Friday, March 1, 2013

Zion: Hillsong United and a Giveaway (Closed)

Hillsong United:  ZION

The story of Zion...

In the aftermath of Aftermath, we all took a little break and in that time caught a fresh vision for what it is that we do, why we do it and what it means to be a part of the church; not just our church, but 'the' Church. To be called God's people and to be a part of what He wants to do.

Zion. It's an interesting word, with several meanings and connotations. We read about it, sing about it and even wonder where it is. In Biblical terms it is the hill on which the city of David was built and perhaps where the Ecclesiastical meaning of the highest place, or Heaven, comes from. Zion is precious to the heart of God and it's essentially what Jesus came to establish -- Heaven on earth. God is birthing His kingdom in us and through us here on earth and that is exemplified through what Jesus is about: mercy, love, forgiveness, generosity, justice - all of those things - and that's how we are called to live our lives. We get the chance to be a part of building God's kingdom here on earth.

The whole point of this album is the realization that God is doing His thing, and He has already done it, He is establishing His Church, and it's through us.

The album was birthed out of our cry, "God I want to be a part of what it is you're doing, if that means write a song, we'll do our best to write the best songs we can. If it means serving the poor and those who are hurting, then we're going to do it better than we've ever done it before. If it means just being a great son or daughter, brother or sister, mum or dad - wherever it is we find ourselves - then let's do that better than we've ever done it before.

Everything we do as UNITED, whether it be from recording or writing these songs, to playing them in front of people and all the production that goes with it or whatever part we play, it's all an expression of a really extraordinary God doing what only He can do through really ordinary people who love Him and want to serve Him. That's our desire, it's always been our desire and that hasn't changed; that's been the one constant. I hope these songs, in some way, are an encouragement for people everywhere.

Joel Houston


Hillsong is the adult oriented music ministry of the megachurch located in Australia.   Hillsong United is the youth version of this music ministry.    While these two groups have different styles, they have a very central focus:  God.   

As with all my music reviews, I put this CD on to listen to while doing something else.   There is a basic method to this madness.   Listening without listening lets me know which songs truly "catch" my attention.   It wasn't until the fifth song when "Stay and Wait" started playing that this album caught my ear.   It was the words that caught my ear and heart.

"Who spoke the earth and sky to form.  Who sets the sun and calls the dawn. 
Who breathed me out of dust to life.  The will to trust or run and hide. 
I will stay should the world by me fold.  Lift up your Name as the darkness falls. 
I will wait and hold fast to Your word.  Heart on Your heart and my eyes on Yours."

Wow!   Very powerful.    When you take the time to really listen to the lyrics of most of these songs you will find that the lyrics are powerful and deep.     I cannot say enough about how incredibly the lyrics are in each of these songs.

"Let your love by my companion.  In the war against my pride. Long to break all my vain obsession. Till You're all that I desire."

"Love unchanging.  God.  Your mercy never fades.  And I'm surrounded.  By your compassion and your grace."

"Our lives a tapestry of grace.  Your hand has weaved together.  In You no thread will ever fray.  This hope is ours forever.  Your work of art a mystery.  Beyond all earthly measure.  Your love for us a masterpiece.  Jesus our hope always." 

My only problem is that the music itself seemed to not match the words.    I almost wondered if it was the techno electronic sound.    I asked my son who has an amazing gift in the area of music to listen to this CD for me.   Here are his thoughts:

"When you asked me to listen to it, I didn't think I was going to like it, but I really did.   They have a really good sound.   They remind me of another group which I really like with their techno and electronic riffs.   Their lyrics are really solid.    It was easy to have it on in the background while doing my schoolwork, but I would love to have it on just to listen to anytime.  It felt like I had heard all the song before because I thought of other songs like it which made it easy to enjoy.   I would love to hear more by them."

For me, that is what is most important:   exposing my boys to great groups with Christian lyrics that they will love.    Hillsong United fulfills both of those requirements and now my other son has asked if he can borrow the CD to listen to as well.   That is what I call a win/win situation.

Once again Merge Publishing generously sent me a copy of this CD to review and they are offering one of  my readers a free copy.   If you would like to enter to win the Hillsong United: Zion CD please leave your name.


Christy said...

I love Hillsong! Would love to win!!

Robert Walker said...

Hillsong music has been a staple set of worship choruses in our church body for the past several years. Having seen several of the Hillsong varieties live in concert, some of my most spiritual moments can be traced back to a Hillsong worship concert. I would love to get a free copy of this latest album, please add my name to the list!

Robert Walker

Dana said...

I'd love to hear it!

Dan Yell said...

I hope the giveaway is still on going.

I would really love to win.. Please pick me. I am so glad to see that there is a giveaway in you blog for Hillsong United's latest release. Hillsong is my favorite Christian Band/ Artist. Their songs are really good and spirit-filled that's why they are always on my line up when I'm leading the praise and worship in our church.

Thanks for this giveaway and for a nice review. Stay blessed and highly favoured!

- Marc Daniel

Marites Rivera said...

Thanks for the review!

Count me in. I'd love to have a copy of the CD.

Many thank and blessings!

Truly in Christ,

Deanna said...

Thank you to all who entered this contest. The Random Integer Generator chose commentor #3. Congratulations Dana!

Please send me your address!