1600987_10151847566630877_1633578820_n“Declare Your Praise” is one of my favorite songs from the album due to the text and the unique arrangement of the track.  It is track #4 on this 13-track project – which will be available this Sunday, Jan. 26th.  We are worshiping through the entire book of 1 Peter on Sunday at both 9:30 and 11.

The song’s text is 1 Peter 2:9-12.

The Scripture

9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
11 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. 12 Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.

We once were in darkness, but God brought us into light.

We once were condemned, but God brought us mercy.

We once were isolated, but God made us a people.

We once were unholy, but God has made us holy.

That’s reason to worship!

We also included a line from the verses before it since these two passages go together.  We actually borrowed a line and the melody from the song before it for the bridge: “O build me upon Your foundation as a living stone” to tie these two songs together.

Arrangement

This song is stylistically schizophrenic.  It has many unique sections even leading into a Latin section which is hard to stay still to during the bridge.  Richenda Brown did a great job leading this song.  She always adds the perfect type of ad libs to highlight sections and create momentum at just the right time.

While guitars, trumpet, Irish whistle, and other instruments grace this track, I was introduced to another instrument that I wanted to use on this song.  It is called a strumstick.

Strumstick

The strumstick is a 3-string acoustic instrument that is tuned to the key of G.  Michael Davis let me borrow this tiny instrument that looks rather silly on such a big fella but the sound is great.  In theory, you can’t play a wrong note on it (some of you are thinking that you found the instrument for you!), but you can get rather creative with how you play it.  After Epworth, that was the number one thing I was asked, “Were you playing one of your kids’ guitars?”

As we had finished up the next to last rehearsal for the recording, I made a list of things I wanted to tweak.  When we got to this song, I said, “Ted, on this song, I brought some cherry Crush glass bottles and some chopsticks for you to play on the choruses and the bridge.”

He laughed and replied, “I am sure you did.”

“They are on your stand.”

“Oh, you’re serious?  You really did.”

“Yep, I am.”

I love the flexibility, trust, and willingness of this team.  The high-pitched percussion added a great texture to those parts of the song.

We are releasing the live worship album this Sunday on January 26th, until then though, you can watch the video above.  Hope you enjoy it!

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Travis Agnew is a Christian, husband, father, pastor, author, blogger, and religion instructor.