caught in the moment…. Easter reflection

Caught in the Moment

We wanted to write a song that lyrically and musically captured the tension we face in our daily lives. I remember when we wrote verse 2 of this song…”I feel the friction, the place where earth and heaven meet, caught in a landslide of my humanity, in the midst of life’s mystery I hold to this certainty.” The pictures in my mind as we wrote those words were of the natural disasters that are taking place all around the world, and the acts of violence and terror that randomly occur and affect our lives. I was reflecting on the chaos and fear we feel during these times. I also kept picturing a man that kept sliding and wasn’t able to get steady footing, he kept falling down, as if he was caught in a landslide.
When all around the world gives way we are called to let the Father be our hope and the certainty we hold onto. We are called to be awake and alert in this restless, tension-filled time in history and to give an account of the hope we have to all the folks we come across. We are to bear the message of the words in the chorus that sings…”The grave declares, Your work is done, each new days shouts You’ve overcome! You broke the curse, You set us free, now we rehearse our victory!” With all the moments we face everyday, I pray that hope is the moment you get caught in at the end of the day.
This song reflects that we were not meant to live under the curse of sin and death, or even generational curses that can be passed down from our parents and their parents before them, but we are called to live free and to rehearse our victory! We are caught in the moments between blessing and cursing, life and death, which will you choose?
Our new record begins with the song ‘Join in the Sound ‘and it also ends with the chorus to ‘Join in the Sound’ to remind us that we are called to join in the sound of creation and to rehearse the victory that God has released in our lives!

join in the sound….behind the song

Jesus added His voice as a harmony to the old testament prophets by what He said and did.
The disciples added their voice and harmony to Jesus and the old testament by what they said and did.
We are called to add our voice and harmony to the old testament, Jesus and the disciples by what we say and do. The prayer of the first verse of this songs sings to Jesus…
“Let me move in the rhythm of Your love and prepare
the way as Your kingdom comes.”
Join in the sound is a song of praise but it also is a song of proclamation!
To be the people that carry the voice of Jesus wherever we go and in whatever we do.
It’s a proclamation that says my voice matters and that I too can influence others to love and add their voice and their lives to the kingdom of God as well.
It’s a proclamation that says I will be a part of making things right and fixing what is broken on this earth.
It’s a proclamation to add our voice to the ancients and the great cloud of witnesses that the book of Hebrews talks about, and to run with perseverance and love in this journey of life set before us.
It’s a proclamation to practice the resurrection of our savior in our daily lives. The end of the songs shouts “fill every heart and every space with glory like the waters cover the sea.” That is our prayer, that God would put the world back to rights and that He would use us to be a part of fulfilling that work.

chris

all around song story from our new record called join in the sound

All Around

This song started with a verse from an old hymn that sings, “All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, all things wise and wonderful, oh God our God, You made them all.”

I’ve always loved that line, and it has always played itself out in my mind.
After God created the world he said that it was good! It’s amazing to think about the story of God that’s playing out all around us and sometimes all we need to do to be reminded of this is to look up.
It’s amazing when you think that God spoke and creation came into being. That was the thought behind Verse One of this song that sings, “You spoke the endless sky, every star that has ever shined, You sowed the day to night and the world to the hands of time.”
This ties so deeply into the Join in the Sound theme, how God set the scene for creation that we are apart of. Verse 2 sings, “The rocks they sing Your praise, even valleys declare Your name, from the dust of the barren plain, to the heights of the mountain great.”
A few months back, while my brother and I were in Colorado, we got invited to go on a hike with some of our family from Integrity Music and I was not prepared for it. I only had a clunky pair of boots on the trip and I am really out of shape, so needless to say I didn’t think I would enjoy it. But after about 10 minutes into the hike I started to really get into the spirit of it! One of the main things I remember were the huge rocks that would be in our path that we would have to maneuver around without falling into the little stream next to us. I fell in the water a few times giving the others a good laugh!
When we were writing this verse that memory was in my head of those huge rocks and how hard life can be trying to avoid the rocks and the valleys we come up against. But ultimately, God promises to use and work together for good all the things that happen to us, to those who love Him. Remember that all God does and makes is good! His plan for you and me is good!
Also, in the book of Genesis, we can see that God brought all the animals to Adam and allowed Adam to use his creativity and add his voice to the creation narrative by naming the animals. So we can plainly see that Adam joined in the sound of creation and that God is calling us to do the same today! So look up! The story of God is unfolding all around through creation and through your life! We are called to be partners with God in creation at this moment in time, and to improvise through the Spirit inside and exercise our God given freedom.

Brothers McClurg

Join in the sound!!!! Released!! Now!!

We are excited for you to hear our new record Join in the Sound! After 2 years of writing and producing these songs, we are humbled and ready to release them from our hearts to yours. Join in the Sound is about adding your voice to the harmony of Heaven that is being released here on earth! Through our talents, the Lord has given each of us something seperate and unique that is important to completing the work He has begun on earth. We feel these songs embody the highs and lows we feel on a weekly basis. Each track on this record plays into the next, with a common theme of God redeeming and giving purpose to every moment of our lives. Allowing us to see His handiwork in the good and bad times, and helping us to join in the sound of praise. We pray these songs will inspire you. Like David in the Bible, who sang in the valleys and caves as well as on the throne of Israel, we too are called to worship God at all times. We love you and appreciate your support. Please download this record or purchase it from your local Christian bookstore.

Your friends,

Brothers mcclurg

The story and purpose behind the opening track called tune up from our record join in in the sound!!

