Meditations on Calvary~Book Launch


In 2016, Harpursville United Methodist Church and Nineveh Presbyterian Church hosted my new Lenten devotional series based on the old spiritual “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord.” Each weekly session explored the experiences of people who were present when Jesus Christ was arrested and executed, plus a few who were conspicuously absent. Those scriptures, songs, and meditations touched hearts. So I resolved to bring the series to a wider audience in book form.

It’s finally here!

Were You There When They Crucified Our Lord? Meditations on Calvary is now live on Amazon, in both Kindle and paperback editions. Companion resources for readers, presenters, and musicians are ready for free download here on Faith Songs, too.

Were You There book coverBook details
Music resources
Study resources





(Post edited 11/6/17)


The Uphill Road ~ Faith Song for Holy Week

For your Holy Week devotions, today I share The Uphill Road, one of the twenty-four hymns and faith songs in my Songs for the Lord collection. The Uphill Road is a solemn hymn about the challenge and ultimate victory of carrying the cross. The first five verses focus on Jesus Christ’s walk to Calvary, the last five on our human experience. If ten verses seem long and arduous, well, that’s the whole idea. A melody will ease the journey, though. Click the title here to listen while you read (or sing!) the lyrics:  The Uphill Road 

(The chords make this file too large to repeat the verses. If you’d like to hear the melody repeated ten times without interruption, you can play the no-chord file on my Audio page.)

The Uphill Road

1. Lord, you took upon your back the heavy cross of Calvary,
fully understanding where that rugged path was going to lead,
and in meek submission to your holy Father’s sovereign will,
resolutely dragged your cross along the road that wound uphill.

2. Roughly jostled by a mob who pelted stones and loudly jeered,
stumbling over ruts and rocks that at every turn appeared,
underneath the shifting weight of the unwieldy load you held,
Lord, you fixed your eyes upon the final goal that lay ahead.

3. Weakened by the painful trials that had brought you to the cross,
you were worn out from the strain and fainting from the blood you’d lost.
In a fragile human body you had come to earth to dwell,
but that body’s finite store of strength ran out, and down you fell.

4. Hands of pity touched your face to wipe the blood and sweat away.
Other hands reached out to haul you up and shove you on your way.
Minutes must have crawled like hours as you tried to keep the pace
to the spot they called Golgotha, to your execution place.

5. At the summit, you were nailed upon a cross of seeming shame,
but surrendering to death, you glorified your Father’s name.
By your suffering and dying, scripture’s promise was fulfilled.
Now you beckon me to walk that rugged road that winds uphill.

6. Lord, I took upon my back a heavy cross to follow you,
little understanding what that rugged path would lead me to.
In reluctant resignation to our holy Father’s will,
now I slowly drag my cross along the road that winds uphill.

7. I’m discouraged by the jeers of those I thought to be my friends,
and I stumble on desire to follow selfish, worldly ends.
It’s so hard to keep my balance underneath this weighty load.
I must fix my wandering eyes upon the One who chose this road.

8. Weakened by the painful trials that had brought me to the cross,
I am worn out from the strain and trying not to count the cost.
Lord, you know I’m only human, so it’s no surprise at all
when my burden proves too much for my own strength, and down I fall.

9. Hands of pity touch my face to wipe my weary tears away.
Other hands reach out to lift me up and help me on my way.
Still, the minutes crawl like hours, but I can’t speed up my pace,
just one foot before the other, toward some God-appointed place.

10. Lord, the path you’ve mapped for me may lead to loneliness and shame,
but if carrying this cross will serve to glorify your name,
I will bear it, in your footsteps, till your promise is fulfilled
of salvation at the summit of the road that winds uphill.

~ Linda Bonney Olin

For the account of Jesus Christ’s road to crucifixion, read John 19:1–30. (Read it on

I’m in an Internet-challenged part of the world these days, so I may be slow to approve and reply to comments, but I’ll be able to read them on my email. Please leave your thoughts about this song if you enjoyed it. That will help me along my journey, which is a bit rocky at the moment.

Easter blessings to all,