ABOUT THE AUTHOR—TAUNIA L. HENRY…

My husband, Buck, and I live in rural central Illinois where we stay busy with our five little blessings…Samaria, Josiah, Isaiah, Nehemiah, and Judaea.

Buck & Taunia L Henry Family Photo

I would like to share with you, in as short a rendition as possible, how these hymns came about in my life. Though it is a rather personal story; it stands as a testimony to me of God's faithfulness, as He has a plan for each one of us in the work of His Kingdom. I hope you will find some inspiration from it as well…

If you had told me about 15 years ago that I would be composing hymns and starting my own publishing company, I probably would have laughed and not believed a word of it. Though I have always loved music and enjoyed playing the piano, I would have never attempted to write a song—that type of work is for famous people, right? I have actually worked as a seamstress until recently, when our third child began crawling and I couldn't keep up with the work! I had decided on this career at the age of 14. Graduating a year early from high school, I wasn't very interested in continuing on to college and pursuing a serious career because if God had planned marriage in my life, I hoped to be a "stay-at-home" mom as my mother had been, possibly working from home. The sewing career was an easy trade to fit into this life-style choice and since I felt my skills were adequate, I began working part-time for a small bridal shop constructing gowns at age 15, hoping to get some early experience in the trade. I eventually worked for two different alteration shops and in the year 2000, moved my attentions to running an alteration shop out of our home. During these seven years, an interesting talent had been made evident in my life which I hardly knew what to do with. It was the gift of song which as I look back, had actually been given to me soon after the time of my conversion and rebirth in Christ…


At the age of fourteen I had stood at the crossroads of decision as God brought deep conviction upon my heart of my sinful state. A few of my classmates had made the decision to repent for their sins and follow Christ, which brought the reality of decision to the forefront in my life. Though still at a young age and raised in a Christian home, human nature had taken its toll, leading me away from God and pulling me into sin, resulting in a separation from the Creator. I felt so lost and desperate as I fell on my knees by my bed on the night of March 22, 1993. I can remember the weight of decision as I struggled with surrendering my life to God. I knew that I was lost and destined for hell, but I was afraid to trust God to make decisions in my life. I wanted to do what I wanted to do, not let God decide for me. There were things I wanted to experience and take part in that I knew had no place in the life of a Christian. I was looking forward to dating, getting my license and continuing to “live it up” with my friends. I liked the way that I was able to fix myself up and dress to get attention from the opposite sex, but I knew it was displeasing before God. So I knelt in fear that night wondering what God was planning for my life. What if He would choose a husband for me that I wouldn't like, or what would my friends say when I changed and became a "good girl" and possibly a social outcast in school? As I reached for the Bible and opened it, the words before me pierced into my soul: "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Repent and believe the Gospel," I turned randomly a couple of times and the repentance message kept leaping out at me just as if Christ were there audibly saying the words. I did not have the strength or faith to take those first steps of repentance that night and prayed that God would help me do it "tomorrow."
 

That next day I went to school with the inward struggle pulling hard at my heart; but I was still unable to surrender. When I got home that afternoon, my dad was excited to greet me with the news that another one of my classmates had made the decision to begin a repentance and follow Christ. He said, "Have you heard of anyone else?" "Me", I was finally able to answer—and surprised him to death! He had to ask me again and by that time the tears were flowing and the power of my silent struggle was shattered. This beginning marked the biggest, most important step that anyone can ever make— the decision for the soul’s eternity. God's plan for my life was just beginning! (Little did I know that this exact same day, March 23rd, 4 years later would be my wedding day!—completing the second most important step in life.) After a complete confession of my sins and time of restitution, I began a time of struggle as I was faced with the change of conversion taking place by the Holy Spirit in my life. For about six or seven months I struggled to submit my will to God's until finally Christ won the victory and gave me a peace in my heart and soon thereafter I was able to make a covenant with God in the waters of baptism. Sometime within these months when I was deep in prayer, the words of a song had come upon my heart with a melody of what I called "I Bow Down," which reflected the feeling of final surrender that I had just experienced…"When I think of the Lord my God, when I think of His mighty pow'r, when I think of His Holy throne—I bow down, down down, down—I bow down. I am nothing Lord, Thou art everything: Thou my living hope, Thou my joy and peace, Thou all righteousness, Thou the Living Word. Lord I come to Thee. Thou art all I need. I'm Yours…" Next, the hymn that came to me was "Keep Me Separate" which reflected the struggle during my conversion/rebirth, between serving Christ or the world…"Oh Lord, keep me separate from the world that I may not follow where it leads. The wage of sin it is death beyond belief. Keep my feet from wandering that I may live in perfect peace with Thy love flowing over me—yes, I look up to Thee—Separate Lord and free from sin. Purify me from within. Separate Lord, and more like Thee that I may live in eternity."

