Biblical Imagination and Being a Faithful Steward – An Interview with Caroline Cobb [Part 1]

In part 1 of an interview with singer/songwriter Caroline Cobb, Bob & David talk with her about how she got into writing songs that tell the story of the Bible and how as a songwriter she navigates the tension between being a creative and pursuing biblical faithfulness.

“A Word on Poetry from A Godward Life: Pt. 2 by John Piper

Psalms: The Poetry of Prayer:

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David Zimmer: Welcome to Sound Plus Doctrine, the podcast of Sovereign Grace Music where we explore what the Bible has to say about music and worship in the church and encourage those who plan, lead, and participate in their Sunday gatherings each week.

BK: We are not the owners of what we’re doing. When it comes to the Word of God and the Gospel. We’re just passing on. And you can do it in creative ways, but we can’t change what we’re doing.

DZ: Hello and welcome to the Sound Plus Doctrine Podcast. My name is David Zimmer.

Bob Kauflin: My name is Bob Kauflin.

DZ: And we have a very special guest.

BK: We do.

DZ: On the podcast today Mrs. Caroline Cobb.

BK: Smith.

Caroline Cobb: Hi. Thank you for having me.

BK: That’s how she goes, Caroline Cobb Smith.

DZ: She does?

BK: Yeah.

CC: Well, I have an artist’s music name.

BK: We think of you as a friend.

CC: But I’m married to a Smith.

BK: Yes, you [laughter] We think of you as a friend, not just an artist, Caroline.

DZ: That’s true. Yeah.

CC: There we go.

BK: So anyway, we’re so excited to have you on this and excited that you don’t have to travel all the way to Louisville to be a part ‘Cause you are in Texas [laughter]

CC: Yes, I’m in Dallas. Thank you guys for having me. [laughter]

BK: It’d be a lot farther further. You are welcome it’s a joy.

BK: Well, when you said that you’d give us $10,000 to be on the podcast, we said “Absolutely would do that.” we could do it for five.

CC: I have that kind of money. Just ready to give out.

BK: I know, just well, no, no.

DZ: So good [laughter],

BK: We have been talking about having you on for quite some time and we wanna start… I just don’t wanna assume people know who you are. And today we’re gonna be talking about biblical imagination and the importance of story and music and art. And you have been doing this a long time, but tell us about your family to start out with. Just you can do that.

CC: Yeah, I’m married to Nick. We live in Dallas now. We’ve moved around quite a bit, but we live in Dallas and we’re from Texas. And we have three kids. One just turned 13, and so we’re entering this teenage stage. One’s about to be 11 and one is 9.

BK: Life is full [laughter], and yet you seem to continue to be committed to putting out music for the church. Excellent music, I spent a lot of today, I mean, I’ve listened to your stuff over the years, but today I took a deep dive and just really listened to a lot. And I just wanna say I was so moved by the songs you’re writing and hearing some that I haven’t heard for a while, so I wanna talk a little bit about the development of the things you’ve done and then get into the specifics of… Writing creatively while remaining true to Scripture, to what God has given us. So, your byline, your Linktree byline says songwriter, song singer telling the story. Why did you choose that?

CC: Yeah, I mean, I think the heart behind my music is that people rehearse and remember this big story of Scripture. And so there are other ways that I enjoy doing that too, through writing or even just at home. I want my kids to engage with scripture, like they would a good story, it’s definitely more than a story, but I think to engage with it at that level and to be like, this is the story that we’re living in. And so for music which is where I primarily get to tell the story, that’s what I hope to do, is to kind of engage the power of music to move us, but also the power of storytelling with the power of God’s Word and putting those all together to help people kind of trace this meta-narrative from creation all the way to Christ’s return and kind of be marinating in it so that they can be rehearsing it and responding to it just as they’re driving around or working or whatever they’re doing during their day. That’s the hope.

BK: What I love is that the vision is so clear. Like you, we talk a lot of times about being a steward of what God has given us in terms of the gospel in terms of the word of God. We’re not innovators. We’re not coming up with, we’re not the first ones to think about this and in all the songs that I have heard come out from you, that is so clear that you are communicating what God has said to us. Which just is such a great example.

