I Am They
is the self-titled debut project from Essential Worship group I Am They
. The band boasts a unique six piece sound complete with beautiful three part harmonies, a sound built by Adam Palmer (lead vocals/guitar), Matthew Hein (lead vocals/guitar), Stephanie Kulla (lead vocals/violin), Justin Shinn (keyboard), Bobby Stiehler (bass) and Sara Palmer (drums).
The unique band name "I Am They" comes from John 17. This chapter shows Jesus's prayer the night before His death, in which He consistently refers to his disciples as "they." The band wanted to echo that same sentiment.
The album contains catchy and worshipful songs with lyrics that point to the wonders of our God combined with sweeping melodies and infectious choruses that will be replayed in your mind over and over again. I had the chance to speak with Matt Hein about their catchy and convicting song "From the Day."
Please tell me the personal story behind this song.
This song came in a songwriting session with our producer, Jonathan Smith. We call him the seventh member of the band because of our instant connection. We all had the same thing stirring in our hearts, which was to celebrate salvation, and out came this song.
We had a couple of Scriptures that we wanted to fuse into the song. We wanted an uptempo, energetic song, and what surfaced in each of us was to lift up a song about the collective day of our salvation. We were thinking about the verse in Isaiah 51 about entering Zion with singing and with everlasting joy. We were also thinking about Revelation 21 where it describes how God is our light source. There won't be a need for the sun anymore.
Those are such awesome pictures of what we have to look forward to because of our salvation, something to celebrate. Something that's been cool to hear is how the song is connecting to people's stories and to hear about the day that they found God and He found them. We have six different band members with crazy stories about finding Jesus and what He has done in our lives from that day. It's been awesome to relate to people that way. Not everyone in the band grew up in church. There were some atheist conversions that happened in the band. It's been a really awesome song to celebrate with people.
Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?
Isaiah 51:11 (NKJV)
: So the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness; Sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
Matthew 6:33-34 (NKJV)
: "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."
Revelation 21:4-5 (NKJV)
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful."
Revelation 21:23-26 (NKJV)
: The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it.
What is the takeaway message?
My story begins in a broken home, and a lot of people can relate to that. My parents were divorced when I was young, and my mom went into hiding with me. I never got to see both of my parents love each other, and I never knew what that was like. Instead, all I knew was fear and hiding, locked doors and screaming, verbal and physical abuse. The Lord rescued me from a ruptured appendix the day my little sister was born. My mom went into the hospital to give birth to my sister, and if I hadn't also gone to the hospital that day, I would have died. God had different plans and spared my life.
A year later at six years old I walked down on the field in Portland Oregon at a Billy Graham crusade and gave my life to Jesus. My mom was a worshipper, and we would always get taken in by families in our church. We never had a house of our own and we were poor, but she would always find a piano to play and sing her devotions to the Lord. She would open the Word and where God had her, it became a song. Almost every day this would happen. She would call me over and I would sit next to her and we would have a devotion time with God.
Those were the roots where God was planting His Word in my heart at a young age. That's what I held onto as I grew up. The awesome part is that I'm now married and have a 2 ½ year old son. To be able to turn all of that around for God's glory and to show my son what Jesus' love does look like between Mom and Dad and pour that into him has been the greatest fulfillment of all that God has done in my life.
I've leaned on Matthew 6:33 to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and to not hold onto my life but leave it open handed and have God use the testimony of my life as He wills, for His glory. He has been so faithful and shown up in so many specific and intimate ways.
When You found me, I was so blind
My sin was before me, I was swallowed by pride
But out of the darkness, You brought me to Your light
You showed me new mercy and opened up my eyes
From the day You saved my soul
'Til the very moment when I come home
I'll sing, I'll dance, my heart will overflow
From the day You saved my soul
Where brilliant light is all around
And endless joy is the only sound
Oh, rest my heart forever now
Oh, in Your arms I'll always be found
My love is Yours
My heart is Yours
My life is Yours
I Am They
is a great collection of confessional and authentic expressions of faith. All of the songs are catchy, exciting and worshipful. What's most impressive is how these catchy songs will have you singing along at the top of your lungs after just a couple of listens.
After listening to the album, I am stirred with compassion to love people as Jesus loves us. That's the heart behind this album, and thanks to I Am They for blessing us with their music and for singing the Truth of the Gospel for the Kingdom of God. If you are looking for a fresh new worship song to sing at your church, I highly recommend "From the Day." The message is celebratory and worshipful and includes God's promise as described to us in Revelation: "Where brilliant light is all around, and endless joy is the only sound
As we look at the fallen world around us, we all need to lift our eyes up to God and put all of our faith and hope in Him. For the saved In Christ, one day "God will wipe away every tear, there will be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying." As believers, we all need to live for Heaven and not get depressed or angry about our fallen world. Pain and suffering point us to God and how much we need Him.
This song compels me to cry out "God I'm ready now!" The song is a glimpse of what we'll be doing for all eternity. If you have put all of your hope and trust in Jesus Christ for your salvation, you can sing along with a loud voice: "From the day You saved my soul, 'Til the very moment when I come home, I'll sing, I'll dance, my heart will overflow, From the day You saved my soul
." Amen to that!
(Watch the music video here.