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Hope Deferred Maketh The Heart Sick - A Hymn by James G. Deck 




"I long to see His glory, I long to hear His voice, I long, without a shadow of darkness, to rejoice!"

Well, I bring you yet another gem from James G. Deck!  I couldn't resist putting the beautiful words of this hymn to song, so that all that long-await Jesus' glorious return could enjoy its melancholoy with me!  

I am recovering from a massive head cold, so I apologize for the occasional cracked voice and nasal tone.  

Lyrics for this hymn are found on page 88 of the book:  Hymns and Sacred Poems by James G. Deck, published by CHAPTER TWO, 13 Plum Lane, London SE18 3AF.  

One last thing - I'm dedicating this recording to my beloved Michael. Happy Birthday, my love!  I so love being 'about our Father's business' with you!   





New Music, Beloved Hymn: Jesus, I am Resting Resting 


Greetings, Friends!

Today's Musical Devotion is a recording of an old and treasured hymn written by Jean Sophia Piggot, who was born almost 175 years ago! It is one of my favorites, and while I thoroughly enjoy the tune that has traditionally accompanied it, I was feeling creative one day and wrote the musical arrangement for this version. There is very little written or known about Jean Piggot. She was born on Sept. 8th, 1845 at Ryevale House, Leixlip, County Kildare, Ireland (where she also died and was laid to rest), and it's recorded that she wrote a total of three hymns in her lifetime!  There is no record of whether she married or had children - nothing. And sadly, her brother Thomas, who served in Missionary service with Hudson Taylor in China, was tragically murdered in the 1901 Boxer Rebellion. It is also said that "Jesus, I Am Resting Resting" was one of Hudson Taylor's favorite hymns.  In my research I also learned there is a 4th verse!  

Ever lift Thy face upon me 
As I work and wait for Thee; 
Resting ’neath Thy smile, Lord Jesus, 
Earth’s dark shadows flee. 
Brightness of my Father’s glory, 
Sunshine of my Father’s face, 
Keep me ever trusting, resting, 
Fill me with Thy grace!

Several years ago, my friend Tom Ruhling recorded this version for me in his home studio and invited a few guest artists to play along. Two brothers, Judah & Israel Groveman, added their incredible string arrangements to this piece. Israel now has his own film scoring company and I encourage you to take a listen to his recent projects! I do hope you enjoy their strings on this song as much as I do.  I look forward to your comments, below!


For those of you who have not heard my news, I am so excited to share with you that I've been accepted with Celebrate Messiah, NZ (sister organization of Chosen People Global Ministries) in Missionary service where I'll serve as their Worship and Prayer Coordinator!  This means I'll be sharing songs of Worship in New Zealand! In addition to providing worship, I'll also be their first woman staff member, facilitating bible studies, prayer meetings, etc. My family is praying the Lord opens the doors for us to GO in November!  I'm so excited at this opportunity, but ...I can't do this work alone. Like all Missionaries, I'm required to raise the support needed for my work in NZ.  This is such a blessing, because it means *you* get to be a part of what the Lord is doing!  And He is doing so very much!  Several years ago, CBN reported on our Backpacker Ministry BBQs that we host in Wanaka, where we team together with local mininitries and have the opportunity every week to share the good news of Jesus with between 25 and 50 Nations:

Click the video to watch the CBN Video!



I'm wondering... would you pray and consider partnering with me in this ministry with a donation of $15 or $25 a month?!

My Visa Requires Me To Raise $2,500 of Support Per Month

What Does that Look Like? 
$10/month - 250 partners
 $20/month  -125 partners
$25/month - 100 partners
$50/month -   50 partners

...might you be one of these?!

I know you pray about where you give -- if investing in my ministry fits into your giving goals, I would be honored to have you partner with me with any amount by clicking here.  (Just choose your Country, then put "Teresa Thomas" in the special designation box.) I truly thank you!  You will also receive my monthly newsletter via post-mail, updating you on my work with CMNZ.  Your prayers and financial gifts are so very appreciated - thank you from the bottom of my heart!






Musical Devotion: 'Create In Me a Clean Heart' - Ps. 51 

Create in Me a Clean Heart  
A Musical Devotion Inspired by "Psalm 51"

David.  There are just so many things about him that I love...and so many things not to love.  Bathsheba?  What was he thinking?  Of course, the obvious answer is...he wasn't thinking, which was his first problem.  It was bad enough that he coveted another man's wife, but to have her husband killed to "get her" was another thing altogether...and let's not forget about her unwanted pregnancy.  Compared to David, most of us would say we're "pretty good people" -- we haven't killed anyone or done anything THAT bad in our lives. 

