Give me Jesus (2019)

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Dear listener
Since the late 1980’s when I started to perform regularly and since 1992 when my first album Person 2 person appeared, the journey has been full of people, places, stages, media, studio – in other words encounters in different ways in more than 30 countries, including some 400 prisons and rehabs around the world. Family and private life have been intertwined with “professional life”. Above all, it’s been a learning journey with Jesus Christ, my Lord, and to Him goes my greatest gratitude for every breath I take – for what He did on the cross for me as well.

So many people have impacted me with their lives and love, and understandably it’s not possible to mention even a small part of them. What I also know is that there are a great number of people who have prayed and are praying for me, my family and the work we do. This is invaluable.

But for this compilation, that comprises a selection of recordings from 2007 onwards. I’d like to thank my husband Benni Åström for his love and resilience, Markus Vainiomäki, Jim Hakola, Sauli Manninen, Aikamedia and Jari Hakola.

– Nina

1. Thursday afternoon

music&text: Nina Åström
Won’t you pull up a chair / and join me now / We’ve got all
the time in the world / Won’t you forget your rush / And your
anxious thoughts / Let me share this time with you / On
this Thursday afternoon / This time it’s my treat / it’s on the
house / Let me smooth those lines on your face / I can see
who you are, there’s nothing to hide / Let this be a meeting, face to face / Just a simple cup of coffee / nothing else / But it’s you and me that make it a feast / You’ve got worries, so do I, there’s no escaping that / But to share the burden and the laughter is a bliss / You were hesitant and timid, a little suspicious, too: Is it possible to share this life / Could someone really care / Well, love is still around with us / I can see Him in this room / Won’t you sit right here and join me now / On this Thursday afternoon

2. No-one but Jesus

music&text: Eeva Vaija
English translation: Betty Spackman, Nina Åström
arr: Markus Vainiomäki

No-one but Jesus will ever be enough / in Him my heart is calmed when times are rough / in stillness waiting at His cross brings rest / in Him alone I receive all that is best / Our life’s a breath, a swaying, flickering flame / if we have fortune, or if we have fame / our happy days, our moments end so fast / only in Jesus is joy that will last / No-one but Jesus can get me through the night / when my heart’s full of anguish, full of fright / through wilderness so deep, I’m lost, alone / no-one but Jesus will guide my way back home / No-one but Jesus will step into my boat / when waves are raging, He keeps me afloat / Oh help me Lord! I cry out in my fear / He calms the storm in me because He’s near / Jesus is with me when my eyes close at last / and heaven’s gates open inviting me to pass / He is with me when I leave this time and space / move to my Father’s house and see His face

3. Mary did you know?

music: Buddy Greene
text: Mark Lowry

Mary, did you know / that your baby boy would one day walk on water? / Mary, did you know / that your baby boy would save our sons and daughters? / Did you know / that your baby boy has come to make you new? / This Child that you delivered will soon deliver you / Mary, did you know /that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man? / Mary, did you know / that your baby boy will calm the storm with His hand? / Did you know / that your baby boy has walked where angels trod? / When you kiss your little baby you have kissed the face of God? / The blind will see / The deaf will hear / The dead will live again. / The lame will leap / The dumb will speak / The praises of The Lamb. / Mary, did you know / that your baby boy is Lord of all creation? / Mary, did you know / that your baby boy would one day rule the nations? / Did you know / that your baby boy is heaven’s perfect Lamb? / The sleeping Child you’re holding is the Great I AM.

4. Butterfly

music&text: Nina Åström
Butterfly – frantically fluttering her wings / on the wrong side of the window pane / she can see the light and the window is ajar / She’s so close but she cannot find her way out / she’s so close but she cannot find / She knows where she wants to be / it is where the light comes from / where freedom is / But it’s so out of her reach / frustrated, numb, dissatisfied / but eager too: would you still take me with you? / She knows where she needs to be / but her hands are tied, her head is empty / it’s a regular nightmare / Still she’s bursting with these images / full of visions, but no way to know / how to get there, she’s got just no way to know / Ooooh, I watch her struggle / in that straight-jacket so pretty, so pretty / She’s let the matrix of her chronology keep her down, keep her mouth shut / hold her rigid, oh so rigid

5. Where are all the women?

music&text: Nina Åström
arr: Dan Weeks, Nina Åström

Where are all the women, where are all the men? / looking for my daughters, for my long gone sons / You got rid of your King, you told me to leave / you told me to leave you alone / and now you’re so alone / We’ve been taken for a ride, somebody lied / and now it’s going faster and faster the speed is lulling us / The pilot’s voice confusing us / we’ve been betrayed / Still it’s possible to get out / (possible to get out) / This way! / Where’s a rock that’s solid in this spin / “Shall we dance?” he said and we gladly went along / afraid of being wallflowers / yet it’s a slippery floor / But like a child who’s longing for acceptance / we consented, unaware, of the Great Dance… elsewhere

