The Gift of “Joy Beyond the Sorrow: Indelible Grace VI” – Fathering Songs, Mothering Hymns, Carrying the Fire

In the moments of life’s greatest heights and life’s lowest depths, the hymns serve to center us upon the person of Jesus Christ.  For generation upon generation of faithful believers, the comfort and solace of the deep theological mysteries of the Gospel have drawn many brokenhearted to an ever deepening relationship amidst the pain and sorrow of life.  Hymns, historically, have served as the vehicle connecting the affections to the many ponderings of the mind.  For this Father’s Day, Indelible Grace is offering their 2010 Nashville Indelible Grace Hymnsing for free – all by Grace.

However, last summer, I was privileged to serve Belmont University’s Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) Pastor Kevin Twit, and founder of Indelible Grace, during the recording of Joy Beyond the Sorrow: Indelible Grace VI.  Serving in that capacity for the better part of nearly 2o years, Kevin has pastored and “fathered in the faith” some of Nashville’s most talented singer-song writers, Sandra McCracken, Matthew Perryman Jones, Andy Osenga, Jeremy Casella, and Matthew Smith, just to name a few.  The list is long and Kevin fingerprints can be seen far and wide in Nashville’s song writing and musician circles.

Since the IG albums played such a crucial role in my own sanctification and growth in Grace, this summer I packed up the essentials and put myself at Kevin’s feet from June through August as a summer RUF intern.  It was a blessing to behold.

I was introduced to Indelible Grace shortly after becoming a Christian in Del Rio, TX.  After listening to Dear Refuge of My Weary Soul from the initial Indelible Grace album, I did everything in my power to understand the power and theology behind the hymns.  Over the years, the search led me to the college ministry of Kevin Twit at Belmont, an amazing group of friends in Nashville, and put me on a path for Seminary where I am currently developing Biblical Counseling Through Song at Redeemer Seminary in Dallas, TX.  I agree with Jeremy Casella poignant words on the hymns:

These hymns do not water down reality.  We do ourselves, our communities, our families, and the world a disservice when we don’t sit in reality.  The Gospel is all about reality.  What these hymns have taught me are to sit in reality with the Gospel…I have literally sat in Church services, singing these hymns, and feeling my sanity restored.  I think it’s important to do resetting these old texts because they are so rich.  Kevin always talks about how they are “Theology on fire”.  When I first heard that, I remember thinking that was kind of an odd phrase, but as time went on and I really sat in these lyrics, I think He is right…They serve to reorient our heart to the Gospel.

– Jeremy Casella – Belmont RUF Grad and Indelible Grace contributor,
Roots and Wings: The Story of Indelible Grace

It was the poignancy of Sandra McCracken’s singing of Anne Steele‘s Dear Refuge of My Weary Soul that first drew me to the depths of Reformed Theology.  I did not begin with sound theology and then stumble into Indelible Grace.  In fact, the very opposite was true.  Within a few months of the Holy Spirit invading my heart, the art of Indelible Grace found me through the gift of a friend.  In reality, if I remember correctly, it was even a burned copy of the material which was initially out of order.

In my interaction with the deep affectionate lyric of Indelible Grace’s re-tuned hymns, it was the Spirit’s response to the deep truth of the hymns which led me to the deep waters of Reformed Theology.  The very reason that I am in seminary at Redeemer Seminary, a Reformed seminary in Dallas, is because of the role Kevin and Sandra played in restoring the hymns in exquisite, affectionate detail.  The beginnings of Biblical Counseling Through Song occured when I poped that burned Indelible Grace material into my car CD player.  My devotional life was forever changed.

Through these hymns, Christ had affected Kevin, Sandra, and the rest of the IG contributors and, in response to the Holy Spirit’s promptings, they were doing their best to shepherd the generational wealth of the hymns to faceless future and emerging generations in the Church.  I am merely one of those initial unknown faces that will be, Lord willing, seen around Jesus’s banqueting table in Heaven when we all get to worship Him in song face-to-face.

