Jubilee

All creation’s groaning
All is yearning for the day
When Yah will come and conquer
When all sin is cast away

This fallen earth is longing
For the day when all’s made right
When righteousness and justice
Will break forth as morning light

My heart is also yearning
For the things that soon shall be
When Yah reveals His glory
In the year of Jubilee

All creation’s calling
All of heaven’s host proclaim
The greatness of our Savior
And they praise His mighty Name

Lo! The day is coming
Fierce and burning as a flame
When He returns, and shakes the earth
And nothing stays the same

Who could stand before Him?
I will fall on bended knee
Before the King of Glory
In the year of Jubilee

See the towns of Judah
How in solitude they wait
To see the King of Glory
Marching through the Eastern Gate

When my King’s returning
I know I will go there too
We’ll run to Zion’s mountain
And He’ll teach us what is true

Finally I’ll live there
In the land He’s promised me
At last I’ll have my portion
In the year of Jubilee

See the wars and fighting
All this means He’s coming back
And in His peaceful kingdom
No more nations will attack

In that day, the poor ones
All those humble and oppressed
Shall be raised up and rescued
For the King shall give them rest

In my home, near Zion
I will live, so full of glee
All men will live in freedom
In the year of Jubilee

Israel’s old cities
All are longing for the day
When they’ll be full of people
And their streets with children’s play

See the Land awaiting
When the captives will return
The day when all will know Him
And His Torah all shall learn

His great fame and glory
Shall spread forth like boundless sea
And all shall see salvation
In the year of Jubilee

Though the world is reeling
And the wicked seem to rise
With confidence, we’re waiting
Till He comes upon the skies

In the harshest trials
We will trust that they won’t last
One day, we’ll stand victorious
When the rule of sin is past

Though the world can’t see it
We believe what we don’t see
Our King will reign victorious
In the year of Jubilee

With the hosts of angels
We Your people plead and cry
“How long till You’ll show mercy?
Oh, how long till death will die?”

When will goodness triumph?
Please take heed how we’re oppressed
Have mercy, Lord, on Zion
And arise, Yah, to your rest

Come, our Lord Yeshua!
How we yearn and hope for Thee
Come take Your throne in Zion
In the year of Jubilee

Let Us Exalt His Name Together

Based on 2 Samuel 6:14-19 and 1 Chronicles 15,16

This short story uses some Hebrew phrasing: “Tziyon” for Zion, “Yerushalayim” for Jerusalem, “Yaakov” for Jacob, “Elohim” for God, and “Yehovah” for God’s holy Name.

**********

“Giliyah!”

“Yes?” Giliyah answered, squinting up at the eager face of her little brother Mikael, her hands in a bucket of brown water. A stained linen cloth covered her dark-brown, knotted hair, protecting her head and neck from the unrelenting summer sun. Mikael, now standing in front of her, looked as ragged as she did. As Giliyah stretched her arms, aching from scrubbing the few clothes they owned, Mikael eagerly blurted his news.

“Father just came from the neighbor’s house and said that King David is bringing the ark to Yerushalayim!”

“Really?” Giliyah squealed, hopping up like a startled rabbit.

“Yes!”

She bolted over the dusty ground toward her house with Mikael running behind her. She looked down as she ran, leaping fleetly over stones, sticks, and tufts of grass. She did not notice her cousin and closest friend Chavilah who was walking toward her. The two girls barely avoided a collision.

“What are you doing, Gili?” she asked, looking at Giliyah with surprise. “You almost toppled me!”

“Did you hear?” Giliyah said exuberantly. “The ark is going to Yerushalayim!”

“Yes, I was going to tell you,” Chavilah said happily.

“I am going to ask my parents if we are going,” Giliyah said quickly, then hurried the rest of the way to the house with Mikael behind her.

Soon Giliyah burst through the door of their little stone house. She turned to Mother, who was sitting on the ground with baby Shalvah in her arms, and asked, “Is the ark really going to Yerushalayim?”

Mother’s soft brown eyes looked up at her as she confirmed, “Yes, Giliyah, it is true. Tomorrow the ark will go up to Yerushalayim.” Giliyah, trying to contain her joy, kept going up and down on her toes.

“You must be very excited, Giliyah,” Father said, grinning, as he ducked through the doorway, Giliyah’s older brother Yoel following him. “I am also. The ark of Yehovah is going up to the royal city, and we shall go too.”

