Written by: Laura Chambers (2/20/2017)
Resurrection is one of the central themes of the Christian faith. It’s what our belief in Christ as Lord and Savior is founded upon, His rising from the tomb and conquering death forever. Stories of ordinary people raised from their deathbeds and graves fill the pages of the historical books of the Bible, while promises of a future resurrection stir hope in forlorn hearts even now. It is not limited to dead individuals, however; when God is involved, businesses, friendships, marriages, dreams – all these can be brought back to life when God intervenes and, moreover, when we cooperate with His plans.
Such a second chance happened to Chris and Stephanie Teague, the husband and wife that make up the music group Out Of The Dust. It’s an apt name for a band that was birthed from the ashes of betrayal and faithlessness, something beautiful crafted by the reunion of two souls. Their hope in creating their self-titled debut album is that they can share their story and thereby nudge listeners along the way towards the hope they’ve discovered.
“All That I’m Made For” asks God to end out fruitless pursuit of what we believe will fulfill us, as though receiving our own desires was ever going to solve anything. We think too small; God put us here for reasons that stretch far beyond selfish prideful attitudes. Like the calling the song implores us to follow, the music lifts our eyes higher. “I’ll Never Hide” is a tender duet accented by simple string instrumentation and nature sound effects. It seems like a scene from a musical, as though the couple had just met and now sat in a meadow together, improvising the song as they fell in love. They promise to be transparent and available to each other, something which seems like wishful thinking if not for the last verse, which shows that God was the one who made it possible. “Lead Me Through” considers the prospect of enduring a difficult road fearful, yet surrenders in faith regardless. When God is your constant, unyielding strength throughout, you need only to ask for His guidance to walk through nameless, desperate wilderness. Ultimately choosing God’s will anyway, “Your Will” questions how circumstances would change our emotional response to the road ahead, then follows by asking God to support us come what may. Having looked for evidence that things will improve and finding none, we need to be all right anyway. We can have faith that something good is happening that we cannot perceive.
“Make Us Whole” resists the urge to discount our personal failings and traumas as evidence of God’s hand; rather, the song recognizes the refining role trouble can play in our lives. He completes us by allowing us to be broken, knowing that it produces character and endurance. Good things are waiting for us on the other side of the fire. “Safe To Shore” quietly assures us that in the midst of trouble upon the waters, solace comes in the form of God’s voice. He promises us that we will come ashore no worse for wear if we listen to Him. Though fear may attempt to breach our hull, He holds us in His arms and protects us faithfully. Even the music cradles us like a father would His child. “You Pursue” laments our tendency to stray from God, tempted by lesser things to wander away seemingly out of His reach. Or we want to assume control over our own lives instead of letting Him lead the way. Whatever our reason for leaving, He follows us and continues to call us back to Him. Nothing gets in the way of His love. “Radicals” pictures lives that are consumed by acquisition and our need to control what we do. We were never meant to be so self-contained. Can we buck the trend and revolutionarily choose surrender rather than selfishness? The song speaks to men and women alike, calling them to an extraordinary life as defined by God.
“How To Love” is a prayer of reconciliation and repentance, asking God to do what they cannot; revive a love grown cold through betrayal and pain. Jesus is the only one who ever knew what love really meant, but He is willing to show those who come humbly and ask Him for guidance. Instead of pointing fingers at each other, each takes responsibility for their own actions and recognizes God’s role in a marriage as the strand around which the other two are bound. A cover of the modern hymn “How Deep The Father’s Love For Us” reminds us of the debt Christ paid on our behalf. How far we were from deserving love; how filthy our souls. Yet He loved us enough to spare us at the cost of His beloved Son. “Slow Down” finishes with an admonition to pause our striving’s and take stock of our lives, asking the hard questions. What are we looking to find or avoid? Who are we at this moment? We can only see ourselves and our choices in the correct light if we avoid responding quickly and instinctively. It’s a final warning to count the cost of actions we wish to pursue; wise words from those who know the hazards of blindly rushing ahead better than most.
Though many of the Biblical stories of resurrection end with a miracle, it’s what comes afterward that will truly test our faith. Forgiveness, reconciliation, learning to trust again – these all depend on our willingness to rely on God rather than letting our feelings hold sway over our actions. The Teague’s speak from their personal experience to assure us that the success of second chances depends on our willingness to trust God, be honest about our own failings, and forgive those who have wronged us. Beautiful things arise from the destruction when we do.
Released: March 10, 2017
Label: Discovery House Music
- All That I’m Made For
- I’ll Never Hide
- Lead Me Through
- I’ll Never Hide
- Make Us Whole
- Safe To Shore
- You Pursue
- How To Love
- How Deep The Father’s Love For Us
- Slow Down
11 Tracks, 42:00
Buy on iTunes
More from Out Of The Dust:
- One Mic, One Night EP (2014)
Links for Out Of The Dust: