As a sixteen year old at the time of Rich Mullins fatal car accident I will not pretend that I appreciated him to the degree that I would later in life. I didn’t own any of his albums, and was only familiar with his songs “Awesome God” and “Alrightokuhhuhamen” due to youth ministry choir. (That’s right I was cool! Haha)
It wasn’t until later college years in the 2000’s that I was able to fully understand what an amazing person and musician he was. In fact, I can’t tell you with any certainty what song first captured me, or exactly when I was stopped in my tracks by his artistry. Memory fades, but I do know it was sometime after reading the devotional biography of his life titled “Arrow Pointing to Heaven” by Rich’s friend James Bryan Smith. I highly recommend it for any looking for more first hand details of Rich’s life. What an inspirational read!

Like any great music, most of his has aged well. Time has only served to season it, there’s a depth to his lyrics that is rarely seen in today’s music industry, and that’s largely because he wasn’t afraid to spend time wrestling with God over big questions. So, I set about the unenviable task of trying to pick ten of his songs to highlight. It’s turned into twenty pretty easily so I ran with it. Not an easy list as there are so many great ones. Trust me, anything he wrote is worth hearing at least once, but I chose these because they have made an impact on my life in some way or another. Outside of the first listed (“If I Stand”) they are in no particular order because I just can’t…these are simply songs I love for various reasons and come back to most often.

Here’s my Top 20 Songs of 20 Artists for the one and only Rich Mullins.

“If I Stand” Favorite Lyric: If I stand let me stand on the promise that you will pull me through/and if I can’t let me fall in the grace that first brought me to You/if I sing let me sing for the joy that has born in me these songs/ and if I weep let it be as a man who is longing for his home

“Hold me Jesus” Favorite Lyric: Surrender don’t come natural to me/I’d rather fight you for something I don’t really want/Than to take what you give that I need

“Hard to Get” – Favorite Lyric: “I can’t see how You’re leading me unless You’ve led me here
Where I’m lost enough to let myself be led
And so You’ve been here all along I guess
It’s just Your ways and You are just plain hard to get”

“Elijah” Favorite Lyric: But when I leave I want to go out like Elijah/With a whirlwind to fuel my chariot of fire/And when I look back on the stars/Well, It’ll be like a candlelight in Central Park/And it won’t break my heart to say goodbye

“Screen Door” Favorite Lyric: Faith without works/Is like a song you can’t sing/It’s about as useless as/A screen door on a submarine

“Let Mercy Lead” Favorite Lyric: Let mercy lead/Let love be the strength in your legs/And in every footprint that you leave/There’ll be a drop of grace

“The Love of God” Favorite Lyric: There’s a wideness in God’s mercy/I cannot find in my own/And He keeps His fire burning/To melt this heart of stone/Keeps me aching with a yearning/Keeps me glad to have been caught/In the reckless raging fury/That they call the love of God

“Awesome God” Favorite Lyric: And when the sky was starless/In the void of the night/(God is an awesome God)/He spoke into the darkness/And created the light /(God is an awesome God)

“Sometimes by Step” Favorite Lyric: Sometimes the night was beautiful/Sometimes the sky was so far away/Sometimes it seemed to stoop so close/You could touch it but your heart would break/Sometimes the morning came too soon/Sometimes the day could be so hot/There was so much work left to do/But so much You’d already done

“Creed” Favorite Lyric: And I believe what I believe/Is what makes me what I am/I did not make it, no it is making me/It is the very truth of God and not/The invention of any man

“Sing Your Praise To The Lord”

“My Deliverer”

“Surely God Is With Us”

“We Are Not As Strong As We Think We Are”

“The Color Green”

“I Will Sing/Hope to Carry On”

“Verge of a Miracle”

“While The Nations Rage”


“Here in America”

Here’s a link to all songs listed for your listening enjoyment should you so desire.

What about you? Do you have a favorite Rich Mullins story/memory? Concert experience? Song? I’d love to hear from you!