Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Songs for the Cross Centered Life

I spent quite a bit of time a few months ago raving about the book. Now I'm going to rave about the CD. I'd be doing you a disservice if I didn't. It's been around for a couple of years, but it's brand-new to me--and, I'm guessing, unheard-of to most of you. Unfortunately Sovereign Grace Ministries seems to be, in many circles, one of the best-kept secrets in the church today.

As I've listened to this CD after buying it last week, I'm blown away by the realization that real churches actually sing songs like these. Why doesn't every church sing songs like these?? I've ranted in the past about the shallow self-centeredness of many (most?) modern praise & worship songs. Every line is about how I feel and what I'm going to do. Not exactly helpful for me to get my mind off of myself and delight in the glory of God.

Yes, it's valuable to respond emotionally to God in worship. But too often we start with the emotions--they have no foundation in truth. I love the richness of the hymns...but those can sometimes have their shortcomings as well. Sometimes they're so packed with truth--or, sadly, they're sung so lifelessly in a church service--that it's all too easy to breeze through the words without really reflecting on what you're singing.

Enter these beautiful songs. They're saturated with biblical truth, proclaiming over and over the beauty and glory of the cross. They're sung passionately, exuberantly. Important choruses are repeated, making them easy to learn and reflect on. And hearing these profound proclamations of the gospel naturally stirs up those responsive emotions of joy and gratitude in me.

You might love the style of some songs and others might not be your favorite. Some vocal styles might bug you; others might strike you as fantastic. But I'd bet that pretty soon, you won't even notice or care--you'll be caught up in worship. The power of this music transcends the style, the vocals, the instruments. It's not about any of that--it's about Him. Ahhhhh. So refreshing.

As the marketing material explains, Songs for the Cross Centered Life is a worship CD inspired by a book. "The Cross Centered Life, by C.J. Mahaney...was written to help instruct our wayward hearts and to remind our forgetful souls that there is one glorious, overwhelming truth that should inhabit the very core of our existence: Christ died to save sinners. You can think of these songs as a soundtrack to the book, for they have the same purpose: to bring glory to God by lifting our vision and helping us to live each day in the light of the gospel." (The liner notes also include the first chapter from The Cross Centered Life, a nice bonus to entice you to read the rest.)

Bob Kauflin, Director of Worship Development for Sovereign Grace Ministries, says of the CD:
"'My heart is filled with a thousand songs proclaiming the glories of Calvary.' This line from the chorus of 'The Glories of Calvary' by Steve and Vikki Cook explains why we produced Songs for the Cross Centered Life. Using various musical styles ranging from Celtic to pop, from classical to gospel rock, we extol the glories of the Lamb who was slain for our sins. ...Our prayer is that as you listen, you will be drawn to worship the Savior whose cross will ever be the center of our lives."

We are so forgetful--and rather than letting the cross fade into the distance in our rearview mirror, we need to be constantly directing our focus back to the main thing. This CD equips me to do just that. As C.J. Mahaney explains in the book, "A Christian's heart should be brimming every day with the song of Calvary. ...There is no better way to start each day than to employ songs and hymns that speak of the cross with clarity and power." Just writing about it right now gave me the urge to be listening to the CD yet again. So I am. I love it!

You can order Songs for the Cross Centered Life here. You'll be doing yourself a huge favor if you head over there right now. It's well worth the money.


Anonymous said...

Have you checked out Sovereign Grace's new "Worship God Live" ( and "Fuse" ( projects? If you liked the Cross Centered Life CD you'd probably like these.

What church do you go to in Nashville?

Anonymous said...

I think Sovereign Grace ministries should seriously consider hiring you as either a sales rep or a public relations coordinator. :) Thanks for doing such a great job of getting the word out about a fabulous but little-known ministry!

Amy said...

haha...that's what's funny, I don't work for them and I don't even go to one of their churches...never have, except visiting one of their Denver plants once. the closest one to us now is Knoxville or I'd be all over that :)

Danielle, I have a copy of WorshipGod Live coming :) I can't wait! and my husband and I go to Calvary Bible Church.

a suburban housewife said...

Girlfriend, welcome to the world of "heavenly" music. Don't you just love the way Sovereign Grace has such content-richness? Enjoy!

Laurie said...

Since you've been to my blog before, you know that I am very passionate about Sovereign Grace as well. I better be since my husband is an associate pastor at one of the churches (with my dad and brother also pastoring). :)

Thanks for getting the word out to your neck of the woods.

Thanks also for taking time to comment on my blog. You are so encouraging!

Anonymous said...

You know, Knoxville isn't too far away - at least for a visit!

Some SG music and sermons are on our website now:
You can listen to the music while you look around if you click the little speaker in the upper right corner.

Danielle said...

Hmmm, Calvary Bible Church. I might have gone there. Did you (or do you) meet in a school building? I can't remember the Pastor's name of the church I'm thinking of.

Amy said...

The church has never met in a school building that I know of. We have a regular church building now, though I don't know where they met when the church was planted about 12 or so years ago. The pastor's name is Dave Harrell--the link is on my sidebar.