Tag: james mark gulley

What is JMG Listening to?

I’ve gotta start this post with the most exciting music in my iTunes right now: JIREH (Remix)! It’s AntiochLIVE’s newest single and I am honored to have collaborated with the inspiring artists who made it happen, especially producer Brandon Seibert and author Jonathan Gulley. Find it here today and help us spread the word!

This past season has been full of rest and reflection for me. I’ve been super grateful for these artists and their albums. Some of them have become the soundtrack to my conversations with God over the last part of the summer, and they continue to inspire me. We all need to sing our own song, but we also need to be surrounded by songs that stir our song to life. I hope these stir your heart to faith like they have mine.


ARTIST: Phil Wickham

ALBUM: Singalong 3 (Live)

SUMMARY: When it comes to stripped-down, acoustic worship, no one does it quite like Phil Wickham. His first two Singalong albums were groundbreaking: one man, one guitar and a room full of worshipers. With this third installment Phil has yet again captured the power of simply worshipping Jesus with the Body of Christ. What takes this album to the next level is Phil’s choice to collaborate with veteran worship leaders Jeremy Riddle, Kari Jobe and Shane & Shane on some of their best loved original songs. It’s simply fantastic worship-leading from beginning to end.

Songs to note: The Ascension, Thirst, My All In All


ARTIST: Chris McClarney

ALBUM: Everything and Nothing Less

SUMMARY: This album has been a long time coming since Chris’ last release in 2010. He has joined up with Jesus Culture now, and while the production has taken a solid step up, the same soulful power vocal soars through these nine tracks with anointing and authority. This is an incredible album of on-point original songs, but I have to say one of my favorite moments is the last track, a cover of Hillsong’s Came to My Rescue, packed with Chris’ signature spontaneous songs.

Songs to note: God of Miracles, Everything and Nothing Less, All Consuming Fire


ARTIST: Rend Collective

ALBUM: As Family We Go

SUMMARY: These Ireland natives have secured their place at the table of great worship songwriters with past songs like You Are My Vision, Build Your Kingdom Here, My Lighthouse and Boldly I Approach. I love their description of their music: “We are not actually an indie-folk band despite all the beards and bow-ties and banjos. We are a celebration band. It’s just a coincidence that folk music and celebration make a great pairing!” And they celebrate well! Let this album stir your faith. I know it has mine.

Songs to note: You Will Never Run, Every Giant Will Fall, Your Royal Blood


ARTIST: Tim Hughes

ALBUM: Pocketful of Faith

SUMMARY: Tim Hughes is a British worship leader most well-known for his classic songs Here I Am to Worship, Consuming Fire and Happy Day. I have also been impacted over the years by Tim’s incredible ability to navigate with the Holy Spirit as he leads worship, leading spontaneous songs of praise and desire for God’s presence. On top of all that, he is a master lyrics-craftsman, and these songs are a product of that expertise. You hear his heart through the music, and it’s a moving thing to experience.

Songs to Note: Pocketful of Faith, Symphony, Hallelujah (Friend and King)


ARTIST: Matt Redman

ALBUM: Unbroken Praise

SUMMARY: Continuing with our friends across the pond we come to the legend himself, Matt Redman. You really will never go wrong in getting a Matt Redman album if you’re looking for lyrics full of truth and music full of spirit. Matt recorded this one at the famed Abbey Road Studios. It’s classic Redman with equal parts celebration, declaration and adoration – all wrapped up in rich lyrics with a depth of theology that can be stood upon. No one does it like Redman.

Songs to Note: Louder, Unbroken Praise, It Is Well With My Soul, King of My Soul

 

BONUS ADDITION:

I can’t say enough good things about the artist Sleeping At Last (aka Ryan O’Neal). I have immense respect for him. I have been incredibly blessed by his first venture into motion picture scoring for the upcoming movie, Many Beautiful Things. Not only has it been a source of peace and inspiration for me, but I have added it to my kids’ sleep playlist and they love it as well. It’s not worship music per se, but I can’t help but recommend this instrumental album to you.

Disclaimer: Directly after my last post on current worship music, both Hillsong United’s album Empires and Passion’s album Even So Come dropped to wide acclaim and popularity. I can’t recommend them both enough. But for the purpose of this post, I’m counting them as “givens” with no need for expounding.

