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Music is such a wonderful way to draw near to God’s heart. I hope this CD will soothe, relax, and transform your spirit. As you listen, may your heart be opened to the Spirit of God. Whether you are driving in traffic or praising and worshiping God at home, may this music and the sounds of nature lift your heart to heaven and draw you near to the heart of God. --Jan

I Walked Today Where Jesus Walked

Daniel Twohig & Geoffrey O’Hara; Arr. Rolin Mains and Dino Kartsonakis

A number of years ago, when my son left for college I started tutoring some children in the inner city of San Bernardino. As I would walk from my car to their apartment, or walk with the children to a park or the library or to a fast food restaurant to do our tutoring, I felt I was walking in the footsteps of Jesus. Today, I seek to surrender myself to God, to follow His footsteps of service.

Photo © Dick Duerksen

Thank You, Lord

Dan Burgess, Arr. Bruce Greer

It is hard to thank God for allowing trials in my life, but I know He can use them to help me grow. God has used the bumps and bruises of my life to develop patience, which I badly need, as well as empathy and understanding and compassion. But it really is hard to surrender to God and let His Spirit take control. When my world gets turned upside down, my human nature wants to ignore God’s soft promptings and give in to fear, hurt, anger, or bitterness. Praise God that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22, 23).

His Eye Is On the Sparrow

Charles Gabriel, Arr. Mary McDonald

Every time we see a sparrow, Jesus wants to remind us of His words in Matthew 10:29, 31: "What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows." That is so amazing!

Praise God – In the late 1800s Civilla Martin was inspired by this passage to write these beautiful and meaningful lyrics which have become part of our Christian hymn heritage:

  1. Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
    Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heav’n and home,
    When Jesus is my portion? My constant Friend is He:
    His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
    His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
    • Refrain:
      I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free,
      For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
  2. "Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear,
    And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;
    Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;
    His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
    His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
  3. Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,
    When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies,
    I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free;
    His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
    His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me. (Public Domain)

Jesus Loves Me (Based on Debussy’s Clair de Lune)

William Bradbury, Arr. Fred Bock

I'd like to dedicate this beloved and most favorite of all children’s Christian songs to my three precious grandchildren, Dylan, Holly and Liesl. I hope you enjoy this beautiful arrangement, set in that most popular classical piano composition, Claire de Lune by Claude Debussy.

"For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

"Pandora’s Cluster—Hubble Space Telescope"

We Declare Your Majesty

Malcolm Du Plessis, Arr. Bruce Greer

The words to this beautiful music are full of praise to God for His majesty and power. May this music serve as a ladder between heaven and earth for you, a ladder of praise to our magnificent, victorious, powerful, mighty, holy God and Savior!

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

William Runyan, Arr. Rolin Mains and Dino Kartsonakis

God has been so faithful to me through the years! I am so thankful for His love, for the beautiful family he has given me, for my home, church, friends, and a great job with a wonderful company. Since my last CD in 2002, God has helped me through back surgery, breast cancer, and a host of other challenges. Thank you, God who answers prayer!

Moment by Moment (In the setting of Saint-Saens' The Swan)

May Whittle Moody, Arr. Cindy Berry

We really do need Jesus moment by moment. In Galatians 2:20 the apostle Paul says, "My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."

I am beginning to learn how to make choices that set self aside so that Jesus can live out His life through me. Wow, that is hard! Setting self aside does not mean hiding or burying my feelings, but allowing God to expose them so He can replace them with His own. During the day, as those trials come, I want to make that moment-by-moment choice to exchange my thoughts, emotions and desires for Christ’s love, His thoughts and His power.

May you find new peace and meaning as you listen to this beautiful hymn set in Camille Saint-Saens’ The Swan. Watching swans glide on a smooth pond surrounded by beautiful green grass and flowers relaxes me and brings peace and contentment. I hope the nature sounds of the pond and water fowl help you maintain that moment-by-moment peaceful, trusting relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ.

I Surrender All (In the setting of Beethoven’s Sonata No. 8, “Pathetique,” Adagio Cantabile)

Winfield Weeden, Arr. Cindy Berry

"And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask?" Romans 12:1

Surrender is really the basis for beginning and maintaining a life in Christ. When I was going through chemo treatment for cancer I memorized Romans 12:1 and really started trying to figure out what it means to surrender my life to Christ. It comes down to being willing to surrender my entire life, including my purpose, choices, and even negative thoughts and feelings to God. This is a faith choice, especially when our flesh is screaming just the opposite! We don’t have to "feel" like doing it, but just make the choice to be willing. He will, in his perfect timing and way, align our feelings with that choice, and perform His will in and through us.

"The basic goal and purpose for all of our lives as Christians is to be conformed into the image of Christ so that His Life and His Love from our hearts can flow freely out of our lives. (Romans 8:29) God wants us to love with His love; He wants us to think with His wisdom and to function on His power and ability. He wants us to be at one with Him so that all that is seen through us is Him." --Nancy Missler, Against the Tide, 2002, p. 20.

As you listen to this hymn arrangement I hope the words and music will tug at your heart’s door: All to Jesus I surrender, All to Him I freely give. We give ourselves to Him daily, moment by moment. The peace that comes from surrendering our lives to Jesus is beautifully expressed in one of the movements of Beethoven’s Pathetique Sonata, Adagio Cantabile, in which this arrangement is set.

Day by Day

Oscar Ahnfelt

Day by day, and with each passing moment,
Strength I find, to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,
I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.
He Whose heart is kind beyond all measure
Gives unto each day what He deems best—
Lovingly, it’s part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.

This Swedish hymn, written in the late 1800s, expresses the results of living the surrendered life. Truly God does give us the strength to meet whatever comes our way as we trust in Him.

II Corinthians 4:16-18 says, "That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don't look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever."

"Day by Day" is one of my favorite hymns. When I was in cancer treatment and didn’t feel like practicing, I would sit down at the piano and this is what I would play. I dedicate this arrangement to my wonderful mother, Esther Priest Webb, who made me practice the piano as a child, to my dear aunt Ellen Priest Hardt, who recently passed away and who inspired me through her beautiful playing to stick with piano lessons as a child, and to my wonderful grandmother Louise Priest, who blessed so many with her courageous witness and her determination and sacrifice to give her children the Christian education that she herself was unable to obtain.

Nocturne, Opus 54, No. 4

Edvard Grieg, Arr. Dale Tucker

One of my favorite piano classics, written by Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg, the Nocturne is the essence of peace and tranquility—just what God wants to give us when we surrender our lives to Him!

Near to the Heart of God

C.B. McAfee, Arr. Dino Kartsonakis

"Flowers are like ‘winks’ from God - reminding us that He knows something we don't - and assuring us that everything's going to be OK." Text and photo © Dick Duerksen

It is my prayer and hope that this music will draw you near to God’s heart. What a wonderful Savior we serve! I love to open the Sabbath with beautiful, restful sacred music, and this is one of my favorites.

  1. There is a place of quiet rest,
    Near to the heart of God;
    A place where sin cannot molest,
    Near to the heart of God.
    • Refrain: O Jesus, blest Redeemer,
      Sent from the heart of God;
      Hold us, who wait before Thee,
      Near to the heart of God.
  2. There is a place of comfort sweet,
    Near to the heart of God;
    A place where we our Savior meet,
    Near to the heart of God.
  3. There is a place of full release,
    Near to the heart of God;
    A place where all is joy and peace,
    Near to the heart of God.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. Photos © Dick Duerksen (