Remember when I told you I was working on a new CD?
Well, it took awhile.
By the time everything was mixed, it was too close to Christmas to release it in 2012.
So I waited.
And I released it in 2013.
Today, in fact.
It's called Masterpiece
(Not because it is a masterpiece.
I'll explain in a moment)
It's my second full-length album,
At twelve tracks, the longest one yet.
At the time I wrote those songs, God was teaching me about who we are,
How He sees us.
He kept leading me to this one word in Ephesians 2:10.
The Greek word is "poiema".
It's where we get our English word "poem".
Usually, it's translated "workmanship",
As in, "We are God's workmanship."
The New Living Translation renders the word as "masterpiece", which better captures the emotion of the word.
We're not just a work of God,
We're His poetry,
As these thoughts turned 'round and 'round in my head,
Songs came out.
My friend helped me pick ten of them.
I added two more because they were things I wanted to say.
Here they are:
1. Song That You Sing
I wrote this as I was meditating on Ann Voskamp's post that inspired the song "How Emptiness Sings" by Christa Wells, and I took away something a little different from it. So I wrote a different song. My friend Kassandra came in and played a flute part for me, which was just what the simplistic accompaniment needed to keep it simple enough for the lyrics but interesting enough to be . . . well, interesting.
2. By Name
I wrote this song meditating on the idea that different people know more about different aspects of God's character than others. In sharing our stories, we witness to those aspects of God's character, which helps others to have a better understanding of those aspects of God's character, which helps us to know God better. Obviously, the first place we should be looking for information about God is His Word, but other things testify to who He is as well, and we shouldn't ignore them.
3. The Masterpiece
This is pretty much the title track. It's based on Ephesians 2:10 (NLT) - We are God's masterpiece! So amazing!
This one's about my own personal struggle between a natural desire for safety and God's promise of Safety. There's so much in my life pushing me to get a college degree, get a "safe" job, have a stable income, . . . and all the while God's pushing me toward something the world would tell me is dangerous and risky. Well, who am I going to listen to? Everyone on this planet, or the God who created all of them? Still, I have a lot to learn about trusting Him with this.
5. Free (The Wave's Song)
This one was inspired by James 1:6-8 (NLT). The metaphor of people being like waves, driven and tossed by the wind, was too good for me to pass up. I wrote it during a sermon on those verses instead of paying attention.
6. He Does Not Make Junk
I wrote about this song in this post.
7. Yahushua (Jonah's Prayer)
When I read the prayer Jonah prayed in Jonah 2, how he was thanking God for saving him while he was still inside the belly of a fish, I knew I had to turn it into a song. So I did, staying as close to the text (I was reading it out of the Contemporary English Version Bible) as I could. I then decided I wanted a sort of one-word refrain, kind of like Heather Williams' "Hallelujah". I'd recently watched a song that contained various names for God and wondered if there was a Hebrew name for God that meant "God saves". The closest Google could come was "Yahushua", which, interestingly enough, is the word that the names Joshua and Jesus come from.
8. What I Love
Another one I've already written about. You can read the story here.
This was inspired by a passage from Madeline L'Engle's Walking on Water. She spoke of the Transfiguration and how the things that we think are impossible really aren't impossible at all. So I wrote a song about it. Go figure.
10. You Said My Name
This was inspired by a video by the Skit Guys. They were telling Peter's story, a story of grace, how he denied Jesus and Jesus still said his name. So I had to write a song about Peter. This is one of my favorites from this album, because I need to hear Him say my name, too.
11. The Poem You Write
I wrote this after a sermon explaining that "poiema" is where we get "poem" from. As a sort of poet, I couldn't let this image of God as a Poet slip past me. It became a song.
12. With Abandon
This one was probably the most intentional of all of them. As I thought about all these things I'd been writing about, I was left with the question, "What should my response to all of this be?" And I decided the answer was to do what He's told me to do, and to do it with abandon. This one's a little more cliche than the rest of them. I couldn't think of any other way to say it. I decided to leave it on the album, though, just for that thought: I need to live with abandon.
I'm not going to post the lyrics for all of these,
Mostly because I don't have time,
But also because they're somewhere online already,
Which leads me to what I have to share with you next:
The CD will be available for one week for free on Noisetrade.
You can go to my page now and download it and my past two projects
In exchange for your email address and zip code.
On January 15th, most of the album will be removed.
A few songs will still be available for free,
The rest will have vanished.
So, you may ask, where will I be able to get the CD after the week is up?
Well, yesterday I signed up for a Bandcamp account.
Bandcamp is an incredible (free!) tool for artists.
On my Bandcamp page, I have my new album available.
You can download tracks 1 and 3-12 for $0.50 each,
Track 2 is free in exchange for your email address
(For the first 200 people, apparently - I'm only allowed to give so much away at this site),
Or you can download the entire CD for $5.00.
If you want to give me more money than I'm asking for, you're welcome to.
The files are uploaded in .wav format, so you can download them in virtually any format you want
(Unlike NoiseTrade, which only offers .mp3s)
You can also read the album description
And buy a physical CD.
Yes, you can buy a real, physical CD for $5.00 (the same price as the download)
Plus $2.00 shipping
And I will send you a real, homemade physical CD in a clear jewel case -
Just for buying the physical CD,
You'll get to download the CD, too - for free!
So you'll have the music immediately,
Then have the real CD within a few weeks.
Isn't that awesome?
As if those things in and of themselves weren't awesome enough,
Downloads include bonus .pdfs of my CD booklet -
So you can get all of my lyrics just for downloading a song
(Or you might have to download the whole CD . . . I'm not really sure how it works . . . but somehow you'll be able to get them.)
I officially like Bandcamp.
So, you can visit my Bandcamp page by clicking here.
And music pages have also been updated,
If you'd like to read them.
Thank you all for your support.
I now have to get back to cutting out papers and burning images on discs
So that, when you order those CDs,
I'll have some to send to you. :)
All of you here really do mean the world to me!
God bless you!