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Thursday, September 8, 2016

"10000 Reasons" (Matt Redman with Craig Borlase)

TITLE: 10,000 Reasons: Stories of Faith, Hope, and Thankfulness Inspired by the Worship Anthem
AUTHOR: Matt Redman with Craig Borlase
PUBLISHER: Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook Publishers, 2016, (176 pages).

We have all heard of how the hymn Amazing Grace became a classic after it was written by a former slave-trader.  We have all been blessed by Charles Wesley's and Fanny Crosby's beautiful hymns. We love these old hymns so much that from time to time, I would hear people say that newer hymns do not resonate as much. I would disagree. Perhaps, they have not heard songs like Matt Redman's 10000 Reasons, which has inspired and encouraged many people. This book is a collection of stories from such people.

Songs have a way to touch lives in very unique ways. With words supported by melodies and strung together by a rhythm of praise, a song can be vocalized individually or celebrated communally. Beginning with the background behind the song, Matt Redman tells of how he had that 'moment' in which everything inside him seems to come together at that special moment. Since that night, communities of faith all over the world have sang, worshiped with, and translated the words into many different languages. This song was also selected as a song of worship during a funeral service, which points the the many varied ways the song has touched people. It is Redman's hope that the song would spur people toward deeper worship and to realize that it is more than a song. It is how we tell our own stories, with this song facilitating that story telling.

There is the late Uncle Charlie Burton who when fighting cancer found the song speaking to him in a very personal way. Lying on the hospital bed before his ventilator was removed, the song was played one final time for him as he was ushered into the presence of God. Two Australians, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, convicted of drug trafficking in Indonesia were sentenced to death, but not before their conversion to Christ. Before they died before a firing squad, they were singing the song. Mollie Warner, who suffered from acute myeloid leukemia and declared defiantly that "Leukemia is Not My God." She tells about her painful ordeal through many treatments, chemotherapy, and a bone-marrow transplant. Her story and many others inspired Redman as he travels, teaches, and sings the song to many.

This book is Redman's personal journey before, during, and after the writing of the song. He gives readers lots of personal background about the entire process. Along the way, he shares stories of people who had been blessed by the song and the words in unique ways. Why is the song so powerful? Plain and simple. It offers people hope. It gives people many reasons to praise God. It provides a way for people to worship. From funerals to births, the song gives people a reason to rejoice in God. The last chapter about the process of songwriting is an interview Redman has with his co-author. I get the feeling that this book is a supplement for people who love the song, 10000 reasons. People who have been touched by the song would normally want to find out more. What better way than to hear it from the songwriter himself. At times, I feel like the song borders along being idolized, which is something every Christian needs to beware of. Granted that the song has shot Redman to worldwide fame, it is crucial for anyone of us promoting this song to remember what this song is all about in the first place. Never assume people would know.

Based in England, Matt Redman is a Full-Time worship leader, songwriter, and author. He has written many popular songs like "The Heart of Worship," "Blessed Be Your Name," and "You Never Let Go." His song "10000 Reasons" has won two grammy awards as well as multiple awards.

Rating: 4.25 stars of 5.


This book is provided to me courtesy of David C. Cook Publishers and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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