Today I went out and purchased John Mark McMillan's The Medicine, instead of just talking about the one or two or three songs I've heard via YouTube. First reaction: "Man, this album has a lot of words." You don't write songs like "How He Loves" or "Death in His Grave" without being good at using word pictures, so I'll credit him for that one; he keeps it up throughout the album, and I'm sure his others are of a similar quality. So far I've only gotten a few of the many many pictures he draws throughout the record, but I'm not through listening yet.
That's one thing that separates my songwriting from the mainstream is the lack of redundancy in my lyrics mixed with sometimes multi-layered word pictures, resulting in a song that takes more than one listen to get tired of it (at least I hope so in my case).
Then there are some that get redundant, but coming out of a heart of worship, that's all you need to say:
"Oh, how He loves us so,
Oh, how he loves us,
How He loves us so.
Yeah He loves us,
Whoa how He loves us
Whoa how He loves us
Whoa how He looooooooooooooooves"
Some people might credit the 6/8 timing or the intensity of the rhythm for making it such a passionate song. Whatever. It's a simple truth that bears repeating, which I'm sure is why it has had such widespread reception. God blesses the things He chooses, so why shouldn't He bless something that demonstrates love towards Him?
Maybe that's the kinds of conversations we need to have with ourselves about our God. That's why we need each other in community, to remind us about whom this great God is we serve.
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found, was blind but now I see.
Jesus is the answer for the world today
Above Him there's no other, Jesus is the way
My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest fame, but wholly lean on Jesus' Name
On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand
Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, just to take Him at His word
Just to rest upon His promise, just to know, "Thus saith the Lord."
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him, how I've proved Him o'er and o'er
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus, O for grace to trust Him more.
I love to tell the story of unseen things above, Of Jesus and His glory, of Jesus and His love
I love to tell the story because I know tis true, it satisfies my longings as nothing else can do
I love to tell the story, twill be my theme in glory, to tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love
When we've been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun,
We've no less days to sing God's praise than when we'd first begun.