shreds. I’ll admit; erroneously, I did that once. Some time ago, one singer that I enjoyed had a divorce, and I became disheartened and said “No” to her music.

You could almost say that, when we refuse to listen to their music, that we’re making our own “blacklists.”

Here’s the problem: music adds beauty to life. Music connects. Why else do people consume over 7 hours of music a day?

As believers, “Shouldn’t we forgive?”

So, what music should you give another try?