This solo project by Lauren Talley was released in the summer of 2010, and if you have heard her talk about these songs, you’ll realize how special they are to Lauren and can become the same to you or a friend. With her current radio single from this Cd, In Christ Alone, doing very well climbing the top twenty of the Singing News Charts (#12 for the month of June) ~ I thought I would introduce some of these other musical gems. This Cd is all about the ministry behind the lyrics. They will encourage, challenge and edify those who listen. This project is almost a year old, maybe you already own it, if this is the case, I would encourage you to bring it back out for a listen and focus on the words of the songs. Pick out a line that is meaningful to you and let it remind you how great our God is! If you don’t have a copy yet, I hope you can remedy that problem ~ you won’t be let down!
1. Songs In The Night
Tempo: Slow Ballad
Message: Taken from the text of Psalm 77, this ballad sets us in the time of suffering, or as this song chooses to illustrate it…a dark night. You can’t see where God is leading you because the hardships that you are facing are so close, you can’t see around them. Yet, in the midst of these things, the lyrics picture someone who refuses to let go of hope. As they endure the sleepless nights of trials waiting for a new day to dawn, they meditate on all of the things that God has done in their life, using those monuments to get them through the night. The chorus tells us, that things like God’s faithfulness in the past, and the goodness that He bestows upon us, will be the things that we will sing about when life gets rough. However, hard times come to us more than once, and the second verse speaks of what to do when another time of darkness comes upon our lives.
Other Comments: This song is like the anthem or the introduction for what you are going to hear on this whole project. The songs that follow…are indeed, songs for the night.
2. The Extra Mile
Message: The theme of this song is showing the love of Christ in action. The verses describe the kind of natural disaster that destroys everything and leaves nothing but heartache behind…Yet, the love of Christ compels a church body 200 miles away to make the long trip to help those who’ve lost all their earthy possessions. Whereas the first verse tells the story of a visible outward damage, the second verse tells of some true friends who help a couple with the inward damage of a decaying relationship. The refrain lists some of the things that love will “go the extra mile” to accomplish in Jesus name. Things like reaching out to the hurting and spreading the gospel among the lost…whatever it takes, these are the things that love will do to see the lost come to Christ.
Other Comments: You will find yourself humming this song all day! Guaranteed!
3. Just As I Am
Message: I find the opening lines of this song very profound – “Oh, becoming more like Jesus feels like dying deep inside, and I guess sometimes that‘s truly what it is.” Though the song has the title “Just As I Am” it is a song about changing. The first verse talks about our walk with Christ and how it grows. As we grow in Him, we see that He calls us to change from our old ways and become more like Him. When we do that, we see new things about Him everyday! The words of the chorus play off of the old hymn, yet add a refreshing new twist to the same idea. It talks about coming to Christ the way we are and finding forgiveness. I love the line that says, “the way He’s changing my heart proves, that He loves me too much – to leave me just as I am.” The second verse continues those thoughts. Changing can indeed be scary sometimes, but grasping the bigger picture, we do it anyway because we know that God knows what He’s doing!
Other Comments: Very powerful song! My personal favorite from this project!
4. Hallelujah Anyhow
Message: Satan is bent on destroying the Believer’s faith in God. He’ll do anything to accomplish it too. So what can a Saint do in defense?…Sing this song! The lyrics of this song (combined with the upbeat music!) keep us looking at the positive things in our journey through this barren land instead of the negative aspects. Number one, with God on our side, we have the victory in everything. He has showered His goodness upon us abundantly, He’s our best Friend and will work everything out for our good in the end. But the key to even doing that is found in the message of the chorus ~ and that is, being willing to sing hallelujah in any situation! (Even when things get tough, just hang in there and watch Him work out the victory!) A strong walk and trust in Christ will give us the ability to sing alleluia even when we rightfully don’t have to.
Other Comments: This song is different in it’s set up, it begins with verses one and two back to back, goes into the chorus, then loops back around and goes through the whole song a second time. It reminds me of a Praise and Worship song you would sing at summer camp, but in it’s musical habitat is a perfect fit!
