Sing God's Plan
ALBUM DESCRIPTION There are 29 songs in this 2 disc album that were chosen to illustate the story of God's Plan from Creation, through the fall of Adam, Jesus'Resurrection and promise of eternity in heaven. May they reveal to listeners the importance of achieving an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, thereby assuring them of a place in God's kingdom. The performers are: Charlie Evans, tenor/baritone Galina Gerakosov, pianist Tom Nowicki, saxophonist Bill Duvall, narrator OUTSTANDING FEATURES The Theme: This is not just easy listening music. It is chosen and arranged to reveal God's wonderful salvation plan to us. They are songs of prayer, praise, and testimony, all eloquently expressing a need for a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The Variety: This album contains an eclective mix of sacred music, with favorite spirituals and hymns represented, using some clever arrangements by Craig Courtney, among others. There are some contemporary numbers that are particularly effective in communicating the Christian faith. There are some old, seldom performed sacred songs by such long departed composers as John Prindle Scott and Beardsley Van de Water that take words directly from the Bible and give them life. For many music CD's, each song seems to have the same beat, the same use of the singing voice, the same kind of song and emotional expression, and can be boring to listen to, prompting some to lament 'they all sound the same'. The songs in this album express many different emotions of the believer, in a number of different styles and presentations. You will never be bored and will enjoy all of them. The Quality: This music is performed by dedicated musicians who have spent many years as performers before large audiences in many venues. Charlie Evans is a trained singer who has performed many roles with opera companies in Milwaukee and Chicago, as soloist at ethnic festivals, and as a soloist at Hales Corners Lutheran Church and other large churches in Milwaukee and throughout the country. Pianist Galina Gerakosov is a professional pianist and teacher, serves in the music ministry at St. James Catholic Church in Franklin, Wisconsin and has played in numerous piano competitions including Metropolitan Opera. Saxophonist Tom Nowicki has performed in a number of community bands in the Milwaukee area, including Night Winds. Narrator Bill Duvall is a retired professor of music and voice teacher in Milwaukee. DETAILED INFORMATION ON ALBUM AND SONGS The songs in this album were chosen to illustrate the story of God's Plan from Creation, through the fall of Adam, Jesus' Resurrection and promise of eternity in heaven. May they reveal to listeners the importance of achieving an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, thereby assuring them of a place in God's kingdom. CD 1 1. In the Beginning Words: Genesis 1:1-3 Music: Joseph Haydn In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said: Let there be light; and there was light. 2. The Fall of Adam: Adam, Where Are You? Words and Music: Words based on Genesis, and Music by Don Francisco © 1978 Rocky Mountain Ministries. Used by Permission. Words from Genesis 1:26-28 and 2:15-17 are narrated by Bill Duvall. Then Don Francisco's song illustrates the fact that Adam and Eve disobeyed God, and introduced sin and death into the perfect world that God had made. You can hear the anger and agony in God's voice and feel the guilt in Adam, as God cries out, "Adam, where are you?" 3. O God, Have Mercy Words: Holy Bible Music: Felix Mendlesohn This song expresses the plaintive prayer of Adam, King David, and all who followed after them, using words from Psalm 51, verses 1, and 11-17: O God, have mercy, have mercy upon me, And blot out my transgressions, according to Thy loving kindness. Yea, even for Thy mercy's sake. Deny me not. O cast me not, away from Thy presence, and take not Thy Spirit from me, O Lord. And take not Thy Spirit from me, O Lord, O take not Thy Spirit from me, O Lord. Lord, a broken heart, and a contrite heart, is offered before Thee. Lord, a broken heart, and a contrite heart, is offered before Thee. O God, have mercy, have mercy upon me, according to Thy loving kindness, Yea, even for Thy mercy's sake. I will speak of Thy salvation, I will teach transgressors, And sinners shall be converted unto Thee, Shall be converted, converted unto Thee. I will speak of Thy