By James Mark Gulley, Worship Pastor

What is James Mark Listening to? Fall Edition

Worship is an all-consuming endeavor. It touches every part of our lives. So it goes without saying that there are countless expressions of worship music that can help us to connect with God in any number of ways. Here I’ve listed some albums that may help freshen up your personal worship experience. Start off with AntiochLIVE’s It Is Finished, then move on to these albums.


ARTIST: Hillsong Worship

ALBUM: No Other Name

Hillsong is renowned for writing songs the whole Church sings, and they do this first and foremost by keeping close to the simple heart of the Gospel: salvation is found in Jesus alone. I love No Other Name because it “grows on you,” winning your heart listen by listen. The melodies are catchy and the words will leave you full of faith in the power of Jesus’ name. One might notice there are no upbeat songs on the album per se, but you won’t miss them because the anthems cause your heart to rise throughout the album. Props to these fathers and mothers of the modern worship movement for blessing us with this amazing album.

Songs to note: This I Believe, Broken Vessels


ARTIST: Steffany Gretzinger

ALLBUM: The Undoing

Every once in a while we are graced with a song that speaks the cry of our own heart so well that we are brought to a place of vulnerability with God we might not have attained if left to ourselves. Thankfully, Steffany hasn’t left us wanting here. She leads us to a deeply personal place with God. These songs were written purposefully to go beyond the crowded room of the corporate setting to the simple space of personal devotion with Jesus. I’m so proud of Steff for going to this daring place of vulnerability, and for mining out some really great music. You will be refreshed (and perhaps undone) if you’ll give this album a go.

Songs to note: Out of Hiding, Steady Heart


ARTIST: Housefires

ALBUM: Housefires II

This album sounds like an incredible night of worship at Lifegroup! (That night an incredible group of stellar musicians and experienced worship leaders showed up just to lead you and your group of friends in worship.) The value of worshipping Jesus as a part of a community of vibrant faith is heard and felt here. Characterized by an openness to spontaneity, the songs are full of both intimacy and declaration. Honestly, I listen to this album and just smile. So grateful for these guys. Do yourself a solid and get this one quick.

Songs to note: Good Good Father, This Love


ARTIST: Bellarive

ALBUM: Before There Was

Sometimes you need to hit a country highway, roll down the windows and turn up an amazing album full of atmospheric rock anthems – and just sing your head off. At least I do. That’s what I feel when I listen to this record. Pointing to Jesus and declaring from the heart, these guys just plain rock. And they prove that Disney World isn’t the only thing alive and kicking in Orlando. I hope you get a chance to experience them live sometime as well; they come to Waco’s own Common Grounds from time to time.

Songs to note: Let There Be Light, Calling On Fire

By James Mark Gulley, Worship Pastor

It Is Finished Lyrics and Chords

We hope you’re enjoying the new songs from AntiochLIVE’s latest album, It Is Finished. This album is a powerful reminder of the complete work of redemption Jesus did on the cross. We’re so excited to share the lyrics and chord sheets with you. Whether you’re singing these songs with your church family or it’s just you and your guitar, we pray these songs take you into a greater place of intimacy and a lifestyle of worship to the Almighty God.

1. Shout Shout

2. Free Forever

3. It Is Finished

4. To You Be the Glory

5. Relentless Love

6. Worthy Is the Lamb

7. How Great You Are

Interview with the Brothers Gulley: It Is Finished Edition

Today marks the release of AntiochLIVE’s new album, It Is Finished. We sat down with brothers James Mark and Stephen Gulley to get their thoughts on the project.

What was it like working with Producer Jeremy Edwardson? What unique element does he bring to the album?

Stephen: It was very fun to work with Jeremy because he’s got this great blend of super relaxed but also very confident and focused with where he wants to take us, and so it’s just very easy to work with him. There’s a special freshness he brought to the table with a new perspective; he was really envisioned and energized about our vision. And then he brings just this really cool, anthemic rock vibe to the album in general and he’s just got a sound that people are starting to love listening to. And any time we got stuck he always had this perspective that there are a lot of possibilities of what we can do with this. He kept the process moving forward in a very relaxed but very focused way.

