Welcome!  Hymns have been and continue to be a real source of inspiration to me.  My desire in this blog is to share special hymns with my readers hoping that the words will minister to them, especially in times of great personal need.  If one of these hymns ministers to you, please take time to leave a comment so that I know that my blog is helping others as much as it helps me. Sometimes I will also provide a link where you can go to hear the hymn played.  So, please join me here each week and sing along as we praise God together.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

ALL THAT THRILLS MY SOUL IS JESUS

There are many things that can bring us thrills.  For younger folks it might be riding the new roller coasters and thrill rides at parks.  For students it might be getting an A in a tough final exam.   It might be watching Ryan Howard hit a gigantic grandslam.   Maybe it is winning a special award or a contest or earning some recognition.  It might be buying a new home or a new car or getting a promotion.  It might be watching your grandchildren grow up to be fine believers.   There are so many things that we get excited about in life.  But most of those things are very temporary.  When I won my presidential award in 1984, the large grocery store in town carried a sign that said "Congratulations Barry Kauffman, best math teacher in Pennsylvania!"   When I returned home from getting that award from the President I found that I was replaced on the sign by "Gigantic sale of bird food and hamburg!"   Fame is so fleeting. Possessions rust out or are ruined by moths and as the scripture says, thieves can break through and steal them.   The message is to lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven.  Those things are permanent and our relationship with Jesus should all that really thrills our souls  In 1931, Thoro Harris penned the words of a great hymn and proclaimed that Jesus is all that should thrill our heart.

(1)   Who can cheer the heart like Jesus,
By His presence all divine?
True and tender, pure and precious,
O how blest to call Him mine!
All that thrills my soul is Jesus,
He is more than life to me;
And the fairest of ten thousand
In my blessed Lord I see.

(2)   Love of Christ so freely given,
Grace of God beyond degree,
Mercy higher than the heaven,
Deeper than the deepest sea!
All that thrills my soul is Jesus,
He is more than life to me;
And the fairest of ten thousand
In my blessed Lord I see.

(3)   What a wonderful redemption!
Never can a mortal know
How my sin, tho red like crimson,
Can be whiter than the snow.
All that thrills my soul is Jesus,
He is more than life to me;
And the fairest of ten thousand
In my blessed Lord I see.

(4)   Every need His hand supplying,
Every good in Him I see;
On His strength divine relying,
He is all in all to me.
All that thrills my soul is Jesus,
He is more than life to me;
And the fairest of ten thousand
In my blessed Lord I see.

(5)   By the crystal flowing river
With the ransomed I will sing,
And forever and forever
Praise and glorify the King
All that thrills my soul is Jesus,
He is more than life to me;
And the fairest of ten thousand
In my blessed Lord I see.

Listen to it here.    LISTEN

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A WOMAN'S TRUST

This week's choice is most likely one that you've never heard.  We originally thought that it dated back to the depression but it must be much older than that.  In fact, the words were found in an 1890's Good Housekeeping Magazine,  It appears that it was first published by the Baltimore Methodists, but we don't know when.  The personal significance is that it used to be sung by my grandparents.  My grandfather actually entered the ministry as a teenager and together my grandparents had very little financial resources and few material goods.  They really knew what it was like to trust the Lord for their daily bread.  My cousin had been searching for the words for quite awhile and finally found them through the internet.  We don't have any music written for it, but my Aunt Thelma can play it for you from memory.  Besides the personal significance, I think it might be very appropriate for the age in which we are living.  The economy and the recession have left many folks in increasingly desparate situations and many of us may get to the place where we also really pray for our daily bread.  So it is good to be reminded that God's people have always been provided for and they always will be.  While you can't sing along, at least read the following words and be encouraged.

(1)    "Good wife, what are you singing for?  You know we've lost the hay,
And what we'll do with horse and hay is more than I can say;
While like as not, with rain and storm,
we'll lose both corn and wheat!"
She looked up with her pleasant face, and answered low and sweet:
"There is a heart, there is a hand, we feel but cannot see;
We've always been provided for, and we shall always be."

(2)    He turned around with sudden gloom; she said, " Love, be at rest;
You cut the grass, worked soon and late, you did your very best.
That was your work ; you've naught at all to do with wind or rain,
And do not doubt but you will reap rich fields of golden grain;
There is a heart, there is a hand, we feel but cannot see;
We've always been provided for, and we shall always be."

(3)    "That's like a woman's reasoning—we must because we must."
She softly said: "Reason not, I only work and trust.
The harvest may redeem the day—keep heart what'er betide,
When one door shuts I've seen another open wide.
There is a heart, there is a hand, we feel but cannot see;
We've always been provided for, and we shall always be."

(4)    He kissed the calm and trustful face; gone was his restless pain,
She heard him with a cheerful step go whistling down the lane;
And went about her household tasks full of a glad content,
Singing to time her busy hands as to and fro she went:
"There is a heart, there is a hand, we feel but cannot see;
We've always been provided for, and we shall always be."

(5)    Days come and go—'twas Christmas tide, and the great fire burned clear.
The farmer said "Dear wife, it's been a good and happy year;
The fruit was gain, the surplus corn has bought the hay, you know."
She lifted then a smiling face and said : " I told you so!
There is a heart, there is a hand, we feel but cannot see;
We've always been provided for, and we shall always be! "

—Baltimore Methodist.
1890s's Good Housekeeping

Sunday, May 17, 2009

WHEN WE ALL GET TO HEAVEN

This week's hymn has always been one of my favorites.  I love the words, I enjoy the harmony, and I love to be with a group that sings it enthusiastically, believing the truths it shares.  I always choose to sing it when I am worship leader for a week at Pinebrook or at the Senior Saints Retreat.  We also sang it at the close of my father's memorial service in February.  It is such a song of hope.   Well, it now has a vivid new meaning for me.  Now whenever I sing it I will recall and picture a very special moment.  Last Sunday afternoon, as my brother was close to breathing his last breath, we sang hymns around his bed.  We had just concluded "Great Is Thy Faithfulness", and had begun "When We All Get To Heaven" when Terry took his last breath here on earth and was escorted into the presence of Jesus.  The words of this hymn were never as appropriate and meaningful as they were at that moment.  Terry is now there and we who are the Lord's will soon join Him and then together we will "sing and shout the victory!".   What a day of rejoicing that will be.   How do I know this?   Because Jesus has promised it to His children.  And that is enough for me.   So sing along with enthusiasm and hope!

