Worship leader and songwriter Brian Doerksen releases Grateful, his first new solo album in seven years. The album first sprouted in Doerksen's heart about two and a half years ago, when his five-year wordless winter broke with the writing of "Scars on His Hands".
The song came after hearing his friend and pastor, Joyce Rees, share a message in which she talked about the scars on Jesus' hands. It struck Doerksen afresh that Jesus is acquainted with our grief. He writes: 'My King is acquainted with grief/ he won't recoil when in sorrow I weep/ my King is acquainted with grief.'
While the song undoubtedly relates to sadness, Doerksen called it his "little green sprout" because he knew his heart was coming back again. And that vulnerable, hopeful sprout shoots up throughout the songs of Grateful, even represented in the cover art, a photo of a tiny oak sapling, soil clinging to its tender roots. The baby tree, which Doersksen calls 'Little Grateful' now lives safely potted in a blue ceramic container on his Abbotsford home's brightly flowered back patio.
"Little Grateful evokes story - the fact that it's been transplanted from somewhere and now it's on this journey, on its way somewhere else," says Doerksen, who is Director of Worship and Music Arts at Prairie College in Three Hills, Alberta (he splits his time between there and his home in Abbotsford).
With his new album beautifully, willfully pushing past the winter, Doerksen acknowledges more seasonal changes are inevitable. "It's springtime that acknowledges a bit of the hard journey. I'm just a guy who writes simple songs from the heart about love, about pain and about hope. And it starts with just saying 'thank you.'"
For many years Doerksen was part of the Vineyard Churches as well as Vineyard Music Group. In that context he has been extremely influential in the area of contemporary Christian worship music. He was a featured worship leader on many Vineyard worship CDs and has also taught extensively on worship leading and song writing. Brian's worship recordings are known for their high production values and quality songwriting.
Notable songs written by Doerksen include: "Refiner's Fire" (1990), "Faithful One" (2002), "Hope of the Nations," (2003), "Light the Fire Again" (1994), "Today (As For Me and My House)" (2008) and "Come Now is the Time to Worship" (1998) which has been covered by a number of artists including the Oslo Gospel Choir and Phillips, Craig & Dean.
1. Grateful for Another Day (feat. The Shiyr Poets)
2. The World Turns (feat. Ryan McAllister)
3. First Love
4. Scars on His Hands
5. If Jesus is the Face of God (feat. Marcus Mosely Ensemble)
6. Million Miracles
7. Micah Six Eight
8. Man of Sorrows
9. On That Sunday Morning
10. We Cannot Measure How You Heal (feat. Loralee Thiessen)
11. A New Commandment
12. Say It Well (feat. Carly Reirson)
13. Everlasting Arms