“We will all go?” Giliyah’s sister Talyah asked, standing meekly in the dimmest corner of the small home.

“Even the little ones?” Mother added.

“Certainly,” Father said. “Matanyah and his family are going, and my parents. No one should miss this special occasion.”

The children cheered, delighted at the thought of going to Yerushalayim. For the rest of that day, it was all they could talk or think about as they finished their daily chores.

Everyone knew that King David had tried before to bring the ark to Yerushalayim, but had been unable. They had not handled the ark according to the rules in the Torah, so one man, Uzzah, had died because he touched it. For three months the ark had been kept in a home not very far from where Giliyah lived.

At dawn the next morning Father led the excited family out the door. They met up with Grandfather, Grandmother, Uncle Matanyah, Aunt Sarah, and Giliyah’s five cousins. They all farmed and lived on the same plot of land. Giliyah grabbed her little sister Rivkah’s hand while looking over at Chavilah, who similarly grabbed her little sister Miryam’s hand. Giliyah gave her an expectant smile. The group gladly marched up the hill in front of their land.

“Where exactly are we going?” Yoel asked.

“To Obed-Edom’s house, on the other side of the hill, where the ark has been kept,” Father answered, as they hiked briskly up the steep, dusty hillside. The sun was beating on their backs, but no one minded. They had known that heat all their lives. The clay ground along the path was pitifully dry and full of cracks.

“How much longer?” Miryam panted when they reached the summit. Her cheeks were red and flushed, and her hair was falling in her face.

“Look down,” Father replied. They all looked down at the valley below them.

“Look at all the people,” whispered Talyah. Her pretty, dark eyes widened. Down in the valley, crowds of people were moving toward one point–Obed-Edom’s house at the foot of the mountain. Giliyah’s family paused to eat some bread, then began hiking again, keeping their eyes on the valley below them.

“Wait.” Giliyah suddenly stopped and pointed. “Is that the ark?”

“Yes,” said Grandfather. “It is the ark!” They could see the ark’s blue covering as the priests carried it away properly from Obed-Edom’s house. Other priests, dressed in clean linen, surrounded the ark to make sure everyone kept their proper distance.

Feeling the urgency and excitement, the family started rushing down the clay-and-rock mountainside, dodging small shrubs, thorns, and acacia trees along the way. The closer they got, the louder the noises were. Almost there! Giliyah thought gladly. Rivkah, still holding her hand, tripped multiple times in the rush, but Giliyah helped her up and they kept running.

When the family reached the foot of the mountain, they were more rock-scraped and dust-stained than they had been at the summit, but nonetheless thrilled to have arrived at their destination. Giliyah smiled upon hearing the loud music. “The Levite musicians!” she said gladly. “I had forgotten about them.” Her heart leapt as the crowds began to swarm around her. She felt Rivkah’s hand tighten around hers. Neither of them had ever seen so many people in one place. Poor people, rich people, farmers like them, tiny children, older men and women, and well-dressed officials were in the crowd. The family slowly made their way through the people, listening happily to the harps, lyres, horns, and cymbals that played loudly. Talyah had brought her own little wooden flute and began to play along. Excitement seized Giliyah as the surging crowd grew larger. She was so glad that she had seen the ark on the hill, because the crowd was too thick for her to see the ark now. She looked down at Rivkah and smiled at her wonder-filled eyes. “Everyone is here!” Rivkah said in an awestruck voice. “It must be everyone in all Israel!”

“This is amazing!” called Mikael, his eyes as wide as Rivkah’s. Everyone started singing a song that Giliyah did not know, but still she tried to hum along. Smoke rose not too far away. “Are they sacrificing?” Ahavah, one of her younger cousins, asked.

“Yes,” Grandfather answered. Giliyah could barely hear him in the din. She stared in wonder at the majestic scene around her.

“Give thanks to Yehovah, for He is good! For His mercy is forever!” the crowd called. Giliyah proudly echoed the glorious words, for she knew them by heart. A surge of singing and dancing followed as the crowd followed the ark. Giliyah, Rivkah, Ahavah, Miryam, and Chavilah joined a group of ladies who began dancing right in front of them. Father, Uncle Mattanyah, and the boys joined a nearby group of dancing men. Everyone sang and laughed in the midst of the great celebration. They jumped, kicked, and twirled so much that at times Giliyah felt dizzy or tired. But at the clang of the cymbals and the loud cheering, her vigor and joy was renewed. It was such a marvelous spectacle; Giliyah sometimes felt like she was in a dream. She was glad when the crowd started singing a psalm that she knew by heart–a psalm that King David had written. She sang along with all her might.

