> Bless Their Hearts Mom: Music Monday: Open Hands by Laura Story (review and giveaway)
Monday, March 13, 2017

Music Monday: Open Hands by Laura Story (review and giveaway)

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this cd, free of charge, from Propeller Consulting, LLC,for review purposes on this blog.Many thanks to them for also providing the additional prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners are made randomly via the form used, and any stated opinions above are 100% my own and NOT influenced by any compensation received.  all opinions are my own.


EASTER GIFT IDEAS


Today's new CD is already out in the stores, but one of you will be able to win a copy for free!

It's the PERFECT CD for gift giving to friends and family this Easter season!

open hands cd cover


Throughout the Bible, there are countless stories of ordinary people whole-heartedly attempting to live a life fully surrendered to God’s unique calling on their lives. More than once, God asks people of faith to relinquish control and simply trust Him. These days, singer/songwriter Laura Story is discovering the beauty found in letting go. It’s this posture of surrender that she’s striving for on her fifth studio album, Open Hands.

“We have this picture all the way through the Scriptures of all these great leaders in this process of surrendering everything. What the Lord is asking them is not, ‘You need to hold on tighter. You need to manage this better.’ What the Lord asks us is to surrender,” she offers, “It’s about learning to live with open hands, learning to live life in this constant state of saying, ‘Lord, my life is Yours. My time is Yours.My resources are Yours. All of this is Yours. Do what You will.’”

Now isn't THAT a great blessing to give to your friends and family before Easter comes?

Besides writing and singing music, Story is a worship leader at Atlanta’s Perimeter Church, and the author of two books, including "When God Doesn't Fix It - Lessons You Never Wanted to Learn, Truths You Can't Live Without." In fact I might just suggest that book AND this CD for gift giving together! Because you KNOW with a title like that, you are GOING to want to read the book!

Story is a mom to three kids and she truly understands how  this thought of  “open hands” feels more necessary than ever before, as she juggles ministry and motherhood. “We never get to a point where we can do life apart from complete and total daily dependence on Jesus,” Story admits. “The irony is the less control we have, the more peace we have and the more, I would even say, success and joy we find. It’s a contrary picture to what the world tells us, but it’s gaining through letting go.”

All of this comes through very well in this wonderful CD!

. “I wanted to make an album so that each song I write would be just that seed of hope or that lifeline that someone listens to during that tough moment and thinks, ‘I’m going to choose to trust God, 
even during this,’” Story shares. “I pray that God would speak through me in the midst of the music.” The theme evolved naturally while writing by herself and with others, and the album suddenly presented itself to her and the flower from one seed of thought.



The title track, "Open Hands" is already a chart-topper, and features guest vocals from Third Day’s Mac Powell, a fellow Atlanta-native and Story’s longtime friend. As you can see from the video above, it really sets the theme for the entire CD in a way that will have you singing along quite easily- it is quite uplifting at the same time!

In true Story fashion, several selections, “Awake My Soul (1000 Tongues)", the 6th track and  “For The Love of My King”), the 5th track, re-imagine timeless hymns, which she refreshes with an original chorus. Miss Grace ADORES both, which really shouldn't be a surprise, as she is working her way through many hymns as part of her piano lessons! “I’m pretty sure that the theology that I learned as a kid was from old hymns. It’s amazing, even now as an adult, how those hymns come back and really provide that sturdy foundation for life. It reminds me of how important it is for me to teach my kids those old hymns,” Story reflects, adding, “As long as I am singing, I will be singing hymns.”

And that legacy of giving to our children is nowhere more apparent than in the 4th track, “Give You Faith” , in which Story speaks about the legacy she wants to leave her children. It is probably my most favorite track on the CD, even more so than "Open Hands", as it speaks to a parent's heart. “The song is about releasing your kids into the hands of God,” she explains. “The most important thing that we could possibly give our children is to not just tell them about the faith that we have, but to live out that faith as a family. Sometimes that means not giving them everything they want but showing them that the most important thing in my life isn’t even them—it’s actually my faith in Jesus Christ—and just point them to Jesus.” 

Reflecting on the world her kids are growing up in, Story wrote the album’s sparse closer, “Grace 
Abounds,” after weeks of turning on the television only to continue to watch stories of terror attacks, extreme injustice and racial tension make headlines day after day. “It’s easy to lose heart, and the song is about just acknowledging the brokenness. First of all, we can’t just pretend like it doesn’t exist,” she advises. “When it seemingly doesn’t make sense, I’m choosing to believe that God’s grace is enough. God’s grace is enough for any social injustice. God’s grace is enough for any loss that we go through.God’s grace is enough for any loneliness that we experience, for any relational strain and for any relational rejection. “When it feels like hope can’t be found, when we don’t even know how we’re going to put one foot in front of the other,” she continues, “Scripture teaches us that’s when grace abounds.” “You Came Running” , the third track, uses imagery from the Prodigal Son, to showcase a parent's love and grace as well.

laura story devotion

Grace is a VERY important lesson in our household- it is one that we come back to, over and over- whether it's having the grace to forgive, as God forgives us, the grace to let go of past hurts, the grace to see past wrongs, grace is always part of our beliefs and conversation, so we were both thrilled to hear the album close with this lovely song! 

The rest of the songs on the album are very similar, both in focus and sound, and really urge the listener to examine their faith, and to make changes needed. Story says. “I truly believe that the songs we sing and the songs we write act as the soundtrack for people’s faith. So I want to give people the most substantial tools that give them the clearest picture of who God is and who they are in Christ.”

This is an amazing CD and we can't recommend it enough to use for family bible studies during Lent, for gift giving, and for listening to in the car, to always remind us of the important tenants of the Christian faith.

flashing Win

Giveaway:

One BTHM reader will get to win their own copy of this great cd!


About Laura:

GRAMMY® award winning artist, speaker, songwriter, author and worship leader Laura Story has a gift for penning songs that connect with people all around the world. Among her successes as a solo artist with her smash hits “Mighty to Save” and “Blessings,” Laura has also penned hit songs for other renowned artists including Chris Tomlin’s “Indescribable.” Her solo artist music debut in 2008 with Great God Who Saves led to four Dove nominations and the award for “Inspirational Album of the Year.” In 2011, Laura released her sophomore project Blessings. The album and the emotionally powerful title was inspired by her real life trials and adversities, primarily her husband Martin's diagnosis of a brain tumor. The album resonated with a huge audience and led to whirlwind career highlights for Laura, peaking at the No. 1 album spot for three consecutive weeks on Billboard’s Contemporary Christian Overall chart, topping the iTunes® Christian/Gospel Top Songs chart and holding the No. 1 spot for an impressive 28 consecutive weeks on the Christian charts. The success of the single “Blessings,” which was certified RIAA Gold, includes the GRAMMY® Award for Best Contemporary Christian Song, the Billboard Music Award for Top Christian Song and the Dove Awards for Song of the Year, Pop/Contemporary Song of the Year, Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year and Songwriter of the Year. 

The song inspired Laura's first book, “What If Your Blessings Come Through Raindrops?” in 2012. God Of Every Story released in 2013 to much acclaim, and her first ever Christmas project God With Us, released in October of 2015. Laura recently released a new book and bible study curriculum When God Doesn’t Fix It; Lessons You Never Wanted to Learn, Truths You Can’t Live Without.  She has a graduate degree from Covenant Theological Seminary and has served as a worship leader at Perimeter Church in Atlanta since 2005, but her greatest joy is being a wife to Martin and the mother to Ben, Griffin and Josie.

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