Three Songs to Sing When Christmas Comes in a Minor Key

It’s not uncommon to have a blue Christmas in a fallen world. We’ve all been there. The empty chair at Chritmas dinner because of sickness or death. The sparse gifts under the tree because of unemployment. The stab of holiday depression because of failure, setback, shame, or some kind of chemical imbalance. It’s hard to have a “holly jolly” when you’re sitting in the sad seat. Or the sick seat. It’s even worse when everyone else around you doesn’t seem to have a care in the world.

But this year seems different. Harder. Stranger. Almost apocalyptic. Farmers tell us manure is great when it’s spread around, but we all know it just stinks to high heaven when it’s all piled up in one place. For many people, 2020 has been that kind of a year, and it’s taken its toll. We’re physically drained and emotionally fatigued. With 20 days left in 2020, we wonder what else can go wrong. Hitherto we’ve lived through:

  • The Australian bushfires
  • Prince Harry and Megan quitting the royal family
  • The COVID-19 pandemic and its many lockdowns
  • Kobe Bryant and his daughter killed in a helicopter crash
  • The impeachment trial of the President of the United States
  • The stock market crash and record unemployment
  • The George Floyd tragedy and the resulting protests
  • Rumors that Kim Jun Un, the leader of North Korea, had died
  • Widesperad censorship and hostility on social media
  • Manipulation of the masses by Big Tech and a corrupt media
  • A bitter and still unresolved U.S. Presidential election
  • Outrage at politicians ignoring their own pandemic restrictions
  • The arrival of murder hornets to the United States
  • A massive explosion in the capital of Lebanon
  • Severe wildfires on the West Coast of the United States
  • The death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg
  • U.S. President Donald Trump testing positive for COVID-19
  • The death of Sean Connery, Eddie Van Halen, Alex Trebek, and many others

And those are just the big things we know about. Your family can probably add to the list. Maybe you’ve had your own disappointments, tears, and heartbreaks this year. Maybe you’ve been bedridden, hospitalized, quarantined, or out of work because of the virus. Maybe you’ve felt the sting of your own unmet expectations. “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life” (Prov 13:12). Some of us are still waiting for that tree of life, aren’t we?

God cares.

That’s why he came to us on that first Christmas. God in Christ didn’t avoid the miseries of this world. Rather, he entered into them, experienced them firsthand, and then swallowed them up. He’s coming again someday to make all things new. In the meantime, we can count on his lavishing love to carry us through the hard times.

Have a good cry if you need to. “Blessed are those who mourn,” said Jesus. He should know. Christ had tears streaming down his own cheeks on more than one occasion. He was “a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief.” So, you’re in good company if you “lose it” once in a while. It’s o.k. to not be o.k. for a season. After all, it’s only a season. “Joy comes in the morning.” So, dare to cling to hope, too. And let Hope himself cling to you. The Christmas manger leads to an empty tomb.

Here are three songs for when you’re singing Christmas in a minor key—two by Casting Crowns and one by Francesca Battistelli. Let them flow like liquid love over your aching heart. And feel free to contact This New Life if you have a special prayer request this time of year. You are loved. And you are not alone.

“Somewhere in Your Silent Night”
by Casting Crowns

Somewhere in your silent night
Heaven hears the song your broken heart has cried
Hope is here, just lift your head
For love has come to find you
Somewhere in your silent night

“I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”
by Casting Crowns

Then rang the bells more loud and deep
God is not dead, nor does he sleep
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail 
With peace on earth, good will to men

“Behold Him”
by Francesca Battistelli

In your silent night
When you’re not all right
Lift your eyes and behold him
Feel the thrill of hope
You are not alone
In this moment, behold him

Image Credits: pexels.com; tourmyindia.com.

As White as Snow

A light snow has dusted southcentral Pennsylvania today, and it looks like shoveling will not be necessary. (I’m o.k. with that!) Is there anything more beautiful than nature’s white blanket covering our dead and dying trees and foliage? Isaiah’s image comes to mind whenever the white stuff falls from the sky:

“Though your sins are like scarlet, 
they shall be as white as snow.”
Isaiah 1:18b

Seven hundred years later, it all came to pass. “Call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matt 1:21). Christmas, then, deals a death blow to both moralism and relativism. 

