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, December 30, 2018

WHAT A WONDERFUL SAVIOR


          As we come to the end of another year, many of us will take time to review the past year and make plans or resolutions for the coming year.  Much of that review will probably involve looking at our finances, especially as we begin to prepare for completing our annual income tax forms. Often we will then make adjustments in our investments, our budget, and our plans to pay off bills.  But sometimes reviews will include other things such as our health, our relationships, our work and our dreams.  And out of these reviews will often come resolutions for the following year. Annual reviews can be very helpful.  But, unfortunately these annual reviews often miss an evaluation of our spiritual growth and of our many spiritual blessings.   Let me encourage you to include a spiritual evaluation of your life this year.  And maybe Elisha Hoffman's (1939-1929) great hymn, "What a Wonderful Savior", might provide a good starting point.  Hoffman was a pastor and a prolific hymn writer with more than 2,000 hymns credited to him.  Some of his more familiar hymns include,  "I Must Tell Jesus," "Is Thy Heart Right With God?", "Are You Washed in the Blood of the Lamb?", "Glory To His Name," and "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms."  In this week's hymn choice, written in 1891, he highlights several of the spiritual blessings that we have through Christ, our wonderful Savior.  Stanza 1 refers to His redemption, stanza 2 to His cleansing blood, stanza 3 to His reign, stanza 4 to His guidance, stanza 5 to His power and stanza 6 to His influence.  What a great beginning outline this could be in our review of what He has done for us, not only in the past, but also what He has promised to do for us in our present and future.  And as we begin a new year let's remember to thank our wonderful Savior and praise Him daily.  Remember that "He walks beside me in the way" and "keeps me faithful day by day." "He gives me overcoming power", and "triumph in each trying hour."  May our testimony be, "To Him I've given all my heart ... the world shall never share a part". Let's resolve in the coming year to daily live more thankful lives as we recall all that He has done for us.  "What a wonderful Savior is Jesus, my Jesus!  What a wonderful Savior is Jesus, my Lord!"


1     Christ has for sin atonement made -
What a wonderful Savior!
We are redeemed, the price is paid -
What a wonderful Savior!
Refrain
What a wonderful Savior is Jesus, my Jesus!
What a wonderful Savior is Jesus, my Lord!

2     I praise Him for the cleansing blood -
What a wonderful Savior!
That reconciled my soul to God -
What a wonderful Savior! [Refrain]

3     He cleansed my heart from all its sin -
What a wonderful Savior!
And now He reigns and rules therein -
What a wonderful Savior! [Refrain]

4     He walks beside me in the way:
What a wonderful Savior!
And keeps me faithful day by day;
What a wonderful Savior!

5     He gives me overcoming pow'r -
What a wonderful Savior!
And triumph in each trying hour -
What a wonderful Savior! [Refrain]

6.     To Him I've given all my heart:
What a wonderful Savior!
The world shall never share a part:
What a wonderful Savior!

Listen to it here.  WONDERFUL

Sunday, December 23, 2018

O HOLY NIGHT



        To me it really isn't Christmas until I hear a good soloist sing the traditional Christmas carol "O Holy Night".   For decades we had a Christmas Eve service and "O Holy Night" was the last special number sung by a soloist before we closed singing Silent Night while lighting the candles.  That is a tradition that I really miss.  The hymn reminds us of how this world was in sin and error until Christ came and a new and glorious morn broke for mankind.  It shares how the King of Kings lay in a lowly manger, born to be our Fiend and Savior.  It reminds us of how He taught us to love one another.  Truly His law is love and His gospel is peace.  It is an old carol. The words and lyrics of the old carol were written by Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure in 1847. Cappeau was a wine seller by trade but was asked by the parish priest to write a poem for Christmas,  even though he had never showed any interest in religion  He obliged and wrote the beautiful words of the hymn. He then realized that it should have music to accompany the words and he approached his friend Adolphe Charles Adams (1803-1856) who agreed and the music for the poem was composed by Adams. The carol was later translated into English by John Sullivan Dwight (1812-1893), giving us this powerful carol which has been sung for years.  And so at this Christmas season may we claim the closing words of the final verse, "Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we, with all our hearts we praise His holy name.  Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,  His power and glory ever more proclaim!   His power and glory ever more proclaim! 

