Song Discussion Article
by ~ suzan 

Look Inside Burning The Fields   ~  Mitch McVicker

#9 Burning The Fields 4:53


Invited by Mitch, to set up a section on this unofficial site, to have a place where we can discuss songs and questions on lyrics.  Decided to try doing a single song at a time.  Why not savor the project, or as Joe Curet might say season one song at a time and picked this song. 

Names but not e-mail address was requested to participate in this first discussion.
Guessing or getting Mitch's take on a song was not the ultimate answer or goal of this project.  However, maybe the discussion would bring some back to the bible, or cause them to reexamine their walk with God.  Or simply cause them to be Spirit vehicle movers.  Yeah that Spirit likes to go"hitchhiking from one person to another, then another, spreading the little seeds of faith all over the place.  We have all been called by God to spread His Gospel.  This music is a powerful tool you can use to do that". So maybe at a minimum, we would help each other by giving our different takes on the song.  Even though Mitch may have a meaning behind some verses, they may mean something else to someone else, and that's the great part about exploring the possibilities.  It was stressed that an important thing to consider was that all thoughts are valid.  Also, asked people to stay away from quoting Mitch, and use their own interpretations.

He really doesn't encourage concert quotes, a quote I got from Mitch about that in an e-mail stated " I think that a lot of it takes away the impact of the live communication that happens at concerts.  I would encourage people to review concerts and maybe talk about how it impacted them or their own personal perceptions.  Even some short paraphrases of what I say would be fine.  But, the verbatim reports of talks and sayings that I repeat from time to time seem to be a hindrance to me."  We would use this same philosophy, on our song analysis and let OUR interpretations and impacts be the main basis to discuss it not his.  After the discussion was  completed, Mitch granted an interview on this song and it is homed at: 

Look Inside Burning The Fields   ~  Mitch McVicker

Enjoy his interview and enjoy the discussion on that song by some friends.

The Discussion:

Do you find any particular bible passages that apply to this song?  And where?

Mike:  I'll have to think on this one, yeah salt of the earth, I've heard that many times.  And also the one where God weeds the evil from the good.

Kelli: This song reminds me of  PS+51:10,(you look it up yourself), and also  EPH+4:22-24. I like this song because of the emphasize on becoming clean. Starting anew.  Isn't that what becoming born again is about?  I also like the lyric about the anxious thoughts.  We are to take captive our thoughts.  The Lord does not want us to have any anxious thoughts, but to bring everything to him through prayer and petition.  I love the song!

Jenn:  I was just reading this passage from the Bible, and, unbidden, to my subconscious came parts of this song.  So my subconscious was making a connection between the song and the passage.  Pretty cool!  I just thought I'd post.  HOSEA+10:12  Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers righteousness on you.  I know the image isn't exactly the same: burning a field and breaking it up.  Actually, I'm not sure why a field would be burned.  To clear it, maybe?  I haven't personally witnessed this.  But I think it's the same thing, getting a field ready for new planting.  And it fits in with the rest of the song, about being made new. Just thought I'd share.

suzan:   Well  my absolute favorite book of the bible is the Gospel John.  And from it John 15:22 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even  more fruitful.

 Another COL4:6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.  Also ISA40:31but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.  And then  1PET+:10, And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. Followed by  Luke12:49  I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!  PHIL4:6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  Kinda cool when an artist brings you back to you Fathers words at every turn.

There are many examples others can find.  Have fun and enrichment at bible.gospelcom.

 What overall does this song mean to you?

Mike:  God will burn away what we don't need.  And asking God to make us new.

Cheryl:  He told this the story in concert, and it was very moving.  He seems to express such love for people and God when he tells stories, it's my favorite part of the concert.  This song, asking God to renew us, praying to God to do that.  Even when things are going good, it's something I think we should still do.  Lots of interesting twists, in such a simple tune.

Bill:  This song is just a high.  He talks about the image of burning the fields to renew growth.  His melody and the dulcimer are just great together on this tune.  The song is so smooth.

Amy:  Asking God, daily to make me new.  Asking God to take away what is messing me up and leaving only the good that we need.

James: It's a simple, yet complex prayer to God.  He will "burn off" what we don't need in our lives, what is clutter, and reshape us into a new clearer image of Him.  He gave us that image, but we changed it, and when we get so far away, He will do the weeding.  This song then with the make me new, is a daily, maybe even hourly prayer, to renew me.  I would feel so lost, if I didn't feel God trying to change me.  Even when change is tough.

Erik:  That everything comes from God, and He will make us new.  We don't need to wait for heaven, He will make us new on earth, refresh our spirits.  Not talking born again as in one time thing.  I mean everyday that we pray.

Tom:  For me the lines that stick are: And I'm thankful for what I had, I'm thankful for what I have now,, So like the fields I want to come to life again.  Instead of chasing after tomorrow, or back to yesterday, I just want to give thanks to God for everything.  Life is just an adventure before we get to the next world.

Did this song have any effect on you?

Mike : Yes, I've seen him perform it.  He told a cool story for it being such a hot title.  I guess the way he got into it, made me think about the lyrics a bit more.