Moralism says we can save ourselves through our own good works. That makes Christmas unnecessary. Why would God the Son go to all the trouble of becoming a human being to live and die in our place if we could fulfill the requirements of divine righteousness ourselves? His sacrifical death on our behalf would have been totally wasted and therefore totally ridiculous.

Relativism, on the other hand, says no one is really “lost,” so we can all live by our own light and determine for ourselves what is right and wrong. Sins are self-defined, so salvation can be self-achieved. Consequently, any higher power that might exist out there never would have bothered to be incarnated. Christmas is totally unnecessary in this scenario, too.

But Christmas is a thing because we need it to be a thing. God the Son did put skin on two thousand years ago. Indeed, God ignored our silly notions of moralism and relativism and came anyway. Thank God for that! I’m looking forward to the kind of weather that allows for sleigh rides—not because I have the equipment to go dashing though the snow in such a manner. I just like to contemplate Isaiah’s image when the snow extends as far as the eye can see. 

Speaking of sleigh rides, the first Christian album I ever bought after coming to faith in Christ back in college was Amy Grant’s Age to Age. Many of us went on to collect the rest of her albums, too, including her Christmas albums. Here’s a little gem of hers that gets me thinking about the joy of Christmas snow.

Image Credits: shutterstock.com.

Jazzing My Way through December

My mom loved the sounds of jazz and big band, and she got me interested in some of it at a young age. I still remember her jitterbugging out on the dance floor with my uncle. My dad only did the slow stuff (as do I—unless it’s “The Chicken Dance” or “The Hokey Pokey.” Those two I can handle.) Here are some of her vintage favorites, along with a few of my own from the modern era.

VINTAGE: “Jingle Bells” by Frank Sinatra

VINTAGE: “Rockin’ around the Christmas Tree” by Brenda Lee

VINTAGE: “Frosty the Snowman” by Ella Fitzgerald

VINTAGE: “Let it Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” by Dean Martin

MODERN: “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” by Eva Celia

MODERN: “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” by Haley Reinhart and Casey Abrams

MODERN: “We Three Kings” by Wynton Marshalls and the Lincoln Center Orchestra

Image Credit: shutterstock.com.

Lo, He Comes with Clouds Descending

The overarching theme of Advent is the coming of Christ, both in the manger at Bethlehem and in the clouds of glory at the end of the age. As such, Charles Wesley’s adaptation of John Cennick’s “Lo, He Comes with Clouds Descending” has become a standard Advent hymn in our day, though I think it is largely underutilized.

The piece is both pensive and soaring, especially those arrangements that feature a descant on the final stanza. Evangelical congregations typically use the Regent Square tune (“Angels from the Realms of Glory”), while high churches often use the Helmsley tune, which is the one featured in the video below.

The benefit of having an eclectic musical taste is that I get to experience and appreciate a wide range of musical expressions—sacred or otherwise. When I was in Oxford last year, I “got my inner Anglican on” by participating in two Evensong services, both of which were astoundingly beautiful, not to mention food for the soul. So, yes, I can swing from Hillsong to Evensong with no heartburn at all. In fact, I rather enjoy the adventure.

Moreover, variety is a great “rut buster,” so tomorrow I’ll share some Christmas jazz tunes I’ve been listening to lately. On this Second Sunday of Advent, however, we’ll stick with the sacred. Enjoy the choir of Lichfield Cathedral singing this lovely Advent meditation. All pictures are from their cathedral in Staffordshire, England.

Lo, He comes with clouds descending, 
Once for favoured sinners slain; 
Thousand thousand saints attending 
Swell the triumph of His train: 
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia! 
God appears on earth to reign. 

Every eye shall now behold Him 
Robed in dreadful majesty; 
Those who set at naught and sold Him, 
Pierced and nailed Him to the tree, 
Deeply wailing, deeply wailing, deeply wailing, 
Shall the true Messiah see. 

Those dear tokens of His passion 
Still his dazzling body bears, 
Cause of endless exultation 
To His ransomed worshippers: 
With what rapture, with what rapture, with what rapture, 
Gaze we on those glorious scars! 

