REVIEW: Rita Springer – BATTLES

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Veteran worship leader Rita Springer is known for her authentic, intimate worship. Like a Psalmist, she manages to embrace the raw pain and confusion of the inevitable struggles of life while seamlessly pointing to the goodness and sovereignty of God. Writing with the authority of one who has learned to lean into the arms of God rather than pull away during the painful moments of life, Springer has a gift for painting with clear biblical imagery.

Her first release since IN THIS FOREVER & PLAYLIST in ’11, BATTLES, Rita Springer’s latest is a powerful offering of honesty and hope.

While some might say this is not an album with congregational worship in mind, I disagree. There are several standouts that could work well for a Sunday service. On the title track, “Battles,” Springer teams up with Bethel worship pastor Kalley Heiligenthal to deliver an upbeat anthem, declaring the sovereignty of God in the midst of battle. Similarly, “Never Lost” is a strong upbeat contender that reminds us that He is our safe place and goes to battle for us. “You never Change” is a great corporate song with its strong hook and bold message of God’s never-changing character. “Our God is With Us,” co-written with David and Nicole Binion, is a beautiful reminder of His presence and faithfulness. “There is No Striving,” featuring Kalley Heiligenthal, is a great song focusing on the grace of God. It is a strong reminder that we don’t have to work for His love or approval. “Defender” also packs a potent punch lyrically with the opening verse:

You go before I know
 That You’ve gone to win my war
 You come back with the head of my enemy
 You come back and You call it my victory.

I haven’t found a song on this album that I don’t connect with. It’s rare that I find an entire album that stays on repeat for weeks before getting bored, but BATTLES has been speaking to me on a deep level. As a worshipper, I feel a deep need to find other worshippers that can take me on the journey to the heart of the Father on a regular basis. Rita Springer is one of those leaders. Her authenticity and deep faith are evident in her music. There is something to be said for the power of worship in the midst of our darkest moments and deepest pain. There is a special beauty that comes out of moments of emotional desolation when we turn our gaze to the Father and choose to hold on in faith to the goodness of His unchanging character. Rita Springer seems to embody this posture, and it ministers to the hearts of many, including my own, in a powerful way. There are many moments in my life in which Rita’s music is a balm for my woundedness, a light in my darkness and a buoy in the storm. Hearing her deeply intimate lyrics often reminds me of the need for authentic connection with the source of my strength during battles in my life. Her lyrics turn my face back to my heavenly Father on countless occasions when I lack the faith to believe in His goodness.

I recommend taking some time to allow this album to soak into your soul. You will not be disappointed, and who knows, maybe you will find ways to incorporate some of the songs into your rotation as well.

 

Heather Blankenship is a worshiper & a vocalist at St. Simons Community Church, & a past attendee at Rita Springer’s DIVE School.