Behind the Hymn: Just As I Am

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/119894080" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /] JUST AS I AM is a very well-known hymn written by Charlotte Elliott in 1835. The lyrics are beautiful, but it probably lost its luster for me because it was the song we sang over and over again at the end of the church service in my home-town Baptist church. But, just looking at the lyrics will really show that it is a moving song. The reason it stood out to me was that it mirrors Romans 5:8. “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” This is an amazing truth. Just as I am, a sinner, in need of grace, God shed his blood for me. And I really like how each stanza goes back to the phrase, “O Lamb of God, I come.” It shows a response to what God did for us. Traditionally, it is a very slow song, so for our version we decided to make it upbeat with an almost pop-country vibe. One thing that I found  interesting is that Billy Graham tells the story that he was saved in a church when at the end of the sermon he heard this hymn being played. He then used it for his crusades for decades.

Cindy Foote is featured on this song. Her and her husband Billy are worship pastors out at Trinity Fellowship Church in Amarillo, and have been friends of ours for a very long time. Billy and Cindy Foote have traveled the country for the last two decades leading worship, and are the writers of some very popular worship songs, like, “Sing to the King,” and “ You Are God Alone” and “You Are My King (Amazing Love),” to name only a few. They are amazing song-writers and friends.I was able to play bass for Billy and Cindy for a few years probably about 8 years ago. It was amazing leading worship under their leadership and I am proud to call them both friends.

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Cindy and Billy have such a big heart for adoption. They now have 3 kids, all adopted from other countries. When I was playing with them, they had just adopted their first.  She was just a baby back then but now is a beautiful young lady. Crazy how time flies. When I was figuring out who to ask to be featured on the album my mind quickly went to Cindy. When I called Billy and we talked about her singing, Billy was so encouraging and told me they were in for sure. He was excited about the vision of putting together an album that would bless Selena. Billy and Cindy have written a lot on their blog about their adoptions and Cindy even released an album called "No Double Yellow Line" EP that’s a collection of songs based around adoption. Billy and Cindy are a very talented team and I am honored that they took their time and talent and have given to this project. It was a joy to reconnect with them for this effort.