From Jerusalem to Rome

by Ali McLachlan

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1.
They say that I’ve turned traitor. They said I’d be dead within a year. They said I’d never succeed in my quest, And they tried to intimidate me with fear. We proclaim him, Christ crucified. We proclaim him, Christ given for sin. We proclaim him, Christ risen in glory. Peace with the Father found only in him. It’s true that I’ve been beaten, And worked till my strength is all gone. But I realise now as I sit in these chains, They can take the man down but the gospel goes on. We’re pressured, but we are not crushed. Persecuted, but never alone. We’re frustrated, but never despairing. We’re jars of clay for Christ’s treasure to show. This gospel’s bearing fruit in all the earth. This gospel’s turned the world upside down. Empires fall, their rulers shaken; The earth is rocked to its foundation; Cause this mighty Christ has taken our sins away. They’ve resisted my gospel all over. They’ve dogged my every step. They’ve tried to ruin the work of God, And they come to me like a thorn in the flesh. They’ve shouted me down in the courtyards. They’ve stoned me and left me for dead. They’ve tried to poison the converts I’ve had And they’ve criticised all that I ever said He’s returning, the conquering King. He’s returning to redeem all he made. When Christ leads his triumphal procession, I’m overjoyed I’ll be in the parade.
2.
I was breathing out murder, I was seething with rage, I was plotting disaster, For the ones in the Way I was stunned by the brightness And by what I'd become I was cornered by greatness, With nowhere to run But I saw your glory, And it's brighter than the sun I encountered a man Who had rose from the dead He left my religion All tattered in shreds My world was destroyed A new life had begun And I put my faith In Christ Jesus the Son, Because I saw his glory And it's brighter than the sun Seen your glory, Seen your glory I waited to hear you And the visions they came Of suffering glory And preaching his name I will follow you Jesus Till your will be done I will trust in your stength Until my race is run Cause I see your glory And its brighter than the sun
3.
It's all all I've got It's all you need Teach me to fall into the ground and die like a planted seed Falling down, Falling down You're so great I'm so small Teach me about not giving up or giving in until I've given all Falling down, Falling down You faced the shame You faced the stones First the crown of thorns And then the royal throne Falling down Falling down I bear the cross, To follow you You're not asking me to do anything you didn't do Falling down, Falling down So when you picked your dreams from the desert dust, When your religious zeal has been found corrupt, When God's not who you thought he was Cry "teach me" When you blink your eyes and you cannot see When you're led by the hand to a strange city And your only friends are your enemies Cry "teach me" You were dead, So I could live, You gave your life for mine And its a life I want to give Falling down, Falling down Pour me out Burn me up, Teach me to live my life A living sacrifice of love Falling down, Falling down When you find yourself falling down, Cry "teach me" I run the race, To win the crown Against the tide Cause the only way up Is by falling down Falling down Falling down You came to serve, You came to save, Teach me to follow you And the example that you gave Falling down, Falling down When you kick yourself for the life you live When your only righteousness is his When you're scared what God's expecting you to give Pray, "teach me" When the scales have fallen from before your eyes And you've burned your bridges and you've cut your ties And its God's way for the rest of life Cry, "teach me"
4.
I want to know your voice. Want to know the moving of your Spirit in my life. I want to shine for you. Let the light of Jesus be seen in everything I do. I want to be close to you; I want to walk with you. I want to be close to you Lord Jesus. I want to walk with you every minute, of every day Let the thoughts of each moment be centred on you. Let the thoughts of each moment be centred on you. Let my life revolve around you.
5.
I’ll be gone on the rising tide with the gale at my back Compelled by the will of God to walk a certain track. Solemn prayers in the salted air, then part from the shore. Tears shed and a farewell said, “You’ll see my face no more”. Don’t break my heart, Though it may be hard. Let me play my part. Don’t keep me from the will of God. Come loosen your chords of love that bind me here with you. There’s time to run and a time to hide, a time to follow through. Rough or smooth, I never get to choose, I’m happy just to serve. That he leads me in his will is far more than I deserve. There are times of opposition Hardships down the road I tread But doubts and fears leave me no options God’s way is the way ahead I’m back in the old town now with the music to be faced. If my vow is sealed anywhere, I’m sure this will be the place. Wreck the peace with a chance to preach the gospel to the Jews. Inner pain and a Roman chain, but with a life still left to lose.
6.
Been many years, on the road from hell There's times that I think, I'm not doing so well It's only your grace, keeps me from falling Lord take my life, my life for your glory Precious people, precious time, How the darkness needs the light to shine An ebony world must hear your story Lord take my voice, my life for your glory And if I should wear the martyr's crown, May I never, never, let you down, You've been so gracious to me, yet so holy, A worthy exchange, my life for your glory
7.
He grew up in front of us, but he wasn't beautiful, Nothing about him, to make him desirable Shunned and rejected, familiar with suffering Despised and avoided, and given no praise He took all our griefs, and all our infirmities Shouldered the weight that was ours for eternity It must have been God who poured out his wrath on him Pierced and crushed for the sins of the world How far have we gone, in walking away from God? Deliberately choosing the evil path we trod God laid on him the punishment due to us The pain that he bore brought healing and peace The Lord made his life, a perfect guilt offering The will of the Lord in his hand is prospering Messiah rejoices, the fruit of his sacrifice Christ is alive, and he's coming again
8.
You're not beholden, can't see anything that's greater than yourself, But you're a blamer, cause if anything goes wrong it's always someone else And you're a fighter, it's on your terms or its not a deal But you're a chancer, playing games with what is real Like a child, reaching out to slap his father's face Unaware that he is resting on his father's knee You point your finger and you say you don't believe that God exists And if he does you say, I don't believe he cares that much for me If you can lay the earth's foundation If you can make the darkness light If you can shape the seas and nations If you can halt the stream of moments If you can guide the ocean breeze If you can enter into judgment Without crawling on your knees Then its okay, for you to question God
