I was blessed in the first half of 2008 to attend three separate conferences for college students. Each of the conferences were God-glorifying and soul-edifying and each of the conferences were marked by an excellence in musical worship. And to my great delight, studio recordings of each conference band allow me to relive the musical worship. Here they are (with links to iTunes):
1) Lu, or, Looked Upon by the Na Band (Na Conference; Louisville, KY). Watching Devon Kauflin lead worship with his dad Bob supporting him on keys was a neat experience at the 2008 New Attitude conference in Louisville. The songs played live at the conference and recorded in the studio on this album are deeply rooted in the cross of Christ. Track 11, “All I Have is Christ,” is fabulous. Lu (short for Looked Upon) is Wg (that is, worth getting). A superb album. Cross centeredness: A+. [UPDATE: You can download several live recordings from the conference here.]
2) Adore and Tremble by Daniel Renstrom (Missio Dei conference; Wake Forest, NC). My first trip to Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. I had not heard of Daniel before the conference and really didn’t know him after the conference either. I thanked him in person for playing, and assumed he was *just* a gifted college ministry worship leader—until I returned home and received a copy of his album. I immediately recognized his songs featured at the conference. The lyrics include some beautiful, pure cross-centered statements. In the song “At the Cross” he sings, “At the cross, wrath was taken away, / and Christ was in our place. / What marvelous grace. / At the cross, justice was supplied, / by the blood of Christ.” And in the song “Where Could I Go” Daniel takes the cross and daily life and ties them together beautifully. Cross centeredness: A.
3) O For That Day by Enfield, the Resolved Band (Resolved Conference; Palm Springs, CA). The album features solid biblical lyrics and strings from beginning to end. And I listen to it from beginning to end on long drives and long walks. Hearing them play live was a great but the album itself sounds “live” too and you can get a sense of being at the conference (if you play the album loud enough). Though on the album you don’t get C.J. on drums like you do live. All said, it’s a great addition to a musical library (track 4 was written from Isaiah 6 and is worth the price of the entire album). Cross centeredness: B-.
Consider each of these three albums for your iPod as you seek to worship God throughout the day. Each will help foster worship to our gracious God. And each of these albums are reminders of the amazing depth of God’s gracious working in the hearts of a younger generation of Christians—in three diverse spheres in North America—who are writing, playing, and recording excellent God-exalting music.
How God must love to pour out the generous musical gifts (like those featured on these albums) to glorify Himself!