On the first full day of my 2012 summer internship on June 2, 2012, Kevin proved himself to be a “father in the faith” by guiding me through one of my life’s darkest nights.

This is my story during the rest of my summer RUF internship in Nashville.  It is a story of how Kevin’s former students (now some of Nashville’s deepest singer-songwriters) ministered to me amidst the pain, and the intimate chronicling of the work of God in giving to me, and to us, Joy Beyond the Sorrow.

Warren and Church - Dunmore

Dunmore Cemetery Front

Dunmore Cemetery Sign

Thomas Michael Murphy, Sr was dead: To begin with.  There is no doubt about that.

Thomas M. Murphy Tombstone

This is a story from Nashville, Tennessee to Dunmore, Pennsylvania and back again.  It is a story of the death of a father, the redemption of grief, and finding others along the path who, in bearing that shared burden, pointed our way to Christ, revealing the deep comfort of the Body of Christ amidst the misery.  It is the story of how a spiritual father in the faith drew near during a time of crisis and ministered by his very presence.  It is the story of the fruit of the death and grieving process of one of Kevin’s former student’s father that led to worship that night.   I pray that you are blessed to find friends such as these to trod together this vale of sorrows.  On this Father’s Day, and beyond, may you find Joy Beyond the Sorrow

“I have found that the very feeling which has seemed  to me most private, most personal and hence most incomprehensible by others, has turned out to be an expression for which there is a resonance in many other people.  It has led me to believe that what is most personal and unique in each one of us is probably the very element which would, if it were shared or expressed, speak most deeply to others.  This has helped me to understand artists and poets who have dared to express the unique in themselves.”

– Carl Rogers

Sadness, or duende, needs space to breathe. Melancholy hates haste and floats in silence. It must be handled with care.  All love songs must contain duende. For the love song is never truly happy. It must first embrace the potential for pain. Those songs that speak of love without having within in their lines an ache or a sigh are not love songs at all but rather Hate Songs disguised as love songs, and are not to be trusted. These songs deny us our humanness and our God-given right to be sad and the air-waves are littered with them.

– Matthew Perryman Jones, “Land of the Living” Noisetrade Interview

Calling upon the deep wisdom of Henri Nouwen, “It does indeed seem that the Christian leader is, first of all, the artist who can bind together many people by the courageous act of giving expression to his or her own most personal concerns.”  Kevin Twit is that kind of man.  An unfathomable wealth of information and wisdom gained together over faithful decades of ministry with college students at Belmont University in Nashville, Kevin, the “God Father” of the retuned hymn movement, has poured out his life for the good, and deepening, of the Church.

On the first full day of my summer internship with Kevin at Belmont Reformed University Fellowship (RUF), my Dad, Thomas Michael Murphy, Sr departed this earth and entered into Eternity.  The day of his passing, June 2nd, 2012, was a tough day.  The whole purpose of my internship was to sit at the feet of Kevin as he, and the contributing artists, crafted Indelible Grace’s sixth album, Joy Beyond the Sorrow.  The album hadn’t been named at that point, but it would prove to be a well chosen title.  For me, the summer of 2012 was a summer for grasping at finding Joy beyond the Sorrow of losing a Father.

“The love song must resonate with the susurration of sorrow, the tintinnabulation of grief. The writer who refuses to explore the darker regions of the heart will never be able to write convincingly about the wonder, the magic, and the joy of love for just as goodness cannot be trusted unless it has breathed the same air as evil – the enduring metaphor of Christ crucified between two criminals comes to mind here – so within the fabric of the love song, within its melody, its lyric, one must sense an acknowledgement of its capacity for suffering.”

– Matthew Perryman Jones, “Land of the Living” Noisetrade Interview

This blog post is devoted to three people – Our Father in Heaven, My Father in the Grave, and my Spiritual Father in the Faith, Reverend Kevin Twit – RUF Minister at Belmont University. It unpacks the deepened relationship I now have with all through the 2012 Summer recording of Joy Beyond the Sorrow: Indelible Grace VI.  It’s my best attempt to honor all three as they have shepherded me into all Truth.

