I'm In His Hands (song story)
By this point I had hoped to have at least one or two song demos up for you to listen to, but the past week has seen nearly everyone in my family (including me) come down with some sort of sickness. I finally went to the doctor yesterday and I'm now on a course of antibiotics, so... no voice = no singing = no new demos. Sorry about that.
While you're holding out for the new demos, I thought I would share with you the story behind I'm In His Hands, in case you hadn't heard it before.
The original song I'm In His Hands (on which my arrangement is based) was written in 1957 by a Salvation Army officer named Stanley Ditmer. At the time, Stan's brother had been diagnosed with a severe illness and was not expected to live — Stan penned the words to this chorus, along with two verses and a melody. Check out this clip of a 1,000 member Songster Brigade (Salvation Army choir) singing the original version:
In 2003, I received a phone call from my friend Bernie Dake to let me know that he and several others at a music rehearsal had been praying for Stan Ditmer, who was now at the end of his long and faithful life of service to God and to The Salvation Army. Bernie knew that I had been "re-working" some old Salvation Army songs and he asked if I would have a crack at Stan's popular song. I confessed that I didn't remember how the melody went and so Bernie sung me the chorus over the phone (perfectly pitched, might I add) and I sat down at my keyboard and within a few minutes had come up with an arrangement, which would eventually make its way onto a recording known as "Send the Fire!".
We had no idea how it would be received. Stan was able to hear the song before he went to be with Jesus and he gave the arrangement his blessing — that was good enough for me. :) Over the years, I am amazed at the ways in which God has used this tiny little arrangement and how it has found its way into the lives of people all over the world. Just about once a month or so, I get an email or a note on Facebook like these:
Your arrangement of "I'm in His hands" ... when you played at _________ I was in major depression ... I was constantly thinking, "Where is God? Is He really here?" etc, and for you to sing that song that touched my heart so much made me aware that He was there, He was holding me in his hands, wanting to hold me tight and to walk with me even though I couldn't see Him or feel Him... Warm thanks...
Your version of "I'm In His Hands" is really getting me through right now. I'm facing a really difficult time at work, under a lot of persecution, and may loose my job. So thank you for your blessing, and encouragement through your ministry and songs.
I continue to be amazed at how God keeps using this song. I would love the opportunity to go into the studio and record this song professionally. But I need your support.
Thanks so much to those of you who've already hopped on board. Please keep praying for the success of the project and that God would be glorified and people would come to know Jesus more because of it. Thanks, everyone. :)