*Administravia and announcements
*Letter from Matt
*Charting the singles
*Live cover tunes
*Administravia and announcements:
Welcome to the third newsletter for "Generation X" band, Jars of Clay (well, that's what they're calling them!). I have tried to make this issue shorter and will possibly mail them out more often to save you the hassle of downloading them in huge volumes. :) I have also been working on a FAQ for this list and for Internet and will send it soon. Incidentally, we have had a bit of publicity in the latest (August) issue of CCM! Because of this, I find we are increasing by many new members each day (usually 6 per day or so). Thanks to CCM! Also, this issue we have a letter from Matt that is quite encouraging (thanks Matt!). The Jars hope to continually participate as much as possible. They are very busy touring right now and look forward to seeing you all at one point or another! I am including the concert schedule in this volume, too, simply because there are a lot of new subscribers who haven't seen the dates yet, and it may be a good reminder to anyone else. Well, that's about it for now. I hope that you all are learning more about our Lord and Saviour, Jesus, in your daily lives! And, I really hope that this newsletter will be able minister to some others who may not know Jesus as their personal savior.
Letter from Matt:
Thank you for your interest in the ministry of Jars of Clay. Your support has been felt and is a source of great encouragement. Those of us in Jars have a strong burden to, as best we can, get to know our audience and let them have a chance to get to know us as well. So I thought I would take an opportunity to share with you all some of the very real ways that the Lord has been moving in my life and some things he has been teaching me lately. It is my hope that in doing this that you will further be encouraged by the faithfulness that God has shown us as well as be inspired to continually lift us up in prayer as we try our best to respond to God's leading in our lives.
When was the last time you watched a sunset? I mean you really watched it? I have been reminded lately of the incredible way that our Lord has revealed himself in his creation. So often we have a compartmentalized view of when and where we can meet God. For instance, we know that we can meet Him in The Word, through prayer, or fellowship. While these are true and good places to go on our journey to get to know our creator better, our lists are often incomplete, especially mine. I have recently read a book by John Piper entitled "The Pleasures of God". A tremendous and highly recommended book, and in it Piper addresses the "Pleasure of God in his creation". I realized how numb I had become to the many ways that God had chosen to reveal and express himself through the created works of his hand. Piper puts it this way, "One of the tragedies of growing up is that we get used to things...there is immense loss when we get used to the redness of the rising sun, and the roundness of the moon, and the whiteness of the snow, the wetness of rain, the blueness of the sky, the buzzing of bumble bees, the stitching of crickets, the invisibility of wind, the unconscious constancy of heart and diaphragm, the weirdness of noses and ears, the number of the grains of sand on a thousand beaches, the never ending crash, crash, crash of countless waves, and ten million kingly clad flowers flourishing and withering in woods and mountain valleys where no one sees but God."
I am also reminded of Psalm 19,
The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands,
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.
There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
Creation is such a breathtakingly huge testimony of the immense beauty and power and glory of our heavenly father. He has chosen, in such an awe-inspiring and detailed way, to express himself in his creation. Few would argue that any creative act is some form of personal expression, but do we realize the implications of this when it comes to our heavenly Father and his creation? There is so much to be known and experienced about our Abba simply through the created works of his hand!
This has been great news for me lately. I have found my experience of God to be simply exploding, and this is just one of the ways that I have begun to know Him at a deeper level. It is almost overwhelming at times as I consider all the different things the Lord has made, so much so that I have been inspired lately to try to make appointments with God in his creation. During these times I have tried to strip myself of any other agenda except to meet with God in his creation and to pay close attention to it, listening to it intently to see if maybe I can hear, or at least appreciate, what it says about its creator. For me personally, a favorite time to spend with the Lord is at the end of the day, specifically during the sunset. The sunset is such a small part of the Lord's massive creation yet it is so rich with the character of God. In closing I have included some recent journal entries as a kind of "for example",
"The sun is resting lazily above the Tennessee hills tonight. As it sinks lower it spreads an auburn color delicately to the hazy summertime clouds that enclose it. The coloration is subtle yet encompasses a beauty that is simultaneously quiet and radiant. It is the type of sunset one would easily miss if one were distracted or simply not conscious of what were happening before them.
