“Rest for your Soul” the story behind the song released in a booklet…

Tonight we’ve received from the printers the booklets, “Rest for your Soul” – the booklet contains the story shared online here: https://turquoisetracks.com/videos/rest/

I plan to give these away this Easter time with the intention of triggering conversations around these biggest themes! If you’d like some, let me know!

In the days of CDs and records, I loved the photography and artwork. These little booklets (this is the fourth I’ve done like this) give an outlet for that old idea… and give the opportunity to share the story behind the song.

Here’s a mockup of the printed design:

Rest for your Soul

I’ve just finished “Rest for your Soul”. Dewi Jones has done a brilliant job of arranging, programming plus playing bass and keys while another friend, Danijel Petkovski plays his legendary harmonica!

Josie Evans and James Callaghan helped record this video near Tower Bridge.

See below for the story behind the song…

“Rest for your Soul” – a story behind the song.

I’m walking by a lake and my friend is talking about “truth”. Is there such a thing in cultures so jaded by propaganda and fake news? Perhaps we’re just searching for whatever particular “truth” makes us happy – lives separated by firewalls of incompatible belief systems. She gazes across the water to a hazy horizon.

But what if we were to drill down to the bedrock of everything, we ask as we walk again, what would be there? Or who? As finite, limited creatures, perhaps we just don’t have the conceptual tools to get there – we’re just left with a restless and unresolved longing – “a splinter in our souls.”

Maybe the only solution to our search, we say, would be if One from “the outside” stooped to our level to reveal the heart of everything to us.

Hundreds of years earlier, a man is walking by this same lake. He’s surrounded by those who think themselves cultured, as well as common, the contemptuous as well as the curious,

“I have come down… not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.”

Jesus was presenting himself as though he had come from the outside: revealing truth to humanity. Anyone could of course make such “God-claims” but Jesus backed them up with extraordinary words and actions; healings, exorcisms, an unnatural authority over nature…

Eventually Jesus was executed for blasphemy: a man who claimed to be God. His body was put into a rich man’s tomb and guarded by a crack unit of troops.

But on the third day, Jesus’ body had disappeared and the tough soldiers were left terrified. Shortly afterwards, an increasing number of witnesses claimed that they had seen him alive. His body was never recovered and those witnesses – hundreds of them – went on to risk and lay down their lives for the message that Jesus really had risen from the dead.

We walked and wondered, had Jesus been a unique messenger come to reveal the heart of truth to us?

It was after that conversation by Galilee, that I started writing this song – it began as a prayer for my walking companion. It speaks of longing for a connection with truth, the transcendent…

This is one of those songs that has been a long time in the honing: brewed for a couple of years, then completed in a flurry, ready in time for an important event.

That event was a dear friend’s funeral where I sang this song to those gathered. Michael Green had spent his life delighted and captivated by the news that Jesus is the heart of truth, the conqueror of death and the soon-to-return king. Michael was a historian of the first century, linguist, gifted writer and public speaker. He would sometimes ask me to write songs to illustrate his talks and had asked me to write new, “invitation songs”. This was one of them. Just a few hours before he died, we spoke. Michael seemed to have no fear of death – just an eager expectation of meeting with the risen Jesus.

Michael once explained,

“Christianity is a historical religion. It claims that God has taken the risk of involving himself in human history, and the facts are there for you to examine with the utmost rigour. They will stand any amount of critical examination.

“Christianity does not hold the resurrection to be one among many tenants of belief. Without… the resurrection there would be no Christianity at all. The Christian church would never have begun, the Jesus-movement would have fizzled out like a damp squib with his execution… Christianity stands or falls with the truth of the resurrection.”

“I am… the truth,” Jesus once said. Could it be that an authentic seeking after truth brings a person face to face with Jesus? Could it be that he is the one we seek? Or as Jesus once called out,

“Come to me… and you will find rest for your souls!”

I hope you enjoy this song – and that it would perhaps be a catalyst for you to search out the person of Jesus. The ideal place to start is in the accounts of his life recorded in the New Testament.

All the best! – Andy

Prince of Peace

Released on 25th December 2017, “Prince of Peace…”

 

Andy Mayo: lyrics, music, guitars and vocals

Dewi Jones: production, keys, bass, programming, arrangement, mixing and mastering

Nick Beston: sax

Video Production: GodOnaTrain.com

Stories and Songs in Bournemouth…

Loved playing in Bournemouth last weekend.

It was especially good to play with Stan Majerski on keys. We met in the Balkans and he produced and played on two albums that were developed out there: “Dreams of a Homecoming” and “This is for you”. We’ve also toured a lot together along with our larger five-price band.  In my opinion, the man is a genius – if you’ve heard his melodic solos and creative harmonies, I expect you agree!

 

Tapestry

Sharing an evening of “Stories and Songs”, we wanted to weave together music, conversation and visual art that point to the reality of the “God who is there”. The One who has come towards us in the person of Jesus to draw us into connection – relationship – with Him through His death and resurrection…

With one or two events most weeks until the end of March, I’ll keep you posted!

Here are some images taken on the evening by the gifted Bournemouth photographer, Loïc Salan…

Turquoise Tracks – Events Spring 2017

Looking forward to these events over the next few weeks… Perhaps see you there?!

15th Jan – Bournemouth, Landsdowne Church
23rd Jan – Bath Spa University: “RE-create”
30th Jan – Reading University
2nd Feb – Reading University
4-12 Feb – Oakhall Church, Caterham Events Week
13-14 Feb – Leeds University
20 Feb – Warwick University
27-28th Feb – Aberystwyth University
5 Mar – Belgrade, Serbia
10 Mar – Canterbury University
20-22 Mar – Banja Luka, Bosnia, University
23-25 Mar – Sarajevo, Bosnia, University

 

Get in touch!

I hope that “Lavish” has inspired you towards thinking further about these biggest themes – most of all about the significance of Jesus Christ and the enormity of His claims.

A spiritual revolution began for me when I recognised the lavish love that drove Jesus to die on a cross in my place, said “sorry” for my rejection of Him until that point and asked Him to forgive, fill and empower me to live for His glory and kingship…

My prayer is that you, too, would come to this place of trusting Jesus – experiencing forgiveness, liberation, life in all its fullness. Like the prisoner set free in “His Name”, you can speak to the God who is there and has revealed Himself in Jesus.

To keep mulling over these things, read the eye-witness accounts of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection recorded in the Bible (Luke or Mark are great places to start). If you’d like to be in touch, drop me a line using this form below. If you send your postal address, I’d love to send you the gift of a book that will help you to continue your spiritual journey.

‘How great is the love
lavished on us…’

Listen to “Show me”

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…on Apple Music

…on Spotify

[/col_two]
[col_two last=”true”]I wrote this early one New Year’s morning filling it with the words of Psalm 143. Composed in the the simple, open – even naïve – key of C, this is a song of weakness seeking strength and direction against a backdrop of a broken world. [/col_two]
[/pix_columns]An appropriate response to the revelation of a God who is there, I sometimes close concerts with this song – my quiet prayer that others would take the words of this Psalm as their own. That you, too, would surrender your life to the glorious Jesus who died for you, rose from the dead and who one day will return to judge the earth.

“Show me your face O Lord – reach out and rescue me. Out of your unfailing love, come to my relief…”

Perhaps you want to echo this response? I am convinced that He calls to you… A relationship with the King of Heaven awaits the one who would turn to Him.

 

Show me

Show me the way I should go,
for to You I lift up my soul.
Teach me to do Your will –
won’t You lead me on level ground.
I’m pursued, I’m crushed,
my spirit grows faint.
I’m pursued, I’m crushed,
my heart’s dismayed.

Show me the way I should go,
for to You I lift my soul.

I spread my hands out to You –
O my soul thirsts for You.
In Your faithfulness come to me
– hear my cry for mercy.
let the dawn bring word
of Your unfailing love;
let the dawn bring word
of You.

I spread my hands out to You –
O my soul thirsts for You.

Show me Your face, O Lord –
reach out and rescue me.
Out of Your unfailing love,
come to my relief.
I hide myself
in You, O Lord.
I hide myself
in You.

Show me Your face, O Lord –
won’t You reach out and rescue me.

Listen to “Wedding Song”

[pix_columns]
[col_two]

…on Apple Music

…on Spotify

[/col_two]
[col_two last=”true”]I wrote “Wedding Song” on the eve of my brother’s marriage to his New Zealand bride and sang it first the next morning as his “bride in white” finally stood with her groom.