JMG: He just has a knack for capturing the live worship experience and just to put it short, he’s better at it than we are and we love what he does. I think what he picked up on was our burning desire to bring people into a worship experience that changes their life and him helping us take what’s good and make it great. And our thing was like, “We want to learn from you, you’ve done this in a great way with Jesus Culture and Kari Jobe.”  He takes the best of who we are and makes it better; makes it something we couldn’t do by ourselves. He helped us serve people with the best version of what we have to offer.

Stephen: To bring someone in at as high caliber as him felt like a dream… come true… (laughter)

This album is a great mix of songs we’ve heard before and powerful new worship anthems. What was it like making an album that mixed old with the new?

JMG: Instead of thinking of it as old and new, think of it as an opportunity to reach people who have never heard these songs, so what are the best songs to get to them. And we thought Jeremy would be a good barometer for that, so we asked him which songs are best, excluding the last two albums. And we never really do anything without saying, “Lord what do you want us to do?” And it’s encouraging for Stephen and me who have been writing together for years to hear that some of these songs are not only relevant but a needed voice right now.

SG: I think that because it was really a prayerful process that was infused with vision it felt right to just do it this way. I would say on the night of the recording, having old and new, it just felt like a full-bodied experience. It made it an even more rich experience, kind of like if you come to a greater-size family gathering you have the grandparents all the way to the grandkids playing all of these songs – it just felt like this is all us, but us over time. It was just fun to see the people going nuts over all the songs and worshipping Jesus really passionately.

What do you feel like God is speaking to the movement through this album?

JMG: When I think of what the phrase “it is finished” stands for, what it evokes in me is a sense of victory and how that helps us see Jesus for who He is; that He is on top of the enemy, He’s on top of the things in our lives that seem to overwhelm us at times. And for us to have a battle cry, like a wake-up call to just say the phrase, “it is finished,” it’ll bring up the picture of Jesus on the cross.  But for those of us that want to know and live the story, we know the story didn’t end there, that was the end of the bad part of the story, and that the enemy is against us, the world is trying to press us down, but Jesus wins.

I also think it speaks to us about identity, that we stand with the Victorious One; the phrase, “there is therefore now no condemnation,” there is no distance. It is a statement of belief of the character of God. And that’s my hope for the album from the title track and all of the songs on the album. There is just so much of the Gospel on the album. In this season it seems that God is reminding us that we are doing the work of God and while we’re busy doing the work of God we will encounter opposition. And when we encounter opposition we might be tempted to shrink back, but we are not of those who shrink back. He’s done it and we stand with Him. So that’s what I think all these songs are saying as a collection and that’s what I think people need, but I think it is a word to our movement, that God is happy with us, He is proud of us for doing the work of God with Him. And it’s a battle, it’s an over-arching war, but Jesus has already won the war.

SG: I totally agree. I feel that worship can really communicate to the heart of people in a way that’s special. If I were to come and just listen to this album and talk about what I feel like God was saying, it’s the message of, “Hey, it is finished, so confidently rise up and run with Jesus;” just a higher sense of confidence, just run after the things God has put in front of us despite the despair of the attack. And I think that to rise up with confident faith and run with Him applies to corporate and personal journeys for the people who will listen to this; knowing He is with us but He’s also done what needs to be done for us to rise up with an even more confident faith; to run ahead. In Philippians 3:12-14, He says, “I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus;” just that sense of, “ press on.”

Get the album.

Hear the songs live at World Mandate.

AntiochLIVE: An Interview with James Mark Gulley and Owen Wible

AntiochLIVE is on the road to recording their third live worship album, It Is Finished.

We sat down with worship pastor James Mark Gulley and associate worship pastor Owen Wible to talk about the process of creating this album and hear what it’s been like working with big-time producer Jeremy Edwardson, who has worked with other major artists such as Bethel in the past! We’re so excited to encounter God and worship Jesus together on Friday, May 9th as they record!

How has producing this album been different than last time? What’s it been like working with big-time producer, Jeremy Edwardson?

