Earlier this year, we borrowed the keys to Pleasant Grove Baptist Church and sat down to flesh out a song that was swirling around in our heads. So, we picked up on how people quickly praise God when things go well, you know, they say "God is good!" Then you realize that there was someTHING good that happened that caused them to proclaim God's goodness. What about when bad things happen, would we say God is good? Does God's goodness depend on our experiences at the time?
Then, we pondered further. Each morning when we wake (or IF we wake) - Darla thought we should still write "when" I wake. Anyway, we see God's faithfulness each day, how He provides for us, how He gives us life and provides what we need, like He said He would. But our doubt still crops up, usually as soon as something doesn't work out just as we expected. We become restless, our soul is unsettled as we look for our own solutions. I'll raise my hand first because, welp, I am guilty of this. But HE is our restless soul's salvation. He is our strength and joy and peace, even in the midst of life's struggles!
You can purchase this song at special pricing now as part of our new, independent EP:
We have evolved as Christmas celebrators, in fact many now call Christmas "winter break" or just "the holiday season". So, Christmas feels like it's been stolen, at least co-opted for sure! Truth be known, when we set out to write our first set of Christmas songs, we didn't set out to poke a proverbial finger in anyone's eyes, it was a default setting to go to scripture. In the end, we realized that it was near impossible to write about Christmas without writing about the reason for Christmas, that first one.
So, there I was, writing verse two, it went like this: "How unlikely can this story be, His majesty would come for one like me?" Then, bam! There was absolutely no getting around it, "Immanuel was born to die, it's the wonder of redemption from on high". It was like a dose of reality hitting me in the face!
Will our songs cause discomfort? Maybe. Because they don't croon about a winter-wonderland, or wax sentimental about roasting chestnuts. These are all amazing, nostalgic memories of awesome Christmases past, and those are wonderful. But "That First Christmas" just sort of takes us down a road of gratitude too. Let's go ahead, "ring the bells of Christmas loud and clear" as it says in verse three. But it continues;
"see the King of glory has drawn near
Royalty in a manager lay
It's the miracle of heaven's prince of Peace
Lord of all as helpless babe
Let's praise the King!"
That is cause for celebration! A grateful heart for that very first Christmas, think about it . . .
Darla was inspired to come up with the melodies for the songs of this project, which really fueled the writing aspect for me (Trevor). What was interesting, was that I couldn't help but write about the true meaning of Christmas. So, our songs depart from singing about the trappings of Christmas and address the reason that Christ came to earth in the first place.
Apart from being unknown, taking this approach potentially alienates many who have come to love the songs about the trappings of Christmas; sleigh bells, reindeer, mistletoe, etc. But it is difficult to not focus on a royal person, leaving his kingdom to be a sacrifice for many, because only he could. That's what Christ did. "That First Christmas" takes us back to the miracle of the Lord of everything who appears as a helpless babe, in a cold manger, so many years ago.
So, these songs force us to reexamine the account in the bible, about the one who came to save us from our sins. In fact, in the song "To Save Us All" we are reminded that the point of Christ's birth, was that easter would happen and we are thankful. We hope you would message us to pre-order this project.
Lorie and Todd Richmond are friends of ours and they love Christmas. We know for sure that Todd does! We don't remember exactly how it went down, but at the end of three months (or so) of writing, we had five original Christmas songs, and we know it started with them.
The thought of doing a Christmas album did anyway. Coincidentally, the Indie label we do our projects with did a promotion for a Christmas EP. Because we did projects in the past, we knew that all artists have to record original songs, so obviously if we were going to take the deal, we had to write original stuff. However, apparently the common practice is to record re-worked Christmas songs, you know, the ones we all grew up listening to. Well, we didn't.
The producer was surprised (impressed?) that we did. We are hoping that everyone is truly blessed by the project. The songs focus us to the real reason for Christmas, "That First Christmas" as the EP is entitled.