DZ: Yeah. And I first heard your music at a WorshipGod conference, because you have been out to a couple of them, I believe, and I remember distinctly, that it was scripture, but it was so poetically, and musically excellent that it was so engaging as a listener to go, “Whoa, I haven’t thought about it in this way. Or it being said in this way.” And so that’s, it’s really lovely.

BK: Yeah. So thank you for being…

CC: That’s the hope.

BK: It is. And it’s being accomplished. Thank you for being faithful to what God has said and what he’s done for us in Christ. Now I thought your first album was “The Blood + The Breath,” but I did a little research today and I came across some things on Apple Music. That one I did actually remember and that was “Far Beyond Me,” in 2005. And can I ask, how old were you when you did that?

CC: That was college. I was in college.

BK: That was college. My goodness.

DZ: Wow, that’s awesome.

BK: So you did that album and then in 2009 and number I had never even knew existed “Sing”, was that like a precursor to “The Blood + The Breath”? Because I think there’s a song on there that is on…

CC: That’s also on the…

BK: Yes. Yes The Burden?

CC: Yeah, Well, you weren’t supposed to find those because I feel like…

BK: I know, that’s why I wanted to bring them up on the Podcast.

BK: I was sort of in this weird world of doing music, but it was really expensive musical scrapbooking, almost. You’re learning all these things, and you’re writing these songs, you’re expressing them, and then you feel like you have — But that was kind of before I realized sort of the sweet spot for me. Which is, telling this story. And so my husband and I have been like, I need to take those down. But then there’s, but that’s okay. They’re there and I’m still proud of them. But they were definitely me, like a hobbyist, kind of paying as little money as possible to get them down, no click track, no… All those things.

BK: Click tracks are overrated.

CC: But there’s something cool about it too, when I look back and say, “Oh, I mean, I can see God already at work in my heart.” And some of those same struggles that I struggled with then. Or the things that I’m learning God has pressed in deeper and deeper and I’m still on those journeys and learning those things. But yeah, you weren’t supposed to have find those… It’s a secret.

BK: Well, I think it’s, I bring them up because I think it’s important for anyone who sees what you do and think, “Yeah. She just one day woke up and started making these great albums.”

DZ: Yeah, it’s a good point.

BK: I mean, the other albums are great, but you see there’s a development in terms of songwriting and there’s a development in terms of clarity of what you’re called to do.

CC: That’s definitely true.

BK: It’s just really important to see. I have some lines from Sing. You knew what you wanna do. “My voice is weak, my fingers slow. But when I sing, it’s in my soul. My words are simple. They’re not poetry, but I will sing. I’m gonna sing. Would you be near in my song? Be what they hear, you alone.” That’s just so great. “I’ll sing in reverence. I’ll sing in fear, but I will sing.” And this is my favorite. “When I get to heaven and I get my crown, I’ll bend my knees and lay it down with all the angels all around, I’m gonna sing.”


BK: And that’s what you’ve done. That’s what you’ve just continued to do. So then we get to “The Blood + The Breath” in 2013, which was the first album I heard from you, and I was just taken by it.

DZ: Yeah.

BK: There were so many songs. “All the Stars” was the one that always stood out. All the Stars da da da…


BK: “From Him, to Him,” “The Passover Song,” “Gethsemane,” “Dry Bones,” “Everything You’ve Heard.” They’re just great songs. So tell us a story about The Blood + The Breath and how that came about.

CC: Yeah. So when I was about to be… Turning 30, this goal kind of popped in my mind, and I honestly can’t remember exactly how I came about to this goal, but I was turning 30 on 11/11/11. And I thought cool…

BK: Oh, how great.

CC: That’s a big birthday, and so now you know how old I am.


CC: But that’s a big birthday. And I decided that I loved scripture and I loved God’s word. And I had written a few songs from scripture, but I thought, what if I could take this year and write a song for every book of the Bible in a year? And then I told people about it. And that was the beginnings of social media. And so I talked about it on social media and there was some accountability there. But that year I realized that I loved doing this. It was just a whole new way to explore God’s Word and challenge myself to write a song from Leviticus or…


CC: Nahum or whatever have you. Don’t go looking for those songs, Bob.