salvation, I will teach transgressors, And all the sinners shall be converted, shall be converted, converted unto Thee. Then open Thou my lips, O Lord, Then open Thou my lips, O Lord, And my mouth shall show forth Thy glorious praise, And my mouth shall show forth Thy glorious praise, O blot out my transgressions according to Thy loving kindness, According to Thy loving kindness, Lord, and for Thy mercy's sake, Lord, for Thy mercy's sake. 4. If My People Will Pray Words: Chronicles 7:14 Music: Jimmy Owens © 1973 Bud John Songs. Used by Permission. This song eloquently expresses the words of 2nd Chronicles 7:14, which is an answer to the prayer in the previous song: "If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." 5. Fear Not Ye, O Israel Words: From the Bible Music: Dudley Buck This song is an assurance to Israel, and to all of us, that there is hope for redemption. It begins with a statement from Jeremiah 31:6: Behold! There shall be a day, when the watchman upon the mountain top shall cry aloud: "Arise ye! Arise ye! Get ye up into Mount Zion, unto the Lord your God!" It continues with assurances taken from Isaiah 41:10-14; 43:1,5; 65:18-19; and 66:10. The song repeats the phrase, "I have redeemed thee" several times. If God says "I have redeemed thee", there must be one who redeems, that is, there must be a redeemer. And that person is the Lord Jesus Christ. Listen to these words: Behold! There shall be a day, when the watchman upon the mountain top shall cry aloud: "Arise ye! Arise ye! Get ye up into Mount Zion, unto the Lord your God!" For thus saith the Lord. "Fear not ye, O Israel, neither be thou still dismayed. Refrain thine voice from weeping and thine eyes, thine eyes from tears; For I the Lord am with thee, am with thee, and will save thee. I have loved thee, I have loved thee, with everlasting love, And have redeemed thee, redeemed thee. Why criest thou in thine affliction? Why mournest thou in nightly watches? I have redeemed thee, I have redeemed thee." Therefore, thus saith the Lord. Sing ye aloud with gladness! Thy mourning is turned into joy! I, even I have redeemed thee. Be glad! Be glad and rejoice! Thy sorrows now are ended, and great shall be thy peace. Rejoice! Be glad! Be glad! And rejoice! Then fear ye not, fear not, O Israel! Neither be thou still dismayed, I have redeemed thee, redeemed thee! 6. The Good Shepherd Words: 23rd Psalm Music: Beardsley Van de Water The enduring words of the beloved 23rd Psalm are sung in this piece. Do you know them? They can be a special help for you in many circumstances: The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want, I shall not want, He restores my soul, He leads me in the paths of righteousness, for His name's sake. The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want, He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters, The still, still, waters; Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me, your rod and your staff, they comfort me, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me, in the presence of my enemies, you anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord, all the days of my life, all the days of my life. Goodness and mercy shall follow me, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever, forever, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not, shall not, want." 7. The Lord Is My Light Words: Psalm 27 Music: Francis Allitsen The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom, then, shall I fear? Whom, then, shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life. The Lord is the strength of my life. Of whom, then, shall I be afraid? Though an host of men were laid against me, Yet shall not my heart be afraid; And though there rose up, war against me, yet will I put my trust in Him. For in the time of trouble, He shall hide me in his tabernacle. Yea, in the secret of His dwelling shall He hide me, and set me up upon a rock of stone. The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom then shall I fear? Whom then shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life. The Lord is the strength of my life. Of whom, then, shall I be afraid? Of whom, then, shall I be afraid? 