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Paul Baloche “The Same Love”

Paul Baloche’s New album “The Same Love” Releases next Tues amongst lofty acclaim and in my opinion some very baffling reviews. Yes the general consensus is that it is brilliant, but I have heard too many people state that Paul is intentionally trying to not sound like…Paul.

I am a huge fan of guys like Steven Curtis Chapman that year after year, decade after decade, can change their sound based on where we are sonically in the times. People who are always trying to push the limits.

“There are a lot of songs about the Cross on this record. People are almost apologetic about it, and yet I feel challenged not to shrink from it. Our tendency is to make our language inclusive and seeker friendly. And I get that, but we also need songs that point to the truth of the new covenant.” – Paul Baloche

Paul loves to push the boundaries lyrically. He has always veered towards making songs the church could use, keeping them in the current style, but not watering down the gospel.

The only issue I have seen though is his studio recordings never captured the brilliance and anointing that came from Paul Live. I have heard many times from friends who were not fans of the CD’s but then saw Paul live and were blown away. In the past I felt the same way. There was something about the production that gave us only a “piece of Paul”. We lost the “living room” atmosphere that Paul loves to speak on.

2 weeks ago I received “The Same Love” and I exhaled one word. “FINALLY”
This is the CD from Paul I have been waiting for. Arguably the most influential worship songwriter of our time will release next tues his best CD that he has ever recorded.

Paul is joined by co-writers like Jason Ingram, Ben Gowell, Ed Kerr, All Sons & Daugters, Brothers McClurg, Lincoln Brewster, Kari Jobe and more.  Paul is the master of the co-write with many of his greatest hits written with Brenton Brown and this album illustrates more of that gifting.

Songs like “Your Blood Ran down” bring us into deep communion with the sacrifice Christ made on the Cross. It is gripping in it’s simplicity.

Of course the Title track is a knockout and a reminder of God’s faithfulness.

I used to go track by track, but honestly there is not a bad song on this CD.

I want to highlight a few more though.

“king of heaven”, co-written with Jason Ingram is earthy and almost reminiscent of a Gungor track. What’s not to like about Baloche and a banjo!

“Christ the Lord” will become the next great Easter song for the church.

“Oh Our Lord”, co-written with All Sons & Daughters is brilliant track lifting up the name of Jesus. “we reach for you;we cling to you Oh Lord”. I will be introducing this song very soon in my church.

Paul also covers “Just Say” which was Co-written with Bros. McClurg. I loved this song on their CD, but it is even better done by Paul.

Paul captures an intimate worship feel on many tracks and gives us the much sought after living room feel. There are many anthem songs on here as well that will make their way into church set list rotation everywhere soon.

Let me end with this: This is the Paul Baloche CD I have been waiting for. The Production is perfect and the writing is nothing less than remarkable.

If you are a Baloche fan you will love this album. If you are a worship leader you will spend many thoughts trying to decide if it’s ok to introduce all of these songs to your church next week. If you have never heard of Paul, GET WITH THE PROGRAM! If you have never been into Paul’s stuff keep in mind what I said above. This is the CD to listen to so jump in head first and worship along side one of the greatest.


Because This CD is so great I am going to be giving away 3 copies of the digital cd, digital experience, and physical CD.

I have added a widget below to make it simple.

YOU MUST COMMENT BELOW.. tell me the baloche song that has ministered to you most over the years.

Then click the green button in the widget. There are many chances to have entries in to the random drawing so click the green button and tweet, like, and subscribe to RSS for entries to win these.

The Deadline is Sat at Midnight… so spread the word and get on it!!! “YOU MUST HAVE A VALID EMAIL ADDRESS IN THE COMMENTS”


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this CD free from Integrity Music to review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

It is not a secret that I have been reading about the occult and all things spiritual since I could read pretty much. I have read most of the books on “spirits”, christian and pagan and tried over the years to learn as much as I could about the topic. I have seen people possessed by demons and I have spoken to demons through a person. I have been in places that were “haunted” and know the reality of what is going on behind the spiritual curtain…

In the 90’s I got into the vampire books from Anne Rice. I read them and loved them. Somewhere within the series though it seemed to take a twist from a story to actually being evil.

My wife and I loved Buffy the Vampire slayer and Angel. It was a great show about good versus evil, but somewhere along the way, most likely for ratings sake, it began to glorify evil.

