What I Was Made for
The seed for this project was planted back in March of 2004 at the Men's Advance event at Warm Beach Camp where Brent was leading worship. The worship songs we'd written were so well received there, it made us wonder about getting them into the hands of more people and more churches. In preparation for Men's Advance 2005, we had written several songs for Brent to bring that weekend and take them out for a 'test drive' of sorts. The response was overwhelming. Not only were the songs well received, they were avidly pursued for the weeks that followed by people from all over the northwest who had been involved that weekend. The wheels began to turn. As months went by, the project took on it's own unique character. In a conversation with Ed McDowell, the Director of Warm Beach Camp the idea of a partnership between WaterTower Music and Warm Beach Camp emerged. The camp would be able to use these CDs to equip pastors that come through their facilities each year from a variety of denominations and church settings, and in turn, give our music wider distribution. The camp also would have the opportunity to highlight it's vision and ministry in a promotional video included in the Enhanced CD content. The best part of this partnership is that proceeds from the sales of this product go towards giving underprivileged kids a chance to have the Christian camping experience that Warm Beach offers-a cause we could not be more excited about. This project became a win-win prospect for all of us. From that initial conversation, God guided the project along, testing our faith and trust at times, but providing and leading us to what we have today: a worship CD which is also an Enhanced CD that can be inserted in the CD-ROM drive of a computer, containing chord charts, lead sheets, and Power Point slides for all of the songs. This is not only tool that will assist and lead churches in worship, but also an opportunity to provide a life changing camp experience for underprivileged kids. The Story of the Song Lament: It was October of 1999. We were still reeling from a tragic loss in our lives from the previous summer. As we attempted to gather ourselves to return to some semblance of normalcy, I (Brent) decided to get back to being on a worship team at our church. I knew I wasn't up for leading one again yet, but thought that playing my guitar and singing would do me some good. At my team's first rehearsal I played along with the perfunctory songs that we do, songs which spoke truth about God's goodness to us, and our hope for a better future and eternal glory. All good things. But I couldn't do it. I just couldn't sing that stuff yet. My heart was still too broken. At the end of the rehearsal I told the group as much and apologized that I was going to have to bow out for a bit longer. That night as everyone went home, our good friends Dave and Chelle Stearns stuck around and the three of us talked about this conundrum: How does one worship while in deep sorrow? Chelle started pouring through Old Testament passages from Jeremiah, Lamentations and Isaiah. The phrases and sentences, the prayers and petitions-even accusations-seemed to resonate with me more authentically than all of the stuff our worship team was working on. So we began to craft a melody and lyrics that captured the truth found in those prophetic writings of so long ago. What we ended up with is the song Lament. Granted, this is not the stuff you do on a whim on Sunday morning. I know of Christians who have a very hard time with this song, a hard time hearing these words and calling it 'worship.' But there was one Sunday at our church back then when this song was an appropriate offering. Chelle was speaking and asked me to sing it during the service. After the service a woman approached me with tears streaming down her face. 'Finally,' she said, 'finally, we were singing my words today.' I realized that on any given Sunday, in all likelihood there are people out in our congregations whose hearts are broken. There are people who are trying to muster up enough faith to believe that God isn't as cruel, apathetic and arbitrary as the events of their life might lead one to believe. These people deserve to have their words confessed for them in our worship services too. These are hard words for hard circumstances. But they were first uttered and recorded by the prophets of old, men who were God's mouthpiece to His people. It's not appropriate for every Sunday or every situation, but I think we need to wrestle again with the right Christian practice of lament. This song is merely one tool, from one specific moment. It does come from the bottom of a heart that loves God and believes in His goodness. But it comes from the bottom of a heart that is broken by life's sorrow.