JAMES MARK: I think the biggest difference between this album and the others has definitely been having Jeremy Edwardson as our producer. I’ve been the producer for all of our recordings since 2001, but for this project we really wanted to get someone else with a greater level of influence into the album. We wanted to get someone who can call us higher and innovate with us. After getting in touch with Jeremy and talking with him, it was very clear that working with him was going to be awesome. So it remains to be seen, or I guess it remains to be heard, but we are confident this album is going to be encouraging for everyone.

OWEN:  Two things really stand out to me about working with Jeremy. The first thing is that the quality level is so much higher than anything we’ve ever done before. We are honestly thrilled to be working with Jeremy because he has so much experience in recording live worship. We’re excited to learn from him and see our process become more professional. The second thing that’s been so awesome about working with Jeremy is that he shares our heart and passion for seeing the recording be a live worship experience. I think a lot of times when you’re working with a professional you think, “Ok this has to be perfect.” But he really shares our desire to have a time of raw, live worship where we’re encountering God and capture that for the body of Christ to hear and experience again and again.

Do y’all have a favorite song on the album?

They both laugh.

JAMES MARK: That’s probably a question that will never get a straight answer from any songwriter, ever. We all pour our hearts into each song, so we see the good and strong aspects of each one and what they each accomplish.

OWEN:  I think different songs play different roles and accomplish different things. When you hear a song like, “Shout, Shout” or “Free Forever” you just want to get up and dance! But then there are these sweeping anthems that just make your heart want to rise up and exalt Jesus. So it’s hard to just say, “This one’s the best!” because they all do such different things. Can we say all of them are our favorite?

What is your favorite song to lead in worship?

JAMES MARK: I don’t know that I have a favorite, but I have had some memorable experiences in leading certain songs. The writing process for Thomas’ song, “It Is Finished” was somewhat unique, but once we  finished the song and were arranging it, it all kind of came together really quickly.

OWEN:  It just fell into itself.

JAMES MARK: Yeah, it was almost like God wanted this song to be played; He wanted it to happen so He was just like, BOOM. And pretty much within an hour on the Awaken trip in Edinburg, TX, (our College Ministry spring break mission trip) we thought, “Why don’t we try this?” When a song just works, and everybody goes flying into worship immediately, you’re like, “Thank you Lord!” So that was memorable for me because I was thinking, “Am I crazy or do I love this already?” For the arrangement to just work out almost immediately was pretty unforgettable.

OWEN:  Originally the song, “To You Be the Glory” was just this little chorus I had written in my journal during my time with God. I never intended to do anything with it or show anyone. But I played it for James Mark one day in a group of songwriters that was sharing the songs they had written, and then at the first worship night this semester he came up to me and said, “Hey, I want you to start leading that chorus you wrote.” I could barely even remember how it went, but we just started singing the same four lines over and over. We had never practiced it, nobody had ever even heard the song before except for James Mark, but watching people immediately connect to it as if we’d been singing it in our church for years was amazing. So it’s just been cool to watch the song evolve, and seeing the church rise to it in that first moment.

What have you guys been listening to recently?

OWEN:  I would say Bethel’s new album You Make Me Brave. The song, “Shepherd” has been my go-to these days. It’s just powerful! That and, “It Is Well” are the two songs on that album that have been on repeat for me. Oh! And Kari Jobe’s “Forever.”

How do you get in the songwriting zone?

JAMES MARK: You want to answer that one Owen?

Both laugh.

OWEN:  No. I wouldn’t consider myself an experienced songwriter… I’ve written a song that happened to get chosen to be on the album. Oh and I wrote a song for my wife for her birthday last year, that’s about all of my songwriting experience right there.

JAMES MARK: So I think for me, I respond to life by singing. Driving around I’m always humming melodies or I have lyrics pop into my head. Ideas just kind of come out. But that flow can stop if I don’t make time to write intentionally. I once heard Jason Ingram say, “You don’t have to tell me that you’re a songwriter; I can look at your schedule and tell whether you are or not.” What he meant was, there isn’t anybody that it just comes naturally to who doesn’t also have to be productive sometimes. It’s really romantic and kind of cool to think, “Oh, I just live my life and songs effervesce.” At times that does happen, but real songwriters make time for it. When I make time for it, I’m letting God speak through me. It’s my conversation with Him. As far as what it looks like once it’s time to actually get in there and write, I can do that in different ways, but I tend to drink chai…

OWEN:  And go to Panera.