8. On Eagle's Wings Words: Based on Psalm 91 Music: Michael Joncas © 1979 OCP Publications, Portland OR 97213. Used by permission. This song is frequently sung at funerals. It reminds us how, according to Exodus 19:4, God brought the Israelites out of Egypt as if they were being carried on eagle's wings. It reminds us that at death, believers will be carried into heaven, as if they are carried on eagle's wings. The verses of this song use phrases from Psalm 91:3-5, 7, and 11. It concludes with the assurance that you will shine like the sun, and be held in the palm of His hand. 9. Be Not Afraid Words: Isaiah 43:1-4 Music: Craig Courtney © 1997 Beckenhorst Press, Inc. Used by Permission. This song begins with, "Be Not Afraid", a phrase used in Jeremiah 42:11 and other passages to reassure believers that God is with them, and will save them. The words of Isaiah 43:1-2 follows, repeating that theme. He then gives the reason for saving us, saying in 43:4, that you are precious in His sight. 10. O Divine Redeemer Words and Music: Charles Gounod The song begins with a plea to the Lord that the sinner not be turned away. But it is man who has turned away from the Lord. He does not turn away from those He loves. He is always there for the believer who is in distress. It is the unbeliever who needs to cry out to the Lord to be received, though unworthy! This song is an emotional cry of repentance by a sinner who has professed his belief in the Lord Jesus Christ, and wants his sins to be washed away and be made into a new creature in Christ. We all need to make this plea to God: Ah! Turn me not away, receive me, though unworthy! Hear Thou my cry, hear Thou my cry. Behold, Lord, my distress! Answer me from Thy throne. Haste Thee, Lord, to mine aid. Thy pity show in my deep anguish! Thy pity show in my deep anguish! Let not the sword of vengeance smite me, though righteous Thine anger, O Lord! Shield me in danger. O regard me! On Thee Lord alone, will I call! O divine Redeemer! O divine Redeemer! I pray Thee, grant me pardon, and remember not, remember not, my sins! Forgive me. O divine Redeemer! I pray Thee, grant me pardon, and remember not, remember not, O Lord, my sins! Night gathers round my soul; fearful I cry to Thee. Come to mine aid, O Lord! Haste Thee, Lord, haste to help me! Hear my cry, hear my cry! Save me, Lord, in Thy mercy. Hear my cry, hear my cry! Come and save me, O Lord! O divine Redeemer! O divine Redeemer! I pray Thee, grant me pardon, and remember not, remember not, O Lord, my sins! Save in the day of retribution, from death shield Thou me, O my God! O divine Redeemer, have mercy! Help me, my Savior! 11. Repent Ye Words: Matthew 3 Music: John Prindle Scott This song is a warning to all who ignore the teachings of Christ. If we "repent", we are not only heartily sorry for our offenses, but also we feel disposed to change our lives for the better, to become the persons that God wants us to be. God wants us to do more than just believe, according to James 2:19. ("Even the demons believe in God"). We need to show by example that we are saved, and express our true repentance by changing the way we live our lives. John the Baptist is not one to mince his words, as he says, "Repent ye! For the kingdom of God is at hand!" Listen to Matthew Chapter 3: In those days, came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea. And saying: "Repent ye, repent ye; for the kingdom of God is at hand! Repent ye! Repent ye! For the kingdom of God is at hand! O generation of vipers! Who has warned you from the wrath to come? From the wrath to come?! Bring ye forth, therefore, fruits to show your repentance. Bring ye forth, therefore, fruits to show your repentance. I indeed baptize you, baptize you with water. But He that comes after me, is mightier than I, is mightier than I! Whose shoes I am not worthy, not worthy to carry. He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit, and with fire! Whose rake is in His hand, and He will clear His floor, and gather the wheat, the wheat to put in storage. But the chaff He will burn up with unquenchable fire, With unquenchable fire! Repent ye! Repent ye! For the kingdom of God, the kingdom of God, is at hand!" 12. There Is a Savior Words: Greg Nelson and Bob Farrell Music: Greg Nelson, Bob Farrell and Sandi Patti © 1986 shared by EMI Christian, Careers BMG, Lehsem, Gaither, Greg Nelson, Straightway, and Summerdawn music publishers. Used by permission of all of them. Are there burdens in your heart? Is your past a memory that binds you? Not to worry. There is a Savior, and He's forgiven you. Listen to this song. Let him show you the way. 13. It Is Well with My Soul Words: