Some of you might know that I recently began my trek through a new decade of life. On January 18, I turned 30! Even though I tried to keep it a big secret, somehow word got out. (And if you know me at all, you will know that is a big fat lie. I probably shouldn’t lie on the church website, but we will just chalk it up to comedic license.) I am so excited to be 30, and I don’t feel a day older than 29.

I have decided to fill this year up with “firsts.” Each month, I am going to try to do something that I have never done before. Since this is a new plan, I have yet to fulfill January’s first, and as of the writing of this post, I have three days to figure it out. Next month, however, I already have a couple of firsts planned. The first one is a little sad: next Sunday will be my first Sunday to be absent from First Baptist since I became the organist in September. While I will certainly miss being with my church family, I am very excited about the reason for my absence—another first.

On Friday afternoon, our youth ensemble Vocare is traveling to San Francisco! Having never traveled farther west than Denver, this is a very exciting first for me. The group has been invited to sing at 19th Avenue Baptist Church. On Saturday morning, we will also be serving at a soup kitchen and performing a concert there. I am so blessed to be the accompanist for such a great group of teens. It has been such a joy to get to know them better as we have rehearsed each week, and there is definitely never a dull moment in those rehearsals!

Since I won’t be presenting any music at First Baptist on February 4, I have decided to share some information about a piece that I played on January 21. During communion that Sunday, I played a song entitled “Beautiful Hands.” The lyrics of the song were written by a friend who has such an amazing talent for using words to paint a vibrant mental picture. I love the imagery she chose for this song. The hands of Jesus are used to show the way he cared for those around him while he was here on the earth and how he continues to reach out and transform today.

While you read the lyrics below, you can listen to the piece from the service by going to the live stream replay of January 21. (It begins at 57:30.) You can also hear it performed by choir and orchestra here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-j0dolSxMg.

– Shelton

Beautiful Hands

Lyrics by Cheryl Reid; Music by Ron Hamilton

Beautiful hands that broke the bread,
Cared for the sick and raised the dead.
Hands full of feeling, comfort and healing—
Beautiful hands of Jesus.

Beautiful hands pleading for me,
Bound to a cross that I might go free.
Paying the price that justice demands;
Torn by the nails,
Beautiful hands.

Beautiful hands so strong and kind
Held to a cross by love divine;
Broken and bleeding, mercy exceeding—
Beautiful hands of Jesus.

Beautiful hands stretched out to you
Ready to cleanse and make life new.
Hands that will guide you, shelter and hide you—
Beautiful hands of Jesus.

Beautiful hands pleading for me,
Bound to a cross that I might go free.
Paying the price that justice demands;
Torn by the nails,
Beautiful hands.
Beautiful hands.

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