Category Archives: Songs from "Our Hope"

Our Hope is Still Secure

This is the climax. This is the central theme. It is the whole thought behind the album.

Our Hope [is still secure] might be an appropriate title for the album as well, but I like to think of a album title as being a blend of mystery and something simple. I believe a title should engage a person at first sight… “What is Our Hope?” and the answer should be found within. A book really is judged by the cover, huh?

Maybe, I’m a little over my head, and I’m not really certain that the title “Our Hope” begs much of a question… as I could see how it could be taken as a simple bold statement, but my intention was captivate from first glance…. again, not sure if I did a great job at that, but it’s probably not too important anyway…

Now! I will tell you what is important.

This was probably the first song I wrote while I was at IHOP last year, at least it was the first song I started. I actually started the chorus out of worship, partly just to encourage myself. (I’m a big fan on making songs for yourself and for everyone else… I might be just as concerned with ministering to myself as I am ministering to others when it comes to this stuff… well, I suppose it fluctuates from one to the other from time to time… my thought is that if I can still be encouraged by something I wrote a while back ago, that’s pretty great! Praise God who gives the Spirit without measure and that He is a Spirit of encouragement and true comfort available to all to call…)

It wasn’t much time after singing that my roommates burst through the door with all rambunction and disrupted my beautiful time with Jesus… eh, whatdaya gonna do?

I was certain that I would forget the things I’d sang.. I was already thinking it would be nice to remember this chorus for some project (I think in “projects” – I’m much more inclined to “the big picture” than say a single song… this is why my possible favorite album of all time is A Collision by David Crowder -that’s seriously a piece of work!)

About a month later, I remembered the chorus for what I think to be verbatim and I was very pleased. After that a few verses started coming together from things I’d been singing over myself within the month. During the mixing process my good and super musically intuitive writer friend Paden Smith gave a little criticism for the flow of the song, and I think that really made the song shine!

Now let me tell you what’s actually important… :p

The Nature of the song is different than what some might consider a “worship song” due to it’s central theme of God’s goodness to us. I hear a lot about people saying all “worship” or “Christian” songs should be about God and his glory (which I agree with) and that they shouldn’t be about man at all (which I disagree with!). The fact that God has chosen to reveal Himself to us and shower us with Grace and Perfect Kindness and Love is enough for me to believe it’s something worth singing about. For goodness sake, if we take out singing about ourselves, we’re actually robbing God of the glory He’s due -He has after all tasted death for us, He has brought us into His glorious richness and crowned us with life-everlasting! And even now we, as believers, have the Spirit of God living inside of us -surely, the Praise of God lies within the hearts of men, it’s not some “higher-than” thing that we can’t live up to, nor is it some weighty mystery that only scholars understand, rather it’s the Spirit of God living inside of me to the praise of His glory.

My favorite line is “We’ll be with the Lord always!”

I believe it’s in 1 or 2 Thessalonians, where Paul writes to encourage those of the Faith who know fellow believers who have passed away that our grief shouldn’t crush us, and in speaking of the day when the dead will rise to judgement, those who have been with the Lord will continue to do the same for eternity, “speak t0 them words of encouragement; we will be with the Lord always…” I found that line exceedingly encouraging for myself and it’s my dream that all who hear and all who read would be encouraged in the same way. This is the kind of thing that follows a person for the rest of their life. It’s absolutely what dictates the way they live and the whole of their thought life… that is, if we keep mindful of it. This is good news and I don’t want to pass it up.

In the end of the song, you hear the word’s “Praise the God who is and was…” and I think it’s important to note that this is (to my knowledge, in many reputable versions) the exact text.. I think a few add the last part of the earlier mentioned whole phrase “Praise the God who is and was and is to come” -I found this very interesting and I wanted to accentuate the lack of “is to come” -perhaps this is a statement referring to God’s Kingdom in its fullness at that time in history (later, when Jesus comes back) as the context seems to pretty clearly convey:

…[the Heavenly Hosts] saying, “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, who is and who was, for you have taken your great power and begun to reign.” Rev 11:17

I could be wrong, but it seems that the lack of “is to come” in this passage is intentional…

And if I can say one more thing as the most important thing I’ve said:

This is all a reminder of the joy of being with the Lord forever. What a great Love to rescue us from the cruel grips of the Enemy in our world. And what a great thing to know the gift of God for every person who calls upon Him -for those who have chosen to follow the man Jesus, their reward is wonderful, their joy is eternal, their Hope is set upon the Rock of Ages -it will never move, they have a beautiful inheritance!

for some pretty nifty samples of the album check out my music at the link below:

SoundCloud

Thanks for reading! 🙂

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A Call for Perseverance

Rev 14:12,13: Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!”

I wrote this song to capture the cry of the his beloved Bride in the final days for Jesus to come quickly.

Regardless of where this passage falls chronologically, I find the content very timely and applicable in our current day struggle to some degree, and while that degree may not be death now, it’s still be worth the cry.

While there are many valid reasons we want Jesus to come back (we want to see him face-to-face and celebrate with our Bridegroom, we want His rule and restoration finally over all governmental structures, we want His justice to finally reign over every sphere of life, etc.), this song was written specifically from our cry for needing him to come as an act of mercy from our enemies. That may include the fact that some are being killed for the name of Jesus right now, and of course, it includes spiritual principalities and authorities sent to make war on us, and maybe even common adverse circumstances. It’s the cry of desperation: “We NEED you to come for our sake.”

