we are forgiven! // hymn #7 of challenge

I was asked by our Pastor to compose a hymn for our church’s 31st anniversary. Yay! It is always fun for me to compose a piece of music tailored to a specific group or event. Pastor Schoeneck shared some bible passages and content ideas with me, but ultimately he let me create the piece freely. We have been members at Beautiful Savior for nine months and the main themes that I hear over and over again are that through Jesus…

We Are Forgiven
We Are Gathered
We are Growing


At Beautiful Savior, the message of forgiveness is not only told but also lived. Following every email from Pastor Schoeneck you will read “We are forgiven!” and instantly be reminded of Christ’s love. The relationships at church are like a family. An advantage of being a smaller church is that you get to know everyone and notice the visitors in order to include them.

I like to think of it as my grandparents’ kitchen table. We have a large family (they had nine daughters) and when someone comes into their home they are welcomed into their tiny kitchen round this little table of six chairs full of food. Grandma and Grandpa rarely  invite just one family over there is always someone else coming… so we cram tighter to make room for another!

This is cozy to me. Let’s get close. Let’s get past the short talk and talk about life and how through Christ we have life to the full! The mission to tell others about Jesus is not only expected from the Pastor and vicar – my husband 🙂 – but also from us! We are growing through the Holy Spirit.

I wanted the hymn’s melody to be memorable and singable so that the words would get the focus. The melody is mostly stepwise without many leaps. We Are Forgiven! is not written in traditional four part style of hymnody but rather a melody accompanied by piano. All of the music at church is played on the piano instead of an organ so the hymn reflects that. The text is based off of  bible passages that support the themes mentioned above.


Unauthorized copying, duplication or alteration of this composition is a violation of laws.

You can print a pdf document of the hymn by clicking it’s title here We Are Forgiven. All of my hymns are copyrighted. You should not alter the music in any way and give me, the composer, full recognition for the piece. If you would like to use the hymn publicly please ask permission by contacting me at thecozycomposer@gmail.com.

Merry Spring!

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
2 Corinthians 5:17


little lamb, arise // hymn arrangement #6 of challenge

I composed a women’s choir piece entitled “Little Lamb, Arise” for Martin Luther College based off the hymn “I Am Jesus’ Little Lamb” in memory of babies who left their earthly homes and await their loved ones in heaven. I also wrote a series on baby loss at Holy Hen House entitled “Grief to Glory” during this time.

“Little Lamb, Arise” was streamed live during Martin Luther College’s chapel on Wednesday May 8 at 10:45 and also during MLC’s commencement concerts on May 17 at 4:00 and 7:40pm.

My piece begins at 39:00. Click here to listen.

Little Lamb, Arise
text from “I Am Jesus’ Little Lamb” text by Henrietta L. von Hayn, 1724-82
Isaiah 40:10, Isaiah 26:19 & Ephesians 5:14


I am Jesus’ little lamb, ever glad at heart I am;
For my Shepherd gently guides me, knows my needs and well provides me,
Loves me every day the same even calls me by my name.

Day by day, at home, away, Jesus is my staff and stay.
When I hunger, Jesus feeds me.
When I thirst He bids me go, where the quiet waters flow.

So do not fear for I am with you;
Do not be dismayed for I’m your God.
I will strengthen you. I will help you.
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Who so happy as I am, even now the Shepherd’s lamb.
And when my short life is ended, by His angel host attended.
He shall fold me to His breast. Hold me there within His arms to rest.

Arise. Arise. Arise.

Our dead will live their bodies will rise.
You who dwell in dust wake up, wake up!

Arise and shout for joy! Shout for joy!
Like the morning dew Christ makes all things new.

He shall fold me to His breast, there within His arms to rest.


the most beautiful thing // stephen bautista

Each month I have been posting a self composed hymn that correlates with the season
in the church year but this month I have been given a different challenge.

I have taken a song written by Christian musician, Stephen Bautista,
and arranged it as a congregational hymn.

The song’s title “The Most Beautiful Thing” may not sound like a fitting Lent song
but Stephen’s lyrics and you’ll see in a unique way – they fit the message of the cross.


Christian musician Stephen Bautista

The Most Beautiful Thing

The warm subtle hues of a delicate bloom
and a song bird that greets the new morning
a cascading stream flowing through fields of green
and the mountains that rise up before them
In oh so many ways the beauty of life has shined on my face
and yet i know of one thing that surpasses by far the beauty i’ve seen


The most beautiful thing I know is the cross with a savior who died for us all
and the blood that flowed from his hands and feet and the wounds he bore so that we’d be redeemed
this is the most beautiful thing


I’ve stood on the edge of a grand precipice
overwhelmed by the span of creation
then sat teary eyed while the sun paints the sky
as it settles beyond the horizon
and i’m still so amazed at the beauty that life has shined on my face
but one thing stands alone unrivaled and incomparable


The most beautiful thing I know is the cross with a savior who died for us all
and the blood that flowed from his hands and feet and the wounds he bore so that we’d be redeemed
this is the most beautiful thing


If you would like to hear Stephen’s song “The Most Beautiful Thing” you can download it
and two other songs for free at his website by signing up for his newsletter.


Photography courtesy of http://www.stephenbautistamusic.com

Stephen will be visiting our church next month to play for us and in the meantime we are singing
“The Most Beautiful Thing” so that when he comes we can glorify the Lord together.

You can also listen to me singing my arrangement of “The Most Beautiful Thing” as a hymn.

I have permission from Stephen to notate his song for congregational use.
If you are interested in singing the song or using it for worship please contact him.