6. All the way my Savior leads me

music: Robert Lowry
text: Fanny Crosby
Arr: Markus Vainiomäki

All the way my Savior leads me / what have I to ask beside? Can I doubt His tender mercy / who through life has been my guide? / Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort / here by faith in Him to dwell / For I know, whate’er befall me / Jesus doeth all things well / All the way my Savior leads me / cheers each winding path I tread / Gives me grace for every trial / feeds me with the living bread / Though my weary steps may falter / and my soul athirst may be / Gushing from the Rock before me / Lo! a spring of joy I see / All the way my Savior leads me / oh, the fullness of His love! / Perfect rest to me is promised / in my Father’s house above / When my spirit, clothed immortal / wings its flight to realms of day /This my song through endless ages: Jesus led me all the way

7. Let all mortal flesh keep silence

music: trad.
text: Gerard Moultrie / divine liturgy of St.James
arr: Markus Vainiomäki

Let all mortal flesh keep silence, / And with fear and trembling stand / Ponder nothing earthly minded / For with blessing in His hand / Christ our God to earth descending / Comes our homage to demand. / King of kings, yet born of Mary / As of old on earth He stood / Lord of lords, in human vesture / In the body and the blood / He will give to all the faithful / His own self for heav’nly food / Rank on rank the host of heaven / Spreads its vanguard on the way / As the Light of light descendeth / From the realms of endless day / Comes the powers of hell to vanquish / As the darkness clears away / At His feet the six-winged seraph / Cherubim with sleepless eye / Veil their faces to the presence / As with ceaseless voice they cry: Alleluia, Alleluia / Alleluia, Lord Most High!

8. Images of God

music&text: Nina Åström
Arr: Dan Weeks, Nina Åström

Vast plains of cornfield and sun, soldiers, tanks and people on the run / Girl at her homework, prime minister asleep / Lady looking for her husband cause they’re in debt so deep / Far off there’s a battle and the boys herd the cattle / and everywhere I turn my head I see images of God / Everywhere I turn my head, everywhere I go / in the middle of nowhere or downtown Monaco / There are eyes and faces, all kinds of places / there’s no way I can miss it though you try not to see it cause everywhere I turn my head / There’s a heart and a face so lovely and bruised / there’s a time and a space where He took the place of the accused / I just turn my head and see the image made perfect / love’s greatest risk, it was a heart broken to the core / debt charged no more, and I’m telling you now: all of these are hearts designed for a greater love / Everywhere I turn my head and everywhere I go / in the middle of nowhere or downtown Moscow / There are eyes and faces, all kinds of places / there’s no way I could miss it though you try not to see it / and everywhere I turn my head

9. Landscape of my soul

music&text: Nina Åström
After the goodbyes, before the hellos / here I am, watching and waiting / Landscape of my soul, always in the between / here I am, watching and waiting / I adapt so well, like a chameleon / being this to her, that to him / a real cosmopolitan (yeah) / but which land is my land? / Still with every new day I am closer / to my final destination, my one true home / And when the evening sun shines / on the pine and spruce, soft and low, like a mellow fire / that’s when I get all funny inside / my body wants to run there / to be there, already there, oh yes I know / But the days before that (the years and the months and the weeks) / I will be in the business of loving You, Lord of my heart / and if I truly learn to love You / I will love my fellow and do what my heart desires

10. Oh, man!

music&text: Nina Åström
I know a man, this man is sturdy and strong / he lives not far from where I do / he knows how to tame a horse and chop the wood of course / still he melts when someone is in need / He’s got solid ground under his feet / and eternity in his eyes / He doesn’t like to mingle where the rich and famous do / but he will stand up for the weak and poor / This man I know is trusting and true / he’s got persistence with an open view / He is meek and mild, tender and wild / He knows who he is, he is humble and strong / he knows he’s a man, no need to prove it / by beating up his woman, by pulling down his sister / no need to prove it / And when he says he’d give his life / it don’t mean just here and now / but the day after day, night after night / the friction through the years that we call “everyday life” / that’s when you give your life / I am messy and weak, I freak out and get scared / and more often than not he’s covering me / But what is so amazing is that this strong man needs me

11. Common courtesy

music&text: Nina Åström
arr: Dan Weeks, Nina Åström

I get such a thrill, you can call me simple, I might be a sucker / but I get all warm inside of just common courtesy / Somebody opens the door, they do that little extra thing / doesn’t even cost them much and they just do it / You can call me simple but that’s just how I am / With the person in the mall, your man, your son, your daughter, your grandma / someone at their weakest, someone in a really awkward situation / Especially someone who’s small and cannot pay you back at all / everybody wants to be loved and respected / There’s a lot of joy and surprise in just common courtesy / I know it’s not the whole story / I know it’s not all to takes / it’s not about pulling yourself up by your boot straps / ‘cause that’s something you cannot do / but it’s still a great place to start / to start with common courtesy / Don’t wait until she’s perfect, don’t wait until she’s lovable / cause after all – are you? / Don’t wait until you feel like doing it / cause that day might never come / It’s really all common sense, everybody wants to be seen / it’ll work for you as you do it, and there’ll be changes / There’s a lot of joy and surprise in just…