Well, I must confess:  I'm David.  If Nathan were here today, he'd look at me and say, "you're the woman."  I covet my neighbor's "fill-in-the-blank".  I've killed so many people - with my tongue.  I've committed adultery - in my heart.  And I proceed with my life as if all is right with the world. "I'm not THAT bad." 

Today is Yom Kippur.  In Jewish history, it's the day the High Priest would enter into the Holy of Holies and ask for atonement for himself and for the nation of Israel. Yom Kippur is the most precious of days.  It's a day we can come before God with all our sin exposed, repent, plead for restoration, and thank Him dearly for providing for us a High Priest whose blood brings us forgiveness, and who to this day still pleads on our behalf before the Throne.  Yes, we should repent daily, but there is a sweet aroma that lifts to the heavens when the body gathers together in corporate repentance.  And, this is the day God has given us to do just that.  

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God--this is your true and proper worship. Romans 12:1

Today, I will fast, I will repent, and I will pray with the many brethren who deem this day Holy, because God calls it Holy.  I'm so grateful that atonement has been made for my sin!  That like David, I too, can say "Father, create in me a clean heart, renew a right spirit within me...cast me not away from Your presence, and restore my soul."

Chag Sameach, beloved friends.



Musical Devotion: How HaTikvah Gives Christians Hope 

I'm a lover of haunting melodies. (That's haunt-ING -- not haunt-ED!)  My eldest son and I will often send Spotify links to each other to share the joy of any new-found musical treasures with one another.  (One of the benefits of home schooling was influencing his musical tastes from an early age. "Oh, wow - he likes the same music I like!" Hee hee.) For the most part, these beloved melodies are a variety of movie scores.  

...But, there has always been one melody that has left its imprint on my soul, long before I ever knew what it was. 
I'm not sure how old I was when I first heart HaTikvah, the now known "Israeli National Anthem". However, I immediately noticed the tune exuded a deep, deep longing - an aching my heart didn't understand.  It made me want to cry.  Why, for what, I did not know.  It simply was "stunningly beautiful", and that was all I knew. 

And, then, years later I made a decision to walk with Jesus. And, for the first time, I realized that Jewish! I had always assumed he was Catholic.  Definitely not Protestant -- that was his cousin John, the Baptist. Oh, my ignorance! 

Well.. along with my new walk, I had a new-found love for His brothers!  And, I became aware of something that never mattered to me before: "Israel" had always existed as a country in my lifetime, and I hadn't really ever known Israel to NOT be "there"! It had never occurred to me that her existence as "the nation Israel" had occurred only in recent history. That a mere 25 years before my birth, passages in the bible about Israel were about a place that no longer existed as a sovereign nation.... yet!! God resurrected the nation of Israel almost overnight.  But for thousands of years prior to this resurrection, the Jewish people longed, ached, cried, agonized - for home. And the song  HaTikva was the anthem for this longing.

And in 1948, it happened!  God restored the nation of Israel!

Once again, God's prophetic promises to Israel were fulfilled, as He had done so many times before.  So, when we read scriptures speaking of Jesus returning on a cloud to the Mount of Olives, reigning for a millennia from Jerusalem as King -- it can now happen.  After all - He couldn't come back as the 'Holy One of Israel'.....if there was no Israel!  

HaTikvah (Hebrew for "The Hope") was penned originally by Naphtali Herz Imber (1856-1909). Imber moved to The Land in 1882, and in 1886 published in Jerusalem his first book of poems entitled "Morning Star". Within its pages was "Tikvatenu" (Our Hope).  It was a 10-stanza poem that expressed his insatiable longing as Jew for The Land to be restored to Israel. The music for HaTikvah has it's origins in (...drumroll please!) Italia!  In 1616, Composer Giuseppino Del Biado penned the tune "La Mantovanna", which evolved into the haunting melody we know as HaTikvah today. While the song was widely recognized throughout Israel after her resurrection in 1948, it wasn't actually until November of 2004 that it became the country's official national anthem.  

As I mentioned above - even as a child, I knew the song exuded a desperate longing.  For the Jewish people, this was The Hope that one day God makes reality His promises in Ezekiel 37:1-14.   That one day, He would once again restore their sovereign nation.  And... He did!

So, what promises are yet to be fulfilled?  What do you long for as a Christian? What is your heart's 'Tikvah' (Hope)?  What longing so completely fills your heart that it brings you to tears?
For me, there is no greater longing than to see the face of Yeshua -- to see His return, to see His Kingdom restored with Him reigning as King, to see His people know Him -- to just BE with Him.  I cannot even type these words without tears in my eyes.  

How does HaTikvah give Christians Hope?  

