Christ has no body now but yours, no hands, no feet on earth but yours

Christ has no body now but yours,
no hands, no feet on earth but yours.
Yours are the eyes with which He sees,
Yours are the feet with which He walks,
Yours are the hands with which
He blesses all the world:
Yours are the hands.

Christ Has No Body Now But Yours (feat. Josh Garrels) from Work Songs by The Porter’s Gate Worship Project.

In June 2017, musicians, pastors, writers, and scholars from around the country gathered together in NYC to collaborate on a series of worship songs for a new worship record themed around faith and vocation. The lyrics are from a prayer by Teresa of Avila circa 1571. Music by David Ogden and published by The Royal School of Church Music (admin. by GIA Publications, Inc.). Used by permission. Filmed, recorded, and mixed by Mason Jar Music.

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I love my Babylon; Oh my Lord I’m your enemy

Oh great mammon of form and function; careless consumerist consumption; dangerous dysfunction, disguised as expensive taste. I’m a people disgraced by what I claim I need and what I want to waste. I take no account for nothing if it’s not mine. It’s a misappropriation of funds; protect my ninety percent with my guns. Whose side am I on? Well who’s winning?

My kingdom’s built with the blood of slaves, orphans, widows, and homeless graves. I sold their souls just to build my private mansion. Some people say that my time is coming: Kingdom come is the justice running down, down, down on me. I’m a poor child, I’m a lost son; I refuse to give my love to anyone, fight for the truth, or help the weaker ones, because I love my Babylon. I am a slave, I was never free. I betrayed you for blood money. Oh I bought the world, all its vanity. Oh my Lord I’m your enemy.—Josh Garrels, Zion & Babylon

 

Josh Garrels has spent more than a decade crafting music that cuts clean through. Resting in the space between accessibility and honesty, Garrels’ songs wrestle with and celebrate the mystery of faith with authenticity and heart. Cultivating a genre-blending mix of folk and hip hop, Garrels’ music explores themes of compassion, hope, longing, and liberation.

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Just a few honest words shouldn’t be that hard

Ben Sollee is not only an unconventional cellist, but also an unconventional human being. In 2012, he took his cello, walked up the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and began to perform. It’s not legal to do that, but, Ben Sollee — the guy who bikes his cello across the country — is not a follower.

From Ben Sollee:

“There are so many people dealing with fundamental challenges in their lives at this moment: food, shelter, clean water, etc. These are things that are not debatable or points of policy; they are human needs. I’m hoping we can keep the human-to-human conversation going. That’s what we truly need to sort through natural disasters, healthcare policy, education, or anything as a country. We are too often willing to sacrifice honest, sincere discussion for winning and losing teams.”

The following video captures the moments in the shadow of Lincoln amid a throng of tourists.

“If you’re going to lead my country. If you’re gonna say it’s free. I’m gonna need a little honesty. Just a few honest words. It shouldn’t be that hard. Just a few honest words is all I need.” — Ben Sollee, A Few Honest Words, Learning To Bend (2008)

Source: First Watch: Ben Sollee, ‘A Few Honest Words’ : All Songs Considered : NPR

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Has the church become more of a luxury cruise ship than a rescue boat?

America has kicked God out of the country and now it is time for Christians to do their part to invite Him back in, according to contemporary Christian singer and songwriter Michael W. Smith. Even if this were true, (Ed Stetzer believes “The Church is not dying. It is just being more clearly defined. So for those who really don’t have any skin in the game, shedding the label makes sense.”) how do we invite Him back in? Luxury cruises or more care for the poor and needy out on the streets?

Tickets for his upcoming Unforgettable Christian Cruise to Alaska (and similar) are up to $10,000. “There’s just something about a gathering of the family of God in a gorgeous setting, on a luxurious ship, that leads to memories you never forget.” he says.

America’s homeless population has risen this year for the first time since the Great Recession, propelled by the housing crisis afflicting the west coast, according to a new federal study. The study has found that 553,742 people were homeless on a single night this year, a 0.7% increase over last year.

One ticket to Michael W. Smith’s Alaskan cruise (or something similar by a variety of singers and speakers in the Christian circuit) could buy 10,000 pairs of socks for the homeless. Has the church become more of a luxury cruise ship to keep people comfortable within the Christian bubble than a rescue boat? In times like these, perhaps we spend less on lavish cruises and tours and start handing out socks to the homeless. It could lead to memories they never forget.