Cheryl:  Effect.. umm.. yes it's one of my favorites.  I've got the EP and play it all the time.  I've never seen burning fields, but the image he talks about, kind of like a parable isn't it?

Bill:  Yes, I wanted to hear it again at a concert after he played it. Just has great delivery of the whole package.  I didn't think so deep about the lyrics, other than the renew my soul.

Amy:  It is an awesome song.  Mitch painted a picture when he sings it and talks about it at concerts.  It is a feel good song for me.

Linda:  I saw Mitch and Brad in concert in April in SC and he sang "Burning the Fields."  I loved the song.  Mitch put so much emotion in it that night--especially the part about "I'm  thankful for what I had then and I'm thankful for what I have now."  It was the first time I heard the song and it was very touching to me.

James: I am not afraid of much.  But I would be afraid of anyone who was not effected by this song.  Maybe it's the story set up, maybe it's the Spirit working, I know it's not all Mitch and that doesn't scare me, what scares me are the people who don't get effected.

Erik:  When he asked for any requests after we got him back on stage, some one said, play that last song again.  He goes really, because he had just finished it.  It was not me, but it was so cool.  Hope you see him perform it someday.

Jen:  Yes, it did. I am constantly in need of renewal in my soul and a rekindling of my heart. I think we probably all are. Anyway, I don't have much deep to add or any questions. But I wanted Mitch to know that since hearing this song, I have passed some burning fields and it instantly brought this song to my mind. I like songs that describe things that I can see and have that trigger to remind me of the message. Never before did burning fields hold a message for me. Now they do.  I especially like the line. "Restore my mind, take my anxious thoughts away."

Tom:  Yeah it sure did.  This is a song I share.  No one who has heard my EP copy of it has not said play it again.  I've told people to order it themselves.  I wish some of them would have been at the concert, because they needed to hear the story that went with it.

Chris:  This is going to be rather personal (and lengthy), and I hope its being so will somehow be of encouragement to Mitch. I received Mitch's EP in the mail the day after I had gone to a healing service. I had been very sick with chronic fatigue syndrome for the better part of 20 years, and these past months I have been bone-weary and battle-sore in spirit, mind, and body. I have been thoroughly broken. I have been passing through raging, refining fires - like those fields of the Flint Hills of Kansas being burned to prepare the way for new growth, new life, new blessings. God touched me in a deep way at the healing service the night before I received Mitch's EP in the mail.  (For the record, as of July 31, 2000 I have now gone 22 entire days without a migraine headache, which is a MIRACLE, PRAISED BE JESUS CHRIST!!!! (now and forever more!!!!).  The Holy Spirit began a work of *renewing my soul*, *rekindling my heart a passion for Him*, and *restoring my mind and taking my anxious thoughts away*.  He is making me new!   I believe that God has only just begun a progressive miraculous healing of my body, mind, and spirit. "Burning the Fields" is my anthem, my theme song, my PRAYER each day.  Thank you, Mitch, for articulating this song in a way that lifts my whole heart and prayers to the very throne of God.  See what good fruit your own afflictions and infirmities have borne, Mitch? The crosses which God allowed/is allowing in your life, also carry with them a God-given gift to bless others.  I'm sure you get discouraged with the slowness of your own healing; but still you respond generously to God and He then gives you the gift of encouraging others. God has given you a *special* gift of encouraging others! Thank you, Mitch, for being part of God's work of healing in me, with your own passion and enlightened zeal for Jesus. Being renewed, having my passion for Jesus rekindled, and my mind being restored by God, ~Chris "Count It All Joy!"

suzan:  Oh yeah, big time.  And I loved the discussion of the others here.

 "And my memories run thick like that smoke".. got an angle on this line?  Also then his next line: "And like the love that's here when I come back"?

Mike:  When memories run thick, maybe he's talking cloudy, unclear, or maybe he's talking heavy, burdening.

Amy:  Being caught up in your memories as they drift away from you.  And then you drift away with them.  But then you come back and God is there for you.

Cheryl:  Thick memories, I think of burdening memories.  Deep memories.  But maybe he's talking about cloudy ones?  Love that's here when I come back?.. Well that's God.  When he comes back from his thoughts?  So maybe its when we are troubled by things, and worry too much, about things, but then when we just put it all in Gods hands there is love waiting for us.

Bill:  Thick memories, well I see troubling ones, not memories forgotten.  Love that's here when I come Back.....  God!

Vicki:  I didn't see burden in the line about memories running thick like that smoke.  It's more like the past is almost as close as if we can touch when we remember something or someone.  But they're really ethereal, like smoke.  Smoke is like the past, drifting away.  I think it's a really cool image because, someone correct me if I'm wrong, I think they burn the fields partly to clear them and partly to put nutrients back into the ground.  So the past drifts away, but God also uses it to make us who we are in the future. When Mitch sings about the love that's here when I come back, I guess I took it very literally.  All the family and friends that he has in Kansas.  All of the memories that he has in Kansas, too.

Got an angle on this line " anxious thoughts away"

Mike:  Well, we are all anxious at times right?  So is he just asking God to bring peace to worries maybe?

Cheryl:  This list is fun.  But maybe I should have read it first, I'm just going down the line.  Anxious thoughts, well then the memories run thick, reminds me of worries or burdening past thoughts.  I've had plenty that I don't let go of myself.

Kelli: The bible tell us to to be anxious about nothing but in all things threw prayer and petition bring our requests before God. (Ephs.4:6). So when he (Mitch) says "take my anxious thoughts" It reminds me to pray that to the Lord myself. Good song!

Bill:  Yes, anxious thoughts,.. umm..... that's when we run to God.

Amy:  Anxious Thoughts.  We often go to God with these.  We forget to go and just share our calm and peaceful thoughts with Him.  But it is ok, because God understands.

Got an angle on this line "that time of year again"

suzan:   Ok, so is he only talking spring as in when they burn the fields?  Or is he talking Easter, when some Christians are burning with a stronger passion for their Lord?  Am I reading too much into this?

Mike:  That's an interesting take, time of year to Easter.  I've got to admit that I am closer to God at Easter than other times of the year.  Not necessarily something to be proud of.  But I go to church more then, and it sinks in.  But I don't know if Mitch is thinking about a season for God, or just when they burn the fields.

Cheryl:  I agree with Mike, Easter as in spring time, is a time I think and are more in tune to my Church and God.  Not Christmas, but Easter.  At first it makes me so sad when I go to Friday service.  But then Sunday, it's like new life really beginning again.

Amy:  This would be a question for Mitch.  Did he mean more by it's that time of year then spring when they burn the fields?

Light of the world is loose.. again is this symbolic to a deeper meaning?  What's your take?

Mike:  Yes, I was once in a discussion about "Light".  Some very interesting things came out of it.  One was that the world is dark, in chaos, in death, and cold without the Jesus.    When we follow God who is the light, it makes us shine and people around us will see that.  You cannot hide a true and real relationship with Jesus.

Cheryl:  Light.. from the Bible always means the Spirit to me.

Amy:  The Spirit

Vicki:  In the first few verses of John, he refers to Jesus as the light of the world.  He also says all things were created by Jesus, so all life comes from Him - both physical life and spiritual life.  So when the light of the world is loose on the grasslands, it's through Jesus that the new little green sprouts come forth from the earth.  That's part of physical life.  In the chorus Mitch sings, make me new like only you can do, that's spiritual life.    But considering that Mitch says he is still healing from the accident in '97, it's probably referring to physical healing as well.  Of course, before that he's talking about soul and heart and mind; so maybe he had the spiritual side of things in mind there.

The Bridge:

And now I'm thinkin' about Bennett Drive
And I think about the Smith's living room
And how life only comes from You

Cheryl: Bennett Drive is where he grew up and Smith's living room, his favorite teacher from Friends University.  Wasn't that where Rich lived for a while.  Anyhow, I guess when we are around our family and close friends, we still need to realize that its all from God, not family and friends, that our existence and those relationships come from.  Thanks, this was fun.

Bill:  Yes, and sometimes when we are with family we feel secure, but really without God it is not.

Amy:  Interesting Bill and Cheryl.  I like the avenue of thoughts and agree with you both.

Vicki:  When I heard those lines, I wondered about all the cool discussions Mitch must have had in that living room with Rich and the Smiths.  Maybe one of those discussions was about how life only comes from God. I didn't know what Bennett Drive referred to, but it seems obvious to me that Mitch is really thinking a lot about how the Lord has worked in his life in the past, and he's looking forward with anticipation to how the Lord will work in his life in the future.  But how can he remember the Smith's living room and not remember how much Rich meant to him, and how Rich is with the Lord now while he stays here in his "suit of skin?"  It's almost a bittersweet song; looking back at all the Lord has done, while praying for continued strength to face the future in His will.

And on this line: "So Lord, make me the salt of the earth"

suzan:  Ok, so Mitch slipped in a novel of ideas to pursue with just that one line.  Yeah, books can be written about the bible meaning of Salt..  And Mitch just plants it in the middle of his song burning the field, kinda like a nice sounding phrase.. but oh boy, its full of life, just that one line.   Salt does create a thirst which when satisfied, will sustain life.  Mitch wants to be part of the salt of the earth by walking a Christ like life in word and deeds and creating a thirst in people that will bring them to Christ.

Matthew 5:13 This Chapter Matthew 5:12-14 "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?  It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.   God used the symbols of salt and light to teach the kind of influence those who accepted His word and became His true disciples should have on the world. We are salt and light when we love like God would have us love.  Cool Mitch.. thanks for planting this one on us!

Mike:  Yeah that is cool.  Salt and Light seem very symbolic in the Bible, God uses parables all the time, and well, I think he planted both of these Salt and Light objects in His Bible as parables.

Cheryl:  I remember Mitch singing this line, but it never stuck out before. Wow what a bold prayer.  But then that's Mitch.

Bill:  I like Cheryl's response.  This line doesn't stick out, but I think it is something Mitch does pray.  He want's to be on God's team, delivering the Gospel.

Amy:  Again I like the previous responses to this.



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