We all have songs that we grew up hearing—in the car, at home, at concerts—that if we put together into one album or playlist would be a kind of soundtrack for our lives. Well, the new Sovereign Grace Music album 30: Three Decades of Songs for the Church is just such a playlist for me. I am so grateful that in the kindness of God this is the music I grew up on: songs of Christ-centered joy, faith, and celebration for the church. Here’s the heart behind this new album:
For thirty years, Sovereign Grace Music has been producing Christ-exalting songs and training for the local church. To celebrate God’s faithfulness, we asked a few friends to record 14 of our most well known songs. This album is the result. We’re incredibly grateful we get to write songs for the church and hope these fresh renditions will lead you to glory in the Savior whose praises will never end.
Learn more about 30: Three Decades of Songs for the Church at the album page.
As my kids keep reminding me, the holidays are just around the corner. To give you plenty of time to shop for Christmas, here is our eighth annual list of CJ’s book recommendations. I’m so excited about all of these new books, I might only put books on my Christmas list this year. Enjoy!
Justin Taylor asks author Faith Cook to recommend some biographies of Christian women: These godly women “serve as a beacon for our own day, guiding us through the confusion and pitfalls of our own generation.”
When it comes to books, there are really two categories: the Bible, and everything else. While the great works of men certainly reflect our Lord’s creativity, the Bible contains the very Words of God. That’s why the psalmist appropriately gushes, “More to be desired are they than gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb” (Psalm 19:10).
And that’s why Horatius Bonar warns: “See that your relish for the Bible be above every other enjoyment, and the moment you begin to feel greater relish for any other book, lay it down till you have sought deliverance from such a snare, and obtained from the Holy Spirit an intenser relish, a keener appetite for the Word of God (Jer 15:16).”
Yesterday we received a sweet email about a woman with a keen appetite for the Word of God. Jayne writes that, “My Dad’s favorite memory of his mother is of her kneading bread on the kitchen counter with her Bible open, dusted by the flour. She had 11 children and made all the family bread from scratch each day. Money was in very short supply but her love of the Word was plentiful. Working within her limitations of strength, time & duty, she found a way to fill her days with reading the Word.”
Similarly, Donald Whitney points to the example of another woman whose “longings for the things of God reached as high as ever” even when “her time and energy had new and severe limits.”
So if you find your relish for God’s Word has diminished, then pray as the Psalmist did: “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law” (Psalm 119:18). Then dust off your Bible and read.
“I didn’t want to read this book. I knew these tear-stained but hope-filled pages would jostle me out of my comfort zone and shake me up. C.S. Lewis wrote that he paradoxically loved The Lord of the Rings because it ‘broke his heart’—and Greg Lucas’ writing does the same for me. And it’s for that reason that I heartily commend this book—especially for dads. This is just the book many of us need to taste afresh the goodness of God and the grace of the gospel even as we long for the day when this broken world will be made right.” —Justin Taylor
My favorite gift to give grads is a laundry basket filled with a towel set a thing of laundry soap and a big jar filled with quarters along with the book, Just Do Something by Kevin DeYoung. —Jessica
A college emergency kit: Sewing supplies, first aid kit, shoe goo, phone card, etc.—Rebecca
I just graduated college and this year my parents got me a kitchen aid mixer, which I am absolutely thrilled about! It is kind of a large gift but for any bride or grad who loves to bake/cook, then this is the perfect gift.—Paige
Knowing God by J.I. Packer is my favorite grad gift to give because it was in college that I slowly studied this book, digesting it a little at a time and it was the first time I ever understood the place of my faith in my life. It’s still my favorite book.—Kerry