I will bless Yehovah at all times
His praise shall always be in my mouth
My soul shall make its boast in Yehovah
The humble shall hear and be glad
Make Yehovah great with me
And let us exalt His Name together

The words flowed forth in beautiful harmony. They were all praising Yehovah together, just like the psalm said. Horns sounded majestically above the music. Giliyah soaked in all the sights and sounds; she had never experienced anything this lovely. When she spun she would see Talyah and other musicians playing along to the music. The crowd began to cheerfully shout out another psalm.

Come, let us sing to Yehovah
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of Our salvation.
Let us come before His face with thanksgiving
Let us shout joyfully to Him in songs
For Yehovah is a great El
And a great King above all the mighty ones

The words of the psalm came alive to Giliyah. They were entering His presence with thanksgiving, singing, and praise. Tears filled her eyes as the psalm continued.

For He is our Elohim, and we are the people of His pasture and the flock of His hand

How amazing, Giliyah thought. We are His people, and His flock!

As they ascended Mount Tziyon, the singing grew even louder and more people joined the procession. Giliyah could feel Yehovah’s precious presence as she danced in the midst of the crowd, which by now stretched further than Giliyah could see on every side.

The rejoicing crowd went up to the tall stone walls of Yerushalayim. As they  squeezed through the eastern gate into the city, they began another joyous melody.

Sing to Yehovah a new song
For He has done wonders
His right hand and His holy arm saved for Him
Yehovah has made known His salvation
To the eyes of the nations He has revealed His righteousness

They danced through the streets, past the stone citadels, and to the tent King David had pitched for the ark. They continued singing and dancing in the large open area in front of the tent. The singing grew louder than ever as the priests offered sacrifices at the altar nearby.

Our soul waits for Yehovah
Our help and our shield is He
For in Him our heart will rejoice
For in His holy Name we trusted
Let your compassion, Yehovah, be upon us
As we will wait for You

Then suddenly everything got quiet as a man wearing a simple linen garment mounted some steps. “It is the king,” Giliyah heard a man behind her say. Raising his hands to the heavens, King David said a blessing over the people in the Name of Yehovah. Giliyah bowed her head in prayer. Yes, we are truly blessed, she thought. Blessed to be here, blessed to be the people of Yehovah.

Soon the crowd burst into jubilant chorus once more.

Let the ocean exult and all that fills it
The earth and those who dwell in it
Rivers will clap their hands
Together the hills will shout for joy before Yehovah
For He is coming to judge the land

As Giliyah was clapping her hands and singing, she noticed a well-dressed young man with a basket beside her. “Here, take some food,” he said, handing her some dates, raisins, and a little loaf of bread. “Gifts from the king.”

“Thank you very much,” she said, rather surprised. He proceeded to give others some food as well. Giliyah suddenly realized how hungry she was. She ate her raisins happily, looking around and wondering what would happen next.

Then Giliyah heard a song that she had not heard before. It was coming from some musicians that she supposed were Asaph and his brothers. They were playing near the tent.

Give thanks to Yehovah
Call on His name
Make known among the peoples His deeds
Sing to Him, sing praise to Him
Talk of all His wonders
Boast in His holy name
And the hearts of those who seek Yehovah will rejoice
Seek Yehovah and His strength
Seek His face always
Remember His wonders which He has done
His signs and the judgments of His mouth
Seed of Israel, His servant
Children of Yaakov, His chosen ones

They continued to sing about Yehovah’s eternal covenant to their forefathers and how He had always protected His people. Once again, the words of the song seemed to come alive to Giliyah. The song continued, telling of Yehovah’s goodness and splendor.

Sing to Yehovah a new song
Sing to Yehovah all the earth
Sing to Yehovah, bless His name
Proclaim His salvation from day to day
Declare His glory among the nations
His wonders among all the peoples
For Yehovah is great, and greatly to be praise
He is to be feared above all the elohim

It was a triumphant song of praise, and Giliyah could feel the greatness of Yehovah as they sang the beautiful ending.