12. Nobody knows (Road song)

music&text: Nina Åström
I set off at 9AM, my car duly packed / I’ve got 300 miles ahead, drive through the endless woods / counting the pines, stop for lunch at my favorite place / Lots of new faces but always on my own / A coffee to-go, then it’s back to the road again / music’s playing, my thoughts are straying, I’ve got so far to go / And when the work is done, there’s the road that’s waiting again / After sharing myself with so many I’monmyown/Ilovemyworkbutat1AMdrivingpasta house / with a cozy bedroom window / I wonder “what on earth I’m doing here?” / And just when I’m numb and hazy, there’s a phone call from a friend / a phone call from far away, keeping me company / I need a break and it’s caffeine at the truckers’ stop / and that dull sound of an idle one-armed bandit / reminding me of what a sad place this world can be / Spaced out for a minute or two, but I can’t stay too long / cause I’ve got so far to go / Finally, only 10 miles left and two more tracks / I say “thank You” for one more safe trip / and 2.30 I slip out of my traveling armor / Can I let go now? / Nobody knows my life, nobody knows what I do / Nobody knows what it feels like / Nobody…but You

13. Give me Jesus

music&text: trad.
arr: Fernando Ortega
In the morning when I rise – give me Jesus / Give me Jesus, you can have all this world / just give me Jesus / When I am alone – give me Jesus / Give me Jesus, you can have all this world / just give me Jesus / And when I come to die – give me Jesus / Give me Jesus, you can have all this world / just give me Jesus

14. El Shaddai

music&text: John Thompson, Michael Card
El-Shaddai, El-Shaddai, El-Elyon na Adonai / Age to age You’re still the same / By the power of the name / El-Shaddai, El-Shaddai, Erkamka na Adonai / We will praise and lift You high, El-Shaddai / Through Your love and through the ram / You saved the son of Abraham / Through the power of Your hand / Turned the sea into dry land / To the outcast on her knees / You were the God who really sees / And by Your might / You set Your children free / Through the years You made it clear / That the time of Christ was near / Though the people couldn’t see / What Messiah ought to be / Though Your Word contained the plan / They just would not understand / Your most awesome work was done / Through the frailty of Your Son / El- Shaddai, El-Shaddai, El-Elyon na Adonai / Age to age You’re still the same / By the power of the name El- Shaddai, El-Shaddai, Erkamka na Adonai / I will praise You till I die, El-Shaddai

15. Holy holy holy

music: John Dykes
text: Reginald Heber
arr: Markus Vainiomäki

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty! / Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee / Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty! / God in three Persons, blessed Trinity! / Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore Thee / Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea / Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee / who wert and art, and evermore shalt be / Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide Thee / though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see / Only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee / perfect in power, love and purity / Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty! / All Thy works shall praise Thy name in earth and sky and sea / Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty! / God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!

16. The best of whoever you are

music: Nina Åström 
text: Heli Markkunen
string arr: Kaarle Mannila, Alexei Meidzof

Be a star in the sky, a tear in the eye / be a tree, be a flower, be a refreshing shower / A smile on the face, a light in the dark place / be the best of whoever you are – a treasure in God’s heart / Be a hill if you can’t be a mountain / be a clear water drop of the fountain / No matter how hard it is to see / be whoever you were meant to be / Be a path if you can’t be a highway / be the most beautiful jar of clay / No matter how hard it is to see / be whoever you were meant to be / Be a brook if you can be the ocean / be a shade of the deepest emotion / No matter how hard it is to see / be whoever you were meant to be

17. Freedom within prison walls

music&text: Nina Åström
We were playing at this prison / somewhere in St.Petersburg / and after the set a man came to us / and he said “I’m free cause these walls are just a temporary hindrance to me” / And later I heard that he had found freedom within prison walls / We were playing at this prison somewhere in Murmansk / As I was looking over the extremely short cut heads / I saw this man with a beaming face / Later I heard that he had found freedom within prison walls / And I said yeah, oh yeah/ Freedom within prison walls / We were playing at this prison somewhere in Russia / and the ladies in the cell were a little suspicious at first (can’t blame them) / But just our being women broke the walls and real sisterhood emerged / It was freedom within prison walls / We were playing at this venue somewhere in Europe / And as I was looking over the crowd for a friendly pair of eyes / And there I saw it, the same light, the same glow / it was the same thing, it was / Freedom within prison walls