In All Things
Words & Music by Scott Krippayne, Steve Siler, & Tony Wood
In the early 1990’s I had the good fortune to be signed to a staff songwriting deal at a Christian record company named Starsong. I’d just relocated from Los Angeles to Nashville. Being invited to join the Starsong team fast-tracked the process of meeting and being given the opportunity of co-writing with some very talented people.
At the time the Starsong staff consisted of just three other writers – Ty Lacy, the Dwight Liles, and Randy Holland. It was Ty, a networking dynamo, who introduced me to Scott Krippayne. Scotty, as we knew him then, was newly arrived from the Seattle area.
The first day Scott and I wrote together we penned a song called Out of My Hands that wound up going to # 2 on the CCM inspirational chart. Our collaboration was off to a good start.
Around that same time Scott met up with a lyricist in town named Tony Wood and they began a very successful writing partnership. Not long after that I was matched up with Tony. We wrote a song called There is Grace that was picked up by an independent artist.
About two years later Scott, Tony, and I wound up being part of a men’s prayer group meeting every Tuesday morning. Naturally this deepened our friendships even more as we shared our joys, hopes, and challenges and got to know each other’s families.
Little did we know the deep friendships that would develop out of these co-writes and prayer time would result in us writing over one hundred songs together.
In 2000 Brian Felten offered me the opportunity to write the songs for a project called Celtic Cry: The Heart of a Martyr for Discovery House Music. It was a daunting project as the historical subject matter, while inspiring, was also painful and somewhat dark. I suggested to Brian that Scott, Tony, and myself should co-write the songs.
After years of praying together we were able to transition into an easy creative give and take. Celtic Cry led to us being offered the opportunity to co-write a project on the life of David entitled David: Ordinary Man, Extraordinary God, which was followed by Pressing On, a project on the life of the apostle Paul. During this time we were playfully referred to in a Christian music magazine review as the “golden boy trio of Christian music.”
Co-written albums for Damaris Carbaugh and Larnelle Harris followed and in 2012 when I decided to undertake the creation of Drink Deep: A Musial Journey through Grief for Music for the Soul I called upon Scott and Tony to join me on a retreat in Rock Island, Tennessee.
All of this is a long way around the barn to describe how In All Things came into being.
There are so many themes that we would like to write about for Music for the Soul. There never seems to be enough time or enough recording budget to cover them all. In the summer of 2016 there were a number of themes I wanted to write about around the loosely held topic of “A Life of Faith.” I asked Scott and Tony if the golden boy trio – now long since men – could ride together once again. We planned a retreat on Vashon Island in Washington state and holed up for three days.
As a songwriter I find that the writing process for each song is unique to the individual song. Some come easily, almost flowing. Some are more like a puzzle that requires deep concentration. Some come all at once. Others need to be revisited. Some feel more crafted and non-emotional in the writing process. Others are a bit of both craft and inspiration.
Only rarely, do I find a song actually takes me completely apart in the actual writing process. That’s what it felt like as we composed In All Things, a song about gratitude in the tough times, on the last day of our retreat.
It was a very exhausting, very draining song to write. Without going into the details, all three of us have experienced losses and trials that have driven us to our knees over the last several years.
In all things
In all things
Even in the worst life brings
Deep in pain
On my knees
Jesus you are here with me
In all things
Thank you Father for what you’re doing in me
With each repeating of the refrain “Thank you Father” it seemed that gratitude for the collective prayers of over twenty years welled up inside us. It was an overwhelming experience that combined both pain and relief, both sorrow and joy.
It was the ache of gratitude that can only come from knowing that a loving God has been with you in every crucible of fire. It was the gratitude that comes from having received gifts from even our painful experiences because God has stretched our capacity for compassion and in the process made our hearts more tender.
Thank you Father. Those three words and the melody became infinitely more than the sum of their parts. The cumulative weight was curiously both heavy and weightless. Somehow the song captured it.
Every time I sing it – or should I say try to sing it – I am overwhelmed by the presence of the Holy Spirit and have trouble getting the words out.
Sometimes life is almost more than we can bear. In those seasons it can feel nearly impossible to believe we will ever hope again, let alone be grateful. If you are in that place right now I hope this song can speak for you.
Click to listen to In All Things