And say, “Save us, Elohim of our salvation
And gather us and deliver us from the nations
To give thanks to Your holy name
And to boast in your praise”
Blessed be Yehovah
The Elohim of Israel
From the eternity and until the eternity!

Then the song was over and everyone shouted, “Amen!” They continued praising Yehovah and singing many psalms there in front of the tent and the altar. The Levite musicians, and also Talyah, played along to the singing with beautiful music. Their music rose up to Yehovah with the smoke of the sacrifices as the whole crowd worshipped Yehovah with one heart.

“This is the best!” Rivkah said, running to Giliyah and looking up at her with shiny eyes. The bread crumbs on Rivkah’s face told that she had gotten food too. Yehovah must love the simple heart of a child, Giliyah thought, finishing her last bite of bread and smiling at her sister. The two sisters then joined a nearby group of dancers, laughing, singing, and trying not to trip over other children.

When it seemed like the beautiful music would never end, Father’s hand tapped Giliyah’s shoulder. “It is time for us to go,” he said. “It is getting late.” All of the family gathered together and followed Father out of the crowd. Giliyah noticed that other families were also leaving in various directions. As the family left the gates of Tsiyon, Talyah played one last psalm on her flute and they quietly sang the words.

Those who trust in Yehovah are like Mount Tziyon
It will not be shaken, it will remain to eternity

Pondering the glorious day, no one talked much on the way home. Her littlest brother, Yosef, was sleeping on Father’s shoulder and Shalvah was sleeping in Mother’s arms. Before they descended the final slope to their land, Giliyah looked behind her to see the sun setting in brilliant pink shades.

“Oh, that was lovely,” said Chavilah quietly.

“Yes, so lovely,” Giliyah agreed, gently pulling Rivkah.

Finally home and laying on their blankets, the family discussed the exciting day. “I hardly saw you at all, Gili,” said Father. “You must have been dancing the whole time.”

“Oh, yes,” Giliyah replied.

“All that beautiful music,” Talyah said quietly as if in a dream. “I must learn how to play that new psalm on my flute.”

“Yes, it was wonderful,” Father said, sounding tired, yet pleased.

That was the best day of my life, Giliyah thought, as she closed her eyes. One by one, the family drifted off to sleep. Dawn’s break would bring another day of hard work, but this special day would stay in their hearts forever.

Your Grace

“Only goodness and mercy will pursue me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of Yehovah to the length of days.”
-Psalm 23:6

Before the day that I was born
Your grace and love prepared my way
You molded me, throughout the years
And made me who I am today

The more I grow, the more I know
The more I live, more proof I see
That through each moment of my life
Your grace has been pursuing me

At times your grace was clearly seen
At times it wasn’t seen at all
You lavished it upon my life
In ways so grand, in ways so small

You hold no record of my sins
Your grace has thrown them in the sea
Your love is past what I could know
Your grace has been pursuing me

And when my path was set in flames
When floods of fear swept over me
When darkness tried to cloud my sight
Oh, where was grace? I couldn’t see

But then, You sent deliverance
And like a cloak, peace covered me
When freed, I saw that through it all
Your grace had been pursuing me

I know that as the years go by
I surely shall know pain and strife
Your grace will still sustain my heart
No matter where I go in life

Whenever any trial comes
I cling to faith and trust in Thee
No matter what life’s path shall bring
Your grace will keep pursuing me

When through the vale of death I walk
In wars, with me Your grace shall go
Your grace pursues me faster than
The quickest, cruelest, strongest foe

My hope, my confidence is this
The Rock on which I stand is Thee
In poignant pain, in greatest grief
Your grace will keep pursuing me

And even when I fail or fall
Your grace is there to raise me up
Your joy and peace shall never cease
Your blessings overflow my cup

Your grace will guard me till the day
That in Your house, I live with Thee
Forever, to the length of days
Your grace will keep pursuing me


25 Lessons from the Violin

This October marks three years since I bought my prized violin and began lessons. What an exciting and wonderful three years this has been! I’ve been blessed with an amazing teacher, a very supportive family, and encouraging friends to help on this musical journey.

Throughout the past year, I’ve jotted down in my little lesson book various things I’ve learned along my musical journey. I believe that many of these small lessons can also be applied to everyday life. Here I shall share them with you.

