Help Me Prophetic Dance

Prophetic / Interpretive dance by Chris White

Here is a prophetic / interpretive dance by Chris White to the unplugged version of my song “Help Me.” Chris sent this video in December and it really blessed me because he captured, in his dance, the desperate cry for help that I was feeling at the time of writing this song. In that season & on that day especially, I was hard pressed on every side, confused in the midst of my circumstances, being challenged even down to the very core of my beliefs and calling. I was desperately crying to the Lord for help.

I’m grateful for the promises of scripture that speak to our cries for help, specifically: “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved,” and “Because he loves me, says the Lord, I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble.”

I’m also moved to see people ‘doing their thing’ and giving themselves to this type of creative expression. Thank you, Chris White, for the gift of this prophetic dance!

Be blessed …





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Behind the Songs: It's About Glory

Song stories & lyrics from the album Fire in the Night: It’s About Glory


Do you ever find yourself asking the most basic questions of God … again … and again … and again? I was sitting on my couch one morning, pen and paper in hand, asking the most elementary of questions -again- of my heavenly Father. His patience towards me was (and is) overwhelmingly beautiful, his boundless love bids me ‘come’ into fellowship with him and ask! This song was written in that context: sitting before the Lord asking questions and listening to his answers.

Just some of my questions that day: Read More...
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Behind the Songs: Grieve

Song stories & lyrics from the album Fire in the Night: Grieve


This song addresses the contradictions of my heart: a heart that’s ‘prone to wander,’ and at the same time, a heart that has a deep love for the Lord Jesus. My real desire is to love the Lord with all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength. But I fall. And I forget. And then I run back to him again. This song finds me running back to him again, reminiscent of the parable of the prodigal son running back to his father.

Grieve Read More...
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Behind the Songs: Awaken Me

Song stories & lyrics from the album Fire in the Night: Awaken Me


It had been years of an on-and-off-again wrestling match, the kind of wrestling match that’s hedged in by the heart, the soul, the spirit, the mind … and waning strength. The kind of wrestling match that attaches itself to the issues of the heart & the call of God on your life. When I finally yielded, God - in his mysterious ways - brought healing, redemption, and his river of unspeakable joy. And I started making music again.

Once he had my full attention, he had a question for me: The Lord wanted to know the desire of my heart. He wanted to hear it from me. And that desire was to be awakened. To be awakened to the song I knew he wanted to call forth from me. Awaken me, Lord. Awake harp, awake lyre! (Ps. 108). I will praise you among the nations. Awaken me to sing. For great is your love, higher than the heavens. Again I say: Awake, harp and lyre. Awaken me to sing!

This song is featured on the main page of this website, please listen!

Awaken Me Read More...
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Behind the Songs: Fire In The Night

Song stories & lyrics from the album Fire in the Night: Fire In The Night


Fire In The Night references the story in Exodus where God reveals himself (his presence & leadership) to the Israelites as a “Pillar of cloud by day and a Pillar of fire by night.” In other words, the Israelites were never without his direction and leadership leaving Egypt. He was never not there! The ‘fire’ and ‘night’ in this song paint a picture of the Lord revealing himself to me as a “Fire in the Night” … leading me out of an allegorical ‘Egypt‘ in the middle of a dark night. The song basically came in the middle of a literal night: “FIRE IN THE NIGHT, HERE I COME.” In essence, I am saying YES to the way and the where and the how the Lord will lead me in this song-writing season.

Fire In the Night Read More...
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Behind the Songs: Psalm 45

Song stories & lyrics from the album Fire in the Night: Psalm 45


Next in “Song Stories” is Psalm 45. I previously wrote about this song when the original EP was released. That blog post can be found here, and it fully explains the writing process I went through (and it has a video of Psalm 45 in concert). This song remains one of my favorites, both in album form and in its ever-changing live form!

Psalm 45 Read More...
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Behind the Songs: Help Me

Song stories & lyrics from the album Fire in the Night: Help Me


In continuing my ‘story behind the song’ series, next up is Help Me. The best glance into this song is a video explanation I did right after I wrote it last year. This song is themed around Psalm 91, hinging on one of its closing verses: “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him for he acknowledges my name.” This song basically comes down to a name, the name above all names: Jesus.

Help Me Read More...
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Behind the Songs: Season Of Singing

Song stories & lyrics from the album Fire in the Night: Season Of Singing


The message of this song (straight from Song of Solomon 2) had been stirring in me for quite some time: “Arise, my beautiful darling, my beautiful one, and come with me. See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land.” Processing, singing, and praying through these verses… I knew there was a song-in-the-making that the Lord wanted to draw out, but I wasn’t sure if it was going to happen for this album.