5. He Will Carry You
Tempo: Slow Ballad
Message: Problems, sorrow, trials, storms…Jesus can handle them all. Great or small, we can lay everything we face at His feet and know that there is nothing that He can‘t do. The verse lays out examples of things that can be troublesome in our lives, then answers how the Lord can take care of it all. The lyrics of the channel remind us that if “He carried the weight of the world upon His shoulders, I know my brother, that He will carry you.” (What an encouraging statement!) The chorus is built around the familiar verse of Matthew 11:28 “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Other Comments: The set up of this song is the same as track four, in that it contains a verse, channel and chorus that is repeated twice. This is such an encouraging song, it’s message is definitely worth repeating!
6. In Christ Alone
Message: From the opening line, “In Christ alone, my hope is found. He is my light, my strength, my song.” ~ The lyrics of this powerful ballad set forth the wonderful truths, promises and assurances Believers claim only in Christ. A host of subjects are covered in this song of four verses. Though it might be difficult to describe each individual thought, the listener has no doubt of the central theme, found in the title itself, “in Christ alone.” Every line is dedicated to the edification and encouragement of Believers.
Other Comments: Though originating in Contemporary Christian Music, the message of this ballad is so essential to the Believers life, it has crossed over musically genre’s and found a home in Southern Gospel Music and has been a blessing to many!
7. My Life Is In Your Hands
Tempo: Slow Ballad
Message: The first verse of this ballad tells us the things we don’t have to worry about: fear, anxiety, and the promise that troubles won’t last forever. It also exhorts broken hearts to lean on Jesus, our true Friend. The discouraged can sing along with the self motivating lines of the chorus, “I know that I can make it, I know that I can stand ~ no matter what may come my way, my life is in Your Hands. With Jesus I can make it, with Him I know I can stand…” I like how the chorus tells us that first, we can do it, and second, Who will help us in the process. Verse two counsels those who are being tested to remember that Jesus will wipe away all tears when the friends we depended on are “no where to be found.”
8. The Wildest Places
Message: The message of this song is closely related to that of The Extra Mile, focusing it’s theme on the love of Christ, which is never daunted by anything. Though in contrast, track two speaks of going an extra mile to do something to be a testimony for the Lord, these lyrics take it step farther, saying that love will go places even beyond that to accomplish the Lord’s work. As the first verse tells us, whether it’s a “mission in LA, a motel in Miami, or a coal mine in Kentucky,” love goes to places one might not normally go to, and uses opportunities for the Gospel that others may overlook. The refrain tells us about that Love, when “Amazing Grace” becomes your mission, the life of faith becomes exciting and soon you find yourself in the “wildest places” spreading the Word of the Lord. The bridge is my favorite “whether it’s across the world, or just across town. Anyone whose gone anywhere in Jesus name has found…that love leads to the wildest places!”
Other Comments: This is a really fun song with a very strong message ~ it will quickly become a favorite of any who listen.
9. Behold The Lamb
Tempo: Slow Ballad
Message: “Behold the Lamb” – what an awesome thought! This song talks a little about what it will be like to see Him. The verses speak of ones response to the Lamb. When beholding Him on His throne, we worship, give Him honor and magnify Him. In the chorus we see a description of the Lamb…He’s Holy, The Bridge from earth to heaven, The Living Word, the Sacrifice, and the Restorer of my broken life. We see in these Names the person of Who the Lamb is.
Other Comments: From the very first note of this song it just builds in dynamics and crescendo’s into a powerful masterpiece!
10. All You Need When You Need It
Tempo: Slow Ballad
Message: The first verse speaks of a trial that you can’t see a way out of and you are dreading the pain because you’re not sure if you’ll be able to endure the sorrow. I like the channel to the chorus that says, “but just hold on, it won’t be long!” The chorus deals with the things that one needs to do in such a situation, but there is also a good balance of encouragement entwined in it. The lyrics challenge us to “put fear on the altar and leave it”, walk on in faith and when you are ready to receive God’s grace it will be poured out on you abundantly. You may not see it now, but you’ll have everything you need. The second verse admonishes the listener that there will come a time when they will understand the Lord’s purpose for their suffering. Looking back they will see when the Lord gave them strength for every trial, and in the end, the only One they ever needed was Him!
Other Comments: I love how the track music resembles the lyrics on this one! The verses are very mellow and dim (like the message) then the channel raises the atmosphere of the song into a chorus that brightens the whole feel of the ballad!