When the "call" came out to review this new album by Laura Story, I was eager to say "yes"! Her song Blessings was a real blessing to me, as I'm sure it was to so many people out there based on its popularity. For those of you not familiar with Laura, here's a bit of her bio:
GRAMMY® award winning artist, speaker, songwriter, author and worship leader Laura Story has a gift for penning songs that connect with people all around the world. Among her successes as a solo artist with her smash hits “Mighty to Save” and “Blessings,” Laura has also penned hit songs for other renowned artists including Chris Tomlin’s “Indescribable.” Her solo artist music debut in 2008 with Great God Who Saves led to four Dove nominations and the award for “Inspirational Album of the Year.”
I loved this backstory that we were given about the inspiration for this album:
Throughout the Bible, there are countless stories of ordinary people whole-heartedly attempting to live a life fully surrendered to God’s unique calling on their lives. More than once, God asks people of faith to relinquish control and simply trust Him. These days, singer/songwriter Laura Story is discovering the beauty found in letting go. It’s this posture of surrender that she’s striving for on her fifth studio album, Open Hands (Fair Trade Services).“We have this picture all the way through the Scriptures of all these great leaders in this process of surrendering everything. What the Lord is asking them is not, ‘You need to hold on tighter. You need to manage this better.’ What the Lord asks us is to surrender,” she offers, “It’s about learning to live with open hands, learning to live life in this constant state of saying, ‘Lord, my life is Yours. My time is Yours. My resources are Yours. All of this is Yours. Do what You will.’”
I found this to be such a true sentiment. Having just finished a study of Ezekiel, I was struck by all the odd (to the observer), difficult things God asked Ezekiel to do, and he lived a life fully surrendered. Time and time again in the Bible, ordinary people do extraordinary things when they let go and let God.
And this quote was so insightful:
“Worship at the very core of what it is is ‘worth-ship.’ It’s the easiest definition I’ve ever heard of worship. It’s giving God worth, and sometimes that means verbal adoration and praise. Sometimes that’s showing Him worth with our calendars and our checking accounts. No matter what it is, it always begins with open hands. It always begins with a willingness to say, ‘You are worth whatever cost you call me to give,’” she maintains. “Worship in its very core begins with surrender. That’s how we really show God that He’s worth it all.”
OBM says: Open Hands does a wonderful job of taking you to the throne of grace. From the title song, which features guest vocals from Mac Powell of Third Day fame, to my personal favorite For the Love of My King- a beautiful updated version of My Jesus I Love Thee, each of these songs definitely speaks of God's worth-ship. The last song, Grace Abounds, is simplistic, but lovely, and such a great reminder on days when everything seems to be going wrong. Overall, Open Hands is truly a worshipful CD that would make a wonderful addition to any collection.
To purchase the album or any of the songs individually, you can go to iTunes.
To follow Laura Story and her music, you can use any of the links below:
I have great news for one reader! I have a copy of Open Hands to give away this week. Just enter the raffle below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway