Rich Mullins is my favorite singer/songwriter. It is very likely that he will be always. I love all his albums-he didn't make mediocre music. "Winds of Heaven...Stuff of Earth" is one of his more unique albums.
I must admit that I come to this album carrying previous biases. I came to faith in Christ a couple of weeks after Rich left this world. I had no idea who Rich Mullins was or even that he had gone home. In the following months I joined the choir at our church. As I learned the songs that we sang every week I came to notice that Rich Mullins had written several of my favorites. It was only when I went to purchase one of his CD's that I learned of his passing. I was very surprised. I found out later that he had played at our church only about a month before the accident.
As I have slowly collected Rich's CD's I have been struck by their consistent excellence. Having recently read James Bryan Smith's wonderful biography of Rich, I now see that this excellence sprung from Rich's intense love for God. That love is evident on this disc. As is usual with Rich's recordings, this disc is filled with great songs.
Of all Rich Mullins' CD's, "Winds of Heaven...Stuff of Earth" has my favorite opening song: "The Other Side of the World" (and that's saying something...Rich has a whole lot of great opening songs on his discs.) "The Other Side of the World" is an awesome song. It is a prayer for the coming of God's Kingdom.
This disc also contains "Awesome God" which has become a worship classic (and was one of the songs we sang a lot in choir.) I said previously that I come biased to this disc...one reason was because of the fact that I had sung a lot of these songs before I heard them here. The other reason was that I bought the "Songs" album before this one. That brings me to the song "If I Stand". "If I Stand" was one of my favorite songs on "Songs". It is also one of my favorite songs on this disc. It is one of the best songs I've ever heard about the power of God's love and grace. In Isaiah 49:15-16 God speaks to Jerusalem (and in a sense to all who would later be called by His name) saying, "Can a woman forget her nursing child and have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; your walls are continually before Me." This is the kind of watchful, loving grace that Rich managed to at least partially (and beautifully) describe on "If I Stand".
Other songs that I really like from "Winds of Heaven...Stuff of Earth" are: "Home" which is one of those beautiful songs that only Rich could write-using the imagery of creation to describe and praise God; "Such a Thing as Glory" which is one of the more musically interesting songs on the disc; "...And I Love You" a great song about baptism, communion and loving God; "Ready for the Storm" is probably my favorite song on the disc. It was written by Dougie MacLean; who is an awesome singer/songwriter in his own right. I was recently introduced to his music by a friend. It is good stuff too (check it out if you get the chance).
I recommend this album. It is a great one. Admittedly, it is not my favorite Rich Mullins album, but Rich sure made it hard to choose just one.