|Pulsate Worship Festival|
Several bands getting together to worship God for a weekend. Workshops during the day, fun in the afternoon, and energetic praise and passionate worship in the eveing.by Donn Edwards
November 7, 1998: Saturday turned out to be cold and grey outside, but inside the hall the worship was great. The first evening session featured Andrew Godfrey and his band, and they set the standard for the rest of the evening: high. We lifted Jesus high, and pressed in to meet with God and worship Him in His throne room.
Then the Canned Fish guys got going, adding some new songs with their repertoire, much to the delight of the crowd. One of the songs we sang was Angels, a rocky tune which talks about rocking to the rhythm of angels, and rolling out His banners of joy, and dancing in His glorous light. Of course we all found it necessary to punctuate the lyrics with some energetic arm waving and jumping around. The set ended with one of their long-time favourites, Banners. This left everyone ready for more.
Most people agreed that the last session was awesome: The God Sessions, one of the freshest and most exciting sounds to come out of South Africa. They got everyone is the mood to worship with the Delirious tune The Happy Song, which we all sang and danced to with great gusto. We also put as much effort into their own song Thirsty:
Were feasting at Your tableBy the time we went home we just knew that we had spent time in His embrace. Not only was it a great time with fresh, relevant music, but it was time spent in the presence of an Almighty God, who inhabited the praises of His people November 6, 1998: Its Friday night and the hall is full of young people. There is an air of expectation, and an excitement for something of the presence of the Lord. Adding to the excitement is the large recording truck parked outside, and plenty of extra sound equipment and video cameras. All the chairs have been stacked against the wall, to make space for everyone to dance.
The Table of Your grace
All dressed up in a kings robe
The robe of Your embrace
And dance we most certainly did! The first set was led by Alex van Laren, and he certainly managed to break the ice, without having to resort to hype or rabble-rousing. Soon the entire congregation was clapping, dancing and partying before the Lord. We sang the song Never Be the Same originally recorded by Jon Daniel, and by the time we got to the Delirious song What A Friend Ive Found, we were lost in worship. Then it was back to a rather energetic song which required audience participation and we all shouted and danced and got thoroughly exhausted.
After a welcome break the second set was led by Cornerstones Wayne Carr and Jo-Anne Hoult. They sang some great new songs, as well as one or two from their current album, Before the Rocks Cry Out which is one of the best worship albums to come out of South Africa this year.
I am writing this at just after midnight on Friday, and I know that Im going to feel stiff tomorrow from cavorting about. So you can guess that this is not soft, soothing music. Neither is it heavy metal or hard rock. Its somewhere between rock n roll and headbanging material, but without the harshness of headbanging. Instead, a love and passion for Jesus just shines through.
The last verse of Before the Rocks Cry Out reads:
Oh God may we worship in spirit and truthThat phrase passionate praise sums up the music: a passion for God and reaching the nations of the world. There was no hype or stirring up emotions just words in the songs that cry out to God and press in to His presence.
Restore all the years of our drought
May passionate praise be the sign of our days
Before the rocks cry out ...
Footnote: The sessions were recorded, and a collection of some of the best songs will be produced as an album around Easter 1999. The Pulsate Worship Festival concept will be taken to other cities around the country in the months ahead.
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