When I showed these songs to a few people that were close to me, they thought that they must have been copied or something; they weren’t sure what to think. The matter was discouraged and I ended up recording them on a tape player for my own benefit, which was set aside and soon forgotten. I didn't even give the idea a second thought, going on with my everyday plans of school and work. About four years later, however, I was married to a wonderful man that was truly a gift from God to be my best friend and companion and my encourager! I often laugh at him and call him the "eternal optimist" because he always seems to see the cloud with a silver lining when all I see is the storm. A couple months after we were married, we were in church listening to a sermon by Bro. Clark Stoller, one of the ministers in our home church. It was about the call of the disciples in St. John's Gospel. . ."Phillip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, 'We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.' And Nathanael said unto him, 'Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?' Philip saith unto him, 'Come and See.' " "Come and See!" Those words just seemed to hit me and strike a chord as the Spirit stirred within me. As the minister expounded upon this thought I could almost audibly hear the melody and words of the hymn…"Come and see the Lion of Judah. Come and see the Holy Lamb of God. Come and see the fairest of ten thousand—Come and See, Come and See the Son of God!" We had a supper and singing to attend right after church, so on the way there I grabbed a pen and paper and during the half hour drive, all four verses and the chorus were finished to "Come And See". I was so surprised and my husband was no doubt surprised as well. I saw this as a once-in-a-lifetime interesting event, but my husband insisted that if it were possible to be inspired once, God’s limitless power could reveal more songs to me in the future. I was unaware at the time how meaningful this hymn actually was for me. The second verse actually told of my repentance story and the night I had knelt in fear wondering what God had planned for my life. At this time, Christ was seeming to whisper to me again, “Come and See” as another chapter in my life was unfolding.


This joyful time was followed by a difficult year for us, as we dealt with some complicated family issues while adjusting to the newness of marriage. During this
time of spiritual battle, the words to “The Battle Is The Lord’s” were written. That following year was of time of spiritual growth for me in which my husband and I grew much closer together as a couple. During this time, as we were both working full time and buying a “new” home in the country among other things, hymns pertaining to events and lessons in my life were written such as "Like the Prodigal Son", "Teach Me To Love” and "Strive For A Mansion", followed by “My Heart’s Not For Sale”. My husband finally said, "There is something going on here!" It was then that I remembered the two hymns that had been tabled years earlier, which I told him about. He was absolutely emphatic that I continue in prayer and try to use this gift that was apparently given to me "by the laying on of the hands of the presbytery" as spoken of in I Timothy 4:4, which also commands: "Neglect not the gift that is in thee." I struggled with the reality of this being a personal gift because of my lack of faith and my "glass is half empty" philosophy. To me they just seemed to be revelations. Each song was a special revealing of God touching my life to help me grow, and I thought the chances were very slim of another hymn coming to me; but as I decided to try to listen to the Holy Spirit in willingness to write, the hymns just kept coming! As time went on I felt at peace to just wait for God's leading. If He chose to reveal something to me I would pray that He would help me complete the work; and if He chose to be silent, then I would try to be content to wait. There were actually times that I tried in vain to write a song by myself and found it utterly impossible. Even though these times were often well intentioned, they stood as a witness to me of my own inadequacy, knowing that true inspiration can only come from God in His time. This experience has also stood as a witness to me of the power of encouragement and the difference it can make. Were it not for my dear husband's prodding and support, I would have never had the confidence or perseverance to complete this long project, especially while establishing a household and having four children! I hope that this lesson will help me to inspire and encourage others in the future to not be afraid to work and to dream—for God has a plan for each one of us! He has hidden talents and abilities inside each of us that His name may be glorified. We just need to help one another to make them a reality.

It has been nothing short of a miracle how God has brought the final work of this first volume to completion. Once I decided to use this gift, there were so many questions. I had no idea how to get these hymns out to the public to be heard. How were they to be scored, or copyrighted, or printed, or recorded, or published? There was such a big mountain to climb, but God was faithful and opened and closed one door at a time, and provided each step of the way—Therein lies the tale of the name "For His Glory”... I often marvel at the realization that God has used someone like me—so ill-qualified, somewhat undereducated and what I usually refer to as "computer illiterate"—to complete this task. But then I remember that "His strength is made perfect in weakness." It is through our weakness and inadequacy that He can prove that the power is His, not ours; and any good fruit that we bear is His, not ours. If I had been endowed with great musical talent and education on my own, much of the credit could have been given to me. But now, everyone that knows the story can see that it could only be by the grace of God, and all the credit can truly be given to Him, "For His Glory."