1: Slow and smooth is better than fast and sloppy.
My teacher always tells me, “Faith, slow down!” I’m one of many people who have a tendancy to rush into things, and some things simply can’t be rushed. If you can’t play something properly at a slow pace, how would you ever play it properly at a fast pace?

2: Only fix a few problems at a time.
When I am disappointed by how my music sounds, I sometimes want to fix all the problems at once. But I never can, and that leaves me even more disappointed. The key here is to focus on only one or two problems at a time, so you don’t get overwhelmed.

3: Do something enjoyable before practice or during break to lighten your mood.
This is a great way to make sure practice doesn’t bog you down. My sister is wonderful for this. During breaks we’ll talk or laugh together. Having a little fun really helps you keep a positive attitude.

4: Frustration and discouragement are never helpful–especially in music.
There are times when hard work ends up making me so annoyed. And when I’m frustrated, I make even more mistakes in my music. Take a break from practice. A short, not-frustrated practice is better than a long, frustrated practice.

5: There’s no “best way” to practice
Every song is different. Music has such glorious variety. In each song you have to focus on different things. There’s no perfect style of practice or right way to practice. You have to think, before every song, what would work best for learning that particular song.

6: Don’t forget your stretches
If you are serious about music, hand and wrist stretches hold great importance. The health of your own body shouldn’t be underestimated. Sometimes my hands have hurt because I’ve forgotten my stretches, and then I can hardly play at all.

7: It’s okay to take a break.
I sometimes tell myself, “I need to finish my hour of practice!” and I ignore that my hand needs to rest. So I must remember that when my muscles are weary and by brain is tired, it is okay to rest. Yehovah created us to need rest from our labors. Once I was so mentally exhausted that I took a break from violin for an entire month. And that is okay. Breaks are healthy and necessary, whether one minute long or one month long. Chances are, problems will be so much smaller when you return.

8: Be content with being just a little better, not a lot better.
Progress often comes very slowly. Enjoy every little bit of progress instead of wishing you had a lot more. Every small improvement helps toward big improvements. Eventually you’ll look back over three years and see that you’ve improved a lot.

9: Expectations and dreams are fun and helpful, as long as you know that they might not come true.
Expectations and dreams are what make life delightful. But please don’t think that all the of your expectations and dreams will come true, or you will become very disappointed. Rejoice in those that do come to fruition, and don’t get too disappointed by the ones that don’t come true.

10: Use the teacher’s lenses.
When practicing, it is important to consider what the teacher would think. Would he/she say that I shouldn’t hurry or say that I should speed up? Such thoughts help you know what you should focus on, and help you and your teacher stay united in your goals. So imagine that you’re at lesson, and do your best. This applies to all of life–we need to have the mind of our heavenly Teacher, and focus on His priorities.

11: Don’t lose sight of where you’ve come from.
When we struggle to get better, we often think only about what needs to be accomplished, and not about what already has been accomplished. Sometimes I watch a video of my violin playing three years ago to remind me of how much I’ve improved. It is very helpful to think of such things, especially at times when I’m disappointed.

12: Schedule your practices, and stick to it!
Typically I schedule my practices in the afternoon. And if I’m disciplined, then I don’t have to have it lingering over my head for the rest of the day. And if I have an errand planned in the afternoon, I make sure I schedule morning practice time so that I can be gone all afternoon without having to worry about it. Schedule and discipline are the core for successful practice.

13: Dynamics often seem to be the least important, but they give such vitality to a song.
Dynamics are there for a reason, but often I just ignore them. I need to remember that dynamics give life to a song. Life is full of dynamics. Embrace them.

14: Don’t get overwhelmed by how hard a song is, because the next song is likely harder.
Saying, “It’s too hard” will never accomplish anything. Learning music is always hard. You must learn how to work through the difficulties, and not be overwhelmed by them. Keep practicing smartly, and later you will look back at the “hard” song and say, “That is easy now!”

12: If your music isn’t sounding right, figure out what is wrong before continuing.
Don’t just keep playing a difficult song again and again, hoping that during one of the repetitions it will sound better. Focus on what is wrong, and how to fix it, then try again. Getting better always starts with recognizing where your problems are.

13: Learning an instrument is always hard, but always worth it.
When I started violin, I had no idea how hard it would be. But even when it is difficult, it is worth it. The longer I play, the more I am certain that those who choose to practice diligently don’t regret the hard work.