When we come together as a band, the first 5 or 10 minutes is spent getting our instruments warm and tuned up so that we can play in harmony with one another. Every time a choir get’s together they do vocal warm ups, similar with playing any sport or exercise there is time spent warming up. Even with our day jobs there is time spent in physical or mental preparation. It seems that generally in life you never jump into anything without some sort of prep time. When we come to church on Sunday we are rehearsing by singing songs and hearing a stirring message that will prepare us for what will happen Monday through Saturday. So it seemed fitting to open this new record the same way. Join in the sound, for us, is a musical journey of prayers that are for different moments that we face during the week. Every day our journey should begin with a simple prayer to the father that says tune my heart to sing your praise!!

Chris

the prayer collective part 2……

I feel like the Holy Spirit has drawn me into a new understanding of prayer by participating in the ‘Prayer Collective.’ Each week I look forward to coming and partaking. It’s like a never ending gift exchange between the Holy Spirit and myself, where we converse and break bread together. He opens my eyes a little further each week as I worship. He helps me to re-imagine my desires and life goals and how to pursue them in light of eternal value. To build up treasure in Heaven and not on this earth, where moth and rust can destroy as the word says. All of us invest in lots of things for our future…our retirement fund, our kid’s college education and the list goes on. Our treasure can be seen in the things we invest our time and money in, and sadly a lot of what we invest in does not have eternal heavenly value. When I think of prayer one of the things I think about is eternal investment, for us, our children, our communities and most importantly to bless the Father’s heart. What better way to spend your time? When you think of treasure as being the things you invest in do you see prayer as one of them? I know we all say little prayers throughout the day and that’s good, but what I’m talking about here is time set aside each week to just sit and thank God. A time to sit back and think upon Him, a time to bless Him with your whole heart and give Him all of your attention. As the old chorus sings, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.” When we take time to look into the fullness of God and praise Him He always changes our perspective from an earthly self-focused mind set to a mind and heart attuned to Heaven’s song. The ‘Prayer Collective’ has become that kind of place for myself and many others. A place to come and touch the Lord’s beauty with no other agenda. A sacred kind of space and time set aside each week to just be with Him. I would love my treasure to be full of prayer because I’m learning that spending time with the Father is precious. Mary had the right idea sitting at the feet of Jesus pouring her perfume in worship. In our society, in a lot of ways, time is seen as money. With that thought in mind, spending time in worship and prayer can sometimes be seen as a waste. The one who holds eternity in His hands saw Mary’s costly gift and He see’s our costly gift of time spent with Him as well. If prayer is the link to seeing significant change in our area don’t you think it’s time to come together as one in prayer for WNY? I believe this eternal investment is already drawing us into new relationships with each other. People from different churches and denominations continue to open one another’s eyes to the plans God has for each and every one of us. I invite you to come to the ‘Prayer Collective’ to sit, pray, sing and add your voice to the collective of non-denominational and unconventional voices rising to the heart of our Lord. Like Mary, let’s pour out all we have like perfume to Him because He is worth it all!

Chris

the prayer collective…..

On a Monday night, a few weeks back, a friend Karl and I strummed our guitars and sang prayers with folks at Lafayette Church in downtown Buffalo.  The church has been hosting a worship and prayer gathering called ‘The Prayer Collective’ where worship leaders from all over the area gather throughout the week to intercede for our churches and all of western NY.  Monday, March 19th was my first slot to play for this initiative.  When Karl and I started to play our guitars and sing, prayers started to come out of our depths, song-prayers about patience and self control.  As we were singing it came to me that a lot of the worship songs written are about love, peace, joy, and faithfulness, but what about all the other fruits of the spirit/virtues?  What about patience, self control, gentleness, kindness and goodness?  Rarely do you hear worship songs and/or see art being made about these other fruits of the spirit.  Sorry for getting away from the story for a minute, but I want to challenge you artists and songsters, as I have challenged myself, to create art and write songs about these other fruits.  I mean all of these attributes are what make up the fullness of God and the spirit within us.  Anyway, back to the story…as we sang about patience, I felt the spirit speaking to me about the Hymn ‘Nothing but the Blood’ and as we sang, this prayer came out, “Oh precious is the flow that doesn’t just make me white as snow, found in the blood of Jesus.”  What I felt the spirit was saying to me was that there is a flow to our lives, a rhythm so to speak, that the Holy Spirit wants to teach us to walk in a certain flow that He has for each of us.  That Jesus’ blood isn’t just for salvation but for us to walk in the fullness of God in our daily lives.  In that He will teach us patience and what it means to wait on Him and to find the flow he intends for us.  Self control is tied to patience in a big way.  Control of knowing when to act and when to rest, a time to speak and a time to be silent, and for those of us trying to lose weight (myself included) a time to eat and a time not to over eat, ha-ha.  In those moments of prayer, I realized again how often in life I get depressed when things don’t go the way I had planned.  How disappointments can crush my spirit and bring me down but I don’t want to live that way.  I want to live trusting and patiently waiting on God for my daily bread.  To submit every inspired idea or question I have to Him and let Him work it out.  Only by being patient and waiting on God can I find real perspective and strength to carry on.  When we get depressed and tired of waiting on God we lose our self control by doing a myriad of things that are not pleasing to God.  As Karl and I drove home we talked about the areas in our lives that we need to wait on God and learn patience in.  We encouraged one another to leave all of our questions with Jesus and see what He does.  The important part to remember when our patience gets tried is to call to mind all the promises of God that He made to us.  He will provide our every need, and in the end that’s all that really matters.  As unpredictable as life is it’s good to know that God’s promises never change for us.

 

So, I pray that the precious flow of Christ’s blood wouldn’t just make you white as snow but would also flow through your mortal body and help you find the flow He intends for you.  Be patient and self controlled because He will fulfill in you the plan He has for you in His own time not yours.

 

Chris