Editor's Note: A lot of times, when we ask artists to share about their albums with a song-by-song piece, they'll usually dedicate a few sentences to each song. The boys of Carrollton are so pumped about their new album, Everything or Nothing, and have given us a number of mini-devotionals they wanted to share with you. Enjoy this two-part series, and then make sure you listen to the new record (Spotify / Apple Music).
Thanks for wanting to hear more about the songs on our new album, Everything or Nothing. We hope these encourage your soul. All four of us write all our songs together, so we decided to each share a bit about these songs. We've also included a short prayer to go along with each song. We hope you find those useful as you walk this road with us.
- The boys of Carrollton (Joel, Jordan, Justin, Michael)
"In-Between" (by Justin)
The "mundane" or "normal" just doesn't seem that exciting. It's certainly not as flashy. But it's where most of us live most of our days. I don't want to live today wondering when the next shoe's going to drop or when the next "BIG" thing's going to happen. I want to be present and faithful in every moment. I want to realize the mundane and hitting the same nail on the head every day are sacred. No walking through the day like that old cartoon character Droopy. Dancing through the day is way more fun.
Lord thank you for today. Wherever I am, whatever I am doing I praise you for today. May I dance through it with a hop in my step and a smile in my soul. May I meditate and place deep in my soul the stories of those who walked with you long before I was born. Those who trusted you faithfully day in and day out, and saw you do a miracle once maybe twice in their entire lives. May I live today with the same joy and faith I see in them. Amen.
"Rebuilder" (by Justin)
I love the reality that God uses us as redeemers and rebuilders, especially when it comes to one another. We see this idea throughout history in places like 1 Corinthians 3:9 & Isaiah 58:12. I've been writing this song for more than three years now as a way to tell the story of my wife. She is my real-life Rebuilder.
Father, thank you for redeeming me. Thank you for rescuing me. Thank you for those throughout my life who have reflected your love, your mercy, your grace, and your kindness. Right now I thank you specifically for ____________. And thank you now for wanting to use me as a rebuilder, partnering with you to bring your kingdom to someone else today. Give me eyes to see and courage to help restoration begin in someone else just as continues in me. Amen.
"Leaning In" (by Joel)
In recent years I've been learning the value of the struggle and how it's not something to run from. A lot of good things God has planned for us are often on the other side of difficult situations, and we will never get to experience those good things if we run away from the difficulties.
The bridge says "You weep with me. You share my grief." Jesus knows more than anyone what it means to hurt and to know that something really difficult is coming. He had to die and didn't want to go through it, but He leaned into it to the point of dying a torturous death and enduring an unbearable kind of separation from God The Father. What a powerful example for us to follow.
Father, be my strength. Sustain me and hold me up as the wind blows and tries to break me. Jesus, thank you for your spirit within me. Who better knows perseverance? Who better knows courage to face the trials of today? And who better knows patient trust? Bring those to life in my soul. Amen.
"Promises" (by Joel)
"Promises" is a song with a really simple premise: God follows through on His promises. In the verses we tried to talk about some different situations where we might doubt God's commitment to His promises: He hears us even when our voice runs out, He forgives us when we want to hide our face in shame...
I think the chorus is a great summation of the song's main idea: "You'll come through like You said You would. I'm holding on for You are good." It's a declaration of our trust in God's promises, but it doesn't deny the difficulty of living through doubt.
Lord God, thank you for being faithful. I am in awe of you Holy God, bowing before you with a grateful heart. That you would turn your ear to hear me. That you are not only aware of me, but desire to walk and talk with me. That you delight in me. Those realities are changing me in the deepest parts. May my life today be a testimony of your faithfulness. Releasing all my anxieties and fears, I cling to nothing but your words and your promises. You are my Rock! Amen.
"I Will Trust" (by Justin)
For me and my soul, this is one of my favorite songs we've ever written. I jotted down this simple chorus "I trust in you" in June of 2016, after watching multiple friends of mine display a deeper trust in God than I'd ever seen. Pain has shown me that it's not about what I "know" about God. Faith is trust. And trusting him is active. I love how Eugene Peterson translates Hebrews 11:1-3, "The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It's our handle on what we can't see. That act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd."
Use this "meditation exercise" as you pray this last prayer with us. Take a deep breath in through your nostrils and pray "I will." And as you slowly exhale, pray "trust you." Repeat a few times.
The four singer/songwriter/musicians formed Carrollton seven years ago, leading worship at numerous youth camps, conferences and churches. The band takes its name from Carrollton, a small town in Kentucky, marking the half-way point between their hometowns of Cincinnati and Louisville.
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