Monday, August 1, 2016

10,000 Reasons, by Matt Redman

Matt Redman's worship songs have been sung by Christians for years.  In 2013, he won two Grammy awards for his song "10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)."  But more than record sales or awards, Redman treasures the stories he hears from people around the world about how the song has blessed them.  In 10,000 Reasons: Stories of Faith, Hope, and Thankfulness Inspired by the Worship Anthem, Redman, with coauthor Craig Borlase, tells a bit of his own story, and the stories of many who have been touched by the song.

These stories are worth hearing.  The cancer patients who sing "10,000 Reasons" during treatment, the man who sang it during the operation to remove a tumor in his brain, the many who sang it on their death bed, at the side of their dying loved ones, and at countless funerals.  (My Corpus Christi friends will be interested in the first example.  In Max Lucado's introduction, he tells Jonathan McComb's story, who had "10,000 Reasons" sung at the service a few days after his family died in the Blanco River flood.) 

If you know this song, take time to reflect on the lyrics, which remind us to "be singing when the evening comes."  Whatever sickness or other struggles we are going through, the song encourages us: "When my strength is failing . . . and my time has come, still my soul will sing your praise unending . . ."  Redman writes, "When things are at their toughest, when life feels at its most frail, that's when we really find out what kind of worshippers we are." 

I also enjoyed Redman's reflections on the songwriting process, and the responsibility he feels to convey sound theology and to glorify God in his songs.  Some of his heroes, such as Charles Wesley, Fanny Crosby, and others, have left a legacy of thousands of songs, many of which we still sing, and which shaped generations of Christians' perspectives on God.  He says "it's always humbling to see the music accomplishing what I was hoping for when it was written and leading someone to connect with Christ in a special way."

If you enjoy the song, you'll enjoy the book.  If you love to worship, you'll love to read Redman's perspectives as a worship leader and song writer.  Now when I sing "10,000 Reasons," I'll sure pay closer attention to what I'm singing, and think about the Christians around the world who are singing along with me.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the complimentary electronic review copy!

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