As it sinks lower it slides comfortably behind the clouds until all that's left is a soft glow, a gentle reminder of what we have just seen. How often it seems like we just miss God. We finally lift our eyes in time to see the soft glow of him just departed. /p>
So often our most distracted moments are God's busiest. It is only as the pieces fall back into place that we are able to lift our heads high enough out of our circumstances to see the soft yet firm assurance that the Saviour has walked through here. What a merciful and good Father who takes pleasure in gently humbling us daily. Could it be that he knows the most appropriate times to reveal his work in our lives? If we lifted our heads any earlier might we simply be burned by the sun and our hearts sink at the utter holiness and complete sovereignty of a God who requires the same?
Instead he chooses to quietly humble and remind us who has the reigns, and when we are weak enough and tired of struggling on our own strength he lifts our heads to see the gentle reality of a Saviour whose most precious work and creation in us is being effected. Whom though he walks beside us his glory has passed before us."
"Then the Lord said, 'There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen'."
In closing it is my prayer for all of you that you are continually encouraged as you journey down the road that leads to Abba's house. I pray that you are continually humbled and awe inspired daily as you consider the character and holiness of the God of the universe which has found favor with you. Watch the sunset sometime soon, too!! :)
Matt Odmark (Odie74@aol.com)
P.S. Some good books that I have read lately & that I highly recommend are..
The Signature of Jesus, The Ragamuffin Gospel, and Abba's Child by Brennan Manning
No Compromise: the story of Keith Green by Melody Green
The Pleasures of God by John Piper
am currently reading The Gospel according to Job by Mike Mason
Not many new tour dates to publish, but I did want to let you all know that there will be about ten dates in December with PFR in New England!! That is great news, as there doesn't seem to be as much of a "market" for CCM up here (your editor happens to be from Connecticut so is quite excited!) Here's the dates again for those who missed them the first time!
3- Wheaton, IL (not sure about this one...)
5- Romeo, MI, Simpson Park Camp (7-8/ 8:30)
9- Ocean Isle, NC, Ocean Isle Beach (7:30) with IAN
11- Franklin, TN, Cafe Milano (7:30/ 9:30) Acoustic
12- Chatanooga, TN, Metro Cafe (9:30)
15- Lubbock, TX
16- Clinton, MS, Morrison Heights Baptist Church
17 Tulsa, OK
18- Bolivar, MO, Southwest Baptist Univ. (7:30)
24- Evansville, IN, Univ. of Southern Indiana (9-10/ 10:30)
25- Evansville, IN, The Coffee House (8-9/ 9:30) Acoustic
26- St. Louis, MO, Missouri Baptist (7-8/ 8:30)
27- Henderson, KY
31- Somerset, KY Skate City (8:00)
1- Detroit, MI
2- Steubenville, OH, Fransiscan Univ. (7:30)
8- Marion, IN, Indiana Wesleyan Univ. (7-8/ 8:30)
9- Bloomington, IN, Bloomington Speedway (4:00) w/ Geoff Moore
14- Wilkersville, MD, Calvary Assembly (7:30)
15- Clarks Summit, PA, Abington Height Aud. (8:30)
16 Rochester, NY (hometown concert for Charlie & Matt)
Dates with PFR:
There are 32 dates currently listed. There will be 40, or more. We'll get you the info as it develops. (Remember, all dates are subject to change, especially this early in the process.):
23 & 34..................Arlington, VA
30.............................Green Bay, WI
6.............................San Fransisco, CA (PFR only)
22.............................Santa Anna, CA
27.............................Colorado Springs, CO
7.............................Chattanooga, TN (PFR only)
+ Ten New England dates
Charting the Singles:
Here is some information on how the guys are doing on the CCM charts! Thanks to Chad and Mark S. for the help with these encouraging words!
