This is year five of my nod to the Myspace tradition of "life playlists" that I used to make each week in middle school and early high school. Click here to link to last year's playlist which includes links to each previous year as well. If you want to listen along on the Spotify playlist, click here to open it in a new tab.
1. "Chlorine" by twenty one pilots
Last year started with twenty one pilots as well, and they released an incredible new album this year. I had it on repeat along with Demon Hunter (who released two new albums this year; we'll get there soon) while drafting my memoir. I was attached to this song in particular from the moment I heard it, and it stayed on repeat a while longer. I have a lot of reasons for loving this song, and I have to admit the love I have for HBR guys is near the top of the list of why.
2. "Machine" by Imagine Dragons
This is just a great song. I have a lot of conflicting emotions about people trying to fit me in their box of what it means to follow Jesus. I have discovered such joy and freedom in following the Savior who freed me from being part of the machine. I'm not scared of anything the world throws at me anymore.
3. "Fear Is Not My Guide" by Demon Hunter
Okay, so Demon Hunter has been my favorite band since I was fifteen, and I always have to have a song by them on every playlist. Ryan Clark's voice is still my favorite sound in the world, and the haunting denouement of the album Peace (released on the same day as the album War because this band is just that brilliant and incredible) is a lullaby of my learning through this year. Because I've ignored the voice of fear and lived by faith, I've been led on an incredible journey around the world this year and have grown so much.
4. "You Are Good God" by Satellite
In case you forgot, I had a life changing Easter weekend this year worshipping with thousands of Kiwi youth, and the band that led the songs was Satellite. This is a song from their album recorded live at the Easter Camp, and I can't tell you how true the line "better than all of my wildest dreams" is in my life. I had such tiny dreams as a twenty-two year old, and God laughed at me while he pushed me outside my comfort zone into the most incredible global adventure.
5. "Tuhia" by Link
The only available version of this song on Spotify is like ten minutes, but I had to include one of the Te Reo songs I learned during my time in New Zealand on this list. I love bilingual worship services, and it is always a taste of heaven to hear praises to God in other languages. Also, this song is about love, and Jesus is love, and there is freedom in love because there is freedom in Jesus.
6. "You Say" by Lauren Daigle
This is another Christchurch specific song in my head despite not being by a New Zealand native. Jacqui was the first to introduce me to Lauren Daigle, so there's going to be that strong association in my head forever. Plus one of the youth sang it during a service as part of our Conquering Monsters of the Mind series. I absolutely love the message of this song as someone who's always battled serious insecurity issues. I don't have to listen to what the lies in my head say about my worth because God says that I am loved.
7. "One Girl Revolution" by Superchic[k]
I wanted the Mob Action Mix, but only the Battle Mix is available on Spotify. Apologies. Superchick is another staple in my summer playlists because before I discovered Demon Hunter, they were my favorite band. The original version of this song is what launched the band into the mainstream when it ran under the credits of Legally Blonde. I, however, have chosen it this year because of the growth I've had in stepping into the identity God gave me. I teach my students the Word of God is living and active and applies to their daily lives. The Word of God tells me I am God's workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance. I'm stepping into that in a big way as I gear up to return to work in Germany.
8. "Pressing On" by Relient K
I thought about using "Who I Am Hates Who I've Been" because I saw my first Pacific Coast sunrise this year, but the rest of the song doesn't really fit the lessons God has been teaching me. Still wanting a solid Relient K song, I went with this because God has prepared me for some amazing things, and I'm pressing on. "I think we're on to something good here / There's only one thing left to do / drop all I have and follow you."
9. "Change the World" by Anberlin
I'm going way back with a lot of these hits from my high school years, but this song was another that fit the season I'm in. I had some amazing conversations and prayers as my Kiwi friends sent me out to change the world. I'm created and called to work with young people and help them discover the freedom and joy in following Jesus. It's not work that just anyone can do, but I love every bit of my job.
10. "No Outsiders" by Rend Collective
This beautiful song champions the message I share with my students. The Gospel is for everyone. I have all kinds of kids come through my classroom, and many of them feel judged and excluded from Christian community. I have the absolute joy of sharing with them that Jesus wants to love and transform them right where they are. I didn't need to clean up my life before Jesus rescued me, and that's exactly what I tell my students. "While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8b).
11. "Ticket to Ride" by The Beatles
Every major move I have, I watch the movie "Help!" while packing. This has always been my favorite song from that album/movie. I'm in transition yet again, and I am between tickets to get me from one home to another. I'm writing this from Gold Coast, Australia as I hang out until I can legally move back to Germany. I've got my ticket, and I'll be in the air on the way home a week from today.
12. "Goin' Back to Hogwarts" from A Very Potter Musical
I mean, how much explanation does this really need? The military schools refer to BFA as Hogwarts because they don't understand what's up with a high school that has dorms. Also, I gotta get back to where everybody knows I'm cool.
Bonus Track: "Zombie" by Family Force 5
Honestly, this is just because I loved living with Liz and we could make jokes about zombies when we read passages about resurrection power in the Bible.