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When Linus Met Sally and Other Famous Fictional Couples

VALENTINE'S DAY
You have to be pretty hard-hearted to not get a least a little lump in your thought when you think of some of fictional couples. But have you ever stopped to think just how these crazy lovebirds ever got together? The answers may surprise you.

Linus Van Pelt and Sally Brown
According to the comic strip, Charlie Brown’s sister, Sally was born on May 26, 1959 where Charlie marked the occasion by passing out chocolate cigars to his friends. She grew up quickly. She took her first steps on August 22, 1960 and she fell in love with Linus, Lucy’s brother, on the next day. It was love at first sight, at least on her part. Sally has often referred to Linus as her “Sweet Baboo.” Her dedication to her man seems endless. She has missed out on “tricks and treats” by sitting in a pumpkin patch waiting for the Great Pumpkin and she was incensed that Linus would snub her a Valentine’s gift in favor for his teacher, Miss Othmar. Still, she clings hopelessly in love with the stripe …

Former Elevation Worship Leader, Mack Brock, is Looking Toward 'Greater Things'

Mack Brock
Mack Brock (Capitol CMG)
INTERVIEW
Mack Brock has been serving as a worship leader for over 15 years with many of those dedicated to serving as a key worship leader for Elevation Worship, from Elevation Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. He recently stepped down from his position there and has become a new artist for Capitol CMG releasing his new solo album, Greater Things last month. He will part of Compassion Live’s “The Encounter Tour” coming next February (along with New York Times best-selling author Lysa TerKeurst) which is expected to make stops in Indiana, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia, Texas, and more.

Recently, I had the chance to chat with Brock about his new album, his time with Elevation Worship and general questions about worship and the church. All of his songs on Greater Things has a similar theme and sound to them as well including “Into Dust” which was actually inspired by TerKeurst’s story about a difficult time in her marriage as discussed in her upcoming book, It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way. The lyrics of the song are powerful:

You are the maker of my heart
You are the healer of my scars
God I will trust in who you are
You are good
You speak life into dust.

But as good as that song is, it is not the one that he says means the most to him. He says that the song, “To the End” has probably had the biggest impact on himself personally. The song, which features Amanda Cook, contains the simple phrases, “Let my heart sing because you know me and you love me to the end.”

“The lyrics are something I have to wrestle with when I lead it,” he says. “The fact that God knows me intimately and loves me regardless of ANYTHING -- sometimes it’s hard to receive that.”

Ain’t that the truth.

With all of the good messages and comforting tone that this new album has, I ask Mack how he and/or Capitol CMG, decide on which song to promote and lead with. He says, “For me, one of the most important ways to understand a song’s connection is to play it in church or at a worship experience to see how it's connecting with people lives. Being a worship leader, that’s really the most important thing to me and you can tell a lot by the atmosphere that a song carries in a room, and if/how people are connected to that experience.”

Leaving a long-held position in any career can be a difficult one and Mack’s new phase in life is no exception. “How did you come to the decision to leave Elevation Worship and your position as worship leader at your church?” I ask. He simply says, “My wife and I prayed a lot.” Pressing further I ask, “What do you hope to accomplish on your own that you couldn’t where you were?”
“I’ve never really thought about that question before,” says Mack. “I didn’t leave Elevation Worship to accomplish something new or to get something that wasn’t available there. I stepped down because God made it clear my time was done there, and I was simply trying to be obedient to God.” But that doesn’t mean that the transition has always been easy.

“I’ve learned that I’m not on my own,” says Mack. “My biggest fear in creating any music as a ‘solo’ artist was the feeling of loneliness or solitude, but that hasn’t been the case. I’m surrounded by so many creative and talented people that have helped bring these songs to life. I’m very grateful for that throughout this journey.”

In my correspondence with the singer, I explained that I am a former employee of a large church myself and that I struggled with the worship part of the service at times. Sometimes it was seen by others as genuine and other times as a performance with special lighting, camera shots, etc. I ask him if he sees a difference between a “performance” and genuine worship” and does it matter.

“I do think it’s good to have worship leaders that you can trust to lead and who are sensitive to what the Holy Spirit is up to - both in the planning of a service or in the spontaneity of the moment,” he says. “But I think worship is such a personal connection to God - it’s me and Him. So in any situation, in any circumstance, I can focus my attention on him and rest in that - regardless of the sound, or the song, or the lights.”

As a member of a congregation, I explain that I often get distracted during worship and I ask if that ever happens to him while performing the same songs over and over again. And guess what? He’s human.

Mack Brock "Greater Things"
Capitol CMG
“That definitely happens. It's such a natural human thing to get distracted. It reminds me of the times I’m with my son. I pull him close to me and I’m trying to look in his eyes to tell him I love him, but his mind and eyes are drifting over to where his Pok√©mon cards are at. We all get distracted so easily,” says Mack. “I try and give myself grace in those situations, while at the same time, I attempt to catch myself and really focus on the words I’m singing. Sometimes just explaining out loud to a congregation the words that we’re about to sing together helps remind me of the purpose of the moment.”

Finishing up, I ask what he hopes people will take away when listening to his album and he says, “God knows you and he loves you. He’s passionate about you, and he’s walking with you in this season - whether high or low. You’re not alone.”

Mack will be touring to Riverside, CA, Rochester, NY and the Night of Hope 2018 with Tim Tebow in Saint Petersburg in November and December before switching over to The Encounter Tour next February. You can find out more about his schedule by visiting his website.

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