Sylvester Murray’s “When I Proclaim I Believe in the Lord” (sung by Obeji Williams & Kareen Foster)

Sylvester Murray’s composition “When I proclaim ‘I believe in the Lord‘ (performed by the “O!K! team” of Obeji Williams & Kareen Foster) opens with delicate acoustic guitar fingerpicking.  Then, after a few gentle and beautiful vocal harmonies of “oohh…”, we are quickly introduced to the first of many recurring instances of the meditative refrain “When I proclaim I believe in the Lord…”  Each iteration of the refrain is followed by a lead vocal line which completes the thought in a slightly different, yet always single-minded and consistent manner.

Much of the song seeks to clear up some common misconceptions by stating some of the things that the singers are NOT saying whenever they proclaim they believe in the Lord. Here are a few examples:

  • When I proclaim I believe in the Lord: I’m not boasting about my success. I’m saying I’ve come short of my goal. And He’s got something better in store for me yet.
  • When I proclaim I believe in the Lord: I’m not saying I know everything.  Life is filled with anguish and confusion. Without God’s wisdom I am nothing.
  • When I proclaim I believe in the Lord: I’m not saying I’m better than thee. Only God’s way is perfect. My imperfections are there for you to see.

The piece truly reaches its apex, however, toward the end when it transitions our focus toward a series of unmistakably affirmative statements.  This is what the singers ARE SAYING when they proclaim their faith in the Lord…

When I proclaim I believe in the Lord, I’m saying…

  • Jesus bore my pain.
  • In Calvary He was my salvation.
  • And that’s why I praise His name.

When I proclaim I believe in the Lord!

J-Carter – “The G.O.D.”

J Carter’s rhymes flow fast and fluidly with verse after verse of praise to the one true God, creator of heaven and earth, on his song “The G.O.D.”

“You’ve been there for me from the beginning
Forgiving me even when I was sinning
You give me the strength to live
Give me the strength to give
Give me the strength to try to lead my wife and my kids.”

The message of this song is so important that when each chorus rolls around, even clever rhymes end up taking a temporary backseat at least long enough for a quatrain of important statements of straightforward truth.

“Life has been good because of You – True!
Life cannot go on without You – True!
Life would be meaningless without You – True!
God has been good to me – Me too!”

It is refreshing to hear moments of honesty and even of humility coming from a modern rap artist.

“I’m not worthy of your love but still you put it on me.
I’m not worthy of praying to You but You still don’t ignore me.”

“You know me inside out without a doubt.
You’ve helped me in so many ways that I’ve lost count.”

“There’s no way I could ever pay you back
All I’ve got is my soul and You got that.”

The Word of God is held in high esteem.

“You sent me your instructional book
on how to live right how to put up a fight
and how to let my light shine bright…”

And then he wraps things up with an invitation of sorts.

“Has He been good to you too?
If He has put your hands up high!”

At this point, I love to envision every hand in the house raised high!!!

J-Carter’s music is available at his website.

Yeisie Marie invites us to ask God to reveal His glory! “Digno De Gloria”

When I was first contacted about Yeisie Marie’s brand new release, “Digno De Gloria”, I must admit I was a little concerned about whether a ‘language barrier’ might limit my ability to adequately understand and review a Christian song sung entirely in Spanish, even if I was provided a translation of the lyrics into my native English language. One listen to the song, however, quickly allayed my concerns. The heartfelt message came across loud and clear.

The song’s first verse opens with a very minimal arrangement which allows Yeisie’s lone vocal line ample space to convey a feeling of personal expression to God. “To You we raise our hands. We raise our voice. Worthy of glory. Great and eternal God!!” The song naturally flows into a gentle chorus which continues expression of praise to the one true God of love, God almighty, the Holy Lamb.

So it is that only after our sung prayer has established a strong foundation of praise to God, that the chorus ends by placing a request before the mighty throne of the LORD.

Your glory we want to see.


Verse 3 effectively adds a feeling of confidence and energy.   A second chorus continues to build with emotion exclaiming “We raise our hands.  We raise our voices.  God is worthy of glory!”  A celebratory tone ensues.  It is almost as if – through the very process of asking in song – we hear these singers receive an affirmative answer from the Lord.  “We want to see your glory.  Revive us again.  We want to see your glory.  Let it cover me.  Let it fill us.  We want to see.”

This beautiful and powerful song closes much as it began, with a reflective and gentle single vocal line.  Yeisie sings to God: “We adore you.  Worthy are you!”

