I also found out that Mrs. Bixler passed away in November of 2013 at the age of 97, having written many such songs, but they never truly received the attention that they should have.
This particular song I remember hearing first in a Christian & Missionary Alliance church, but I don't know which one or when. My husband served as a pastor in this denomination from the late 1970's through the early 1990's, and after hearing this song I soon learned it and sang it many times. Come to find out, Mrs. Bixler was also a member of the C&MA, and she sang at many conferences and churches throughout the years...I may have actually heard her sing it at one time, but I am not certain.
Tomorrow is my birthday. I have already received a couple of "surprise" birthday gifts from totally unexpected sources...and this is how this song came into my mind tonight. I felt unworthy to receive such thoughtful and sweet gifts from these dear ones, and it reminded me of what Jesus has done for me...also totally unmerited and unexpected...
The words to this song express it best, so I will share them with you here.
If you would like to hear Mrs. Bixler singing this song herself, you may listen here.
I am happy to report that I found my own copy of this music in an ancient file cabinet full of old sheet music and songbooks that I've saved for all these years. I don't do much singing anymore, at least not as a soloist. Age has a way of changing the vocal chords, along with lack of practice and exercise. But one of my "birthday gifts", lovingly created for my kitchen window by my carpenter son, inspires me to smile and sing every time I walk into the kitchen. These windows look out into the woods next to our house, and we never know what we might see out there...but most often we see many different birds winging their way from tree to tree, singing their songs of joy as they go about their daily routine of gathering seeds, fruits, insects and worms to feed their families and keep themselves able to fly and sing. This particular cornice board above the windows needed a message...
"I am not worthy...this dull tongue repeats it! I am not worthy, this heart gladly beats it!" But,
"Jesus left heaven to die in my place! What mercy, what love, and what grace!"
I don't feel worthy of the gifts I've received...more than just the physical birthday gifts...also the gift of salvation. I'm not good. I've sinned and have fallen short of God's Glory, (Romans 3:23),and "the wages of sin is death...but the GIFT of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23) Because of Jesus, I AM WORTHY!!! Not because of any good I have done, but only because of Jesus.
The greatest "birthday gift" of all is this gift of new life...eternal life...through Jesus Christ. Because of Him, I can enjoy my birthday tomorrow, knowing that because of my "Second" birthday, the day I accepted His free gift of salvation...I will one day accept my inheritance of heaven..."forever to look on His face."
I hope you've received this wonderful gift too. Even if you feel "unworthy" to accept it...Jesus wants you to have it. So go ahead and take it, it's FREE!