I am so excited about our newest book, “He Lives In Me“! I thought I would share the story of how it came to be.
When my husband and I were serving at Bethel Memorial Baptist Church in LaFayette, GA, our pastor, Bro. Martenn, asked me if I would consider writing an Easter cantata. He said that he wanted something short enough for the choir to do as part of the Sunday morning service, and still allow him time to preach. I think I told him he was crazy, very respectfully, of course! I didn’t think I could write an Easter just because he thought I should! I’m thankful he was patient with me, and encouraged me to try.
His suggestion prompted me to begin thinking and praying about music that would be suitable for Easter. One Sunday, Pastor Martenn was preaching from Isaiah 53. During his sermon, this verse seemed to jump out at me, ” He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.” (Isa. 53:11). Satisfied! What an amazing thought! Jesus Christ fulfilled every demand of the law, every demand of God, and God was satisfied. Satisfied. This became the cornerstone of the cantata.
That thought gripped me, and I began to study Isaiah 53, and to outline the other major thoughts that would grow to be the remainder of the cantata. I have always loved the story of the Ethiopian eunuch, and how the Lord used his reading of Isaiah 53 to show him Jesus Christ. My favorite verse in the story is verse 35, “Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.” “The same scripture” is Isaiah 53! That account is the foundation of the narration that ties the cantata together.
Our choir in GA first sang “He Lives In Me” several years ago, with just basic arrangements I did. However, I do NOT consider myself a choral arranger, and so I began praying for someone who could arrange it for me. I wanted someone who not only had the musical ability, but someone who would understand the music, and whose style would complement mine.
Through several avenues, I was introduced to the music of Glenn Christianson, and last year I contacted him about arranging “He Lives In Me.” He did such a beautiful job of enhancing and improving my basic arrangements. It was a joy to work with him!
The complete cantata with narration is about 25 minutes. However, most of the songs can be sung individually, not just at Easter, but throughout the year. It is my hope and prayer that “He Lives In Me” will be used to proclaim the Gospel of Christ to many, and that its message of Christ’s sacrifice, His victory over death, and His power to save will be used to glorify our Lord and encourage His church!
He Lives In Me – A song about the resurrection, and a personal testimony of the resurrection power in the life of the believer.
Who Will Believe? – A contemplative song about the Messiah who would come, not as the world expected Him to, but “undesired” and “despised and rejected”.
Like A Lamb – A beautiful song describing us as wayward sheep, and Christ as our sacrificial Lamb.
Poured Out – A musical account of Christ’s role as our sacrifice and our high priest.
Satisfied – The key song of the cantata; a powerful song about the complete work Christ did on the cross.
He Lives In Me – Reprise – The conclusion of the cantata; because of what Christ did, we can rejoice!