Northern Lights

by Nick Iles

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about

"I wrote these songs while I traveled the united states for a year. Most of these songs were first penned in a van, or in homes. After writing the lyrics, I had to alter the style of music that I would be playing due to the amount of lyrics that I had written."

"The recording process was really fun for me. This album was recorded in an empty room of New Tribes Bible Institute just down the hall from my dorm room. I recorded the instruments that were within my reach, and with the equipment I had at my disposal. Overall, it was a great experience."

"I hope that this album is impactful in the lives of the few who listen to it. A lot of these lyrics are both personal to me and things that I've really put a lot of thought into. I love to hear feedback, so if you have anything to say, good or bad, please shoot me a message. If you have any questions about any of the lyrics, I'd love to hear from you. Enjoy!"

credits

released January 18, 2015

Instruments, vocals, mixing and "mastering" (If you can call what I tried to do mastering) by Nick Iles
Mixing and mastering for track "Northern Lights" done by Matthew "Bob" Mellinger (MTM productions)
Artwork by Abigail Van Hoogen

Thank you Josh Hagen for letting me use your Djembe
Thank you Levi Hall for letting me borrow your hand drums
Thank you Jared, for getting me that hand carved drum from panama
Thanks to the deans at NTBI for letting me use their room

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Nick Iles Waukesha, Wisconsin

A home recorded music production for anyone who wants to listen.

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Track Name: Emu Hill
There was freedom in youth at the top of the hill
Neither man nor fowl could hold us still
If there was a place that we could trespass
Someone in the group would be sure to find it

Now all we have are stories
'bout adventures we've had
All the birds were flightless
And the words were righteous

If there's a yawn worth yelling, I'll scream it out loud
Hear better promises of sailing south
Dante de San Jose and a somber sombrero
The bittersweet loss of troubadour

Their words were sung by the fawn
Though he followed House Call
The mellow tones of the Junco
Grey Fyr spread down to my toes

This is the place where we grew up
The boulders that towered were our friends
And the days we shot our guns out there
Were the days that I wished would never end
Lifetimes of wonders clear to see
I could never get my fill
The night that we defeated fear
Was the time that we stayed on Emu Hill

I digress back to the fawn I mentioned
Snake Catcher and stellar fisher
If you wait long enough he will surely meet you
The fawn oh he lives up there

The view from the rocks is stunning for sure
When you get there please just rest a while
Going to the hill you’ll never resent
You'll soon be glad that you went

This is the place where we grew up
The boulders that towered were our friends
And the days we shot our guns out there
Were the days that I wished would never end
Lifetimes of wonders clear to see
I could never get my fill
The night that we defeated fear
Was the time that we stayed on Emu Hill
Track Name: Living In Christ
Oh brothers lets go down, lets go down, come on down
Oh brothers, lets go down, down to the river to pray

Sometimes we say that becoming a Christian is easy
That when we accept Him, suddenly life's just sunny and breezy
But I'm here to tell you your life doesn't transform with the first prayer you say
It's a slow process metamorphosis, not something that happens in a day
When your heart is changed by Christ and I mean totally converted
And when your life begins to echo all that He asserted
You might take a lot of flak, don't be surprised if you're persecuted
Just for following everything that Jesus instituted

It takes dedication and faith beyond human potential
To be loyal to a God who's one hundred percent essential
That doesn't mean salvation's work based, I'm not saying that at all
I'm saying to get through this life you need Him to be your all
To maintain a steady relationship with God or human
You gotta keep up and maintain a steady conversation
Cling to what's above for He alone can save us
Cling to the messiah, the Christ we know as Jesus

Anyone who claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did
Are you ready to go all in and quit throwing empty bids
Are ready for a cross, are you prepared to die
Is God the love of your life or just a pretty cool guy?
You will be called to some things others wouldn't even consider
And face giants that the thoughts of which would make the bravest men shiver
It's not an easy task but, you don't have take it all alone
He'll be with all the way if you make Him your cornerstone

