Speak to Me Now:
A Journey

What appears below is an expanded version of the liner notes for my CD Speak To Me Now: A Journey.

In My Mother's Womb ~ Words, music and accompaniment: Duncan Holmes. What better place to start than at the beginning, at conception? I have always liked Psalm 139. Obviously, my friend Duncan Holmes, who wrote this song shares this sentiment. What a comfort to be reminded that God knows us even better than we know ourselves and is always with us! I love the very Jewish-sounding melody, as well.

Speak To Me Now ~ Copyright 2000 ~ Words and music: Ruthann L. Elliott. Keyboard: Duncan Holmes. I chose each of the songs on this CD because they were meaningful to me. I fell in love with this beautiful prayer the first time I heard it! As someone who often tries to find all of the answers and figure things out, I often need to slow down, ask the Lord to speak to me, and be willing to take the time to listen. This prayer, set to music, puts me into that prayerful frame of mind. I hope and pray it will do the same for you.

The Master Has Come and He Calls Us ~ Words by Sarah Doudney, 1841-1926. Music "The Ash Grove." Keyboard: Duncan Holmes. The first time I heard this lovely hymn was at Central PresbyterianChurch as an adult. Its lilting melody dances along!Life is a journey. As Christians, we have the privilege and responsibility of following our Master who has promised us so much more than we can fully comprehend.

How Firm A Foundation ~ Words: John Rippon, 1787. Music: Early American melody. Keyboard: Duncan Holmes. Harmony: Trena Oyler, Beth, Ellis, and Kirsten Hawbaker.When so many things in life are constantly changing, it is a relief to be reminded that we do indeed have a firm foundation! This truth goes beyond what many in this world can grasp. When my fibromyalgia was at its peak and I found myself desperately afraid, the Lord showed me on a far deeper level that it’s not about what I do; it’s about who I am in Christ. His grace is sufficient.

Be Thou My Vision Words ~ Words attributed to Dallan Forgaill, 8th Century (Rob tu mo bhoile, a Comdi cride); translated from ancient Irish to English by Mary E. Byrne, in "Eriú," Journal of the School of Irish Learning, 1905, and versed by Eleanor H. Hull, 1912, alt. Music: "Slane," of Irish folk origin. Keyboard: Duncan Holmes. The melody alone is never enough of a reason for me to choose a song, but in my opinion this is indeed a lovely one! Because I connect so strongly with the lyrics, I feel compelled to sing this song with all my heart. I was a teenager when I first became familiar with this hymn, so I possessed the youthful passion of a new Christian. It struck a chord with me, so to speak.

Introspection ~ Words, music and accompaniment: Duncan Holmes. I remember crying, listening to this song as a senior in high school. I was at a low point emotionally and could very much identify with the first part of the song. Even so, I knew the truth of the latter part of the song: that Christ paid the ultimate price for us ... for me … when He died and rose again. It really is worth it! My faith isn't based on feelings.

My Faith Has Found A Resting Place ~ Words: Eliza E. Hewitt, in Songs of Joy and Gladness, 1891. Hymnals often show the author as Lidie H. Edmunds, Eliza's pseudonym. Music: "Landás," Norwegian folk melody; arranged by William J. Kirkpatrick. Keyboard: Burt Lange. Harmony Anna Lee Kopp. No matter how intellectual we may try to be, it all boils down to resting in Him. We are accepted by God because of the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ. We are unconditionally and eternally wrapped in God’s loving arms, as it were.

Trust and Obey ~ Words: John H. Sammis, 1887. Music: Daniel B. Towner, 1887. I remember my mom always liked this hymn and sang it sometimes when I was a child. I only knew a few verses until I was choosing songs for the CD. As a child, this hymn had little meaning to me, but it took on significance during my sophomore year of high school when I'd been a Christian for about two years. To truly trust and obey isso much easier said than done! Yet in the long run, it is only then that we really find contentment.

Lord God, Why Did you Choose Me? ~ Words, music, keyboard, and male solo: Duncan Holmes. I sometimes question (even now) why God has chosen me to do certain things. I see only in part; He sees the whole picture. I see where I've failed. He sees the possibilities and how it will all play out for His purposes. If you are His child, the same is true for you.