BK: They’re out there somewhere.

DZ: We didn’t mention those ones.

BK: No, I listened to some of those. That’s…

CC: But that was so sweet. I think to see, I had already been exposed to the idea that God’s… That the Bible was one big story. But to actually see it play out as one big panoramic story. But then also to dive into these little details where God was so intricately weaving this story together from start to finish.

DZ: Yes. Right.

CC: And we can never plumb the depths of it. So that was just a really fun year. And toward the end of that year, I played some concerts where I just went through the biblical story through song and I learned a lot about stage presence and things being too, my concerts were way too long, blah, blah, blah.


CC: But I did think, I wish these people could just take it home. I wish they could have these songs in a better form and they could marinate on this story all the time. And at that same time, my husband was kind of challenging me to say, “Hey… ” In the most loving way, “Hey, this is a really expensive hobby.”


CC: Now, would you like to do this?

BK: How do you say that in a loving way?

CC: Y’all be… Yes. In the most loving… I needed… I was afraid to say I’m a songwriter. And so, I did a Kickstarter and I said, no, I’m gonna do this well. I’m gonna try to not cut corners and I know what I wanna do now. And I’m much better about telling God’s story than saying, “Hey, look at me.” It kind of released me. And he was saying, “Hey, let’s try to think about how you can continue in this with a… In a sustainable way and kind of get off the fence.” Kind of hiding the fact that you do this and just do it.

BK: So that was a step in the direction of doing it is what’s interesting.

CC: Yes. And so that was a loving push. And that’s when this journey really started to be able to say like, “Okay, this is what I’m doing with music.”

BK: That makes sense.

CC: And I still write personal songs. And the songs that I’m writing from scripture are very personal because they’ve traveled through me. I’m writing from that passage for a reason, but and I’ll still write songs about being a mom or a marriage or other things like that. But I’ve loved getting to write these songs. So that album in particular was the first time I was really clear on what the mission was. And also I loved the idea of taking one theme and tracing it from Creation all the way to Christ’s return. So the theme of that album is Redemption. So this blood and the breath idea of like death to life is throughout the album. And then that kind of set me on a trajectory to do that every single time to really trace the theme.

BK: I was gonna ask you about that. Yeah, the two word titles.

CC: Yes. Those are signaled by two word titles, which sometimes I’m like, “Oh, this is really hard to find an alliteration for this topic.”


CC: But every time so far I’ve been able to do it.

BK: So you go… One of the things I love about what you do, is that you take pretty difficult ideas, passages and communicate them in a way that’s affecting. So in the song everything you’ve heard, you’ve… I just love this. “You’ve heard it said, and a number of the verses begin with that a king will come with a sword, but I tell you to turn the other cheek and I’ll wear a crown of thorns.” It’s just so much is said in such a little space. So that seemed to be received very well. The Blood + The Breath. And then four years later you do A Home & A Hunger. Just tell us a little bit about that album, which again has some great songs on in it.

CC: Yeah we had moved to… After The Blood + The Breath, we moved to California and I didn’t have any childcare really, because it was so expensive out there. And I also was in the throes of young motherhood. When we moved out there. I had a 4-year-old, a 2-year-old, and a 3-week-old. And that was the first time Nick was on staff at a church.

BK: Plenty of time to write songs!

CC: So I also put a lot of pressure on myself.


CC: I know. So what I did was I asked my friend Jenn, her name was Jenn. I paid her to keep our kids for two hours a week, and it was very inexpensive. She wasn’t… And I used those two hours to write songs. And then once I have the body of a song, I could write as I was cooking or driving there. Anytime I got some alone time, I could write. Or even when the kids were there, I could write in my head. And so those songs came out of that season. And in that season I was learning a lot about the Gospel, not outgrowing the Gospel and how beautiful the Gospel really is. That we don’t just say like, Oh, I get it and I’m gonna move on to deeper things. We just savor it more and more and we’re more and more thankful as we grow in our Christian life and see our sin…

BK: Let me interrupt you there. Where was that coming from? Where were you realizing that from?

