This, my second album of primarily original music, reflects the love God has poured into my life through His astounding grace, mercy, and truth. In the Arms of Perfect Love includes songs about God’s gift of salvation through His amazing grace and the childlike faith that draws us closer to His heart. It also includes “In the Garden,” with two new verses, a new production of “True Bread from Heaven” from my tracks album, and a bonus track of “Panis Angelicus.”
In my relationship with Jesus, I can truly say I rest In the Arms of Perfect Love. May He receive all the glory and praise He deserves.
“In the Garden” is the traditional hymn by C. Austin Miles, minus his third verse. I felt the third verse was too obscure for today’s listeners, so I wrote two new verses that express the essence of his third verse in terms people today can understand. These lyrics also describe my experiences in my walk with Jesus Christ. The music and first two verses of “In the Garden” are in public domain; however, the last two verses, my lyrics, are copyrighted.
In writing “Heavenly Eyes,” I searched the Bible for all the references to God’s eyes. Psalm 32:8 says that He will guide us with His eye. His eyes watch over us, see all our sorrows, delight in our joys, and burn like fire in their holiness.
The Lord gave me “Thank You for Salvation” at the end of a miserable day when everything reminded me of my life before Jesus, and guilt for past sins threatened to overwhelm me with grief. Then God reminded me that Jesus’ death paid for my sin. All of it. According to the Word of God, His righteousness now covers me, and He has separated my sins from me as far as the east is from the west.
As I contemplated God’s grace, His unfathomable gift to those who dare to trust and believe in Him, “It’s Your Grace” was the result. Amazing, astounding, incredible – words can’t begin to describe God’s grace given to us in Jesus Christ. But I still had to try. I couldn’t keep silent about such a wondrous gift given to those who could never deserve it!
“True Bread from Heaven” is a new twist on a very old hymn. To the music of César Franck’s “Panis Angelicus,” originally with latin words, I wrote new English lyrics that would be acceptable to both Protestant and Catholic listeners. Then I set the song in a more modern arrangement. In my new lyrics, I tried to keep the heart of the original message: the wonder that God Himself became a man and is the “true bread from heaven” for all who believe in Him.
“As a Little Child” resulted from my wondering, as I wrote my book Running Barefoot on Holy Ground, what Jesus meant when He said we must be as little children to enter heaven.
I started writing “Climb on Daddy’s Lap” many years ago when my daughter began growing too big for my own lap. I wanted to help her learn to transfer her dependence on us to her heavenly Abba (Daddy). She is now a mother herself. I finished the end of the song when it came full circle, as I watched my sweet Daddy preparing to meet Jesus. Dad now rests in those heavenly arms.
The phrase “The Reason We Do Not Fear” came to me suddenly. Then I thought about the things we fear: danger, evil, loss, death, abandonment, and facing our own guilt and God’s judgment. Also, believers often fear telling others about salvation in Jesus Christ. I realized that when we belong to Him, we have nothing to fear. Jesus said, “Perfect love casts out all fear,” and Jesus is that perfect love.
The song “In the Arms of Perfect Love” came about when I realized that, as God and my Creator, Jesus already had every right to my life, my affections, and my obedience. Yet He gave me the choice to accept or reject His lordship. When I did surrender all, I found that His arms, the “arms of perfect love,” were “where I belonged all along.” The introduction to this song includes the chorus to the popular hymn “I Surrender All” by Judson W. Van DeVenter and Winfield S. Weeden, a song in public domain. The remainder of the song is my own work and is under copyright.
“Holy God” also took many years to write and has gone through many versions. God first revealed Himself to me personally through nature, the glorious and intricate things He created. The Bible says in this life we see dimly as through a dull glass. Still, every now and then, we experience moments when we can peek through the curtain on heaven’s window and see a little more clearly. Then we know without a doubt that God exists and is holy and beautiful beyond our comprehension.
“Song of the Redeemed” was inspired by my pastor’s series on the book of Revelation. How incredible to think of that day when we will finally see our Savior face to face in all of His glory and sing the song of the redeemed with people from every tongue, tribe, and nation! The lyrics are based on Revelation 5:9–10 and 19:1–8.
I included “Panis Angelicus” on this album in memory of my sister Christine, who died just after her 51st birthday. We used to sing together at family events and we always had a friendly bicker over who would get to sing “Panis.” Singing it at her funeral was a great honor and one of the most difficult things I have ever done. I used a majestic pipe organ for the accompaniment here to keep this classical song in its traditional context. The original latin lyrics came from Thomas Aquinas in the 1200s and were set to music by Franck in the 1800s.
Brendan Joyce has mentored me through the production of this album, training my ear as well as my LogicPro skills. I am deeply grateful for his patient guidance and encouragement.
Special thanks to Dr. David Beauchamp for his inspiration and for checking my lyrics for faithfulness to Scripture.
I would like to thank Robert Wynne and DJ Schott for their encouragement, musical suggestions, and training in LogicPro.
I am grateful to Jimmy and Carol Owens and Scott Wesley Brown for teaching me how to make words sing.
More than anyone, my husband encourages and supports me as I write and share the music the Lord gives me. I am so grateful to Steve, my biggest fan.