The truth is in the end we all knew this stuff was evil and we justified why it was ok to be wrapped in media with it.

Recently I was talking to a friend who loves the Paranormal Ghost shows. She told me it was “just plain fun”. My answer to her was that there is a line we Christians love to cross and if she was ever actually in a haunted house she would feel different about the show.

I have been really focused on the power of our praise and the battle that there is in the spiritual realm over our attention and ultimately our souls. I am becoming concerned because it seems to me that we used to watch and be involved with stuff fully knowing it was evil, but doing it anyway justifying along the way. Now we are involved with stuff and are so desensitized that we have forgotten that what we are involved with is just plain wrong.

I am a guy who loves fantasy and fiction probably more than most people, but we as a society have crossed a line where we glorify Satan and it is messed up.

Last week I was on a youth retreat leading worship for a few churches. I was amazed how many kids spoke more about “Twilight” than they did about anything else. There was a kid there who looked like the vampire character and because of that all the girls were all over him. They said he “sparkled”!! We all laughed and thought it was kinda funny, but then in worship I could not shake how crazy that is. Not only have we forgotten just how evil these things are but our “daughters” are fawning over dudes that look like vampires. Nothing says I love you like a sparkling bloodsucking demon guy.

You as a reader may say I’m taking this too far and it’s innocent. Again I love fantasy, but I love Good versus evil and GOD coming out on top because it mirrors what real life is like. However society has twisted it where it is evil versus evil and we end up rooting for one of the evil sides and then are convinced they are good.

This youth retreats conversations, while innocent, kind of woke me up to the realization that the church is not aware that we fight against principalities and rulers in the spiritual realm. The Key part of that phrase is that there is a “SPIRITUAL REALM” and while we can’t see it angels and demons battle around us daily.

Just because you have not smoked crack does not mean you don’t know what it can do to you. I will say the same thing that just because you have not encountered a demon doesn’t mean you should play around with things that are overtly glorifying Evil.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Philippians 4:8

I admonish you Christians to tune into the Holy Spirit and discern right from wrong, what is or is not beneficial, and what glorifies God or Satan. In the end we have already won the battle, but daily we still fight.

paul-baloche-live-feature

Paul “THE MAN” Baloche has a new album which releases April 1st. If you are in the church or in ministry at all and don’t know who Paul is I will be praying for you. The reality is if you have heard ANY song in the church, most likely he either wrote it, co-wrote it, or the author was thinking about how awesome Paul is when they wrote it. So that being said, if you haven’t figured it out yet, Paul is one of the most prolific writers/worship leaders we have out there. What sets him a part is his humility. I have had the pleasure of working with Paul at a worship conference I co-created which was amazing. I saw Paul strip away the “fame” and walk in without pride and just show people how to seek the heart of God.

This same man, with 5 bazillion twitter followers, when he saw there were bad storms in my area sent me messages to see if my family was ok and let us know he was praying for us. Now… why am I prefacing this review with all that? Is it to name drop? Not even in the least… The truth is…I want everybody who reads this to know that Paul is a man who cares about people. He loves the “C”hurch and is a man after God’s heart. It is even more amazing that on top of all that he is a brilliant writer.

I have had no qualms in the past to say that, while I am a huge Baloche fan, I am not big on most of his studio albums. [edit] LET ME CLARIFY: I love everything Paul does, but every time a friend says to me they are not a fan my reply is “you should see him LIVE”. When they do they become a fan. There always seemed to be a disconnect there. – “The same love” was the exception and it was the studio album that that blew the doors off his other ones. IT was SO GOOD, But I craved a live album…I begged Integrity via email, twitter, my reviews and in my brain to make a Live Baloche album. This isn’t meant to sound hyper-spiritual, but somehow the studio stuff seems to sterilize the worship for me. Paul is amazing live because you can hear him leading worship and not just laying down a track. In essence, LIVE puts the “groan” of the holy spirit back into the track for me.

Then the email came to check out the pre-release of the Paul Baloche LIVE album and I was ecstatic. I never blow smoke on reviews, even if I know the person because I think it is important that the church puts out quality stuff. This album is not only amazing, but it is EXACTLY the album I have been waiting for Paul to make. There are new songs, familiar songs, and retakes on hymns. It offers singable corporate worship songs that are well crafted and not drivel. More importantly it offers a worship experience for the listener. This is not just a bunch of tracks mashed together. This is an experience where the listener can feel like they were at this event and be led into worship of the King by one of the best leaders we have in the church today.

