Houses is a glimpse into hearts who have experienced God's glory.

Houses: Vol1

Artist: Various
Label: Ihop Atlanta, Gatekeeper records

Songs can be birthed in a moment and sung for many more. Some buried make their way to the surface. Some seem to alight on the wings of inspiration. In the context of worship and prayer meetings that have been ceaseless for ten years, unique voices emerge on Ihop Atlanta’s live album, Houses Vol. 1. A collection of psalmists and worship leaders share revelations that they’ve received from God’s word, from times spent in stillness with souls poised in devotion, to moments sharing his love with others, to a heart’s cry that finds a melody.

Diverse in sound, import and feeling, each artist is a standout and a point of unity is found in the truth of their aim. The pure, clear strains of Joy Bullard’s humble song of devotion “I am yours” give way to gifted vocals and tangible feeling as she sings “everything I do is for your honor and your glory”. Bethany Green’s unabandoned refrains in “Words fail” - “I have been overcome, like the waves of the sea Your love washes over me”- are deep crying out to deep and her voice carries a healing balm. In a sort of musical fly by, Judea Graves graceful offerings alight with soaring, unfettered sounds, going places unseen and bringing a spiritual reality within reach. “You are the seed” reveals a yielded life and highlights the beauty in dying to self that others across the nations may join in the praises, echoing the scripture “Unless a seed falls to the ground and dies it remains alone.”

Sergio Carlisle’s exultant tracks are an earmark in the project, setting listeners’ hearts afire with the contagious love and revelation he has received of the person of Jesus, and leading them into the very center of worship itself, the throne room of heaven. In conjunction, accomplished musician and seasoned worship leader Tolu Akande engages any room with reverent, gentle tones on the uplifting “In remembrance of your holiness”. The jazzy, upbeat “Hallowed be your name” finds the listener snapping their fingers to the Lord’s prayer; its layered transitions are remarkable.

Singer songwriter Caleb Andrews’ honest pleas of faith and devotion are victorious in their humility. His plainspoken lyrics rich with scriptural import and a voice that rises above and leads others bring acknowledgment of our place before Him, and yet in Him, raised as a son. In its way it punctuates the essence of Houses: “so what if I know all the language, what if I sing all these songs? If my heart is disconnected from the greatest one of all..”. The inward glance becomes an upward reach to heaven, pulling down His heart for others to experience and see. The unified cry of these songs echoes the psalmist David’s: “Here o Lord, have I prepared for you a home, long have I desired for you to dwell.” All along as we work on our own ‘buildings’, God, it would seem, is building us into his own house, a palatial dwelling fit for a King. Houses is a glimpse into hearts who have experienced his glory, who have come together to sing it for the world to hear, taking part in a song that will last for eternity.

Holly Etchison