This has been a project bringing me back to God. The music and songs express the holiness and mystery of God. They call to repentance and worship. They are worship.
And Brian's ministry is authentic. It grows out of his own life experience and his relationships with God, his family and his church. It is now gaining depth from his maturity and experience and his personal ongoing journey with God. The music style and presentation are moving with the times. He has great musicians on his team. And the message is become deeper and simpler - "Our Father in heaven, Holy is Your Name" - captures everything. He is Holy. He is in heaven - remote, unreachable. Yet He is our Father, close, intimate, loving, immanent, indwelling.
The CD notes include commentary from Brian on each track telling something of the history of the writing of the song and the musicians involved. Each track was in itself a project with singers, instrumental musicians and recording technicians drawn in to create a piece worthy of a Holy God. Philip Janz, the producer must have had his hands full working with Brian on this.
Brian's page on mySpace currently has a few YouTube clips where he talks about background on some of the tracks with Philip Janz and here and there gives some tips for musicians and worship leaders playing them.
This morning, early on Pentecost Sunday, listening to the devotional on the extra CD had me in tears. It's entitled "Reopening The Ancient Wells Of Devotion And Worship In Europe".
This comes out of Brian's history of work in Europe. An awakening is starting to happen in Europe. Jesus is on the move again in Europe. Here is an overview of what seem to me to be the main points Brian is making:
Reopening the Wells of Devotion
The wells already exist. They were built at great cost and sacrifice in missions, revivals and awakenings in earlier generations. Sometimes we think we have to start everything anew. Rather, however, we need to build on foundations that already exist.
See Gen 26:15-18 for the story of Isaac reopening wells his father Abraham had built and that had been blocked up by the Philistines.
To reopen the wells of devotion we need to:
- Lament over the condition of our hearts and God's church in Europe
- Repent for allowing the wells to be filled up with stuff that has blocked the flow of life
- Return to God. This is devotion. Loving God exclusively and faithfully.
We, the European church, are called to be a blessing to the world.
Polluted wells happen when the righteous give way to wickedness - see Prov 24:26
We need to exchange lifeless institutional religion that's about power and control for intimate relationship with God. We are called to be devoted to him in loving relationship.
From God's perspective life is about covenantal faithfulness. God is a jealous God. God is a lover who gets jealous when someone or something cuts in on his relationships.
Devotion is about exclusively giving ourselves. God longs for a lifelong forsaking-all-others relationship. So church is not just about coming together and singing some songs, but about living a life of faithfulness and devotion.
So this is a call to God's people to return to Him and love Him with our whole heart.
So, I am looking forward, in two weeks time, to be at the EUROPEAN BODY LIFE CONFERENCE with Frank Viola and Charles Wilhelm. I hope we will have an opportunity there to pick up on the theme of this devotional by Brian Doerksen.