I give this a full 5/5 stars and think this a must CD/DVD for every collection, home, and personal worship.
DO NOT PASS THIS ONE UP!

The full Paul Baloche – LIVE CD/DVD song list follows:
1.   Our God Saves
2.   God My Rock
3.   You Lift Us Up
4.   The Same Love
5.   Jesus Be My Savior
6.   Mighty Fortress
7.   My Hope
8.   Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)
9.   Today Is The Day
10. He Is Risen
11. Glorious / Holy Holy Holy

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this CD free from Integrity and Hoganson to review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

My Top 10 albums of 2012

December 28, 2012 — 4 Comments

Klampert top10 albums

My top albums of 2012

Will Retherford – Walk
Aaron Keyes – In the Living Room
The Choir – The Loudest Sound
Paul Baloche – The same love
Propaganda – Excellent
Phil Wickham – Singalong 2
Sojourn Music – Come Ye Sinners
Dustin Smith – You are the Fire
Bethel Live – For the Sake of the World
Christ For the Nations – 37

Albums on constant repeat since 2011

Daniel Bashta – The sounds of Daniel Bashta Deluxe Edition
Harvest Bashta – Make Us Ready
Brian & Katie Torwalt – Here on Earth
Bethel Music – Be Lifted High
John Mark Mcmillan – The Medicine (yes I am fully aware I had this in 2010, but it’s SO good)

About 8 years ago I was contacted by Vicky Beeching about designing a logo for her women in worship network blog. I was super excited to work with her because I was a huge fan of her work since her vineyard days. I had just seen her open for delirious and Rebecca St. James and this just became a monumental business relationship for me. I had the pleasure of doing logos, photo editing, and design-work for her websites and in the mean time learned more about her via her blog.  I loved doing the work for her because I had a real connection to her worship songs that she wrote. They were not the typical 3 chord, made for radio, theologically drivel songs that were all around me. They were rich, expressed anguish, poured out lament and joy at the same time. Honestly her albums always reminded me of the Psalms.

Somewhere along the years we lost touch on the business end, but I still followed her life thanks to social media and the internet. Then in 2014 Vicky announced that she was gay on an article on the independent in UK. Of course the world… her world…. blew up that night as every christian that admired her or agency that signed her had to decide how to personally handle the situation or reconcile singing/promoting her songs.

I woke up that morning, saw the article, saw the people that I respect in Christian world respond and was floored by it all. There is a moment for those of us who have been in the church a long time when we realize that there is a lot of UGLY in the beautiful thing we call the Church. I saw a lot of ugly that day and felt I needed to respond, if not for my own self, but also so vicky and others could see that there are those of us out there that don’t fly high the banner of condemnation and hate.

This was that post.

I still stand by every word I wrote in that post because I truly believe Love has no strings. Grace has no prejudice and BOTH look like Jesus.

Ever since the announcement I knew that she would have to write a book to tell her story. Maybe one day I will follow suit. In the mean time I could not wait to get this book for a few reasons. First is because I knew I shared a similar church journey being in the same kinds of fellowships and being brought up with a dogmatic and sometimes extra-biblical theology. I’m still processing much that in my own life and I was hoping her book would help me remember things as odd as that seems. Second because in the journey I have had theologically and in my faith over the past 5 years I have tried to unlearn so much in order to make Jesus my theology. This has forced me to be editable and allow the Lord to speak into 40 years of noise. My hope in reading this was that the Lord would speak through her story in a way that would challenge me.

When the book finally arrived I opened it up, began reading, and could not put it down. Within 2 days I had devoured it. She is a brilliant writer and that makes for an easy yet compelling read. It was everything I had hoped this book would be and more. It was raw, honest, earthshaking, heaven drawing, emotional, theological, heartbreaking, and joyful all in one read. To be honest, this book reminded me why I love Vicky’s music.

I want to keep my review as to the content as simple as possible because I’m pretty sure I could go on for days discussing it. I will sum up my review with a bullet point list because that is what all the cool kids are doing.

