BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#169 - "Come As You Are" by Pocket Full of Rocks
NRT's Kevin Davis talks with frontman Michael Farren about God's kindness and forgiveness, the inspiration for his band's latest single.

By kevindavis

BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS, #169 -
Michael Farren: "God isn’t surprised by anything we did. If you think about it, we are often disappointed because we are surprised by something. That’s impossible for God. Nothing you did yesterday, today or do next week is going to surprise God. God saw everything and made a way for us."
Pocket Full of Rocks released their long awaited new project, More Than Noise, on March 2, 2010. Featuring the current single “Come As You Are,” More Than Noise was produced by Dove Award-winning producer Ed Cash.

The album also includes a recording of “Let It Rain,” a worship standard in the contemporary church, written by frontman Michael Farren and made popular by Michael W. Smith

“A lot of what I’ve been sharing out on the road deals with losing your religion and finding relationship with an amazing God,” says Michael Farren, the band’s lead singer/songwriter. Farren set out to write and co-write songs in light of this conviction. Interestingly, this would prove to be a first, since the band previously had been known for spontaneously composing the bulk of their songs while leading worship with an audience.

“Come As You Are” is a touching invitation that reminds us it’s not about how good we are, but how good He is. A self-professed "ballad guy," Farren co-wrote the song with powerhouse writers Chad Cates and Tony Wood. With a melodic piano and vocal introduction that builds to a chorus soaring with harmonies provided by Alisa Farren (Michael’s wife and fellow bandmate), this is sure to take its rightful place among the altar call standards.

I got the chance to interview Michael Farren about “Come As You Are.” Here are the answers to the questions I asked Michael.

Please tell me the personal story behind writing this song.

I co-wrote the song with Tony Wood and Chad Cates. I am a self-proclaimed ballad guy. Similar to “Alive” and our previous “behind the song” discussion, this song is very redemptive. This song comes from a vulnerable place. I tell the story of my redemption in “Alive” but this song gives the back story of how messed up I was when I was 17 years old. My dad, who is an amazing pastor, sat me down when I was 17 and told me I had to leave his home. He kicked me out of the house because I was so messed up and so rebellious. When the Lord spoke loudly to my heart, I felt that He couldn’t possibly love me for who I was. I don’t see myself the way God sees me. “Come As You Are” is my story of learning to trust that God is a God of forgiveness and grace. It took that revelation of accepting God as my Savior and it has continued in my last 25 years of walking with the Lord. Trusting that God is who He says, we can have relationship with Him, He does forgive and He does restore us. This song is personal for me, but it seems to be connecting with a lot of people when they hear it.

Please tell me about any Bible verses that you used to write the song.

Romans 8:14-15: "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, 'Abba, Father.'

What do you consider to be the take-away message for listeners?

This song has been a lightning rod, where some people have had knee-jerk reactions to the opening lyrics “He’s not mad at you.” Someone thought it was horrible that I would use those words in a song. It breaks my heart, because it’s what religion does to people sometimes. It heaps on our head that our redemption is somehow our burden. It’s not. I tell people all the time that “He’s not mad at you” because God’s anger towards sin was satisfied 2,000 years ago on a cross. “He’s not disappointed” because God isn’t surprised by anything we did. If you think about it, we are often disappointed because we are surprised by something. That’s impossible for God. Nothing you did yesterday, today or do next week is going to surprise God. God saw everything and made a way for us. There are consequences for our sin, but God’s heart for us to full restoration. It’s hard for those of us raised in religious homes that we think somehow we can earn our redemption. His kindness should lead us to full repentance. I’m grateful that people are responding to the message of this song; it’s simply a Gospel message.

Here are the lyrics:

He’s not mad at you
He’s not disappointed
His grace is greater still,
than all of your wrong choices
He is full of mercy and he is ever kind
Hear his invitation, His arms are open wide

You can come as you are,
with all your broken pieces
And all your shameful scars
The pain you hold in your heart,
bring it all to Jesus
You can come as you are

Louder than the voice that whispers you’re unworthy
Hear the sound of love,
that tells a different story
Shattering your darkness and pushing through the lies
How tenderly he calls you,
His arms are open wide

You can come as you are,
with all your broken pieces
And all your shameful scars
The pain you hold in your heart,
bring it all to Jesus
You can come as you are

You can come as you are

You can come as you are with all your broken pieces
And all your shameful scars
The pain you hold in your heart,
bring it all to Jesus
You can come as you are


I immediately connected with the message of this song, right from the opening lyrics “He’s not mad at you, He’s not disappointed.” We all have “daddy” issues in some way; our earthly fathers are all fallen and we all make mistakes.

At times, we have issues with accepting how God sees us because of how we see ourselves. I studied the book Wild At Heart by John Eldridge with a couple of guys, and we all needed to uncover our wounds from our childhoods.

In many cases, our wounds come from our fallen natures and sinful tendencies that scar our hearts. God wants you to know that you can “come as you are... He’s not mad at you, He’s not disappointed.”

As a daddy with 3 young daughters, I especially take the message of this song to heart and want my girls to know that although I will let them down sometimes, we can “bring it all to Jesus” and He’ll accept us no matter what we’ve done or how we view ourselves. We all have lies that we believe about ourselves. Also, we have an enemy in Satan who doesn’t like us very much. He does have a voice and he does speak to us. Wherever that voice comes from, the voice of God’s Love speaks louder and we can see ourselves the way God sees us. What a wonderful message of redemption.

You can listen to the song here.
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Posted November 30, 2010 | Kevin Davis is a long time fan of Christian music, an avid music collector and credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ. Kevin also writes reviews for ChristianMusicReview.org. He currently lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three daughters.

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