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, April 23, 2017

WHY?


          Sometimes I think that the most frequently asked question by believers is "Why?".  Usually it is asked about things that happen to us or our friends?  Why do I or a family member have this physical problem?  Why did the Lord take my loved one home?  Why did I lose my job or not get promoted?  Why did my children rebel against both me and the Lord?  Why?  Why? Why?  And many times we will not find the answers to these questions while we are here on earth.  But when we consider our salvation and God's acts of grace and mercy, many "why" questions should also come to our minds.  Some questions like this were asked by John M. Moore in a hymn which he penned.  Why did they nail Him to Calvary's tree?  Why was He there? Why should He love me, a sinner undone?  Why should He care?  Why should I linger afar from His love?  Why should I fear?  These are good questions that we, too, should ponder.  Unfortunately it was very hard to find much about Moore or what led him to write this hymn.  And it was also difficult to find any videos of this hymn.  I did learn that He was born in Scotland and served as Assistant Superintendent at the Seamen's Chapel in Glasgow, Scotland.  He was also pastor and Superintendent at Tent Hall, an evangelistic center in Glasgow for nine years, pastor of the Inverness Baptist Church for five years, and pastor of the Willowdale Baptist Church, Willowdale, Ontario, Canada. He wrote over 150 hymns, some of which were translated into other languages.  I can only assume that He was overwhelmed when thinking about the sacrifice of Christ for Him.  Maybe He too, like me, marveled at the truth of Romans 5:8, "But God commendeth His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."  We are so unworthy of this, but Christ left all the glory and riches of heaven, to come to this earth to purchase our salvation at the cost of His life?  Why did He do it?  We may never fully comprehend the love and mercy that made this possible, but He did it ... for us.  May we be eternally thankful and may the words of Moore's hymn fill our hearts as we meditate upon them this week.

1. Why did they nail him to Calvary´s tree;
Why, tell me why was he there?
Jesus the helper, the healer, the friend,
Why, tell me why was he there?
CHORUS:
All my iniquities on him were laid;
He nailed them all to the tree.
Jesus, the debt of my sin fully paid,
He paid the ransom for me.

2. Why should he love me a sinner undone;
Why, tell me why should he care?
I do not merit the love he has shown.
Why, tell me why should he care?
All my iniquities on him were laid;
He nailed them all to the tree.
Jesus, the debt of my sin fully paid,
He paid the ransom for me.

3. Why should I linger afar from his love;
Why, tell me why should I fear?
Somehow I know I must venture and prove;
Why, tell me why should I fear?
All my iniquities on him were laid;
He nailed them all to the tree.
Jesus, the debt of my sin fully paid,
He paid the ransom for me.

Listen to the words here.  LISTEN1

I also found a second video featuring a family singing and playing this song. (I am especially partial to trombones so I just had to include this one.)    LISTEN2

Sunday, April 16, 2017

TWAS A GLAD DAY



        Most of us have significant events that have happened in our lifetime and we recall exactly where we were when they happened.  For me it is the assassination of President Kennedy, man's first step on the moon, and the events of 9-11.  But there are personal events which also are significant in our lives - our graduations, our wedding and the weddings of our children, the births of our children and grandchildren, and deaths of loved ones.  For me these events also include meeting President Reagan on the White House Lawn.  But for every believer the most important event was the time that we placed our personal faith in the work of Jesus Christ and we became transformed and forgiven, a new creation.  A new life began that day.  "You He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins" (Ephesians 2:1; Romans 6:23).  We went from being under condemnation, to being delivered from condemnation. "There is … no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1).   And this was recognized by pastor and hymn writer Albert Simpson Reitz (1879-1966) in 1918 when he penned the words of this gospel song.  It was one of over 100 Gospel songs that he wrote in his lifetime.  This song celebrates the changes that occurred on that glorious day and the joy that resulted from becoming a member of God's family.  It notes that He buried our sins in the deepest sea and He filled our soul with joy and victory.  And the song also includes celebrating the joy that we will experience that day when we meet in glory and through endless ages tell the story of our Savior's redeeming love.  What a great day that will be.  Hopefully, you, too, have experienced this transformation and the joy of that reality.  Hopefully, you, too, can testify that it was a glad day!  And, if you have experienced this, then you, too, can look forward to that grand day when we shall meet around His throne.  There you will join me in shouting a glad hosanna when we see Him upon His throne.