“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

– Romans 5:1-5, ESV

“…Ministry can indeed be a witness to the living truth that the wound, which causes us to suffer now, will be revealed to us later as the place where God intimated a new creation.”

– Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Wounded Healer

“Come in!” exclaimed the Ghost. “Come in! and know me better, man!”  Scrooge entered timidly, and hung his head before this Spirit. He was not the dogged Scrooge he had been; and though the Spirit’s eyes were clear and kind, he did not like to meet them.  “I am the – Ghost of Christmas Present,” said the Spirit. “Look upon me!”

– Charles Dickens, Ghost of Christmas Present, A Christmas Carol

CarolPresentGhost

I hope the opening line above was not lost on you.  In Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, Charles began his masterpiece with a dramatic statement of fact, “Marley was dead: To begin with”.  Death is real and knocking upon our doors – now on the doors of our heart, but soon on the door we may only pass once.  That door, the physical death of our worldly bodies of flesh, is coming – there is no doubt about that.

Marley'sDead

In the popular Dickens tale, many think that A Christmas Carol is primarily unpacking the sentiments of the Christmas holiday.  He was actually, within the context of its writing, more concerned in the idea of Fathering and how the children of England, at the time, were being fathered amongst the broad economic growth spurt of the Industrial Revolution.  To a wealth drunk generation concerned with the increase of capitol at the expense of the nation’s progeny, he was beckoning for reform.

DickensDeepThought

Inspired by the British parliamentary report of February 1843, Second Report of the Children’s Employment Commission, Dickens planned in May 1843 to publish an inexpensive political pamphlet tentatively titled, “An Appeal to the People of England, on behalf of the Poor Man’s Child” to expose the effects of the Industrial Revolution upon poor children.  He, at first, had planned to write polemically, but the magnitude of the lives in the balance needed a more grand battle plan.

Second Report Children's Employment

Charles_Dickens-A_Christmas_Carol-Title_page-First_edition_1843

Where a polemic might have sufficed, Charles didn’t want the future of a generation of English boys and girls to be beholden to the intellectual curiosity of the elite.  He was after the heart of the Commonwealth.  Dickens changed his mind, deferring the pamphlet’s production until the end of the year. He wrote to Dr. Southwood Smith, one of eighty-four commissioners responsible for the Second Report, about his change in plans: “Thou will certainly feel that a Sledge hammer has come down with twenty times the force – twenty thousand times the force – I could exert by following out my first idea.” The pamphlet would become A Christmas Carol.

ghostofchristmasfuture scroogeGravestone

RepentantScrooge

Dickens used A Christmas Carol to stoke the fires of not only the intellect, but the heart affections and the will, of the English children’s caretakers.  He was reminding the Fathers of England of their own mortality and their responsibility to the following generations.  Likewise, Kevin Twit, in the  development of the Indelible Grace hymn movement with his Belmont RUF students over the course of the last twenty years or so, is after the heart of the Church, especially the Fathers.  Both Dickens and Twit are after our hearts in the Jewish sense – our inner man – our cognitions (our minds), our religious affections (our emotions), and our volitions (our will).

At the same time, Dickens both loved and, inappropriately, demonized his father – the unredeemed Scrooge, a cold, recluded miser, and the redeemed Scrooge, a benevolent, sociable man whose generosity and goodwill toward all men were a characterization that he acknowledged were based upon his tumultuous relationship with his father.

Scrooge at Work      08-The Distance

While Dickens’ humiliating childhood experiences are not directly described in A Christmas Carol, his conflicting feelings for his father as a result of those experiences are principally responsible for the dual personality of Ebenezer Scrooge.  The Marshalsea, a debtor’s prison, became known around the world in the 19th century through the writing of Charles Dickens, whose father was sent there in 1824 for a debt to a baker. In 1824, Charles was forced to take lodgings nearby, pawn his collection of books, leave school, and accept employment in a blacking factory.

