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, October 28, 2012

SINCE I HAVE BEEN REDEEMED


It is disappointing when you can't find anything about the actual writing of a hymn and that is the case with this one.  However, that doesn't take anything away from the appreciation of the message.  The writer,  Edwin Othello Excell (1851 – 1921), commonly known as E. O. Excell, was a prominent American publisher, composer, song leader, and singer of music for church, Sunday school, and evangelistic meetings during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Excell was born in Uniontown, Ohio and attended public schools in Ohio and Pennsylvania. After marrying in 1871 near Brady's Bend, Pennsylvania, he supported his family for several years as a plasterer, bricklayer, and singing instructor. His focus was turned to sacred music through his experience leading songs at revivals and worship services of Methodist Episcopal churches, first in East Brady and then, starting in 1881, Oil City, Pennsylvania. Excell compiled or contributed to about ninety secular and sacred song books and is estimated to have written, composed, or arranged more than two thousand of the songs he published. The music publishing business he started in 1881 and that eventually bore his name was the highest volume producer of hymnbooks in America at the time of his death. Excell was described as "a big, robust six-footer, with a six-in caliber voice" and extraordinary range that enabled him to solo as baritone or tenor.  His song "Since I Have Been Redeemed" is a marvelous testimony of what happens when a sinner accepts the free gift of salvation and is redeemed.  We have a new song to sing, a Christ who satisfies, a witness within, a new home and a new joy.  And that is worth singing about!  Incidentally, as a sidelight for those who are often critical of the number of repeated phrases in today's praise music, count the number of repeated phrases in this old hymn.  Sometimes things don't change as much as we think.  But rejoice as you sing along this week.


(1)   I have a song I love to sing,
Since I have been redeemed,
Of my Redeemer, Savior King,
Since I have been redeemed.
Since I have been redeemed,
Since I have been redeemed,
I will glory in His Name,
Since I have been redeemed,
I will glory in the Savior's Name.

(2)   I have a Christ Who satisfies
Since I have been redeemed,
To do His will my highest prize,
Since I have been redeemed.
Since I have been redeemed,
Since I have been redeemed,
I will glory in His Name,
Since I have been redeemed,
I will glory in the Savior's Name.

(3)   I have a witness bright and clear,
Since I have been redeemed,
Dispelling every doubt and fear,
Since I have been redeemed.
Since I have been redeemed,
Since I have been redeemed,
I will glory in His Name,
Since I have been redeemed,
I will glory in the Savior's Name.

(4)   I have a home prepared for me,
Since I have been redeemed,
Where I shall dwell eternally,
Since I have been redeemed.
Since I have been redeemed,
Since I have been redeemed,
I will glory in His Name,
Since I have been redeemed,
I will glory in the Savior's Name.

(5)   I have a joy I can't express,
Since I have been redeemed,
All through His blood and righteousness,
Since I have been redeemed.
Since I have been redeemed,
Since I have been redeemed,
I will glory in His Name,
Since I have been redeemed,
I will glory in the Savior's Name.

Listen to it being sung here.  LISTEN

Sunday, October 21, 2012

IVORY PALCES


Henry Barraclough was born at Windhill in Yorkshire, England, on Dec. 14, 1891.  He began his music studies at age five by training on the organ and piano. After first making his living as a claims adjuster for the Car and General Insurance Co. in Bradford, he was then secretary to Sir George Scott Robertson, a member of Parliament from 1911 to 1913. However, in 1914 he joined the evangelistic team of Presbyterian evangelist J. Wilbur Chapman and his song director, Charles M. Alexander, who were on a preaching mission to England.  When the team returned to the United States, Barraclough came with them. In 1915 Chapman preached a sermon on Ps. 45.8  ("All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad."), at the Presbyterian conference grounds in Montreat, NC. He applied the symbolism of the perfumed garments to Christ.  As he was riding with Alexander to take some friends home to their Blue Ridge YMCA Hostel a few miles away that night, the 24-year old Barraclough thought about the message and the phrases of the refrain began to take shape in his mind. While they were stopped at a little village store, he penned his thoughts on the only paper that was available to him at the time – the back of a visitor's card which he had in his pocket. Upon returning to his room at the conference hotel, he worked out the first three stanzas, using the outline of Chapman's message. The next morning the the hymn was sung at a session of the conference. Later, Chapman suggested that a fourth stanza be added about the second coming of Christ.  The song reminds us of the sacrifice that Christ made for us. The second stanza tells us that Christ experienced sorrow on the cross for us. Stanza 3 tells us that Christ is our healer.   Meditate on the words of this hymn and thank the Lord that He would willingly leave the ivory palaces of heaven to come to a world of woe just for us.


