Just As I Am

mack wayne craigMy grandfather, Mack Wayne Craig, passed away last week (he was 85). His obituary called him a “well-known preacher, educator, story teller and historian.” (Also click here for an article about him in the local paper.)  I have such fond memories of times with him as a kid. I remember so many of his visits with our family, usually a few weeks before Christmas. We would drive around town singing one Christmas carol after another, and he would belt out the bass part.

I was able to travel to Nashville for his memorial service. It was encouraging to hear many people tell me how much they remembered his sermons, how he made the Bible come alive, how they still remembered 60 years later points he had made and stories he had told.  One thing that surprised me a little was how well Granddaddy was known for his song leading. I knew he loved to sing and had a passion for songs being done the right way. But many mentioned him leading singing every Tuesday night on the steps of a meeting hall at David Lipscomb college (where he served as Dean for many years), and the way he would not just lead songs but interpret them – bringing new life to familiar old songs.

One time not too many years ago we were singing together as a family and I shared an arrangement of an old hymn I’d put together – adding a bit of guitar, a steady groove.  We finished singing it and I remember my Grandfather saying “OK now let me lead it.”  He pulled as much out of each verse as possible – speeding up, slowing down, building in volume, and going down soft again.  The final verse was way stretched out, building to a crescendo and when we finished he said “now THAT’S how you do that song.”  And I couldn’t argue with him.  He was absolutely right.

I wanted to share a song that my grandfather was most fond of and most well-known for leading, “Just As I Am.”  We sang this song at his memorial.  He was a preacher who would call people to respond to the gospel message, and this has always been the quintessential “response song”.  It puts such great voice to the repentant heart responding to the cross of Christ and the amazing offer of God’s redeeming grace.

JUST AS I AM

Just as I am, without one plea
But that thy blood was shed for me
And that thou biddest me come to thee
O lamb of God, I come, I come

Just as I am, and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot
To thee whose blood can cleanse each spot
O lamb of God I come, I come

Just as I am, though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt
With fears within and foes without
O lamb of God, I come, I come

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind
Sight, riches, healing of the mind
Yea, all I need, in thee to find
O lamb of God, I come, I come

Just as I am, thou wilt receive
Will welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve
Because thy promise, I believe
O lamb of God, I come, I come

D / D / A / D
A / A / G / D
D / D / G / G
D / D / A / A
D / D


2 Comments on “Just As I Am”

  1. Brian,
    Thank you for this post.I’ve been singing this song for a couple of days now. Thank you for the chords and video it really helps! Btw this will be my first Happy Bday greetings to you! Saw it at FB. You never fail to greet me on my bdays!

  2. Brian,
    Bro this song just keep repeating in my head. Can’t stop singing it.Now I’m trying to do a fast version like your arrangement. Still learning to tune my guitar like you did. You keep traditional song fresh and easy!


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