In the first chapter of his gospel, John speaks about Jesus Christ saying “We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”  (John 1:14-16)  But not everyone who saw Jesus truly beheld his glory.  In Matthew 13:13, Jesus spoke of some who, even though they witnessed his physical presence and heard his spoken words did not understand or appreciate His true glory.   “Though seeing, they do not see” Jesus said.  “…though hearing, they do not hear or understand.”

In Matthew 16:15-17, Jesus asked his apostles “Who do you say that I am?”.  Peter replied You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”   “Blessed are you” Jesus replied, telling Peter “…this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.”

That is why songs like this one are important.  They encourage us to ask God in heaven to reveal His glory to us.  Asking God for such blessings is scriptural.  In Luke 11:9 Jesus says “Ask and it will be given to you…”  In verse 13 he explains “If you… though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

When we behold the holiness, truth, kindness and grace of Jesus… when we recognize Jesus as our Lord and Savior, a veil is lifted from our minds and hearts and God does a mighty work in our lives.  In 2 Corinthians 3:16-18 Paul says it like this.  “… whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.  Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 

Transformation into his image.  This is the mighty work which God seeks to accomplish in our hearts.  He wants to transform us into his image with ever increasing glory.  And he does it within us when we contemplate the Lord’s glory.

Beholding God’s glory is not an elusive emotional feeling or state of mind.  It is a condition of confident faith in and trust in Jesus as the “truth of life” and the “light of the world”.  It is a mindset that trusts in Jesus and seeks to obey Jesus.  It is a realization that Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last.  It is an internal revelation that Jesus is our hope, our Lord, our source of eternal glory.

Notice that Paul in 2 Corinthians 3:16-18 does not speak of beholding the Lord’s glory as though it was only a “one-time event”.  Quite the contrary.  As we “with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory” we continue in an ongoing process of “being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory”. 

Let each of us who belong to the Lord raise our voices with Yeisie, whether it be in English, Spanish or whatever language we happen to speak…  Let us all communicate the same sincere request to our Father in heaven as we say…

“Let us see your glory, LORD!”

House on Solid Rock – Not Alone!

House On Solid Rock has released a nice lyric video for the song “Not Alone”.  It’s  a bright and bouncy auto-biographical reggae-pop number which celebrates the gifts of community and purpose that result from dedicating our lives to Jesus Christ.

Throughout his teenage years, singer song-writer and multi-instrumentalist Christian Joseph Allbee confides that he felt adrift and estranged.  His life journey seemed like an endless walk down a solitary, depressing and lonely road.  No matter how hard he tried to be “good enough” to “fit in”, he always seemed to fall short.

But then things began to change for the better when, at around age 21, he dedicated his life to Jesus Christ.  He discovered a sense of peace, purpose and community within the family of faith that is not based upon personal achievements.  Instead, the strong fellowship and community that followers of Jesus share is based upon shared membership in the family of God.  It is the love of God that binds us together with Christian love for one another.  It is not our strength or skillset which enables us to perform works of service within the church.  It is the mighty power of God’s Holy Spirit working within us. With the heavy load of “performance based” acceptance no longer weighing him down, he soon discovered an energy, freedom and sincere desire to help share the good news with others!

Instead of worrying about whether he was good enough or not, Christian had been set free to trust God to take him into the unknown.  He now rests in knowing that the Lord Jesus goes with him.  He’s ready and willing to go around the world and back again to share God’s love.

In 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, the apostle Paul praises God as “the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

Read the lyrics as you listen.  Or better yet – let’s all of us who have been comforted by God’s love and grace sing along as we listen to the song “Not Alone”!

CHRISTIAN JOSEPH ALLBEE – Vocals, bass guitar, synthesizers, percussion, songwriting, production.  JON HARE – Guitar, drums.  SAMUEL ALVAREZ – Mastering

Hear Derek Homer’s new song free on Spotify (More to You)

Here’s the link.  Have a great weekend!

The theme of “More to You” came to Derek during a time of prayer.  Finding himself increasingly thankful for what God had done and continued to do in his life, he “just kept saying ‘I want to give more… I want to give more…” he confides.  “Truly Jesus has done so much more than I could ever count!.. I am blessed to be a blessing and my sprit longs to do more – more for Him and for His Kingdom!”

According to Ephesians 2:10, each of us who has been born again in Christ Jesus is blessed with opportunities to serve, “good deeds God has prepared in advance for us to do”!  As these opportunities arise, may we all joyfully and sincerely sing along with Derek.  “I want to give more to You Jesus!  More to You!”

