Stories Behind the Songs

His Hand

It was the worst business trip of my life.

It started with a small rash on my leg when I left Bozeman, MT. By the time I got off the plane in Sydney, Australia, I could not put on my shoes and was no longer able to walk (though I did discover that being in a wheelchair will get your through customs in record time!). When I reached my final destination in Melbourne, I found that the rash had completely covered my leg from the knees down and was starting to bleed in places. They took me to the emergency room and after a day of examinations and tests (and hearing concerned mutterings of "Rocky Mountain spotted fever") they finally came to a diagnosis: Henoch-Schönlein purpura , a disease that usually occurs in children. My case was so severe that I believe a picture of my legs is in a medical journal somewhere in Australia.

And that was the just the beginning.

I was in Australia as part of a multi-million dollar project. My particular piece of the project was the conversion utility to move data from the old system into the new one. I had designed, written, tested, and documented the entire thing -- it was my baby, and if it didn't work, the project wouldn't go. Sure enough, it didn't work. I found myself working every day from 9 am until 2 to 4 am the following day trying to determine what was wrong. My two week trip turned into a three week and was threatening to be a four week trip. I was exhausted and stressed and about ready to break down. I figured I was in Australia, so it might just be time to take a walkabout and disappear into the Outback.

Before I did that, though, I turned to my Bible and stumbled upon Psalm 42:

Why are you depressed, O my soul?
Why are you upset?
Wait for God!
For I will again give thanks to my God,
for His saving intervention.
(Psalm 42:5 NET)

It was from these verses I penned the song "His Hand" and the words:

When the hands of darkness try to steal me away,
I'll praise the power of the Almighty!
And when the seeds of doubt threaten to hide the day,
I will sing forth His Holy name!

God demonstrated His faithfulness to me by plucking me out of despair and giving me a renewed energy the following day. The problem did not immediately go away, but a couple days later I did uncover the problem: a network issue completely unrelated to my code. But more than that, I learned to trust and wait for God even when I cannot see the path ahead.


The song "Worthy" was inspired by a dream I had on Saturday, September 8, 2001. In my dream, I was playing a song on the piano before a large audience. It was a song about the majesty of God, and the verses went from Genesis through the rest of Bible retelling the amazing story of His redeeming love. When I woke up, I went to my keyboard and played the song as I remembered it, my fingers immediately finding the chord progression. All I could remember was the chorus ("You are worthy, You are Worthy, You are Worthy of worship and praise"), so I penned two verses trying to capture a bit of what had been in the dream.

On the following Tuesday, our nation faced the infamous attack on the World Trade Center. Faced with the horror and tragedy of that day, I penned the final verse as a reminder that even in the face of great evil, God is still our protector. When it came time to make the video, I decided to generalize the theme to include the persecution many Christians face around the world for their faith.

May this song remind you of the greatness of our God who is worthy of all worship and praise.