An interview of the people behind the stunning single In God’s Eyes.
Melody & Lyrics By: Christine Shen, Arranged By: Corey Sparks, Vocals By: Helen Lam & Angela Liao, Violin Solo By: Chien-Wei Kung, Special Thanks to: Calvin Chang
1) When did you first discover you had a talent for music?
Helen: I’ve always liked singing. I wouldn’t say I’m all that talented; and I’m not a very confident performer. I started singing when I was in elementary school, mostly in the shower or when I was doing chores.
Angela: I’ve always loved singing. I started singing with the worship team at my church in junior high. I guess since they kept asking me to join them, I must have sounded okay.
Christine: I never really thought I was musically talented. As a child, I took private piano lessons for half a year but couldn’t muster the discipline to continue, so I stopped and then later took a piano class in high school, where I was introduced to a little bit of music theory and scales, which later really helped in composing this song.
Corey: Honestly, I consider myself a novice producer and have a lot to learn. I was really young when I first became aware of my interest in music while singing at church, but I remember going through quite a few instruments including piano and trumpet before finally realizing that all along I had really wanted to play guitar. During my college years I attended a large church and it was then that I began to use my musical talents to serve others. Since then I have served in several worship bands and was even a music director for River City Grace Community Church for a few years. Recently, I have started to convert one of my bedrooms into a small recording studio and explored various ways to continue to glorify God through this avenue. I am especially looking forward to the production of this song by Christine and a very engaging rap song written by Angela.
Chien-Wei: Honestly, I’m not sure I have a great talent in music. To me, those with great talent are those who either have a immense dedication or learn quicker and easier than most. These are music prodigies, and I am not one of them. But, I think in general God gives everybody the ability to play a certain sport or instrument, and he has given me the ability to play the violin and piano. I started playing piano at age 7, and I played for 4 years. Then I picked up violin at age 12, and played until age 18. Nowadays, I occasionally play the guitar. It really doesn’t matter if you’re a prodigy or not. Talent can be developed. Like all things, music requires dedication and discipline to practice. As the saying goes “practice makes perfect.”
2) Do you feel that music allows you connect with God in a special way? Is it different from the other ways God talks to you?
Helen: I think singing and music is a way to connect my mind and my heart. Sometimes simply reading or listening to the Word being taught can seem too academic and far removed. Music about God and worship songs can minister to my heart and help cultivate affection for our great God and savior.
Angela: Music is a wonderful gift God gave us to worship him with. Sometimes it feels like a song can express your heart better than words by themselves can, but it’s lyrics with depth that makes a song powerful.
Chien-Wei: Yes, i think music allows me to connect with God in a special way. I think that’s why God gave human beings the ability to create music. Look back in history and you see music in every culture, throughout time. Look in the Psalms, and you’ll find amazing songs and poetry. Music elicits emotion and touches the soul, and that’s what God intended. No wonder God speaks through Paul in Ephesians 5:19 “Speak to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord.”
3) What inspired this particular piece? What were you feeling at the time of its composition?
Christine: My small group and I were eating lunch during my junior year of college. Everyone had just joined the group, and we were all getting to know each other. We shared some information about our backgrounds, and someone asked if any of us played an instrument. We discussed the possibility of using music as an evangelistic tool and joked about writing a song that shared the gospel message and then performing it on Third Street Promenade — as street performers. Then, a few months later, I wrote this song. Not really as a follow-up to our conversation, but because I had accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior earlier that year — as I was finishing my sophomore year — and felt a desire to express that experience through song, which progresses through the concepts of justification, sanctification, and glorification in the three sections of the song.
4) When you listen to this song does it bring up the same feelings and memories as it did at first or has the meaning changed for you?
Angela: The melody and violin makes me feel nostalgic, especially since my fellow vocalist is a dear friend who lives far away now. The song is still a great reminder to me of God’s faithfulness and love to us and the hope we have of eternity with Him. It’s a very humbling song.
5) Is there anything you want to tell the people that will hear this song?
Helen: To those who are listening to the song, I hope you are encouraged by it to learn more about God and Jesus and I hope you’ll love Him more because of what you find out.
Angela: The song might not be a fast-paced rock song, but it’s a song to listen to and reflect. Think about who you are before God and that it’s only through Christ that we can draw near to God.
Christine: I would encourage anyone who hears this song to make the focus first about you and then about Jesus Christ and to ponder your relationship to God. How do you think God sees you? Are you His enemy or His disciple? You might say you don’t know him very well, that you feel like strangers, but the truth is God knows each of us. He created us. He loves us. We have all sinned against Him, be it idolatry, deceitfulness, defiance, suppression of the truth, you can think of many more sins, probably. Therefore, all of us are or were once enemies of God, who graciously sent His Son to be the propitiation, or substitute, for our sins. Jesus traded places with us, so that we might gain eternal life through Him who knew no sin but became sin on our behalf, out of an immense love for us.
Corey: As believers in a Holy and Sovereign God, we must first worship the Lord in spirit and truth (John 4:23-24). Jesus states that these are the true worshippers. It is interesting to note Jesus’ specific words to the woman at the well, “..for such people the Father seeks to be His worshippers.” We need to also be faithful stewards with our time, talents, and spiritual gifts. God has made us individually to Glorify Him in all that we do and to advance His kingdom. So we all need to discover and develop the talents and gifts He has graced us with and use them for His purposes, and His purposes are always good. For some of us, discovering and or developing our talents may take time and effort. It also important to understand that spiritual gifts and natural talents are not mutually the same. A person’s natural talent to play an instrument is not a spiritual gift. Spiritual gifts are supernatural and are manifestations of the Holy Spirit through a believer to edify the church, the body of Christ.
Chien-Wei: All that we have is from God, including our talents, abilities, personality, our ethnicity, and ultimately, our salvation from sin. There is nothing that we can claim as our own that we did not receive from God. God made you the way you are to glorify Him, and the amazing thing is, when we do glorify Him, we find our greatest joy as well.
Feel free to download the songÂ In God’s EyesÂ and share it with your friends, compliments of the author. Don’t forget to thank her below!