Story Behind the Song: Awesome

“I had fainted, unless I had believed 

to see the goodness of the LORD 

in the land of the living. 

Wait on the LORD: 

be of good courage, 

and he shall strengthen thine heart: 

wait, I say, on the LORD.” 

- Psalm 27:13-14

Amy and I received some of the most AWESOME news in the world on February 7, 2006, (Amy’s birthday). We found out that we were going to have a baby. 

Maybe this is a typical male perspective, but I did not spend very many hours dreaming of being a father. I never imagined names or had day dreamed writing these fictitious name in cursive. Needless to say, the news was met with some hesitance; and equally more joy than I could possible describe.

Amy went through the normal procedures and everything was smooth sailing. We had ultrasounds, scheduling birthing classes, and then found out we were having ... a girl. A girl? How can I take care of this child? How do you change diapers on a girl? Needless to say, I felt overwhelmed.

A few days after we received this joyous news; came a moment I will never forget. Amy and I were sitting around the dining room table and she got a call from her doctors office. They began to explain that they had found cysts on the baby’s brain and that there was a very good chance our baby had Down Syndrome. 

Now, no one ever dreams of getting this news and how could anyone prepare? We were shocked, we cried, we were angry; however, in the mist of this news something raised within me that I cannot explain. I said to Amy: “This can’t be true, I’ve seen our baby in a dream. There was nothing wrong with her. This is a moment for our faith to rise.” This was truly a moment of “whose report will you believe - as for me and my house, we will believe the word of the Lord.”

We were amazed and couldn’t believe the strength we began feeling. People all over the world were praying! We asked friends to join with us and speak health over our baby. We didn’t want the diagnosis spoken. We wanted promises spoken ... The promises that are full of life.

Several weeks after the initial report we finally got see the specialist. A technician began the sonogram and the unimaginable happened, our growing baby smiled at us. From in the womb our God showed us that mighty are the works of His hand. Our little, Ariah (which means: Lioness of God), was and is, perfect. 

Thanks be to God!

So this song was written out of this moment; everyday I see my daughter I am reminded of the promises of God. 

In the book of Psalms, David says it best:

Psalm 66

1 Shout joyfully to God, all the earth; 
2 Sing the glory of His name; 
Make His praise glorious. 
3 Say to God, “How awesome are Your works! 
Because of the greatness of Your power Your enemies will give feigned obedience to You. 
4 “All the earth will worship You, 
And will sing praises to You; 
They will sing praises to Your name.

Selah.

 5 Come and see the works of God, 
Who is awesome in His deeds toward the sons of men. 
6 He turned the sea into dry land; 
They passed through the river on foot; 
There let us rejoice in Him! 
7 He rules by His might forever; 
His eyes keep watch on the nations; 
Let not the rebellious exalt themselves. 

Selah.

 8 Bless our God, O peoples, 
And sound His praise abroad, 
9 Who keeps us in life 
And does not allow our feet to slip. 
10 For You have tried us, O God; 
You have refined us as silver is refined. 
11 You brought us into the net; 
You laid an oppressive burden upon our loins. 
12 You made men ride over our heads; 
We went through fire and through water, 
Yet You brought us out into a place of abundance. 
13 I shall come into Your house with burnt offerings; 
I shall pay You my vows, 
14 Which my lips uttered 
And my mouth spoke when I was in distress. 
15 I shall offer to You burnt offerings of fat beasts, 
With the smoke of rams; 
I shall make an offering of bulls with male goats. 

Selah.

 16 Come and hear, all who fear God, 
And I will tell of what He has done for my soul. 
17 I cried to Him with my mouth, 
And He was extolled with my tongue. 
18 If I regard wickedness in my heart, 
The Lord will not hear; 
19 But certainly God has heard; 
He has given heed to the voice of my prayer. 
20 Blessed be God, 
Who has not turned away my prayer 
Nor His lovingkindness from me.

 

I am so thankful God does not turn away from our prayers. I am in awe of His compassion toward us. Mighty is our Father God ... He is Awesome!

 

“Come and see what God has done; 

He’s done Awesome things. 

All these Awesome things, 

He’s done just for me.”

