You Know These Songs, But Did You Know How They Were Born?

Posted by Paul Baloche and Jimmy & Carol Owens on 23 June 2014

Tim Hughes: Here I Am To Worship

Tim says, “I was playing around with my guitar when the verse just came out.” But the chorus eluded him. Nine months passed before he patched it together with another strong melody idea and had the entire song. The lyrical theme came to him from the scriptures.

“I’d been thinking through Jesus’ amazing sacrifice,” he says. “Sometimes when God meets us, we don’t know how to respond properly. It’s often too much for us to take in. Hopefully, in a small way, the chorus captures that: ‘Here I am to worship. Here I am to bow down. Here I am to say that you’re my God. Altogether lovely, worthy, wonderful.’

“The main motivation behind the song was to capture a response to Jesus giving up his throne in heaven, ultimately to die on a cross. It has been a real privilege to see how God has used the song.” 

Darlene Zschech: Shout to the Lord

“‘Shout to the Lord’ came while I was having a quiet time with the Lord,” Darlene says. “It was one of those dark days in my life, and I turned to the Lord for peace.” She sat at the piano, opened her Bible to the Psalms and started singing. The song took form and she sang it over and over again and it lifted her spirit.

Darlene ventured to sing the song for her worship pastor and another team member at Hills Church, where she sang in the worship team. “I could hardly play it, I was so nervous. I kept starting and stopping and apologizing.” Finally she made them stand with their backs to her as she sang to them. When they praised the song enthusiastically, she thought they were just being nice.

The worship team sang the song in church, and before it was even recorded, Darlene was amazed to start getting letters from all over the world from people who were singing it in their churches.

What started as the cry of a worshiper’s heart has resonated with the hearts of believers all over the world. 

Bart Millard: “I Can Only Imagine”

When Bart was 19 years old, his father died. He heard all the cliches about how wonderful Heaven was, but somehow he couldn’t get a grip on it. As he struggled with eternity, he found himself writing the phrase “I can only imagine” over and over again. He says, “I did know Dad was in a better place, and that started me thinking about what he was seeing there; things we could never fathom here. It brought peace and hope to me...” Years later, he rediscovered that phrase in a journal. “So, I decided to enlarge on what had been in my heart for so long. It was one of those ‘God things’ where it was literally written in five minutes—but it was something that had been on my heart for ten years.” The song was written by a grieving son crying out to God for answers. Now his song is helping others heal. The song, born out of sorrow, reached number one on radio airplay charts and won three Dove awards.

 

  

Excerpt from GOD SONGS: HOW TO WRITE AND SELECT SONGS FOR WORSHIP by PAUL BALOCHE AND JIMMY & CAROL OWENS

Reused with permission

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