Grace Notes
By Chris Crain

Big Daddy Weave will be providing music for Promise Keeper's men's conference at Freedom Hall on the 22nd and 23r of September. Speakers include Reggie Dabbs, Bob Reccord, Joseph Garlington, Stu Weber and Joe White. The event will also feature drama from the group Awaken.

For an idea of what may be in store for the conference, here's a brief look at last month's event in Dallas: Promise Keepers' tenth visit to the Metroplex was marked by a prison event in Venus, Texas, a motorcycle event, a food drive, a concert and a high-tech spiritual encounter, attended by more than 12,000 men.

Two hundred and fifty motorcycles cruised into downtown Dallas with a police escort this morning, part of the "PK Thunder" weekend. On display is Promise Keepers' custom bike, "Unleashed," owned by Richard Wilkins (www.awakeninginhimministry.com) and built by Brouhard Designs (www.brouharddesigns.com). The "PK Thunder" event ends with a "Promise Ride" to Midlothian and back to Full Boar Cycles in Hurst, Texas.

Chaplain for the Texas A & M Aggies football team, Dr. Rick Rigsby spoke on Saturday morning about "Heart" and "Talent." "Men, in Dallas, Texas today it's time for us to get in touch with the heart that God created in each of us," said Rigsby. "God has placed you on a path and you know you need to give a resounding `Yes' to it."

A concert with Lincoln Brewster filled the front of the arena with music lovers. Brewster, a gifted guitarist with major recording credits, told the men about his own difficult upbringing with an abusive, alcoholic father. "As kids, that was part of playing house, acting out the abuse. Now I get to be the father to my children that I never had." Lincoln celebrates twelve years of marriage with his wife, Laura.

Omaha pastor Dobie Weasel spoke on Saturday afternoon, encouraging men to trust the God of creation. "God will empower you. His Holy Spirit is a source of unlimited power that dwells within you. He will be your witness."

The conference, subtitled "Releasing the Raw Power of Your Heart," forces men to find an outlet. Portland-based international evangelist Mike Silva closed the meeting with the challenge to focus on people, not projects. "The question is not `what am I supposed to do,' but rather, `who does God want me to touch?'"

Men donated 7,000 pounds of non-perishable food items for the hungry in South Dallas, through the community food pantry at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship.

Dallas radio KVTT 91.7 FM "The Truth" broadcast live on Saturday from American Airlines Center.

Tickets for the conference at Freedom Hall are on sale now at promisekeepers.org and at 866-PROMISE.

Mark Lowry will be in concert on the 30th at Valley View Church in Louisville. Lowry received a serious knee injury in a motorcycle accident earlier this year and was forced to cancel a show here. Tickets are available through itickets.com.

As I told you last month, Chris Tomlin is scheduled to play The Louisville Palace on October 12th. His new CD is set to come out this month on the 26th. Millions of people around the world are singing the songs of Tomlin every week at collegiate gatherings, worship services, concert settings and as they sing along with radio. On the 26th, the GMA Artist of the Year offers brand new anthems with his fourth studio project, See the Morning, the much-anticipated follow-up to Tomlin's Gold-selling Arriving.

As Arriving continues to be a Top 10 best seller at retail even nearly two years after its release, Tomlin aims for See the Morning, produced by Ed Cash, to be a "record of hope."

"There is something about the morning that awakens the God who never sleeps nor slumbers; something about the dawn that causes our God to `arise' all through our history," says Tomlin. "In the scriptures, we find that God loves the morning. He loves meeting His people and displaying His glory and greatness in the morning. No matter how dark it gets, the morning will come. And the morning often brings freshness, hope and clarity."

For See the Morning, Tomlin road-tested many of the songs before thousands at concerts and collegiate gatherings like Passion 06. The record's first radio single, "Made To Worship," is one of those songs. Producer Cash, who encouraged Tomlin to record what became his first No. 1 radio hit, "Indescribable," also brought Tomlin the chorus that he and Stephen Sharp had written for "Made To Worship." Tomlin finished writing the song and audiences nationwide are responding as it rapidly ascends the charts, already becoming an R&R top 15 radio hit. My guess would be at will go to #1.

The album also includes "Glorious," a studio version of the live song heard on Passion: Everything Glorious, a collaboration with Matt Redman and rendition of the 1860 song by Robert Lowry entitled "How Can I Keep From Singing," and the Isaiah 40 inspired, Brenton Brown song, "Everlasting God," which is already a staple chorus at Austin Stone Community Church (co-founded by Tomlin). The aggressive side of See the Morning comes through on "Let God Arise," which is based on Psalm 68 and inspired by a message Tomlin heard from Pastor Jim Cymbala (Brooklyn Tabernacle) at a conference.

Closing the album is "Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)," a new rendition of the classic hymn. Although initially reluctant to "mess with the most recognized hymn ever," Tomlin discovered after researching the song that the famous last verse was actually written 100 years after John Newton wrote the hymn. Tomlin also discovered an original verse to the song that we no longer sing, but is as relevant today as when it was written. So, Chris took that original verse and, together with Passion founder/director Louie Giglio, co-wrote a new bridge featured on See The Morning:

My chains are gone/I've been set free/My God, my Savior has ransomed me

And like a flood His mercy reigns/Unending love, Amazing grace

Tomlin was named Artist of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year at the 37th Annual GMA Music Awards this year. Receiving five Dove trophies, Tomlin also closed the award show with his Dove Award-winning Song of the Year, "How Great Is Our God," from his current, RIAA Certified Gold-selling album, Arriving. Tomlin received his first Dove Award in 2005 for Worship Album of the Year for Arriving. Tomlin has written at least 17 songs sung by millions around the world every week as people gather to worship, including "Forever," "How Great Is Our God," "Holy Is The Lord" and "We Fall Down."

Tickets are available starting on the 4th at all Ticketmaster outlets.