Are you a fan of worship music? If you are, you’ll love Laura Story’s new CD, Open Hands. Flyby/Propeller Promotions sent me a copy of this lovely new music to review…plus one to give away to a reader!
Do you know Laura Story? Sometimes, you can hear and love songs but have no idea whom they’ve come from. This is my experience with Laura—until Open Hands, anyway! You probably know the song “Indescribable,” it was recorded by both Chris Tomlin and Laura Story. What about “Mighty to Save”–that’s another of my faves. Her song “Blessings” won song of the year in 2012. So obviously, Laura is a talented songwriter. But, that’s not all that she has done! Laura has led worship at Perimeter Church in Atlanta for 12 years. She has won a Grammy Award; a Billboard Music Award; several Dove Awards; and even an RIAA Gold certification! All this since 2008, when she published her first album. She is even the author of a couple of books, about navigating life through hard moments or seasons while hanging on to God’s hand.
These are her, admittedly, impressive public accomplishments. In her private life, she’s the wife of Martin Elvington, and they’ve had three kiddos together. But the struggles they’ve experienced since her husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor have provided the inspiration for the songs of her two most recent albums. How do you live when God doesn’t fix things? Laura has learned that keeping “open hands” — translated as keeping a loose hold on things & trusting that God’s got it, not holding them tightly and seeking to control them, are just what God may be asking of us. She says, “I wanted to make an album so that each song I write would be just that seed of hope or that lifeline that someone listens to during that tough moment and thinks, ‘I’m going to choose to trust God, even during this.’”
What you’ll find in the songs
Open Hands contains 11 beautiful, thoughtful songs. Some of them are familiar hymns with new bridges or choruses added, like “Awake My Soul (A 1000 Tongues)” or “For the Love of My King,” which takes from and adds to the old hymn “My Jesus, I Love Thee.” Reimagined for a new audience, both of these take the vital truths and compositions of the original words and music and add personal vignettes of praise and struggle. They’re just as beautiful and worshipful as the originals, and I truly enjoyed the new versions.
Story shares the hopes of motherhood in “Give You Faith.” What do we wish for our children? What would we desire most to give them? That they will have faith, and hope, but most of all the love that God has for them, that will never let them go.
In this most contentious of post-election years, Story’s “Grace Abounds” reminds us that in the darkness, in the trials, when we see hatred or terror in news stories; when it seems that there is no hope at all, that God IS there.
I have several favorites on this album; I love the songs I mentioned above. But one of my best-loved is the song the CD starts with: “Death Was Arrested.” You might not imagine that this song is about the Prodigal Son, but it is…even as it’s about us as well! I am so moved by these words (and the music is perfectly suited to them):
“Ash was redeemed only beauty remains…
My mourning grew quiet my feet rose to dance
When death was arrested and my life began…”
You’ll also find these songs:
- The song from the title, “Open Hands”
- “You Came Running,” the story of what God does when our dreams crash down around us
- “Whisper,” where Story talks about how we can wait to hear His voice
- “Every Word You Breathe:” we’ll cling to Him and His word, not our experiences or things we’re familiar with
- “Majesty” reminds us all that God really is
- “Extraordinary,” about God’s extraordinary love for us
Open Hands is a rich, beautiful, worshipful experience. We’ve listened to it many times as a family; during morning times when we’re preparing for the day and getting breakfast made and eaten. We’ve played it in the afternoons when school is over; and in the evenings during quiet moments. I can honestly say that each time we’ve heard it I’ve loved it more. The music and words are both contemplative; Story’s not trying to write the next top-10 worship hit. Rather, she’s writing about the God that she sees showing up over and over in her life (and others’ lives); the God whose grace really is big enough; and the worship He deserves from us all.
Open Hands will bless you; encourage you; and help you to see God in all the portions of our lives. Get a copy of this CD. Play it during your quiet times; when you take your children to appointments; as you move through your daily life and tasks. It will really speak to your heart!
And, you can enter this giveaway to win Open Hands below!
FlyBy/Propeller Promotions has generously provided a CD of Open Hands for one of our readers! Just click on the pink “Enter here” to go to the Giveaway Tools form to enter. Giveaway closes on 3/22/17. Best wishes!
Check out more on Open Hands via social media:
Buy Link: http://smarturl.it/OpenHandsiTunes
Open Hands (Official Lyric Video) – https://youtu.be/AABE–YR1No
Open Hands (Song Devotional) – https://youtu.be/NWWiyFlXdi0