Yea, Amen, let all adore thee, 
High on Thine eternal throne; 
Saviour, take the power and glory, 
Claim the kingdom for Thine own: 
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia! 
Thou shalt reign and Thou alone.

Image Credits: depositphotos.com.

Real ID

Fifteen lies of identity:

  • I am what I do.
  • I am what I’ve done.
  • I am what I have.
  • I am what I look like.
  • I am how I feel.
  • I am where I’m from.
  • I am how I was raised.
  • I am my genes.
  • I am my failures.
  • I am my accomplishments.
  • I am my preferences.
  • I am who other people say I am.
  • I am nothing more than my worst moment.
  • I am nothing less than my best moment.
  • I am no one going nowhere.

The one truth of identity:

I am who I AM made me to be—a human being loved by God and created in his image.

The challenge, of course, is to align our thinking to this reality on a regular basis. To do so is an act of faith. And a declaration of war against the father of lies.

Image Credit: militarybenefits.info; Leonardo da Vinci; Tim Valentino.

For All Those Who Stumble in the Darkness

Here’s another Advent gem that we sang this morning—Michael Card’s “Immanuel.” I never make it through this one, either, without breaking down at some point. It’s simple, tender, and true. Above all, it’s filled with hope for those of us who know we’re broken deep down and stand in need of a Savior.

Below is a rendition by a collection of school choirs from Cheshire and the Wirral (a peninsula in North West England) joining their voices in Chester Cathedral to celebrate the Incarnation and the Epiphany. A wonderful song is made even more special by the young voices who sing it. The opening line is from Isaiah 7:14, the famous prophecy about a virginal conception and the surprising name given to the resulting child.

im = the Hebrew word for “with”
anu = the Hebrew word for “us”
El = a shortened form of the Hebrew word Elohim, “God”

Jesus is the “with-us God.” And if God is with us, who can stand against us? Be blessed by this choral arrangement of Michael Card’s modern classic—especially if you’ve stumbled in the darkness. We’re the reason he came.

IMMANUEL

A sign shall be given
A virgin will conceive 
A human baby bearing 
Undiminished deity 
The Glory of the nations
A Light for all to see 
And Hope for all who will embrace 
His warm reality

Chorus

Immanuel, our God is with us 
And if God is with us
Who could stand against us?
Our God is with us, Immanuel

For all those who live in the shadow of death 
A glorious Light has dawned 
For all those who stumble in the darkness
Behold your Light has come 

So, what will be your answer; 
O will you hear the call?
Of Him who did not spare His Son, 
But gave Him for us all 
On earth there is no power, 
There is no depth or height 
That could ever separate us from 
The love of God in Christ 

Time to go set up some more Christmas trees. They’re beautiful reminders that “a glorious Light has dawned.”

Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus

The Incarnation sends my heart and mind into orbit every year. That’s why I’m glad we have an entire season of the church calendar to reflect on it. There’s no way to fully plumb its depths with these finite minds of ours. I started writing some Christmas devotional pieces for later this month, and the waterworks have already begun. Good music only makes it worse. Often I can do little more than just put my pen down and throw my hands up in gratitude and awe. That God should become one of us in the person of Christ is sheer mystery wrapped in divine love. The same is true for the second coming of Christ, to which the season of Advent also points.

As we do every year, we’re singing Charles Wesley’s classic, “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus,” to kick off the new church year. It would be difficult to find a better selection. Wesley wrote this Advent hymn and had it printed in his Hymns for the Nativity of our Lord in 1744. Like so many of his texts, this piece alludes to one or more Scripture passages in nearly every phrase. Moreover, the double nature of Advent is reflected in these lyrics, remembering Christ’s first coming even while anticipating his return.

Stanzas 1 and 2 (which form verse 1 in most of today’s hymnals) recall messianic prophecies from the Old Testament. Stanza 3 speaks of Christ’s birth and kingdom, and stanza 4 functions as a plea for Christ to rule in our hearts.

Come, thou long expected Jesus,
Born to set thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation,
Hope of all the earth thou art;
Dear desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

Born thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to thy glorious throne.

