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#871 - "Shelter" by Carrollton
Carrollton's Justin Mosteller gives us a glimpse into the band's process of making this song their own.

Posted: November 02, 2017 | By: KevinDavis_NRT
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Carrollton is comprised of Justin Mosteller (lead vocalist/guitarist), Jeremy Menard (guitarist), Jordan Bailey (bassist) and drummer Michael Loy. This year they released their third project and first full length album with Centricity Music, Everything or Nothing. The release features ten original songs, including the lead single "Shelter." This very engaging collection of new songs is a follow-up to their string of catchy songs on past EPs, including "Pass You By," "Holding On To You" and "Let Love Win."

"This album feels like it's taken a long time to come to fruition, but that's where some of the beauty is," lead singer Justin Mosteller says. "We lived and traveled with these songs, rewriting them and reshaping them... These 10 songs are us breathing out what we feel like God's been doing around and within us. They share a piece of the lives we've been living these past two years." I had the chance to speak with Justin Mosteller about "Shelter."

Please tell me the personal story behind this song.

This song was the very last song added to the album. We had finished writing and recording for the album and thought we were done, and then John Mays from Centricity, who has been so great to us over the years, called us and let us know about this song. He thought it would be great for us to include this song on our album. It took us by surprise, and we don't often do that, but we decided that if it stirred our hearts, we would add the song. 

"Shelter" was out of nowhere. The greatest thing about it is that we know Scott Cash, who was one of the writers, and he ended up producing several of the songs on the album--including this song. As soon as I heard the chorus it resonated with me, and I feel that it is powerful and has a lot of passion, which lines up with who we are. It fits what we are saying, that God is powerful and strong and you can depend on Him. 

We decided to shape it, and rewrote some parts of the song to reflect our hearts. We took ownership of the song. Oftentimes as writers we can hold onto songs too tightly, but we think things are done better together in community. We believe in the song, and it says something true and powerful and personal. It was fun capturing the power and passion of this song and allowing it to speak to us.

Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?

Psalm 23:4 (VOICE): "Even in the unending shadows of death's darkness, I am not overcome by fear. Because You are with me in those dark moments, near with Your protection and guidance, I am comforted."

Psalm 71:1-3 (NIV): "In You, O LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame. Rescue me and deliver me in Your righteousness; turn Your ear to me and save me. Be my Rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for You are my Rock and my Fortress." 

Psalm 91:11 (NKJV): "For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways."

Proverbs 18:10 (NIV): "The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe."

Hebrews 6:19 (NLT): "This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God's inner sanctuary."

John 14:5-7 (NIV): "Thomas said to Him, "Lord, we don't know where You are going, so how can we know the way?" Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you really knew Me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him."

Psalm 150:6 (NKJV): "Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!"

What is the takeaway message?

When we sing that God is strong, that I know I can trust in Him and that He is our power and shelter and fortress, I felt that needed to be said with power and angst to it. I was thankful that Scott felt the same way. We put that type of passion to the song. We've been seeing people react to the song as we've been playing it in our Carrollton way of singing high energy songs. 

The most important thing to us is that we want our songs to be honest and vulnerable. This is what we want to tell people. The message from this song is that God is all powerful, and He is near to us. Both of those things are what make God beautiful in our eyes and why we follow Him. He's all powerful like a fortress, and He stands firm when the storms come. He is also so close to us that He covers us like a shelter. He's near to us as our personal shelter. If He was just all powerful, or He was just personal, He wouldn't be the God we know. He's both powerful and personal. 

We want to tell people and remind them that there's hope, and we have the ability to trust in God who is all powerful and He is close to us. We can trust in Him wholeheartedly.

In the valley of the shadow
Where my plans turn to dust
When I'm walking through the unknown
In the waiting, I will trust
When the sky falls, when the flood comes
Let the rushing waters rise
When my soul is worn and weary
And I've got no place to hide

I know, You won't let me go
Your fortress for my soul
My helper, You are my shelter
You're my hope, my anchor in the storm
Your love unbreakable
My helper, You are my shelter

On the mountain, You surround me
My comfort and my song
Your promise is my refuge
'Cause I know Your love is strong
You have raised me, from the ashes
Set my feet on solid ground

I know, You won't let me go
Your fortress for my soul
My helper, You are my shelter
You're my hope, my anchor in the storm
Your love unbreakable
My helper, You are my shelter

You are the way, You are the truth
You are the breath inside of my lungs
You give me strength when I am weak
You are the one who lifts me up
You are the way, You are the truth
You are the breath inside of my lungs
You give me strength when I am weak
You are the one who lifts me up
I know, You won't let me go
You are my shelter

Oh I know, You won't let me go
Your fortress for my soul
My helper, You are my shelter
You are my hope, my anchor in the storm
Your love unbreakable
My helper, You are my shelter
You are my hope, my anchor in the storm
Your love unbreakable
My helper, You are my shelter

You can sincerely pray these words along with Carrollton. It is a moving and upbeat offering of praise to Jesus. His love is never-ending, and He is our refuge and our strength. God's ultimate will is not to bring affliction upon people, but to restore us so that we may experience His unfailing love. I love singing this song back to Jesus and telling Him plainly that I need no other than Him. David was a shepherd, and he knew that the Lord was his only guide, the Good Shepherd of his soul. This song is all about submitting all of your worries, anxieties and stress to God and letting Him be your guide. God wants to walk beside you, and He wants us to be bold and unafraid.

People can certainly relate to the "Shelter" imagery of this song. The lyrics in the chorus, "My helper, You are my shelter, You are my hope, my anchor in the storm," have been resonating with me as I realize that Jesus commands us to trust God completely no matter the circumstances or personal distractions or concerns. The song represents life, and it includes some great challenges to step out in faith and trust in God even when you want to give up or can't see where you're going. The core of our faith as Christians is found in John 14:6. Jesus is the only way. All roads don't lead to heaven, despite what a secular culture tries to tell us.
This song is a comforting message that there is always hope in Jesus. God loves you so much. Lean on Him and He'll give you strength. Trusting Jesus assures us that we don't have to be afraid. He is our Shelter, our Helper and our Anchor. The Holy Spirit is the "breath inside my lungs," and God's hope will turn whatever you are going through into something different for His glory. If you are looking for a Firm Foundation in your life, make these lyrics your personal prayer: "You are the way, You are the truth, You are the breath inside of my lungs, You give me strength when I am weak, You are the One who lifts me up, I know, You won't let me go, You are my shelter." Amen to that!

Listen to the song below.


NRT Lead Contributor Kevin Davis is a longtime fan of Christian music, an avid music collector and credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three daughters.

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