“Going through a storm doesn’t mean that we’re just waiting for it to go away, but as followers of Jesus, it is looking for Jesus in the storm. And saying, ‘I think I see Jesus [on the water], and if that’s Jesus, I would rather be with Him, out there in this mess, than in this boat relying on my own ingenuity and resources.’ Even though we might be afraid and fearful, He is inviting us into a deeper experience of trust in Him.” – my sermon, “This is My Story: In the Storm”

For most of my songs, I can recall the moments when I wrote, scribbled, labored, or arm wrestled the lyrics and melodies into songs. The really ‘potent’ ones for me are the ones that are like scars of faith – the earworms that are like healed tissue, leaving marks of the times and places where I experienced the presence of God. This would be one of those. My song, What Do You Say? has always been one of my favorite songs writing-wise, as well as to perform (the falsetto always reminding me to focus my breathing). Lately, I had the opportunity to ‘preach’ this story and song on a Sunday morning – something I haven’t really done before. The week before I preached it, I heard this John Wimber quote at a conference, which resonated with this message:

“The economy of the kingdom of God is quite simple. Every new step in the kingdom costs us everything we have gained to date. Every new step may cost us all the reputation and security we have accumulated to that point. The disciple is always ready to take the next step. If there is anything that characterizes Christian maturity, it is the willingness to become a beginner again for Jesus Christ. It is the willingness to put our hand in His and say, ‘I’m scared half to death, but I’ll go with you, Lord. I’ll risk everything to go with you. You are the pearl of great price.'” – John Wimber, “Utter Obedience”

Here is the audio of the telling, and singing, of my story:


What Do You Say?
by Joel Bidderman

Verse 1:
Whisper to me, but don’t hurt my ear
Touch me, but don’t kill the body that holds me here
I want to see Your face but want to live to tell about it
Maybe today or in a thousand years

I’ll walk with You, though the water’s freezing cold
I’ll talk with You, though the words of my mouth are old

What do You say, we take a stroll on the sea tonight?
What do You say, You let me lay down my best bet tonight?
What do You say, You take me to the end of me tonight?
And show me how to walk on the waves without falling tonight

Verse 2:
Throw me a line and catch me a heart
Deal out a good hand, or the same one that brought me here tonight
Whistle a tune so that I know where I am
Part a sea so that I know You’re next to me

I will whisper to You since You can hear my heart
I’ll dance with You since You’ll let me know my part


Hold my head so I don’t look down
Hold my heart so that it won’t doubt
Hold me close so I can always hold You


©2003 Joel A. Bidderman


May the Lord bless you, and protect you
May the Lord smile on you, and be gracious to you
May He show you His favor, and grant you His peace in the storm
That you may have eyes to see where He is in the wind and waves
Ears to hear His voice say, “Come”
And the faith to say “I’m scared half to death, but I’ll go with You, Lord.”
In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

*You can hear and purchase What Do You Say? wherever music is sold (iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, etc.)