Wesley was the eighteenth child (and youngest son) of Samuel and Susanna Wesley. He was born at Epworth Rectory on December 18, 1707. In 1716 he went to Westminster School, being provided with room and board by his brother Samuel. He was an usher at the school until 1721, when he was elected King’s Scholar, resulting in free tuition and board. In 1726 he was elected to a Westminster studentship at Christ Church, Oxford, where he took his M.A. degree in 1729. 

Charles wrote hundreds of poetic works with his brother John, the famous revivalist and founder of Methodism. His individual hymns number well over 5,000. Among his more famous today are:

1738  And Can It Be?
1739  Jesus, Lover of My Soul
1739  Christ the Lord Is Risen Today
1739  Hark! the Herald Angels Sing
1749  O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing

Which is your favorite? I for one could sing “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today” every other Sunday and not get tired of it! Jesus was not only the child born to die, he was the child born to rise again! Charles Wesley himself was “raised” to Christ’s “glorious throne” on March 29, 1788. The Spirit of God left his mark on this servant, and he in turn left his mark on us.

Friday Fun: Light It Up Like Dynamite

A few weeks ago I was driving to the Lebanon YMCA for a morning swim. I usually listen to upbeat music to get jazzed up for my workout, letting the tunes take over where the coffee left off. On this particular day, my Spotify randomizer took me to a song called, “Dynamite,” which I had never heard before. I was digging it and thought, “When I get home I need to research who does that one.”

Turns out I was listening to BTS, a K-pop (or Korean pop) group made up of seven members (Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V, and Jungkook) who come from various parts of South Korea. I WAS LISTENING TO A KOREAN BOY BAND…and kinda liking it!

Naturally, I started wondering what was happening to me. (“Really, Tim? A boy band?”) My solace came in the realization that: (1) BTS launched in 2013 and has since rocketed to global stardom, so they must have some real musical chops and showmanship; and (2) Spotify was throwing random workout songs my way; I didn’t go looking for this one myself. Small comfort.

So, I guess this post is more of a confession than a “Friday Fun” spot. Either way, enjoy the song if you’d like. I’m going swimming.

Do I detect some choreographic allusions to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video in this dance routine?

Name Them One By One

It may be a bouncy, outdated, sing-songy little piece, but it contains a lot of wisdom: “Count your many blessings, name them one by one.” Today was a good day for doing exactly that. 

>>> Got to have a meaningful time of worship this morning for “Christ the King Sunday.” We sang some of my all-time favorite Thanksgiving and throne songs, which always chokes me up.

>>> Got to see our first attempt at livestreaming the worship service work well this morning. Livestreaming will supplement our existing radio ministry and enable folks to see us as well as hear us.

>>> Got to see my niece from out-of-state this afternoon—the one from whom I may have purchased about $65 of Girl Scout candy to help get their start-up troop launched. (The “Milk Chocolate Mint Trefoils” are phenomenal.)

>>> Got to watch my daughter and her husband co-lead worship at their special Thanksgiving service earlier tonight. “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (3 John 1:4). They even sang “The Blessing,” which I gushed about in a previous post.

>>> Got two packages in the mail today from Amazon. That’s always a good day, even when they’re not books for me. 🙂 Early online Christmas shopping is a must this year because of the virus. Prime makes it fast, which is also good because of the shipping crunch that’s coming.

>>> Got to spend some time tonight thinking about family, friends, and loved ones—new and old alike—remembering the best in each, and how God has loved and taught me so much through them.

And all those years you guided me
So I could find my way.

And with God, being who he is, the best is always yet to come.

Time now to go top off a wonderful day with two episodes of The Crown, a beverage, and a few more pieces of that Girl Scout candy.

Image Credits: kendrickhome.net; vistapointe.net.

And Guide Us When Perplexed

The Sunday before Thanksgiving is typically a precious time of worship for many believers—on at least two counts. First, according to the liturgical calendar, it’s the last Sunday after Pentecost, known in many traditions as Christ the King Sunday. Worshipers take the opportunity to ascribe glory and honor to King Jesus, who is Lord of chronos (or “unfolding”) time as well as kairos (or “epochal”) time. It’s a way of putting an exclamation mark on the longest season of the church year before the calendar starts all over again next week with the season of Advent. King Jesus “was, and is, and is to come.” He is Lord of all time.