Sometimes we don't hear God clearly so we try to do it ourselves
If you want to hear Him speak just take your bible off the shelf
He's given us His word as a connection like a phone
As you're picking up your pieces, He’s waiting for a dial tone
And when you read don't pass up verses that challenge you
Listen to those scriptures, and let the Holy Spirit manage you
Don't read your bible to validate your words
Use your words by putting into action what you've heard

Oh brothers lets go down, lets go down, come on down
Oh brothers, lets go down, down to the river to pray

Adelphoi of mine, someday all of us will give an account
Of everything that we've done, and I'm serious when I say that I don't wanna be spat out
From the presence of God for just humming the song
Are you living the life or just singing along
I don't wanna just look spirit filled I want total indwelling
I'm not just browsing the shop, I wanna be buying what He's selling
I don't wanna just understand who God is, I want to know Him as a friend
Because nothing else even matters when it comes down to it in the end

You and I were made for more than this
Not made for living this individualistic seeking of bliss
Even the stones we will be buried under will someday pass away
We're living on this earth, but we were not meant to stay
God has so much more for us, so run as to finish the race
Live with the understand that we’re destined for a better place
Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith
So follow in His footsteps, His life is what He gave

We’ve fallen into this standard of being lukewarm
That’s what the devil wants for us, he uses comfort as his charm
He offers a carefree life style so we often fail to resist
If these next lines resemble you, then you may have failed this test
You’re so committed to your job and all that you acquire
The things that 1 Cor 3:13 say will be tested by fire
You religiously do everything but relation to The Lord
You daily read the paper, but rarely read The Word

This isn’t what God wants for you, in fact He warns us not to get comfortable
Not just physically, but spiritually, we shouldn’t be fine with what we know about the bible
We should be moving in our faith, and not just sitting in our seat
It’s time we move on from the milk and start chewing on the meat
So stand up on your feet, and march on Christian soldiers
It’s time to step out of the darkness and open up the blinders
When you see the kingdom of God, and all of His glory
You won’t be able to stand back, you’ll wanna be part of His story

Oh brothers lets go down, lets go down, come on down
Oh brothers, lets go down, down to the river to pray
Track Name: Abused
Your face was raw from wiping the tears from your eyes
You looked away as you tried not to cry
Because you knew it would only make him worse
From all that yelling your father's voice was horse
You screamed for help only one time
And his hand returned to the top of your spine
He grabbed your neck, and his grip was all but loose
Pressure applied and you received another bruise

You always think that you will leave some day
You've lived with this since your mother passed away
So you toughen up to his drunken swings
And the dark red marks that he makes with his rings
You come to the point of breaking down
And your father finally turns around
You don't wonder if he'll do this again
The only question you have is when

You looked for relief in so many ways
You tell yourself that this is just another phase

He yelled at you, he broke a chair
He punched a wall, he pulled your hair
His anger burned, and though you cried
He was never satisfied

You finally did it, you ran away from home
You’re 17 and you’re living on your own
At first the freedom was encouraging
And then your life came quickly crumbling
Traded your time with your dad for someone else
And the result only brings pain on yourself
The newest guy you know you don't really know
And the black eye is starting to show

His bouts of rage are all too terrifying
And the beer bottle that he sent flying
Broke and shattered glass all across the floor
He looks away as he's headed for the door
He slams it shut leaving you alone in the room
And as you weep, his voice begins to boom
He will be back, and again you stick around
And again you consider leaving town

You looked for relief in so many ways
You tell yourself that this is just another phase

He yelled at you, he broke a chair
He punched a wall, he pulled your hair
His anger burned, and though you cried
He was never satisfied

Now your actually alone out on the street
You no longer get brutally beat
And though your body's far away from it
Your mind dwells in that empty, darkened pit

