IVP - Strangely Dim - "I Am Nodding My Head, an Emphatic Yes" to Sara Groves's New Album

September 9, 2011

"I Am Nodding My Head, an Emphatic Yes" to Sara Groves's New Album

We love to hear who's reading our books and what impact our books are having in people's lives. So it was exciting to read the following from Sara Groves on the release of her newest album:

Much of this album was influenced by Chapter 9 of Eugene Peterson's A Long Obedience in the Same Direction (a book I read each year): "Structures become more important than the people who live in them. Machines become more important than the people who use them. We care more for our possessions with which we hope to make our way in the world than with our thoughts and dreams which tell us who we are in the world."

Peterson goes on to explain how vastly different man's work is from God's work. Invisible Empires is looking at two skylines: one that is frenetic and man-made, and one that is eternal and not built in vain (Psalm 127). "People are at the center of Christian work. . . . We travel light. The character of our work is shaped not by accomplishments or possessions but in the birth of relationships."

I (along with others here at IVP) am an avid Sara Groves fan. In an industry inundated by new albums and new artists every year (much like the publishing industry's flood of new titles each year) her lyrics strike me as similar to IVP books: distinctive in their authenticity and honesty, not afraid to wrestle, full of truth, thoughtful, biblical, beautifully written . . . I could go on and on here, but I'll stop.

I'm not the only one who thinks this, though. Here's another ringing endorsement for her, this one specifically for her last CD, Fireflies and Songs, from TheChristianManifesto.com. Apparently they couldn't find enough adjectives to describe her music either: "5 Stars: Raw. Pure. Innocent. Soothing. Crisp. Beautiful. Honest. Amazing. Moving. Clear. Intense. An immense flow of emotion comes pouring out of Groves during Fireflies and Songs, resulting in one of the best albums of 2009."

Invisible Empires is no exception. The music of Sara Groves and the writing of Eugene Peterson is, as you'd expect, a great marriage. And while Sara isn't a Likewise author and A Long Obedience in the Same Direction isn't a Likewise book, taken together they exhibit many core qualities of our Likewise Books and Strangely Dim musings: a faith that's lived, not just talked about; authenticity; an understanding of the countercultural, simultaneously difficult and joyful nature of following Jesus; a commitment to people and relationships; a desire to see God's kingdom come, his justice done.

Though Sara's new CD doesn't officially release until October, lucky for you you can download it early here. Also lucky for you, you can buy A Long Obedience in the Same Direction here. Both are great companions for an active, thoughtful faith that is showing a broken world who Jesus is and what it means to follow him.

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The phrase "I am nodding my head, an emphatic yes" in the title of this post is from "Open My Hands" by Sara Groves, Invisible Empires.

Posted by Lisa Rieck at September 9, 2011 12:45 PM Bookmark and Share

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Behind the Strangeness

Lisa Rieck is a reader and writer who likes to discuss good ideas over hot drinks and gets inspired by the sky. She takes in all kinds of good ideas as a proofreader for InterVarsity Press.

Rebecca Larson is a writer/designer/creative type who has infiltrated IVP's web department, where she writes and edits online content. She enjoys a good pun and loves the smell of freshly printed books.

David A. Zimmerman is an editor for Likewise Books and a columnist for Burnside Writers Collective. He's written three books, most recently The Parable of the Unexpected Guest. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/unexpguest. Find his personal blog at loud-time.com.

Suanne Camfield is a publicist for InterVarsity Press and a freelance writer. She floats ungracefully between work, parenting and writing, and (much to her dismay) finds it impossible to read on a treadmill. She is a member of the Redbud Writers Guild and blogs at The Rough Cut.

Likewise Books from InterVarsity Press explore a thoughtful, active faith lived out in real time in the midst of an emerging culture.

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