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BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#1009 - "Over and Over" by Riley Clemmons
NRT's Lead Contributor, Kevin Davis, speaks with artist Riley Clemmons about her latest single.
 


BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS, #1009 -
Posted: March 03, 2020 | By: KevinDavis_NRT
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With comparisons to contemporaries, ranging from Kelly Clarkson and Demi Lovato to Natalie Grant and Britt Nicole, singer Riley Clemmons' seemingly effortless, rich, and pure vocal tone exhibits the passion and confidence of a seasoned artist. Riley's songwriting is real, honest, and vulnerable. The singer herself is positive, determined, and confident.

Riley's songwriting and vocals both play a huge part in her success story. The singer's self-titled debut album, which includes the hit singles, "Broken Prayers" and "Better For It," was, for sure, one of my Top 10 Albums of the Decade. After releasing her popular debut album, Riley dropped her hit single, "Fighting For Me" (She will be singing the song at Winter Jam.). Recently, Riley dropped her latest song, "Over and Over."

I've been married for 25 years and have three young daughters. Riley's entire catalog really ministers to me and my family. Her songs are very upbeat and catchy. Not to mention that Riley is a great role model for girls. Her music is loaded with positive, grace-filled messages of hope. Riley understands that true happiness only comes from her relationship with God. 

I had the chance to speak with Riley in-person before Winter Jam in Reading, Pennsylvania about "Over and Over": a song that addresses the pressures of life.

 

Please tell me the personal story behind this song.

This particular songwriting session was super special to me. I was talking with my label about writing this song. We discussed who I'd like to meet with to co-write it. I picked three of my favorite songwriters. I normally start a session talking about what's going on in my life at that moment, taking that and finding a title and lyrics, based on that situation. For this song, I had been at church the day before. The pastor preached about what it means to recommit yourself to God every day. In a personal way, for me, that's waking up every day and making the decision to choose God, over and over again. More so that I'm in awe of the fact that somehow I've been chosen to be a child of the God of the universe every single day, over and over again. Really, this song came from a place of just being in awe of God's grace that doesn't ask for anything back.

Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?

Romans 8:38-39 (NKJV): "For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Lamentations 3:22-23 (VOICE): "How enduring is God's loyal love; the Eternal has inexhaustible compassion. Here they are, every morning, new! Your faithfulness, God, is as broad as the day."

Psalm 139:13-14 (NKJV): "For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well."

Psalm 139:17-18 (NKJV): "How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You."

2 Corinthians 6:18 (VOICE): "'And I will be for you as a Father, and you will be for Me as sons and daughters,' Says the Lord Almighty!"

Matthew 11:28 (NIV): "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

1 Peter 5:6-7 (NIV): "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you."

Psalm 40:17 (VOICE): "Meanwhile, I am empty and need so much, but I know the Lord is thinking of me. You are my help; only You can save me, my True God. Please hurry."

Proverbs 4:23 (NIV): "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it."

Ephesians 2:10 (NLT): "For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago."

What is the takeaway message?

From an honest place, a human struggle, especially as a young woman, is dealing with wanting approval from others. You have this desire to be chosen, to be looked at in a crowd, and to have someone pick you. What does that look like coming from the God of the universe? That's what this song is about for me. The first line of the song addresses the insecurities we deal with as we face our repeated mistakes. God's mercies are new every morning. Grace isn't something you can work towards or achieve. Christianity is about knowing that there's no checklist of things we can do to achieve God's grace and mercy. This song comes from a place of awe and joy of knowing that this is something I'm freely given by God every single day, over and over again. This song is about taking the Word of God and living it out in life every day.

Lyrics

Staring at a mountain thought I had already climbed
The weight of my mistakes hold me down like I'm paralyzed
How many times have I asked for grace
Standing in the same broken place
I've given You every good reason to walk away
But somehow You choose me

Over and over again
Over and over again
You keep running to me
No matter where I am
Over and over again

I get lost I must confess
Oh how quickly I forget
But You keep on showing me I'm loved
Over and over again

God of second chances here to catch me every time
I thought I was unlovable till You told this heart of mine
I'm worth more than my past mistakes
I'm never too far gone to save
I've given You every good reason to walk away

Every sunrise I find
Another reminder of how much You love me
For all of this lifetime, You'll never get tired of chasing my heart


Closing Thoughts With Kevin Davis

As His sons and daughters, we need to take God's love with us everywhere we go and know that His love goes with us. I have spent time reflecting on and singing this song to God. And, it always gives me comfort. God speaks to us in His still small voice. And, as believers, we need to take time to "be still and know that He is God." Are you allowing the Holy Spirit to work in your life? Are you spending time listening to Him? He'll make you free. God wants to hear from you. With everything going on in the world, we need the encouragement that God is with us and that we're not alone. There is no day, no hour of the day, in which our Lord Jesus is not present. 

"Over and Over" reflects the thematic and biblical proclamations found in Psalm 89:7 (NLT): "The highest angelic powers stand in awe of God. He is far more awesome than all who surround His Throne." There are several scripture passages about standing in awe of the Lord. This song is in that same vein. Be captivated by the reverence of standing in awe of God. After repeated listens, the truth of this song gets deeper with its comforting messages of the Bible that God is love, and we love because He first loved us. 

Whatever struggle or depression you are facing, know that God is with you, always. I can perfectly relate to every word Riley sings in "Over and Over." Once you adopt the song's words into your heart, you'll remember the truth that Jesus always is, always has been, and always will be the One who makes a way for us--even when it seems impossible. That's something to remember and rest upon. 

In any situation, God will make a way for His children. As we look at our fallen world, we need to lift our eyes up to God, and put our faith and hope in Him. It's in our weakness that God is made strong. This song represents the victory that we have over our battles before we even know the earthly outcome, by trusting that God is going before us and He wins.

My daughters are 20, 16, and 13 years old; this song is perfect for them. It has been one of my missions in sharing the biblical truth behind songs by Christians to help women who are bombarded with negative messages from the world about body image. I want to help women know that their true identity is found in the person of Jesus. We are made in the image and likeness of God. I'm just my daughters' earthly father. They ultimately belong to our Heavenly Father, God. I want them to know their eternal destiny. These lyrics are totally encouraging: "I thought I was unlovable till You told this heart of mine/I'm worth more than my past mistakes/I'm never too far gone to save."

Sometimes, we put up a wall between us and God. He just wants us to come home to Him. Many of us feel that we're not worthy of being near God. And, that He's using a checklist to determine our worthiness. That's not the Gospel. The Good News of the Gospel, which this song perfectly portrays, is that God accepts us no matter what we've done. 

Faith is when we are empty of ourselves and filled with Him and His Holy Spirit. This song is a moving offering of praise to Jesus. His love is never-ending. And He is our refuge and our strength. If you're looking for a firm foundation in your life, make these lyrics your personal prayer: "You keep running to me/No matter where I am/Over and over again." Amen to that.

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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