(1)     I was lost in sin when Jesus found me,
But He rescued me, all glory to His name!
And the cords of worldly pleasure bound me,
Till He saved me from sin and shame.
Refrain
'Twas a glad day when Jesus found me,
When His strong arms were thrown around me;
When my sins He buried in the deepest sea,
And my soul He filled with joy and victory.
'Twas a glad day, O hallelujah!
'Twas a glad day He claimed His own.
I will shout a glad hosanna in glory
When I see Him upon His throne.

(2)     O the bells of Heaven now are ringing,
For I hear their tones within my ransomed soul;
And my heart is filled with joyful singing
Since the Savior has made me whole.
'Twas a glad day when Jesus found me,
When His strong arms were thrown around me;
When my sins He buried in the deepest sea,
And my soul He filled with joy and victory.
'Twas a glad day, O hallelujah!
'Twas a glad day He claimed His own.
I will shout a glad hosanna in glory
When I see Him upon His throne.

(3)     O the joy when we shall meet in glory,
In the mansions of my Father's home above;
And through endless ages tell the story
Of the Savior's redeeming love.
'Twas a glad day when Jesus found me,
When His strong arms were thrown around me;
When my sins He buried in the deepest sea,
And my soul He filled with joy and victory.
'Twas a glad day, O hallelujah!
'Twas a glad day He claimed His own.
I will shout a glad hosanna in glory
When I see Him upon His throne.

I could not find a vocal video of this song, but here is a piano rendition for you to listen to.    LISTEN

Sunday, April 9, 2017

WHEN I SEE THE BLOOD


          On Monday, Jews around the world will begin their annual celebration of the Passover.   "It is the LORD'S Passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt" (Exodus. 12:10-13).  When I consider various events recorded in the Bible I often wonder what it would have been like to be present and see them in real time.  But this is one event that I am glad that I did not witness personally.  It was the tenth and final plague and involved the death of the firstborn child as well as the animals in every household in Egypt.  I can't image the wailing and anguish that would have filled Egypt that morning. It must have been horrendous.  But, in His grace, the Lord provided a way to escape the plague. A lamb  "without blemish, a male of the first year," (Exodus 12:5) was to be chosen. At twilight, before the night of the coming judgment, the lamb was to be slain, and its blood applied to the doorposts and lintel of the home (Exodus. 12:6-7).  And those homes were spared the tragic death of the firstborn.  The same is true for us centuries later.  When we put our faith in Christ as Saviour, it is as though His blood is applied to us and, covered by the blood of the Lamb, we are safe from eternal judgment.  There is no other way to escape this judgment.  "Without the shedding of blood there is no remission [no forgiveness of sins]" (Hebrews 9:22).  And it was this event that led to the writing of this week's hymn choice.  There are many questions about the authorship of this hymn.  Some say it was written by John G. Foote.  Others say it was by Foote and E.A.H.  Many believe that E.A.H. was Elisha A. Hoffman (1839-1929) who is credited with writing over 2,000 gospel songs.  But  no matter who actually wrote it, the hymn shares that by His grace Jesus will save even the chiefest of sinners.  When judgment comes, He has promised through his great power, compassion and love to save those whose lives have been transformed by the power of His blood.  Yes, He will pass, He will pass over them.  And for all others, as in Egypt many years ago, they will face eternal punishment and separation from God. And that will be a far worse fate than was suffered by those in Egypt who did not have the blood on their doorpost.  So what will your fate be?  Today you can still choose.  Now I have found that there has been some recent editing of the original words of this hymn and while I personally prefer the original, I will try to share both versions below.  The original will be in bold face type.


(1)    1 Christ our Redeemer died on the cross,
Died for the sinner, paid all his due;
Sprinkle your soul with the blood of the Lamb,
And I will pass, will pass over you.
When I see the blood, when I see the blood,
When I see the blood, I will pass, I will pass over you.

(Christ our Redeemer died on the cross,
Died for the sinner, paid all his due.
All who receive Him need never fear,
Yes, He will pass, will pass over you.)

(2)     Chiefest of sinners, Jesus will save;
As He has promised, that He will do;
Wash in the fountain opened for sin,
And I will pass, will pass over you.
When I see the blood, when I see the blood,
When I see the blood, I will pass, I will pass over you.

(Chiefest of sinners, Jesus will save;
As He has promised, so He will do;
Oh, sinner, hear Him, trust in His Word,
Then He will pass, will pass over you.)

(3)     Judgment is coming, all will be there,
Each one receiving justly his due;
Hide in the saving sin-cleasing blood,
And I will pass, will pass over you.
When I see the blood, when I see the blood,
When I see the blood, I will pass, I will pass over you.

(Judgment is coming, all will be there.
Who have rejected, who have refused?
Oh, sinner, hasten, let Jesus in,
Oh, He will pass, will pass over you.)

