“May Your Life Be” – Storytellers

I wanted to share another story behind the song from one of the tracks off of our “Enter His Gates” album (You can get your copy of the album at the church or on iTunes).  “May Your Life Be” is the 16th (!) and final track off the album we released in June.  It is such a wonderful prayer with which to end the entire worship project.

John Kennerly wrote this song and we included it on “The Time is Now” project with an acoustic feel.  The vocals on this song are some smooth and open, I wanted to take a different approach to really open it up.  We went to a pad being the primary instrument for the song, and besides a few piano parts and timpani hits at the end, that’s all you hear from instruments.  Vocally, John and Angela changed up some of the parts, but once again, the congregation on this song sounds amazing.

Since the song is a prayer for lifestyle worship, we needed all of our singers on this one, so North Side is singing their hearts out.  Sometimes, I walk into our worship center during the week and see the empty seats and imagine the worship that might be going on all over the city while we are scattered.  We want Jesus’ life to be alive in us!

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“No Greater Love” – Storytellers

“Oh, what joy could make You stay?  Enduring the cross, despising it’s shame…”

I wanted to share another story behind the song from one of the tracks off of our “Enter His Gates” album (You can get your copy of the album at the church or on iTunes).  Track #15 is “No Greater Love.”  I originally released this song on a solo project that was a fundraiser for our adoption.  We had used it often at our church, and so it seemed a good fit to include it on this project.

We also decided to do this semi-live.  In the worship world, all live recordings are semi-live.  Elements are recorded live, but overdubs are done on every project because of bad notes played or off-tone elements.  We don’t have the capabilities at the church to produce a high-quality live recording, but so much of what happens special with our team is when our congregation is in the room with us.  So we played along with a click-track to make sure our tempo was correct and set out to record live congregational singing more than anything else.

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“It’s You” & “Selah #3” – Storytellers

“If there’s one thing I can’t get over, it’s You.”

I wanted to share another story behind the song from one of the tracks off of our “Enter His Gates” album (You can get your copy of the album at the church or on iTunes).  Track 13-14 is the “It’s You” suite.

This song was originally written for our “Submerge” student camp years ago.  An in-house band, “Brannon,” recorded this song on an EP.  We never used it with the church as a whole, but with much of the teaching we have been focused upon in John, I felt like we needed to bring it back.

The song was basically written as a commitment to the sufficiency of Christ in a prosperity-focused American Christianity.  So much of people’s faith nowadays is based upon Jesus plus something else.  While Christ blesses us in so many ways, if all of them were taken away, we would still have more than what we deserve.

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“Worship Your Name” – Storytellers

I wanted to share another story behind the song from one of the tracks off of our “Enter His Gates” album (You can get your copy of the album at the church or on iTunes).  This song, “Worship Your Name,” was penned by our very own John Kennerly years ago, and I felt the need to bring it back.

The song was recorded on the first live album North Side recorded probably in 2003.  John had written the song earlier than that, and it was a special call to worship song for our church.

In this recording, we took a very acoustic, folksy turn on the song.  John is a singer-songwriter.  He is great in a coffeehouse setting telling a story and singing and playing his heart out.  I wanted to create the feeling on the track that there were a few guitars, voices, and percussion pieces sitting around a circle in a room.  We were very pleased to say it feels that way.

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“My Portion” – Storytellers

“You can take all the pleasures of this world, for You are my portion.”

I wanted to share another story behind the song from one of the tracks off of our “Enter His Gates” album (You can get your copy of the album at the church or on iTunes).  Track #11 is entitled “My Portion” and was birthed out of a United Youth Worship event we were having at North Side.

I was gathering together a collective of worship leaders from different churches to form a band for the event.  As we prayed about songs, I felt led that a message needed to be sung that we couldn’t find the perfect song for, so we wrote it.

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“However Whenever Wherever” – Storytellers

“Till You come, we will go, to the world, till all may know.”

I wanted to share another story behind the song from one of the tracks off of our “Enter His Gates” album (You can get your copy of the album at the church or on iTunes).  Track #10 is entitled “However Whenever Wherever” and is a missional commitment song.

I wrote this song as we prepared to go to Ethiopia to adopt Eli.  While the activities may be different, God calls each of us to follow him in unexpected ways.  This song was a commitment of mine to follow Christ wherever he called.  I didn’t want anything to sway me from obedience.

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“Psalm 117” & “Selah #2” – Storytellers

“Praise the Lord, all the nations, exalt Him all peoples.  For His lovingkindess is great towards us, and the truth of the Lord is everlasting.  Praise the Lord.”  -Psalm 117

I wanted to share another story behind the song from one of the tracks off of our “Enter His Gates” album (You can get your copy of the album at the church or on iTunes).  Tracks 8-9 are the “Psalm 117” suite.  My torn up guitar got a beating on this track as we had a great time arranging and recording this song.

It’s titled “Psalm 117” because it is completely taken from Scripture.  All songs I write are based on Scripture, when it works, I like to just sing Scripture without any extra (how could I say it any better?!).

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“King of Kings” – Storytellers

“King of kings and Lord of lords, You reign, every creature in heaven and earth will proclaim the greatness of our God.”

I wanted to share another story behind the song from one of the tracks off of our “Enter His Gates” album (You can get your copy of the album at the church or on iTunes).  Track #7 is “King of Kings” and my lovely bride sang the lead on this song.

The reason why the image for this post is the back of Amanda’s head with Baby Gloria draped over her shoulder is because this is how she recorded the majority of her vocal.

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“Make Me Holy” – Storytellers

“Make me holy through and through, less of me and more of You, help me live pleasing to You.”

I wanted to share another story behind the song from one of the tracks off of our “Enter His Gates” album (You can get your copy of the album at the church or on iTunes).  Track #6 is a song called “Make Me Holy” which we originally recorded on “The Time is Now” project.

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