Infused with promise, delight, intended permanence – a relationship of sacrifice and commitment as two become one – what if all weddings were in fact a faint, blurred reflection of something even greater?[/col_two]
[/pix_columns]Weddings resonate through the Bible. Jesus even supplied the wine for one of them! The final scene of history is described as a wedding feast – Jesus in perfect relationship and celebration with all of humanity who have accepted His approach to us.

Could it be that all love takes its definition – its shape – from this One who comes to us?

“Love divine, love defined: love come down.”

Jesus is utterly committed to us, has died to release us to be able to enter into relationship with Him. He has given all. We are like the other party in the relationship – will we accept the love lavished on us or will we walk away?

 

Wedding Song

Here she comes! Here she comes –
bride in white!
Here she comes! Here she comes –
his delight!

What God has joined together,
let man not separate.
What God has joined together,
may we celebrate!

See them now, see them now,
stand together.
Hear them now, hear them now,
say, “forever”.

What God has joined together…

Love defined,
love divine,
love come down.
Sacrifice,
Jesus Christ,
love come down.
Love revealed,
love that heals
love come down.
love defined,
love divine,
love come down.

What God has joined together…

The Lord is good
and His Love forever endures.
The Lord is good and He is
reaching for us.

What God has joined together…

Listen to “You’re that one”

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…on Apple Music

…on Spotify

[/col_two]
[col_two last=”true”]Lullaby-like and with another of Lester’s sublime arrangements enveloping a picked guitar, this song is about the touch on a person’s life of the love of the King of Heaven.

“How great is the love lavished on us…” [/col_two]
[/pix_columns]
Lullaby-like and with another of Lester’s sublime arrangements enveloping a picked guitar, this song is about the touch on a person’s life of the love of the King of Heaven.

“How great is the love lavished on us…”

Have you experienced this?

I could never deserve to hear the King of Heaven address me in such tones: look at my life, stained and tainted as it is by my own selfish rejection of Him.

And yet, Jesus came: the greatest expression of love. God becoming human – the creator taking on the nature of the created – with the purpose to die in my place. With the purpose to die in your place.

“…God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”*

Sometimes a friend listens to my songs and says, “I wish I had your faith”. They mean that it would make them feel so much better to embrace these ideas despite their delusional nature!

The Message of Jesus Christ is rooted in historical evidence that can be examined and considered rationally. This evidence has driven me to the place of being convinced that this is as true as it is enthralling.

My prayer is that you, too, would examine the evidence and trust in the One who

“…stoops to take your hand, to lead you to an open land…”

* Rom 5:8

You’re that one

You – the joy before Him
as He faced a cross.
You – the one he came for:
to seek-save the lost.
You – the bride in white
prize from the fight,
the Father’s delight.
You’re that one.

How great the love
lavished on us.

You – love-quietened,
It’s for you He sings.
You – tasting kindness –
drawn with grace strings.
He stoops to take your hand,
to lead you to an open land,
– to fulfil His perfect plan.
You’re that one.

How great the love…

Love of the King of Heaven,
poured out on you.
Love of the King of Heaven,
makes all things new.

You – adopted for His own –
In His embrace.
You for whom He stooped down from
Heaven’s highest place.
You: truth believed
hope and life received
burdens, fears relieved…
You’re that one.

How great the love…

Listen to “His Name”

[pix_columns]
[col_two]

…on Apple Music

…on Spotify

[/col_two]
[col_two last=”true”]I am playing in a prison. I look into the crowd that crams the room. One man has a particular stare. The music ends. He rushes at me. “I know what you’re talking about! These last mornings, I’ve been reading about Jesus while we’ve been locked in. As I read, I realised that Jesus died for me: to bring me forgiveness! The other day, I knelt in my cell and I asked Him to forgive me, to cleanse me, to give me relationship with God through Him.” [/col_two]
[/pix_columns]
The guards give instructions for prisoners to return to the wings. He starts away. Now he turns back and smiles,

“I’ve never been so free…”

A few millennia ago, there was a forwards-projecting myth – a “prophecy” – that spoke of One who would come to make the broken unbroken, to mend, heal, restore, renew. Jesus, in one of His early speeches, stood in a crowded religious meeting place on the northern shores of Lake Galilee, read that aged prophecy and then sat down, announcing,

“Today, this is fulfilled!”*

Rather than embracing Him, the religious authorities were outraged at His claim and tried to kill Him. The claims of Jesus continue to divide opinion – the “undeserving” often receiving Him with unspeakable joy and affirming that He does bring liberation, while the religious and “entitled” often reject Him for His inconvenient and disturbing over-arching claims of Lordship.

