Our God is an Awesome God

It was refreshing to reacquaint myself with the music of Rich Mullins on Saturday. Listening to each of his albums (CDs) from the self-titled "Rich Mullins" released in 1986 all the way to Canticle of the Plains, I was reminded that, with the exception of two songs, Rich wrote the words to every song he ever recorded.

I'm very fortunate to have a younger brother who shares my appreciation for Rich Mullins and his music, and in the fall of 1997 he gave me a two-CD set that was a Tribute to Rich Mullins, released by 20 The Countdown Magazine. I also had the opportunity to listen to these CDs, something I hadn't done in 8 years. [Listen to it here]

From his very first album, Rich wanted the world to know he was ready for heaven and recorded Elijah, a song about this longing. Perhaps it comes as no surprise that he re-recorded Elijah for the last album released before his death, Songs. When asked why he re-did it, Rich simply said, "because nobody listened the first time."

I became a fan of Rich Mullins my freshman year of college as I wore out the album Winds of Heaven, Stuff of Earth. It brought back a lot of memories--friends I had forgotten, Campus Crusade for Christ, and working a Steve Camp concert at Texas A&M University. It all seems like a lifetime ago.

If you've never listened to his music, heard him speak, or read anything about him, you're missing out. Rich was an average guy with a profound simplicity who yearned to know God. His next release, Never Picture Perfect, has my favorite song entitled "My One Thing". I've stolen some of his words as a daily prayer:

Save me from those things that might distract me
Please take them away and purify my heart
I don't want to lose the eternal for the things that are passing
After listening to 12 hours of Rich Mullins, I decided that my favorite album is A Liturgy, A Legacy, & A Ragamuffin Band. There's not a song on this album I couldn't listen to for hours. Rich is a true artist and poet. In this album, he brings together two things that impact our faith experience--liturgy and legacy. The liturgy part of the album (tracks 2-6) is a call to worship while the legacy (tracks 7-12) calls us to reflect on our heritage and those things that make us who we are. The songs "Hold Me Jesus" and "Peace" are especially powerful.

Time will tell what the world will remember about Rich Mullins, but for me it's humility and honesty shown through his words and music. There is something profoundly disarming and inviting about Rich that is rare in this world of smoke-and-mirrors. We miss you, Rich.