Emotional Relation – Bought for a Price

The band Emotional Relation has always been somewhat eclectic.  Even so, over that last year or so, I’d grown to expect certain things from the typical ER song.  Things like energetic guitars, multi-layered vocals, and hyperkinetic drumming wrapped up in a pop punk package held together by curiously creative song structures.  That said, the ER song we feature today, “Bought for a Price”, has a more deliberate and relaxed pace than usual.


Guitarist/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Stephen Wendt explains.  “The goal was not to… make the best or most energetic song… but rather just …this pretty song singing to God.  Like… those songs that they sing at camps or weekends where… every one sings it and is moved by it…. they sing out to God without caring about the music or the worship leader or whatever…  It’s just real, sincere worship.”

The opening verses repeat the enigmatic line “I was cost for you and I” hypnotically.  The pensive confusion is broken by a clearly understandable chorus of faith and encouragement.

But You love me save me and you heal me
 Keep me close… keep me close.
But you keep me in your arms of true love
Singing all the while something just like this…
‘La la la la la la la la la la la.

In this section, he confides envisioning “being satisfied and happy and safe in God’s arms” adding “I really hope someone else can feel that too…  That’s really what I wanted to do… I hope maybe I can sing that song and give some other people that same feeling. That same peace, that same emotional movement.”

When we pause to really ”think about just how awesome God really is and just how much he loves us and keeps us close”, it should inspire a sincere outpouring of devotion and praise.  It only makes sense, then, that “Bought for a Price” closes out with the following pledge of devotion.

I will sing this song to You alone.
For You have kept me through Your love!

Special pricing for Emotional Relation’s debut double CD is available at CD Baby.
Or stream many of their tracks online for free at SoundCloud.

DJ Dee Kimble talks back to temptation on his new song “I Couldn’t”

Take a dash of Toby Mac, add a little Will Smith to the mix and then modernize everything for the 21st Century and you’ll be in the general music territory DJ Dee Kimble deftly explores in his new song “I Couldn’t“.

Like most good rap, the spoken words flow freely, quickly and rhythmically with cleverly placed timing to keep things interesting.  The musical hook is catchy and the instrumentation is well produced.

Lyrically, Kimble speaks of challenges that will strike a chord with many new followers of Christ.  Especially during the first few years after we give our life to Jesus, and to some extent from time to time throughout the rest of our days on earth, there will be moments of nagging temptation to fall back into old habits, as though the voice of our former self is somehow calling us back to destructive behaviors.  “Society makes it hard to have good values, morals and integrity”, he says.  Properly taking a stand and metaphorically “talking back” to those voices of  temptation is what this song is all about.

1 Peter 1:14 instructs us: “Do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.” Kimball puts it like this. “Now that God is in my life… I cannot go back to my old ways… I couldn’t I couldn’t I couldn’t.”

DJ Dee Kimble also has a preview video of “I Couldn’t” available at YouTube.  Check it out!

New inspiring track from Derek Homer coming soon: “More to You”!

Derek Homer has a new song on the way named “More to You”.  
I look forward to sharing a link with you as soon as it’s officially released!  

If you are already familiar with Derek’s music from his online presence, you know to expect high quality production, smooth vocals, and thoughtful lyrics.  This song is no exception. It opens with gentle electric piano chords as a lead vocal repeats a catchy refrain  “I want to give more to You Jesus – more to you.”  A subtle splash of organ emerges and is soon joined by tasteful guitar.  Light and clean guitar gets layered on to the mix for a first verse. Only then does the rhythm section emerge to continue building things up during an abbreviated chorus.  Everything continues to grow more emotional and powerful as the track builds toward a crescendo without ever losing its sense of peaceful happiness..

The theme of “More to You” came to Derek during a time of prayer.  Finding himself increasingly thankful for what God had done and continued to do in his life, he “just kept saying ‘I want to give more… I want to give more…” he confides.  “Truly Jesus has done so much more than I could ever count!.. I am blessed to be a blessing and my sprit longs to do more – more for Him and for His Kingdom!”

According to Ephesians 2:10, each of us who has been born again in Christ Jesus is blessed with opportunities to serve, “good deeds God has prepared in advance for us to do”!  As these opportunities arise, may we all joyfully and sincerely sing along with Derek.  “I want to give more to You Jesus!  More to You!”