 

purchase the song Awesome: Awesome - Never Let Go

Story Behind the Song: Ancient Wells

Isaac reopened the wells that had been dug in the time of his father Abraham, which the Philistines had stopped up after Abraham died, and he gave them the same names his father had given them. 

- Genesis 26:18 

I’ve recently discovered, that I love to read. Another newer discovered passion is studying history and the stories of “our” past. 

Now, I cannot fathom living in time gone by. Imagine; waking by the sound of a rooster crowing, drawing your water from a well, even bathing in a river. 

Imagine; walking with Jesus, seeing the first Bible, witnessing the rainbow after the flood. These events, people, and stories are our heritage ... the story of the church. The water in our: “Ancient Wells.”

Within the past year I have lost two of my grandparents and for the past several months we have had the opportunity to live in their house and helped take care of their things. My grandfather (much like his father) spent his life as a preacher of the Gospel. He literally traveled the entire world telling of the goodness of Jesus. He cared for people and loved, loving Jesus.

In typical Jeremi style, I began digging into the History of my family and I learned that loving on Jesus and telling about His greatness runs deep in my family. My family tree traces all the way back to the tribe of Judah: Yes, my family line, includes David, Joseph... I know, right? This is crazy! 

I began thinking about the mission we are called to. We are placed on this Earth for one thing. To bring glory to God and make His name famous in the Earth. My family has been doing this for centuries and most likely if you dig far enough you will find yours has as well. These life events, family tree findings, and some scripture in Revelation prompted me to write this song.

This song is about - joining with the songs of the redeemed and seeing their dreams and visions fulfilled. Listening and putting into action the words of our ancestors. Even, releasing their prayers back into the universe...

I got this idea from: Revelation 8:1–5

“And when he broke the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God; and seven trumpets were given to them. Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to him, that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. The smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angel's hand, the angel took the censer; and he filled it with the fire of the altar and threw it to the earth; and there followed peals of thunder and sounds and flashes of lightning and an earthquake.”

Now, let me preface this all by saying that I am not a theologian; but I do believe that these prayers are stored up to help usher in the end of the world. The prayers of the saints accumulating together on the altar before the throne. Accumulating until the appointed time when God releases them and they are taken up like fire from the altar and thrown upon the earth to bring about the power of God's kingdom.

This is a powerful picture: My prayers, joined with my parents, children, and even 51st great grandfather ... all together. Not one of these prayers have been ignored. Not one is lost or forgotten. Not one, has ever been prayed in vain. Not one, unimportant.

So we say: “Hearts start beating.” We join the prayers of the saints for restoration to begin. We speak life to the dead places. We pray that the sound of Heaven will begin invading the Earth and that victory will be the song of the church. 

He put a new song in my mouth, 

a song of praise to our God. 

Many will see and fear, 

and put their trust in the LORD. 

- Psalm 40:3

purchase the song Ancient Wells: Ancient Wells - Never Let Go

Story Behind the Song: God Great God (You're Incredible)

“To give them beauty for ashes, the oil of JOY for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness.”

 - Isaiah 61:3

God Great God (You’re Incredible) is such a celebration of the splendor of a life in Christ. I began writing this song, while thinking of what it is I celebrate daily in Christ, my prayer for myself and family, even my fear.

I stepped back and looked at my life, my day, and my prayers. I began realizing that everyday I stop and thank God for holding my world. Often (maybe you can also attest to this), my world feels as if it will cave in at any moment. It hasn’t yet; but there have been times I had to imagine the silver lining, because honestly, I often do not see it.

I am amazed when feeling this frustration that I can still see that God is good. I have so many wonderful blessings and I try to evaluate my life and ask: “Are my petitions selfish?” Am I looking for a platinum lining when the silver is right before me. In other words, am I looking for something better that the “perfect” right before me.

I’m not sure what the answer is but either way, I have learned that, God is good!

I began thinking about David:

“...I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: 

with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness 

to all generations.” - Psalm 89

I will sing. He’s commanding himself: “David, you will sing!” 