The Jewish people, for thousands of years since their dispersion, yearned for Him to restore them to their Land. HaTikvah captured that longing with its melancholy.  And behold:  One day, it happened! Their Land was restored! We as Christians, along with Jewish believers in the Jewish Messiah - together we are longing, aching, desperately waiting for Him to restore His Kingdom on earth, returning to His people as the Holy One of Israel, to the now-a-reality nation of Israel, and reign from Jerusalem.  And behold: one day, IT WILL HAPPEN

This is the Hope of HaTikvah. It is an anthem of the faithfulness of God.  When I hear HaTikvah, I am reminded of His faithfulness, and our desperate longing for His return is not in vain!

So, in closing - how is it that a Christian like me would attempt to write an arrangement for this Jewish song?  

Sorrow.  It was August 15, 2005, and the Israeli disengagement from Gaza had begun.  8000 Jews were forced to leave their homes in Gush Katif.  (Eleven years later, we all know how well that has turned out.)  As a Gentile who longs to see God restore ALL His originally promised Land to Israel (here is the map), it was heartbreaking to see people forced from their homes, but worse -- see Israel forfeiting her rightful Land. 

I was so grieved.  My heart ached.  This should not be.  One night, I got up and went to my keyboard, and turned to the song of desperation I had admired from a distance for so many years.  As I wrote, my hope was that my arrangement captured the deep sorrow I was experiencing, and still experience when I think of that day.   

That day, by the way - August 15, 2005 on the Roman calendar, was also known on the Hebrew calendar as Tish B'Av.   (Please read its history!)   Tish B'Av began this very evening (Saturday August 13) at sundown. So, pray for the peace and safety of Jerusalem!

Satan sought to eliminate the Jewish people for centuries in hopes of preventing the Messiah's birth. His handiwork was evident in the slaughter of children 2 years of age and under in an effort to kill Jesus as a baby. He has read Revelation and knows his fate:  he continues to seek to interfere with Jesus' 2nd coming. His goal is to see that there are no Jews left to call upon Yeshua, or worse yet no Israel for Him to return to.  He will continue to try to achieve this.  We know he will ultimately fail, but many will lose their lives in his war.  One day, I could lose my life - I love the Jewish Messiah and the Jewish people!  But, that's okay, because I have HaTikvah -- The Hope - Jesus, the Holy One of Israel, the Prince of Peace, the Son of David, our bright Morning Star!

I hope you enjoy my version of HaTikva!
[Many thanks to my friend Jennifer Allen!  Jennifer has lived in Israel for almost 10 years and has shared her beautiful photos of The Land with us for this video!]

Update:  Sept. 16, 2016

I just found this wonderful documentary on the History of the song 'HaTikvah" on Youtube!  It is so fantastic -- I had to share it with you!







Musical Devotion: "In My Heart" by Eric Grover 

Musical Devotion: "In My Heart" by Eric Grover
Music arrangement by Teresa Thomas
(For my "what's happening in my life" personal update, click HERE!)

Greetings, Friends! 

Today's Musical Devotion is a song written by Eric Grover called "In My Heart"!  Before you worry and think I'm stealing someone else's song, I must tell you my arrangement's story!  Several years ago, Bob Kauflin of had a contest. Contestants were to choose a previously published SGM Music song (we had a list of songs to choose from) and we were to write a new arrangement for our song pick.  The one caveat -- we had to keep the same melody for the song within the new arrangement!  I thought it sounded like a fun challenge, so I decided to enter the competition!  I chose the song "In My Heart", by Eric Grover.  It's a song that I find deeply personal, and have used it as a prayer on many occasions.

But, before I share my arrangement with you, I would love for you to hear Eric's originally recorded arrangement* of the song: "In My Heart".
  I have always loved this arrangement, as well as its celtic influence! (Click on the "play button" underneath the title of the song at the top of the page to hear the original recording!)

My arrangement is somewhat different.  I felt the song is deeply contemplative, so I strove to write an arrangement that captured the heart of the lyrics.  I hope you enjoy both arrangements!

OH -- I can't remember at all what I placed in the contest, but I think I placed in the Top 5! (I absolutely hate contests - I did this for the challenge - not to win!)  Here is my version of the song, and probably one the greatest blessings was receiving a very nice compliment of my arrangement by Eric himself in the Youtube comments.  

So I present to you my arrangement of "In My Heart", by Eric Grover.  I hope you enjoy it!  

If you have enjoyed my song and would like to subscribe to my Musical Devotion mailing, click here!


Musical Devotion: Scripture Songs: "Romans 13: 11, 12" 

Hello Friends!
  *Click Here To See My Musical Devotion!