Dickens developed nervous fits. When his father was released at the end of a three-month stint, young Dickens was forced to continue working in the factory, which only grieved and humiliated him further. He despaired of ever recovering his former happy life.  He was left despising his Father.  In like manner, I identify very deeply with Dicken’s journey from bitterness and anger to compassion towards his father.  For Charles, a Christmas Carol was not only reconciling the Fathers of England back to their children, but himself back to his own father.  Joy Beyond the Sorrow did the same for me last summer.

You see, my own Father experienced severe trauma in his own childhood and found solace within the prison of alcoholism.  I won’t go into the specifics now, but shall leave for another post for another day.  His alcoholism was a prison solidified with bars of shame and guilt from his experiences.  Dealing with the pain apart from Christ, alcohol was his escape. Last summer, in like manner, walking through the recording of Joy Beyond the Sorrow was my own “Christmas Carol experience” in which the anger and bitterness towards my own father was melted into compassion and unrequited love – a love that is expanding beyond the grave.  Putting myself in his shoes, apart from the Grace of Christ, I would have done the same.  That insight has been life changing.

As far as cultural movements, in the middle 19th century, a nostalgic interest in pre-Cromwell Christmas traditions swept Victorian England following the publications of Davies Gilbert‘s Some Ancient Christmas Carols (1822), William Sandys‘s Selection of Christmas Carols, Ancient and Modern (1833), and Thomas K. Hervey‘s The Book of Christmas (1837).  Hervey’s study of Christmas customs attributed their passing to regrettable social change and the urbanization of England.

Dickens was latching unto the “Zeitgeist” of the period and used the medium of Christmas to work through a piece to reconcile England to a more robust defense of its children, while at the same time personally reconciling himself back to his father.  For me this summer, helping Kevin was reconciling me back to my Father.  What the re-emergence of singing Christmas carols had done for Dickens in the 19th century, the retuned hymns of the Indelible Grace movement have done for me.  Let me explain.

01-Gave Me Art

You see, from birth, my Dad had given me a healthy sense of art.  The singular seagull flying into the distant sunset in the background of the above was my first experience with the visual arts.

02-Fashion

He gave me some pretty sweet fashion stylings.

03-Yankees

And he introduced me to my beloved Yankees and taught me the simple manly responsibilities of mowing the lawn for the family.

04-Teddy Bears

There were times of deep affection as a child, but they waned over time.  As I matured into a young adult, there was a seemingly inability to connect at a deep, loving Father-Son level.

05-Christmas

He gave me Christmases.

06-Easter

And Easters.  Well, Christmas and Easter were the only days he darkened the doors of the Catholic church where we grew up.  In retrospect, there were good reasons for that, but to a child, there were no absolute moorings to tie my boat upon.  I was adrift in a sea to find my own way spiritually.

07-Scouts

The practicality of scouting was imparted.  We built soapbox derby cars and went camping together at Boy Scout summer camps.

10-Seeking His Face

But the one area he lacked as a father, the most important in hindsight, of seeking the Lord’s face was never imparted.  You see, from the picture above, it is ingrained in us to seek out our father’s face.  I don’t remember this day, but my heart, in reaching out for my Dad’s face, might have been groping for the deeper face of the Father behind it all.

My Dad’s purpose was to image God.  He didn’t and I was angry.  I was a very angry child, seemingly well adjusted, but deeply angry at the world, while trying to be perfect in the eyes of others.  Behind it all, I wanted to be loved.  I wanted joy.  I wanted to please my father.  Yet, all I felt was sorrow – an inescapable longing for the transcendent.  I looked in many places, most of which were seemingly very healthy – academics, sports, social engagements, girl friends, and self service.  Yet, nothing seemed to satisfy.  Yet, through my own Dad’s imperfections, my desire for the One, True Fatherhood of God was only magnified.  It was a hidden Grace tucked into the suffering.