Like David, sometimes my heart dances inside for no other reason than the grace of God. Sometimes, I sing because I cannot contain the joy inside my heart. He is the God of the second, third, and infinite chances.

Selah

I am amazed that a God who made the world, loves me enough to give His son, and know that I may need more than one chance at this “life” and He provided this escape before the foundations of the world. I love how the Bible is full of answers for our daily problems.  I’m thankful that the promises of God are true. Our incredible God deserves to be proclaimed.

So, I proclaim: 

“You’re holding my world in the palm of Your hands, Great God, You’re Incredible!” 

Purchase God Great God (You're Incredible) God Great God (You're Incredible) - Never Let Go

Story Behind the Song: Empty

Then Jesus said:

“Come to me, all of you who are weary 

and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 

- Matthew 11:28

I spent 2011 in a very dark and deserted place. Even while writing this devotion, I find myself asking God: “Why?”

Have you ever been there? You wake, one morning, finding yourself in the desert when you know you should be walking and living in paradise? Unfortunately, I do know that feeling but one of the most heart wrenching songs on this project came from such a place.

I’m ashamed to admit that I have spent a few months in a place of self pity. I’ve asked questions, placed blame, wondered; what if? Even though, I know God has listened to my pleas, I had the story wrong. He gave me this valley so that the mountain view would be prettier. The whole time that I’ve looked at this darkness as my story; I forgot one of the most important things about our Christian journey. What is His story?

When I took my eyes off of myself and what I’ve witnessed and the frustrations that I felt. I stepped back and realized that God is still Holy, I am very weak, yet He is overwhelmingly strong. Even when I came to Him with so much self pity, He still came to me with love. So I prayed:

“I lay me at Your feet. 

My heart beats for Thee. 

Come and fill me up...

I am empty”

That moment birthed this song. I’ve seen His face more clearly after taking my eyes off myself and placing them back on His attributes. There is hope in darkness and that there is fruit in the spoils. 

“The LORD strengthens me and protects me;

I trust in him with all my heart.

I am rescued and my heart is full of joy;

I will sing to him in gratitude” 

- Psalm. 28:7.

Today, I choose to celebrate life in Christ and the strength God gives us. I am thankful for hope in Christ and freedom from darkness through His son, Jesus. I also am thankful for the moments that we look back on and say:  

“If it had not been for God...” 

Click link to Purchase Empty: Empty - Never Let Go

Story Behind the Song: We Prepare the Way

Just as the prophet Isaiah had written:  

“Look, I am sending my mesenger ahead of you, 

and he will prepare your way. 

He is a voice shouting in the wilderness,

 ‘Prepare the way of the Lord’s coming! 

Clear the road for him!” 

- Mark 1:2-3

Prepare the way of the Lord is such a common phrase in the church. I remember hearing this phrase and often wondering: “What does this mean?” 

I love the picture this text paints. A voice shouting in the wilderness. He was alone? Alone, and still heard; alone, and still important. Many times we struggle with we need to form a prayer group, or a club/organization to be strong in the Kingdom - however, this text proves that there was power in One. One voice crying: “Prepare the way!” This singular voice, written about, preached about, even sung about. One person ... important.

The voice, John the Baptist, was speaking about Jesus and His message was clear - get right with God, for He is coming...

John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet,  

"I am the voice of one calling in the desert, 

Make straight the way for the Lord.” 

- John 1:23

When writing this song, I thought, when anyone ministers, what they say carries this same message. If our motives are right we are saying: “People get ready, He is coming!”

We the believer wait for Christ’s return and anticipate seeing His eyes of fire, hearing His voice that calmed the sea, witnessing the giver of the greatest gift.

With these thought in mind I began to write: 

 

Come in Power, Lord, Most Holy

We are waiting... come

Send Your fire, and Your glory

we’re anticipating...come

 

How do we prepare? 

Prepare by definition: 

1. To make ready beforehand for a specific purpose, as for an event or occasion.

2. To put together or make by combining various elements or ingredients; manufacture or compound.

  1.  To fit out; equip.

How do we prepare something... first, we must be prepared. You can not prepare a lesson plan until you have prepared. How can you prepare the way of the Lord... until we prepare our lives to be like Him.