Second, on the civil calendar in the United States, it’s the Sunday leading into Thanksgiving Day. Many North American worshipers therefore take the opportunity to thank the Lord for his many blessings and providential care throughout the year. “We Gather Together” is a meaningful hymn that we often sing on this day, but we skipped it this year because so many parishioners aren’t able to gather in person. Instead, they livestream the service to avoid exposure to the virus. Equally poignant to me, however, is Martin Rinkart’s evocative and stately hymn, “Now Thank We All Our God.” This piece, too, puts a lump in my throat, and we’re singing it today.

Rinkart was a German clergyman who served in the town of Eilenburg during the horrors of the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648). Overrun with refugees during the Great Epidemic of 1637, he conducted between 40 to 50 funerals a day. I can hardly imagine such a calling. Nevertheless, he found a way to be thankful under the most trying of circumstances, penning these memorable words:

Now thank we all our God, with heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things has done, in Whom this world rejoices;
Who from our mothers’ arms has blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.

O may this bounteous God through all our life be near us,
With ever joyful hearts and blessed peace to cheer us;
And keep us in His grace, and guide us when perplexed;
And free us from all ills, in this world and the next!

All praise and thanks to God the Father now be given;
The Son and Him Who reigns with Them in highest Heaven;
The one eternal God, whom earth and Heaven adore;
For thus it was, is now, and shall be evermore.

I’m especially struck this year by the line, “And guide us when perplexed.” No doubt the presence of all that plague and war death around him took its toll personally and emotionally. How could it not? Rinkart, however, turned his mystification into a prayer request. “Guide us now, Lord, in these perplexing times. And as you keep us in your grace, free us from all ills, in this world and the next.” Such a request is appropriate in any age.

We’re not always sure why life unfolds the way it does. Chronos can be confusing sometimes, but believers know the ultimate kairos is on its way. Christ is coming back for his people, and all will recognize him then as the true King. Every knee will finally bow to him (Phil 2:10). “For thus it was, is now, and shall be evermore.”

Amen.

Image Credit: myjewishlearning.com.

Still Humming: The 20th Anniversary of Enya’s ‘A Day Without Rain’

Soft. Soothing. Ethereal. Diaphonous. These are words that come to mind when I think of the music of Eithne Ni Bhraonain, more commonly known to the world as Enya. I like the style of this gifted Irish sensation, not because her tracks are lyrically sophisticated but precisely because they’re not. They don’t need to be. Her unique translucent sound often transports me to new and wonderful places. Gently and contented I go, as if floating on a cloud without a care in the cosmos.

Even when the tempo picks up with her signature cello burps, pizzicato riffs, and other rhythmic pulsations, the effect is still light, airy, and non-threatening. Amidst the noise and nonsense of this broken and complex world, it’s nice to glide somewhere rather than be shoved, musically or otherwise. The world would be a better place if all of us took a healthy dose of musical Xanax once in a while.

Enya’s fifth studio album, A Day Without Rain, was released twenty years ago this week. It was a commercial succes with its lead single, “Only Time,” a piece that found much resonance in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. How revolting to see her breezy meditation resurrected in a Kraft Mac & Cheese commercial this year. That misalignment comes close to warranting a boycott of the international food conglomerate.

My favorite Enya album is her most recent, Dark Sky Island, which was released in November 2015, fifteen years to the day after A Day Without Rain. The lyrics are more substantive, and the musical style is quintessential Enya. In it she’s both clever and clandestine. As one would expect, she’s haunting, spellbinding, and cathedralesque from start to finish. Her explorations venture from the seen to the unseen realm (e.g., from “The Humming” to “The Forge of the Angels”). Bridging the two realms is “Sancta Maria,” a devotional to the Mother of Christ. No part of the universe exceeds the reach of her curiosity and musicality.

Also finding poignant expression in Dark Sky Island are the universal themes of love, heartbreak, and a journey’s end (e.g., “So I Could Find My Way,” “Even in the Shadows,” and “I Could Never Say Goodbye”). The most delightful and adventuresome piece is “Pale Grass Blue,” named for a small butterly in southern Asia. Both the lyrics and the melody are razor sharp as they capture something of the dance and flutters of nature.

