More from Linda Bonney Olin

by Upper Room Editorial on Saturday, May 21, 2016

After I wrote about my resolution to memorize scripture verses, my "Holy GhostWriter" prodded me to take that stored-up bounty off the shelf and put it to use by writing new hymn texts. Blending scriptures into a congregational hymn is almost like opening jars of preserved veggies to cook up a flavorful, nutritious dish for a potluck supper. Unlike an ordinary casserole, though, a good hymn can feed any size crowd! Each one is a uniquely seasoned recipe that suits some tastes better than others. I try to make them easy for average folks to digest while they sing, but meaty enough to stick to their ribs.

Inspiration for my lyrics springs from the trials and triumphs of life, from sermons and songs I hear, and from my daily devotional reading, including The Upper Room. Sometimes snippets from the Bible get woven into the lyrics themselves. Other times, the scriptures serve as the foundation for themes I explore in song.

Music composition is not my strong point, so I often set my words to existing music. I relish giving fresh voice to wonderful old tunes. As scriptures do, hymns connect us to many generations of the faithful, past and yet to be born. What a privilege to be part of that tradition!

Now, here’s a fitting hymn text to celebrate my first meditation published in The Upper Room. To download the sheet music or listen to the tune (CHRISTMAS SONG by Karl P. Harrington), go to the Audio page at my Faith Songs website ( Scroll down to “Musical Settings for New Hymn Texts.” Enjoy!

- Linda Bonney Olin

Before Us, Alive!

©2012 Linda Bonney Olin


1. How we grieved when we heard that our Master had died,

how the nails tore his hands and the spear pierced his side!

Oh, the suffering he bore as he hung on the cross!

When his life ebbed away, our salvation seemed lost.

But our grief turned to joy, and our hope was revived,

when the One whom we mourned stood before us, alive!


2. In a locked upper room we sat huddled in fear.

All at once in our midst the Lord Jesus appeared!

Jesus raised from the dead? How could such a thing be?

Yet the marks of his wounds proved it really was he!

Then our grief turned to joy, and our hope was revived,

for the One whom we mourned stood before us, alive!


3. "Peace be with you," he said. "Blessed are all who believe,

for a life everlasting with me they'll receive.

Now, the marvels you've seen are a gift you must share.

Go, invite all the world to the home I'll prepare."

Yes, our grief turned to joy, and our hope was revived,

for the One whom we mourned stood before us, alive!


4. Look in God's Holy Word; see our witness to you.

By his Spirit, believe what we know to be true:

With his anguish and death, Jesus paid for our sin.

Our Redeemer lives now! Live forever with him!

Let your grief turn to joy, and your hope be revived,

for the One who loves you stands before you, alive!


Visit Linda's Faith Songs website


Comment by Judy of Yalaha, FL

I really love the last verse. Well done. Olin is my maiden name.

Posted May 21, 2016 at 04:54AM CDT
Comment by dave of Manassas, VA


Posted May 21, 2016 at 05:05AM CDT
Comment by Edd of Ocala, FL

Great song, couldn't get the audio though. I think I would love to try one of those meals with my wife and listen to some signing. God is Love!!! Edd of Ocala, FL.

Posted May 21, 2016 at 05:26AM CDT
Comment by patricia of laurelton, NY

Amen, Linda. Thank you for these words. Have a blessed and lovely weekend.

Posted May 21, 2016 at 06:29AM CDT
Comment by JK


Posted May 21, 2016 at 06:35AM CDT
Comment by Karen of Jackson, MS

Wonderful words thank you Linda. Be Blessed!

Posted May 21, 2016 at 06:49AM CDT
Comment by Donnie of Royston, GA

Thank you for using your God-given talents in such marvelous ways! And your devotion today has made me resolve to make a better attempt at memorizing verses that are important to me.

Posted May 21, 2016 at 09:13AM CDT
Comment by avis

Thanks, it is amazing how God brings alive talent from inside of us that we were not aware.(of)

Posted May 21, 2016 at 10:56AM CDT
Comment by Linda of Nineveh, NY

Thank you all for your kind comments. Glad you enjoyed "Before Us, Alive."
I can't take credit for the message, of course. That wonderfulness comes directly from the Bible. And working out the meter and rhyme and such would be pretty much impossible without my Holy GhostWriter. :D

Posted May 21, 2016 at 11:41AM CDT
Comment by joan of Vidalia, GA

Linda, you are gifted in this way of ministry. I feel a kinship with you because I like trying to write songs and have done a few. God bless you as you continue to exalt HIM.

Posted May 22, 2016 at 01:49PM CDT
Comment by Linda of Nineveh, NY

Thanks, Joan. Do you write lyrics or music, or both?

Posted May 22, 2016 at 01:59PM CDT
Comment by joan of Vidalia, GA

Sorry to take so long answering your question, LBO of Nineveh, NY. I couldn't get my password straightened out. I write both music and lyrics but I haven't done much lately. Maybe I can do more this summer.

Posted June 02, 2016 at 06:25PM CDT