Lynn DeShazo laughs when asked to reflect back on the last 30 years. The reason? “It just shocks me when I think about how much time has gone by,” she says. “I just think, ‘What has happened?’” That question is easily answered since the songwriter has penned some of the most beloved worship tracks of the last three decades. More Precious Than Silver is her latest work, a compendium of stories behind the songs of Lynn DeShazo that includes not only the title track but others like “Ancient Words” and “Be Unto Your Name.” So while she might be shocked, she also realizes the project makes sense. “In one sense, the book was the natural outflow of all that I’ve been doing for the last 30 years,” explains DeShazo. “I’ve been a songwriter specifically writing songs mostly for congregational worship. Amazingly, it’s just been my privilege to write a handful of songs that have been meaningful to a wide cross-section of the body of Christ.” DeShazo notes that people have longed for the deeper stories behind the songs, since it’s difficult to be personal when writing songs intended for congregational worship. For years, she’d tell the stories when given the chance, but never before has a project like this drawn them all together. “I’ve gotten correspondence for years from people who are interested in the stories behind songs that have meaning for them,” she says. “So I’ve told stories and answered e-mails and put articles with these stories on my website at one time, and I think God finally put it on my heart to tell a handful of these stories in a book. In the telling of these stories, it’s also telling my story. So the book is also autobiographical.” It’s that last aspect that’s the most difficult portion of More Precious Than Silver for DeShazo. In the book, she speaks about her own insecurities, parental struggles and much more, opening up her own life to resonate more deeply with her audience. “It’s challenging to be that out front with some very personal things,” says DeShazo. “It feels better once you get through the process of writing the book and thinking about the process of whether or not I want people to know these things. But you realize that it’s not a unique story. It’s unique to me, but everyone has had painful moments along the way. I think knowing the song and the story doubles the meaning and adds to the significance of the song. “I think people want to know that worship writers aren’t sitting on a cloud in heaven somewhere in some kind of 24/7 intimate communion with God and immune from the difficulties of daily living,” she continues. “Most of what we experience in life is just full of trials. There are great moments and wonderful times of worship in the process, but so often our daily life is a rough road. People want to know they’re not the only ones out there facing something hard.” — Matt Conner For more information on More Precious Than Silver, check out www.lynndeshazo.com or www.winepressbooks.com. 54 CCM