Like everyone, Brenton has an unusual story. He grew up in Cape Town, South Africa. Studied in Oxford, England. And now lives in Malibu, California. So how did this all happen? Brenton first came to the attention of the wider church, as one of the young worship leaders on the first Vineyard UK recordings, Come now is the time and Hungry.
His songs Lord reign in me, All who are thirsty and Humble King joined songs like Come now is the time, Be the centre and Hungry. It wasn't a bad start to a recording career! But though these were his first recordings as a solo artist, Brenton had been leading worship in his home town in South Africa for a number of years.
'The Lord got a hold of me while I was studying politics and law in Cape Town. After being confronted by the power of the gospel at a Bible study, I threw my lot in with a vibrant, multicultural church on campus while I continued to study politics and law at University'. Growing up during the demise of Apartheid made questions of social justice an obvious academic choice for Brown.
His studies went well and four years later he was on his way to Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. It was here he would encounter the Vineyard Movement and a style of worship that would affect churches across the nations. It was also here that he would participate in the recordings spear-headed by Brian Doerksen.
After finishing his studies in politics, philosophy and theology at Oxford university - and his recordings with Brian Doerksen, Brenton began work as the worship pastor for the local vineyard church in Oxford, accepting a worship leadership role for the Vineyard movement in the UK as well. Three records followed in as many years, Surrender (which included the Doerksen co-write, Your love is amazing), Holy and Doing the stuff (released as in the US).
Brown's future with the Vineyard movement in the UK seemed assured and laid out before him. But life took a dramatic turn. Brown fell ill with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and was forced to leave his position as worship pastor and take a sabbatical in his South African home town. It was there that he married Jude - also ill with CFS. Faced with the career limitations his illness imposed on him, the decision to record a solo project with Survivor Records seemed a wise one. Two years later Everlasting God was released with Survivor and with Sparrow in the States. The co-writes Hosanna (Praise is rising) and Everlasting God seemed to strike a chord with the church. Following a ministry trip that a team from the Malibu Vineyard had made to Cape Town many years before, Brenton had visited California off and on ever since. Realizing that a change in pace and lifestyle might assist their recovery in 2005 the Browns reluctantly left London and their home church of Holy Trinity Brompton for California. Since then they have been welcomed into the Horizon family of churches and have travelled across the States and beyond leading worship in churches as far afield as Sweden and Korea. 2008 saw the arrival of a baby daughter called Bella, and Brenton's second solo project, 'Because of your love'. Brenton has been lucky enough to have his songs recorded by Chris Tomlin and Lincoln Brewster. He has 5 songs in CCLI's top 100.
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This is as up to date as it gets. If a new song hits the airwaves and it starts trending fast, chances are you will be able to spot it here. If an old song suddenly spikes because of a unique current event, you'll see that here as well. So get out a bag of popcorn and hit refresh every 10 minutes to watch the race.
From contemporary worship to traditional hymns, here are Christian songs about heaven. The Kingdom of Heaven, the throne of God, angels crying holy holy holy, the return of Christ, our sanctification complete, no sickness, no death and no tears, rejoicing, eternal life -- these are just a few of the many words and ideas that come to mind as we think about heaven.
Do you ever wonder if God is still in control of this world? It's normal to wonder that, but at the same time, we need to keep reminding ourselves that God is indeed all-powerful. In spite of all our circumstances, the power of God is real and relevant. When we sing about his power, our hearts are filled with hope, courage, and renewed confidence to face another day. These are the songs that remind us of the powerful God we serve.
The Holy Spirit is God with us — today, here and now. Through the Holy Spirit, we have the presence of God. He is our Counselor who comforts and convicts. Through the Holy Spirit, God is mighty and powerful, but He is also soft and subtle. He whispers truth that is timely and personal, while at the same time eternal. These are the songs that teach about the Holy Spirit and invite God to move among us with His presence.
When we sing about God's grace and we believe the truth deep in our hearts, it affects our lives. We live with more compassion. We extend more mercy. We feel more empathy. This is why worship songs about grace and mercy are so important to the church. Every day and every week, through song and word, we must remind ourselves about the nature of God who is full of grace. What we receive from God, we extend to others. This is the full cycle of worship.