Tuesday has always been one of my favorite days of the week for one reason. Tuesday brings new things. New music. New books. New movies. New video games.
One Tuesday especially stands out. Tuesday, September 11, 2001.
We all know what happened on that fateful morning. But what I also remember is what new releases came out the same day. While all my friends were heading after school to BestBuy to buy Jay-Z’s infamous “The Blueprint”, I jumped at the chance as a 16-year-old to hop in the car and drive the 15 minute trip to Lifeway to grab a copy of the brand new album, “Satellite” from P.O.D. Both new albums would be devoured by audiences as people across the country looked for hope in the midst of darkness. In fact, many soon found songs on both albums released that Tuesday in September to be providential, or coincidental depending on who you talk to, such as P.O.D.’s single “Youth of the Nation.”
It was a day marked by suffering that sent people looking for new hope and grace.
On this New Release Tuesday in May nearly thirteen years later, new books and media highlight the same transcendent themes: suffering, grace, and newness.
1. Suffering – From Reach Records comes Tedashii’s fourth album, “Below Paradise”.
Tedashii is a brilliant artist who has experienced grave suffering. This new album served as a journal for Tedashii as he sought relief from the suffering he experienced in losing his son. “Below Paradise” powerfully points to the reality that our world is broken and needs the renewal and rescue that is available through Jesus.
2. Grace –
Released by Zondervan, “Proof: Finding Freedom through the Intoxicating Joy of Irresistable Grace” is Daniel Montgomery and Timothy Paul Jones’ Twenty-First Century rebranding of the doctrines of grace. Montgomery and Jones point the Christian back to the truth that “God’s wonderful acceptance of us [is] not because we have earned it or deserve it but because he gives it to us freely at Christ’s expense.”
The authors invite us to drink from the strong drink of grace until it leaves us staggering. As a former member of Montgomery’s church in Louisville, I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
3. Newness – The name David Crowder should not be new to too many people familiar with the Contemporary Christian music scene. Through his former band, The David Crowder*Band, Crowder consistently won awards, filled arenas, and dominated airwaves as he turned the Christian’s attention to the greatness of God and to the joy that is found in belonging to the family of Christ.
But today, “Crowder” as he is now known, releases his first solo album, “Neon Steeple”. As always Crowder is insightful and creative. He also continues to deliver music that easily translates to family worship services on long car rides.
There’s no way to argue against it. Tuesdays are great. New releases are exciting. They also serve as a powerful reminder of the good news that Jesus has come to make all things new. He suffered himself in his life on the cross so that we could enter new life with God in his new kingdom, and this was only done through his grace.
This Tuesday, pick up something new and revel in the good news that Jesus came to make you new by meeting you in the midst of your suffering and giving you such “intoxicating grace”.