April Gathering: Is Your "Editor" a Friend or Assassin?

April Gathering: Is Your "Editor" a Friend or Assassin?

New on The Grove Blog is our Grove Artist Gathering Highlight. We offer you a key question from April's Grove Artist Gathering. Singer/songwriter, Bob Bennett, not only shared his incredible music, but his insights on the creative writing process. In whatever art form you practice, how do you deal with the "Editor" in your head? Is it a friend or assassin? Read on...

The One Who Hurries Delays the Things of God

The One Who Hurries Delays the Things of God

Does hurry delay the things of God in your life? Joey O'Connor shares some important truths learned from a recent Journey retreat. Allowing our creativity and art to stream from the overflow of our hearts is far better than trying to drink from the dry wastelands of unsatisfied thirsts and unmet longings. Read more...

New Chris Falson CD & Why Switchfoot Won't Sing Christian Songs

Happy New Year to all of our Grove Friends! We're looking forward to a great 2014 with you!

Chris Falson: One Moment...A New Album We'd Like to Share!

This just in... our friend Chris Falson has just released a very cool new project. (I'm listening to it as I write to you now...) Chris' new album is filled with heart-felt, earthy-toned acoustic worship tunes. Not only is the album a deep reflection of Chris' relationship with God, what I love most is that it came out of extended time alone with Him. (Just click on the artwork above to listen and purchase One Moment on Bandcamp...I just downloaded my copy!)

Isn't that when our best work is born? When it flows out of deep relationship with our Creator? We're happy to share Chris's album with you and hope you support his creative work. Here's Chris's story... in his own words...

During the summer of 2011 we had the keys to a friend’s house in the hills of Carpinteria. Most weekends we would escape the hubbub of Los Angeles for the tranquil vibes of humming birds, wind in the willows (gum trees actually) and long walks around the mesa. One week, while my wife was away visiting family I decided to have a time of quietness… kind of a retreat up in these hills… and to experiment recording my personal worship times without the assistance of a recording engineer. So I set up my portable recording studio in the living room overlooking the coast of Santa Barbara (its tough but someone has to do it)… placed a few mic’s for vocals and guitar… and just sat there for hours singing my favorite worship songs and hymns to God… and this album is the result.

It’s completion is another story. While I had some deep ‘moments’ with God I couldn’t really hear anything of beauty in these tracks. As is often typical for an ‘artist’, I was too close to them. These recordings remained on my hard drive for over a year until two good friends, Gavin and Natalie Fuller emailed me to say how much they loved my new album. “What new album” I replied. It turns out that I had mistakingly added these files to a batch of Quicktime files Gavin needed for a project we were co-producing. My next step was to get a ‘second opinion’ and so I took the tracks around to my studio engineer friend Tony Green… told him the ‘saga’… and as he listened (and mastered the album)… he told me… in a nice way… that I was an idiot for holding back this album. That why we need good friends!

How do we break down the 'Sacred vs. Secular' myth that is so prevalent in our society and the Church?

How do we break down the 'Sacred vs. Secular' myth that is so prevalent in our society and the Church?

Jon Foreman-Why Switchfoot Won't Sing Christian Songs

Roy recently shared with me a few thoughts by Jon Foreman and why Switchfoot won't be singing any Christian songs. I did some research and found that this was originally posted on Tim Challies blog 10 years ago in 2004. (Thank you Tim for sharing with us!)

Jon Foreman's words are as relevant today as they were 10 years ago. We have much road to travel in our understanding of the Church, the arts, and living in the realm of God's beauty, truth and goodness.

Read below...we'd love your comments on this important topic...let's keep this conversation going!

Responding to the idea that a book, a song, or a t-shirt simply can't be Christian, Jon said,

To be honest, this question grieves me because I feel that it represents a much bigger issue than simply a couple SF tunes. In true Socratic form, let me ask you a few questions: Does Lewis or Tolkien mention Christ in any of their fictional series? Are Bach’s sonata’s Christian? What is more Christ-like, feeding the poor, making furniture, cleaning bathrooms, or painting a sunset? There is a schism between the sacred and the secular in all of our modern minds. The view that a pastor is more “Christian” than a girls volleyball coach is flawed and heretical. The stance that a worship leader is more spiritual than a janitor is condescending and flawed. These different callings and purposes further demonstrate God’s sovereignty.

Many songs are worthy of being written. Switchfoot will write some, Keith Green, Bach, and perhaps yourself have written others. Some of these songs are about redemption, others about the sunrise, others about nothing in particular: written for the simple joy of music. None of these songs has been born again, and to that end there is no such thing as Christian music. No. Christ didn’t come and die for my songs, he came for me. Yes. My songs are a part of my life. But judging from scripture I can only conclude that our God is much more interested in how I treat the poor and the broken and the hungry than the personal pronouns I use when I sing. I am a believer. Many of these songs talk about this belief. An obligation to say this or do that does not sound like the glorious freedom that Christ died to afford me. I do have an obligation, however, a debt that cannot be settled by my lyrical decisions. My life will be judged by my obedience, not my ability to confine my lyrics to this box or that. We all have a different calling; Switchfoot is trying to be obedient to who we are called to be. We’re not trying to be Audio A or U2 or POD or Bach: we’re trying to be Switchfoot.

You see, a song that has the words: “Jesus Christ” is no more or less “Christian” than an instrumental piece. (I’ve heard lots of people say Jesus Christ and they weren’t talking about their redeemer.) You see, Jesus didn’t die for any of my tunes. So there is no hierarchy of life or songs or occupation only obedience. We have a call to take up our cross and follow. We can be sure that these roads will be different for all of us. Just as you have one body and every part has a different function, so in Christ we who are many form one body and each of us belongs to all the others. Please be slow to judge “brothers” who have a different calling.

Click below in the comments to respond to Jon's words...what do you say?

All is Bright by Kim Johnson

Merry Christmas from The Grove. It's not too late for you to grab some great new Christmas music! We're excited to announce All Is Bright, a brand new Christmas EP by our friend, Kim Johnson.

It's such a privilege to share wonderful Christmas music from a member of our Grove community of artists. If you want to be encouraged in your worship of Christ this Christmas and bless your friends with wonderful music, please share All Is Bright by Kim Johnson. Click below to grab your copy today! And Merry Christmas!

All is Bright by Kim Johnson

All is Bright by Kim Johnson