Last weekend I attended the Resolved conference, led by Rick Holland from Grace Community Church. The conference is based on the Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards, and this year’s theme was Jesus. In eleven sessions, we got a fire-hydrant dose of why the person and work of Jesus Christ is so glorious and life-changing.
This was my second Resolved conference. My good friend CJ Mahaney has spoken at all six, but I’ve gone the past two years to give away Sovereign Grace Music song sampler CDS to the 3000+ attendees. Being in Palm Springs hasn’t been bad either.
The music for the conference is provided by Enfield, led by John Martin. John has become a good friend and a godly musician I deeply respect and appreciate. In fact, as I’ve gotten to know the other members of the band (John’s wife, Lisa, guitarists Patrick Anderson and Paul Hoover, bassist/songwriter Ryan Foglesong, drummer extraordinaire David Zimmer, and newcomer multi-tasker Will Pierce), I’ve been greatly encouraged by their genuine humility, love for the church, crazy music chops, love for each other, joy, servant hearts, and artistic creativity. All inspired by their desire to bring glory to Jesus Christ. They even let me teach a song this year, All I Have is Christ. You can watch the video here.
Each year at the conference they release an album. This year it was The Enfield Hymn Sessions, Vol. 1. (You can find the previous albums, “Back to Calvary” and “O For That Day” at the Resolved site.) I listened to their new album, produced by Brian Steckler, on the way out to the conference and wanted to tell you about it.
As the name suggests, it’s a recording of 12 hymns. Here’s the list (with my favorites starred):
*1. There is a Fountain– Standard melody with a driving 4/4 accompaniment.
*2. Jesus Shall Reign – Jubilant 12/8 arrangement with a new chorus. One of my favorites on the album.
3. And Can it Be – Original tune with a 6/8 accompaniment, and some occasional fresh harmonies. Nice mandolin work on this one.
4. Lead On, O King Eternal – New music and chorus. Great rendition. Christian Ebner is the guest vocalist.
5. Our Great God – Fernando Ortega’s anthem to God’s greatness. Beautiful song. Pizzicato strings add a nice touch.
6. Crown Him with Many Crowns – Celebrative arrangement of the standard tune.
*7. Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken – Another one of my favorites. Hope to teach this at my home church some time.
8. I Will Glory in My Redeemer – Nice arrangement of Steve & Vikki Cook’s song.
*9. O the Deep, Deep Love – Original tune, but a hauntingly beautiful arrangement. For my reworking of this hymn, click here.
10. Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven – Lilting 3/4 arrangement with a new chorus.
11. Blessed Assurance – New music and chorus. Michelle Anthony is the guest vocalist. This arrangement is more reflective than the original hymn, and very moving. “This weight of heaven pours on my soul; longing for heaven where I’ll be made whole.”
*12. Be Thou My Vision – Hard to go wrong with this song. Great arrangement.
The musicians of Enfield are among the best I’ve heard from a local church. That doesn’t come through as clearly on the album as I’d like, due to the fact that a string quartet or soloists play a prominent role on most of the songs. That being said, the album is still a great collection of fresh hymn arrangements and re-writes, filled with gospel truth that will make your soul soar and your heart sing for the glory of the Savior.