1.     O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining, 
It is the night of the dear Savior's birth. 
Long lay the world in sin and error pining. 
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth. 
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices, 
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn. 
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices! 
O night divine, the night when Christ was born; 
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine! 
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine! 

2.     Led by the light of faith serenely beaming, 
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand. 
O'er the world a star is sweetly gleaming, 
Now come the wisemen from out of the Orient land. 
The King of kings lay thus lowly manger; 
In all our trials born to be our friends. 
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger, 
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend! 
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend! 

3.     Truly He taught us to love one another, 
His law is love and His gospel is peace. 
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother. 
And in his name all oppression shall cease. 
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we, 
With all our hearts we praise His holy name. 
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we, 
His power and glory ever more proclaim! 
His power and glory ever more proclaim!

Listen to it here.  HOLY NIGHT

Sunday, December 16, 2018

THOU DIDST LEAVE THY THRONE (TH #25)


TIMELESS HYMN #25 - A special feature in which I highlight some of my favorite hymns that I have 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 December 28, 2008.         

I love the month of December for many reasons.  I especially enjoy once again hearing the beautiful Christmas music which is played and sung throughout the month.  Sadly the music usually ends on December 26, and is gone for another year  One of my favorites is "Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne", written by Emily E. Elliott in 1864, for the children and the choir in her father's parish, St. Mark's in Brighton, England.   Elliott wrote her hymn to clarify for children the meaning of Advent and Nativity.  The text takes its theme from Luke 2:7, "but there was no room for them in the inn." The first four stanzas of Elliot's hymn employ the technique of antithesis, placing the poverty of Jesus's birth in contrast to the splendor of heaven. Elliott achieves this contrast by beginning in heaven with the first two lines of each stanza, and then by using "but," contrasts Christ's lowly estate during his life on earth. In heaven Christ had a "kingly crown," but on earth "no room" in stanza one. While the "angels sang" in heaven, Christ was born in "great humility" in stanza two.   While the animals all had homes, Christ wandered the "deserts of Galilee" in stanza three. In stanza four, Christ came as the "living word" but was offered "mocking scorn" and a "crown of thorn" instead. The fifth stanza calls us to look to heaven where Christ will say, "There is room at my side for thee."  The brief refrain includes a clever play on words. While there was no room for the Holy Family at the inn, the refrain invites Christ into the heart of the singer.  What a beautiful and meaningful message this hymn shares of the real and incredible meaning of Christmas. This Christmas season may we  remember that we have an eternal home because, in amazing grace, Jesus was willing to leave his home, then have no home, so that He could pay the penalty for our sin and provide for us an indescribable eternal home.



(1)   Thou didst leave Thy throne and Thy kingly crown,
When Thou camest to earth for me;
But in Bethlehem's home was there found no room
For Thy holy nativity.
O come to my heart, Lord Jesus,
There is room in my heart for Thee.

(2)   Heaven's arches rang when the angels sang,
Proclaiming Thy royal degree;
But of lowly birth didst Thou come to earth,
And in great humility.
O come to my heart, Lord Jesus,
There is room in my heart for Thee.

(3)   The foxes found rest, and the birds their nest
In the shade of the forest tree;
But Thy couch was the sod, O Thou Son of God,
In the deserts of Galilee.
O come to my heart, Lord Jesus,
There is room in my heart for Thee.

(4)   Thou camest, O Lord, with the living Word,
That should set Thy people free;
But with mocking scorn and with crown of thorn,
They bore Thee to Calvary.
O come to my heart, Lord Jesus,
There is room in my heart for Thee.

(5)   When the heav'ns shall ring, and her choirs shall sing,
At Thy coming to victory,
Let Thy voice call me home, saying "Yet there is room,
There is room at My side for thee."
My heart shall rejoice, Lord Jesus,
When Thou comest and callest for me.