You've gotten sick of living out your life
You've got the will and you're holding the knife
You think that this is the only way
You want it to end today

But suddenly you met another man
And He gently took you by the hand
He said daughter, I'm with you, here I AM
I’m the Shepard and you’re my little lamb
He asked you to stand up and you did
Tears of joy fell from your eyelids
He embraced you, and held your head
He said “I'm with you to the end”

And when you made your be in the depths I was there
And when you come up to heaven I'll be there
When you think that light becomes dark around you
I see the night as day, clear and blue
I have searched you, and I know you
I perceive your heart through and through
You are fearfully and wonderfully made
I remember when your foundation I laid

I created your inmost being
I gave you life and set your lungs breathing
I knit you together in your mothers womb
Using elegant yarn from the heavenly loom
I created you for a purpose
I don't make things to be useless
For I know the plans I have for you
Plans to prosper and not to harm you

He asked you to be His child
You looked at Him and then you smiled
You had looked for relief in so many ways
This time He was there to stay

He loves you more, than you could know
He fully paid, the debt you owe
When He went to, the cross and died
The wrath of God, was satisfied
He conquered death, so you and I
Could live with Him, in paradise
Now He lives, inside your heart
Since He gave, you a new start

And some day, when we pass on
We will see, a glorious dawn
The Son of God, will meet you there
And take you in, to His care
And though we don't, deserve his love
He forgave your sins, by God above
His faith is strong, He'll never fail
He will always, be there
Track Name: Northern Lights
Are we looking at the northern lights and the
Starry sky in awe of the creator
Or are we restraining it with science discussing
how far we have come since 1939

Are we looking for a way to explain
Every thing with human understanding
As we begin to reach for a larger mind than ours we
Hardly touch the surface of his pool of thought

Looking at the world through our humanistic glasses
Is like trying to do a puzzle without any pieces
And trying to grasp creation without knowing the creator
Is like trying to see your features in a foggy mirror

And we've got a long way to go
Oh we have got a long way to go

Are we breaking new ground, or just discovering new
Assemblies of what we were given at the start and we're
Marring our view of God's great wisdom, as we're
Scarring ourselves by thinking we're worth more than we are

Are these tools we make really constructs of a mind
Far beyond what we could come up with by ourselves
And are we just looking to put windmills out of use
Charting all our maps and claiming where we choose

"It's all about you" is the mood of this “great” nation
"This is just what we do" is the theme of this generation
And our culture's distorting all our morals from the core
Morals we were taught as youth are all but no more

And we've stopped searching for something bigger than ourselves
Though we are looking in the places that he dwells
We say that we are superior to all other walks of life
And our sweet sweet America, is the only one that’s right

But we have gotten it all wrong
Oh we have gotten it all wrong
Track Name: Sardonicism
We live in an era of never ending belligerence
Where people belittle one another just to have a feeling of acceptance
Animosity as our friend, And sarcasm as our ally
“Just kidding” as a robber, and “I'm joking” as a spy
That creeps in un-noticed, delivering invisible injections
That might not hurt at first, but are lethal in the end
Lies disguised as funnies are appreciated and enjoyed
By all but the defender who's defeated and destroyed

As long as someone's laughing it's ok for some odd reason
But a JK or an lol isn't a real justification
Or as long as they aren't listening, nothing you say will hurt their feelings
I'm sure your words won't ever make it back to send them reeling
The devil feeds us words and we accept them plain and simple
We're comforted by the idea that our words aren't actually hurting people
“What they don't know can't hurt them” is the biggest fib I've heard in a while now
And hearing that just makes me wonder what they talk about when I'm not around

We have this image of God that’s ok with sin we commit
He's kinda like you and me, accept his bigger and complete
He doesn't really care about exactly what we say
God’s supposed to be loving, not controlling in that way
He's got a sense of humor, I bet He'd laugh, my jokes are funny
I mean they're at the expense of others, but man they're clever and they're cunning
As long as we live pretty good, and keep most of the commandments
As long as we go to church we know this God will bless and save us

That's not the God I know in any way shape or form
That's not the God who has the power to calm the storm
The God I know has a plan for every one of your decisions
If you're about to make a choice, God has more than just an opinion
Even the words that we speak is something the bible addresses repeatedly
We've gotta stand up to the pressure and stop speaking so defeatedly
The term "what would Jesus do" has become cliché, I know it's true
But do you honestly believe that He would say half the things that we do?

