Viewing: Songs from "Everything . Everywhere" - View all posts

True To You  

I could probably write a whole series of blogs about how therapeutic I find playing music. When I feel stressed, I find myself heading straight for the basement studio to grab a guitar. It isn't really something I think about, I just know at a subconscious level that I'll feel better with a guitar in my hands and the sound of chords jangling around the room. 

That is probably a part of the reason that when I'm writing a song, the music just happens without much effort on my part.  Pick a key to determine the "color" of the song and I know what 4 or 5 chords I'm going to play, so I play them. The tempo and the arrangement naturally happen based on my mood and I don't usually put much thought into what I'm playing. It just happens. 

Writing lyrics, though... That's a completely different story. Far more often than not I'll spend hours writing, re-writing, tweaking, changing, adding, removing, re-adding, re-removing and generally messing with the lyrics. And when I'm done I spend more hours second-guessing myself and doubting whether I'd made the right choices. As a matter of fact, if I didn't have deadlines to get songs finished by, I might never consider some songs "complete" enough to let anyone hear them. 

But once in a great while I'll come up with a song where the lyrics mostly write themselves the way the music does. The first song on our CD Everything Everywhere is one of those. 

One day I fired up my workstation and came up with a chord progression that I recorded. Next, where I might normally record some vocalizations or a piano line to define the melody, I found I actually had a line of lyrics in mind that fit into the chorus, and from that line, I knew what the chorus was about even before I'd thought about a name for the song: 

I'll be true to You 
No matter what I face 
In the challenges each day 
I'll stay true to You 
And when I meet you face to face 
On that final day of grace 
I'll know that I can say 
That I was true to You 

Where I often wrestle with a song to shape the lyrics into something that is poetic, lyrical, worshipful, relatable and real, this song arrived almost fully formed as a simple and straightforward message to the world and our Creator that we intend to persevere and never forget all that He's done for us. 

Hope you like it.

Gotta Have Faith 

(The everlasting reminder of "Gotta Have Faith" by Sarah Espeonite)

The great journey. Living of, my continuous life. Your continuous life. The understanding of where our faith is in our soulful make up, to access it when we need it the most, so it can lead us where God wants us to be. When I began songwriting years ago about many of my personal experiences, I always had the spirit speak to me with the title of, "Gotta Have Faith". 

Musically, I could hear the melody that was to-be recorded later on and I even had back in high school these little melodic riffs that would collect in the rhythms of my hands on the piano telling me I had to have faith. Whether I sat down on the piano bench from a long and glorious day at school, or a family frustrated moment in my room that needed to relieve itself with inspiration, the message was always there. 

There was a time where I can pin point my heart sinking and the Holy Spirit first took over. It was at the beginning of my youthful creative and risk-taking career when I once was told by a talent agent back when I was 19, that I was too old to into the fine arts industry. Whether it was for acting, singing, dancing, you name it and I couldn't have felt the blows any worse. I was upset with how late I got exposed to my talents so late in life, that I was full of resentment and doubt that I could ever help others or myself, in this matter, with my music. Little did I know that God had already mapped me out for a more fulfilling life ahead. 

Many of the words I would tell myself, my "I" if you will, would be speaking about my own doubts, my fears, my weaknesses and then I could not release myself until I gave myself time. Time to shut out the negative. Time to ask for help from our Heavenly Father. Time to just surrender and pray. Sometimes those moments of giving up were just at the edge of my tongue and I'd feel like I wanted to give up. I forgot about my reason of why, forgetting my passionate energies and how letting go could be the only option left. If it's not everyday that I have experienced that feeling with my musical talents at those moments, "At times I feel I'm no where near enough, at times I feel so unprepared, at times I feel like I want to resign," and finally the final moment I would lead to being unsatisfied with where I am in life with my job, my dreams, and my musical goals. God just kept singing this song in my heart to tell me, faith is where my true being would know how to feel free and learn to accept myself and how he made me. 

I often picked myself up with the words, "Well, I gotta have faith in myself," and dust off the darkness. These blessed words which spoke volumes in times of my own silence, could not resist this constant spirit repeating, telling me, and reminding me the importance of staying consistent and committed to my path. 

Now to simply have faith is often never enough. God will truly not let us down and make things happen without our knowledge. Application is the final step. God arranged the opportunities for me and as I've heard and I'm paraphrasing, "God can only show you the door, it's up to you to walk through it." The important baby steps were going to be walked by me for years and I would tell myself that it would take hard work, discipline and teaching to understand God and my purpose. With faith I believed that the only way I could ever truly be a spirited vessel, was by allowing God to take control of my instrument for His message. 

So give yourself, like I did with this song, a button on your digital, spiritual, and/or emotional soul to grant permission to have faith every moment you live under God's roof on Earth. He'll grant you the people to support and encourage you. Give you the tools to use in your life. Remember: it's going to be up to you to use them for His word to share with others. You just gotta have faith!

Everything Everywhere  

It can be tough to stay focused on spiritual things when we have to live in the world that focuses so much on... well.. on worldly things. 

All we have to do is turn on our phones or TVs and we're bombarded with things that seem to be designed to distract us from the things we should be concentrating on. 

That's why I spend many of my bible times seeking scriptures about ways to focus more on how I'm supposed to live as a Christian. 

There may be something I have yet to find that answers that question once and for all, but in some ways it seems to boil down to a matter of perspective. Really, when we examine it, Jesus spent much of his time seeing the good in people society said were beyond redemption. Tax collectors, prostitutes, lepers, widows, the lame, the blind and the deaf... people marginalized by their society because they seemed to have no value were sought out by Jesus because He sees the intrinsic value in everyone, regardless of what society says about them. 

This was the idea I was trying to keep in mind when we wrote Everything Everywhere: that we can see the good in people if only we care enough to look for it. 

I can see your beauty 
And I can see your grace 
In everything, in every face 
In all the world, in every place 
The world will praise your name 

After all, as Christians we're called to emulate Christ in our day-to-day lives, and one of the most loving things Christ did was to accept everyone regardless of how the world sees them.