My First Love…

Official - I Must Become Less 5

Oh Lord You’re Beautiful / You Have Me

Search me, God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting
Psalm 139:23-24

I love this song…  Or really – these songs…

I’ll give you a little tidbit about each, to explain why I closed my new record with covers.

Oh Lord You’re Beautiful is a Keith Greene song.  I actually covered this song some six years ago, you can find it here .   I first heard the song about six years ago.  I met this guy who loved my voice and my worship, and said I should check out Keith Greene, that I reminded him of Keith.  Well – I don’t see it…  That guy was immensely talented, and his songs were so deep and rich, and his love for the Lord is evident in all of them.  And – he had a killer voice.  I don’t see any of those characteristics in me.  But hey – whatevs.  🙂  I fell in love with Keith Green’s music, and this song in particular.  So I sort of “Ted’ed” it.

A similar story with the Gungor song, “You Have Me”.  A dear brother approached me and said, “You should do this song, I hear you every time I hear it”.  Again – I don’t hear it.  But loved it.  BUT – this song was a bit out of my range, and musically, I just was not happy with how I could play it.  BUT – I somehow kept playing and singing the ending of the song, and praying and praising God with those words.  “You have my heart completely…”.

It eventually became the ending of my rendition of the Keith Greene song.  So – why not put them on the record?  Pure.  Simple.  Lovely.

I had my dear friends help me sing out the Gungor part.  I love it.  It’s so beautiful.  I am so blessed….

So – this is my record.  This is what God gave me, and I give it back as best I can.  I truly hope the Lord sees this as my best, not my leftovers.  I trust he’s pleased, not because I’m talented, not because I have some gift to give HIM – but because HE is pleased to give ME this gift.  What a joy it is to sing for my king…

“Oh Lord You’re Beautiful” Written by Keith Greene
“You Have Me” Written by Brad Waller, Lisa Gungor, Michael Gungor

Ted Hajnasiewicz: lead vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin
Group vocals by Susie Roalstad, Angela Glum, Joan Boyer, Ellie Petersen, Grace Bare, Elise Magalis, Drew Petersen

Oh Lord You’re Beautiful/ You Have Me

i must become less…

To This End I Labor…

Official - I Must Become Less 5

Contender (the GLORY of the LORD!)

For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near.  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing (2 Timothy 4:6-8)

I would love to be able to say this about myself, as Paul does.  Partly, because I’m tired and lazy, and would love to be finished.  🙂  Partly though because I do not believe I measure up to someone like Paul.  Not even close.

But I shouldn’t be comparing myself to him.  or anyone.  Paul didn’t say these words, or any of his words, to boast.  This was an encouragement to Timothy, to FINISH WELL.  I would do well to take heed myself.

I wrote this song a few years back, after meeting a guy who told me, “You need to contend for the glory of the Lord”.  He was retelling to me the story of Elisha and the Shunammite woman (Read 2 Kings 4).  This woman’s son died, and she would not stop until she came before the man of God (Elisha).  The guy told me, “That is how you need to be when seeking the Lord.  You don’t stop until you are before HIM.  You must CONTEND FOR THE GLORY OF THE LORD!”

So I went home and watched Rocky.  Sounds odd.  🙂  But all I could think about was how Rocky never gave up.  He got knocked down, over and over and over, but he GOT UP.

The Righteous man falls seven times, but gets back up again… (Proverbs 24:16)

I fall over and over.  But in Christ, I get back up again.  I am a contender, for the Glory of the Lord…

I have an older version of this song, which you can find here .  For this one, my buddy Seth played drums, Elise and Joan helped with backing vocals, and many of my dear brothers and sisters from church lent the harmonies in the bridge, “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength”.  It was so cool, and I love what they added to the song!

I’ll leave you with a link to this old blog post, about contending for the glory of the Lord.  God bless you, and keep you.

T.

Written by Ted Hajnasiewicz, Nathan Boyer, Joan Boyer.

