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Pocket Full of Rocks

Word Records

CBN.comA glance at Pocket Full of Rocks’ sophomore release invites a closer look. The Dove nominated worship band has not declared its political views but has instead revealed the raw intensity of the album in its title, Manifesto.

“Manifesto is not a word you hear tossed about much,” Michael Farren, the band’s primary songsmith, confesses. “’Manifesto’ is defined as, ‘A public declaration of one’s intents, desires and motives.’ It struck me one morning while sitting on my porch, that there is a manifesto, a divine manifesto, that is being declared over my life; has been since before I was born; a divine, very public announcement; a documentation of God’s desires, a declaration of His motives, His agenda.

”As a matter of fact, everything He has ever done has been about drawing our attention to this manifesto,” Farren continues. “There are basically two things that come from hearing this manifesto...worship and truth. This thought process was spawned out of wrestling with a very familiar bit of scripture found in John 4:23-24 that says... "Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and His worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth." I can relate to the ‘Worship in spirit’ part of this verse, but to be completely honest, I have had to wrestle with the "And truth" part. I guess I have tried to derive a deeper meaning out of it, when it simply means exactly what it says.

“It makes perfect sense when you put the whole chapter leading up to these two verses in context. Jesus was talking to the Samaritan woman, a woman whose life was a complete wreck. Every aspect of her life suffered from a lack of truth - she was confused about herself, her relationships, and her theology. Jesus beautifully addressed all of these, and you soon find a woman passionately worshipping the Messiah, and boldly declaring her newly discovered "truth" to anyone who would listen.

“It really is no different today. We all have the same root issues as the Samaritan woman. We are all in desperate need of the truth. The reality is that you cannot truly worship until you have been truly rescued from yourself. We will never find our hearts and lives in a more sincere posture of worship as when we have experienced Divine Truth; His Manifesto. To respond to His presence is a beautiful experience, but to further be changed by His truth, that creates a world-changing worshipper.”

“I think there is a level we have to go to as worship leaders where it ceases to be just an experience that fades, and instead becomes married to truth, where people walk out having not only been in the presence of God, but have also heard His motives, His intents, His desires for their lives.”

Farren points to “Even the Worst of Us” as a perfect example of such a manifesto song; one that is emotionally redolent, yet steeped in truth. “It is about being desperate for the truth,” he notes. “It is about being broken before God; about bidding farewell to dead religion.”

So come you broken lonely, from the rubble find your place
For greater than our demons are the open arms of Grace

“Brokenness is not a bad place,” Farren muses. “It feels awful, but coming to the end of ourselves and starting fresh with God fully in control is a magnificent thing. It is an invitation to come alive. Disqualification is not a word that God deals with anymore, because He has already dealt with it. He calls us qualified by virtue of who He is and what He has done through the cross.”

A worship band with roots deep in the church, Pocket Full of Rocks has developed a reputation for birthing new worship songs during the middle of a worship service. Alisa Farren describes her husband as more of a ‘song-receiver’ than a ‘song-writer.’ Three songs, “At The Cross,” “You’re My Everything” and "Call You Beautiful" were all spontaneously created during congregational worship settings, she says.

“But that doesn’t mean the rest of them were premeditated,” Alisa continues. “They were all spontaneously birthed in their own right, just not in a public setting.”

“At The Cross” was birthed two years ago at a youth camp,” Farren adds. “While many of the songs we write in such a corporate setting tend to be vertical worship songs, “At The Cross” is much more of a declaration. There is a place of freedom, and it doesn’t matter how dark your sin or how strong your addiction. He did go to the cross and He did pay for our sin. He bought our freedom.

“Even the Worst of Us,” on the other hand, was birthed on a Sunday afternoon in late November while Farren pondered the band’s upcoming album. “I sat there thinking, ‘Lord I’m supposed to be doing an album, and I can’t do it without You. I am desperate for You.’ I believe these songs are really what Manifestois all about. It is about Truth whether we feel like it or not.”

“I don’t want to spend another year leading worship if it does not produce eternal fruit in the lives of the worshippers. So if I’m going to do this, then I am begging God to teach me what Truth is, personally, and that He would empower me to impart that Truth in the safety of the time of worship. What better place to impart the truth than in the presence of Truth?”

For Pocket Full of Rocks, that is what this album called Manifestois all about. It is an invitation to all who are busted and broken, to hear Heavens manifesto of truth...and forever be changed by it. And in the light of this Divine manifesto, there is an invitation to boldly declare one's own manifesto to the world around us - a personal manifesto of impassioned worship, and unwavering, life-altering truth.


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