Worship services at The Ramp in Hamilton, Alabama
Worship services at The Ramp in Hamilton, Alabama (Facebook)

If you want to start out the year experiencing the manifest presence of God, I have one surefire way that will help you do that—check out the new worship release from The Ramp called The River Is Rising.

Worship That Ushers You Into God's Presence

Here is why I believe this worship recording is so important. In the hour in which we live, we need the presence of God more than ever. If our worship times ultimately do not usher us into an encounter with the Person of Jesus, through divine aid of the Holy Spirit, we are coming together for a concert. We are simply singing songs and enjoying Christian entertainment. While there is much concerting going on in the contemporary church, places such as The Ramp in Hamilton, Alabama, thrill me to no end. They've made God's presence their primary pursuit. This is clearly evident in all of their ministry practice and culture—especially their praise and worship.

This shouldn't come as any shock, though, since The Ramp was birthed by Christian music artist and minister Karen Wheaton. When she pioneered The Ramp, she told God every reason why she was unqualified to minister to young people. And yet, the one thing she did know was the way into the presence of God. This quest for God's presence is unmistakable to this day and is clearly revealed through this album.

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From the moment the recording begins, trust me, you are not spectating at a concert. Whether you like it or not, you are being summoned into deeper level of encounter with the presence of God. I believe you are being introduced to the next dimension of worship. 

Worship Birthed From Divine Encounters

While listening to The River Is Rising, I was immediately brought back to an era in praise and worship that was absolutely revolutionary. The days of Integrity/Hosanna; Maranatha Music and, of course, the Vineyard. But why? What was special about the 1990s in terms of praise and worship? Simple. Songs were being written out of profound revival encounters with God.

Songwriters and artists were not under any kind of contractual obligation to release albums at a certain frequency. Songs were not being written for the purpose of simply having more songs.

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