The Fear of Yahveh  - 1998
Notes on the Album
In 1993 I was 19 years old.  That was the year that I first began to study the bible seriously and it was also the year that I wrote my first scripture song, Revelation 15:3,4, The Song of the Lamb.  I had been inspired to write the song because I had been attending Intervarsity Christian Fellowship meetings at Harper College and had enjoyed the singing, but felt that many of the songs lacked good scriptural content.

At the end of the school year at Harper, in 1994, I sang the song for a friend who played the guitar at the Intervarsity meetings and asked him what the guitar chords would be.  He was not able to tell me.  At the time I didn't understand, but now I realize that it takes time and effort to put chords to a song.

Since I could not get someone else to tell me what the chords to my song were, I decided I would learn to play the guitar myself.  I had taken a few guitar lessons in my early teens, but had quickly switched to bass when the band found a better guitar player. So I had some old lesson books with chord charts to work with  I had never mastered picking, but I was not ambitious about this song, I just wanted to be able to play the guitar chords to accompany the song. So instead of using a pick, I adopted the finger style of playing which my father and his father had used.

When I had figured out the chords to "The Song of the Lamb"  I learned to play all my father's gospel songs which he had written (Including his version of "Jesus the Christ"). Those were the songs with which I learned to play and sing at the same time which was a skill I was going to use to write many scripture songs.

After I learned to play and sing, in 1995  I came back from my marriage in Arkansas and started to look for more passages in the bible that were supposed to be songs.  The first one that really attracted me was from Deuteronomy 32 ("The Song of Moses")  The Song of Moses was and is a very important passage to the students of the Shepherd's Chapel., and since I was then a student of the Chapel, the passage was very attractive to me.

"The Song of Moses,"  was recorded at Eaton Records in Glendale Heights in early 1996 by Brian Eaton, a friend I had met because of the Chapel.  After the Song of Moses was recorded I began work on Exodus 15, another "song" passage. At this point I started looking for more "song" passages and, naturally, I went to the Psalms and immediately came up with Psalm 82 and Psalm 2.  My friend Brian suggested that I might learn some new strumming techniques and showed me the 6/8 pattern which I have utilized many times.

It was at this point that I started to wonder if I could make passages into songs that were not explicitly intended to be songs.  My first attempt was Stephen's final speech, "Men, brethren, and fathers hearken, the God of glory appeared unto father Abraham..." I got stuck on that one,  but I liked the chord progression so much that I tried to use it on another passage, "The Olivet Discourse" (Mark Chapter 13) was born.  That was my first complete chapter, even though "The Song of Moses" was 15 minutes long, it was not a full chapter.  Even though the Psalms were "chapters"  they were usually short and since they were intended to be songs, they were very commonly utilized as song material. 

The Olivet Discourse gave me a whole new perspective on scripture songs.  I began to look at all my favorite passages.  At striking passages which I felt were neglected and unfamiliar to people, such as Isaiah Chapter 29, Isaiah Chapter 13, and Isaiah Chapter 14. "The Fear of Yahveh" only contained a few of these complete "chapters" when it was published (if you do not count the Psalms, Psalm 22 is quite long, but most of the Psalms are very short).  But making complete chapters into songs became very important to me.  I didn't want to leave things out.

Brian Eaton really helped me expand this album from a guitar and vocal demo, into a very well produced album. He provided all the extra instrumentation, percussion, orchestral sequences, etc. He also wrote the bookend songs which were in Hebrew.  He also placed his professional recording studio at my disposal.  My experiences in his studio prepared me so that I could later record my own material.

When we began recording this album my son was in the hospital and we did not know if he would live or die. When the CD was finished he had survived multiple surgeries and medical mishaps,  so we had much to be thankful for.  The CD was pressed and I launched a website in order to distribute the 1000 copies we had made.  By the time I had the CD's I had already written half the songs for the new album, "In the Day of the East Wind." 
The Fear of Yahveh - Chords and Lyrics
Oracles of God - The Fear of Yahveh

This was the text printed on the inside of the album cover.  I was very zealous, if not very wise.