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 21, 2017

HIS WAY WITH THEE


          Cyrus Nusbaum was born in 1861 in Indiana. He came out of Amish country to be ordained a Methodist minister.  During his life he became a successful pastor, evangelist, college official, Army captain, and WW I American Red Cross inspector.  And he wrote the words and music for a number of hymns.  Nusbaum was only 25 years old at the time of his first pastoral assignment. It was one of the poorest circuits in the district. Their income was barely enough to live on as he and his young wife struggled hard to take care of seven congregations in rural Kansas. At the end of the first year they attended the annual conference hoping and praying that they would be given a better charge. However, on the last night of conference the bishop read the appointments and the Nusbaums had to go back to the same old poor circuit.  With heavy hearts they returned to their conference lodging. Mrs. Nusbaum went to bed early but Cyrus stayed up and wrestled with his thoughts. His unhappiness brought on a spirit of rebellion. But around midnight he finally knelt in prayer and told the Lord that he would be willing to serve regardless of the cost. With that surrender a peace came over him. That feeling of surrender later became the inspiration for this week's hymn which he wrote and was published in 1899.  That commitment to God to direct and control our days is reflected by Pastor Nusbaum's hymn. For a meaningful life that pleases God, and for fruitful service that will endure for eternity, the hymn writer's counsel is "Let Him have His way with thee." In other words, submit yourself to God.  But that isn't always easy.  So many different things call for our time and attention today.  Somebody has said that the theme chorus of Hell is, "I' Did It My Way". That seems to be a prevailing attitude today. "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way" (Isa. 53:6)  "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him [as Lord of your life], and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil" (Prov. 3:5-7).  In Nusbaum's song, verse one reminds us that letting Him have His way with us will make us pure and good.  Verse two teaches us that letting Him have His way with us will make us free from sin.  In verse three we are told that letting Him have His way with us will make us citizens of His kingdom  And the chorus reemphasizes the blessings of submitting to the Lord's will.  So whose way are you following today?  Are you being attracted to the ways of this world which lead to eternal destruction?  Remember, "His power can make you what you ought to be; His blood can cleanse your heart and make you free; His love can fill your soul."   And as you yield to Him and His way you will see that it was best to let Him have His way with you.



1     Would you live for Jesus, and be always pure and good?
Would you walk with Him within the narrow road?
Would you have Him bear your burden, carry all your load?
Let Him have His way with thee.
His power can make you what you ought to be;
His blood can cleanse your heart and make you free;
His love can fill your soul, and you will see
'Twas best for Him to have His way with thee.

2.     Would you have Him make you free, and follow at His call?
Would you know the peace that comes by giving all?
Would you have Him save you, so that you can never fall?
Let Him have His way with thee.
His power can make you what you ought to be;
His blood can cleanse your heart and make you free;
His love can fill your soul, and you will see
'Twas best for Him to have His way with thee.

3.     Would you in His kingdom find a place of constant rest?
Would you prove Him true in providential test?
Would you in His service labor always at your best?
Let Him have His way with thee.
His power can make you what you ought to be;
His blood can cleanse your heart and make you free;
His love can fill your soul, and you will see
'Twas best for Him to have His way with thee.

Listen to it being sung here.    LISTEN

Sunday, May 14, 2017

GOD UNDERSTANDS


          Over the years we have featured many of the great hymns that were written by  Dr. Oswald J. Smith (1889-1986).  It is said that he wrote more than 1,200 hymns, many of which have been a great comfort and encouragement to believers over the years.  Often we don't know the reason a hymn was penned, but this time we do.  This week's hymn was written around 1935 to minister to one person. Dr. Smith's youngest sister Ruth, and her husband Clifford were freshman missionaries serving in Peru. They were preparing to come home to Canada on their first furlough. But shortly before they left, Clifford was killed in a car accident. Ruth returned home with their two small boys, a grieving widow at the age of 26. Oswald Smith dedicated God Understands to his sister, and says it was a great comfort to her.  Over the years this hymn has comforted many people.  Many have used it at funeral services.  Dr. Smith reported that on one occasion it was even used of God to save a radio executive from suicide. Maybe it was also written to comfort you thus week.  "God understands your sorrow, he sees the falling tear, and whispers, "'I am with thee;' then falter not, nor fear."  The Lord not only knows the struggles of our inmost hearts, but He understands why we are going through these things, and what to do about them.  So often when we go through deep waters we feel all alone and think nobody really cares.  But there is one who knows and understands.  "He understands your longing, your deepest grief He shares. Then let Him bear your burden, He understands, and cares." "You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth." (Ps. 86:15). "Through the LORD'S mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness." (Lam. 3:22-23). "He who trusts in the LORD, mercy shall surround him." (Ps. 32:10).   Incidentally, despite losing their father,  I am told that Ruth's two boys grew up to become ministers of the gospel.  Are you facing deep waters?  Do you feel that nobody understands or cares?  Then meditate on these words this week and rest in the knowledge that He cares, He understands and He wants to bear your burden.


