“O For That Day” by Enfield

One of the highlights of this past weekend at the Resolved conference was definitely the times of worship. The worship was led by a group that they brought together for this conference and named “Enfield”. They are named after the town in Massachusetts where Jonathan Edwards preached the message “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”. Since the theme was ‘Heaven and Hell’, they wrote a series of songs that are centered around the topic of Heaven.

This album is mostly a product of two young men at The Master’s College. David Zimmer and Ryan Foglesong are not only extremely gifted musicians (drums and bass respectively), but incredible lyricists. Together, they penned many of the songs. For a little background, this past summer they played in a band “Chasing Cadence” at the Jr High Camp at Hume Lake along with a friend that used to be on our youth staff. Then, in the fall, they played at our Battle of the Bands and ended up winning the thing in what turned to be somewhat of an unbalanced competition. That week, I also got the privilege to get to know David, who was a part of the missions team from TMC’s Outreach Week that came to our church and helped out.

One of the things I especially appreciated about these two, along with the rest of the band (including Paul Hoover filling in on electric guitar for the weekend) was their obvious passion for worship. It was such a blessing to see a stage full of passionate, gifted musicians, focusing their talents and gifts to lead others before the throne of God. Because they worked so hard at their respective gifts, God blessed that in an amazing weekend and they were able to minister to over 3,000 college aged students.

It’s contemporary worship, without the 7-11 lyrics. They are carefully crafted lyrics, desiring to propel believer’s minds towards Heaven and the things that are above. They contemplate Heaven itself, and the tiring battle of living a life in exile. They also include adapted songs, such as “Finally Home”, adapted from “On Jordan’s Stormy Banks I Stand”. One of my favorites is their version of “Wayfaring Stranger”. I’ve been thinking of a way to describe it, and it’s a bit blues, country, and folk rock. Lead singer John Martin does a great job on this track. There are also a few hymns given face lifts, “Wondrous Love” and “Fairest Lord Jesus”.

Together, the album is one that lifts the spirits, drags the mind to Heaven, and inspires the heart to long for the day when we will see our Savior and live for Him forever. The music is exceptionally well done musically, whether it be percussion, strings, piano, or guitars. John Martin’s wife, Lisa, provides back up vocals reminiscent of Danielle Young in Caedmon’s Call, which is high praise coming from a huge Caedmon’s fan. I would say that this cd is a must buy for believers longing to long for Heaven. It can be purchased on I-Tunes for $9.99, as well as Amazon’s mp3 section for $8.99. If you’d like the actual cd and case (which I have to confess is very well done), you can purchase that at the Resolved website along with charts for the music.

Update: link fixed

Three Things: Female vocalists that you like

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I haven’t had any time to post lately, but here’s an interactive one. I was thinking about this as Leah and I were driving through Pasadena the other night. I don’t like a lot of female vocalists, but there are some that I just love. And I don’t want any diva’s. No Madonnas or Celine Dions. Here are my three underrated female vocalists:

1. Lori Chaffer of “Waterdeep”. I got to see this band open for Bebo Norman back when Masters used to have concerts. They were supposed to be a small opener, but I ended up liking them more than Bebo. Lori heads the band with her husband, Don. They had to put the band on the back burner due to family medical issues and a grieving process. During this time, Don and Lori recorded solo albums that are great. I especially love Lori’s album “1beginning”. They are a folk rock type band, and are great live. If you want, you can check out their live album “3.26.03- Muncie, Illinois”. They have some great jams and fantastic versions of their best stuff. They also fuse worship into a lot of their albums, and recorded a worship album, “You Are So Good to Me”. I highly recommend Lori Chaffer and Waterdeep. And I just heard that they released a new album that I haven’t checked out yet.

Lori is second from the left, with her husband Don.

2. Sara Watkins of “Nickel Creek”. I have recently become a huge Nickel Creek fan, only to find out that they were on their ‘Farewell (For Now) Tour’. Argh. I don’t know what took me so long, but I absolutely love their “Why Should the Fire Die?” album. One reason is Sara Watkins. She has a great range from smooth and soothing to strong and demanding. The band is again somewhat folk rock. They are a trio from SoCal, and incorporate the fiddle, violin, mandolin, and the guitar. Their songs are written quite well, but a warning here, they aren’t all biographical. Watkins, again in the band with her husband, can sing with a smooth, feathery voice on ‘Tomorrow is a Long Time” (a Bob Dylan song), but then changes to a strong, demanding voice in “Best of Luck”. A great album that I fully recommend.

3. The third one is a little hard, so I’m going to combine my honorable mentions: Danielle Young (Caedmon’s Call), Sarah Mclachlan (though that is almost on the border of being against my rules), Amy Winehouse (great retro voice, but an unfortunately tortured soul), Sandra McCracken (wife to Derek Webb and a great story how they met that I’ll through in at the end), Dolores O’Riordan (Cranberries), Amy Lee (evanescence- a great, powerful voice), Sarah Bowser (listen to “O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus” on the Indelible Grace I cd), Jennifer Knapp, Kendall Payne, Diana Ross (Supremes days), Cass Elliot (Mamas and the Papas), and I’ll add more if I think of them!

How Derek Webb and Sandra McCracken met: Derek was making a coffee run for Caedmon’s Call and heard her playing in the coffee shop. He grabbed her cd, played it for the band, and they decided to have her join them on tour. As they spent time together, they realized that they were meant for each other, and eventually got together, married, and now have one child. They’ve also created quite a few songs together.

An Evening with Derek and Sandra

So this past weekend the wife and I made our way out to the old alma mater for a concert by Derek Webb and his wife Sandra McCracken. Lee and I got there early and were able to hear Derek sound check to ‘Let It Be’, which was really cool. Sandra opened up and sang a couple songs that i’ve heard and a couple coming out on her new album. Then she brought her ‘band’ out, which was Derek, and sang a couple songs with him.

then after a break Derek came out and played a looong set, talked for awhile between each song, and it was great. It was like a VH1 storytellers. So he has a new album coming out on December 26, and sang a few songs off of that. it is basically going to be a call to the church to be actively involved in meeting the needs of the people around them. he did have one song that was anti-war, which was good and understandable, but I don’t if i’d agree with everything that it was based on. but it was a call for the government to wield the sword wisely.

then there was another love song called. “I Hate Everything But You”. he talked about how hard it is to write a good love song and to be honest. he said most pop love songs are ‘i’m great, your great, we can be great together…’ and his songs are more honest like, ‘i’m a train wreck, your a train wreck, together we’d be a trainwreck but God can work through us.’

the album sounds like its gonna be another great cd, i just have to wait until december 26th.