Mark and Sarah Tillman are worship leaders and singer/songwriters pursuing the heart of the Lord together as a couple, with their 2 young children, Echo and Nova. With the heart of pastors they have an immense passion for creativity and community co-existing in the tension between heaven and earth. Their desire is to see the two worlds come together to become one, releasing a renaissance of worship throughout the earth. Whether exploring the heart of the Lord in spontaneous song or leading a room of passionate worshipers corporately, their desire is that the love of God would invade and transform every spirit and reveal the heart of the Father.
They do that beautifully on their latest release, Morning Sun, Rising Tide. Mark took some time to share with us the meaning behind the eight tracks on the new album.
"Oh What a Father"
This is a "coming home" song for every kind of prodigal son or daughter. The lost one squandering his inheritance, and the found one striving for his inheritance. The heartbeat of the song is the amazing testimony of how the father has welcomed us home through his son, who took on our prodigal condition. The father doesn't hold back in his welcoming. He gave his son, his absolute everything, for us to live free and fully alive in Him.
"Bread For Us"
This song takes you on a visual journey. From the verses that depict the sacrificial laying down that Jesus endured to the glorious resurrection. Not only in His death on the cross but, how He broke off the human body of His life for us to freely eat. His life was the sustenance of eternal life for us. This imagery captures Jesus' fragile humanity but also His glorious beauty. He suffered in our weakness but also overcame our sin in resurrection life. The lyrics, melodies, and sonic landscape express the transition from death to life in Him. Death is only the beginning of everything in His kingdom.
"Found My Joy"
This song holds a beautiful kind of tension. It's the tension of joy held within the harmony of pain. The pain of the process will only amplify the sound of purified joy. And the joy set before us will forever and always be him.
"Morning Sun" holds a creative contrast between the morning sun imagery and the rising tide imagery. Both are imperative to expressing the contrast of God's mercy dawning a newness in us and his relentless pursuit of like the rising tide. He tenderly pursues and also fiercely overwhelms. He will find us in whatever season, situation and moment we're in. There's no hiding from his "God with us" presence. It's in every waking moment.
"My Song Forever"
We actually struggled to finish this song in its entirety. We had to fight for its resolve sonically. That to us represented how you have to continually fight to keep perspective in life. You have to anchor into the unchanging foundation of His goodness, no matter the struggle or process. The undercurrent of every breath is from and goes back to, His goodness. It's the song we long to sing and fight for, endlessly.
This song was one we started years ago. The chorus was a lifeline in the secret place. It wasn't until we entered the studio that we pieced the verses and bridge to the chorus. The gentle but raw and honest sounds and imagery of the song attempt to express the worthiness and beauty of Jesus. It's the heart cry that comes out when you're standing in pure awe, lovestruck awareness, and are undone by the brilliance of an intimate holy moment.
"You Belong To Me"
"You Belong To Me" was originally written as a song to our firstborn. Sarah started writing the bridge from the piano as a song of declaration over our son in the womb. She soon then realized that she was just joining into the song the father was continually singing over her and all his children. This drove us to finish the song and make it our only song where the words are spoken in first person from the perspective of the father. It's a song of a father singing identity and truth back into his children and singing off the lies and loss of shame.
"Thank You Jesus"
This song takes on a hymnal feel and style. We wanted to lyrically communicate endless thankfulness for all Jesus has done and how it's the foundation of our very existence. It's the beginning and continuum of everything in life. Although it's the last song on our album, it's the song with no end. Tender to the touch in the beginning but resounding with a heart cry at the end.
Mark and Sarah Tillman are worship leaders and singer/songwriters pursuing the heart of the Lord together as a couple, with their 2 young children, Echo and Nova. Currently residing in North Carolina, they can be found on their acreage outside of the Raleigh-Durham area.
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