Ray Mizzi – I Will Call Your Name

Gifted Australian composer and performer Ray Mizzi has been writing songs for as long as he can remember. Drop by his SOUNDCLOUD page to hear some of his intricate and complex works of art.  His song we feature today, however, is a more simple piece which allows the spotlight to shine on vocals and lyrics to great effect. Without much clutter to distract us, “I Will Call Your Name” comes through “loud and clear” as a personal statement of faith even in the face of hard times, a gentle anthem which calms the spirit as it promotes a sense of hope and peacefulness within the listener’s heart. Mizzi’s vocal clarity and beautifully layered harmonies only serve to enhance the effect.

As is often the case, this meaningful and thoughtful song came into being during a time of hardship. Without going into detail, let’s just say that the last decade or so hasn’t exactly been “smooth sailing” for Mizzi. Broken relationships, lost connections and more recently economic hardships have sometimes challenged his resolve. But through it all, he continues to cling to the grace and peace of Jesus.

When Ray sings “I can do anything for you (Christ) give me strength”, he echoes the apostle Paul who wrote in Philippians 4, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty” adding that he had “learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” Even the powerful leader and apostle Paul didn’t just automatically know the secret of contentment. He tells us that he learned it through experience. What was this amazing secret that Paul learned? What was this key hidden truth that enabled Paul to keep moving forward even during the times when he was “hungry” or “in want”? Fortunately for us, Paul didn’t keep us in suspense. “I can do all things through him (Christ) who gives me strength.”

That’s it. That’s the secret! When we depend upon and follow Jesus, we can persevere through whatever comes our way. Of course, that doesn’t make our trials easy or painless. But it does give Christians something very important. It gives us a true source of hope to which we can cling through difficult times.
If that explanation somehow doesn’t quite seem to resonate fully in your heart yet, don’t be discouraged. Give it time! For even the amazing apostle Paul had to learn this secret through experiencing Christ’s faithfulness through all things, “well fed and hungry”, “in plenty and in want”.

In the meantime, I recommend we all pause in a quiet place and listen to “I Will Call Your Name” by Ray Mizzi. I recommend that as we do so, we consider the fact that this beautifully peaceful declaration of faith was written and recorded during a time in which its singer and composer was “in want”.
Yes. When we seek and follow Jesus, He will mend our broken hearts. He will bring rivers of water to the desert. This song “minsters to me” Ray confides. Let’s give it a chance to minister to us as well.

Mabel Annobil – Cool Breeze

Listening to Mabel Annobil sing “Cool Breeze” is a relaxing and soothing experience.  The song’s production is impeccable.  The musicianship is top-notch.  Her voice glides smoothly from phrase to phrase with a combination of subtlety and confidence.

But hearing her speak about the song is even more special!  When she expresses hope that it might help someone hear God speak His love into them so that they will become increasingly enabled to love those around them more deeply, it is obviously much more than merely a  Christian cliché or truism to her.  It is a deeply held conviction, one born of personal experience and shared freely from her heart.


For although she believed in and was a follower of Jesus, like so many of us, she  struggled as she learned how to more fully live out the victory which belonged to her in Christ.  Doubts, fears and feelings of inadequacy, she says, sometimes unconsciously limited her ability to fully and unconditionally show the love of Christ to those around her.

The first step in her journey of transformation was to strip away some of the masks she had grown accustomed to wearing in order to hide the pain from others and to some extent even from herself.  “I was going through the motions” she sings. “Thought I was making headway but fear was running my life. Darkness wanted to take over. This faith in me was begging don’t cave in. So I had to run into God’s arms and believe.”

For Mabel, part of “running into God’s arms” involved memorizing Isaiah chapter 41 verse 10.  She hid it within her heart, and allowed God to slowly, yet powerfully use it within her over a period of time.  It wasn’t fast and easy. It took time and it taught her patience. “Though I didn’t like the process,” she recounts, “…there was a purpose… You won’t always feel like …things are changing… but when you really believe in His words, and hide them in your heart, you will see transformation, transformation in your character, transformation in your interactions with people, transformation in your thought life – in a number of ways!”

Fear not for I am with you.  Be not dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you. Uphold you with my righteous right hand.  Isaiah 41:10

Like a cool breeze blowing over me, He’s preparing me.
He’s restoring everything the way its supposed to be
My God my King. He sits upon the throne and my heart is torn
He says just come boldly.
LIke a cool breeze….

When we humble ourselves before the Lord and allow HIm to strip away the masks of insecurity, fear and – yes – sometimes even selfishness – we truly can depend upon Him, believing in His Word.

Cool breeze is available online at Spotify and Amazon.