Around the same time, Kevin (my music producer) sent several song samples for me to work with ‘just to see’ if anything came of them. And almost immediately, Season of Singing fit with one of his song samples. (And there’s a story behind the music that might come out one day too!). I added a bridge / response to his original arrangement, a few back-and-forths with edits between us, and it was done! This was a new ‘way’ of writing for me, but it totally fit and worked out for this one! Kevin's song brought forth this song, a true collaborative work.

Season of Singing (Song of Solomon 2) Read More...
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Behind the Songs: Agnus Dei

Song stories & lyrics from the album Fire in the Night: Agnus Dei


Agnus Dei qui tollis peccata mundi
(Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world)


I have always found richness & beauty in the church music and requiems written by some of the greats - Bach, Brahms, and Mozart, and even the more recent renditions by the likes of Fauré and Rutter. The richness and depth in their compositions reveal a breadth of expression that we miss out on in some of our more contemporary pieces.

I wrote this Agnus Dei several years ago when I wanted to make the singing of this traditional Latin text accessible to a broader corporate expression in the worship context. It opens with a choral rendition of the Latin: “Agnus Dei qui tollis peccata mundi,” then breaks into a very repetitive chorus in English: “Lamb of God we praise Thee … You take the sins of the world. You’ve taken the sins of the world.” Read More...
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Behind the Songs: In The Secret

Song stories & lyrics from the album Fire in the Night: In The Secret


This song came after a spending a really enjoyable time with the Lord during my quiet time. I was literally elated from being in his presence and felt led to spend some time in my ‘creative space,’ just having a good time in the safety of his presence. I had been in Matthew 6 where it talks about: “when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your father who is unseen. Then your father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” I started to just sing those words to him ‘in the secret / behind the closed door’ of my living room at my piano, enjoying being in the creative place and in the fullness-of-joy that his presence brings.

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Behind the Songs: Behold

Song stories & lyrics from the album Fire in the Night: Behold


As a worship leader, my favorite thing to do is to point people directly to Jesus, to worship Him in spirit and in truth, and to behold him … to look upon him in all his glory and majesty. A friend and I both had the desire (at the same time!) to write a song about “beholding the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” We got together, shared our thoughts, she shared her song idea, I shared mine, and our producer built an amazing arrangement around “Behold,” making it one of the highest places of worship on the album.

Behold Read More...
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Behind the Songs: Magnify

Song stories & lyrics from the album Fire in the Night: Magnify


Magnify comes directly from Isaiah 54 which begins with the words: “Sing, O barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband, says the Lord.” Before I ventured back into music, one of my closest friends said to me: “Julie, when I talk with you, I hear barrenness.” A huge part of this barrenness came from me not making music anymore, which was the very thing the Lord wanted to redeem in me. Her words were a huge wake-up call.

I know that the prophets & the psalms were written for specific events and specific time periods, but they can also speak directly to the seasons & condition of our hearts. This is what happened with Isaiah 54 for me! It speaks so much of God’s deep compassion as Redeemer, his desire to establish us in righteousness, and for me … drawing out a ‘song,’ that magnifies his name (which you’ll hear in this song).

Magnify (Isaiah 54) Read More...
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Behind the Songs: Turn

Song stories & lyrics from the album Fire in the Night: Turn


Over the coming days I'll be posting the stories behind the songs from Fire In The Night. First up is Turn.

This song speaks of the simple message of the goodness of the Lord toward me, drawing on familiar lyrics of old hymns (Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus and Amazing Grace). Turn came during a devotional worship time before the Lord while I was offering up spontaneous songs of gratitude for the salvation and deliverance of my soul.

Turn Read More...
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Fire In The Night concert pictures

Julie’s Fire In The Night full CD release concert pictures!


Thank you to everyone who came out to Saturday’s release concert in celebration of releasing the full album: Fire in the Night! I was privileged to work with several musicians from area churches & the community including special guest and beloved worship leader, singer / songwriter Robert King. What an honor to share the stage with such anointing, gifting, and talent! Deep thanks to all of you who made this a special night for me, and most importantly: for pouring out your first-fruits for Kingdom purposes. Read More...
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Kickstarter Campaign Thank You

Julie’s Kickstarter Campaign Thank You’s


Earlier in 2013, after I had released the original EP of Fire In The Night, I ran a Kickstarter campaign that ended up successfully funding not only the remainder of Fire In The Night (resulting in the new 12-song album that’s available now), but also my first major tour in the summer of 2013, and my follow up album coming in 2014. There were hundreds of supporters who helped achieve this goal, and I’m incredibly thankful to each and every one of you. The Fire In The Night full CD project would not be here today if not for you!