Both laugh.

JAMES MARK:  Yeah, my brother Stephen and I have been known to write a song or two in a coffee house or bakery.

OWEN:  I would say there’s a balance between inspiration and hard work. You’ll only ever have half-baked ideas unless you put in the time. No one ever writes a perfect song purely out of inspiration. Well, maybe someone does, and they can pray for us!

Both laugh.

Have there been any funny moments in this process? 

JAMES MARK: When the band gets together to practice is when shenanigans usually ensue. We’re about to get into the time when we’re putting in more hours during recording. A lot of times we get to that point in the evening when everyone can get pretty delirious, so we’re looking forward to  making those memories.

OWEN:  At times when we get stuck writing a song, we write joke versions of the song instead. You just make up verses that are as absurd as it gets. Sometimes it’s pulling in really obscure miracles that Jesus did like spitting in the dirt to make mud and rubbing it in a guy’s eyes or random Old Testament stories that obviously aren’t going to end up in the song. Specifically with the crew that is writing on this album, this happens a lot.

So how do you think these songs are speaking to the Antioch Movement right now?

JAMES MARK: All of our songwriters and worship leaders are family; we all carry the Antioch family in our hearts. So we’re constantly asking God what He wants to say to us as a people, all over the U.S. and all over the world. One word we got for this album is that we want people to encounter God.

OWEN:  I think the main theme running throughout the album is  the power of the Gospel and the simplicity of what Jesus did for us on the cross and how we have freedom because of His sacrifice. There are many songs that are focused on the message of the Gospel and what that means for us, and our response to that is to give God glory in praise and worship. We’re going back to the simple truth of the Gospel and then out of that our hearts respond in worship. I think that’s the message we want this album to portray.

JAMES MARK: Certain ones of these songs tell the story of the Gospel, but the album as a collective tells that story as well. When we stepped back and looked at it we thought, “Man, that’s amazing!” We feel so encouraged and excited for how God has brought this all together. We originally thought we would do the recording in the fall, but we felt like God wanted us to do it in the spring. We were like, “Ok God, You’re really going to have to come through for us if this is going to be good,” because the timeline had been bumped up quite a bit. Now I see all the songs that we have, and the dream of working with Jeremy Edwardson, and like He always does, God made it all happen!

Join us Friday, May 9th as AntiochLIVE records their next worship album. It will be an incredible night of worshiping Jesus together. The event is at First Baptist Church Waco and the cost is $5 per person at the door. Tickets go on sale at 6 p.m., doors open at 7 p.m. and the recording begins at 7:30 p.m. We anticipate a full house, so seating will be on a first come, first served basis. Please note, while we welcome families to the event, we ask parents to use discernment in bringing their children.  Since it is a live recording we must keep excess noise to a minimum and will limit entrance and exit from the auditorium once recording beginsHead here for more info and we can’t wait to see you there.

How Great You Are: Song Story with Johanna Six

People often ask what the process is like for writing a song. I wish that I could tell them inspiration hits and voilà, you have a song. In my experience though, the initial inspiration hits, and then – the song sits there. It sits in my heart incubating, and I’m constantly mulling over it, willing it to grow into something bigger, hoping it finishes itself. But, songwriting requires good ol’ fashioned work. Now, I know this, but it’s another thing to put this into practice.

Writing How Great You Are was that kind of experience. I remember the main melody coming to me, basically all in one moment, while I was laid up sick in bed. I was pretty excited about it, and once I was able to get to a piano, the music kind of just flowed out. Looking back, somewhere inside, I thought the lyrics would just magically flow out as well. It was going to be this awesome song about how we are healed and made whole in the presence of God and how we find our rest in Him – except everything I wrote wasn’t quite working. There were too many ideas and it didn’t feel cohesive. I kept asking myself (in the context of writing the song), “How do I get to that theme of being in God’s presence? How is it that we get to be in His presence?”

Ding, ding, ding. This was going to be a song about how Jesus made a way for us to be in the presence of God. It was going to be a song about the Gospel.

It was around the time of receiving that epiphany that I showed the song to some friends, including James Mark. They confirmed that the song worked much better with the Gospel being central. Strange how that works, huh?

