Each year in late Summer/early Fall, artists like myself begin sending music out to radio stations, hoping the songs will become a part of those station’s annual Advent celebrations. Last week my song Advent Hymn (Watching, Waiting, Longing) went out to over 1500 radio stations internationally. Those stations, through streaming and downloading, caused it to chart at #7 for streams and #14 for downloads. I could hardly believe my eyes, but there it was charting with amazing artists like Trisha Yearwood, Phil Wickham, Casting Crowns, Brandon Lake and so many others.
As you can imagine, this is really exciting news for me. I’m grateful to my friends at Lifeway Worship for publishing this song and helping me to share it in so many new places this year. I’m also grateful to all of the reporting Play MPE Radio Stations who are using this song in 2020.
My prayer is always that Christ’s message will be received through the words and music of my songs, and I hope you will pray for that too we approach the coming Advent and Christmas Seasons. It is always an honor to be able to tell the story of Jesus through song, and I thank you for being a part of helping me to present the message.
This episode comes to you courtesy of the Hoganson Media Agency who invited Voices In My Head Podcast to experience the incredible Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant Christmas Tour in Columbus Ohio. It was an incredible night of music complete with live orchesta, snowball fights, and a remarkable presentation by Compassion International.
On this episode I also share some live improvised Christmas music and talk about a new take on Charles Dicken’s Christmas Carol by the late Havey Kurtzman called, “Marley’s Ghost”.
“Advent begins four Sundays before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve. During Advent we “wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior Jesus Christ,” in the phrase used each week in the Catholic Mass. Advent is about Jesus’ coming; even the word advent means “coming.” We celebrate the threefold coming of Jesus. We remember His coming in the past as a baby in Bethlehem, born to redeem the world. We are thankful for His coming into our hearts in the present, as we make more and more of our lives available to Him, to be used as He wishes. And we look forward joyfully to His Second Coming at the end of time when all people shall be judged and all creation shall be purified and perfected.
The Christmas story is, simply put, the most beautiful story in the world. The four lovely weeks of Advent allow us to take this story out each year and examine it. Like a jewel that sparkles in different colors when it is held up to the light and rotated, Advent lets us see the Christmas story from different angles. We sense the longing of the prophets who foretold Christ; our hearts wonder with Mary, rejoice with Elizabeth, empathize with Joseph, and thrill with the shepherds.
Advent reminds us, too, that while Christmas was glorious, it was human sinfulness and estrangement from God that made it necessary for Jesus to come to earth. So we are reminded of our spiritual lives, and of our need to be found walking in righteousness when He comes again in glory. Mostly Advent gives us a chance to remember and pay homage to the most beautiful part of the Christmas story: the incomparable, miracle-working, ardent, relational, self-sacrificing love of God for the people of the world.”
Yours Is the Day, Lord, Yours Is the Night: A Morning and Evening Prayer Book
This week marked the end of the 2017 General Assembly for the Church of the Nazarene, held every four years in Indianapolis Indiana.
I had the privilege of being on two different panels at the Spirit and Truth mini conference while at General Assembly. The conference was sponsored by Nazarene Theological Seminary and the NNU Wesley Society.
In the links below you will find the recordings from both sessions, also featuring Andrea Garcia and Brannon Hancock.