One of the contribution “levels” was an online thank you for your help, in addition to the albums, concerts, and co-writing packages that we offered. So, without further adieu, here are my thank you’s--and to anyone who contributed at any level in the Kickstarter campaign, THANK YOU for helping me create this project. You are all part of this album, as much as every note of music.

Thank you to Rick, Sarah Neely, Alice and Alex Doyal, Andrew J. Zapanta, Richard & Betty Montoya, The Talbott Family, D & E, Joe and Mel Gammello, A Christian, DB, The Wardell family, Standing in Grace - Janice, Trisha Wolfgram, Bob and Sandra, Lance & Christie Thollander, Bruce and Julie Bannan, The Meyer Family, Lois Salaun, and Cliff and Carrie Woolley.

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Fire In The Night 12 song album released!

Julie Bernstein’s Fire In The Night 12-song full album released!


It may seem like deja vu, since I’ve previously announced a release with the same title, but today I’ve launched the full 12-song album release for Fire In The Night. Earlier this year, I released a Part 1 EP, and this new release includes those songs plus many more, making it a complete CD album of all my latest music. It was inspired by the story in Exodus where God reveals himself as a pillar of Cloud by day and a pillar of Fire by night, leading the Israelites out of a place of bondage. They were never without his presence & leadership leaving Egypt! This album is a symbol of God meeting me in my ‘dark night’ and how He led me out of it through the songwriting process.

The album is available in CD form from my homepage, and in download form through iTunes and Amazon (as well as most online retailers).


Fire In The Night album credits

All songs written by Julie Bernstein, except:
Season of Singing: Kevin McNoldy & Julie Bernstein
Behold: Rebecca McEntire & Julie Bernstein

Produced, mixed, and mastered by Kevin McNoldy

Recorded at the Bernstein's in VA by Matt & Julie Bernstein

Graphics and Art Direction by Brian Brubaker

Photography by Matt Bernstein


The musicians:
Lead Vocals and Piano:  Julie Bernstein
Background Solo Vocals:  Justin Walton
Drums:  Jessie Gonzalez
Guitars, Bass, Keyboards, Drum Programming, "Group" Background Vocals:  Kevin McNoldy

with:

Fire In The Night, It's About Glory
Violin:  Madi Vest
Flute:  Karen Brubaker

Psalm 45
Viola:  Justin Walton
Glockenspiel:  Julie Bernstein
Bass:  Matt Conklin

Magnify
Violin: Madi Vest
Bass: Matt Conklin

In the Secret
Drums: Brian Caputo

Help Me
Electric Guitar:  Isaiah Bernstein

Agnus Dei
Singers: Dubie Dubendorfer, Paul Ferlan, Justin Walton, Andrew Zapanta, Julie Bernstein, Carin Edwards-Orr

©℗ 2013 Cphonic Records.  All rights reserved.

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Fire In The Night full album release concert

The full Fire In The Night CD release concert!


My next CD release concert takes place this Saturday, October 19th 8pm at Christ Community Church, Charlottesville, VA. This will be the official release night for the full Fire in the Night 12-song album (containing parts 1 & 2) which so many of you made possible through your Kickstarter donations! I am also proud to announce that special guest Robert King will be joining me at this concert!

The full Fire in the Night CD album will be available for purchase at this concert, as well as Awaken Me and Out of the Deep. The previous Fire In The Night Part 1 EP has been taken down from all online stores (iTunes, Amazon) since it will be replaced by the full 12-song Fire In The Night album next Tuesday, October 22nd. My homepage will reflect that change next week as well.

Thank you so much for your continued support.

And I hope to see you there!

Julie Bernstein Fire In The Night CD release concert poster
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"Grieve" lyric video posted

In the middle of the rush surrounding my Kickstarter campaign, I neglected to mention that my friend Rich Crowe posted the lyric video for my song Grieve from Fire In The Night Part 1. This is the second lyric video for me--the first is Out of the Deep, which has received 53,000 views so far!

This is a busy time, with the Kickstarter campaign finishing this weekend, and the July tour dates finalized. I’ll have all the information on the tour posted soon, and if you’re able to share my Kickstarter page with anyone, it’s a huge help in getting the exposure I need before Sunday. Thank you again to everyone who has helped support me via a contribution or a share!