Ted Hajnasiewicz:   lead and backing vocals; lead and rhythm guitars, acoustic guitar, bass guitar
Elise Magalis:  backing vocals
Joan Boyer:  backing vocals
Seth Butz:  drums
Group vocals by Susie Roalstad, Angela Glum, Joan Boyer, Ellie Petersen, Grace Bare, Elise Magalis, Drew Petersen

Contender (the GLORY of the LORD!)

i must become less…

Now Show Me Your Glory…

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Show Me Your Glory

He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” (Genesis 3:10)

Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.” (Exodus 33:18)

I have been captured by the text in Exodus 33, since God first showed it to me years ago.  Here, we see Moses pleading with God, “If you don’t go, we won’t go.  Don’t leave us…” (I am paraphrasing).  This is after a grave sin committed by the entire community of people.  This is a sinful man himself, Moses, PLEADING to the Lord, “Show me your glory…”.  Wow….

And God’s response?  “I will not leave you.  I am pleased with you (the sinner, remember?).  I know you by name…  My face you cannot see, but I will show you My glory.” (I again am paraphrasing).

Wow…

A stark contrast from Adam, at the fall of man.  He HID.

And – so did all of the Israelites, when in the presence of God.  They couldn’t handle it, asked Moses to ask God to not do that.  They simply could not be in God’s presence.  Why?

Sin.  God can’t have sin in His presence.  And sinners cannot stand to be in God’s presence.

So why Adam?  He was a sinner too.  Heck – he didn’t even make it into the promised land!

Why?  Because he BELIEVED.  He was chosen by God, and given a faith that prevails over his sin.  He was forgiven.  He was given a boldness to come before our loving Father, like a child, and say “Show me your glory….”.

I want that… Lord, show me Your glory…

What about you?

This is another re-recording.  You can find the original here , and you can even read my original review of the song here .  This song has really changed, from the original original song (different lyrics, was called “Right Back Where We Started”, from my old band, in 2005), to the one I recorded three years ago, to this one.  Hope you enjoy!

Written by Ted Hajnasiewicz, Nathan Boyer, Joan Boyer

Ted Hajnasiewicz:  lead vocals, lead and rhythm guitars, bass guitar, hand claps
Seth Butz:  drums
Phyliss Hajnasiewicz:  hand claps

Show Me Your Glory

i must become less…

I’m A Child Of the Living God…

Official - I Must Become Less 5

Because You Took My Sin…

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God (Romans 8:14)

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith (Galatians 3:26)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace (Ephesians 1:7)

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:6)

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21)

 

DO YOU BELIEVE THIS???

If you are in Christ, and you don’t believe this – YOU NEED TO.  I NEED TO…

Not because we in ourselves are worthy, or have earned it.  Because HE is worthy, and has DONE it.  Our identity is IN CHRIST.  Knowing this will help us to walk in this.  It’s not a manner of “believing so that it is so”, it’s “believing BECAUSE IT IS SO”.  The Lord says so, who am I to doubt Him???

I wrote this song a few years back, and have always wanted to do something with it.  I put out a recording of it from my iPhone, you can find that here.  You can see the song structure hasn’t changed much from this original first draft.

But I always thought of this song in the sense of the “epic jam band” theme from a 70’s rock band.  With super cool guitar solos, something that would move you musically, as it hopefully does lyrically.  So I asked my dear friend Derek Kosch, who is a guitar genius in my opinion, to lend some guitar work to this song.

He didn’t.  🙂  But he did add some awesome B3 and Mellotron parts, and suggested a chord variance at one point, which helped to deconstruct this song a bit, shake it up a bit.  Derek’s contributions took this song to a whole new level for me.  I love what he did, and he planted a seed in my head with other songs, both on this project and on the next.  I am excited for what I am able to do musically with the tools I have.  I’m also excited that friends like Derek, Seth (drums), and so many others, were willing to help me out.  I am so pleased with that they did with my little songs.

Oh – and my lovely wife lends her vocal debut on this one!  She’s not thrilled, but I love what she did.  It’s me and her, actually, doing the “oh-oh-oh” parts in the “My sin, Your righteousness” lines.  It’s EXACTLY what I had in my head, she NAILED IT!  🙂

So – as you listen to this, please consider the verses above.  And others like it.  This is NOT a morale booster, or a self-help program.  This is CHRIST, and HIS work in and through us.  He must increase, we must decrease…

Written by Ted Hajnasiewicz and Derek Kosch

Ted Hajnasiewicz:  lead vocals, backing vocals, lead and rhythm guitars, bass guitar
Phyliss Hajnasiewicz:  backing vocals
Derek Kosch:  Hammond B3, mellotron
Seth Butz:  drums

