Tuesday, July 05, 2016


OFFERINGS-A WORSHIP ALBUM (2000, Essential) was Third Day’s fourth major label album release.  Nine years later they’d be inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.  The band’s line-up for the album is: Mac Powell (vocals, acoustic guitar), David Carr (drums, percussion), Mark Lee (guitars), Tai Anderson (bass), and Brad Avery (guitars).  In the liner notes they write: “We hope that this record gives you the feeling of actually being at a Third Day concert, surrounded by your brothers and sisters in Christ, united in worship to the Lord”.

‘King of Glory’ is one of three new songs on this project.  Monroe Jones plays keyboards on this contemporary worship anthem that seeks to describe the Divine: “Who is this King of glory with strength and majesty and wisdom beyond measure?/The gracious King of kings/The Lord of Earth and Heaven, the Creator of all things/Who is this King of glory?/He’s everything to me/His Name is Jesus, precious Jesus/The Lord Almighty, the King of my heart/The King of glory”.  ‘These Thousand Hills’ is a beautiful cover of a 1990’s Jacob’s Trouble song that reflects both on nature and on the atonement: “These thousand hills roll ever on/Footprints of a Mighty God/They bring me to my knees in praise/Amazing love, amazing grace/Was on a hill my Savior died/A broken heart and bleeding side/Hill of the Skull, Mount Calvary/The blood He shed, He shed for me”.  ‘Your Love Oh Lord’ from 1999’s TIME is a lovely ballad inspired by Psalm 26: “Your love, oh Lord reaches to the heavens/Your faithfulness stretches to the skies/And Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, yes/And Your justice flows like the ocean’s tide/And I will lift my voice/To worship You my King/I will find my strength in the shadow of Your wings”.

‘Agnus Dei/Worthy’ combines a Michael W. Smith classic from 1990 with a Don Moen song from 1986 and here it results in a pleasant rock ballad with great electric guitar work and then later quiets down.  Here are some of the words: “Hallelujah, hallelujah/For the Lord God Almighty reigns (2X)/Holy, You are holy/King of Kings, Lord of lords/You are holy/Holy, You are holy/King of Kings, Lord of lords/I worship You”.  ‘Saved’ was penned by Bob Dylan and Tim Drummond and was the title track for Dylan’s second Christian album in 1980.  On the version here, Tabitha Fair and members of The Cobb Mass Choir provide background vocals.  It is an upbeat, toe-tapping gospel number of Christian testimony: “Nobody to rescue me, nobody was there/I was going down for the last time/By His mercy I’ve been spared/Not by works/By faith in Him who called/For so long I’ve been hindered/For so long I’ve been stalled/Now I’m saved by the blood of the Lamb/Thank God, I’ve been saved by the blood of the Lamb.../I want to thank You Lord/I just want to thank You, Lord/Thank You, Lord”.

‘My Hope is You’ is from 1997’s CONSPIRACY NO. 5, and is drawn from the 25th Psalm: “I am, O Lord, filled with Your love/You are, O God, my salvation/Guard my life and rescue me/My broken spirit shouts/My mended heart cries out/My hope is You/Show me Your ways/Guide me in truth/In all my days/My hope is You”.  ‘You’re Everywhere’ reflects on God’s omnipresence: “You’re everywhere, like the rain that’s falling/You’re everywhere, like the wind that’s blowing/You’re everywhere, like the sun upon my face/I feel the warmth in Your embrace/You are everywhere/My Lord, now I truly know that I could never go from Your presence”.

‘Thief` is a moving rock story song told from the perspective of one of the two men who were crucified with Jesus: ``I am a thief, I am a murderer/Walking up this lonely hill/What have I done?/No, I don’t remember/No one knows just how I feel/And I know that my time is coming soon.../Who is this man?/This man beside me/They call the King of the Jews/They don’t believe that He’s the Messiah/But somehow, I know it’s true.../And He says ‘I tell the truth/Today, you will be with Me in paradise’”.  ‘Consuming Fire’ is a blistering, blazing rock song requesting revival: “Set this place on fire/Send Your Spirit, Savior/Rescue from the mire/Show Your servant favor/Yesterday was the day that I was alone/Now I’m in the presence of Almighty God/And yes, our God, is a consuming fire/And the flames burn down deep in my soul/Yes, our God, He is a consuming fire/He reaches inside and He melts down this cold heart of stone”.

Scotty Wilbanks plays the pump organ and penny whistle on ‘All the Heavens’, a pretty and modern hymn of praise and worship: “All the heavens cannot hold You, Lord/How much less to dwell in me?/I can only make my one desire/Holding on to Thee/All the angels exalt You on high/What a Kingdom to depart!/But You left Your throne in the sky/Just to live inside my heart”.  ‘Love Song’ is a definite fan favorite!  It is one of three songs here from the band’s debut album.  It is an adult contemporary ballad sung from Jesus’ perspective: “And I know that You don’t understand the fullness of my love/And how I died upon the cross for your sins/And I know that you don’t realize how much that I give you/But I promise, well, I would do it all again/And just to be with you, well, I’ve done everything/Well, there’s no price I did not pay, no/Just to be with you, well, I gave everything/Yes, I gave my life away”.

OFFERINGS-A WORSHIP ALBUM includes both studio tracks and live performances.  The audiences on the live songs are very enthusiastic.  This album is right up there with the best contemporary praise and worship albums by Petra and Sonicflood.  Rock music can be used to exalt the Lord and declare one’s love and gratitude towards Him.  Youth and young adults, and some of their parents even, can use this album as a tool for worshipping the Lord.  I’m rating this one 98% and recommending it to all who are born-again believers!  For more info visit: www.thirdday.com.