There's a verse that's just sorta been callin me out
It says don't let unwholesome talk come out of your mouth
I know you've heard that before but have you read the next line?
There’s a little bit more depth to Ephesians 4:29
"Don't let unwholesome talk come out of your mouth
But only what is helpful for building others up
According to their needs that it may benefit those who listen"
Is that how we treat each other, I think there's something that we're missin’

What's that mean to build others up, does it mean laughing when they're down?
Does it mean making jokes about them as they hit the ground?
It's our slightly sadistic behavior, We feel better when they don't
Why not helping them back up, it's a better antidote
Give a hand to those who need it, when they've fumbled let it go
Just drop it, it's a mistake, it doesn't help to stow
Don't let the culture get to you, it's not biblical or right
To hurt someone for any reason, weather words or in a fight

Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble
Whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable
If anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things
Speak your words out lovingly, as godly, holy beings
Instead of sneaking insults in with every deadly blow
Your words are much more powerful than you could ever know
So grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
To Him be the glory both now and forever, amen
Track Name: To Be Young
When I was young I'd stand on my head and watch as the ceiling became the floor
And I stepped over the rim of the wall that stood just a little above the door
I'd spend my time just wandering the lands that were inside my brain
I would hike the hills of mine for miles and miles with little strain

Had I kept my thoughts inside, I could have been spared a couple laughs
Had I always held my tongue, my punishment would have been cut in half
And I gladly would have taken any label they would destine me
But that would take away the fun, it’s kinda like a mystery

Oh, Oh, to be young
Oh, Oh, to be young

The Lord was patient with the young, for He could see their heart’s desire
They followed him without reserve, for they were filled with holy fire
To have a faith that’s childlike is something that is hard to find
It’s something that’s essential but as we grow up is left behind

When I was young my mind was pure and clean it was distraction-less
And I could only praise the savior as I laid my head to rest
My villains grew in strength and size as I had grown beyond my youth
I've been told the more you know the more you don't, and that's the truth

Oh, Oh, to be young
Oh, Oh, to be young

Linger, a little longer, Linger, a little longer, Tell me now how do you feel about it
Sing a little louder, Sing a little louder, Every time you sing unto The Lord
Grow a little taller, grow a little taller, the inches add, and soon you’ll be a man
Walk a little farther, walk a little farther, you well know, that you are far from home

To be young!

Oh, Oh, to be young
Oh, Oh, to be young
Track Name: When The People Return [REMIX]
My eyes are breaking guard and the pieces keep on falling
I see a man I dare draw near my eyes were surely playing
I wait for you as you seek me how could you leave me behind
As I can clearly see It'll pass another chime
'for the yellow pave nothing gets to make a sound
Not even my words to self no matter how I scream aloud

I'm losing track of time I think it's been a month or two
It's plain that I am losing size it's been a week since I've had food
It's getting harder now to breath this inconsistency
It makes makes want to leave something I've done repeatedly
All that I have left is my dissipating hope
Now dwindles from a string of what used to be a rope

Run trembling fingers through my hair is that all this is left
Would have said there was more before the fire rift
Zero maze orange haze no looks from the ground
It's not a question that I like to raise
An inquisitive glance would be more than enough
To bring a touch of faith of my only friend