Listen to it here.   LISTEN

Sunday, December 9, 2018

IN TENDERNESS HE SOUGHT ME



         W. Spencer Walton (1850-1906) was a missionary and evangelist who worked with the South Africa General Mission in the latter part of the nineteenth century. About 1889 Walton founded The Sailor's Rest, in the city of Durban, Natal and ministered to the spiritual needs of seaman there. During the Boer War he distributed Bibles to the English soldiers. Walton's missionary work is known mainly through the books and pamphlets he wrote. He is also credited with writing one hymn, "In Tenderness He Sought Me", published in 1894.  Although Walton grew up in the church, at the age of 22 he marked February 17 as his "new birthday." The change is easily seen in his journal where he expressed his regret of 22 years of a "hypocritical and wasted life" of hoping works would save him. Walton wrote, "Conversion without consecration is a death blow to progress. Consecration without faith is destitute of power." The beauty of the gospel he portrayed in his hymn led him to a life dedicated to sharing the love of Jesus to the world. He knew that we were sought by Christ's love and bought by his blood in order to share God's love with others.  While on vacation with his family, Walton's health plummeted in a span of just a few days. He did not realize he was dying, so his wife felt he must be told of the seriousness of his illness. She recounts his response in her diary. "Well, darling, He knows I'm ready. I've been ready for 34 years. Bless His Name!" He spent his remaining days blessing his children and having messages written to his friends and the missionaries he was leaving. He died at the age of 56.  Concerning his beautiful hymn, the first stanza draws upon a parable the Lord Jesus told about a shepherd seeking his lost sheep (Luke 15:3-7). The second stanza echoes the loving actions of the good Samaritan in another parable (Luke. 10:30-37). Walton applied both of these images to Christ and our own personal redemption by Christ. Walton also wrote "He whispered to assure me I've found thee, thou art mine".  Doesn't it feel good to have someone important to you say nice things to you  - to tell you that you are special?  Christ has sought us and bought us, and then in His gentle, loving way, He tells us that we are His.  What amazing truth!  Finally, I appreciate the truth of the words that Walton has expressed in his chorus, "O the love that sought me!  O the blood that bought me! O the grace that brought me to the fold, wondrous grace that brought me to the fold!" That sums up the astonishing story of the Gospel. May these truths be a reminder and an encouragement to you this week.


1      In tenderness He sought me,
Weary and sick with sin,
And on His shoulders brought me
Back to His fold again.
While angels in His presence sang
Until the courts of heaven rang.
O the love that sought me!
O the blood that bought me!
O the grace that brought me to the fold,
Wondrous grace that brought me to the fold!

2      He washed the bleeding sin-wounds
And poured in oil and wine;
He whispered to assure me,
"I've found thee, thou art Mine;"
I never heard a sweeter voice;
It made my aching heart rejoice! 
O the love that sought me!
O the blood that bought me!
O the grace that brought me to the fold,
Wondrous grace that brought me to the fold!


3      He pointed to the nail prints,
For me His blood was shed,
A mocking crown so thorny
Was placed upon His head:
I wondered what He saw in me
To suffer such deep agony. O the love that sought me!
O the blood that bought me!
O the grace that brought me to the fold,
Wondrous grace that brought me to the fold!
O the love that sought me!
O the blood that bought me!
O the grace that brought me to the fold,
Wondrous grace that brought me to the fold!

4      I'm sitting in His presence,
The sunshine of His face,
While with adoring wonder
His blessings I retrace:
It seems as if eternal days
Are far too short to sound His praise
O the love that sought me!
O the blood that bought me!
O the grace that brought me to the fold,
Wondrous grace that brought me to the fold!

5      So while the hours are passing,
All now is perfect rest;
I'm waiting for the morning,
The brightest and the best,
When He will call us to His side,
To be with Him, His spotless bride. 
O the love that sought me!
O the blood that bought me!
O the grace that brought me to the fold,
Wondrous grace that brought me to the fold!

