The Transformation!

Spring              spring scene

 

God’s amazing transformational power surrounds us. This week as we “Spring” forward Jesus’ resurrection power is evident in His creation as new buds emerge on barren limbs, blades of grass push upward from the earth, and beautiful flowers adorn our pathways.  However, these are only one proof of Our Lord’s constant renovating force. We have also experienced intimately it in our salvation moment, when He reached down to rescue us from enslavement to sin. Then, outside our hearts and in our lives, He strives to pursue His perfect will in us and all we do for Him.

Just this week I have again witnessed His marvelous transformational power in action!  This past Saturday, March 15, through the talents of a specially assembled group of musicians, He took The Beatitudes Songs to an entirely new level, as they “laid down” the accompaniment tracks for these powerful messages in music to a sound and style that will immediately connect with lovers of Contemporary Christian music.

The process of these songs have been astounding. From quiet summer mornings when inspired words flowed onto paper, then as these lyrics became majestic melodies under the touch of Annette Herndon, followed by in-depth critiques by Babbie Mason wich elevated them to a higher level for rewrites for our album producer, David Staton.

Beech Creek Studio2                Beech Creek Studio3              Beech Creek Studio1

This past Saturday we proceeded to the next step at the magnificent recording facilities at Beech Creek Studios in Brentwood, Tennessee, owned by Mike Gay.  Dirk Johnson (band leader & keyboardist), Dave Cleveland (guitarist), Jimmy Carter (bass guitarist), Kelly Back (guitarist), Steve Brewster (drummer), Pete Greene (engineer) transformed these songs to an incredible sound I never imagined, as Annette and David Staton sang the vocals.

Included below is a short video of one of the song sessions.

Below are samples of five of the songs that will be on the album. These are in power point format so that you may see the lyrics as your listen to a portion of the melodies. (Just click on the name, open the file, click on Slide Show at the top, and then on From Beginning Slide)

Treasures from Jesus – (Introduction)        The Splendor of My King (Poor in Spirit)

My Heart Will Break No More (Those who Mourn)

Close to You (Those who Hunger & Thirst for Righteousness)

When Mercy Came  (The Merciful)

We are “almost there” with the production of the Beatitudes Songs album, which I feel will be an incredible tool Our Lord will use to steer hearts to discover His astounding Beatitudes stored up for every believer.  They are life changing and make us difference makers for Him while on earth!  Music moves our hearts, and I know God will use these songs to bring souls even closer to Him.  His timing is always perfect. We are now in the process of reaching out to various artists for the final vocal recordings for these songs. Please pray that Our Lord will lead us to the exact artists He desires to sing the Beatitudes to our world and that He will speak to them to collaborate in this wondrous endeavor for Him!

Beech Creek Studios group foto

The Beatitudes Retreat

The Beatitudes Retreat

Pictured from left (back row) Dr. Bill Morgan, Dr. John Johnston, Rev. Winston Brooks, Rev. J. B. Burt, Rev. Tommy Roy (front row) Rev. Steve Whitehead, Mrs. Betty Brooks, Marlin Harris, Rev. Tom Thompson (not pictured) Lee Walker and Rev. Scott Watson

On February 21-22 the Autauga Baptist Association in Alabama, hosted The Beatitudes Retreat to give interested pastors and laypersons the opportunity to experience firsthand The Beatitudes Bible Study in a group setting.  The retreat began Friday evening with an Introductory session, and The Poor in Spirit followed by Those Who Mourn.  Then Saturday morning we continued with The Meek, Those Who Hunger and Thirst After Righteousness, and The Merciful. After a delicious barbeque luncheon, we concluded in the mid afternoon with The Pure in Heart, The Peacemakers, The Persecuted, and the Conclusion sessions.

I was blessed to share this study with an outstanding group of pastors and laypersons who expressed a keen interest in the Beatitudes and carrying them to their churches!  Every church represented now plans to conduct the study in Sunday School, Wednesday night Bible Study, Sunday Evening Discipleship Study program, or even in their weekly worship service.  Below are their comments regarding the Retreat experience:

“The session we had on the Beatitudes was truly a revitalizing experience. Marlin Harris shared out of his heart and knowledge a word from Our God that made the Beatitudes. I would recommend any pastor having this in their church.”

Rev. Winston Brooks, Calvary Baptist Church, Prattville

 “The Beatitudes are filled with so many wonderful truths and this study presented these truths in a highly professional and in-depth manner.  Each of the Beatitudes had personal applications and engaged each participant in the discussion.  

Rev. Steve Whitehead, Assistant Pastor, New Vision Baptist Church, Prattville

“Wonderful Bible study experience with other pastors. Very timely teaching and scripture for the times we are living.” 

Rev. Scott Watson, Marbury Baptist Church, Marbury

“The ‘Beatitudes’ retreat, led by Marlin, gave me fresh insight into this brief, but important section in Matthew, Chapter 5. Marlin covers each Beatitude with tremendous spiritual depth and clarity. I came away with more than an approach to teaching the Beatitudes; I gained a greater understanding of what it means to walk with Christ in a closer and more consistent manner.”

Dr. John Johnston, Minister of Education, First Baptist Church, Prattville

“Wonderfully written……obviously inspired……. Rev. J. B. Burt, New Vision Baptist Church, Prattville

“I want to thank Marlin for teaching The Beatitudes Bible study and writing the book, “Let the Beatitudes Be My Attitude in You” which is well documented and well taught by Marlin. In Matthew 5, The Sermon on the Mount, Jesus opened His mouth and taught His disciples and the multitudes about the Beatitudes. Marlin’s teachings on the Beatitudes has given me a better outlook on my attitude toward others. Our attitude has to do with one’s general approach to life.”

Rev. Tommy Roy, Posey Crossroads Baptist Church, Prattville

“Great discipleship building retreat.  Will help a small group setting to focus on a ‘Beatitude attitude’ for Christian growth. Resources with book, the Study Guide, Lesson power points, Beatitudes songs, are excellent discipleship tools.”

Dr. Bill Morgan, Autauga Baptist Association Missions Director

Beatitudes studies are now being planned at Calvary Baptist, First Baptist, Posey Crossroads, and New Vision Baptist. Dr. Morgan plans to lead this study with Mississippi Chaplains in his conference with them next September.

Another study is presently underway at First Baptist Church, Lawrenceville, Georgia, and I received the following comment last Sunday:

(Sunday School class led by Ryan Vanplew) “Today we finished the third lesson (Those who mourn). The class is really enjoying the lessons. The question today, When I asked people to share about a difficult time in their lives it really got people to open up.  The Beatitudes Bible Study has been very powerful for our Sunday School class.”

If anyone “out there” would like to plan a Beatitudes Retreat for a youth group, church class, small group study, etc. please feel free to contact me to discuss this great opportunity for a complete Beatitudes experience. (marlinharris@hotmail.com)  Our subsequent blog will focus on Beatitudes Moments.

David Staton

David Staton

Next Saturday Annette Herndon and I will be in Nashville with David Staton recording the “accompaniment music tracks” for the upcoming Beatitudes Songs album.  Please pray with us that this album will follow Our Lord’s perfect plan in its production and become a major driving force to entice “our generation” to dive into His Beatitudes message for them!