I always like to start with something personal, so please bear it with me!
Ever since I was little, I was introduced to all kinds of Christian music, from the 80’s hymnals to the mid 90’s worship music. I liked listening to Christian music, but it wasn’t until when I was 19 years old that a spark lit inside me and made it a very core part of who I am today. I know it sounds somehow “cheesy,” and I did find it strange at first, but I didn’t just enjoy the music, I felt it also. Whenever I would hear something like, “Thank you for the cross…thank you for the price you paid…thank you for the nailed pieced hands…” I could feel as if God was talking to me and telling me that He died on that cross for me; it was not just about visualizing what was being sung but feeling and receiving the truth in it. I know it’s complicated for me to explain and for you to understand, but after that experience I had, I wanted more. I know today there’s a world filled with Christian songs to explore, but personally, Hillsong music is my favorite since it brought me closer to God than before.
As a fan, I’m aware that the Hillsong church has been plagued by a lot of controversies. I also know that many believers, including some of my church, do not really appreciate Hillsong music because they believe these songs and lyrics elevate feelings above faith. I won’t either dismiss these arguments or support them. I’m here just to testify how the Hillsong music has changed my life and my walk with God.
Some experts have claimed that listening to music is like a therapy for the soul, which is why people will always feel at peace when they listen to Christian worship songs. However, for me, it was just about the peace and the comfort; if right now I was to listen to any of the songs from By Your side (Hillsong Album), it’ll make me realize how far I am from God and how close I need to get to Him.
I read somewhere that the mission of Hillsong music is to “reach out and awaken believers to the fact that we are all redeemed and called to glorify and worship our Lord Jesus Christ.” And, I must say they did succeed in awakening one believer!
By Your Side
Recorded live at the Hills Christian Life Centre building, By Your Side is the eighth album in the praise and worship series by Hillsong Church. This album consists of fourteen songs and they were sung by Darlene Zschech and the then Hillsong team. Most of the songs were written by Darlene Zschech and Reuben Morgan. It is noted that Aran Puddle, Russell Frager, Luke Munns, Marty Sampson, Raymond Badham and Miriam Webster also contributed to the writing and making of these songs.
The album was released in 1999 and back then it conquered the whole world of believers. It even reached No. 21 on the Billboard Top Contemporary Christian Albums chart. The songs were constantly being sung in churches and played in Christian houses all around the world. It was phenomenal!
So, let’s take a look at the track list:
1.”My Redeemer Lives” (Reuben Morgan) —worship leader: Darlene Zschech
2.”Great In Power” (Russell Fragar) —worship leader: Darlene Zschech
3.”I Feel Like I’m Falling” (Raymond Badham) —worship leader: Mark Stevens
4.”Your Unfailing Love” (Reuben Morgan) —worship leader: Darlene Zschech b. Reuben Morgan
5.”Dwelling Places” (Miriam Webster) —worship leaders: Darlene Zschech And Miriam Webster
6.”What The Lord Has Done In Me” (Reuben Morgan) —worship leader: Miriam Webster
7.”Sing Of Your Great Love” (Darlene Zschech) —worship leader: Darlene Zschech b. Steve McPherson
8.”By Your Side” (Marty Sampson) —worship leader: Marty Sampson
9.”In Freedom” (Aran Puddle) —worship leaders: Darlene Zschech And Marty Sampson
10.”You Said” (Reuben Morgan) —worship leader: Darlene Zschech
11.”Stay” (Luke Munns) —worship leader: Darlene Zschech
12.”Eagle’s Wings” (Reuben Morgan) —worship leader: Mark Stevens & Darlene Zschech
13.”Free To Dance” (Darlene Zschech) —worship leader: Lisa Young
14.”This Is How We Overcome” (Reuben Morgan) —worship leader: Darlene Zschech