Again I want to point out, this isn’t the only reason we want him to come, but it is important nonetheless.

I wrote the verse one day while I was sick during my internship at IHOP and unable to leave the house. It was amazing to me how weak I felt, not just physically, but more mentally, dealing with the feeling of despair I was so sure I was done with until then (up till then, I had kept myself busy with internship activities and just constantly being in the prayer room and all these things that were so good, but I had not been alone like this in a while and it reminded me of how weak and frail I am -really dealing with the realization that I’m no “super human” with “super emotions”..) and I found myself reading the passage in 2 Corinthians where Paul talks about his “thorn.”

2 Cor 12:7-9: “…a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

And what a humbling truth for me to realize then -My only strength is from the Lord anyway! Why should I boast in the flesh? Even my own well-being, my emotions, my thoughts, my satisfaction in day-to-day life are so dim and insufficient if they don’t spring from Him. My whole life is pointless and worthless if it all doesn’t spring from Him. Thanks be to God that He provides everything as a faithful Father, ready to give everything to his darling children.

The song is also reminiscent of that longing ache for him to come and the realization of the waiting therein. “Just you wait!” are most definitely the words I can hear rolling of the Father’s lips as a comfort to His Bride. How concerned is He in providing us the Hope we need? How much does He love to remind us of His Faithfulness -and surely, this is our benefit. He has chosen to reveal His character to us and we have an everlasting Hope because of it!

Praise the Lord for his faithfulness to provide and tenderness toward his Bride. What a beautiful inheritance we have!

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Union

Oh, art! I love art!

There’s something about expression that makes my heart glad.
Maybe it’s the understanding that the Lord enjoys such creativity
Something, to my understanding, neither perfect nor flawed by nature
A whole new category: My own creation!

Big or small
Simple or complex

What matters most to me is that He enjoys me simply because I’m His and He made me. Look at my little mimic work -far beneath human existence, but adequate to strike His heart, somehow!

What a loving God!

With all that said, I really wanted to expound upon my songs from, “Our Hope” (as this has been something I’ve wanted to do for a little while now, only, I’m much more comfortable telling these things in person… I thought of youtube….. but that was a little much for me, and I suppose I can write much more with a little work, and when I’m done it’s all worth it.)

Union is an interesting song, mostly because of the nature of its content. Marriage to Jesus? I could be wrong, but I think this somewhat of a neglected subject among many Christians for various reasons.. (possibly including the seemingly awkwardness of “marrying the Lord.” Who walks around singing, “You’re going to marry me someday, Jesus!” I guess, I’m in that boat.)

I find the subject very important, and a good topic in regards to the theme of the CD. When speaking of the Hope we have stored up for at his glorious appearance in the sky -the day we will see him face-to-face, and receive our glorified bodies, the day he wipes every tear from our eyes and reveals himself fully, it’s important for us to understand where we stand in this event and who we are! We, the believing church, are his Bride and we have much to look forward to in those days!

But it’s much more than some far off event we only have fractions of an imagination for. Even now, we have his Spirit living inside of us as and this causes us to be “knit” to his heart. We get to share in his joy and sufferings, experiencing every blessing in Christ. What is that like? What does it mean to be knit to his heart?

I’m only sure of good things! The Spirit of God lives inside of us as a Helper and Teacher renewing our minds to be transformed to His! What a glorious portion we have to take part in Him! He is our portion!

A pretty neat thing about this song is that the first half (purposefully the parts without the fun musical swirls and hits) is to be sung by the Bride as thankful expression toward her God who has so graciously called her into this beautiful love story. And the second half is to be sung by the Lord who loving reminds the Bride of his faithfulness to her -how he’s brought her into this love and He’s going to fulfill all that He’s promised to her in due time “just around the corner.” Both parts sing almost identical lines as a symbol of unity between Him and His Bride. Notice the final pre-chorus “vocal explosion” -this is symbolic of the Great Joy of God over His Bride! -a subject, I’d really like to emphasize, simply because we can’t even grasp the depths of His heart for us! But what does it look like when we start to get it? I can’t imagine what would happen if she understood this kind of Love! That’s something to really think on!

Another thing, the goofy violin plucks at 3:09 are synonymous for that wild Love of God… just imagine how crazy this all is in the first place. Who were we that He chose to love us before we knew him and betroth Himself to us. But now, what worth we have in Him! What purpose in life, what grandness in everything we do! All because He loves us!

The last minute of the song contains that cool “flutey”, “violiney”, somber sound… reminiscent of that longing ache for him to come back to his Bride! (and of Copeland I hear…). I’m not gonna lie, I can’t even remember if that’s what I was thinking when I played it (it might just be my disposition to play the slower, sadder songs… I’m a huge fan of those), but how cool to see the purpose of God in something as simple as that: Notice each song has a 1 minute outro and it just occurred to me that they all deal with this same feeling -exclusively waiting for his return… and then again, that is what this whole CD is about. I’m just convinced that it was more the Lord to guide me even in those “small” details. That was the overhanging feeling for this album! Of course, I shared that keen eye for detail and that surely played into this all too… but there are some things I just can’t remember if I did on purpose that ended up being extremely satisfying to me. Thank you Lord for that!

Welp… if you haven’t run across it yet, a free download of this song is “hidden” somewhere in my blog, so go give it a listen if you can find it! Enjoy every part of it.

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