I knew something was deeply amiss, but, apart from Christ, I couldn’t put my finger on it.  Like any good Pharisee prior to my conversion in 2004, I was left with kluging a relationship together from the culture’s idea of who Jesus is and from my sparse liberalized, Catholic catechism training.  I knew Jesus had died, but did not fully realize that he had to die because of me.  I thought I was good and that God smiled upon me regardless of my actual relationship with his Son – Jesus.  I was lost, deeply lost, and groping for a Father.

Fast forward to the summer of 2012 in Nashville.  Day 2, first full day, of my internship with Kevin.

On that same night my Dad passed away, I gave Kevin a call to let him know that I needed to return home to Pennsylvania, as the oldest of three siblings, to eulogize and bury my father.

It was in those moments that Kevin stepped in to be God’s appointed “father in the faith” that night and for the rest of the summer.  He asked me if I wanted to be alone or to join in a social event.  I really didn’t want to be alone.

Screen shot 2013-06-15 at 4.56.29 AM

In response, Kevin invited me to Matthew Perryman Jones’s “Land of the Living” CD release at the Exit/In.  You see, the Land of the Living album had been, in large part, MPJ’s response to his own father’s passing.

On that night, God had sovereignly arranged to use Kevin Twit as the instrument of His Grace in order to have me worship alongside his former student that was taking solace in the passing of his own Father.  Unbeknownst to Kevin, he was connecting me to Matthew, so that Matthew could minister to me, ushering me through one of the most difficult nights of my life.  Stones in the River Bed, The Angels Were Singing, Waking Up the Deadand Land of the Living from the album were my anthems that summer.  Land of the Living helped me walk through the grief and make sense of the suffering of laying a Father in the grave.  The Lord used Kevin, Matthew, and Sandra that night – my heart melted as Matthew and Sandra performed The Angels Were Singing.  This was the video from that night someone else had shot.

Few albums are polished gems, crafted to last the ages.  It seems Joy Beyond the Sorrow: Indelible Grace VI might be one of those albums which our children will gift to their children.  This summer, God’s Grace granted generations to gift the Church with this gem.  Throughout the summer, Kevin unselfishly poured himself out for the sake of his students, and, by tagging along for the ride – serving where I was able, I was deeply blessed.

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

Deuteronomy 6:4-7, ESV

After returning from my early departure for my Dad’s funeral, my first day tagging along with Kevin in the studio was with Katy Bowser and her daughter, Story.  I wrote of Katy’s singing and slight lyric changing on “I Am Jesus’s, Little Lamb” during one of her takes early this year.  It was one of those moments that I thought needed chronicling as I sat in amazement of a mother singing over her daughter.  It was a slight lyric change from “me” to “you”.

Katy, Story, and Cason

It is not uncommon for the Indelible Grace recording studio to be a meeting place for the generations and to feel like a mini family reunion.  By all means, it was.  This album, like the preceding five Indelible Grace albums, is an amalgamation of a few generations of Belmont students binding themselves in service together to serve the greater cause of “retuning” the hymns, communicating the riches of Christ to the hearts of an emerging generation.

As one example, spurred on by the work of the Jesus Storybook Bible  by Sally Lloyd-Jones, the Rain for Roots mothers, Sandra McCracken, Flo Paris, Katy Bowser, and Ellie Holcomb are leading the charge in writing hymns of the Big Story for our little ones.  Now, every bedtime story and morning devotional can not only whisper, but sing, His name.  There are many other Belmont grads which are on similar paths listed as resources below – the depth of the list is just too much to cover here.  The recent emergence of the newest Slugs and Bugs: Sing the Bible – Vol 1 and the Story Warren are two additional outworkings happening in Nashville by some of Kevin’s former students.  Once again, not directly from Kevin himself, but his contribution to the discipleship of some of the contributors is clearly seen.