Gospel and blues influenced with Rita’s sparkling backing vocals, the song ends on that unexpected harmonic of a ninth chord, “His Name is… Jesus.”

* Luke 4:21

His Name

He sets the prisoner free.
He makes the blind see.
He makes the dumb talk,
lets the lame walk.

His Name is…
His Name is…

In a world filled with shame,
in a world marked with pain,
in a world where we just fall down again:

He sets the prisoner free…

We long for justice
but fear its coming.
We long for peace
then go out to war.
We long for a Saviour –
we cry in the darkness –
but we turn away
from His nail-pierced hands.

There’ll be a day of glory.
There’ll be a day of majesty.
There’ll be a day when every eye will see:

He sets the prisoner free…

His Name is Jesus,
His Name is Jesus.

Listen to “Hide”

[pix_columns]
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…on Apple Music

…on Spotify

[/col_two]
[col_two last=”true”]We spend our lives alternately concealing secrets and presenting the face we think others will find acceptable – from selective social media posts to our self-centred revelations in conversation.

In a world of spin, we’re spinning too and it is exhausting.

If only there would be One who would speak true revelation, life, liberation and peace.[/col_two]
[/pix_columns]
There’s an ancient story about a prophet who, exhausted, shelters in a cave. Earth-shaking phenomena ensue and seem to turn the world upside down but he realises, it is all emptiness if God is not there…

“And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.”*

Even God’s whispered voice has devastating power, authenticity and unrelenting purity and causes this man to step towards the source of everything – the One who is utterly fulfilling, liberating and inspiring.

Are we thirsting for this out-of-this-world voice? The voice that resonates with hearts that were created to relate with Him?

Instrumentally, this is a stripped back, acoustic guitar-shaped track. With an alternative tuning that leaves resonant, droning notes – perhaps it hints of a still, peace-bringing voice that cuts through personal propaganda to speak to our souls…

* 1 Kings 19:11-13

Hide

Hide the secrets of your heart.
Hide the longings.
Hide the fears.
Hide the broken dreams.
Hide joys – long past:
hide the secrets of your heart.

Show the smile that melts their soul.
Show ambition:
show them strength.
Show envisioned face.
Show self-belief:
show the smile that melts their soul.

Stifle thirsts for int’macy.
Stifle cravings.
Stifle sighs.
Stifle loneliness.
Stifle sharp tears:
stifle thirsts for int’macy,

Hear the still, soft voice of calm.
Hear the power.
Hear the peace.
Hear authority,
hear hope, hear life:
hear the still, soft voice of calm.

Listen to “Lavish”

[pix_columns]
[col_two]

…on Apple Music

…on Spotify

[/col_two]
[col_two last=”true”]I structured this album in the shape of a piece of chiastic poetry, placing this song in the middle as the focus: the centre of the concentric circles of songs that surround it. “Lavish.”

I penned this song in Belgrade, on the corner of a desk while studying with a group of students through a letter written by the Apostle John that is recorded in the New Testament.[/col_two]
[/pix_columns]
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called children of God. And that is what we are!”*

Each verse recounts how John speaks of this eternal love expressed to us: a love that calls you child, that is untamed by years and that reaches into history to achieve the most audacious victory…

“Forgiving love dies on a cross, forgiving love: my gain, His loss.”

Lyrically dense and with an eastern-leaning melody, the chorus cites an ancient piece of poetry that speaks of God’s character,

“His love endures forever, His faithfulness stands for all time…”

Nick Beston plays another of his melodic solos that haunt long after the track ends…

* 1 John 3:1

Lavish

Lavish love
that drives out fear.
Lavish love,
embracing, near.

Lavish, lavish love

Adopting love
that calls you child
Adopting love,
pure, undefiled.

Lavish, lavish love

His love endures forever,
His faithfulness stands for all time.

Forever love
untamed by years.
From out of this world love,
the life appears.

Lavish, lavish Love

Forgiving love
dies on a cross.
Sacrificing love:
my gain, His loss.

His love endures forever,
His faithfulness stands for all time.

Life-birthing love
to last breath:
God-revealing love
conquers death.

Lavish, lavish Love