I am usually behind the eight ball.....never a trendsetter. I am not always up on the latest and greatest.....that is, until it is no longer late and great. I am second hand in fashion, and a step behind in the newest music, entertainment, books, and the like. But I have one thing.....that I am not behind on.....
.....the music of John Mark McMillian.
Biker Man and I lived in the south, the first decade, of our current century. We moved there for Biker Man to attend a school of ministry for three years. The local church, where the school was located, was lead by John Mark's dad. While we do not know the family on a personal level, we were without doubt, influenced by the shepherding that we received during that season. One of our most special, and memorable moments during our time there, was the service that our little Scout was dedicated. John Mark's dad dedicated him.....
The one thing.....hands down.....that we took away from our time in that church, was the absolutely awesome worship music that was/is being created there. There is no other music out there, that can match the amazing creative sounds and lyrical gifting, that is coming out of that church. The worship music being played there.....is not created by another......what is being played there, is created by the one playing it.....all original works. We had the privilege to worship under many talented professional artists and students.....who weren't there for human given kudos.....their hearts truly reflected a desire to give all.....to the One who gave all. At the time, one of those young gifted artists, was John Mark McMillian.
Again, while we don't know John Mark personally, we did know his best friend Stephen.....a youth pastor at the church. Stephen was one of the most stellar young men you could have ever met. He was in our small group, and was never without a smile, or word of encouragement. The church, and community were devastated, when Stephen died tragically in a car accident. At his funeral, John Mark and his friends led worship.....I was jaw dropped at the creativity, sound and genuine passion of his music, and heartbroken over him weeping, as he shared the memory of eating strawberry Popsicle's with is best buddy. I became an instant fan.....he became my favorite musician.....my choice has not waived in 10 years.
"How He Loves" was written by John Mark as a tribute for Stephen, and was recorded on his 2005 album "The Song Inside the Sounds of Breaking Down." (Go to:www.vimeo.com/10868953 to watch the song story) It is a song that has touched the hearts of millions. It was later recorded for the mainstream audience, and made popular by David Crowder. Biker Man was at the worship service that John Mark sang it publicly for the first time.....he hasn't forgotten that moment. We love The David Crowder Band.....but, there is nothing like hearing John Mark sing it.....complete with original lyrics.
John Mark has been our go to for every moment.....Biker Man likes to workout to him.....and I like to clean my house with him playing.....he has been great dinner music.....and time of reflection music. I have also played his album during times of entertaining.....how can you go wrong, with a band who claims The Muppet Show to be one of their sources of inspiration.....not to mention greats like Springsteen, Wonder, The Stones, Hank Sr., and Michael Jackson.....just to name a few. His style is a mix of rock, alternative, soul, blues and gospel....and is something to be experienced. My current favorite is "Skeleton Bones" which was recorded on his 2008 release "The Medicine." Check him out singing this, on You Tube: http://youtube.be/FYESNOPpXV4......you will watch it more than once......reminds me a bit of young Johnny Cash.....another of my favorites. This stuff is classic shin~dig sounds!
In honor of JMM touring.....and in our area this Friday night.....I am giving away not one, but TWO of his CD's....."The Medicine" and "Economy." For a chance to win:
1~ Click on the link to my Facebook page.....
2~ Go to where I have shared this blog post.....
3~ Click on share.....and begin sharing this blog post, through Facebook, with others.
4~ The follower who has shared the most, by noon on Friday.....will win both CD's.
5~ Comment on my blog or Facebook page, how many times you shared, to be entered for a chance to win.....honor system!
Winner will be announced Friday evening sometime.....in the case of a tie.....your names will be put in a hat, and a winner drawn randomly.
Now.....go check out his music.....invite him to your next shin~dig.....I have a feeling......he may become one of your favorites too!