Monday, September 1, 2014

Filling the void
Flickr photo by nevil zaveri.

Jesus tells this story …

An unclean spirit leaves a person and then walks through dry places, seeking rest.
Finding none, it says, “I’ll return to the place where I was before.”
So it goes back and sees that its previous home has been swept clean, making room for seven other wicked spirits to live there as well.
And the last state of that person is worse than the first.

I’ll admit—growing up—this was a hard story for me to grasp.  Wasn’t a clean-swept life (heart) a good thing?  I believe I understand the concept a little better now—we work on pushing out the bad stuff and replacing it with good.

So a few years ago, I was discussing this principle with a wise man I know.  We got to the part of the conversation where I could tell he was about to share his perspective on filling-the-void.  I got quiet.  I was all ears.

He said, “You might want to listen to a little Christian music.”

Really?  Christian music?  That’s the best you’ve got?

Now I’m no aficionado, but I do like me some music.  I tune in pretty much whenever I can: at work, in the car, at home, on walks, in the bathroom.  TMI?

But I have always had some issues with what we used to call Contemporary Christian Music (CCM).  For one, some of it seems to be—I hate to say it—a little bit corny.

But, thankfully, there have been a good number of singers and/or songs where both Cheryl and I have felt something more deeply:  Chris Tomlin (of course—who doesn’t like Chris Tomlin?), some Hillsong United, and let’s throw in a little old-school Amy Grant.  We also especially like music that incorporates some of the hymns we used to sing, like “Blessed Be the Tie” (Sara Groves) and “Jesus Paid It All” (Fernando Ortega).

So in the past few years, I’ve found that the wise man was right.  Some of these Christian tunes do serve as bits and pieces of good that can help keep the bad spirits away.

With this in mind, there’s one more guy I’d like to mention … if you’re looking for a little something to fill the void.  He comes to our church—all the way from Nashville, mind you—to lead worship from time to time.  His name is Christopher Williams, and when Cheryl and I see him walk out on stage, we immediately fist-bump.  He’s that good.

Christopher has a new album that’s just come out called The City Makes the Man.  It’s filled with light.  I’d heartily recommend it.  Just slip on some headphones, close your eyes and listen to “Nothing Can Separate” … and feel the good stuff seep into your heart.
Available at and iTunes


  1. I've bookmarked Christopher's page so I can check out his music. I'm always looking for good music because it reaches places in my soul that other things can't. Thanks for sharing this, Mike.

    1. Thanks, Lisa. Last time I was on his website, he had the new album streaming.