You may have gathered from some of the other posts that I enjoy listening to Casting Crowns. I find the lyrics of their songs to be God-honoring, challenging, convicting and encouraging. I can relate to several of them on a personal level, both from my present and past (American Dream, Praise You In This Storm, Slow Fade, Jesus Hold Me Now/Prodigal). Perhaps my favorite song was and is Voice Of Truth from their debut album. This was a personal song that we related to our son Isaac both before and after his death. As we watched him face his giants of allergy and asthma ailments with such courage, that song seemed to play in the background of his life. That is the reason that we chose it as one of the songs in the video created for his funeral and memorial services.
This fall, Casting Crowns released their fifth studio album titled Come To The Well. After listening to it several times, my opinion is that this is their best musical and lyrical offering thus far. Most of the musical content may be adaptable to a “popular” audience, noting that there are two “harder-edged” (by adult contemporary standards :-)) songs: Courageous and My Own Worst Enemy. I will review each song individually for its lyrical and thematic content. Please note that these descriptions represent my interpretations of the meaning of each song.
- Courageous – This is the title song to the movie of the same name. It is a call to men to get off the sidelines and be the active spiritual leaders of their families, calling them to stand “on their knees with lifted hands”. From a personal level, this is a great challenge for me to do consistently day after day.
- City On The Hill – A sad account of the state of the church, where we allow our minor and often God-given differences to divide rather than work together for God’s glory. Thus, our light is fading rather than shining bright to a searching world.
- Jesus, Friend Of Sinners – Often in our enthusiasm, convictions and perhaps self-righteous indignation, we cut down and condemn others rather than trying to reach their hearts as Jesus Christ did. As a result, the world sees what we are against more than what we are for. Dear Jesus, “open our eyes to the world at the end of our pointing fingers”.
- Already There – In our journey with the Lord, we often can’t understand our present circumstances or see where our path is headed. However, the One who is the beginning and the end has orchestrated a good and masterful plan for His children through the chaos of this life.
- The Well – Jesus is our source of living water, as he explained to the woman at the well in Samaria. How often do we try to satisfy the longings of our soul with things of this world that cannot ultimately satisfy. Are we digging broken cisterns that can’t hold water?
- Spirit Wind – A song about Ezekiel’s vision of the Spirit bringing life to the valley of dry bones and how our spiritually dry churches are in need of a refreshing filling of the Holy Spirit, if we truly desire Him.
- Just Another Birthday – On her 16th birthday, a girl longs to see and hear from her father, but he does not show. By her 19th birthday, she has still not heard from him and she has given herself away to another man, who only uses her. Alone and pregnant, she cries out to Jesus for help, begging for a father. At 21, she marvels at her little girl who is the gift from her heavenly Father to break the chains and draw her to Him. This song reminds us fathers how important it is for us to be there for our daughters.
- Wedding Day – One of the two songs on this album that brings me to or near to tears every time. A moving song about the wedding supper of the The Lamb and His bride, who does not realize how beautiful she really is clothed in His righteousness. Absolutely beautiful…
- Angel – A song that Mark Hall wrote about his wife Melanie and how she has always been an “angel” to him ever since he met her outside their church when he was in the fifth grade. Brenda dear – I am truly blessed to have you as my “angel”.
- My Own Worst Enemy – A “rocker” about our old man (our flesh) who, even though he is crucified with Christ, often wants to resurrect himself and remind us of our past and tempt us to indulge in our sinful lusts. Only Jesus can rescue us from ourselves. As Christians, we must daily choose to walk after the Spirit and not feed the flesh, believing that our old man is dead and gone and we are a new creation.
- Face Down – How often do we want to say or do something to impress God? After we’ve exhausted ourselves, we find ourselves where we should have been all along – face down, humbled and broken at His feet.
- So Far To Find You – This is my second tear-jerker song. This is a deeply personal song to me because it is about – adoption (perhaps sometime I will write about my blessed experience being a child of adoption). Mark Hall and Steven Curtis Chapman write from their independent experiences of travelling to China to adopt their daughters, and how these girls can be slow to warm up to daddy. The dad in the song struggles to reach his daughter’s heart because she seems to be resisting his love. Then the dad has a revelation of how, just like his daughter resists him, he is resisting and running from God’s love. The parallel is then revealed of how, just like the dad travelled so far to adopt his daughter, God travelled so far from heaven’s throne to the rugged cross to adopt me as his child.
If you are interested in a collection of songs that will challenge and convict you and at the same time lead you to praise God, then I highly recommend to you Casting Crowns’ Come To The Well. I hope that you are blessed if you listen to it.
All praise and glory to God,