My Lord has garments so wondrous fine,
And myrrh their texture fills;
Its fragrance reached to this heart of mine
With joy my being thrills.
Out of the ivory palaces,
Into a world of woe,
Only His great eternal love
Made my Savior go.

His life had also its sorrows sore,
For aloes had a part;
And when I think of the cross He bore,
My eyes with teardrops start.
Out of the ivory palaces,
Into a world of woe,
Only His great eternal love
Made my Savior go.

His garments too were in cassia dipped,
With healing in a touch;
Each time my feet in some sin have slipped,
He took me from its clutch.
Out of the ivory palaces,
Into a world of woe,
Only His great eternal love
Made my Savior go.

In garments glorious He will come,
To open wide the door;
And I shall enter my heav'nly home,
To dwell forevermore.
Out of the ivory palaces,
Into a world of woe,
Only His great eternal love
Made my Savior go.

Listen to it being sung here.   LISTEN

Sunday, October 14, 2012

ROCK OF AGES


The scriptures are full of references to the LORD being a rock upon whom we can depend no matter what storms may come our way.  Psalm 18:2 "The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower." Psalm 62:6 "He only is my rock and my salvation: He is my defense; I shall not be moved."  Psalm 62:7 "In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God."  And there are numerous verses which encourage us to worship and exalt the LORD who is our rock.  Psalm 18:46  "The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted."   Psalm 95:1  "O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation."  And it was probably the knowledge of verses like these  that played a part in the writing of this classic hymn by Augustus Montague Toplady (1740-1778) in 1763.   Traditionally, it is held that Rev. Toplady was inspired to write the hymn by an incident in the gorge of Burrington Combe in the Mendip Hills in England. Toplady, a preacher in the nearby village of Blagdon, was traveling along the gorge when he was caught in a storm. Finding shelter in a gap in the gorge, he was struck by the title and scribbled down the initial lyrics on a playing card that he found there on the ground. The fissure that is believed to have sheltered Toplady is now marked as the "Rock of Ages", both on the rock itself and on some maps. The hymn was first published in the Gospel Magazine in 1775, some 12 years after Toplady wrote it.  And for over two centuries its words have been a comfort and encouragement to many, especially in times of difficulty.  Meditate on these words this week realizing that the work of Christ is for you.


Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy wounded side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure,
Save me from its guilt and power.

Not the labor of my hands
Can fulfill Thy law's demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and Thou alone.

Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless, look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Savior, or I die.

While I draw this fleeting breath,
When my eyes shall close in death,
When I rise to worlds unknown,
And behold Thee on Thy throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee

Listen to the words here.  LISTEN

Sunday, October 7, 2012

REDEEMED HOW I LOVE TO PROCLAIM IT



When we use the word redeem today, it has a variety of meanings. It could mean compensating for the faults or bad aspects of something or it could mean to do something that compensates for poor past performance or behavior.  But for the believer it has a more powerful meaning.  Redemption is from the Latin redemptio, "to redeem," "to buy back again." In theology, this is the idea that Christ "redeemed" or "bought back" mankind by delivering us from sin and its punishment, therefore making salvation possible. Jesus came to redeem fallen creation and to pay the price for human sin.  By His death at Calvary he bought us back - His life and blood for our salvation.  And when we realize the truth of this action we should fall before Him in love and worship for this incredible act.  We should be driven to share and proclaim this message to all.  We are His children - forever.  Fanny Crosby, the great blind hymn writer experienced this redemption in her life and she penned the words of this great hymn in 1882.  Once she was asked, "Is there a special hymn written for your conversion experience?"  Fanny replied, "I would write many hymns to describe the joy of my salvation. The one that stands out the most to me right now is this one."  And she began to sing in her beautiful soprano voice, "redeemed, how I love to proclaim it."  And proclaim it she did, through countless songs that are still sung today.  May this week's hymn not only remind you of the powerful work of redemption but may it stir you to proclaim this message wherever you go.

(1)   Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it!
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
Redeemed through His infinite mercy,
His child and forever I am.
Redeemed, redeemed,
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
Redeemed, redeemed,
His child and forever I am.

(2)  Redeemed, and so happy in Jesus,
No language my rapture can tell;
I know that the light of His presence
With me doth continually dwell.
Redeemed, redeemed,
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
Redeemed, redeemed,
His child and forever I am.

(3)   I think of my bless├Ęd Redeemer,
I think of Him all the day long:
I sing, for I cannot be silent;
His love is the theme of my song.
Redeemed, redeemed,
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
Redeemed, redeemed,
His child and forever I am.

(4)   I know there's a crown that is waiting,
In yonder bright mansion for me,
And soon, with the spirits made perfect,
At home with the Lord I shall be.
Redeemed, redeemed,
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
Redeemed, redeemed,
His child and forever I am.

Listen to it here.   LISTEN