In the summer of 2013, I went to North Judson, Indiana for a 2 month bible school called English Lake Bible School. Within the first week of being there, many amazing friendships started. Pretty well everyone in the bible school (about 30ish students) had some sort of musical or creative talent. The days we would worship before class were the best! the sound of 30+ amazing voices all harmonizing each other was enough to make you want to cry!
All the students were living in the church building, which was located in the middle of nowhere. The building was surrounded by what seemed like endless amounts of corn fields. It was a great place of peace for us all. We could just go outside, sit on the grass by the fields and just relax and spend time with God, while birds chirped, and winds blew, and mosquitoes bit (The mosquitos were quite relentless).
But on the inside of the building was where all the action was. You go downstairs and there would be students baking, studying, jamming on instruments, playing records on the record player, and long boarding around the room, upstairs was the hangout area where usually a few people would be reading or napping on the couches, and than up up stairs is where all the girls would be in their room doing hair, makeup, chatting, laughing, goofing around (some usually trying to sleep through all that too). Then there was the sanctuary. Thats where we had our weekly sunday morning church meetings. During the week, it was all ours. We always had late night spontaneous worship sessions in there, with the lights dimmed enough that you could hardly see who was playing, but could only hear the beautiful sound of worship happening.
Here’s a little look in on one of our worship nights:
So one night, after I had been there for about a week, a few of us were in the sanctuary. I was playing piano and singing. Then, my good friend Ben May came in, banjo in hand, and started playing along, as well as switching to guitar here and there. We played a few songs, and than I told Ben to start playing a new chord progression. He started playing this simple chord progression, F C F C F C G. Than just started to sing Hallelujah. We started singing out our hearts. verse after verse of just what was on our hearts. The heaviness, the burdens, everything was just being poured out to God. and after each verse we sang “So I’ll praise Your Name, all of my days”. After a few hours, we finished and knew that God had done something amazing in that beautiful intimate time of worship.
I couldn’t forget the song after that, so I often found myself playing it on the piano all summer. The melody and words stuck with me, well almost all the words. I ended up forgetting that the original chorus was “So I’ll praise Your Name”, and started singing “So, I’ll sing Your Praise”.
Eventually, the bible school came to a close, and I left for home with plans to go to England, to spend 8 months with people i didn’t know yet, beside the two teachers that came to Indiana, who told me about the internship opportunity in Derby, England. So within 2 1/2 months of being home, God provided the money, and everything else, and I left for England.
Within about a month of being in England, I had incorporated Sing Your Praise into some worship sets I helped lead. I eventually added in the verse,
“Your eyes are on the sparrow
And I know You’re watching over me.
Even in the darkest night,
Your mighty hands, they cradle me”
That song became the theme song of my time in England. We had always talked about recording an album, and that song was always on the list of songs to record. It’s amazing the feeling you get, when you hear so many different people, sing a song that has come from your own heart. Every time I lead, and sing that song, I can’t help but just stand back and listen to everyone worship to the words that have come from the hearts of Ben and I.
After leaving England, I came back to Canada, and then visited North Judson, Indiana for 2 weeks. Hearing all those beautiful voices sing that song, that sang it right from the beginning, was so beautiful and overwhelming.
I’m so glad God put that song on our hearts that night in North Judson, Indiana. and I am so glad that so many of you were touched by it. It’s an honour to sing a song that people love to worship God to. All glory to God!
Here’s a link to the song, Sing Your Praise: