Make Love, Make War, by Brian Doerksen (David C. Cook, 2009)
The title of this one may be a little intimidating, but look at the subtitle: “NOW is the time to worship.” Songwriter Brian Doerksen challenges Christians to adopt an intentional lifestyle of loving and serving God.
Each chapter begins with one of Brian Doerksen’s songs. Part memoir, part expansion on the themes that sparked the songs, this is an honest reflection on circumstances both joyful and sad. Topics include a Christian’s identity, the importance of gratitude, the Father’s love, hearing God, the importance of controlling our thoughts, and surrender.
If you’ve ever thought contemporary praise music was too upbeat to the point of ignoring the pain in life, you’ll appreciate the author’s perspective. As well as songs declaring God’s praise, he’s not afraid to write worship songs for the hurting. After all, songs of lament hold a valid place in the psalms. Lament, says the author, is different from simply complaining. After laying out the trouble before the Lord, a lament expresses the singer’s choice to trust God even in the hardship.
As we worship, our hearts are healed by the faithfulness of God, because that’s who God is. [Kindle location 331]
The names that our parents give us and the labels others slap on us are not as important as who we are in the Father’s eyes. [Kindle location 364]
Sometimes our greatest act of worship is just hanging on to God in the middle of the storms of trouble that threaten to engulf us. [Kindle location 1946]
As a bonus for readers who write music (or who’d like to), each chapter ends with practical songwriting tips.
Brian Doerksen is an award-winning Canadian songwriter and worship leader. For more about the author and his latest projects, visit briandoerksen.com.
[Review copy from my personal library.]
Appreciate your review of this book, Janet. I love Brian Doerksen’s songs and have always appreciated his humble reliance on God in the face of hurtful and even tragic circumstances.
Marny, in the book he speaks of his calling to lead the hurting in worship. Very specific, and needed by us each at times! I admire how he’s allowed his own hard times to strengthen his reliance on God, and then allowed that to shape his songs. Thanks for your comment!