1.     God understands your sorrow,
He sees the falling tear,
And whispers, "I am with thee;"
then falter not, nor fear.
He understands your longing,
Your deepest grief He shares;
Then let Him bear your burden,
He understands, and cares.

2.    God understands your heartache,
He knows the bitter pain;
O, trust Him in the darkness,
you cannot trust in vain.
He understands your longing,
Your deepest grief He shares;
Then let Him bear your burden,
He understands, and cares

3.     God understands your weakness,
He knows the tempter's power;
And He will walk beside you
however dark the hour.
He understands your longing,
Your deepest grief He shares;
Then let Him bear your burden,
He understands, and cares

I was very surprised that I had so much difficulty finding a video of this hymn.  But I did find one to share with you.  Actually it is a medly but I hope the words will speak to you this week.   LISTEN

Sunday, May 7, 2017

LIKE A RIVER GLORIOUS (TH5)


          TIMELESS HYMNS - A special feature where I highlight some of my favorite hymns that have been featured previously in this blog.  These entries are revised and expanded and shared again for your encouragement and challenge.  This hymn was first shared on November 30, 2008.

           In the midst of challenging,difficult and frustrating life circumstances, Frances Ridley Havergal (1836 - 18790) experienced peace that only God can give, that peace that passeth all understanding.  The English poet and hymn writer was vacationing in the south of Wales in 1876 and caught a severe cold.  It was accompanied by inflammation of the lungs. Hearing how ill she was, and that she might die, she replied, "If I am really going, it is too good to be true." Her friends were amazed at how peacefully she received this information. She did survive that illness, and later that year she wrote this beautiful hymn, "Like a River Glorious is God's Perfect Peace".  And the words that she penned have encouraged believers ever since.  Frances was very frail in health and went home to be with the Lord at the age of 42. Her dying words were "Come, Lord Jesus, come and fetch me." She had that peace that truly "passeth all understanding".  This hymn definitely ranks as one of my very favorites.  I especially love to hear it sung by a congregation or an ensemble without any instruments, because it has such beautiful four-part harmony.  But much more importantly, the words always speak to my heart.  In a world filled with turmoil, our only hope and peace is to live lives that are stayed upon Jehovah. And if you are in Christ, you are safe. "Hidden in the hollow of His blessed hand, never foe can follow, never traitor stand." There are foes; there are traitors, but they cannot stand up against His grace and His power.  And we are protected in the hollow of His hand. Now, that doesn't mean they won't ever make our life challenging, but Christ is always with us and His Spirit guides us.  Now, I admit that at times I do struggle with the words "not a surge of worry", for sadly I often struggle with worry and anxiety.  But when we really understand that "EVERY joy or trial falleth from above" and that they are "traced upon our dial by the Sun of Love", then we know that we can trust him fully.  And we do find perfect peace and rest. That celebrates the sovereignty of God who is the blessed controller of all things. Isaiah 26:3, "You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you"  "Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest  Finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest."

(1)   Like a river glorious, is God's perfect peace,
Over all victorious, in its bright increase;
Perfect, yet it floweth, fuller every day,
Perfect, yet it groweth, deeper all the way.
Refrain
Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest
Finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest.

(2)   Hidden in the hollow of His blessed hand,
Never foe can follow, never traitor stand;
Not a surge of worry, not a shade of care,
Not a blast of hurry touch the spirit there. 
Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest
Finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest.

(3)   Every joy or trial falleth from above,
Traced upon our dial by the Sun of Love;
We may trust Him fully all for us to do.
They who trust Him wholly find Him wholly true.
Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest
Finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest.

Listen to it here.     LISTEN