I’m feeling lots of pressure going into the weekend, but it’s good to stop for a few moments and listen to music! So, here is Grieve:





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Psalm 45 at the FUMC benefit concert




Psalm 45


Here is Psalm 45 presented live at the FUMC Stop Hunger Now benefit concert on 3/9/13.
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The Exodus / Fire In The Night

The Exodus / Fire In The Night


Around the time I was writing Fire In The Night, a friend of mine (Rebecca McEntire) came to me and said she felt really strongly that she was to do a painting of the Exodus (the Israelites leaving Egypt). She felt really strongly that her painting was to include several aspects / details of the Exodus including the pillar of fire at night, the hundreds of thousands of Israelites leaving Egypt, details of how their shoes didn’t wear out during their journey, how they plundered the Egyptians and were given clothes, gold, and silver.

So when I was getting ready to give my concerts for the release of my album, “Fire In The Night,” I asked Rebecca if she’d be willing to show her painting at my concerts. She got busy painting and brought in her almost finished, still-wet painting for my March 9th concert. Here are some pictures of her painting from my March 9th show: Read More...
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Julie leads Jordan Goetz’s “Our Father”




It was my privilege to bring Jordan Goetz’s song, “Our Father,” to my benefit concert at FUMC. I’ve been opening these concerts with this idea from Matthew 6 where it talks about how when we pray we are not to be “like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men … but when you pray, go into your room close the door, and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Matthew 6 also instructs with “This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name …”

Jordan introduced this song to me shortly after we met several years ago. He came to our house one evening with his guitar and we ended up spending the whole evening talking, playing, and singing together. When he shared this song, I joined in playing and singing with him and was so moved by the presence of God in that moment … I knew we had touched something of eternity.

This is currently one of my favorite songs to introduce both when I’m leading worship and giving concerts. Thank you, Jordan, for bringing this song to the world!
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Julie’s “Help Me” at the Stop Hunger Now benefit




Help Me (from Psalm 91): benefit concert at First United Methodist Church


I premiered this song at this church / venue last March, so it was my pleasure to bring it back again this year especially now that it’s been recorded and is part of my newest EP, Fire In The Night. This song came while literally crying out to God on a particularly hard day with one word: “help.” Immediately the words from Psalm 91 started ‘coming’ as comfort and as reminders of where to find my solace and help. I end this song (Help Me) singing the name of Jesus repeatedly, leaning heavily into verse 14 of Psalm 91 where it says:

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him. I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name…”
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Results from Stop Hunger Now benefit concert

Thank you to everyone who came out to my Stop Hunger Now benefit concert Saturday night at First United Methodist Church! The funds raised will go toward their food packaging event which will be held on March 30th. We raised $1163.11 (almost 25% of their goal) for Stop Hunger Now which will provide thousands of meals for the desperately hungry of this world. If you or your church would like more information on Stop Hunger Now or you would like to host a food packaging event, please visit their website.

Special thanks go to special guests Madi Vest (violin) and Angela Kelly (flute) for joining me as soloists for this concert, and also Rebecca McEntire, who shared her painting during Fire In The Night.

Here are some pictures from the show: Read More...
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Julie leads Misty Edwards’ “Only A Shadow” live




Here’s another video from last week’s concert, Julie & her band leading Misty Edwards’ “Only A Shadow.”
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Julie’s “Psalm 45″ with bells, strings, & vocal ensemble




Psalm 45 is the song from this past year that is literally bursting on the inside of me. Exploding! actually. It ‘came’ while I was in the middle of recording my last album, Awaken Me, and is part of the ‘healing’ & ‘calling forth’ the Lord is doing in this songwriting season. Psalm 45 is listed in the bible as a wedding song and paints the picture of (what some have interpreted as) the preparation of the bride of Christ … the preparation of everything, really … for his return. My understanding of this psalm is continually unfolding as I dig deeper into it and sing it again and again. Read More...
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Performing “In The Secret” at the Fire In The Night concert

Performing “In The Secret”




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Fire In The Night classical rehearsal: Ubi Caritas

Rehearsing the Ubi Caritas




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String rehearsal for March 9th concert

Because I can’t make Psalm 45 big enough, I’m bringing in more strings for my upcoming concert on March 9th! And since we don’t have actual ‘light’ in our front room (aside from a tiny reading light affixed to my piano), we must rehearse by candle light. This truly makes for an aesthetically beautiful yet hazardous rehearsal time! (Watch your bow arms, girls).

