Behind The Songs
The Day is Dawning I first heard this song on a Centrifuge Camp CD that Daryl Trexler gave me years ago, fell in love with it then, and have been doing it since. From the book of Psalms, chapter 30, vs 5, it says, “Weeping may stay for the night, but joy comes in the morning.” Out of a rough patch of years, the day is dawning.
Movin’ On A few years back I was at a point of transition in my ministry at Snyder church, letting go of some things, figuring out what would come next. It was a confusing, messy time: I was definitely grieving the “letting go.” Movin’ On helped me articulate that grief and the way it just punches us in the gut whether we’re expecting it or not...and yet there comes a time when we, ourselves, must move on and begin again.
Together I almost titled this “Brent and Kerry’s Song,” that first verse and chorus written of them, dear friends of Kelly and me, only days after a horrible tragedy in their family and in our church community that still touches us deeply. When life crumbles around us, when “the world is breaking at our door,” I don’t know how we stand at all except that we do it Together.
Mighty to Save Kelly’s pick for the album. What more needs to be said than we have a Savior who can move mountains or bear us up under the load for He rose and conquered the dead. And that same power that raised Jesus from the dead resides in those who follow Him. And I love Kevin’s idea to begin the song with a nod to that old hymn, “Jesus Saves.”
Image of God This song began with just the chorus, written to support Laurie Morrison’s vision for Steps of Faith’s (Snyder’s student dance team’s) year-end worship experience: You are beautiful, You are loved, You are Wonderfully Made. I couldn’t get that chorus out of my head - or it’s message out of my heart - and the rest of the song, with Laurie’s solemn-thoughtful-nodding-of-the-head-which-I-took-to-mean-“approval,” was finished.
Lead You to Jesus 5-6 years ago a friend confessed to me that he’d been having an affair. I don’t remember having many words to say at all except that the only way out or through or up was Jesus. That was the only hope or answer or comfort that he or I could find: Jesus. That day I wrote this chorus and shortly had both the melodic and chord structure for the rest of the song. But for a solid two years, as hard as I tried, I could not put lyrics to those verses or bridge. And so I’d play and “skat” the whole song (key change too) singing only the choruses...until the man of words himself, Ben Coleman (aka Benefit) suggested we write a song together, and the rest is history. You should check out his version with a rapped verse 2 as well.
I’d Rather Have Jesus It started as a mostly failed attempt to write a bridge to another worship song, The Heart of Worship. Yeah, I know, that song doesn’t need a bridge. Thanks ANewWay Worship team for never letting me live that one down! Nevertheless, I still loved that melody and vibe with those lyrics from verse 1 and was bound and determined to use it!! So about a year ago I stretched it out to encompass all three verses and the chorus of Rhea Miller’s awesome hymn text. It is now one of our congregation’s (and worship team’s) favorite songs.
Fill Me Now The conversation went something like this: Steps of Faith Director, Laurie Morrison planning for another year end worship experience - “Giles, I’d really like you to do this hymn for our worship gathering. I think it’s called Fill Me...Something. I found it in one of my grandma’s old hymnals but I don’t have that with me right now. Arrange it however you want.” Me [tentatively] - “oookkk...” Well 5 hymnals and a couple of online searches later we found it. On the day of dress rehearsal I spent a couple of hours with Stokes’ text and out of a sweet time of personal worship at the piano this song emerged.
One Day Kelly and I had just returned from a trip to Guatemala where we spent a week ministering to the widows and orphans there. It’s Monday morning and I’m back in my office sitting at my desk in front of my computer in my cushiony chair thinking ahead to our staff meeting that day where we would be discussing the Committee on Committees. I got so mad and frustrated: the longing to be back in Guatemala practicing “true religion” as it says in James and the resulting emptiness to be filled now by the Committee on Committees of all things just wasn’t cutting it. I was grieving. And as I began to put pen to paper and fingers to keys, I began to think also of a friend who had just recently lost her husband and of the many military families in our community who are all too frequently saying “Goodbye’s” to loved ones being deployed, hoping and praying that they’ll see them again one day.
Holdin’ On Let’s just say I’m so thankful for my wife, Kelly. And if Jesus is my Rock, well, let’s just say that Kelly is my Jesus with skin on. This one was a soft, tender ballad until we got in the studio with it.
This World It’s the year anniversary of the aforementioned “tragedy” (see Together), and I’d been wrestling all day with Jesus’ words, “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world.” - Knowing they’re true on the one hand and wondering how in the world they made any practical, everyday difference on the other. God and I had a conversation that night, and this song is how it went. And the song is designed to be sung in just that way: Soloist/Complaint on the verses with Congregation/God Answering on the choruses.