Sometimes there is a moment in the studio that you just know will live on for a long, long time. That happened recently when Casting Crowns joined Johnny and Stacey in the studio. Under a little friendly pressure from Johnny, Mark Hall announced for the first time ever that the name of their new album would be “Thrive.” But that is just the beginning of the story…
Mark told the story of a grand tree that they found in Geneva, Alabama, at the Junction. They took their youth group there to visit various churches and decided to take a picture in front of that tree. While Mark was walking out to take the photo, a farmer from the area was walking with him and explained that if you took all of the dirt away from the roots you would find that the roots go out just as far as the limbs, making the tree strong.
The farmer went on to say that floods sweep through the area regularly and pointed out the flood marks that go up the tree but the huge tree remained strong and standing. After taking the picture, Mark was walking back thinking of all of the Bible verses he had taught to the students who were standing underneath the tree that applied to this situation.
Including Psalm 1:1-3
Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
As they sat under the tree talking about this, it came to Mark how many different types of believers there are. The type that build their roots, learning more and more and digging into the Word, but they don’t give it to anybody else. Or the people who are all about the love, feeding the poor and loving on people, but they don’t have any roots—so the first storm that blows in blows them right over. That tree was the perfect illustration of what a healthy believer looks like; to thrive as a believer is to have roots that dig in, understanding who God is and who we are. “And to reach is to understand our goal is not to go be better for God, but to let the fruit of the spirit just grow on its own, and us reach out and love the world,” explains Mark Hall.
So, with our moment in the studio and that illustration entering each of our minds, go and thrive as believers. For more information about Casting Crowns you can go to castingcrowns.com.
Hear some of Johnny & Stacey’s interview with Mark Hall