In 2001 MercyMe debuted “I Can Only Imagine,” “Here with Me,” “Homesick,” and “So Long Self,” which sold more than 9 million units in CD, single and DVD sales, garnered 27 No. 1 multi-format Christian radio singles and four consecutive mainstream radio hits. The GRAMMY®-nominated, multiple American Music Award and Dove Award winners made history in 2014 as “I Can Only Imagine” surpassed two million digital downloads, making it the first song in Christian music to go platinum and double-platinum in the digital domain. They continue to have success with their eighth album, “Welcome To The New,” garnering two GRAMMY® nods. MercyMe will release their latest album, “LIFER,” which is a deluxe version with three bonus tracks and will be sold exclusively in Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores and online at crackerbarrel.com as part of Cracker Barrel’s Spotlight Music Program.
“LIFER” is a 13-track album that takes a closer look at the band as they write about what it means to live out faith as a “lifer.” Cracker Barrel’s exclusive version gives guests three bonus tracks “A Little Hope”, “Sing,” and “His Eye Is On The Sparrow,” that furthers the band’s message of a lifelong commitment to their beliefs. Filled with positive, uplifting lyrics, along with energetic beats and soaring melodies, “LIFER,” – a “logical next chapter” according to the band – delivers the massive hits MercyMe is known for. The debut single “Even If” will serve as a follow-up to the band’s four hit singles found on their previous album.
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.” Psalm 100:1-3
Bart Millard of MercyMe shares about the unique partnership with Cracker Barrel.
“‘LIFER’ is about how our faith is a part of us; a constant reminder of home. MercyMe has been touring for 23 years and Cracker Barrel has literally been a ‘constant reminder of home’ no matter where the road takes us. We wanted Cracker Barrel to be set apart from just another place to buy our album. It’s a unique opportunity, so we wanted to make a unique project.”
Since 2015, Cracker Barrel’s Spotlight Music Program has highlighted five to seven artists each year by creating unique initiatives and experiences to launch music content across the more than 640 stores in 43 states nationwide. The Program targets different audiences to enhance the guest experience through artist partnerships, exciting collaborations, custom digital content and more. Additionally, artists can shoot exclusive fan content on a Cracker Barrel Front Porch.
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalm 100:4-5
Cracker Barrel Vice President of Marketing Don Hoffman explains how their Spotlight Music Program is designed to reach a variety of guests.
“Expanding our Spotlight Music Program is a key priority for Cracker Barrel, as we want to offer our guests an abundance of entertaining content. MercyMe is a great example of how we are widening the gap to include music from artists who reach different audiences. We are honored to offer MercyMe’s deluxe album including three tracks only offered at Cracker Barrel.”
Make a joyful noise. Whether you are an aspiring artist or prefer to a solo serenade in the shower, God love it when we worship Him. We don’t have to be professional singers. Gather a group of friends and head to a worship night or concert. Put on your favorite worship music, reflect and sing along. Take time this week to read through the Psalms and look at how David praised God whatever circumstance he is in. If you are going through a troublesome time, you don’t have to be happy, but ask God to give you his joy and peace. If there is a song that correlates to the particular passage, listen to it. Many of today’s popular worship songs are based off the Psalms.
Share a worship CD. One way we can encourage a friend, small group member or new believer is sharing resources with them that have helped us in our faith including worship music. Let them borrow or give them a CD that has been meaningful to your walk with the Lord. Share a playlist or even go to the Christian bookstore and help them pick out some music based on the genre that they like. Teach them that worship is more than just the music that we sing on Sunday at church. It is about living a life that is pleasing to God.
Use your gifts. You might be able to play a musical instrument, sing or even have audio/visual gifts. Whatever your gifts, pray about how you can use them to serve God. Often, we get caught up in the business of life and we ignore the gifts and talents that God has entrusted us with. Take time this week to pray and ask God if there is a talent that you need to be a steward of. Look for opportunities at church, small group, or a ministry to serve others with your gifts and talents.