My good friend Paul Ramey is releasing a new album. Check out his MySpace page and have a listen. Good stuff. Here's the description...
Alright is a collection of songs emerging from a life that is realizing that God truly does have a plan in the midst of the pain we experience as humans. But while I can type that here and now, it’s another thing to live it every day. I think that’s something I’ll be learning until the end of my life here on this earth. For whatever reason my life has been marked by a significant amount of pain, and I’ve responded in both healthy and unhealthy ways at times. But when I look around at the Church in America I can’t help but see a tendency we have to try to shove it under the carpet and force a "shiny happy people" approach to life. But if there’s one constant in life, it is that we as people will suffer. Look around you...it’s happening everywhere.
I’ve heard in many churches the encouragement to "leave your ’stuff’ at the door" so that you can be focused on worshiping God. I don’t know about you, but I can’t do that, and I don’t think God wants us to do that. He wants us to be honest with where we are. He sees and knows anyway, why would he want us to pretend to be somewhere we aren’t. He wants honesty. He wants authenticity. He wants us to see our "stuff" through the lens of HIM. And he wants our praise. Lament and praise! It’s all over the Psalms in the Bible.
But it’s always the presence of God that the psalmist is after when he laments and cries out to God because of his suffering. The presence of Christ is always the answer! Check out Psalm 73 or Lamentations 3 and see the way the lamenter exhausting himself against God (being honest with God about where he is). But then there’s this incredible turn to Praise that usually starts with a "BUT...YOU are this...and YOU’VE done that." And how much more significant is it that Christ said to us before he left, "I will be with you always." In fact, his name means "God with us" - Emmanuel.
And that’s what this album is...a collection of songs that help us remember that, even in the face of pain and trouble, God is actually with us, and in what seems like absolute chaos, he has a plan - and it’s a plan that has his glory and your good at its heart. These songs focus on anticipating the glorious return of Jesus Christ while reminding us that even though life can be unbearable at times, ultimately, everything will be Alright!