So if I stand let me stand on the promise
that You will pull me through.
And if I can’t, let me fall on the grace
that first brought me to You. – Rich Mullins
Today marks the anniversary of the death of Rich Mullins, a contemporary Christian singer/songwriter who died 15 years ago in a tragic car accident. I love his music, and often listen to it when I need a spiritual shot in the arm. Selfishly, I mourn the loss of music he could have written had he lived to be an old man.
I heard my first Rich Mullins song about 20 years ago. It was his song, Awesome God, and I remember being so excited because I didn’t know Christian music like that existed. Perhaps I am easily impressed (a definite possibility) but his music had a huge impact on my faith journey. I bought one of his albums, Songs, which is still in my top ten. My favorite track is the one I quoted above, If I Stand. I can be in a black mood, and eager for some ‘angry girl music’ and this song will pop on instead, and my world suddenly lightens. (On a side note – do people still call songs on a CD “tracks” or is that a left over from my 8-track days?)
I have a lot of songs on my Ipod like that – songs that when I hear them, my mood changes. Or that I listen to purposefully to support how I am feeling at the moment. When I feel rebellious, I like to listen to Joan Jett’s Bad Reputation. When I feel mellow it’s Dream by Priscilla Ahn. When I am joyful, it’s Big House by Audio Adrenaline. You get the picture.
The problem comes when I listen to music on purpose to support a negative, damaging mood. It’s almost like having a mob mentality at the controls of my Ipod. Bad day at work? Let’s add some Limp Bizket and shake vigorously. Feeling sorry for myself? Just add Adele and tissue. It serves no purpose other than to indulge myself to feed negative feelings. And over all, what good does it do me or the people around me?
God tells us there is the power of life or death in the tongue. Our words can build up or tear down, and I think this applies to what and who we listen to as well. While I do try to practice “thinking before speaking” with the idea to speak words that build others up, I can’t say I follow it when listening to music. I generally pick music that fits my mood. If life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to that, I think that from now on I will try to choose a positive, uplifting music when dealing with the lemons life hands out.
I do have a list of my current favorite albums and singles – songs that get my feet tapping and my face smiling. And sometimes belting out the lyrics in the car, much to the amusement (or horror) of the cars around me (thank you REO Speedwagon). I have them listed below. You will notice that the majority of them are secular, which is fine I guess. But I can’t help but think that I am missing some good new Christian musicians too. I just haven’t found a favorite to top Rich Mullins.
SUE’S TOP 10 ARTISTS/BANDS (the ones I would pay to see in concert):
2. Avett Brothers
3. The Lumineers
4. Rich Mullins
5. Earl and Scruggs
6. Toby Keith
9. Mumford and Sons
SUE’S TOP 10 SINGLES (songs I NEVER switch past on my Ipod):
1. Bad Reputation by Joan Jett
2. What I Like About You by The Romantics
3. Big House by Audio Adrenaline
4. If I Stand by Rich Mullins
5. Dream by Priscilla Ahn
6. Annie’s Song by John Denver
7. Foggy Mountain Breakdown by Earl and Scruggs (and Steve Martin!)
8. Shipping Up To Boston by the Drop Kick Murphy’s
9. Time For Me to Fly by REO Speedwagon
10. A Little Less Conversation by Elvis Presley (Remix)
Who are some of your favorite artists? What are some of your favorite singles? If you listen to contemporary Christian music, who do you like?
I would love your input – simply hit the “Leave a Reply” link below and a reply box should pop up. Thanks!!