CC: Definitely the pressure cooker of moving around a lot and starting over. But I think more than that was being a mom of young kids, and just seeing, “Oh, I thought I was a really patient, calm person,” and there’s my anger. Like, there it is. There’s my need for control, there’s my selfishness. So it came out in that way and it was surprising but also good because God met me with his grace even in the moments where I saw my sin so clearly. Then I saw the cross as even more beautiful. And so…

BK: Don’t say anymore, ’cause we might do a whole podcast on that…

DZ: Yeah. Seriously. [laughter]

BK: Now that you’re talking. So just stop, stop.


BK: Okay.

CC: Yeah. So those songs are about, it’s called A Home & A Hunger. Those songs are about the goodness of the gospel and this upside-downness of God’s kingdom, but he’s has already broken through, but we’re still hungry to be… We’re not fully redeemed…

BK: That’s great.

CC: In the sense that we will be when we’re with him, when he returns. So it’s that tension, that paradox between those two things, the already and the not yet.

BK: That’s… I just love the clarity. It’s not just, “Hey, what’s a catchy title?” It has meaning and there’s a purpose to it.

DZ: It’s hard to be that intentional. I mean, with every song and every title and every album. [laughter]

BK: Yeah. Yeah. Well, it’s not catchy. It is catchy, but it’s not like… We just wanna get clicks or streams or, no, I’m trying to say something. And that’s the whole point of being a steward. We are not the owners of what we’re doing. When it comes to the Word of God and the Gospel. We’re just passing on. And you can do it in creative ways, but we can’t change what we’re doing. So that just comes through so clearly. Alright. I wanna get some of these questions, then you did A Seed, A Sunrise only two years later, which is seven songs, is that right?

CC: Yes. Seven songs.

BK: So Advent, Christmas, Expectation of Jesus’ Return, which is great. I think I’m just gonna run through this, and then you did, I love that song, Joy As Far as the Curse Is Found. It was excellent, just among the other songs. And then A King & His Kindness two years later, which you said zooms in on the heart and humanity of Jesus, which again, you’re taking topics that are just not your typical, yeah, song subjects. What were a couple of your favorite songs from A King & His Kindness?

CC: I think I had, I was doing this panorama so much and I had this desire to kind of, again, just zoom in if we’re talking in cinematic terms, on who he was. I think that Who is This Jesus is something I sing a lot at concerts right now…

BK: Yes.

CC: Which is just asking the question that the disciples were asking the whole time, it’s like, who is this? We just saw him be transfigured on the Mount, We saw…

BK: Great song.

CC: One of my favorite parts to sing in that song is, I saw the demons afraid, but the children are safe in his arms…

BK: Yes. [laughter] [laughter]

CC: He is just this figure that is surprising and, it’s either all or nothing. That kind of aspect of who Jesus is. And then I loved being able to turn the diamond and make sure I didn’t just talk about his compassion, which is what we always wanna talk about, which is so beautiful and important, but also, and not opposed to his compassion is his righteousness and the way that he was turning over tables in the temple and the way that he calls us to pick up our cross and follow him. So I tried to be careful not to just frame him from one angle…

BK: Amen.

CC: We can’t ever do justice to the person of Jesus. But I was trying to not just see him in one light and kind of come at some of the different aspects of who he is and who he calls us to be. And just say, this is one whole person one whole portrait.

BK: Which you did a fantastic job on. And it’s so important that we not create Jesus in our image, and say, well, I like these parts about Jesus. I like his love and his mercy and compassion, his inclusiveness. Well, yes, but he’s also, as you said these other things, he’s righteousness, holiness, justice how do you put that together? Well, you put it together in the cross and his life, I mean…

CC: That’s right.

BK: It’s all, it all speaks of those things. Okay. Then you’re coming out and we don’t know when this is actually gonna, we’re gonna release this, but in May of 2023, you are releasing Psalms: The Poetry of Prayer, got the alliteration in again.

CC: That’s right…

BK: Excellent.

CC: That was a hard one.


BK: Thanks for working on it. And you’re pretty excited about this album?

CC: Yeah, I am. One thing that was fun about this one, is that I did it locally, I didn’t do it in Nashville. So I would go, I did it in September. I would go and record all day and then go pick my kids up from school, which was different for me. And really integrated, it just made it a different process. And I did it with a guy named Paul Deemer, who I travel with and he’s kind of like my bandmate right now. So it was very integrated with my community here and…

DZ: That’s cool.

