Jesus, mold our hearts so that You are all that we desire. May we rather have You than anything this earth has to offer.
I'd rather have Jesus than silver or gold;
I'd rather be His than have riches untold;
I'd rather have Jesus than houses or lands.
I'd rather be led by His nail pierced hand
Than to be the king of a vast domain
Or be held in sin's dread sway.
I'd rather have Jesus than anything
This world affords today.
I'd rather have Jesus than men's applause;
I'd rather be faithful to His dear cause;
I'd rather have Jesus than worldwide fame.
I'd rather be true to His holy name.
He's fairer than lilies of rarest bloom;
He's sweeter than honey from out the comb;
He's all that my hungering spirit needs.
I'd rather have Jesus and let Him lead
I'd Rather Have Jesus was written by Rhea F. Miller. She grew up the only child of an alcoholic father and a devoutly Christian mother who faithfully prayed for her husband's deliverance from addiction. Eventually he did get clean and turn his life around to the point that he even became a Baptist preacher. One day when she was 28, Miller was out for a walk and began to reflect on how her father had said he would, "rather have Jesus than all the gold and silver in the world, and all the houses and land that money could buy." Thus she composed these lyrics and even her own music although her tune would soon be replaced by another one.
The tune that we sing this statement of faith to goes by the same title as the song and was written by the great George Beverly Shea, most famous for leading the music at Billy Graham's Evangelistic crusades.
I first met Kelly Minter in the summer of 2012. I had felt the Lord beginning to shift me into a new season and mentioned this to a friend I bumped into one day while running errands. Through what can only be the Lord, she told me to dust off my resume that night and she'd be happy to recommend me as her replacement as she was actually moving on to another opportunity as well. To this day I'm not entirely sure why Kelly took a chance on me, but for the next 6 and a half years I had the privilege of being Kelly's assistant/road manager/violinist until I "retired" to stay home with Clare when she was born. (And thank goodness she hired me, because there aren't too many "assistant/road manager/violinist" jobs to be had out there.) Kelly and I often laugh about how neither of us had a clue what we were getting into when she first called me about taking the job with her. Since then we've traveled to 31 states and 1 foreign country together on more trips than most families take together in a lifetime and gotten into too many shenanigans to recount here.
Kelly is many things: an author, a speaker, a Bible scholar, a chef, a green thumb...her mind never stops dreaming up amazing things and keeping up with her pace is all but impossible for the rest of us around her, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Her depth of soul, kind and generous heart and drive to accomplish the work she's given herself to inspire me to be the kind of person who makes everything I do count, loves her friends fiercely, and serves the church in both the local and global sense. If you've ever been to one of her Cultivate: A Gathering Around The Word events, or done her "All Things New" Bible study, you'll recognize her beautiful arrangement of "I'd Rather Have Jesus." I chose it partly because it's become so dear to me over the past few years, and partly because it could be a subtitle for Kelly's life. She truly lives each day choosing Him first in all things and it's beautiful to have a front row seat to watch it all.
During these strange times, Kelly is graciously providing some fantastic free resources that I know you will find encouraging and uplifting. We would love for you to take advantage of these and I've listed them below. I know you will be blessed by them.
Also, Kelly works closely with Justice & Mercy International, an organization that seeks to meet the physical and spiritual needs of the poor, the orphaned and the forgotten. The awesome "JUSTICE + MERCY" sweatshirts that we are wearing in tonight's video can be purchased HERE in their online store. (along with lots of other cool items.)
***Please note that the entire amount of money earned from any merchandise purchases goes directly to the work of JMI. Kelly and I do not receive any kickbacks.
Stories and thoughts and current happenings in music and life
Bethany is a freelance violinist/fiddler and tour manager who works with artists & events such as Kelly Minter, Cultivate: A Gathering Around The Word and Laura Story. She and her husband Keith live in Nashville, TN with their daughter Clare, cat & 6 backyard chickens. For more info on Bethany, visit her bio page!!