Subj: Jars of Congrats
Date: 95-07-28 19:29:54 EDT
So many doors have opened for Jars of Clay in the past two weeks, I hardly know where to begin. There are several unmentionable praises (the big guys at Essential want to keep a few surprises for you) but it can be said that the amazing opportunites for this band and its ministry are continuing to blow us away! Look out for some exciting announcements in the next few weeks/months! (curious yet? :) )
I guess I'll tell y'all about the stuff that's not still classified...I at least owe you that. As many of you know, "Flood" has dominated Christian Hit radio country-wide since its release in April. To be quite honest, we never expected that it would be received so well by radio stations with other formats. The single went to #1 on CCM's Rock chart just last week, and has been #1 on at least two other major Christian Rock charts! We're also getting scattered reports of mainstream stations playing "Flood", and we're even more thankful for that. What an opportunity - heart-felt, intelligent, ministerial lyrics being sung to an audience that needs to hear it so badly! If you know of a mainstream station around you that plays Jars-style music, call 'em up and request "Flood." Some may have heard of it due to the review in Billboard magazine. Keep calling, because a station's deepest desire is to play what their listeners want to hear! And how truly amazing it would be if a nonbeliever heard Jars on their favorite station and decided to buy the album! Major ministry potential!
You've probably been hearing "Love Song for a Savior" now too. In what may be an all-time record, it debutted at #8 on Christian Research Report's Top 40 chart. In two weeks, it jumped 12 spots to #11 on CCM's Top 40. And because of the more laid-back groove, the Adult Contemporary (AC) radio stations are playing it too! There are, as you might imagine, alot more of those stations (what's your mom listening to??), so charting takes longer. But yes, the AC folks love it too - it debutted at #29 last week!
Keep calling your station - AND THANK THEM!
Flood is the #1 CCM Update Rock song for their July 17 issue... keeping Prayer Chain's "Waterdogs" out of the top spot. The next rock chart comes out this week...in the mail this Sat. (29).
In the July 24th Update...Jars get the CHR pick of the week...which means "Strong potential to reach #1" (no duh) Anyway..it says... "Love Song for A Saviour" Masterfully worked violins and stacked vocals adorn this well-produced track. Without a doubt this is a cut that will cross many format boundaries.
"Love Song" debuts at #22 on the CHR chart this same week. Also debuts at #39 on the AC chart. The album is still at #2 behind "My Utmost"...it is reported that my Utmost is selling nearly 10,000 units a week...truly a phenomenom...and that the Jars are around 4,000 units sold a week. At any other time...that would be #1. These chart positions are for CCM Update Top-Selling Albums- Christian Retail.
Date: 95-07-27 09:19:54 EDT
From: email@example.com (Todd Larsson)
I just wanted to review a concert from a promoter's point of view. I brought in jars for the 7/22 Spfld., IL concert, along with johnny q. public and the Waiting. The set went: jqp, waiting, jars. The venue held around 400 people and roughly 375 people were there. It gave the atmosphere for a great show. All three bands were awesome, but since I was promoting the concert, I didn't get to see the whole thing because of about 300 different responsibilities that night. However, from the time the bands arrived (around 1:30 p.m.) until they left (1:30 a.m.), I can honestly say that working with all three bands was a great pleasure. If there are any would-be promoters out there, don't hesitate to book these guys.
I've seen the way some Christian bands act behind the scenes and I can truthfully say that all three of these bands were a total joy to work with. The concert started around a half-hour late, which only got the crowd more pumped up. After a ROWDY j.q.p. set, a more tame waiting set, and a 15 minute set change, jars took the stage. With Greenville College being only 90 minutes away, jars was definitely the local favorite. For me, the highlight of their hour long set was a beautiful worship time featuring jars singing Rich Mullins "Step by Step", which of course the whole audience joined in on....We had free pizza after the show for everyone and the guys from all three bands stuck around and talked to anyone and everyone until finally everyone left. This concert is the buzz around Springfield, and I just wanted to let people know that these guys are as authentic behind the scenes as they are on stage. Thanks guys!
Jars of Clay FAQ:
(Frequently asked questions). This is a document that is included with most newsletters and includes some of the information from back issues. It is basically to summarize the band and their ministry, and to provide answers to questions that would otherwise be asked over and over again by the readers (which can be annoying to some as they have to keep downloading the same answers all the time). It will be out within a week or so and everyone subscribed will recieve it. Enjoy!
