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CHRIS TOMLIN

Digging Deeper

   By Caroline Lusk, CCM Magazine

  When Chris Tomlin sat down for this story with CCM Magazine, he and his wife were just four weeks away from welcoming Baby Tomlin 2 into the world. Rightfully so, taking on the daddy role has changed everything in the prolific worship leader/ songwriter’s world.

  “Everything pales in comparison to being a dad,” Chris affirms. “It’s maybe the only thing in life that you can’t stop. Once you’re a dad, you’re always a dad. It opens up your heart to love and understanding. You grow up a bit when you get married. You really grow up when you have kids. All the things you think about change. God has given you the gift of a child. It’s the richest and most challenging responsibility I’ve ever had.”

   It’s one he shares with his wife, Lauren, whom he describes as “a great, supportive, brilliant mom with a real heart of prayer.”

  Married in 2010, Chris has seen how that relationship, and now the reality of fatherhood, is not only shaping his world but also molding, deepening and enhancing his relationship with Christ.

  “I didn’t know it was possible to dig even deeper into the heart of God,” Chris says. “But being married and a dad is a huge part of my relationship with God. Not to say that you can’t be deep without a family, but it brings another dimension to life. In some ways, it makes life harder.”

  Anyone with children can likely identify with where Chris is coming from. While his family has been growing, his career has also continued to expand around the world.

  “Over the last few years we’ve played in several countries,” he shares. “Once, we played in Abu Dhabi around Dubai. It was such a beautiful thing to stand there with the second-largest mosque in the world as our backdrop, lifting all those songs of praise to Jesus. It was a powerful moment.”

  If there’s anyone who knows a thing or two about powerful moments—creating, experiencing and sharing them — it’s Chris. His music has made it to virtually every corner of the world, moving hearts closer and closer to Christ. His current album, Love Ran Red, does the same.

  “For me, my focus has been writing to give the church a song to sing. This record is no different,” he shares. “There were so many great songs surrounding this record, but Love Ran Red kept standing out for me. It’s the centerpiece of the record. It’s the centerpiece of worship. There is no song, no church… there’s nothing without the cross. It sounds very simple, but it’s very profound. Jesus made a way for us to worship. The whole idea is powerful and life-changing.”

  The cross leads to “The Table,” a song about community, fellowship and the invitation extended to us all.

  “I’ve always loved the verse about the weary and heavy-laden coming to Jesus. He invites us to learn from Him and learn the rhythms of grace. It resonates with me,” he shares. “So many of us are so tired and flustered and haggard all the time. Jesus’ way is so different than ours. His is a way of grace and joy. The table is this beautiful imagery of sitting with God. We’re invited. Through the cross, we are invited to the table of God—all those who are weak, sick, worried and feel unworthy. There’s something unbelievable about the table. That’s where your most intimate moments take place. That doesn’t happen anywhere else. I just love the invitation.”

  That love has been evident throughout Tomlin’s career. His songs have invited people into the throne room. His worship leading has invited thousands of college students to unite in praise through the Passion conferences. And today, his skill, authenticity, discipline and generosity have become a standing invitation for newer worship leaders and songwriters to learn from him — a responsibility he doesn’t take lightly or for granted.

  “I’m grateful for any voice God might give me. I’m honored and humbled by that,” he says. “There are so many leaders doing amazing things. That’s a beautiful thing. But the goal is not to be a star. The goal is not to be this hugely famous thing or to be cool. That’s not what people need. They don’t need someone on stage who’s really cool. People need humility and to be led to God. Rock stars rarely lead people to God. People who are trying to be cool rarely lead people to God. They lead people to themselves. You have to leave that at the door the best you can.”

  While any man-made standard would easily quantify Chris’ own stardom, it’s not the gold records or No. 1 hits that he sees or in which he finds his motivation. Today, just like it was at the beginning of his career, he’s interested in obediently following the path laid before him, trusting God to complete the good work He began.