Source: America’s homeless population rises for the first time since the Great Recession

 

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Melt the guns, and never more to fire them

Programmes of violence, as entertainment, brings the disease into your room. We know the germ, which is man-made in metal, is really a key to your own tomb. Prevention is better than cure, bad apples affecting the pure, you’ll gather your senses I’m sure then agree to, melt the guns, melt the guns, melt the guns, and never more to fire them. Melt the guns, melt the guns, melt the guns, and never more desire them. Children will want them, mothers supply them, as long as your killers are heroes. And all the media will fiddle while Rome burns, acting like modern-time Neros. — XTC, Melt the Guns (1982)

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Wovenhand’s David Eugene Edwards speaks at length to pastor Jonathan Hanley

Everything is through his Son at the moment, so it’s just being shown who he is. You know, this is eternal life – to continue to know who he is. The whole meaning of his Word is mercy. That’s the point of the Word. There is no religion that is real. There is just God and he’s there. He is merciful. We are not merciful. I am in need of the eternal intercession of my Saviour.

Source: Wovenhand: David Eugene Edwards speaks at length to pastor Jonathan Hanley – Wovenhand

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Mavis Staples – “Little Bit”

Legendary soul singer, Mavis Staples (with the help of Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy), confronts Trump’s America on ‘If All I Was Was Black’ out on Nov. 17. “We’re not loving one another the way we should,” she says. “We just strayed into division.” In the wake of exclusionary rhetoric about race coming from the streets and even the White House, the duo set out to address the fissures dividing the country. “The song [Little Bit] is a cautionary anthem of all the ways in which those regarded as suspicious have to weigh their actions just to survive day to day.”

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We want freedom and we want it now

“Resist when they try and tell you who is and ain’t your neighbor. Resist when they tell you that the love of money’s your only goal. We want freedom and we want it now.” — Rev. Sekou, Resist (2017)

Rev. Sekou (Reverend Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou) is a third generation Pentecostal-Holiness Church minister from Zent, Arkansas, who stepped out of the pulpit, taking his motivational message to the streets with In Times Like These. As critical civil rights issues continue to be in the national spotlight, Sekou draws on the functional intent of music to chronicle the frustrations of a mistreated population.

See: Rev. Sekou: In Times Like These

From the album: In Times Like These

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Why ask men to help you through, there’s a higher power

“When burdens seem to overcome, there’s a higher power. Whose faithful and refuses none, there’s a higher power. Then why ask men to help you through, there’s a higher power. They’re helpless pilgrims just like you, there’s a higher power.” – Buddy Miller, There’s a Higher Power

Buddy Miller is an American singer, songwriter, musician, recording artist and producer. Miller is married to and has recorded with singer-songwriter Julie Miller. Universal United House of Prayer is Buddy Miller’s fifth solo album, released in 2004. “There’s a Higher Power” was written by Charlie Louvin and Ira Louvin.

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Jim James wishes Trump would deal with his issues and insecurities and become a better man

“I feel very sorry for him. I wish he would go to therapy and deal with his issues and insecurities to become a better man and thus a better President. There are clearly so many outdated defense mechanisms he developed as a child because he still behaves like one. I wish he could go in and really address those and become a man who values honesty and equality. It is possible but I fear it is too late for him. I am done projecting hate of any kind towards him or anyone else.” — Jim James

See: My Morning Jacket’s Jim James on hope, change, and President Trump

James Edward Olliges, Jr., professionally known as Jim James or Yim Yames, is an American vocalist, guitarist, producer, and primary songwriter of the rock band My Morning Jacket. Although chiefly known as the frontman of My Morning Jacket, Jim James played a wider role in indie rock during the early 21st century, appearing on albums by several artists while also pursuing a small solo career under the alias of Yim Yames.

He made his solo debut with 2009’s Tribute To, a short collection of George Harrison covers recorded shortly after the guitarist’s death in 2001. In 2008, during a My Morning Jacket tour, James fell off the stage and was seriously injured, forcing the band to cancel the rest of its dates. During his recuperation, he did a great deal of self-reflection. He read the 1929 graphic novel God’s Man by Lynd Ward, which had been given to him by the artist Gary Burden. James was deeply affected by the book. In 2010, he began writing and recording on his own in bits and spurts. He played all instruments, sang all vocals, and produced the album, Regions of Light and Sound of God in 2013. In 2016 he released his second solo album, Eternally Even, his most political statement since emerging from the Louisville, Kentucky, indie rock scene in the late 1990s.

James positions himself as a seeker. He’s practiced transcendental meditation since 2009, and he has long incorporated Christianity and Zen musings into his lyrics. But where his songs have often achieved an easy spiritual take-off, his latest dwells on eschatological matters. The end, James seems to sing over and over again, is nigh.

His song “The World’s Smiling Now” (video below) samples “It’ll All Be Over” released in 1980 by the Supreme Jubilees, a group of brothers and cousins (and an unrelated guitarist) from the Witness of Jesus Christ church in Fresno, California.

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