Now, I knew where the song was supposed to go, and together with James Mark, we finished it. It was not easy. We watched scenes from The Passion of the Christ and The Bible series. I read the crucifixion story multiple times a day, in different translations, in all four gospels. I was immersed in the story of how God came to earth as a man, willingly took upon Himself our transgressions even as we betrayed Him to hang on the cross, and then rose victorious over sin and death. As I read that story over and over and pictured myself standing with the multitudes crying, “Crucify Him” – I was undone by His love for me. I was undone and I wanted to scream, scream out my sorrow for placing Him there, and then shout out in thankfulness because it was His joy to do it.

This is the journey we want to take everyone on as we sing this song. We want to be able to meditate over what it cost Jesus for us to be able to be near to God. Once we recognize that, then we want to make space in our hearts for songs of thankfulness to rise up, for our souls to sing of our Savior’s love and how great He is.

Join us Friday, May 9th as AntiochLIVE records their next worship album. It will be an incredible night of worshiping Jesus together. The event is at First Baptist Church Waco and the cost is $5 per person at the door. Tickets go on sale at 6 p.m., doors open at 7 p.m. and the recording begins at 7:30 p.m. We anticipate a full house, so seating will be on a first come, first served basis. Please note, while we welcome families to the event, we ask parents to use discernment in bringing their children.  Since it is a live recording we must keep excess noise to a minimum and will limit entrance and exit from the auditorium once recording beginsHead here for more info and we can’t wait to see you there.

What is JMG listening to?

I am fascinated and enthralled by the live worship experience. It’s also my job, so when I hear people do it so well, leading it and capturing it in a way that can be shared with the world, I personally get to learn from that. I also love to use live worship devotionally. I listen to all kinds of stuff, but when I think about what helps people, the live expression is what I do, it’s what I’m fascinated by and these guys below all did it really well.

1) Majestic, Kari Jobe: This is the first time Kari Jobe has done any live worship on her own, and I’m so glad people are getting to experience her powerful anointing as a worship leader. She worked with the same producer we are working with on AntiochLIVE’s upcoming album. Her version of Forever is just powerful. It carries the strains of the “Kari Jobe” sound, but because it’s live you feel the energy in a way that’s different from one of her studio albums.

2) Zion: Acoustic Sessions, Hillsong United: Hillsong put out the Zion album last year, and after its release they put together some live acoustic sessions of the songs. The stripped-down nature of the arrangements creates a small group sound, probably in a way that people who listened to Zion wouldn’t even think would be possible because the songs are so electronic and huge and sweeping. The versions of Oceans and Love Is War on this album are amazing. There’s something about this album that is very intimate and approachable for people singing together in a small group. People could sing this in their Lifegroup or use the arrangements to learn on their own guitar and play. It’s incredible devotional material.

3) Tides Live, Bethel Music: With their studio album Tides, Bethel took some significant risk, and even though people really enjoyed the album, they probably thought the songs couldn’t be done live because of the electronic sounds. But then they did this. If you haven’t heard the live versions of these songs, then you want to experience the powerful dynamic captured there, which is kind of the Bethel anointing. It’s cool to hear the anthems like For the Cross and Forever, and even songs like Give Me Jesus where you’re thinking, “Wow, that guy is singing so high. How does he do that?” Well he nails it. And the song Chasing You, which is an incredibly fun, electric song, really works live in such a great way.

We have an incredible live worship experience heading your way – AntiochLIVE wants you to come be a part of worshipping Jesus as they record their third album. Join us Friday, May 9th at First Baptist Church Waco. The cost is $5 per person at the door. Tickets go on sale at 6 p.m., doors open at 7 p.m. and the recording begins at 7:30 p.m. Seating is limited so make sure you buy your tickets in advance. Head here for more info and we can’t wait to see you there.

By James Mark Gulley

Worship Pastor

Week in Pictures

Last week was a big week for us!

Our College Ministry took more than 500 students to Edinburg, Texas for Awaken. Our church-wide mission trip went to serve our church plant in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and more than 250 adults and kids participated. What a week!  Take a look:

Awaken:

Baton Rouge:

 

Down on this Ground

I have always been captivated by the extraordinary circumstances of the Christmas story.

