A while ago, Noisetrade had Christa Wells’ Feed Your Soul album up for free digital download. I was soo psyched, I had to share it on Twitter and Facebook, but the only words I could preface it with were, “Could not be more excited to share this,” because her lyrics and harmonies speak-no! sing- for themselves & when truth is heard, the heart is compelled to respond. Truth needs no introduction. What I could have done additionally was give a review of the album’s 12 songs, so here is my rundown of what has been called “one of the most spiritually nourishing albums of the year” (and if you want a copy after it, leave a shoutout in the comments and I will personally send you one, if I know you IRL, though)…
1. When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. -Proverbs 11:2
Vanity Vanity – from its first image the song captures me, when do I *not* suffer from pride? The beat moves the song right along, but the lyrics are rich to savor. Ms. Wells doesn’t just point out the problem, but then she points to the Healer who washes me clean. It’s a great start to the other songs because only when pride is gotten out of the way can God come in and do a good work in, and through, us.
2. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. -Ephesians 2:10
Have Your Eyes Open -at first I didn’t catch much but the chorus of this song, then one day I heard, really heard, the beginning verse and the chorus gained new meaning. Sometimes I feel frustrated, sad, or lonely in my efforts to do good(*), but along comes encouragement, to prepare yourself, let yourself be found ready, be prepared.. When the opportunity comes, and it will come, you will know what to do. Featuring Ellie Holcomb.
3. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet was without sin. -Hebrews 5:15
This Thing Is Not Going To Break You -I read somewhere that Christa wrote this to encourage a survivor of the Aurora shooting. In my everyday life, this song has encouraged me towards the self-sacrificial kind of love, a laying down of rights. I could be angry, I could have every right to be disappointed or annoyed, I could be overwhelmed with bitter grief, but I nail my pain to the cross, give it to God, and in return he gives me love.
4. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. -Matthew 5:14
Shine -My voice in my head is hypercritical, overwhelmingly negative, and persistent in denouncing me ‘not good enough.’ Oh! But that I were reminded every moment that the mirror that I hold is false. Our ability to pour out is a reflection of what Jesus has already poured into us. It stems from what He has done (finalized for us) on the cross. I am convicted when she sings, “Yes we could lay our talents in the earth, we could pile on the doubt like dirt, or we can shine,” and there comes a gentle reminder that it is Christ’s, not our, power, revealing itself through us.
5. Jesus wept. -John 11:35
Come Close Now -this song touches something deep in me. Whether I am one reaching out to comfort, or one in need of comfort, I know that despite the mysteries of life, one thing is clear, that is, the unfailing love of Jesus Christ.
6. Jesus answered, It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” -Matthew 4:4
Feed Your Soul -the song that lends its name to the album title is as straightforward as it gets. If I should hunger and thirst, let me delve into his Word to be filled.
7. I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, “They are my people,” and they will say, “The Lord is our God.” -Zechariah 13:9
Renovate -the beat of this song is the steady rhythm of change; God came knocking down these walls and gutting the insides of this house in order to build a home.
8. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. -Hebrews 11:23
You Are My Defense -This song is so easy to sing to because I can relate. He is a stronghold, our refuge, an ever-present help in trouble. Sometimes winter is hard and the wait for spring is so long. Sometimes I rush headlong, blinded, panicking. But He renews my strength and comes alongside me.
9. For My Child -This song is intensely personal, a mother to child. There is nothing like unconditional love. “You can’t make me love you any less, love you any more than I do.” It stirs the soul strings because I’m loved this way by my Father.
10. The Way That You Love Me -the lyrics suggest a song for married couples, but i’m incredibly thankful and grateful for friendships characterized by hope and joy & are nurtured by love.
11. A friend loves at all times. -Proverbs 17:17
More Than I Am -“I’m tended by the ones who know me and hold me…I thank the One who sent you cause He knows how much you’ve meant to me” Enough said.
12. Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance, and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance? -Romans 2:4
Being Loved -This is a song that snuck up on me, and when it gripped my heart, I didn’t want to let it go. It is a lullaby of release, from self-effort and self-righteousness, and of deliverance, to redemption and being known.
It’s fast becoming one of my all-time favorite CDs…
(*)Just to be clear, good works don’t gain salvation, but are evidence of an inward reality