One of my favourite stories to tell is how my family came to faith in Jesus through a cheesy 70s children’s record called Bullfrogs and Butterflies. I love that story for many reasons – because of its innocence, because that was the start of everything for us, because it’s so unlikely and overlooked and yet Jesus will meet with us even at the record player for a reconciliation. That song is so dear to me that even now when we listen to it, I cry. Every time. Because it’s not just the song of course, it’s the weight of memory accompanying the song.

(If you have a subscription to The Work of the People, you can watch this short film of me telling that story in its entirety but here’s a snippet at least.)

So as I was writing Out of Sorts, I began to realise how often music played a big part in my story – which is odd because I’m not a musician or a singer or even someone who can carry a tune. I don’t have a vast music collection and I’m not someone who has ever heard of anyone “before they were cool.” I’m pretty mainstream and very simple, actually. I tend to find something I like and listen to it until forever. But because of my tradition, because of my family, because of my own sensibilities, it seems that music played a bigger role in my faith than I had ever realised before writing that book.

These songs were my companions as I lived out the stories in the book and then they were my companions all over again when I wrote it.

So to accompany the book’s release, I’ve put together a playlist of songs that were either mentioned in the book or that were a part of my life at the time when certain stories were written.

Out of Sorts Playlist :: Sarah Bessey

I see these songs as your companions as you journey through the book.

You’ll begin to see why each one is there and why they matter and how they relate as you keep reading….

The first song, by Nichole Nordeman, is a new song that just came out. (I love Nichole Nordeman.) When I heard it, I didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry because it felt like she took an entire 60,000 word book I’d just written and turned it into a song. It’s an anthem for me now and I can’t get over how perfect it is for the book’s theme and message. If you haven’t bought that full album, well, what are you waiting for?

(Disclaimer: None of these artists are “partners” with the book or anything. This is just a playlist I put together because it makes me happy.)

You can download the songs on iTunes or Amazon yourself, one after another, of course, or you can just listen to the ones that are available on a streaming service like Spotify as below.

Either way, I hope you enjoy it! And let me know what you think….? Which songs would be on your faith-story playlist?

Really, London, you're so lovely (+ good news for UK readers!)
How to Help Launch "Out of Sorts" (in Doctor Who GIFS, because, well, of course)
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  • Abby Norman

    I think you wrote the playlist to my soul. I cannot wait to get my hands on your book!!!!

  • Jonathan

    Loving the playlist. Loving that even among the giants of that list, there is room for Alli Rogers. Great stuff.

  • Lovely!

  • Brittaney Borman

    You are my music soul sister. I love Nichole Nordeman and you know I grew up on Bullfrogs to Butterflies too. Not to mention most of the other songs are very familiar to me.

  • Christine Ingebretson

    When we were little, our little family of four use to do “concerts” around town. My brother sang “Self-Control” and I sang “Peace” from the Bullfrogs and Butterflies album. Such a delightful way to learn the fruit of the Spirit. I love that it is part of your story too! Holy and Anointed One made me fall in love with Jesus when I was 18. Can’t wait for Out of Sorts!

  • WOW. What a powerful song by Nicole! Looking forward to living and reading alongside this playlist. Thanks for compiling and sharing it, Sarah!

  • Sarah, I LOVE this!! I’ve been trying to make playlists around books I love, or books I get to help promote. THIS is perfect! And I also love the last line of your post about our own faith story playlist: it feels like it would be a great linkup here! I think I’m going to make a playlist for my own faith story for your book posts/synchroblog. Thanks again! (And ahhh, can Andrae Couch SANG….) 🙂 (I also love the additions of Gungor, Patty Griffin, Rich Mullins & Alli Rogers. (I made a spotify playlist spring boarding from Alli’s song when I read ‘Simply Tuesday’ by Emily Freeman. Music and words together=one of my love languages.

    • Oh, must find that playlist! I loved that book.

  • Oh, and Johnny Cash COVERING Depeche Mode?!? Wow and Yes!

  • Katie Noah Gibson

    I adore Nichole Nordeman and I love the idea of a faith story playlist. Rich Mullins would definitely be on mine. Also Avalon, the ZOE Group, Matt Redman, Sufjan’s version of Come Thou Fount and so many old hymns.

  • Gosh, you’re right about that Nicole Nordeman song. Holy eerie. It’s beautiful. As is your book. Excited about launch next week.

  • I definitely will be listening as I read! I love making playlists for writing projects and listening to others’ as I read the work it inspired. Thanks for sharing this with us to enhance the experience. 🙂

  • Jordan Taylor

    So many of these songs make my heart happy! I love that Michaela McLaird is on your list– I was introduced to her by a friend/mentor a couple of years ago, and her voice (and words) are simply stunning.
    You’re making me want to make my own faith-story playlist. Songs have always had such an impact on my faith– I’ve written about the impact of certain songs on my life many times. Music has a way of bringing me closer to God than any other medium. Some songs that would be on my playlist:
    Who I Am Hates Who I’ve Been– Relient K–the 1st song by a Christian band I ever loved. The lyrics still ring true!
    Mighty to Save– Hillsong–the song that the worship team was playing at chapel the day I decided to get baptized.
    Light the Fire– favorite youth-group worship song

    Your Love is Strong– Jon Foreman– basically my reset-song whenever life goes haywire. Also, pretty much every song Jon has written would be on said playlist. His music has changed my life!
    Mine to Love– Dave Barnes– not a worship song, but the words spoke love into my heart when I desperately needed it.
    This is just a start! I might have to actually make this playlist now. haha 🙂
    THANK YOU for that Nichole Nordeman song– holy hannah does it speak to my life right now.

    So excited for Out of Sorts!

    • Mighty to Save! So good!

      • Jordan Taylor

        Can’t listen to it without crying and thinking of that day! Love it so much.

  • Wonderful list — I love that song by Nichole Nordeman — excited for your book!

  • What a great idea! I’m totally revisiting the music of my faith journey now.

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  • Olivia Butz

    This is so, so good.

    A little bit of Hillsong here wouldn’t go amiss either. ;-P (The Power of Your Love)

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