CC: With my family life. And so that was cool. And I think too with the Psalms. I had a couple of really hard years between 2020, I mean, we all had a hard 2020 and then…


BK: I think that’s a universal statement.


CC: Yes. And then 2021, I was experiencing some weariness and burnout in ministry and just some angst about this, what am I supposed to be doing, blah, blah. Yeah. You know how angsty artists can be.

BK: Yes.

CC: And then my dad also… When I was putting out A King & His Kindness, I had a ton of shows booked more than I ever had had before in a season, and I also was putting out A King & His Kindness. And then my dad went in for heart surgery that was supposed to be pretty routine. And it turned out to be not at all routine. And he never recovered. And he was in the ICU for a month and a half and ended up passing away. And so during that time I had already decided I’m gonna do the Psalms next ’cause this is another way to zoom in.

CC: And they ended up just being able to give me words when COVID was happening. And I was like, I don’t even know how to pray. I don’t know where to begin. I’m so unmoored from my rhythms. And then when everything with burnout was happening, I didn’t know how to pray. And literally I would just be like, next psalm, this is what I’m praying today. Paraphrasing that to the Lord. And then when everything with my dad and just that intense season. So I’m really thankful for these because it’s like everything I’ve known about God, it’s like answering him back, with prayer and with praise. And they’re just, there’s a lot of like really fun songs on it. And then there’s laments and confession. So it’s just got kind of the range that the Psalm shows us is there, I did not put any, imprecatory Psalms on this one.

BK: Oh! Caroline, [laughter] I’m so disappointed. [laughter]

CC: Maybe that will be a whole album to itself.

BK: You do a whole album of imprecatory Psalms?

CC: No, I don’t wanna do that. [laughter]

BK: Oh. That would be great.

CC: I was joking. I mean, you can, y’all can do that.

BK: You could. No, no. We’re not gonna do it.

DZ: We already put out 14 songs.

BK: We put out a couple of Psalm songs, yeah [laughter] And we’ll probably put out some more.

CC: No, I love those. I love those.

BK: Psalm 63. Your treatment of Psalm 63 is absolutely beautiful. And I think it really captures the heart of that Psalm and I’m sure the whole album is going to be beautiful. You should listen to it if you haven’t. All right. Questions about this whole process. We’ve talked a bit about, yeah. What you’ve been doing for the last 10-15 years is writing a lot of songs. What? And doing it very creatively. What helps you stay committed to biblical faithfulness while pursuing imagination and creativity? That’s a… It’s a healthy tension. How do you maintain that? Not go off the deep end of creativity and not just repeat truths. What kinds of things do you do? Practices, or how do you think about it?

CC: I think the idea of like biblical imagination actually helps me love the truth more. I’m sure you guys have felt that too. But I think approaching scripture as someone who is gonna maybe teach it, but then adding in some of these musical elements that we get to play with, right. All these tools that we have in our tool belt. So if we look at a passage of scripture, like someone who’s gonna teach it and ask those questions of who, what, when, where, why, and how does this connect to the whole? And everything maybe like a teacher might do, but then we can say, okay, now I’m gonna look at it from an artist’s perspective. And it’s not necessarily linear, this is all happening, nothing is linear with my brain. It’s always blah blah but…

BK: Yeah we can relate.

CC: Yes. The idea that we can, also put ourselves in their shoes. So I wrote a song called Eve’s Lament, and I like talking about that one because I feel like [chuckle] that was a really fun…

BK: Oh, I was gonna mention it earlier and I didn’t, but I’m so glad you brought it up.

CC: And imaginative song for me to write. Because I was thinking, now I know kind of as an exposition of this text what… As much as I can, I know what it means and I don’t wanna say anything wrong and I wanna be faithful, but now let me put myself in Eve’s actual shoes.

BK: Yes. Yes.