  “It’s easy to see the massive group. But the success is that one person who really burns with a passion for God. God gives them a different mission field to reach people I can never reach,” he says.

  As Chris continues to walk more fully and deeply within the role of father and husband, he is faithfully following God’s lead in music, ministry and all that the future holds. Most importantly, he’s doing so with open hands, fully aware that each song is a gift, a healthy family is priceless and, at the end of the day, the greatest gift is to know God intimately and share that with the world.

  “This far along, I’ve realized that you’re never really done [with a record]; but this is the best I can do at this point for this moment in time, and I hope it blesses people.”

~ from ccmmagazine.com ~

  Chris' latest album, "Adore: Christmas Songs of Worship," releases everywhere on October 23rd. Appearing on the album are fellow Atlantans Crowder and Lauren Daigle.

See Chris Tomlin's Dove Award Winning "Song of the Year," "Good Good Father" live acoustic video
at the Grand Ole Opry -

 
Click Here

CHRIS TOMLIN
Love Ran Red

  Some artists enter the studio determined to make a radical departure from who and what they are, or indulge some musical flavor of the month in a bid to expand the fan base. In either event, those strategies often backfire — though in staying true to his calling, GRAMMY® winner Chris Tomlin thinks not of popularity, but rather the populace his music can touch and encourage.

  “I’m not trying to make a different kind of record,” says Tomlin of his current effort, Love Ran Red, which has produced multiple hits singles including "At The Cross," "Jesus Loves Me," and "Waterfall."
 
And, top add to that, he released a separate single, "Good Good Father," a remake of the Housefires song, that hit #2 on Billboard's CCM charts. It also won Song of the Year at the 48th Annual Dove Awards.
 
“It’s still the same path I started down: writing songs for the church, songs people can sing, songs that connect with people in their heart and move them in a way only songs can. That’s not changed — and yet this collection I feel is the strongest I’ve ever done.”

  That’s setting the bar quite high for his tenth studio recording, given that his last effort “Burning Lights” kicked off 2013 as a No. 1 album. It also led to sold-out tour dates, Billboard Music Awards, being named a BMI Songwriter of the Year and receiving the K-LOVE Fan Award for Male Vocalist of the Year and Dove Award for Songwriter of the Year.

   Yet Love Ran Red picked up where its predecessor left off. True to its title, it expresses beating-heart faith and channels love’s ceaseless flow into a dozen songs to get the blood pumping and spirits soaring.

   To that end, Love Ran Red shows Tomlin reaching and stretching forward, even as he leans back on what’s always worked best. Produced by longtime friend and collaborator Ed Cash (Kari Jobe, Vince Gill, David Crowder* Band, Dave Barnes, Steven Curtis Chapman), the album strikes stirring tones of hope, praise and the peace found only in God’s presence.

  The album’s first hit single, “Waterfall” conjures images of people dancing in the rain as Tomlin showers the listener with a call and response: “Your love is like a waterfall, waterfall/ Running wild and free/ You hear my heart when I call, when I call/ Deep calls to deep.”

  Then there’s “Jesus Loves Me,” the follow-up single. Kicking off with a regal, anthemic piano, the song rolls into thunderhead rhythm before hitting its thrilling, reassuring chorus: “Jesus how can it be? He loves me, he is for me.” Tomlin then declares, in a brilliant turn of phrase: “He holds the stars and holds my heart/ With healing hands that bear the scars.”
  It’s a very personal song for Tomlin, a songwriter not often known to go that route. “I sang it from somewhere deep inside,” he says. “You can’t outlive the presence of God, the love of God, and God will find you wherever you are. We can spend our whole lives learning all this grand theology of God. But at the end of the day it comes down to ‘Jesus loves me.’

  The track juxtaposes beautifully with “Almighty,” which also starts with solo piano but takes a different lyrical route. “It’s about the majesty of God, the holiness and beauty and complete otherness of God, where we come to worship him for who he is — this massive untouchable God—and bow as low as we can in his presence.”