14: Don’t loose sight of why you began.
So many students quit lessons after only a year or less because when difficulties come, they loose sight of why they wanted to play an instrument in the first place. They forget their goals, or decide that those goals aren’t important to them anymore. When I hit difficulties, I remember why I wanted to start violin–to play beautiful music for my King and for others. That’s why I started, and it’s why I’ll continue.

15: Ask for help.
So often during practice, I want to be independent. But often I am reminded that I can’t do things all by myself. There are difficult times when I need support from my teacher or family. There are times when I need to pray to Yehovah. And He answers. Remember, it’s okay to ask for help.

16: Determine your priorities.
If you have only one hour to practice, don’t spend 30 minutes on the easy song and 30 minutes on the hard song. Instead, do 15 minutes on the easy song and 45 minutes on the hard song. Or 20 and 40, depending on the situation. Focus on what needs your attention the most. Managing your time is of utmost importance.

17: It’s a journey.
Sometimes I loose sight of the fact that music is a never-ending process. I will always be making mistakes, always improving, always learning. The key is to enjoy the musical journey, not rush it.

18: Focus on what you can do, not on what you can’t do.
Instead of thinking, I can’t play that song well, think, I can improve my pitch in this measure or I can ask my teacher for advice on that chord. Focus on the things that you can accomplish, not on the things that you are currently unable to attain. Then, by small daily accomplishments, you will eventually reach those previously unattainable goals.

19: Unity is key.
All music can be wrapped up in one word: unity. Everything must work together, especially with the violin. The arms, fingers, bow, and mind must coordinate at the same precise moment to make rhythmic music. Likewise, when things or people work together, great things are accomplished.

20: When you’ve done your best, know that it is your best, even if you still don’t like it.
Sometimes I work for an hour on a song and still don’t like the sound of it. But I tell myself, “I practiced as well as I could.” When you do your best, that is something to be proud of, whether it sounds amazing or not. Take joy in what you did accomplish–a job well-done.

21: It is better to do one line well than the entire song poorly.
My teacher often reminds me of this during our lessons. She just wants one line done well. Then once you have that one line down well, you can work on the second line, etc.

22: Try difficult things. Stretch yourself.
If something looks difficult, it might not be as difficult as you think. Just try it, and you might be surprised. Test your limits and see how much you are able to do. By stretching yourself and experimenting, you may reach your dreams.

23: Think big!
Music is not about just getting all the notes right, it’s about making something beautiful. So add an extra decrescendo to the song, or add staccato to a section, or some slightly different fingering if it makes the song better for you. Don’t let the black and white of the paper jail you in. Think of ways to make the song yours. (There are, of course, some times when the teacher wants you to follow the exact instructions, but in everyday playing, you can have fun!)

24: Think of the prize ahead!
Sometimes practices can seem rather unrewarding, but that isn’t true. There is always some sort of reward. Either it’s a smile on the teacher’s face when you said, “I practiced every day!”, or it’s a concert, or it’s simply the satisfaction of playing better. Think of the prize ahead, and the struggles won’t seem so bad.

25 : Don’t look at music as only notes.
Often, during practice, we get lost in the minutia of A, B, C, quarter notes, half notes, etc. and lose sight of the fact that music isn’t only notes. Music has the power to touch hearts. Music can be a tool of the Holy Spirit to break chains (literally for Paul and Silas in Acts 16) and change lives. Pray that the glorious beauty that Yehovah has placed in music will shine through you and your instrument!

My Heart’s across the Ocean

Me, in 2012, in the Atlantic Ocean


My heart’s across the ocean in a land of hills and streams
The land God’s eyes are set upon, that holds my hopes and dreams
No other land could I love more, no other’s truly home
I’m longing, thinking of my land, no matter where I roam

My heart’s across the ocean in the land my fathers trod
The land that they possessed, for it was theirs by right from God
A land of heroes, brave and strong, a land of history
And in that land I’ll see what’s happened and what’s yet to be

My heart’s across the ocean where my fathers fought and died
I long to touch that ground on which they lived, on which they cried
The towns they built, the fields they grew–I want to live there too
I’m weary of this nomad life–I have a home; it’s true!