John was the voice crying in the wilderness, but who will be the voice crying today? I believe we are called to be this voice and share this message of love with the world. We must prepare ourselves so that our message is clear and full of truth. We prepare our hearts so that through us Jesus can begin to prepare others. Jesus came to fulfill the scripture and his return is our hope and future. Will you join me?

“…Surely I come quickly. Amen. 

Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” 

 - Revelation 22:20

Link to Purchase: We Prepare the Way We Prepare the Way - Never Let Go

Story Behind the Song: Hallelujah (What a Friend)

The Son of man came eating 

and drinking, and they say: 

“Behold a man gluttonous, 

and a winebibber, 

a friend of publicans and sinners. 

But wisdom is justified of her children.” 

- Matthew 11:19

One of the best ways Jesus is described (in my opinion) is the friend of sinners. Sinner were drawn to Him, they felt His love toward them. He lived a life full of integrity and spoke truth in love. His ambition was never himself but to bring glory to His father... I am already convicted while writing this. How pure His motives were and how often impure our motives are.

So many people are broken, shattered, deceived, hurt and they are all around. They are looking for love, relief, answers; and often we give distain for not agreeing with their actions that we miss the entire point ... love!

What is true friendship?

When friendship is true; they motive is never you but someone else. You find yourself, unselfish and forgiving. Jesus showed us how to love with His actions. Never was anyone worthless: the child, the thief, the prostitute, even us. He was the greatest listener. He never threw them away and He will never throw you away! 

Saving me

Helping me

You redeem

What a friend...

Keeping me

Loving me

You are King!

What a friend...

So, here we are. We find ourselves all alone, in need of a friend. Then He shows up and immediately every need is provided. Our questions find answers; our hearts feel lighter, our vision changes. His name is Jesus and what a friend we’ve found in Him.  

Friends may fail me

Foes assail me

He will never let me go.

Link to purchase Hallelujah (What a Friend) Hallelujah (What a Friend) - Never Let Go

Story Behind the Song: Never Let Go

“For I am convinced 

that neither death nor life, 

neither angels no demons, 

neither the present nor the future, 

nor any powers, 

neither height 

nor depth, 

nor anything else in all creation, 

will be able to separate us 

from the Love of God 

that is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.” 

- Romans 8: 38-39

One of my favorite, recurring, themes in the Bible is that God has chosen us. He chooses to keep us in His protective gaze. He takes us from a place of shame and plants us again in a garden of beauty. He changes our name... We all have wounds (even scars) that mark us. The beauty of Christ is that He doesn’t see us as scarred, He sees us ... beautiful and as His.

I am convinced that we all struggle with the feelings of emotions of being “let go.” I met several people in 2011 that deal with being deserted and dread being alone. I was amazed that these adults were often victimizing themselves. I am not saying that at some time in their lives they were not victims, but they walked in a daily place of fearing that everyone in their life would ... let go. They were afraid to trust. 

So I began writing this song:

“You never let go!

You hold me, change me...

You never let go!

You know me, and chose me...

You never let go!

You change my name

I’ll never be the same

for Your Love ... never let go” 

I spent some time seeing what the Bible says about God never leaving us. Here are three examples for scripture on the way God keeps us in His reach:

 

“Never will I leave you; 

never will I forsake you.” 

So we say with confidence, 

“The Lord is my helper; 

I will not be afraid. 

What can mere mortals do to me?” 

- Hebrews 13:5-6

 

“Be strong and courageous. 

Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, 

for the Lord your God goes with you; 

He will never leave you nor forsake you.” 

- Deuteronomy 31:6

The power to live a free and fulfilled life is allowing the truth and promises of God to live and breathe in us. We can rejoice that God will never let us go. He keeps us in His reach and sings over us. He is our father and no greater love can be found in the world. There is nothing that can separate you from this strong, wise, rich, pure, measureless, and boundless love.

“What can separate us from the Love of God ... 

Nothing!”- Romans 8.

Link to purchase Never Let Go Never Let Go (feat. Shalom & Ariah) - Never Let Go

Story Behind the Song: It Is Finished

Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, 

Jesus said, "I am thirsty.” 