This corner of the hole is the only shade in sight
There are no people here I know this isn't right
I find a pool of green A shimmering little sea
My reflection in the glass there's no way that is me
What will be the words they put upon my grave
The last things that I say or where I rest I will stay

When the people return

Now I see the son
His hand outstretched to me
He takes me by his side
And welcomes me in
Track Name: Brutal Repetitions
Oh god I cry out to you as I say
Yahweh, I scream out your name
I desperately plead to you when I pray
That I could change the brutal repetitions of the day

Every morning I wake up and I swear
That I won't fall and that I can bear
The weight but that's not how it goes
I've denied you 3 times when the rooster crowed
Pass about half way through the day
And things aren't going quite my way
So I start to shove aside my sin
Saying "that's not where I'm going that's where I been"

I convince myself that' I'm ok
That It's really not that bad any way
I live in constant self-deception
I live in consistent deprivation
every dawn I start out fresh and new
And every night I return naked and abused
And no matter what I say to you
I can't seem to change these things I do

Oh son I see what you're trying to do
Let me shed a little light, a little truth
That fight comes from inside of you
That fight Satan’s demons have been starting to use

Let me tell you the story of a man
Who couldn't take the weight, he couldn't stand
Every day he lost his personal bet
To the tempting taunts of his next cigarette
He would debate whether or not he would walk
To that gas station around the block
He'd open the door and he would say
I'll turn back before I make it all the way

But before he stepped out of his room
He'd given in to his sinful gloom
"I'll take a pack" are the words that he spoke
And a single pack that man did smoke
You see he'd lost the battle in his mind
It was done long before walked outside
Don't even toy with the idea of giving in
If you do that, you'll never win

Oh father I know your word is true
I could recite your law right back to you
But my acts have turned to habits while en route
And then this life of chaos did ensue

I repent of my sin daily
And I been drive myself crazy
And though I try to escape
I fall deeper into this state
I try to forget and move on
I try to say that it's really not all that wrong
As I descend lower into this
I trick myself that ignorance is bliss

My once in a while off to the side little problem
Has made me into a child of Sodom
I try to fix my eyes on you
But my eyes are broken and confused
Father, my choices are starting to be
Another habit or tendency
Something I did as a weekly suffix
Has become my hourly practice

Keep me on the forefront of your mind
Tattoo it in your heart that you are mine
For you are week but I am strong
Live in me and I will keep you from all wrong
Every morning when you wake up say a prayer
And remind yourself that I'm always there
And before you've talked to anyone else
Make sure you've talked to me all by yourself

When you're about to give up hope
Take a step back from that slippery slope
Of letting your heart get away from you
And tell Satan this is the day he'll rue
Every night before you lay down your head
Just remember all that I have said
And give thanks to the one who created you
Then go to sleep, the day is through
Track Name: Glory, Laud and Honor
When God created you He saw every decision you've made
And will make, and are making, He heard every little thing you would say
He made you knowing all the things you would do
So that his power would be even more apparent through you
Divinely, He decidedly defined you
He dedicatedly determined and designed you
And discerned your destiny and desire to be by you
He deeply loves you deliberately and not because of what you do

But because of the overwhelming grace that He distributes to us
We don't deserve anything but eternal judgment more furious
Than anything we can imagine, so to The Lord we should laud
For we were made with the purpose to express glory to God
But we so wrongly think that because He loves us so dearly
That He needs us, and of this we should be leery
God doesn't need us He's the creator, and we’re the created
God's the only one who deserves honor that's something He clearly stated

What is God without us, He is God still the same
What is God without us, He's still worthy of all fame
But what are we without God, we’re nothing, we don't exist
So about this next point there's something that I must insist
Contrary to what most believe, we can't give God any glory
He alone has greatness, whether we accept it is the story
God is wholly deserving of all loving praise and worship
And deserves us totally accepting our surrender to his holy lordship