My heart’s across the ocean in a land I haven’t seen
A land of matchless beauty where the ravaged soul can sing
The land of fruitful pastures, where His peaceful waters flow
A land of mysteries so great beyond what we could know

My heart’s across the ocean in the land that’s truly best
If only I had wings! Then I’d fly home and be at rest
And sometimes, as I traipse these foreign lands, tears fog my sight
I’m yearning for my land by day, and dream of it by night

My heart’s across the ocean where my Savior lived His life
Where kingdoms rose, where kingdoms fell–a land of peace and strife
The land in which my Savior died and gave His life to save
The land of hope, where, to this day, there stands an empty grave

My heart’s across the ocean–yes, I love that dust, that sand
My boundary lines have fallen in a pleasant, pretty land
No other land is truly mine, no other can I claim
And when at last I see my land, I’ll never be the same

My heart’s across the ocean in a land of mounts so green
My fruitful, promised portion is the crown-land of the King
And when at last I reach that land–a day of joy so sweet!
One day I’ll cross this ocean, then my heart shall be complete

My sister and I, standing on this side of the Atlantic. One day we’ll be on the other side.

Savior

You’re the Savior Who saved me one day long ago
Up Calvary’s hill with that cross did You go
You loved us so much that You paid such a price
No other atonement but Yours would suffice

You’re the Savior Who saved me when I was just eight
You gave me the license to reach heaven’s gate
You gave me forgiveness –new life, hope, and joy
And since then I’m Yours and I’m in Your employ

You’re the Savior Who saved me when no one else could
I cried out for help and I thought no one would
When all that I knew was deep sorrow and pain
You saved me and used all the trials for gain

You’re the Savior Who saved me from fears and from doubt
I quickly was sinking, but You pulled me out
And when I was lowest, and thought, “Does He hear?”
You saved me from doubt with Your presence so near

You’re the Savior Who saves me whenever I call
You answer my prayers–those great and those small
You saved me on Calv’ry, but not only then
You’re the Savior Who saves me again and again

I Cannot Understand

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Yeshua Messiah.”
-Philippians 4:7

I feel the questions close me in
I see the chaos rise
I see the wicked boast in sin
I hear such helpless cries

I see such wicked seeds and roots
Polluting all the land
In desperation, I cry out
“I cannot understand!”

My cry goes up and hits the ear
Of One more strong than me
The hands that hold the whole wide world
Caress and comfort me

And in that precious hour of grace
Whene’er I feel His hand–
What peace and love so perfect that
I cannot understand!

At the End

At the end of the rain there’s a rainbow
At the end of the storm there is sun
At the end of the struggle there’s safety
In the day that my wand’rings are done

There is strength at the end of the sadness
There is grace ‘midst the greatest of grief
At the end of the night there is newness
If I wait, You will send me relief

At the end of the breaking there’s beauty
At the end of the road there is rest
At the end of the hurting there’s healing
There is always an end to the test

There is hope at the end of the hardship
There is love ‘midst the lowest of lows
There is dawn at the end of the darkness
You are with me, wherever life goes

At the end of the pain there is power
At the end of the doubt there is day
At the end of the cross there is conquest
In the day that our sins rolled away

At the end of the fight there is freedom
At the end of the years there’s still You
At the end of these trials there’s triumph
In the day that all things are made new

Mephibosheth

Based on 2 Samuel 19:28

O Savior at Your feet I kneel
So humbled by Your grace
That You would come my soul to heal
To meet me face to face

Whene’er You meet me in this way
My thoughts and strength soon flee
I see how weak I am; I pray
“O King, You look on me?”

For I and all my house were dead
Before my Lord the King
Yet You have tasted death instead
And rose to end death’s sting

Because of love, an oath You made
With Abram long ago
That oath, that love, shall never fade
That love You’ve made me know

Because of You, I’m still alive
I’m filled from Your supplies
Your hope and peace have made me thrive
You’ve always heard my cries

You give me hope, eternal light
Beneath your wings I sing
So how could I still have the right
To cry unto the King?

Love

Is love emotions flying free?
Those kinds of feelings swiftly flee

Is love a passion deep inside?
That passion’s often grown, then died

Is love a flutter in your heart?
That flutter’s only love’s first start

Is love some kind and helpful deeds?
That’s part of it–love cares for needs

Is love a strong, long-suffering bond?
That love is tough, but not so fond

Is love compassion for a friend?
That could be love, if it won’t end

Is love commitment–faithfulness?
That love is strong in truthfulness

Is love forgiveness–grace so free?
That matchless love’s on Calvary