This is my Musical Devotion for this week, inspired by Romans 13:11,12 and a beautiful Steinway Grand piano I had the most wonderful opportunity to play on Thursday night.  It was such a treat -- I hope you enjoy hearing it as much as I enjoyed playing it! 

I love Elliott's commentary which notes "The time during which the Messiah is absent from His people is compared to Night. He is the sun, whose coming converts it to Day.”  It's with this thought that this verse means so much to me.  We are so very close to the Lord's return, and this whole passage in Romans pleads with us to love one another and live in purity as we await His return.  Beloved, our redemption draweth nigh! 

(This song is a little different in that I added some harmonies.  Truthfully, there is a full orchestra and choir, as well…I just can't figure out a way to share it with you inside my head!)  This song is a free download on my Music page.  If you haven't subscribed to my Musical Devotions, I'd love to invite you!  Thanks for supporting me and for all your wonderful and kind comments -- they are greatly appreciated!


Romans 13:11, 12 by Teresa Thomas

This is a Free Song Download at:


Musical Devotion: Psalm Songs - "Wings" (Ps. 55 & 91) 


Today's Musical Devotion is part of my 'Psalm Songs' series.  Last week, I shared that I love to put music to unknown hymns, and I love to write music for the Psalms as well.  Today's song is inspired from Psalm 55, written by King David, and Psalm 91 (which I highly suspect was written by David, though we don't know for sure.)   I do find it rather amusing that the fierce, courageous, bold little David that took on Goliath is the same David that writes the words, "If I had wings like a dove, I would fly away and find rest"! 

The Psalms are full with instruction, history, prophecy, praise and encouragement.  I have held onto them in my darkest moments, and shouted them with the loudest praises.  I hope you will find them to be as much a blessing as I have.

This is a live performance recording -- I did not have the ability to adjust volume of instruments, etc.  It's available as a Free Download on my Music page. Enjoy!

Musical Devotion: Hymns By Her - 'Rest in Jesus' by James G Deck 

Greetings, Friends!

I'm sorry I haven't posted to my website for quite a while -- my website has actually been "down" for several months, but is now back. And so am I.  :-)   Since I last posted, our family has moved twice -- we relocated from the hustle and bustle of the Washington, DC area to the beautiful, peaceful mountains and valleys of Central Virginia.  Our two oldest kids are now attending Liberty University, and Michael and I are working there full-time. We really love it  -- and we love being near the kids, though we don't get to see them very often because they live on campus and are always busy!

SO, we have purchased an off-grid cabin, tucked away in the forests of Goode, VA.  The cabin is 950 sq ft, runs off solar panels for electricity, is heated with our wood stove, and we get our water twice a week from a friend's well until Michael finishes the water system (unless we move to NZ first…which has been my dream since 2008!)  I have a 1920's 'Magic Chef' oven/stove, which I absolutely love, and we inherited with the house the former owner's Maremma sheepdog "Maccabee".  He's about 150 lbs and adores me!

Because it's nearly impossible to regulate temperature (and because there is just NO room), I had to leave my piano with wonderful friends, temporarily.  But, all is not lost!  To continue writing, I will occasionally sneak away into the University's Music Department "practice rooms".  (The rooms run on my time -- they're open till 1am!)  It's there that I lay bare my soul before my God, and let Him wash me with His word and Spirit.  And I spend hours…and hours…lost in worshiping Him.

Well, yet again someone asked me recently if I have any "new songs".  The answer is always yes -- but I don't really know how to share them with you.  It was in these  practice rooms last week that I decided I would just bring you with me there…and make "raw recordings" of whatever I'm working on when I'm 'with my God' and a piano'.  So, I pulled out my not-so-smart phone, and pressed "record".  

Please note -- these are RAW recordings.  The audio is not going to be great.  I sing off -pitch occasionally.  I hit wrong notes on the piano.  I forget the words sometimes.  It's live performance, but it's also live worship….I am hoping the imperfections will not become a distraction.  :-)

This is a free download on my "Music" page if you want this on your iPod! Please feel free to share it with your church's worship pastor/choir director.  I am hoping to return to NZ  in November to lead worship again for the annual Celebrate Messiah, NZ Simcha conference, and if I'm able to pull it off, I'd love to host a "Hymn Sing" in Motueka where James G. Deck is buried, where we would have a time of worship and I'll sing the arrangements for his hymns that I've written.  So, keep that in prayer  -- that I can work that out!

So, now I bring to you my new segment, "'Hymns By Her' -- Rest in Jesus, by James G. Deck; Music and arrangement by me!  I hope you are blessed by his hymn as much as I am.  Please be sure to leave me comments below, and thank you for supporting my music!