He Keeps Me Singing ~ Words and Music: Luther B. Bridgers, in The RevivalNo. 6, by Charles Tillman, Atlanta, Georgia: 1910. Keyboard: Duncan Holmes. I chose this hymn for a couple of reasons. Music often makes me feel closer to God. In times of struggle, the Lord often brings a song to mind. God can use music to touch us in a way that sometimes nothing else can. In that sense, He often does literally keep me singing as I live my life. The other thing that particularly jumps out at me with this song is the second verse. It contrasts a life filled with sin and strife with one that is transformed by Christ. Some critics have misunderstood what I did in the second verse. The first part of that verse is not meant to be beautiful. It's meant to illustrate the discord that is being described.

O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go ~ Words: George Matheson, 1882. Music: Albert Peace, 1884. Keyboard: Duncan Holmes. I am touched not only by the lyrics of this song but also by the story behind it. George Matheson was blind in a time when we didn't have all of the modern technology that we now have available to make life easier. 22 years before this hymn was written, the woman he planned to marry broke the engagement when she learned that he was losing his sight. He and his sister were close, and he relied upon her in many ways. He wrote this song on the evening of her wedding, as he faced a very uncertain future. I read his story and meaningfully connected with this hymn.I, too, have had the disappointment of two broken relationships that I had thought would lead to marriage. I intensely identified with this hymn when the man I thought I would marry moved away virtually without warning. Yet I see God's hand of mercy in it now. He has a better plan, even though I don't understand it all. We humans fail each other, but I know I can take comfort in the fact that His love is ever-present. I hope you can, too.

Lord Of ~ Words, music and keyboard: Duncan Holmes. There is no question He is Lord. Do we submit to Him? Do we give Him the honor and praise He deserves? This song reflects on the eternal Lordship of the God of the Bible and why He merits our thanks. It further reminds us of our utter dependence upon Him.

Beautiful Beckoning Hands ~ Words and Music: Charles C. Luther, 1893. Keyboard: Burt Lange. Harmony: Anna Lee Kopp. I went to five funerals for people eighteen or under in a period of less than six years. One was for my seventeen-year-old brother, one for a cousin who was not quite six, and one for a cousin's infant son. I have attended other funerals as well, but those for the youngest seem to be the hardest. Yet for those who are In Christ and are confident that their precious loved ones who died are in Heaven, the sadness is easier to bear.

My All In All ~ Words and Music: Janel Frana. Keyboard: Rhonda Bozikis. When loved ones have died, when our resources run out, when we cannot find the answers, Jehovah is there. Often He chooses to love us through others, but it is still His provision. Our heavenly Father loves us more deeply than the best earthly father loves. The Lord sees the tears of those whose hearts are breaking and comforts them as only He can.

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus ~ Words and Music: Helen Lemmel, 1922. Keyboard Duncan Holmes. Harmony: Trena Oyler. What a difference it makes when we focus on Christ! We all need to be reminded to turn our eyes upon Him instead of all of the distractions around us. It is so easy to get bogged down with life, but we need to focus on the Savior. Thus, I leave you with this challenge at the close of our musical journey.

To thank each individual who has helped to make this CD a reality would be impossible due to space limitations and the fact that I might inadvertently leave someone out. Therefore, I wish to extend my heartfelt thanks to each one of you who worked with me in the studio. In addition, I thank each of you for your prayers and financial support, which were vital to this project. Some of you have been a part of my life for a short time, others for years. You know who you are. Your prayers and encouragement as I follow God's path for me on this journey called life are more precious to me than words can express. Thank you!

This CD is dedicated to the glory of God. I pray it will keep you singing as you continue on in your own personal journey with Jesus.

Phone: 717.496.4354

... or contact me here.

Click here to listen to clips.

Click here
to listen to clips.

Click here to watch a video
of me singing the title piece,
"Speak To Me Now."

Click here to see a video of
me performing "Lord Of."

Click here to watch me
singing "Is It Worth It?"

CD jacket design by
~Neal & Coleen Walters~

Click here
to visit Duncan's site.

Photo taken by
~Colleen Donaldson~

Frame of video taken by
~Erin Regan~

Photo taken by
~Deb Ogburn~