Enya is truly one of a kind. All told, her career has been steady and impressive, recluse though she may be for long periods of time. New albums from her small studio team, however, are always worth the wait. Aren’t we due for another one soon? Who can say? Only time.

Now, what’s an evangelical like me doing listening to New Age music? In short, I like some of it. Not all of it, but Enya’s version of it—yes. Sometimes it helps me relax. Sometimes it helps me reflect. Sometimes it trips me into the boundless. And not once has it ever lured me into consulting crystals for guidance. Spiritual discernment doesn’t evaporate when the music around me gets all soundscapey. 

Besides, this is my Father’s world. “All nature sings and round me rings the music of the spheres,” as Maltbie Babcock put it. And that’s the theological issue here. It’s called “common grace.” More on that neglected doctrine in a future post. Until then, I’ll be listening to my favorite Enya tunes, translucent though they may be.

Image Credits: enya.sk; walpaperflare.com. 

The Blood of Jesus Speaks for Me

These lyrics by Travis Cottrell and David Moffitt hit all the right marks. While preparing for worship this morning, they found a place of lodging deep within me, igniting a sense of gratitude that should never wane. As I listened again, the first stanza set the vital theme, the second crushed my heart, and the third put my soul to flight. For the rest of the song, I was undone. Thank you, Jesus.

The Blood of Jesus Speaks for Me

The blood of Jesus speaks for me
Be still my soul, redeeming love
Out of the dust of Calvary
Is rising to the throne above

There is no vengeance in His cry
While “It is finished” fills the sky
Forgiveness is the final plea
The blood of Jesus speaks for me

My heart can barely take it in
He pardons all my guilty stains
Surrender all my shame to Him
He breaks the curse of every chain

My sin is great, but greater still
The boundless grace His heart reveals
A mercy deeper than the sea
The blood of Jesus speaks for me

When my accuser makes the claim
That I should die for my offense
I point him too that rugged frame
Where I found life at Christ’s expense

See from His hands, His feet, His side
The fountain flowing deep and wide
Oh, He did shout the victory
The blood of Jesus speaks for me

Worthy is the Lamb
Lamb for sinners slain
Jesus, Lord of all
Glory to His name

Heaven crying out
Let the earth proclaim
Power in the blood
Glory to His name

Worthy is the Lamb
Lamb for sinners slain
Jesus, Lord of all
Glory to His name

Heaven crying out
Let the earth proclaim
Power in the blood
Glory to His name
Jesus!

Oh let my soul arise and sing
My confidence is not in vain
The One who fights for me is King
His hope, His covenant remain

No condemnation now I dread
Eternal hope is mine instead
His word will stand, I stand redeemed
The blood of Jesus speaks for me

Amazing love, how can it be?
The blood of Jesus speaks for me
For me!

Words and Music by Travis Cottrell and David Moffitt
© 2016 Universal Music – Brentwood Benson Publishing / Great Revelation Music / TimeChange Music (ASCAP) 

New Worship Song for This Sunday: ‘Made Me Glad’

Corporate worship continues this Sunday, November 1 at 10:30 a.m. in Dech Memorial Chapel in Myerstown, PA. Local folks will be singing “Made Me Glad”—a song that is new to our fellowship (selected because of its covenant imagery). You can preview it here to help prepare for worship:

MADE ME GLAD

Verse 1

I will bless the Lord forever
And I will trust Him at all times
He has delivered me from all fear 
And He has set my feet upon a rock 
And I will not be moved
And I’ll say of the Lord 

Chorus

You are my shield, my strength
My portion, deliverer
My shelter, strong tower
My very present help in time of need 

Verse 2

Whom have I in heaven but You? 
There’s none I desire beside You 
You have made me glad
And I’ll say of the Lord 

Chorus

You are my shield, my strength
My portion, deliverer
My shelter, strong tower
My very present help 

You are my shield, my strength
My portion, deliverer
My shelter, strong tower
My very present help in time of need

Words and Music by Merriam Webster
© 2001 Meriam Webster and Hillsong Publishing