Behind The Hymn: My Jesus I Love Thee feat. Michael Bleecker and Brea Hughes

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/119894164" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /] My Jesus I Love Thee is a hymn that I have loved for a very long time. What's interesting about this hymn is that I started working on this arrangement over a year ago. I remember sitting at my Goodwill, upright piano I bought for $50, and playing these really mellow and moody chord changes. It just worked and it brought out the emotion of the hymn to me. I decided to write a new chorus or hook to it. It really was just a different way of saying,

"If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus tis now."

"More than ever before, More than ever before, We love, we love you Jesus"

Written by William Featherston in 1864, this has been a hymn that has truly stood the test of time. Because we didn’t’ want to make this a seven minute song, we had to cut verse three, but verse four just gets me every time...

"In mansions of glory and endless delight, I'll ever adore Thee, in heaven so bright; I'll sing with the glittering crown on my brow; If ever I love Thee, my Jesus, 'tis now,"

Psalm 16:11 says,

"In your presence there is fullness of joy and at your right are pleasures forevermore."

We get glimpses of this now, on earth, as we seek our joy in God, but this reality will be fully realized in heaven: true endless delight. That's very exciting. To see Jesus face to face. That will be a glorious day.

This hymn really has encouraged me in a lot of ways because you can come at it from two different postures. You can be in a really good season with the Lord and sing more than ever before, or you can really be struggling with sin and that bring you to place where you cry out, "this stinks, I want Jesus." So everyone, whether you are on the highest heights with Jesus, or he feels a million miles away, you can sing this hymn with sincerity.

Michael Bleecker and I became friends when my wife and I first started going to the Village, some seven years ago. We have done a lot together and he has really taught me a lot about what it means to be a pastor, not just a musician. It doesn't get more authentic than Michael Bleecker. He has loved me and my family well over these years. He has cared so much about our situation with Selena and even given of his own resources to help with her needs. I love this man. This collaboration is special to me because we worked on this hymn a while back, and I'm glad he was overly eager (not too hard if you know Bleecker), to be a part of this project and sing this hymn.

We decided to make the hymn more of a duet thing. I recently had the privilege of helping lead worship at a local church here in The Woodlands, The Church at Alden Bridge. There are some very talented worship leaders there and one of them, Brittany Hughes, was able to sing on this hymn with Michael. She's very talented and her band Godependant has a sincere love for Jesus that is clearly seen. When I asked her about singing on this track she was very excited about our story and Selena, and I am glad she was able to be a part of it.

Enjoy the hymn, and if you haven't gone to download the album yet, do so, and please consider partnering with us in our pursuit of blessing Selena. Grace and peace.