art-of-compThe Art of Compassion:  Stories of Music and Justice by Michael W. Smith, Martin and Anna Smith, Darlene Zschech, Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Tim Hughes, Steven Curtis Chapman, Paul Baloche, Andy Park, Graham Kendrick, Stu Garrard, and Israel Houghton. Edited by Craig Borlase. 

From the cover:

There are two amazing forces that exist in the world: Compassion for those in need and Art that helps us see beyond ourselves. – Martin Smith

What happens when musicians from around the world get together to dream, to write songs, to create an album and give away all the proceeds to the poorest of the world’s poor?

Challenged by the poverty he saw all over the world, musician Martin Smith of the band Delirious? gathered together twelve of today’s most talented and respected Christian singer-songwriters, to write and record an album of songs with the direct aim of the relief of global poverty. This book is the record of the journeys that brought them there.

My thoughts:

This book is truly inspirational. These individuals have all been able to see more of the world, good and bad, than I have and they each feel God leading their lives and their music.  As Chris Tomlin states, “Music’s power makes it possible for it to connect to our emotions, and despite the fact that some people might tell us to calm them down, I’m pretty sure that when it comes to the Christian reponse to poverty and injustice we need to be as emotional as possible.” Each of them wrote a chapter of the book, telling their personal stories and how God is working through them.

But the book is more than just about their stories. It’s a call for all of us to make the differences we can. Darlene Zschech reminds us that “our mission fields often lie much closer to home, in our neighborhoods, our schools, the areas where we might have even the slightest bit of influence- as well as those far-flung countries. Where there is pain and suffering, loneliness and grief, hunger and oppression, that is where God’s people are drawn, near and far – each and every one of us.” If we don’t step out and answer God’s call, who will?

These are people I have heard on the radio, whose songs I sing throughout the day. Reading about how they view the world, how they see worship and God working in their lives was enlightening.

The giveaway:

Thanks to Valerie at the Hachette Book Group, I am able to give away five copies of this book. To enter, just leave a comment on this post. Five winners will be chosen at random around noon Eastern on February 11. This contest is open to the US and Canada only and no PO boxes, please.


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