Friday, June 1, 2012

June 2012 A-LARM: Abby Sutton – “Rejoicing”

June 2012 A-LARM's focus in on Abby Sutton.   Abby is Director of Worship Programming at Westover Church in Greenbsoro, NC.  She’s also a good friend.  I’ve known Abby for several years, so I’ve come to know her heart for the Lord, and I can testify she is truly a worshiper of Jesus, the risen Christ.  Her love and passion for the Lord is clearly evident in her worshipful album, Rejoicing.  After many months of recording with several people from the local NC Triad community, she released Rejoicing in November 2009.  Although not all songs are intended for congregational use, every song is a reflection of Abby pouring out her heart before the Lord.  The love and passion behind her voice clearly reveal the worship lifestyle she lives. Here is a song-by-song breakdown with recommendations for music libraries:

You Are is a beautiful congregational friendly song.  I’ve heard Abby and the band play this song in various ways, and it’s a great song to introduce into any worship music library.  You Are simply expresses to God his marvelous works such as “you make the mountains bow” and “you’ll make rocks cry out when I can’t.”  The melody sticks with you, and it’s a simple melody to utilize in various styles.  One can’t resist singing along offering praise to the God of creation – he is holy, he is worthy, he is awesome, he is our mighty God.  So, we’ll offer these words in his presence.  Lord, “you are holy, you are worthy.  You are awesome.  You are my God. You are. You are.”

Simply Amazed expresses the beauty of being in God’s presence.  His glory, his power, his love, his mercy, his healing, and his touch are amazing, but those words are not enough to describe how amazing his presence truly is.  “Most of all, I’m simply amazed by you” captures that realization that God has unlimited attributes.  The lyrics are a humble expression of desiring God for who he is, and they reach into the depths of one coming before God acknowledging who he is.  The melody is very catchy, and can easily adapt to a congregational setting.

Rejoicing is a great song that expresses the notion that we desire the Lord to find us rejoicing in our good times and bad.  It’s a raw expression of Abby’s heart to constantly rejoice even in suffering.  Many people will connect with the words because we all desire to love our Savior more as we grow in his grace.  “I want to be faithful as you see me through the circumstance, and in the end you find me rejoicing” so adequately expresses how God see us through our circumstances because we are defined by who he is, not by what we do.  Amen, Abby!  Amen!

I Adore You is breathtakingly beautiful.  With only piano and strings, the lyrics pour out adoration to Jesus.  We are “here in this world to adore the one who gave life” to us.  I’m also taken in by the dynamics.  The A-A-A lyrical format starts off with only piano.  The verses progress from “I adore you, Jesus” to “I worship you, Jesus” to “I love you, Jesus.”  By the time, “I adore you, Jesus” comes around full circle, the song progresses to a powerful and full sound.  Slowly, the dynamics back off to only piano again to bring it to a sweet ending.  I Adore You is a wonderful song to add to a music library.

The One You Love has a great upbeat flow.  It’s a fun song that expresses our identity as children of God and our gratitude of how God loves us “just because.”  It’s not because of how we act, it’s not because of how we’re treated, it’s not even because we believe; it’s all because we are the ones he loves!  The chorus says it all, “You say that you love me in spite of who I am; You knew who I would be before my life began; You say that I’m your child no matter what I think of myself.”  It’s a great song, and a great reminder of how valuable we are in the eyes of a heavenly Father.

Yours expresses a heart for being that living sacrifice as Paul encourages in Romans 12.  Everything we are belongs to God.  Abby uses everyday language to express this living sacrifice posture with lyrics like “my dreams are yours”, “my heart is yours” and “my self is yours.”  The verses offer a humility that desires God to live inside the heart that belongs to him.  Even though Yours is a personal cry to the Lord, it can easily adapt to congregational singing.

Meaningless is a great song about our identity in Christ.  Our lives have meaning, purpose, and value to the heavenly Father.  We are not meaningless!  I love the 2nd part of the chorus: “Even if I never see the legacy of all that you have done in me; Still I will never be meaningless.”  Dynamically, Meaningless has great progression from soft and tender to strong and full, and then back to tender.  It’s a great song for personal worship.

Rest is a great acoustic song like what one would sing around a campfire.  It’s a believer’s confession that among all the stuff in this world, all we desire is rest in his presence.  Since Jesus is our rest, many will connect with the heart's desire to be with Him alone.  Rest is a great song to sing in personal worship as a reminder of who we are when we are with Him.

I Adore You (Church Version) adds the Westover Choir.  It’s a great song to add to a worship music library, and this version sets the stage (so to speak) for what it sounds like when a full choir is added to the mix.  Like I mentioned above, it’s a beautiful song to add to any music library.

Abby and her team of musical experts do a great job capturing the pure worship for the world’s savior in Rejoicing. Abby’s voice is so sweet, pure and worshipful.  Her words beautifully express the heart that is after God’s heart.  Every song centers around God’s love for us, and the human desire to experience His love to the fullest.  I highly recommend Rejoicing for both corporate worship libraries and personal worship music collections.  For more, check out her music at, or in iTunes.  Well done, Abby, and may the Lord continue to pour out favor over you and your music teams.  Blessings!

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