A jar of wine vinegar was there, 

so they soaked a sponge in it, 

put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, 

and lifted it to Jesus' lips. 

When he had received the drink, 

Jesus said, 

"It is finished." 

With that, he bowed his head 

and gave up his spirit.  

- John 19:28-30 

When the world was made, God didn’t snap His fingers and light appeared. He spoke: “Let there be light!” and simply, there was light.

Words often are overlooked. Words and how they are spoken are etched into the fabric of our very beings. We can remember the loving words our families speak, the words our teachers taught, and even lyrics to the soundtracks of our lives. Yet, even knowing the power of these words; we praise and yet criticize with the same lips. The bible calls this life and death. 

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, 

and those who love it will eat its fruits 

- Proverbs 18:21 

My children were out riding their bikes the other day and my oldest began to get restless. The time had come for afternoon “rest time.” I was getting things picked up and I said: “Girls, get your bikes and put them away!” My oldest, immediately frustrated, began to speak: “Why, do you always say, Finished. What does it is Finished mean?” Continuing on the conversation I shared with her that finished means done, nothing else can be said or added. Those words coming out of my mouth stopped me in my tracks. “It is finished!”

I began writing: 

“My broken heart began to beat, 

when His bloodstained body reached to me...”

These three words that I’ve known my entire life became a water color picture before my eyes. The movement, the mystery - how could I have made these three words have less value.  

Finished by definition:

1. ended or completed.

2. completed or perfected in all details, as a product: to pack and ship finished items.

3. polished to the highest degree of excellence: a dazzling and finished piece of writing.

4. highly skilled or accomplished: a finished violinist. 

I love how every definition can apply to the picture of the cross. With these words: “It is finished!” Our Savior ended the scene. He spoke and the crucifixion was completed. His sacrifice given. The perfect detail he provided, no one or nothing else could have made this moment perfect. He was the highest degree of excellence. The spotless lamb.

He became sin, who knew no sin... 

- 2 Corinthians 5:21 

He was highly skilled, the son of God. He was born to die. These three words condemned our sin; our pain and shame were doomed with the very breath that He used to free us from ourselves. His gift of life and the three words that sealed our fate: 

“It is Finished!”

Link to purchase, It Is Finshed: It Is Finished! - Never Let Go

Story Behind the Song: You Are So Beautiful

“Behold, You Are beautiful, my love; 

Behold, You Are beautiful.” 

- Song of Solomon 1:15

In the late 90’s I began a sincere relationship with Praise and Worship music. I was moved by the sounds that I heard and could not get enough of the music that to me was the heartbeat of Heaven.

Many worship tunes (lyrically speaking) are lifted from the text of the Holy Bible. In my opinion there are two books that reflect worship music at it’s deepest: Psalm and Song of Solomon. Of course I am enthralled by the writings of David in Psalms but one of the styles of writing that was always interesting to me, are the writings of Song of Solomon. 

The lyrics and colorful imagery found in this book of the Bible are such a painting of love. 

The opening line is a favorite of mine: “We sing our song to You, it’s a love song - just for you...” that is what this project is all about, singing our love to Christ. When true love is established the world will see. The Bible actually says: 

“...they will know we are Christians by our love” 

- John 13:35 

I want the world to see my love for Christ, to hear it in my relationships and to recognize it in every facet of interaction I take part it. I want them to know me as a believer in Christ.

I pray that as you read this and listen to our project that you will be encouraged to love Christ deeper and represent Him bolder. I pray that your smiles will brighten and your eyes see Him more clearly. He deserves our love... I also pray that we will hear His song over us, it truly is beautiful!

Song of Solomon: Chapter 4 

“You're so beautiful, my darling, so beautiful, 

and your dove eyes are veiled

By your hair as it flows and shimmers, 

   like a flock of goats in the distance 

   streaming down a hillside in the sunshine.

Your smile is generous and full— 

   expressive and strong and clean.

Your lips are jewel red, 

   your mouth elegant and inviting, 

   your veiled cheeks soft and radiant.

The smooth, lithe lines of your neck 

   command notice—all heads turn in awe 

and admiration...”

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