I do encourage you to come March 9th, First United Methodist Church, Charlottesville VA, 8:00pm. Read More...
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‘Hallelujah’ section of “It’s About Glory” video

The Hallelujah





This singing of the “hallelujah” comes at the end of my Christian worship / praise song “It’s About Glory,” a song written while I was sitting on the couch asking the Lord, “Why am I a musician? What is this all about? Why am I a worship leader? Why am I a songwriter? I didn’t set out to become a song writer. I didn’t even set out to become a singer! What is this all about?!?” Almost immediately the Lord began answering my questions and hi-lighting certain words: It’s about glory, and mercy. It’s about salvation, redemption … joining with the “holy holy holy…” and then he began to hi-light the word “hallelujah,” big time! I really got the sense that he wanted to revitalize the ‘hallelujah” or to renew the singing of the ‘hallelujah.” This video captures the final ‘hallelujahs’ of this song.
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Julie’s next concert–FUMC’s Stop Hunger Now event

Inviting you to my next concert on Saturday, March 9th, 8:00PM at First United Methodist Church (FUMC) in Charlottesville, VA. This is a benefit concert for the church’s STOP HUNGER NOW food packing event. STOP HUNGER NOW is an international hunger relief organization whose main mission is to end hunger in our lifetime. Please come support this worthy cause!

I’m also excited to announce that my newest album, Fire In The Night, will be available for sale at this concert (now available on iTunes and Amazon). Fire In The Night references the story in Exodus where God reveals himself (his presence & leadership) to the Israelites as a “Pillar of cloud by day and a Pillar of fire by night.” In other words, the Israelites were never without his direction and leadership leaving Egypt. He was never not there! read more

I am so excited to bring this music to you all, and to help support FUMC’s food packing event!

Christian artist Julie Bernstein Fire In The Night concert candle
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Fire In The Night CD release concert footage

Again, my warmest thanks to everyone who came out to my Fire In The Night release concert. It was a very special night for me to be able to share this music with you all … and it was my special treat to include a vocal ensemble to sing my “Agnus Dei” and Durufle’s “Ubi Caritas” in honor of the Lenten Season.

Enjoy these clips from the show:



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Pictures from Fire In The Night release concert

Thank you to everyone who came to my FIRE IN THE NIGHT release concert on Saturday, 2/16, at Christ Community Church! You all made this a rich experience for me! Thank you also to my ever growing band of musicians and singers who bring all of this music to life. I’m more excited than ever for my next round of concerts. Here are some pictures from the show: Read More...
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Fire In The Night album credits

Julie Bernstein “Fire In The Night” album credits


All songs written by Julie Bernstein.
Produced, mixed, and mastered by Kevin McNoldy.
Recorded at the Bernstein’s in VA by Matt & Julie Bernstein.
Arrangements by Julie Bernstein.
Graphics and Art Direction by Matt Bernstein.

The musicians:
Lead vocals and piano: Julie Bernstein
Background solo vocals: Justin Walton
Drums: Jessie Gonzalez Jr.
Guitars, bass, keyboards, “group” background vocals: Kevin McNoldy

with:

Fire In The Night & It’s About Glory
Violin: Madi Vest
Flute: Karen Brubaker

Help Me
Electric Guitar: Isaiah Bernstein

Psalm 45
Bass: Matt Conklin
Viola: Justin Walton
Glockenspiel: Julie Bernstein

ⓟ © 2013 Cphonic Records. All rights reserved.
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New album “Fire In The Night” released!

Fire In The Night is released today on iTunes and Amazon! With a renewed confidence as a singer and songwriter, I am finding my ‘sound’ as I continue on this journey of music-making, giving my wholehearted YES to the Lord. The phrase Fire In The Night references the story in Exodus where God reveals himself (his presence & leadership) to the Israelites as a “Pillar of cloud by day and a Pillar of fire by night.” In other words, the Israelites were never without his direction and leadership leaving Egypt. He was never not there! The ‘fire’ and ‘night’ as it relates to this album paints a picture of the Lord revealing himself to me as a “Fire in the Night” … leading me out of an allegorical ‘Egypt‘ in the middle of the ‘night.’ The title track basically came in the middle of a literal night: “FIRE IN THE NIGHT, HERE I COME.” In essence, I am saying YES to the way and the where and the how the Lord will lead me in this songwriting season ~ which is how all of the songs on this album were written: with an ear & a heart bent towards heaven.
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