I know, I know. Even saying it, I feel like this:
That phase my friends, is so done. And boy, can I say I'm so freakin' HAPPY about that!?
There is so much good music out there. And so much of it is solid Christian stuff, which is basically all I play. I thought this lovely Sunday evening would be a fine time to share some of my favorites lately, in no particular order.
Songs for Nations - I just started listening to this album today, and I'm loving it. Specifically it's heart, and the heart of Sean Feucht: Missions & Worship ("If missions was my calling, then worship was my weapon."). Wow. I mean seriously. This man has a powerful heart for Christ and he is truly living a modern lifestyle of biblical worship. (2 Chronicles 20:20-22 comes to mind.) I've enjoyed his other work, and I also value his ministry of the 24/7 Burn Rooms. This album, Songs for Nations, is 12 original worship songs written in the nations they are interceding for. Astounding! (Full album available on Spotify; one song here on Sean Feucht's YouTube)
Michael Gungor is another favorite artist. I am captivated by his creativity and excellence in skill. This man knows how to make complex, worshipful music. The Beautiful Things album is definitely one of my favorites. But I've been known to play his music for hours at a time--he's a go-to background-doing-life artist for me.
I also really value his lyrics. Good things to be singing, listening too, absorbing when you aren't consciously focusing on the music--something I really value. In their own words, "This is a group that believes listeners are intelligent enough to appreciate lyrical metaphor and allegory along with intricate time signatures and somewhat uncommonly paired instruments." Here's my playlist of Beautiful Things on Grooveshark.
And then when I discovered their latest album, Endless Years. My face fell off in excitement. After passionately loving the original Set A Fire (Fantastic video. Watch it. No, seriously--watch it.), the remake on Endless Years floored me. Wow. So much talent glorifying God. I love living in this generation of accessible worship! (Listen to my playlist of Endless Years on Grooveshark here.)
Other artist's that really deserve at least a paragraph of wonderful words about their fantasticness include Israel Houghton & New Breed, Hillsong United, Jesus Culture, IHOP Prayer Room, Rend Collective Experiment, Kristene Mueller-DiMarco, Jon Foreman, Bethel Music and The Brilliance. (It's almost breaking my heart to not write about these people for you right here, right now. But I gotta stop somewhere.)
My favorite thing about all of this music is that it constantly pours into my relationship with Christ. I'm not anti-secular (aka non-christian) music. But I have become acutely aware over time how my mood stays more positive and God-focused the more worshipful music I pour into myself. In seasons where I don't make enough room in my schedule to spend quiet devotions with Jesus as much as I should (Let's be honest. Or at all, because that happens too.), I honestly believe my faith is carried by the worship of these fellow believers, and I'm so thankful. Their worship, time and energy carries me, and I wouldn't be the same without it.
Here's one of my go-to playlists, which is aptly titled Gungor and Friends.