9.
Give me the wings of a bird, and I'd fly to your throne I'd lay down the fight of my life, and I'd get myself home, The glory is yours, the victory is yours alone So give me the wings of a bird, and I'd fly to your throne I've got enemies for preaching the truth in every land I set forth the truth of the gospel of God as plain as I can They can put me in chains but the good news is free Well I may be dying, but Christ lives in me It's only by grace, this work should be mine To lift a dark veil from their eyes, and let the light shine The power of God, is on me each day Preaching hope for the lost, from a vessel of clay False men say, I'm out for myself and the devil holds sway On my way, I keep my head down and I work for the day When we'll see what the Lord has to say Give me the wings of a bird Outside in my flesh, I'm wasting away, But here on the inside, I'm stronger each day, And all of my pain, won't make me fall, Because the glory that's coming, outweighs them all
10.
05:11
Hello old friend, how’s life treating you? I shudder when I think of all the crazy ways you risked your life to get your message through Strange how things end the way they do Well I often think of what life would have been like if I’d have spent these years Preaching the word with you You turned the world upside down But I turned I ran You’d throw everything in While I’d grab all I can You’d preach the truth And you’d enlighten all men But I, ... I won’t be heard of again Through deep persecution, exhaustion and pain Hunger and thirst and desertion by friends You’ve conquered the globe, you’ve finished your race For all of my money, for all of my wealth For all of my comfort, and my excellent health What will I say, when I look in God’s face, when I look in God’s face? I am not a bad man I gave God two good years of my life And it nearly killed me And then I figured, come on, everyone else I know seemed to be comfortable You know, I still love God and all that, It’s just there are other things in my life right now I just want to be a bit more normal Can’t be anything wrong with that can there?
11.
I’m not ashamed of the gospel, Because it is the power of God For the salvation of all who believe You know you can have a bad line and still catch a fish, You can be bad to your woman and still end up being kissed, You can take your eye off the ball and still score a goal, But don’t ditch the gospel if you want to save souls You don’t have to be a monkey if you want to climb trees, You don’t have to do a jailbreak if you want to break free, You can do without a guitar if you want to play rock and roll, But don’t ditch the gospel if you want to save souls You can be the biggest loser and be on the winning team, You don’t have to hit the headlines to end up being seen, You can lean behind your shovel and still dig a hole, But don’t ditch the gospel if you want to save souls Well you can lie in bed all morning and find you’re getting paid, You can fail in all your subjects, and finally make the grade, You can wrap yourself in cotton and wind up catching cold But don’t ditch the gospel if you want to save souls Don’t tell me you got something better Don’t tell me you got something clever Its a stumbling block baby! To preach the cross is crazy If you’re dying in your sins But to us who are being saved It is the power of God Well you can lose in every battle to find you’ve won the war, You can try to find a planet, and still be wanting more, You can be ever so unlucky and end up striking gold, But don’t ditch the gospel if you want to save souls If you want to save souls Don’t ditch the gospel Don’t throw it away There’s nothing better If you want to save souls
12.
I am persuaded, That neither life nor death Nor angels, principalities, nor powers Nor things present, Nor things in the age to come, Nor height nor depth, Nor anything at all Shall separate us from the love of God Shall separate us from the love of God Through Jesus Christ our Lord
13.
You're all all I've got But you're all I need Taught me me to fall into the ground and die like a planted seed You've been so great I'm still so small Teach me the art of giving up or giving in until I've given all You've faced the shame You've faced the stones First the crown of thorns And then the royal throne I bear the cross, Gladly follow you You're not asking me to do anything That you first didn't do So when you picked your dreams from the desert dust, When your religious zeal has been found corrupt, When God's not who you thought he was When you blink your eyes and you cannot see You're led by the hand into a strange city When your only friends were your enemies When you've kicked yourself for the life you've lived When you know your only righteousness is his When you're scared what God's expecting you to give When the scales have fallen from before your eyes And you've burned your bridges and you've cut your ties When its God's way for the rest of life Still cry "teach me" Lord keep teaching me I want you to teach me Please teach me Lord please keep teaching me Keep teaching me Lord

about

In 2001, Ali approached me with 13 songs he had written, and we recorded the vocals in my bedroom to click tracks and minimal backing. Time was tight as he moved to the middle east shortly after. Fortunately, Ali is an excellent singer with an incredible vocal range and a great ear for harmonies, and we got plenty of good takes down in just a few evenings recording.

My task was then to attempt to arrange and record some backing instrumentation, in an attempt to do justice to his songwriting and vocal skills. My limited abilities and experience as a multi-instrumentalist, producer and mixer mean that the recordings you find here are rough around the edges. It has taken me far too long to get them all into a releasable state, and in many ways I'd like to go back to each one and make improvements. But its about time that I drew a line in the sand and published them. I hope you find as much enjoyment from listening to them as I did recording them.

The unifying concept of the album is the life of the apostle Paul, a remarkable man, driven by a passion to spread the message of Jesus to everyone he could, regardless of the suffering that entailed. His courage and determination resulted in the gospel spreading at a rapid pace across the Roman empire, all the way from Jerusalem to Rome.

credits

released February 16, 2013

Songs composed and sung by Ali McLachlan
Instruments, production & mixing by Mark Heath
Cello on Demas Blues by Jenni Carter
Jerusalem Sunset photo by James Emery

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