This article was written by one of our subscribers for the VOG publication out of Atlanta, GA. I'm happy to transcribe it for her here and it's a great review. Thanks Shauna!!
Jars of Clay's self-titled debut is picnic music at its finest. The kind of stuff that is best accompanied by green grass, blue skies, best friend and sunshine. Jazzy, folksy, poppy rock with nice string undertones - acoustic guitars, violins, etc.
Jars of Clay consist of four young musicians with painfully enchanting Illinois accents. Charlie Lowell, the keyboard boy, handles piano, organ and such. Matt Odmark does guitar, and Steve Mason plays bass. Those three all contribute angelic background vocals, but Dan Haseltine's impassioned lead vocals drive the recording. As much as I adore drummers, it's refreshing to find a band of this type emitting so much noise without one. The songs on this album confront abuse, pain, grace, love and everything in the middle. Sandwiched between enegetic melodies are lyrics that tend to be just plain sad. One song that departs from the otehrwise dark lyrical pattern is the frisky "Like a Child". The song is almost destroyed by the sound of babies babbling through the bridge, but the cutesy gimmick can't pull down such a tasty song. Oddly enough, the same thing happens at the end of brooding "He". Go figure. Another lyrical wonder is "Love Song for a Savior" with a sweet melody and the simple chorus of "I Want to Fall in Love With You".
There is something very pure and almost raw that radiates from this recording. It lurks above or perhaps below the majority of the sound. It grows out of the acoustic guitars, lavish string arrangements, and remarkable keyboarding, creating a wall of sound that is splendid beyond description. Some of the credit for this has to go to producer Adrian Belew. Yay, Adrian.
Something beyond musicianship, vocal prowess, and production drives Jars of Clay. A passion. The obvious passion for music, plus an extensive, open passion for the Lord that brings sincerity to the very outskirts of existence. Even if you don't purchase this album for yourself, buy it for someone who needs to appreciate God as much as he does music. You could be surprised by the results.
Jars of Clay cover tunes: A question has been raised as to what cover tunes the guys have done since they formed a year and a half ago. Here is a list of what I know to be all the covers they've done live. If anyone has any to add please let me know! :)
Crazy Love (Poco) acoustic
Little Drummer Boy (traditional)
Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer (to the tune of Smells like teen spirit, this was a joke at Greenville coffee houses where they played)
O God, You are My God (R. Mullins)
God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman (traditional)
I Don't Mind At All (B. Bourgeois)
Regret (New Order)
All the Way Home (Third Matinee)
Nightingale Song (Toad the wet sprocket)
Last Train to Clarksville (Monkees)
It's the End of the World (REM)
Closer to Fine (Indigo Girls)
That Kind of Love (PFR)
Walk on the Ocean (Toad the wet sprocket)
You've got a friend (James Taylor)
Both Belong (The Grays)
There are a few more, I believe, from a set of local acoustic concerts they did in Nashville, but I can't remember what exactly they were! I'll try to find out for ya though.
Thought we'd add this column to each issue, let me know what you think! There are so many who need our prayers, so maybe this would be a good way to have people pray- there are 170 or so subsribers right now so we could get a lot of people to pray for any concerns. Feel free to submit any requests any time! Here's one from a friend on our list (and remember, this is a "big" one but God will honor any prayers, big or small, if we have faith so submit anything!):
I have a prayer request for you. There is this black girl at my church. Sunday night her father was murdered by her uncle. He was stabbed numerous times. I tutored her in reading last night and she is in shock. She said it was like he was just gone on a trip. One "good" thing is that he was saved. He was not involved in church at all though and he stayed in trouble with the law all the time. My pastor went to her house yesterday morn and he said that she almost sounded relieved. She has a sister and a mother. Please pray for that family that they will get through this. She really needs our prayers. The extent of her father's death has not yet sunk in, but I have a feeling it's about to, like a lead balloon.
That's all folks! :)