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, June 24, 2012

HE LEADETH ME


It was 200 weeks ago that I began to write weekly blogs about hymns.  It started out as just a novel way to remind me of the many hymns which have helped me over the years.  Little did I know then how much interest there was in such a blog.  And what started just as a hobby has surprisingly grown to a ministry which about 750 of you are now visiting weekly.  I am amazed.  As I approached this "bicentennial" blog, I thought long and hard about which hymn I should choose for this week.  Then, on the radio, I heard somebody sing "He Leadeth Me" and I thought what an appropriate choice that would be for this week.  The writer, Joseph H. Gilmore, shared how he came to write the words. "As a young man who recently had been graduated from Brown University and Newton Theological Institution, I was supplying for a couple of Sundays the pulpit of the First Baptist Church in Philadelphia. At the midweek service, on the 26th of March, 1862, I set out to give the people an exposition of the Twenty-third Psalm, which I had given before on three or four occasions, but this time I did not get further than the words "He Leadeth Me." Those words took hold of me as they had never done before, and I saw them in a significance and wondrous beauty of which I had never dreamed.  It was the darkest hour of the Civil War. I did not refer to that fact — that is, I don't think I did — but it may subconsciously have led me to realize that God's leadership is the one significant fact in human experience, that it makes no difference how we are led, or whither we are led, so long as we are sure God is leading us. At the close of the meeting a few of us in the parlor of my host, good Deacon Wattson, kept on talking about the thought which I had emphasized; and then and there, on a blank page of the brief from which I had intended to speak, I penciled the hymn, talking and writing at the same time, then handed it to my wife and thought no more about it. She sent it to The Watchman and Reflector, a paper published in Boston, where it was first printed. I did not know until 1865 that my hymn had been set to music by William B. Bradbury. I went to Rochester [New York] to preach as a candidate before the Second Baptist Church. Going into their chapel on arrival in the city, I picked up a hymnal to see what they were singing, and opened it at my own hymn, "He Leadeth Me."  And for over 150 years this hymn has been the testimony of many believers.  And once again, notice the last verse.  Not only does He lead us through our life here on earth, but He will lead us as we make our journey to our heavenly home.  I pray that this hymn might also be your testimony and experience as it is mine.
(1)  He leadeth me, O bless├Ęd thought!
O words with heav'nly comfort fraught!
Whate'er I do, where'er I be
Still 'tis God's hand that leadeth me.
He leadeth me, He leadeth me,
By His own hand He leadeth me;
His faithful follower I would be,
For by His hand He leadeth me.
(2)  Sometimes mid scenes of deepest gloom,
Sometimes where Eden's bowers bloom,
By waters still, over troubled sea,
Still 'tis His hand that leadeth me.
He leadeth me, He leadeth me,
By His own hand He leadeth me;
His faithful follower I would be,
For by His hand He leadeth me.
(3)   Lord, I would place my hand in Thine,
Nor ever murmur nor repine;
Content, whatever lot I see,
Since 'tis my God that leadeth me.
He leadeth me, He leadeth me,
By His own hand He leadeth me;
His faithful follower I would be,
For by His hand He leadeth me.
(4)   And when my task on earth is done,
When by Thy grace the vict'ry's won,
E'en death's cold wave I will not flee,
Since God through Jordan leadeth me.
He leadeth me, He leadeth me,
By His own hand He leadeth me;
His faithful follower I would be,
For by His hand He leadeth me.
Listen to it being sung here.    LISTEN

Sunday, June 17, 2012

STAND UP STAND UP FOR JESUS


Christians around the globe are locked in a rapidly expanding spiritual battle against evil.  Satan is pulling out all stops in his drive to destroy Christians.  In many countries today Christians are being severely persecuted and killed.  Many are fleeing for their lives.  Closer to home the battle takes on different forms as Christians are being slandered and mocked.  Our rights to express the truth and to share the Gospel are under attack.  But many Christians continue to live as though nothing is happening.  It is time for believers to wake up, step up and stand up for Jesus.  It is He who will be the final victor and we need to be his soldiers.  Episcopalian Reverend Dudley A. Tyng (1825-1858) was a dynamic preacher known for taking strong stands against evil, no matter what the cost. His sermon regarding the evils of slavery in America is still in print today. It resulted in him being removed from one of his pastorates.  In 1858, Tying preached a sermon on Exodus 10:11, "Go now ye that are men and serve the Lord" to 5,000. More than 1,000 of those men responded to the altar call, to receive Jesus as their Savior. Just over a week later, Tying lay dying as a result of a tragic accident and his final whispered statement was "Let us all stand up for Jesus." The following Sunday  Pastor George Duffield (1818-1888) preached a sermon on Ephesians 6:14, as a tribute to the final words of his friend Tying. He concluded his sermon with a six-stanza poem. Printed copies of the poem were distributed to all the congregation.  One of the pamphlets fell into the hands of the editor of a Baptist periodical. The editor was so impressed with the verses that he printed them in his widely read publication. The poem Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus, has since become one of the most recognized hymns in all English-speaking Christendom.  Are you ready to take your stand and join the battle?

(1)   Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross;
Lift high His royal banner, it must not suffer loss.
From victory unto victory His army shall He lead,
Till every foe is vanquished, and Christ is Lord indeed.