Horatio G. Spafford Music: Philip P. Bliss, arranged by Craig Courtney © 1988 Beckenhorst Press, Inc. Used by Permission. The words to this song express the agony that Horatio Spafford felt when his entire family drowned as an ocean liner sunk in the North Atlantic, while they were on their way to meet him in New York nearly 100 years ago. His words, "when sorrows like sea billows roll" were an obvious expression of his bereavement. But whatever his lot, God taught him to say, "it is well with my soul". He said, "Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight, even so, it is well with my soul." Do you have that kind of faith? CD 2 14. I Walked Today Where Jesus Walked Words: Daniel S. Twohig Music: Geoffrey O'Hara © 1937 G. Schirmer, Inc. Used by Permission. This song is like a vision or a dream that the poet had, of Jesus in his last days before his crucifixion. Picture the scenes that are described. Look for His presence in your life, and feel Him close to you, as you listen to this. 15. Were You There? Words: Unknown origin, traditional spiritual Music: Tune of unknown origin, arranged by H. T. Burleigh © 1969 Belwin Music Publishing Corp. Used by permission This is a traditional American spiritual. The author and composer is unknown, but he obviously was a devout Christian and was moved by the Holy Spirit to create it. It can be very moving to listen to, especially during Holy week, the days just before Easter. Feel the emotion in the singer's voice, and take it to heart with a vow to love your Lord more deeply in appreciation of what He has done for you. 16. We Have Seen the Risen Lord Words and Music by Stan Pethel © 1995 Hope Publishing Co. Used by permission. In this song, the disciples of Jesus describe their emotions right after He was crucified. They were mourning their loss, and then suddenly realized He had risen, as He said He would. When they first see Him, Jesus tells them not to be afraid, that it was truly He who appeared before them. The verses of the song are from the Gospels. According to Mark 16:5, at the tomb, an angel all in white was seen by the women, who were told that He had risen. Then, according to Luke 24:13-15, while the disciples were walking to Emmaus, they met a man who they later found was the risen Lord. Another time, according to John 21:3-4, the disciples were fishing, catching nothing, when a man called to them from the shore. They all had breakfast together. The song ends with their sudden revelation that they have seen the risen Lord. 17. Beneath the Cross of Jesus Words: Elizabeth C. Clephane Music: Frederick C. Maker, arranged by Dale Wood © 1995 Lorenz Publishing Co. Used by permission In this arrangement of an old hymn, the poet sings of the significance of the cross of Jesus, and personifies the cross as a reminder of his sinful life and what Jesus has done for him. 18. Feel the Nails Words: Ray Boltz Music: Ray Boltz and Steve Millikan © 1989 shared by Shepherd Boy and Sonworshipers Music Publishers. Used by Permission. In this song, a sinner cries out with a deeply felt emotion. He knows that Jesus died for him, has promised to change. But he keeps sinning, and wonders, "does He still feel the nails every time I fail?" The thought of hurting Jesus again tortures him, and he knows he truly needs to change. 19. De Blin' Man Stood on de Road an' Cried Words: Mark 10: 46-52 Music: Traditional Spiritual, arranged by H. T. Burleigh © 1969 CPP/Belwin Publishers. Used by Permission The words of this old spiritual are based on Mark 10:46-52. In this passage, Jesus and his disciples are passing by a roadside blind man who, hearing that Jesus was passing by, cried out "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" Many rebuked him, but he shouted all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" Jesus stopped and asked what he wanted. He said, "Rabbi, I want to see". Jesus said, "Go, your faith has healed you." Immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus along the road. There is a double meaning here. The blind man, in addition to having received physical sight, also had faith in Jesus as his Savior, and this implies that he also received salvation. The unbeliever looks but does not see, although he may read God's word and view His handiwork. The wisdom of the Gospel is foolishness to those who are perishing. The obvious anguish of the blind man appears to be more than just the lack of physical