Thou Who Wast Rich Beyond all Splendor
Kim Taulbee/Frank Houghton (1894-1972)

I love the text to this hymn. God made Himself relevant to lowly man. One lesson here for worship leaders is that if God can humble Himself, how much more should we become relevant to the congregation we serve. We shouldn’t compromise values or make bad music, but certainly we can move in the direction of creating worship music that is accessible for the community of worshipers where God has placed us.

I love to write on assignment. One of our preachers, Corey Widmer, requested this hymn to go with a sermon he was preaching. I didn’t find the melody in the hymnal particularly accessible so this new tune is the result.

1. Thou who wast rich beyond all splendour,
All for love’s sake becamest poor;
Thrones for a manger didst surrender,
Sapphire-paved courts for stable floor.
Thou who wast rich beyond all splendour,
All for love’s sake becomes poor.

2. Thou who art God beyond all praising,
All for love’s sake becamest man;
Stooping so low, but sinners raising
Heavenwards by thine eternal plan.
Thou who art God beyond all praising,
All for love’s sake becamest man.

3. Thou who art love beyond all telling,
Saviour and King, we worship thee.
Emmanuel, within us dwelling,
Make us what thou wouldst have us be.
Thou who art love beyond all telling,
Saviour and King, we worship thee.

Hello World

For a long time I have had this lofty goal to create a website of resources for worship leaders. Taking the lead from my daughter Bethany btmusic.tumblr.com I’ve decided to start a blog for the short term. I’ll be posting hymn arrangements, psalm settings and random thoughts on Christian worship and church music in the months to come. 

I’ve been a church musician/worship leader for over 25 years, with time served in both Assemblies of God (pentecostal) churches and most recently (8 years) with Third Presbyterian Church in Richmond, VA.

Lately I am reading a fascinating book called “The Log of a Cowboy” by Andy Adams. Written over 100 years ago by a retired trail hand, this book is treasured for it’s authenticity. The task of leading a few thousand head of cattle up-country is accentuated by challenges both mundane and overwhelming.

It occurs to me that my journey through life and ministry has been the similar to the cattle drive. Dry spells, wet seasons, mountain tops and valleys, successes and failures. Leading God’s people can be maddening at times, not unlike leading cattle. I heard missionary Mark Rutland speak to a group of pastors. He was recounting what he’d experienced upon becoming a pastor after many years of missionary work: “One thing I’ve learned … sheep bite”.

Through the years two truths become ever more clear: I am deeply flawed but God’s grace is sufficient. 

Participating in God's continuing creation