CC: What would she have felt like? And also I loved there’s a lot of serpent imagery that I tried to employ in that song. I think whenever we see snakes on TV or [chuckle] in person, we’re very creeped out. [chuckle] And I think that’s how we should feel as we’re looking at this passage that we’ve read again and again. But we should feel the tragedy of it and the ickiness of it because it’s just wrong. It’s so twisted. And so I think when I was writing that song, I don’t know that I thought to myself, I want people to feel dread, but now that I’m looking back, it’s like you want people to feel dread and sadness and tragedy over this.

CC: And so how can I implement that in with the chords I choose and the words I choose and putting in some snake imagery like tall grass and the lies constrict, the curse clamps down. Like all those things that remind us our imagination of a serpent so that when you see Christ, lifted up, we are able to be that much more, joyful and excited about the hope that he brings…

DZ: Yes, yes, yes.

CC: Into this thing that is so broken and so minor key. And so I think that, you still treat it faithfully, but it’s so fun to be a songwriter or a poet or a storyteller because you can put yourself in their shoes and play with all these other tools that we have to continue to tell this story faithfully. But then I do always try to get feedback from people I trust, not just musically but theologically, and there have been…

BK: Good.

CC: People that have been saying like, “Hey, you might not realize what that could [chuckle] mean to someone else. Or maybe change them somewhat.”

BK: Oh, if more songwriters would do that. The world would be a better place.

DZ: Yes. Seriously that’s so helpful.

BK: If more songwriters would do that.

CC: So, that’s the hope is that, yeah. That it’d be faithful, but also help people rehearse it, help people be in part of the story.

BK: Well you have these lines I think it’s in the chorus, in that song, which, I just so… The whole song is so effective. Did he really… This is what the serpent is saying, “did he really say it? Why is he keeping you down? Don’t you want to taste it?” I thought that is so good. Just to bring us into what potentially could be in Eve’s mind. And I wanna read something from John Piper that’s just gonna emphasize this fact of what you just said. You spend your time reading, studying, listening what does this text actually say? So in his book, A Godward Life, Part Two, John has this chapter on A Word On Poetry. And he says this… He’s talking about the book of Lamentations and how it’s so tightly structured poetically. And he says It is a test. “Why labor for weeks to give such shape to suffering.” He asks why not just do an outburst?

BK: This is how I feel, he says, “A testimony written on the heart that reality has contours, being is one way and not another. There are hard unbending facts. God said, I am who I am, not what we feel him to be or wish him to be or make him to be. He simply is, we must write the verse of our lives within the constraints of unbending ultimate fact, therefore, laboring to look and look and look at what is really there, which is what you were just talking about. Until we feel what we are meant to feel, and then to say what we have seen and felt in some exacting poetic form is a testimony to the truth that we are not God.” [laughter] I just love that.

DZ: That’s so good.

BK: Well, I remember the first time I read that, I just thought of it as you were talking. The first time I read that I thought, more artists need to hear this. That we’re not just out there expressing what we feel. We are expressing what we feel about what is true. And unless we know what is true, our feelings really don’t matter. So you just do such a great job with that. How would you counsel someone and maybe you already did, who leans towards artistic expression at the expense of biblical truth? Have you encountered that in others or in your own?

DZ: That’s a good question.

CC: I think it’s such a temptation. Honestly, I think one thing that’s sort of a pet peeve of mine, but I’m sure I do it too, is write songs that sound like other songs. [laughter] Rather than a writing songs.

BK: David does that a lot. [laughter]

DZ: Guilty.

CC: Oh, David.

BK: Oh man. Most of my songs are just robbed, written… Robbed from other people.

DZ: Robbed.

CC: It’s like we’re reading the lyrics of another song and then writing a song as a derivative of that song. Rather than reading scripture, which is our common language, and writing a song from that.

DZ: Great.

CC: And so what happens with that is that we get a lot of songs about this topic, but Scripture is about so much more than that, and there’s so many angles to come. And where the worship songs from Lamentations that talk about the suffering part. And not just his mercies are new every morning because when you say his mercies are new every morning…

BK: Although that is a great passage.

CC: Without the suffering part. And it’s true in and of itself. You can memorize that one verse and that’s great, but when you put it in this whole story of lamentations, it’s a more beautiful verse. It’s even more beautiful.

BK: Yes. It’s more powerful. Yeah.