Because You Took My Sin…

i must become less…

I Am For You…

Official - I Must Become Less 5

I Will Absorb the Blow

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you (Ephesians 4:32)

This is a very special song for me.  I tried to write it with the above passage in mind, keeping in mind that we are to forgive each other, LOVE each other, just as Christ loves us.  The first verse applies to brothers, the church.  The second to my wife.  The last – God to us.  I am so pleased with how this one turned out.  It really is a sweet song.  That sounds odd to say about something I wrote.  God is good…

So – I had this idea to have a friend of mine share the lead vocal part with me.  His name is Abasa Asake, and he is a monster singer.  You’ll hear for yourself.  He was gracious enough to help me out.  Funny – when he came over to record, started laying his parts down, we’d finish a take and I’d be like, “Woah….”, an he’d be like, “Meh…”.  🙂  He is super critical of his voice, but he’s AMAZING.  I almost didn’t want to keep any of my parts in, as I feel weird hearing my voice on the song now.  He’s that good, and I feel pretty inferior in my flesh.  But God is good, and it turned out very well…

I hope you enjoy this song, and are encouraged.  Encouraged if you are in any sort of relationship, be it family, church, a marriage.  God is for you.  Your spouse if for you.  Your brothers and sisters are for you.  I do well to remember this, as I am so very blessed…

Ted Hajnasiewicz:   lead and backing vocals, lead and rhythm guitars, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, drum loops, Hammond B3, piano
Abasa Asake:   lead vocals
Elise Magalis:  backing vocals
Joan Boyer:  backing vocals

I Will Absorb the Blow

i must become less…

For I Am Convinced…

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Truth Is…

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,  and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus (Romans 3:23-24)

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23)

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39)

Here, we have another of my re-records.  You can hear the original version here , and you can read my original post on the song here .

So a big change in this song was the entire first verse.  As you can see from the original, I was “trying” to get across the thought that we condemn ourselves when we reject Christ.  I still hold to this belief (though we should be careful to point out I am not suggesting God doesn’t condemn, or have the power, authority, sovereignty to condemn – that in itself is a conversation I don’t think I’m smart enough to get out in words here.  I’d rather talk about it, and go to scripture over it).

Thing is, my dear friends Nathan and Joan lovingly pointed out how it comes off as questionable, from a theological perspective.  For the reasons my circular talk above.  I just am not getting it across as it is in my head and heart.  So – I scrapped it, and put in more of a Gospel truth.  There is no one good but God.  We try to make ourselves good, justify ourselves, compare ourselves to someone “worse” than us.  But we are NOT good in our flesh.

But the truth is…  The Gospel is…  That HE took on our sin – all of it…  For me…  For YOU…  That you might be His goodness…  And if you are in Christ, NOTHING can separate you from Him.  NOTHING…  Praise God…

I’m struck by a word from my friend Tom, about Romans 8:14 – For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.

Tom’s point is this:  The words “being led”, in Greek, have three characters:

1.  “Being led”, or “led”, is PRESENT TENSE.  It’s not “was led”, or “will be led”.  It’s happening NOW

2.  “Being led”, or “led”, is PASSIVE.  It’s not ourselves leading ourselves.  It’s not our doing.  It’s HIS doing…

3.  “Being led”, or “led”, is INDICITIVE.  It’s HAPPENING.  We can’t stop it.  If you are in Christ, you ARE being led by the Holy Spirit.

What profound truth!  What encouragement!  If God is at work in your life, He is at work in your life!  And nothing can change that!  Woah…

So – I recorded this song with my brother Seth on drums.  Laid down most everything else myself, then had some dear friends from church add gang vocals.  This is one of there songs where they sang their parts, after hearing me sing it, and NOTHING else.  They sang from Nathan’s and my directing, without a track to follow.  They did pretty amazing, if you ask me!

Ted Hajnasiewicz:  lead and backing vocals, lead and rhythm guitars, baritone guitar, bass guitar, percussion
Seth Butz: drums
Gang vocals by:  Susie Roalstad, Angela Glum, Joan Boyer, Ellie Petersen, Grace Bare, Elise Magalis, Drew Petersen

Truth Is…

i must become less…