(1)    Sing the wondrous love of Jesus,
Sing His mercy and His grace.
In the mansions bright and bless├Ęd
He'll prepare for us a place.
When we all get to Heaven,
What a day of rejoicing that will be!
When we all see Jesus,
We'll sing and shout the victory!

(2)    While we walk the pilgrim pathway,
Clouds will overspread the sky;
But when traveling days are over,
Not a shadow, not a sigh.
When we all get to Heaven,
What a day of rejoicing that will be!
When we all see Jesus,
We'll sing and shout the victory!

(3)    Let us then be true and faithful,
Trusting, serving every day;
Just one glimpse of Him in glory
Will the toils of life repay.
When we all get to Heaven,
What a day of rejoicing that will be!
When we all see Jesus,
We'll sing and shout the victory!

(4)    Onward to the prize before us!
Soon His beauty we'll behold;
Soon the pearly gates will open;
We shall tread the streets of gold.

When we all get to Heaven,
What a day of rejoicing that will be!
When we all see Jesus,
We'll sing and shout the victory!

Listen to the music here.   LISTEN

Sunday, May 10, 2009

YOU'RE STILL LORD

Today is a very special day - Mother's Day.  I hope that you have a chance to honor your mother and treat her to a very special day.  You might want to go to my other blog and read my entry for May 9 to get a sense of my feelings about this special day.  In my blog I mention that I am now realizing that I am an orphan and I don't really appreciate that reality.  The last few months have been times of real challenge for me and often I wish that I could call mother or dad for their advice. Or I wish that I could share with them my worries and concerns knowing that they would encourage me and faithfully pray for me.  It is so hard not to be able to do that anymore.  And now being the elder of the family, I guess the buck really stops with me.  At least there are times that I feel that this is the case.  But then I am reminded that I still have a Father and that He really cares for me.  I can share my stresses with Him and He will answer, comfort, and provide wisdom and peace.  And slowly I am realizing that He is the One who really cares and the only One who can really help.   Recently I heard this week's song and the words of the chorus just challenged and encouraged my heart.  "You're still Lord, You're still my Father!"   And that is the reminder I need on  Mother's Day, Father's Day and everyday!

(1)   When I was just a child I heard a beautiful story
How You loved me so You died on Calvary
And though I claimed You way back then as Lord Almighty
Things haven't changed
My love is still the same
You're still Lord to me
CHORUS
You're still Lord, You're still my Father
In little or much, I feel Your touch
You're still Lord
You're still Lord, You're still my Father
You'll always be mine for all time
You're still Lord

(2)   Some have called you Lord but now they serve another
To worldly things their heart has pledged it's loyalty
But as for me when I made my choice it was forever
And now as before but now even more
You're still Lord
CHORUS
You're still Lord, You're still my Father
In little or much, I feel Your touch
You're still Lord
You're still Lord, You're still my Father
You'll always be mine for all time
You're still Lord

You'll always be mine for all time
You're still Lord to me

Listen to it here.       LISTEN

Sunday, May 3, 2009

SAFE IN THE ARMS OF JESUS

Several times this week I have heard this hymn either mentioned or sung.  It is a tremendous encouragement to God's children who are going through times of stress, or persecution, or illness, or bereavement.  No matter what our cicrumstances may be, God's children are safe in the arms of Jesus.  Nothing can tear us away from that position of safety and comfort. This is one of the thousands of hymns written by Fanny Crosby, the blind hymn writer.  I imagine that in her blindness that she understood fully the truth of this great hymn.  I often marvel at how some of these hymns have been written.  On April 30, 1868, Dr. W. H. Doane came to Fanny and said "I have exactly forty minutes before my train leaves for Cincinnati.  Here is a melody.  Can you write words for it?"  Twenty minutes later she recited the words.  Mr. Doane copied them and had time to catch his train.  What a gift God gave her and oh how it has blessed millions over the years.  Today if you are facing times of fear or stress, rest safely in the arms of Jesus, the One who loves you and cares for you.

(1)  Safe in the arms of Jesus, safe on His gentle breast,
There by His love o'ershaded, sweetly my soul shall rest.
Hark! 'tis the voice of angels, borne in a song to me.
Over the fields of glory, over the jasper sea.
Refrain
Safe in the arms of Jesus, safe on His gentle breast
There by His love o'ershaded, sweetly my soul shall rest.

(2)   Safe in the arms of Jesus, safe from corroding care,
Safe from the world's temptations, sin cannot harm me there.
Free from the blight of sorrow, free from my doubts and fears;
Only a few more trials, only a few more tears!
Refrain
Safe in the arms of Jesus, safe on His gentle breast
There by His love o'ershaded, sweetly my soul shall rest

(3)   Jesus, my heart's dear Refuge, Jesus has died for me;
Firm on the Rock of Ages, ever my trust shall be.
Here let me wait with patience, wait till the night is over;
Wait till I see the morning break on the golden shore.
Refrain
Safe in the arms of Jesus, safe on His gentle breast
There by His love o'ershaded, sweetly my soul shall rest

Listen to the music here.     LISTEN