When He comes back He'll be coming with a sword
When He comes back He'll proclaim that He is lord
Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess
That Jesus is the King and that all of us are less
Sing hallelujah, sing praises to his name
He's the only one who has the power to heal the lame
He's the only being who can give you salvation
Father, son, and Holy Spirit, He's God three in one

Glory laud an honor
To the redeemer king
To whom the lips of children
Made sweet hosannas ring

Thou art the king of Israel, thou David's royal son
Who in The Lord's name comest, the king and blessed one
The company of angels, are praising thee on high
And mortal men an all things, created make reply
The people of the Hebrews, with palms before thee went
Our prayer and praise and anthems, before thee we present
To thee before thy passion, they sang their hymns of praise
To thee now high exalted, our melody we raise

Thou didst accept their praises
Accept the prayers we bring
Who in all good delightest
Thou good and gracious King
Track Name: My Trophies I Lay Down
As people try to tell us how to live our lives
Tell us how to make more money, how a family thrives
Nothing is sacred, nothing is clean
The innocence of a child's been murdered by TV
Are we the people that we want us to be
Or just a mass-produced product of partying and livin' free
Instantaneous, abundant and meaningless wealth
Is this what we were born for, is this for our health

There's really so much more than just the fleeting weekend bashes
And waking up next morning with cranial rashes
The consumerism in America’s like a goiter on our nation
Protruding from our neckline but invites no buyer hesitation
Some sliding cards in restaurants and every single store
While there's dozens of Oliver Twists out there saying “hey, can I have some more”
The expensive ties we wear are what tie us down like ropes
And keep us from a relationship that we could have with the God of hope

So I'll cherish that old rugged cross
Till my trophies at last I lay down
Oh I'll cling to that old rugged cross
And exchange it someday for a crown

A thousand dollars spent, a thousand dollars worse
Looks like I'm gonna have to spend another thousand hours at work
The American dream it fills me with distress
It's a superficial plan, that won't ever give you happiness
Striving for money disguised as striving for greatness
As people in our church, it seems we're striving for fakeness
If we really lived up to all the ideals we confess
Imagine how the world would see us

It's increasingly apparent things aren't what they seem
A false sense of power a false sense of need
Our apartments are filled with application-less apparatuses
We’re proving to the public we accept our given statuses
Spending our lives making goals for prospects
Falling flat leading vocational paths with roadwork externalities
The reality of this the loss of friends I can't bear
But worse than that is leaving them to this materialistic world's care

So I'll cherish that old rugged cross
Till my trophies at last I lay down
Oh I'll cling to that old rugged cross
And exchange it someday for a crown

What's wrong with this world, what's wrong with all us people
Acting like cowards as we hide beneath our steeple
How can they call on the name of the one they have yet to believe in?
And how can they believe on the name of the one they have not heard?
Oh yeah, how can someone hear unless there's someone there to preach it?
And how can anyone preach unless they’ve first been sent?
We've heard it time and time and time and time and time again
Yet we haven't figured it out ‘cause it's not stayin in our heads

Jesus said, that's a commandment not a suggestion
That we were to go and make disciples of every tongue and nation
How bout starting with ours? How bout going to your neighbors?
How bout sayin "no one's life is perfect, but Jesus, gave His up for yours"
But the problem isn't necessarily the unbelievers
It's the apathetic, lukewarm, half and half life, maybe believers
What people call "radical faith" is what Christ expects from all of us
And what you say you could never do might be what The Lord is calling you to do

So I'll cherish that old rugged cross
Till my trophies at last I lay down
Oh I'll cling to that old rugged cross
And exchange it someday for a crown

Rise up America, we were a country built on God
But if things keep going how they're going, we'll be six feet under sod
Come on church, quit being acceptant of evil
Come on people start loving other people
If we had half as much faith as we said that we did
The church wouldn't be judging for ourselves exactly who should go to heaven
For whoever exalts themselves will be humbled
And those who humble themselves with be exalted
let's put away our shackles and love how God intended