Written by: Laura Chambers (August 16, 2018)
Mark Schultz has been away from the music scene for a while, but he hasn’t been idle. The past six years has been good to him and his wife; two sons and a daughter adopted from China, and plenty of life lessons learned in the process. He returns older, wiser, and with a deeper understanding of fatherhood from God’s point of view. With a mixture of humor and warmth, Schultz shares the inspiration for his songs with his audience in between tracks, giving Follow a personal feel.
“Psalm 91” paraphrases a familiar passage that describes the shelter and deliverance God faithfully provides when we’re being assailed by the devil. Nothing can destroy us as long as we trust in Him.
“No Place Love Won’t Go” joyfully testifies how God delivers us from despair, no matter how distant we are from Him. He loves us too much to leave us behind and will go anywhere He has to in order to ensure our release.
In “Time Goes So Fast”, Mark muses on the way children seem to grow up and change before their parents’ eyes. There’s no way they can pause time or slow it down; all they can do is savor every moment as it happens and take nothing for granted.
“Handed Down” is a country song about a hammer. (At least it started that way. No kidding) But it’s so much more than that. Mark reminds us that our greatest possessions are those things which are passed on to us from those who came before; heirlooms, traditions, wisdom, and faith.
“Before You Call Me Home” expresses Schultz’s desire to leave behind a legacy of love, faith, sacrifice, and integrity when he dies, so that his life will point to God. Much as you’d expect, this song was inspired by a funeral he attended. There’s no better time to start making a difference than the present.
“Highlands” serves two purposes; as an instrumental track, it gives Mark’s voice a break, and brings a bit of natural beauty as well. Honestly, the word that comes to mind is “gorgeous”. That and “wild”. You can almost hear the heartbeat of the land.
“Hope Is Rising” gives voice to a soul in the throes of desperation, even as Schultz offers comfort and strength. He assures the grieving that revival is nigh, though they cannot see it now. The chorus bursts into flame, a vision of what’s to come, before flickering like the first bright spark.
“God Of Glory” admits to allowing fervor for God to burn out, but isn’t willing to remain that way. Instead, Schultz worships the Lord and calls on Him to reveal His glory so passion can be rekindled.
“Lift Up Your Hands” encourages a heart that has no energy to praise by offering to speak the words and be strong for them until their strength is restored. Then, when the roles are reversed, love comes full circle. It’s a beautiful example of community and love in the church.
“What Love Looks Like” is a moving tribute to a man who mentored Mark when he was younger and whose influence continues to shape his life to this day. The resulting portrait is of a sincere, godly man, whose unselfishness and kindness touches everyone he knows. He is unafraid to love and gives all of himself all of the time. Truly a standard to aspire to.
“Everything To Me” is a moving love letter to Mark’s birth mother, thanking her for the sacrifice that allowed him to have a good life, full of love and promise. He wonders what would happen were they to meet, and whether she’d be pleased to see who he grew up to be. (Oh, boy. Here come the tears. Well, tear. It’s still beautiful, though)
“Love Has Come” recognizes that even though sadness permeates our lives, there is a coming day when Christ, love personified, shall rescue us once and for all. We’ll be transfixed by His glory when we stand in His presence. I can’t remember where I’ve heard this song before, but I love the chorus.
“I Am” takes descriptions of God’s many roles from Scripture and presents them to us in the first person. God Himself declares His ability to meet whatever needs we have at any given moment, whether it’s redemption, comfort, healing, love, or strength.
“Walking Her Home” tells a couple’s love story from beginning to end, from first date to first child to her death. Through it all, the man remains faithful to her, never leaving her side when she needs him, promising her they’ll be together soon.
Finally, the title track “Follow” resolves that suffering happens for a reason and isn’t where the story ends. There just has to be something good coming our way. Though we cannot tell what it is or when it will arrive, we have to let God lead us to it. Just keep walking one step at a time in faith.
Even as we adapt to the changes in our lives, we must continue to follow after God wherever He leads us. Follow is a scrapbook chock full of timeless wisdom. Stories and lessons from Mark’s past and present mingle with his hopes for the future to create a picture of the man himself and what matters to him.
Released: August 17, 2018
- Psalm 91 (4:16)
- No Place Love Won’t Go (2:56)
- Time Goes So Fast (4:23)
- Handed Down (3:24)
- Before You Call Me Home (5:17)
- Highlands (3:07)
- Hope Is Rising (3:57)
- God of Glory (4:44)
- Lift Up Your Hands (When You Can’t) (4:03)
- What Love Looks Like (5:29)
- Everything to Me (4:40)
- Love Has Come (5:36)
- I Am (4:14)
- Walking Her Home (4:28)
- Follow (3:35)
15 Tracks, 64:00
Buy on iTunes
More from Mark Schultz:
- Mark Schultz (2000)
- Song Cinema (2001)
- Stories & Songs (2003)
- Mark Schultz Live – A Night of Stories & Songs (2005)
- Broken & Beautiful (2006)
- Broken & Beautiful Expanded Edition (2007)
- Come Alive (2009)
- The Best Of (2011)
- All Things Possible (2012)
- Hymns (2014)
- Renaissance (2014)
- The Ultimate Collection (2015)
- Before You Call Me Home EP (2015)