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The best of Marty Nystrom Live Praise & Worship / My Heart's Desire / Hosanna! Music 1996

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The best of Marty Nystrom Live Praise & Worship

My Heart's Desire 

Hosanna! Music





"You are my heart's desire". This confession directed toward God is included in the lyrics from the song As The Deer. Through I wrote the song several years ago, these words have remained for me a constant reminder to keep Jesus on the throne of my heart. I have used this phrase as my personal standard when weighing options in decision making. I have been challenged by this confession when life and ministry demands have become a distraction. I have been convicted by these words when my heart, mind and actions have stayed from God. There is a thirst in the heat of every human being that only Jesus can satisfy. I tried to quench this thirst with things, relationships and even ministry.  Each time a patient and gracious Savior drew me back to Himself.  May these songs of worship renew in you a hunger for intimacy with the One that has created and redeemed you. May you be one "after God's own heart."     MARTY NYSTROM


Martin J. Nystrom, a songwriter, was born in 1956 in Seattle, Washington, to a mother who grew up in the Christian Reformed Church; his father was brought up in the Evangelical Covenant Church. After graduating from Oral Roberts University with a degree in music education, Nystrom worked as a music director for the New York branch of Christ for the Nations. More recently he has served as a song development manager for Integrity Music, for whom he has written more than seventy songs. Nystrom is featured as worship leader on five Integrity "Hosanna" tapes. He also gives presentations at numerous conferences throughout the world. 


Produced by: Don Moen, Tom Brooks, Don Harris, Jeff Hamlin


Executive Producer: Chris Long


Senior Executive Producers: Michael Coleman, Don Moen


A & R Manager: Chris Springer




01. In Your Presence 3:04
02. Such Joy 3:27
03. I Am Not My Own 1:18
04. He Whom the Son Sets Free 1:29
05. I'm So Glad 1:28
06. Under the Blood 3:09
07. Shepherd of My Soul 4:20
08. Savior Like a Shepherd Lead Us 3:20
09. I Hear Angels 4:51
10. Lord of My Heart 3:53
11. Times of Refreshing 3:38
12. As the Deer 3:20
13. You Are Here 4:21
14. You Have Been Given 3:59
15. I Sing Praises 3:28
16. Your Grace Is Sufficient 3:21
17. More of You 5:02
18. In Christ Alone 2:33


TRACK 12  As the Deer is a well-known praise and worship hymn song by Martin J. Nystrom,a native of Seattle, Washington. Written in 1984, this song is based on Psalm 42:1


Marty Nystrom related to me the following account of the birth of a favorite worship song.


“In 1984 I was a school teacher in Seattle, and since I had the summer off I decided to go back to Bible College, but only for the summer term. I headed for Dallas, Texas and Christ For the Nations Institute. Little did I know what was about to happen to me, especially with all that I would be exposed to and the worship emphasis of the school.”


“I had a roommate at CFNI who was a very vibrant Christian. He challenged me to go on a fast — a period of time when a person refrains from eating solid food in order to give time to the reading of the Bible and to prayer.”


“I took up the challenge, and on the 19th day of the fast I found myself sitting at a piano trying to write a song. I was simply playing chord progressions when I noticed a Bible on the music stand of the piano. It was open to Psalm 42. My eyes fell on the first verse of that chapter... As the hart (deer) panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. After reading the verse I began to sing its message, right off the page. I wrote the first verse and the chorus of a song, pretty much straight through. The whole of the adventure was completed in a matter of minutes. I then repeated the song I had just written. I wanted to seal it in my mind.”


As the deer panteth for the water

So my soul longeth after thee.

You alone are my hearts desire

And I long to worship thee.



You alone are my strength my shield,

To you alone may my spirit yield.

You alone are my heart’s desire,

And I long to worship thee


You’re my friend and you are my brother,

Even though you are a king.

I love you more than any other,

So much more than anything.


“I had no intention of showing the song to anyone. It was to be for my own devotional time with the Lord. However, before leaving the school to go back to Seattle, I did share it with one person, Dave Butterbaugh. He introduced it to the students of the school and it became a favorite.”

“Since that introduction of the song, it has been translated into several languages and is often sung in other countries. Orchestras have used it. It has been sung in unusually different styles.”

Marty continues to write songs and travel extensively, teaching in worship conferences. In Korea in the 1990s, he attended one such conference and as he walked into the stadium 100,000 Koreans were singing “As the Deer.”

Since the beginning of Story Behind the Song, most of the accounts have been about established hymns.

Starting in 2016, I will also share the stories behind some of the newer, very popular praise and worship songs as well as some famous Southern Gospel songs.

“My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God:” - Psalm 42:2



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