30.08.2011
How to Get the Most out of A Day
when perfectionism & to-do lists overwhelm

{Video Concert on the Farm}How the Poor & Rich Might find Release: The Release of a Third World Symphony

A Holy Experience

So it rains the day after he leaves.

The day after he walks out of the wheat field, packs his guitar into that beat up, duct-taped case and heads south again, music on his mind.

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But Shaun Grove’s music, his songs stay behind. Playing loud on the stereo here the next morning, the washing machine spinning and the kids all singing words by heart. Can you listen to one disk of songs a few thousand times?

Songs with bars of music coming out of a hurricane in El Salvador, a garbage dump in Guatemala, a tin shack in Kenya, music bars that bust the captives free.

A whole album of just released music , all about humanity’s release — the poor from poverty, the stuff-burdened from blindness.

Is this what can happen? When music touches the face of the needy — and beholds the face of God. Beholds the beauty ache of its own real need

Then this — a trio of transformation, God transforming us and us transforming each other for the glory of God —

This third world symphony.

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I don’t know how long he’s been praying that begging prayer of his — that one asking God to give him music that’s been somewhere. How can music move us if it’s never moved, never travelled, never been somewhere?

How can it move us to step out if it’s never walked the hard roads?

That’s what he’s prayed for — for songs that have the dust of  the despairing in them, the hope of the hurting.

Songs that are as deep as the long roads they’ve travelled down;  music that has seen the the world and has witnessed heaven come down — come to the slums, the orphans, and the beggars with their hands held out for a grazing of grace.

It’s music that’s been somewhere — straight to the feet of God — and won’t let us go till we come too.

Compassion Bloggers visit Kenya

Picnik collage

Compassion Bloggers Visit The Philippines

Compassion Bloggers visit Kenya

And I can hear it in the lyrics — how God’s heard and answered the prayers. Of the singer and the sinner and the scrounger. These are songs that blind the blind with grace, that bust the beggar free — the one with empty hands and the one with hands right full.

It’s coming through the speakers, that refrain, “All is grace” — that lyric that unfolded from the signing of an email I’d sent him in response a few years ago. He’s singing that two-word tome of truth when the sky rips wide open and it rains green, storm coming in from the west.

It comes down hard on the roof. I’m undone, watered. And Shaun keeps singing it and it comes again, the way of heaven here, this water cycle of the Living Waters.

The cycle I wrote of in One Thousand Gifts:

‘Istand for a moment by the table, looking out a wet window to the south. One of the boys comes now, a son with his hood pulled up against early morning rain. I watch him, love of ours, meandering up the back walk. His head is bent low, feet finding all the puddles.

He’s splashing through ancient water, water from the beginning that has cycled through all centuries, puddle-jumped by a thousand young boys through the ages and I wonder if the water Adam knew falls here.

The clothesline strings across the back walk. Droplets reel out, a jeweled necklace, framing now. From one forgotten clothespin hangs a singular raindrop.

And I see: the clothesline is the beam, the wooden clothespin an upright post.

I see a cross in the clothespin.

Son looks up, sees me at the window, and he waves, all a smile.

And the droplet falls from the cross clothespin — grace upon us.

And for a moment, longer, long, I blaze.

This child, this time, this day, we are all here, grace, all grace, and this fountain of Great Grace falls all around and it could flow through us and on into the world, and with borrowed breath I am fueled, a torch in October rains.

I am blessed : I can bless : So this is happiness…

If I close these fingers, try to hold, hoard the river—dam up the grace—won’t the water grow stagnant? The children and I once looked at photos of the dead Dead Sea, and we read how the Jordan River streams into the sea and nothing flows out of the sea and the salt content rises and everything dies. I think of this. That fullness can grow foul. Grace is alive —  living waters. If I dam up the grace, hold the blessings tight, joy within dies … waters that have no life.

I turn my hand over, spread my fingers open. I receive grace. And through me, grace could flow on. Like a cycle of water in continuous movement, grace is meant to fall, a rain … again, again, again.

I could share the grace, multiply the joy, extend the table of the feast, enlarge the paradise of His presence. I am blessed. I can bless.

A life contemplating the blessings of Christ becomes a life acting the love of Christ.

I listen to wind in the corn, rain on the pane, and I find my place.

All the lost pieces are finding their place….

~ excerpted from One Thousand Gifts

Third World Symphony keeps playing here — rare, heart-stirring music that tells the Gospel, that helps all the lost pieces in the world find their place.  Their place In Him who is the only real Home.

Our only real Home is Christ and Cross, and the cross is endlessly raised where the poor bow. The poor give us this — turn us from the illusion of climbing ladders and never invite us to go higher, but to come lower — to where Christ is — to the lonely, the lost and the least.

It’s our burden of stuff that blinds us and the real danger of wealth is that it causes us to lose our vision — our vision of Christ.

The poor might release the rich and the rich might release the poor and only Christ can release us all from blindness to really see — and it is contemplating the love of Christ that makes us act out the love of Christ.

All’s grace, he’s singing theology all the broken and blind need to hear. All’s grace – amazing grace.

Was blind but now I see.

See it here, the rain falling now out to the east across these fields.

See it, how the sky cries to water a new crop coming….

See it — how grace is a symphony of surround sound, straight out across these fields, all around the world…

This endless rain of grace coming bravely down….
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Concert on the Farm with Shaun Groves … A Front Row Seat Just for You

All Is Grace (With Ann Voskamp) from Shaun Groves on Vimeo.

{If reading in a Reader, come for a front row seat & view this video from the farm, clicking here. Please consider scrolling to the to top of the blog to pause the blog music directly under the header, by clicking the two black bars under “bookshelf” in the navigation bar. ~blush~ Thank you for grace.)

All is Grace excerpted lyrics from the album, Third World Symphony

You have loved us
You have loved us all
You have loved us all so
We love all ….

Thank you for Christ and cross
Through us tell the wand’ring
Thank you for making peace
Through us love our enemies …..

Thank you for daily bread
Through us fill the empty
Thank you for bodies whole
Through us mend the breaking

All is grace
All is grace
All is grace and grace enough
All is grace
All is grace
All is grace and grace enough
For all of us
- For all of us

Third World Symphony

Screen shot 2011-08-30 at 12.03.07 AM Shaun Groves is a wise and godly friend, a Dove nominated singer/songwriter, and an advocate traveling for Compassion International. Not only is he helping Christians discover what they were saved for, but he’s a voice for children around the world, desperate to be saved from poverty, saved into the hope Christ alone can extend. His album, Third World Symphony, releases today on iTunes (or CDs can be found here.) We’re playing in here on the farm — on repeat. God is doing something in us in this music that makes us us hunger to be bread, broken and given. God taking music and lyrics and doing eternal work on the inside – this is music worth it because it exalts the worth of who He is. This is no small thing… but a global thing. An all world- symphony….

Five star, highly recommended, music that can change the world.