Tuesday, June 05, 2018
DAYS OF GRACE
Gregory Alan Long was born on December 12, 1966 in Aberdeen, South Dakota. His folks were traveling evangelists. Greg gave his life to Christ when he was just four and sang and recorded with the family group. Fast forward to 1994 and he released his debut album CROSS MY HEART. One of the radio hits from it was 'How Long?', a duet with Margaret Becker. He followed this album up with DAYS OF GRACE (1995, Myrrh). It was produced by John and Dino Elefante and executive produced by Judith Cotton.
1. Starting things off is 'Love All Around the World'. It was penned by seven, yes seven, people: Greg, Joel Lindsey, Kevin Shorey, Dino Elefante, Greta Garner-Hewitt, Julie Adams, and Marty Hennis, and became a #24 Christian radio hit. Anointed sing background vocals on this catchy pop/dance song with something to say about the kind of people we should be: "Love all around the world/Love for every boy and girl/Love came down for you and me/Love created our history/Love all around the world/Love from His holy Word/Love is all that we believe/Love is everything we should be/Love all around the world/Love is a decision/You and I must make/In how we live our everyday lives".
2. John Elefante sings harmony vocals on the adult contemporary song, 'Thankful'. It offers these words of testimony: "Oh, even when my faith seems to be darkened by my fear/I look for You and You're always here/And I don't understand why You would give this all to me/I only hope that You will see/That I'm so thankful/Words can never be enough/I'm so thankful/That You've given me Your love".
3. 'All You Need to Know' is an easy listening number that finds God speaking words of reassurance to His children: "Don't forget I chose you before creation was ever spoken/Heaven and Earth will pass away/Before my promise is broken/Right at the edge of your circumstance/You'll find mercy's open hand".
4. Ty Lacy, Steve Siler, and John Elefante co-wrote the title track, 'Days of Grace'. It's a pleasant adult contemporary song of spiritual invitation: "To all those who feel like there's no one who cares/To those who can't see past the end of despair/He's waiting/With open arms/To all those who feel like they've missed their last chance/There's always a place in the Savior's plan/There's mercy right where you are/'Cause these are the days of grace/Where our deliverance waits/And anyone who seeks His face/Will never be turned away/'Cause these are the days of grace".
5. 'You'll Get Through This' is an easy listening ballad of encouragement: "When doubt starts tearing at the faith deep/You don't be afraid/Just remember what I said/Nothing formed against you will succeed/As long as your heart's turned toward me/You'll get through this/You'll break new ground/When you're lost within your weakness/Hope is waiting to be found".
6. Greg, Phil Sillas, and John Elefante co-wrote 'Joy', an adult pop song of testimony: "You have been a healing in a world so unkind/When I rest in You Lord/I can finally find/Joy, the kind that comes from above/That only comes from Your love into my life/What about the joy/The kind that I know is real?/Doesn't matter how I feel/You're on my side/I'm trusting in Your words/Believing all of the time/Even in my weakness it's the strength of my life/Everyday in every way/It's joy!" Glenn Pearce plays some great electric guitar here.
7. 'All the World to Me' makes great use of strings and is a reverent praise and worship ballad: "Your goodness is a treasure/I am so unworthy of/And I commit my fragile heart/To the mercy of your love/Your truth and Your forgiveness/My soul can not resist/And all I've said and done/Come down to this/Jesus, You are all the world to me/Without Your love I wouldn't want to be".
8. The Elefante brothers, John and Dino, wrote 'Love the Lord' which Greg took to #5 on Christian radio. It's a catchy, well written pop/dance track with a simple, but true chorus: "You've got to love the Lord with all of your heart and all of your mind/Love the Lord with all your soul and all of your strength". Mark Douthit plays sax here and Eternity provide strong background vocals.
9. 'I Promise You' was penned by Greg, Londa Hentges, and Pam Thum. It's a good adult contemporary ballad appropriate for weddings: "I'll stand by you/Through good and bad/I'll be right here/To hold your hand/His love is the reason I say/I promise you/As sure as oceans are blue/I am gonna love you forever/I promise you/No matter what you go through/We are gonna make it together/I promise you".
10. Last up is 'What Would I Be'. It`s a song of gratitude: "What would I be without Your love in my life making it worthwhile?/What would I do without Your tenderness that's teaching me to smile?/ Who I am today is not who I would have been/In You my heart's more full of hope than I've ever dreamed/Oh Lord, without Your mercy covering me/What would I be?"
DAYS OF GRACE points to God as a refuge in times of trouble and doubt. We should be ever grateful for His love, faithfulness, and tenderness towards us, ultimately displayed at Calvary. Our response to God's love should be a desire to live for God with all we've got and to abide in Him. This album encourages us to persevere in our faith in times of hardship. As well we are urged to love others as God has loved us. There is also a romantic wedding song thrown in for good measure. The main musical genres here are pop/dance, adult contemporary and easy listening, with the slow songs outnumbering the fast ones. Greg's vocals are smooth and soulful. Fans of Bryan Duncan and Michael English should enjoy this project which I'm rating 88 %. In 2003 Greg became a member of Avalon. He is also a worship leader at Woodland Church in Texas. For more info visit: www.greglong.com or connect with him on Facebook.