  • Vicky’s story broke my heart for her and for those dealing with the same story
  • I am ashamed once again by how the church can wield the beautiful work of Jesus as an whip and abuse people with it. I remember being in those kinds of churches. I remember being in similar prayer meetings in the 80’s and 90’s. It gutted me knowing I stood in those rooms and wasn’t fully aware of how dangerous those meetings were to those who just needed to know the true love of God and that they were not a mistake.
  • I found myself repenting, maybe not as a contributor to that vitriol but as a bandwagon youth group person who had no room for grey and who was convinced God was black and white and fit neatly into the box I stuffed Him into.
  • There is a quote in the book where she said “I love the church, and I consider it my family. It’s extremely painful when families inflict damage on one another, but I’m choosing not to walk away…” – I think I read that line about 10 times as I have felt that in my own relationship with the church. Vicky goes on to share that it is her hope that one day LGBT equality would be the norm much like other things in the bible which were debated over an over again in regards to their acceptance.
  • One of the reasons Jesus spoke in parables or stories was to give context, make theology more accessible, and to simplify. Of course people hearing and reading those stories have dissected them and gutted them to the point that every single little thing had meaning, even though that was not Jesus’ intent, and then they subsequently missed the TRUE meaning entirely. I think you have to read this book much in the same way. Don’t pick it apart because it’s a lifetime crammed into a few hundred pages. Instead take a deep breath, exhale your dogma, and try and see the meaning behind her story.
  • In the last 3 years specifically, the Lord has had the LGBTQ community on my heart to pray for, love, and speak to as often as possible about God’s love for his creation. I’m actually not sure why God has made this a reoccurring theme in my brain and prayers, but because of it I have spent time in discussion, listening, and reading anything I can on the topics vicky addresses in her book. I knew I was not going to pick up 300 pages of answers, but I did know that vicky studied and knew the word, science, and other areas and I would for sure find insight through this story. What I was not prepared for was more unlearning. The age old phrase when anything doesn’t match our paradigm is “you can make the bible say anything you want” and the hardline fundies would say “IT’S VERY CLEAR”. I’m not sure how to express my opinion on the topics in the book other than I’m open to anything God would show me and I’m willing to be wrong about everything but Jesus. I have been called a heretic many times this last year or so ironically because I choose to make Jesus my theology so If my openness to God on this topic makes me fit that category again then hand me my nametag.
  • I found myself trapped in the time between times reading her heart-wrenching story. I wrestled with her words and heartbreak and I found myself in the end cheering for Jesus the healer and God who loves without strings.
  • The good news is this book is dripping with THE GOOD NEWS even in the midst of the rubble.

Vicky mentions in her book Kintsugi which I have heard of before. It is a japanese art that repairs broken ceramics with precious metals like gold and silver. It is literally the art of precious scars. It makes the pottery more valuable and amazingly enough more durable. The “scars” become a feature that gets exhibited instead being hidden. I have always found that art beautiful and it’s meaning even more so. After reading This book it has taken on a new meaning and I pray that the Church becomes a place safe enough for people who are broken to display the precious mending of God. Maybe we aren’t right about what wholeness “Looks” like. Maybe there are people who we have determined have a grace expiration date that could be embraced by Jesus if we weren’t see dead set on standing in the way.

God is LOVE
(God) is patient, (God) is kind. (God) does not envy, (God) does not boast, (God) is not proud. (God) is not rude, (God) is not self-seeking, (God) is not easily angered, (God) keeps no record of wrongs. (God) does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. (God) always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (God) never fails. JESUS is God. Jesus has always been God. God has always looked like Jesus. there never was a time when God didn’t look like or act like Jesus…

So if we intend to be more like Jesus we should be less concerned about being perfect and instead allow him to perfect us.
We should be willing to be editable, full of grace, recklessly loving, and willing to do whatever it takes to show people that the LOVE of God is far deeper and wider than even our own hearts allow.

Yes I’m preaching because regardless of your thoughts on LGBTQ in regards to your “stance”, you have been given ONE mandate… It’s not to do conversion therapy, it’s not to do exorcisms, it’s not to condemn, it’s not to cut off and remove…..

It’s simply to love

I think this book is a critical book for our time. It is a must read and I am convinced every church leader should read this in order to understand the damage that comes from us NOT loving God’s creation.