sight. Jesus recognizes that and makes him completely whole, thereby saving him as a child of God. 20. Amazing Grace Words: John Newton Music: Arranged by Craig Courtney © 1988 Beckenhorst Press, Inc. Used by Permission. John Newton was the captain of a slave ship, and his early life was a continuous round of rebellion and debauchery. A frightening experience in a stormy sea was used by the Holy Spirit to sow the seeds of his conversion and acceptance of Christ as his Savior. He eventually became a clergyman in England, and wrote the words to this hymn, for his congregation. The first line of the song, "Amazing grace! How sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me!" eloquently expresses how amazing God's grace truly is, and the transformation that Newton went through. In the second line, "I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see", he alludes to the concept of the blindness of an unbeliever. 21. How Great Thou Art Words and Music: Stuart K. Hine, arranged by Craig Courtney © 1997 Beckenhorst Press, Inc. Used by Permission. This is a hymn of praise and prayer. It is a prayer completely of praise. The author is not asking God for anything, is not enduring suffering or turmoil. He is so positive, so full of joy, and is just so overcome with awe of God, that he can hardly restrain himself. He says he "scarce can take it in". You can imagine him either bowing down, or raising his arms up high, speaking directly to God, praising Him for who He is, and what He has done. Yes, how great He is, indeed! 22. Lord, I Want to Be Like Jesus Words and Music: Traditional Spiritual, arranged by John Payne What this simple man is singing is that he wants to be as the apostle Paul exhorts us to be in Ephesians 4:13-24, to be like Christ in our hearts, our attitudes, our loving relationship with other people. What a changed world we would have, if we would all sing or say sincerely the words of this old spiritual: "Lord, I want to be like Jesus, in my heart." "Lord, I want to be more lovin', in my heart." Lord, I want to be like Jesus, in-a my heart, in-a my heart; Lord, I want to be like Jesus, in-a my heart, In-a my heart, in-a my heart, Lord, I want to be like Jesus, in-a my heart. Lord, I want to be more lovin', in-a my heart, in-a my heart, Lord, I want to be more lovin', in-a my heart. In-a my heart, in-a my heart; Lord, I want to be more lovin', in-a my heart. 23. Just As I Am Words: Charlotte Elliott Tune: William Bradbury, arranged by Craig Courtney © 1988 Beckenhorst Press, Inc. Used by Permission. Charlotte Elliott was a helpless invalid for most of her long life, yet out of feelings of uselessness and despair, she was able to write the words of this hymn. Little did she know how inspirational her words would become, in the scores of Billy Graham crusades, in which this song was sung for many people who were first coming to know Jesus as their Savior. The words implore us to come to Him just as we are, without one plea, but that His blood was shed for you and me. We don't need to wait to rid our soul of one dark blot, because His blood can cleanse each spot right now. He will welcome, pardon, cleanse and relieve us, if we will just come to Him, in prayer and repentance. 24. Ev'ry Time I Feel de Spirit Traditional Spiritual Arranged by H. T. Burleigh © 1969 CPP/Belwin Publishers. Used by Permission "The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." (James 5:16) We need to do more than ritually say grace before meals and have a bedtime prayer. We need to pray unceasingly (1 Thes 5:17), as the Holy Spirit moves us (Eph 6:18). This joyful expression of faith in prayer, is from an old, familiar folk song of unknown origin. However, the writer has a deep seated faith that God hears and answers the prayers of His people: "Ev'ry time I feel de Spirit movin' in my heart, I will pray." 25. The Lord's Prayer Words: from the Bible Music: Albert Hay Malotte © 1935 G. Schirmer. Used by Permission This is the classic musical rendition of the Lord's Prayer, used in funerals and other special occasions. Often, the words of the Lord's Prayer are spoken or sung without any sincere effort to communicate with God, but Jesus' disciples were deadly serious when they asked Him about prayer in Luke 11:1-4. This is why it is called the Lord's Prayer, because it came from His mouth on that day. It is important that we concentrate on the words and who we are speaking to, when we say them, when they are spoken or sung. Listen to this recording as a prayer from your heart as well as from the performer. 26. Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen Traditional Spiritual, arranged by Jay Althouse © 1994 Alfred Publishing Co. Used by permission. This is another old spiritual of unknown origin, like many early folk songs, whose words weren't written down because the author couldn't read or write, anyway. He was obviously a Christian who shows in this song that he depends on Jesus and His power to save and bless his life. What better way to present this distinctively American folk song than to add a distinctly American jazz beat, enabling a positive slant on the troubles we've seen, because Jesus knows our troubles, has gone through so much more pain than we could ever have, and knows how much help we need in our lives. We can be joyful, for by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, we know that He can bring us up when we're down, and that we will live in paradise with Him one day. 27. The Penitent Words: Holy Bible, Luke 15:11-25 Music: Beardsley Van de Water These words from the Gospel of Luke remind us that we are all sinners and have strayed from the faith at one time, or never had faith. This is a parable that Jesus uses to remind us that no matter how old we are, what sins we have committed, our heavenly Father will welcome us into His kingdom if we return to Him, seeking mercy with a repentant heart. However, we must return to Him before it is too late. If we wait too long, we will not only die a physical death, but we will die a spiritual death as well. We will not inherit the kingdom. And you know what that means! A certain man had two sons; And the younger of them said to his father; "Give me the goods that falleth to me." And he divided between them his property. And the younger son gathered together, And journeyed to a far off country, And wasted his substance in riotous living. And when he had spent all, There arose a famine in that land, And he began to be in want, And no man gave unto him. But when he came to himself, he said, "How many hired servants of my father's, have bread enough, and to spare, While I perish with hunger! With hunger! I will arise, I will arise, and go unto my father, And will say unto him: 'Father, I have sinned, sinned against heaven, And in thy sight, Father I have sinned And no longer worthy to be called thy son. Father! Father, I have sinned, Make me as one of thy hired servants, Make me as one of thy hired servants!'" And he arose and came to his father, who saw him and had compassion, and ran, and said; "Bring forth the best robe and put it on him, and shoes on his feet! Bring forth the best robe and put it on him, and a ring on his hand! For this my son was dead, but is alive again! He was lost, and is found! He was lost, and is found! My son was lost, but he is found!" 28. Here I Am, Lord Words and music: by Daniel Schutte, based on Holy Bible, Isaiah 6 Arranged by Craig Courtney © 1997 Beckenhorst Press, Inc. Used by Permission. Isaiah 6:8 says "Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?' And I said, 'Here am I. Send me!'" The poet uses these words from Isaiah to convey the concept that is explained in Mark 16:15-16, that we are to go out into the world and tell other people about the good news of salvation through Christ Jesus. First, God is speaking, saying who He is ("I, the Lord of sea and sky"), and then asking, "Whom shall I send?". Then the Christian answers, "Here I am, Lord, is it I, Lord?"- -. The answer to that question is yes, it is you, Christian! After He arose from the dead, the only task He gave to us was to be a witness for Him. You don't need to be a Bible expert. To bear His light to them, just tell people about the power of the Holy Spirit in your life. 29. Finally Home Words: Don Wyrtzen and L. E. Singer Music: Don Wyrtzen © 1971 Brentwood Benson Music Publishers. Used by Permission. For the Christian, living on the earth is temporary. Our real life is in heaven. From 1 Cor 15: "I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed - in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain." Using the King James translation, in John 14:2, Jesus said, "in my Father's house are many mansions: If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you." Won't it be wonderful, when our time comes, to wake up in glory, and finding ourselves at home?