A few years ago I realized that the classic Christmas carols not only sing about Jesus’ birth – they invite us to step right into the story for ourselves. They are written as though we are standing in the story in real-time. Angels We Have Heard On High invites us to, “come adore on bended knee Christ the Lord the newborn King,” as if it is happening right now. We are standing under a night sky where “the stars are brightly shining,” for “it is the night of the dear Savior’s birth,” in O Holy Night. And O Come O Come Emmanuel paints a picture of an awaiting Israel, God’s chosen people, “that mourns in lonely exile here until the Son of God appear,” before ringing out the good news, “Rejoice! Emmanuel has come!”

We are not just singing a song – we are caught up in a story.

I don’t know where you see yourself in this story, but I know where I am standing. I’m on that hill with the shepherds. The outcasts. The dirty ones. The least. I picture myself as the son of a man who told the stories of our ancestors, how they had known God as His special people, how He had miraculously delivered them numerous times over the generations, how our people had turned away from our God and walked into bondage and how He had promised to send a Savior. And how we all have been waiting in desperate hope ever since. I have heard the stories all my life and now as a grown man, I have a dim hope of anticipation for this Messiah as well.

I figure as a mere shepherd I will just hear about His coming in the news of the city, for a king usually makes his entrances in the middle of the town square for all to see. So I am shocked and overwhelmed when a blazing light breaks into my night sky right in front of me! And the triumphant voices of these heavenly beings of light happily tell us there’s good news waiting for us in Bethlehem. I am overwhelmed, but I pull myself off the ground to go with my partners to find the baby described to us. And as we make the trek to the City of David, I realize this is the One for whom we’ve longed for generation upon generation. And I’m going to behold Him: the Deliverer, the Savior of the world. I feel old, and I’ve been waiting and wondering for so long, I am not sure what I will say to this King.

 

I wrote the lyrics of this song, Down On This Ground, from this perspective:

Wise men came to seek You

Traveling across the snow

Following a star that led them

To a little One to offer their gold

 

Lowly shepherds in the winter

Tried to keep warm in the cold

Angels sang a song about You

And they ran to find You as they were told

 

Little Child, I’ve been looking for You

As I walk through this weary world

Now I come to this humble manger

To see Heaven come down on this ground

 

And on this silent night You’ll hear me singing

With the merry hearts of the awaiting

Wash me as white as that snow

And I’ll lift You up like that star

Refine my heart like that gold

And I will lay my life down on this ground

 

Little Child, I’ve been looking for you. We’ve all been waiting. Our hearts have been longing for a hope that shines brighter than the darkness around us, within us. We all have inside a desperate cry for salvation. And it’s as though the gift comes when we’re least expecting it. Like a sudden snow, God quietly stepped into our world.

He didn’t come wearing expensive robes riding on a white horse to the middle of the city to make His announcement to the rich and popular. He came as a baby, fragile and dependent. He was laid in animal feed grass, like where I sleep every night. I can see Him lifting His little hand through the dirt and flies to wonder at His own fingers. And I can tell that He is from God. It seems Heaven has come down on this dirty, broken ground to meet me. So my response is natural: I want to be clean on the inside like Him. I can’t get that way by myself, so I will lay my life down on this ground before Him. I don’t have anything to give Him, just my heart – but He can have my all, and I think He’ll take me. And that makes me want to worship Him, to lift Him up like the star shining brightly above us.

 If you’ll step into the story, I think you’ll find yourself worshiping Him as well. 

Our God Comes Chord Charts

We want everyone to have the opportunity to worship with these 14 original songs!

We hope you’re enjoying the new songs from AntiochLIVE’s “Our God Comes.” This album is a celebration of a God who comes near to His people out of His great love and desire for us. It was a blast filling the Ferrell Center with these truths at World Mandate this past weekend!

Please follow the links below to get the chord charts for each song.

1. Come

2. God And King

3. Wonderful Counselor

4. God Who Saves

5. How Much More

6. I Will Raise

7. Response

8. Light Me Up

9. Awaken Us

10. One Hundred Three

11. Return

12. Savior Forever

13. Selah

14. Our God Comes

Whether you’re singing these songs with your church family or it’s just you and your guitar, we pray these songs take you into a greater place of intimacy and a lifestyle of worship to the Almighty God, Our God who comes.