Led and produced by Belmont Campus Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) Pastor Kevin Twit, the Indelible Grace contributing artists are not only carrying the fire of these hymns to our generation, but, stacking the kindling and fanning the embers of the generation who sit at their feet.  As fathers and mothers of their own little ones, they are pouring into their own children’s catechesis by fathering songs and mothering hymns of the character, nature, and Glory of God.  Last year, I captured how Katy Bowser Hutson recorded I Am Jesus’s Little Lamb with her daughter Story.  It was a Rain for Roots tune that had made its way on to the Indelible Grace VI album.  Her slight lyric change from “me” to “you” with Story in her arms was the first time I saw God moving in even the nuances of “in the moment” lyric improvisation, but it wasn’t the last time I caught the Holy Spirit at work in even the minor details.  It, literally, gave me the chills.  Duende

Kevin and Former Students

With these cherished Belmont alumni as His instruments, God is working a spiritual revolution of how the hymns pass the faith to the next generation of Christ followers.  It is nothing new.  It is simply the re-emergence of the old with renewed fervency.  It is the old, old road which is best remembered and trodden, no matter how thick the overgrowth.

As I researched the recording schedule of that week I had missed, Matthew Smith was recording Let Me Find Thee, which Kevin sent out in a Kickstarter update during that week.  It’s a song that is loaded with duende.  It was a song that met me in my grief, at just the right time, and allowed me to identify with Christ as my wounded healer – bearing the grief along with me as I trod through those dark days.

Let Me Find Thee
Lyrics – Joachim Neander
Music – Matthew S. Smith

1. Behold me here, in grief draw near, Pleading at Thy throne oh King. 
To Thee each tear, each trembling fear, Jesus Son of Man I bring. 
Let me find Thee, Let me find Thee. 
Let me find Thee, Lord of mercy King of grace. 

2. Look down in love, and from above, With Thy Spirit satisfy. 
Thou hast sought me, Thou hast bought me, And thy purchase Lord am I. 
Let me find Thee, Let me find Thee. 
Let me find Thee, Here on earth and then on high. 

3. Hear the broken, scarcely spoken, Longings of my heart to thee 
All the crying, all the sighing, Of Thy child accepted be. 
Let me find Thee, Let me find Thee. 
Let me find Thee, Wounded healer, suffering Lord.

However, I was also present during Andy Osenga’s takes on “For the Bread Which You Have Broken” by Louis Benson.  During his vocal recording session, he, like Katy, was making a slight lyric change as well from “Father’s board” to “Father’s hand”.

01-Kevin

Andy and Kevin chatted about it and decided to stick with Benson’s lyric choice of “board”.  In that moment I snapped a picture on my iPhone as three generations of Belmont folks (Kevin Twit, Jordan Gudmestad, and Andy Osenga) were working together to bring “For the Bread…” to our ears.

02-Kevin and Kids

The picture is of Andy inside of the sound booth singing under a picture of his and his daughter’s, Sadie, feet taken by a family friend.  I thought it amazing that a Dad was recording for future generations to come, including his daughter Sadie, of the Grace provided by Christ in the Lord’s supper.  Andy was a father singing of the Glory of being seated at our “Father’s board”.

03-Culture of Pouring Out1

For the Bread Which You Have Broken
Lyrics – Louis Benson (alt Kevin Twit)
Music – Kevin Twit

1. For the bread which you have broken
For the wine which you have poured,
For the words, which you have spoken,
Now we, give you thanks O’ Lord

2. By this pledge that you do love us,
By your gift of peace restored,
By your call to heaven before us,
Sanctify out lives O’ Lord.

3. With our sainted ones in glory,
Seated at our Father’s board,
May the Church that waits now for Thee
Keep love’s tie unbroken, Lord.

4. In your service Lord defend us,
In our hearts keep watch and ward;
In the world where’r you send us
May your kingdom come O’ Lord.

It was in that moment that I saw the depth of “For the Bread…” as the deep truths unfolded in my heart.  This communion hymn was marrying the Lord’s supper, as a form of Grace in our Sanctification, to our own suffering with Christ’s as we endure our sojourn in this veil of tears (Colossians 1:24-29).  The “board” was referring to the Supper and to the Suffering of Christ.