(4)     O great compassion! O boundless love!
O loving kindness, faithful and true!
Find peace and shelter under the blood,
And I will pass, will pass over you.
When I see the blood, when I see the blood,
When I see the blood, I will pass, I will pass over you.

(O great compassion! O boundless love!
Jesus hath power, Jesus is true;
All who believe are safe from the storm,
Oh, He will pass, will pass over you.)

Listen to it sung here.    LISTEN

Sunday, April 2, 2017

CALVARY COVERS IT ALL (TH#4)


 TIMELESS HYMN #4 - Another revised and repeated blog of one of the great timeless hymns of the faith.

          As we approach the Easter season I have decided to choose for this month's Timeless Hymn one of my favorite hymns, Calvary Covers It All.  This was first shared in this blog on April 5, 2009.  This hymn reminds me of what Christ has done for me at Calvary.  There He suffered for me, carrying upon Him all my past, all my sin and guilt and despair.  Calvary does cover it all.  And because of that great sacrifice, I am forgiven and one day I "shall be His in the glory on high; Where with gladness and song, I'll be one of the throng."  Now I could not find much about the author, Ethel Taylor, who passed away in 1950. This song was apparently written by her in 1934.  However, since my original blog in 2009, I have come across a story about how it was written.  Following are parts of that story from Al Smith's Hymn Histories (pages 125-127).
          "The song relates to a dancer named Walter "Happy Mac" MacDonald, whom comedian Eddie Cantor said had the fastest feet in the world. Mac was talented, but he was also in bondage to sin, and addicted to alcohol. One night in the early 1930's he stumbled into a meeting in the Pacific Garden Mission, in Chicago. When an invitation was given  ... Mac did not respond. But, as he returned, night after night, workers gradually came to know more about him.   Directing the mission in those days (1918-1936) were Walter Grand Taylor and his wife Ethel affectionately known as Pa and Ma Taylor. Ethel Taylor watched Mac, and her heart went out to him. She prayed, "Dear Lord, please help us say and do the right things, so that we may win Mac to Thee." Finally, MacDonald did seek counseling, and Ma Taylor listened as he struggled with his past. "You don't understand," he prayed. "You don't know how bad I am, Lord. Really I'm the worst man in the world. You can't save me; I'm too bad."   Mrs. Taylor recalled a message she had heard weeks before. Evangelist Percy Crawford had been a rebel in his youth ...  The theme of Crawford's testimony was, "Calvary covers it all," and Ethel Taylor shared those words with MacDonald.   He asked her to repeat them, and suddenly the light dawned. "Oh! Mrs. Taylor, I'm so glad it's true, and you told me. Calvary does cover it all! My whole past of sin and shame." The former entertainer trusted in the Saviour that night in 1934, and lived to become an outstanding servant of Christ.   A few days later, Ethel Taylor went into the mission chapel, sat down at the piano, and created the words and music of a gospel song."
 

          Truly, as many have found over the years, Calvary does cover all of our dark past and sinfulness.  Every stain is washed away.  Every mark of shame is erased through the blood of Jesus Christ. We are forgiven. Have you accepted this wonderful gift that Christ has provided for you?  There is nothing about your past that isn't covered by what Christ did for you at Calvary.  Don't put off this life-changing decision any longer.


(1)  Far dearer than all that the world can impart
Was the message that came to my heart.
How that Jesus alone for my sin did atone,
And Calvary covers it all.
Calvary covers it all,
My past with its sin and stain;
My guilt and despair
Jesus took on Him there,
And Calvary covers it all.

(2)  The stripes that He bore and the thorns that He wore
Told His mercy and love ever more
And my heart bowed in shame as I called on His name,
And Calvary covers it all.
Calvary covers it all,
My past with its sin and stain;
My guilt and despair
Jesus took on Him there,
And Calvary covers it all.

(3)  How matchless the grace, when I looked in the face
Of this Jesus, my crucified Lord;
My redemption complete I then found at His feet,
And Calvary covers it all.
Calvary covers it all,
My past with its sin and stain;
My guilt and despair
Jesus took on Him there,
And Calvary covers it all.

(4)  How blessed the thought, that my soul by Him bought,
Shall be His in the glory on high;
Where with gladness and song, I'll be one of the throng
And Calvary covers it all.
Calvary covers it all,
My past with its sin and stain;
My guilt and despair
Jesus took on Him there,
And Calvary covers it all.

Here are two choices to listen to this hymn.
LISTEN 1 - A male quartet
LISTEN 2 - Soloist Dave Boyer