Heavenly Kingdom
Mark J. Young

  Sometime in that formative period, when the unnamed praise band was morphing into 7dB, Mark was bothered by an odd point.  He was a bible teacher, but none of his songs were particularly geared at teaching.  It was simple enough to explain--there are not that many lessons that lend themselves to being conveyed in a single song.  He remembered, though, that he had long been bothered by Jesus' words to the effect that it would be better to cut off your hand and go to heaven, if it caused you to sin, than to go to hell with the hand attached--until he realized that his body parts never caused him to sin.  It was that person inside that caused him to sin, and this was what Jesus meant, not that we should maim ourselves, but that if heaven was worth cutting off body parts to get there, it was worth dying to yourself, allowing your inner person to be crucified.

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  It seemed to him a very positive message.  He created the song with an upbeat sound because it was so encouraging to him to understand that it wasn't ever about external amputations, but about the core message of the faith, about dying to self and living to Christ.  When Janet heard it, she was not certain she liked the happy sound--shouldn't a song about being crucified, dying to yourself, be something less happy?  Yet it managed to make its point, to teach something, and it was the first song he'd written in several years, so he was very happy with it.

  Tyler also liked it, partly because he liked songs which had full stops in them, and this one did.  It also had a drum break, envisioned as part of the song from the beginning.  The song has stayed with the band since, but it wasn't until late in 2013 that it was ever performed without drums, once at Living Waters Coffeehouse with Sara, again at a retreat with Jonathan, on both occasions stopping cold and counting out the drum break, coming back in over the applause of the audience.

  In the early days, Mark and Kyle both played guitar, and played solos back and forth against each other, along with a couple of dual-guitar runs.  At some point Mark decided to have Adam take solos on the bass, and although that never worked out, it led to Kyle and Mark doing them with guitar and bass later.

  Mark, wanting to spread the lead vocals away from himself as much as possible, decided that Jonathan should sing it, and Jonathan did so on the Collision Of Worlds EP.  It was a good range for him, and the harmony written for it was above the melody.  A third part was added for Sara when she joined the band, although it had only ever been two parts prior to that.  It was also the first time Jonathan would play "improvised" riffs as solos, although they worked together on coming up with a fixed riff he could play for it.

  It was the final song on the EP, because it carried the sense of the story to the new world mentioned in Passing Through the Portal, and so concluded it all with a denoument.

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