05-Inside the Booth

With the lyric selection of “Father’s board“, Benson in the form of a double entendre was showing the dual nature of the Lord’s supper.  It is a meal which binds us to one another by feasting on the body and blood of our dear Savior at table, but also ushers us as a community into the riches of sharing in Christ’s afflictions on the cross.  The Father’s board is a table.  The Father’s board is also a cross.  The table is to be shared “as often as we eat and drink” of the Lord’s supper (1 Cor 11:23-26) and our own crosses to be taken up and carried “daily” (Luke 9:23-24).  The Father’s board is a unified sharing – of His supper and of His suffering.

Now, this is really good Theology.  The form of the hymn allowed the Holy Spirit to reveal this deep mystery.  Where polemic might work well enough, poetry set to song, in the form of the hymn, has the power to elevate our worship to duende.

At the same time, I saw how the deep, deep love of one Father, Kevin, was imparted to one of his students, Andy Osenga.  You really can’t escape Andy’s recording studio space without seeing his deep love for his children, even on his guitar pedals.  Every time a pedal change is required, Andy looks down to see the below on his pedals.  You can tell Andy is a great dad, not only by what he surrounds himself in his studio with, but in his lastest album, “Leonard, the Lonely Astronaut“.  Although the concept album is too much to get into in this post, needless to say, it’s an album on the ups and downs of marriage, quite literally to Space, that even the most non-sensitive of Fathers can appreciate.  Heck, it was shot in Andy’s own life-size spaceship made by a bunch of friends in our Rabbit Room community.

04-PouringOut2

This summer I was glad to be a part of the Joy Beyond the Sorrow  album.  I am a more mature believer for dwelling with the fathers and mothers, the sisters and brothers, the students and pastors, the parents and children which make up the Indelible Grace community.

This is merely one story from this summer of one man’s sorrow overcome by Joy in the midst of deep suffering.  I am sure that there are many others.  May God grant you your own Joy beyond the Sorrow during whatever season you find yourself.

If I could gift three albums to my own Dad this Father’s Day, it would be Joy Beyond the Sorrow: Indelible Grace VI, The Land of the Living, and Leonard, the Lonely Astronaut.  If your Dad loves music, this is a trifecta that will last the ages.  They are three recently released albums that are bound to be generational classics.  Since I can’t this year, might you honor my Dad, Kevin, and God as Father by gifting to your Dad?

It’s still not too late.

On the eve of this Father’s Day, I commend the purchase of Joy Beyond the Sorrow, at least.  No matter the season of suffering you are in right now; whether walking through current suffering, about to walk through suffering, or walking out of a season of suffering, this album can help give an eternal perspective, acting as an instrument in your healing.  Our Fathers need to hear this album, while they can.  We, as children, need to hear this album.  We, as prospective future Fathers, need to hear this album.  One thing for sure – Fathers must guide their families through the tumultuous seas of suffering.  The question is – “Will our Fathers, Husbands, and Sons be ready?”

Joy Beyond the Sorrow Cover

Some of the Indelible Grace artists:

Brian Moss – http://www.prayerbookproject.com/
Chris Miner – http://www.igracemusic.com/hymnbook/authors/christopher_miner.html
Derek Webb – http://www.derekwebb.com/home
Ellie Holcomb – http://drewholcomb.com/
Emily DeLoach – https://www.facebook.com/emilydeloach
Flo Paris – https://www.facebook.com/floparismusic
Jeremy Casella – http://www.jeremycasella.com/
Katy Bowser – http://noisetrade.com/katybowser/katy-bowser-all-of-my-friends
Kevin Twit – http://belmont.ruf.org/
Matthew Perryman Jones – http://www.mpjmusic.com/
Matthew Smith – http://matthewsmith.us/
Morgan Bennett – http://indeliblegrace.bandcamp.com/track/hast-thou-heard-him-seen-him-known-him
Rain for Roots – http://rainforroots.com/
Sandra McCracken – http://www.sandramccracken.com/

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