Download the song for free on NOISETRADE.
Some time ago my friend, Josh, and I were working with Crossroads Missions in New Orleans. We started talking about song writing and he told me about a chorus he had written that he used during a chapel time with the mission groups that were coming in [which is most of the chorus that is currently in the song]. I loved the focus on unity – especially in the context of the hundreds of churches, mission groups, and denominations working together during the rebuilding phase in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. My intention was to wrap some verses around the chorus and call it finished but it got shelved. A couple years later I heard a teaching from another friend of mine about the words “hallelujah,” and “amen.” In summary, he stated that these two words were powerful because, in every language they were found across the globe, they meant the same thing: to praise God and to agree together. I decided to do some of my own research about it and found this:
- Hallelujah: Halal means to be clamorously foolish in praise and it combined with the name of God -Yahweh.
- Amen: To agree, in unison, that something is truth.
This idea seemed to work well with the flow of the chorus that Josh wrote so I began to rework the song to incorporate a response with Hallelujah and Amen in the bridge and ending. I wanted the song to be accessible lyrically and musically catchy so that it would be easy for people to sing in a short amount of time. I began working out some lyrics for the verses that would help to explain the context of the response and serve as a connector for the chorus and bridge. The final result became a congregational worship song that proclaims unity among believers and ends with a built-in response for any culture or language that might sing it!
Recently, a friend of mine suffered the loss of his mother. He mentioned to me, as an encouragement, that the words “hallelujah” and “amen” are even being sung i
n heaven [Rev 19]. He was moved by the thought of his mother singing this song alongside him as we sang it in the services the week following her memorial.
It is exciting and humbling to see our new church community embrace these songs and to watch God use these them to minister to people in celebration and even in pain. I am thankful that God would use ordinary people like Josh and myself to write new songs and to inspire others to find refuge in His name.
I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was a little excited about this movie:
“I THINK I’M LEARNING SOMETHING ABOUT IDENTITY, WHICH WEAVES INTO CALLING WHICH THEN BECOMES OUR LEGACY.” -Phil Wickham
Phil Wickham, a leading voice in the modern worship music scene, began to struggle with his vocals while on tour in New England. It eventually led to the doctor’s telling him he had to remain silent for an undetermined amount of time. Given the opportunity to listen more intently, Phil recieved some understanding about his IDENTITY, how his gifting wrapped into that identity, and the legacy it was leaving.
Due to the loss of his voice, Phil had to cancel a few dates including the conference Catalyst. He decided to write a letter to share at the conference what had happened and what God was teaching him through it which he posted on his site. I resonated with Phil’s letter because identity has been a major theme in my life which has been reflected in the ministry that I lead at Faith Bible Church. I would encourage you to read Phil’s letter here and reflect on it!
*The College ministry that I lead put together an EP based on the theme of identity. Check it out here.
Love this video and song. Can’t wait to hear the rest of the album.
I have been working on a New Worship Album with the College & Career Ministry at Faith Bible Church, CITIZENS. We wrote the songs on the Children of Light E.P. to fortify the Fall Retreat theme, IDENTITY, and recorded them as a way embed these lyrics into our minds and hearts as we went back home. The theme revolved around rejecting lies that Satan throws at us through past failures, media, exaggerated romance, and porn to embrace the truths that God has spoken through His word and even specifically to us as individuals. We hope that the ebenezer we have created is honoring to our King and speaks life into those who listen.
All songs are available for free download at Noisetrade.com. Please, check it out and share with your friends!
Zion began streaming free for a short time today on iTunes and I took some time to give it a good listen [album available now]. The new album by the UNITED guys is as beautiful as it is driving. Many of the tracks are filled with crystal clean synths [which shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone] and drenched with ambient vocals spilling out catchy melodies and lyrics that connect to the listener. They are delving a little deeper into the ambient, experimental world of electronic blips and atmospheric soundscapes than ever before which I am not complaining about at all. This album, more than any other, seems influenced by bands like M83, Cut/Copy, and Daft Punk which have been on playlists for years. You could see it in their previous albums but Hillsong has shed it’s usual U2 gleanings and fully unleashed the space-pop beast that was lying dormant since the 80’s!
I am a fan of Michael Guy Chislett as a guitarist and a producer from his Hillsong participation to his side projects [The Academy Is…and NO]. The producer in him comes to life with the brilliant sonic layering and the conscious [I assume] choice to move more towards the electronica genre instead of a guitar driven album!
There is a new female vocalist, Taya Smith, who has such a strangely interesting tone and style that I was immediately captivated by it. Her voice has elements of soul with strong phrasing placements and volume dynamics which made her parts stand out powerfully, especially the song Oceans [Where Feet May Fail].
Love Is War stuck out to me as one of the best songs on the album. It begins with a stream chimes and pads that walks you into a thick wall of synths. It’s propelling and keeps a steady pace through the rest of the song. Lyrically it has a desperation of someone who is fighting to cling to God through trials and joining in the fight alongside God.
Personally, the most attractive thing about Hillsong UNITED is their ability to draw a theme together inside of their albums. It’s almost as if a parade of individual songs is being rallied around a single vision. Each song has it’s own identity AND has a connection to the greater picture being painted by the album as a whole. Here is the track listing for the album.
- Up In Arms
- Scandal of Grace
- Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)
- Stay and Wait
- Mercy Mercy
- Love Is War
- Nothing Like Your love
- Zion (interlude)
- A Million Suns
- King of Heaven