(2)  Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the solemn watchword hear;
If while ye sleep He suffers, away with shame and fear;
Where'er ye meet with evil, within you or without,
Charge for the God of battles, and put the foe to rout.

(3)   Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the trumpet call obey;
Forth to the mighty conflict, in this His glorious day.
Ye that are brave now serve Him against unnumbered foes;
Let courage rise with danger, and strength to strength oppose.

(4)  Stand up, stand up for Jesus, stand in His strength alone;
The arm of flesh will fail you, ye dare not trust your own.
Put on the Gospel armor, each piece put on with prayer;
Where duty calls or danger, be never wanting there.

(5)  Stand up, stand up for Jesus, each soldier to his post,
Close up the broken column, and shout through all the host:
Make good the loss so heavy, in those that still remain,
And prove to all around you that death itself is gain.

(6)Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the strife will not be long;
This day the noise of battle, the next the victor's song.
To those who vanquish evil a crown of life shall be;
They with the King of Glory shall reign eternally.

Listen to it here.     LISTEN

Sunday, June 10, 2012

IT TOOK A MIRACLE


Do you think miracles still happen today?  That's an interesting question.  But there is at least one miracle that still happens daily around the world.  That is the miracle of a transformed life when a person comes and accepts the free gift of salvation.  Old things are passed away and all things become new.  The person becomes a new creation - and that is a miracle that will continue to happen.  I don't know your story of how you met the Savior but I am sure that you will agree, it was a miracle.  John Peterson (1921-2006), one of the modern day writers, was known as Deacon during his military service because he read his New Testament every morning.  Those times with the Lord kept him in good stead when he flew the "China Hump". Peterson said, "During those long, lonely flights I had wonderful opportunity for meditation and prayer. It always seemed that the Lord was very near. Perhaps there is no greater display of God's power and handiwork than the Himalayan Mountains.  So often as I flew, while observing the rugged terrain below and the glories of the heavens above, I was overwhelmed by the power of our Creator and the glory of his creation in general. Then the thought gripped me that the same God who created this universe with its never-ending wonders was the God who loved me and sent his only begotten Son to take my place on the cross.  I was quite overwhelmed as I began to think of these two aspects of God's power and love; and suddenly, the words of a new song began to form in my heart. Within a very short time, I was sketching the words and melody of a new song."  In his lifetime, Peterson had composed over 1,000 songs.  So meditate on the message of this week's hymn as you sing it this week.


(1)    My Father is omnipotent
And that you can't deny;
A God of might and miracles;
'Tis written in the sky.
It took a miracle to put the stars in place;
It took a miracle to hang the world in space.
But when He saved my soul,
Cleansed and made me whole,
It took a miracle of love and grace!

(2)   Though here His glory has been shown,
We still can't fully see
The wonders of His might, His throne;
'Till eternity.
It took a miracle to put the stars in place;
It took a miracle to hang the world in space.
But when He saved my soul,
Cleansed and made me whole,
It took a miracle of love and grace!

(3)   The Bible tells us of His power
And wisdom all way through;
And every little bird and flower
Are testimonies too.
It took a miracle to put the stars in place;
It took a miracle to hang the world in space.
But when He saved my soul,
Cleansed and made me whole,
It took a miracle of love and grace!

Listen to it being sung by George Beverly Shea.  LISTEN

Sunday, June 3, 2012

NO ONE EVER CARED FOR ME LIKE JESUS


So often tragedy and despair have led to the writing of some of the most inspiring hymns.  This week's choice is such an example.  Charles Weigle was an Itinerant evangelist and song writer.  One day after preaching at a gospel crusade, he came home to find a note from his wife of many years.  The note said that she did not care for the life she led being an evangelist's wife and she was leaving him.  The next few years were a time of despair for Weigle. He later said that he became so despondent that there were even times when he contemplated suicide. He even wondered if anyone really cared for him.  After a time, his faith was again restored and he became active for the Lord again.  During this time he wanted to put to paper a song that would share the feelings he had experienced during his despondent days.  From a heart that was broken came the words and the tune for this week's hymn.  This great testimony hymn has always been one of my favorites since it shares so well the feelings of my heart.  There are days when we all feel that nobody really cares about us.  Just recently, while facing a major trial, I confidentially shared my challenge with a person who I thought would care.  I admit that at first I was hurt when this person never said he'd pray for me and never even came back to see how I was doing.  I really don't think he cares.  But then I remembered that this is just human nature and there is one who really knows and cares for me.  There are no other friends like Jesus.  I hope that you have found this true in your life.


(1)   I would love to tell you what I think of Jesus
Since I found in Him a friend so strong and true;
I would tell you how He changed my life completely -
He did something that no other friend could do.
No one ever cared for me like Jesus;
There's no other friend so kind as He;
No one else could take the sin and darkness from me -
O how much He cared for me!

(2)   All my life was full of sin when Jesus found me;
All my heart was full of misery and woe;
Jesus placed His strong and loving arms around me,
And He led me in the way I ought to go.
No one ever cared for me like Jesus;
There's no other friend so kind as He;
No one else could take the sin and darkness from me -
O how much He cared for me!

(3)   Every day He comes to me with new assurance,
More and more I understand His words of love;
But I'll never know just why He came to save me,
Till some day I see His blessed face above.
No one ever cared for me like Jesus;
There's no other friend so kind as He;
No one else could take the sin and darkness from me -
O how much He cared for me!

You can listen to it here.   LISTEN