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 18, 2014
It was 300 weeks ago on October 19, 2008, that I decided to try to write a brief blog each Sunday involving a great hymn of the faith. That Sunday I began with my favorite hymn, Great Is Thy Faithfulness. This venture began as a hobby which I hoped to share with a few of my close friends. I didn't know how long I would really continue this blogging. And never did I ever think that this blog would eventually have well over 107,000 visits with about 800 visiting each week. Never did I anticipate that I would receive scores of comments from all over the world thanking me for sharing words that were touching the hearts of my readers. I am still overwhelmed with this fact. I am not a historian nor have I been trained in music. I just love to sing and love the many Gospel songs and hymns that have touched my life over the years. And that first hymn that I shared is so true. Great is God's faithfulness and He has been so faithful to me throughout seven decades and especially in the 300 weeks that I have tried to find words to share with you. I've thought long and hard about what to share on this special week and I've decided to briefly comment on probably the most famous hymn known throughout the world today, Amazing Grace. It is the personal testimony of its author, John Newton, a slave trader before coming to Christ. It was God's amazing grace (God's Riches At Christ's Expense) that drew him from a life of sin to become a child of the King. Today this hymn is sung at so many public events, especially funerals and memorial services. And every time I hear it I wonder what people must be thinking when they sing it. What does grace mean to them? For I am sure that many of them have never experienced the amazing grace that can save a wretched, sinful person. The Bible reminds us that all have sinned. But in their blind state they sing and play this wonderful message. It is so sad to hear and see this happen. If only their hearts would be open to the truth and power of this grace. Chris Tomlin has popularized a modern version of this hymn which I also like. His key addition has been the following.
My chains are gone
I've been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy reigns
Unending love, amazing grace
Maybe it is sad that folks today don't include this addition for it clearly explains what the sinner experiences when the amazing grace of Jesus floods the soul and sets the sinner free. It is my prayer that you, too, have experienced this amazing grace of Jesus. Now the one thing I don't like about his new modern version is that my favorite verse is not included. The older I get, the more meaningful the last verse becomes to me. When we've been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun, we've no less days to sing God's praise than when we'd first begun. Actually this verse was not penned by Newton but by an R. Winchell. And I'm so glad it was added. What a hope and anticipation the truth of this verse brings to us. Someday we will have an eternity with Him to sing of His amazing grace. And so that is hymn #300. Thank you for visiting and adding your find comments over the years. If the Lord allows, maybe in six years we can celebrate together #600. And if not, maybe we can join together in the first ten thousand years singing praises to God in our new home. I'd love to meet you there as we worship together.
(1) Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.
(2) 'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed!
(3) Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
'Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.
(4) The Lord has promised good to me,
His Word my hope secures;
He will my Shield and Portion be,
As long as life endures.
(5) Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.
(6) The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.
(7) When we've been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we'd first begun.
You can listen here to a stirring rendition here if you can just wait until the ad is done. LISTEN
I am a father of three sons and a grandfather of seven. I have been singing hymns for almost seventy years. For over 25 years we taught hymns to children in our family ministry. Now I enjoy leading hymn sings and worship at Pinebrook Bible Conference. I love to go to sleep at night and wake up in the morning listening to hymns ... as well as some of the recent praise and worship choruses.