CC: And so I think that that’s sort of my wondering for people who maybe are just wanting to write songs. And I think sometimes we need really simple songs. We need songs about the same thing over and over again. We need songs about the cross over and over again because it’s so important. But there’s also a lot of other songs that have yet to be written or at least attempted by songwriters. And me included. I’d love to keep pushing — right about the whole, the whole story of scripture. And not just one piece or making my song only sound like something else because I know that that’s more commercially viable. And it’s easy to rhyme grace and face. So let’s just do it again and again. [laughter]

BK: Let me write that down.

DZ: Write it down, Bob, you’ll need that later.

BK: Don’t forget place.

CC: Or king and sing. So let’s, yeah. Let’s try to like, figure out some other words to say. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I say, I do that. I just [laughter] it’s just we…

BK: There are times when that’s appropriate.

CC: There’s a lot of growth.

DZ: Yeah. But I think what’s really encouraging to me and I would hope to our listeners as well, is just how steeped in scripture you are. That is where you’re drawing so much inspiration, and it won’t come if you’re not steeped in it. And it’s, you’re doing that through your lyrics and then musically I’m sure you listen to a lot of music as well that inspires melody and so there has to be a source for all these things.

BK: Which leads to another question. How do you stay fresh creatively?

CC: I think the hardest part about staying fresh creatively in this season is just being an independent musician. And wearing all the other hats that aren’t the artist’s songwriter hat. And so I have to push on this manager side of me that’s managing everything and say, no, I need to carve out time to write songs. And then in terms of staying, I think reading what our diet is, is really important. Cultivating a heart that just… An antenna that’s up all the time. And I think one thing for me that makes me not have my antenna up is if I’m on social media too much…


DZ: Yeah, just scrolling.

CC: The music we put into our life, like a good book, good sermons and good… And just reading scripture and spending time with the Lord. And then there are some things that we need to manage in our life. Like living online rather than making it a place to go visit and leave when you’re done [laughter] so things like that, the liturgy of our every day feeds, our songwriting and our music.

BK: How do you stay fresh creatively? Stop spending so much time on social media. [laughter] really, and read.

CC: Okay, I was talking to myself.

DZ: For sure.

BK: No, no you were talking to everybody who’s watching this podcast.

DZ: Yes, true.

BK: Or listening. Okay. One last question and then we’re gonna get you back for another episode. Have you ever thought about writing congregationally? And if not, why not? What are you doing with your life, Caroline [laughter]?

CC: I really like writing Congregationally, actually… I well, I’ll just tell you guys…

BK: If you never did… Let me say, if you never did, and you may have already done it, you’re serving the church so well.

DZ: Yes. We’re joking.

BK: But I’m just curious as to if that’s ever been something you’ve thought about.

CC: A lot of times I’ll write a song because I need a song about this thing, and sometimes it feels like it’s supposed to be a congregational song, so I’ll focus on making it a congregational song. So I probably have about 10 songs that I feel like are congregational. I mean, toward the beginning I didn’t really know some of the rules about making it singable and, keeping the syllables aligned and all that.

BK: There are rules.

CC: There are some ways I wish I could go back and straighten things out, but I think they’re singable. I have a song called He Has Risen and a song called Breath of God about the Holy Spirit. And acts too and a few others too, that I’m excited about. But I have dreamed about spending maybe my next album being a worship album, but making sure that each song is telling this story of scripture.

DZ: That’s great.

CC: So I’ve recently written like a song from Exodus about Moses asking to see Lord’s glory, but it’s a worship song. A congregational worship song. So…

DZ: We need that.

BK: There are some…

CC: We’ll see.

BK: Yeah. Well, we’ll be cheering you on and there are so few songs, congregationally, hymns will do this that contain Old Testament imagery. When we do like, here I raised my Ebenezer, we kick it out. Nobody understands that. So to have more songs that include more of the whole of scripture. In the big story. Not just include Old Testament ideas or passages or themes, but to say this all fits together. So that’s pretty exciting. Okay. We’re probably out of time for this one. Caroline, thank you. So much for taking time to be with us and we look forward to having you back.

CC: Thank you for having me, guys. I really appreciate it.