  That majestic message collects musical momentum and might, keeping its sing-along appeal even as Tomlin celebrates God’s “sovereign crown of royalty.”
  “I don’t think I can write a bigger song in my life than ‘Almighty,’” Tomlin says. “When I hear that opening melody, and that opening piano, it’s like a glimpse of heaven to me. And yet I don’t think I can write a more intimate song of grace than ‘Jesus Loves Me.’ It’s great that they’re both on this record together.”

  It’s also fortuitous that Chris included the latter track, which was written after he thought the album was done. “The funny thing is that you never know what songs will pop up,” he says. “Eleventh hour songs seem to be ones that are really special. That’s what’s so crazy and beautiful.”

  The album takes its title from what Tomlin calls its “centerpiece lyric,” as heard on the song and current single “At the Cross”: “Where your love ran red and my sin washed white/ I owe all to you, I owe all to you. ”He couldn’t be more passionate about what that couplet represents, and how it describes his place in the musical landscape: “That’s the good news, what every church is trying to say to people, what the gospels point to,” he says.

  And with each song on this collection, Love Ran Red owes its sweeping scope to an artist seeking to enrich the worship experience.
  “So many of these songs are so easy for any church to do, and will also translate well to the concert setting,” Tomlin says. “Every song was really labored over and taken seriously, and so many songs were cut: There were 10 that didn’t make it.”

  In fact, it took Tomlin seven months to craft, record and refine Love Ran Red, a long time dedicated to a record he hopes will last. This is, after all, the same Chris Tomlin who’s recorded modern-day worship classics such as “How Great Is Our God,” “Our God” and "Indescribable.”
  With 12 No. 1 radio singles, a GRAMMY® Award, eight additional nominations, three Billboard Music Awards, 21 Dove Awards, 5 gold and 2 platinum digital singles, a platinum and four gold albums to his credit, Chris Tomlin is among the most well-known and influential artists in contemporary Christian music. With 15 of the Top 100 CCM songs, four of them being in the top ten, it’s estimated that more than 40 million men, women and children sing his songs each week, a statistic that moved TIME magazine to proclaim him “likely the most often sung artist anywhere.”

  Yet for all the accolades, awards and recognition, it doesn’t get any better than the recent Sunday when he walked into a small church while working on Love Ran Red. Maybe 100 congregants were present. No one knew or recognized Tomlin, nor did he know a single soul. Then he listened with amazement and hushed humility as the church musicians performed several of his songs, including “Jesus Messiah” and “Whom Shall I Fear?”

  “It was a reminder that this is what I pray for, and that God gives me songs for,” he says. “It goes beyond me, or a person, or a Chris Tomlin song. To see that was encouraging to me in so many ways.”

  So too has Tomlin encouraged so many with his bold and beautiful declarations of faith. Love Ran Red certainly builds on his ongoing mission, but there’s more to it that that. It also runs deep— and points to Jesus with more energy and enthusiasm than anything he’s recorded before.

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Chris Tomlin
Adore: Christmas Songs of Worship


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Chris Tomlin's exceptional songwriting takes center stage on this brand new Christmas collection. Blending timeless classics with new compositions, Adore features guest performances from David Crowder, Lauren Daigle, All Sons & Daughters, and others.

Chris Tomlin
"At The Cross
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(from Love
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(Song Lyrics - Click Here)


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Influential songwriter and worship leader Chris Tomlin follows the bestselling Burning Lights album with a twelve song set of breathtaking original anthems of worship and powerful praise. Love Ran Red includes the hit singles "Waterfall" and "Jesus Loves Me" plus "The Roar," "Greater," and the title track.

CHRIS TOMLIN
(Burning Lights)

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Chris Tomlin talks about "Whom Shall I Fear"
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Chris Tomlin
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