Listen to it here;   TENDERNESS#1

Sunday, December 2, 2018

MY LIFE IS IN YOUR HANDS



        My oldest grandson had just learned to walk and one Sunday he came home from church with us.  As we were walking along the front walk to our house, I suddenly heard him say, "Pop, Pop".  When I looked down I realized that he was facing what for him was a major obstacle - our rain gutter which was across our sidewalk.  He couldn't step over it. While the gutter was not a problem at all for me, it was an impossible challenge for him.  But when I took him by the hand he was able to step over it and hold my hand while we went safely into our house.  A few days later in my devotions, I came to Isaiah 41:13, :"For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee."  I have never since forgotten this experience with my grandson and I have so often felt the hand of God on my life as I faced obstacles, both small and large. He says "fear not" and while I admit that often my faith is weak, He has always held my hand and helped me when I needed it. When you place your life in the hands of God, no problem that you are facing can ever be too big or too heavy for God that He can't carry it. When your life is in the hands of God it will never get to a point that God gets too tired or weary of carrying you. The hand of God is the safest place to be. John 10:29 says "My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand". It probably was such experiences which led Kirk Franklin to write this week's song choice, "My Life is in Your Hands". Christianity is not all brightness and laughter. James encourages us to "count it all joy" when we face trials of various kinds.   The doctrine of God's providence affords the believer the opportunity to rest in the awareness that our times are in His hands.  As Franklin wrote in the chorus, "With Jesus I can take it, With Him I know I can stand, No matter what may come my way, My life is in your hands."  Rest in this truth this week.


1.     You don't have to worry
And don't you be afraid
Joy comes in the morning
Troubles they don't last always
For there's a friend named Jesus
Who will wipe your tears away
And if your heart is broken
Just lift your hands and say

Oh I know that I can make it
I know that I can stand
No matter what may come my way
My life is in your hands
With Jesus I can take it
With Him I know I can stand
No matter what may come my way
My life is in your hands

2.     So when your tests and trials
They seem to get you down
And all your friends and loved ones
Are nowhere to be found
Remember there's a friend named Jesus
Who will wipe your tears away
And if your heart is broken
Just lift your hands and say

Oh  I know that I can make it
I know that I can stand
No matter what may come my way
My life is in your hands
With Jesus I can take it
With Him I know I can stand
No matter what may come my way
My life is in your hands.


Listen to it here.    HANDS

Sunday, November 25, 2018

ANCIENT WORDS


          Among all the books ever written, the Bible is absolutely unique. Actually, it is not just a book - it's 66 books. And one of its most remarkable qualities is the complete unity of the overall message despite having forty authors who wrote from three continents over nearly two thousand years.  It maintains a perfect consistency of message.  Its words point unerringly to Christ, whose work on the cross was ordained by God - the true author of the Bible - before the world began.   And while God inspired these authors to pen these words centuries ago, these "ancient words" are still as relevant and powerful today as when they were first written.  And over the years they have survived numerous attacks to destroy them and discredit them.  "Ancient words ever true, changing me and changing you. We have come with open hearts, Oh, let the ancient words impart."  This modern hymn was written by Lynn Deshazo, although many people have attributed it to Michael W Smith who actually popularized it.  DeShazo is a well known author of some of the Church's most loved worship songs, such as "More Precious Than Silver," "Lead Me to the Rock," "Turn My Heart," "Be Magnified," "Be Unto Your Name," "Stand Up and Give Him the Praise," "In Your Presence, O God."  DeShazo has written over 350 songs in a career spanning over 30 years.  She shared the following comments about the writing of this hymn. "I have a couple of songs that were written because the idea was so compelling to me, it wouldn't go away. "Ancient Words" is one of those songs. The longer I walk with the Lord, the more love and appreciation I have for the Bible and for those whom God has used throughout the ages to make it available to me. I suppose that was the true impetus for my writing it."   Reflect upon the words of this contemporary hymn this week as you thank God for His love letter to us.  And may we all be challenged to spend more time reading, meditating and obeying God's Word in the coming days.

1.   Holy words long preserved
For our walk in this world
They resound with God's own heart
Oh, let the ancient words impart
Words of Life, words of Hope
Give us strength, help us cope
In this world, where e'er we roam
Ancient words will guide us home
Ancient words ever true
Changing me and changing you
We have come with open hearts
Oh, let the ancient words impart

2.    Holy words of our Faith
Handed down to this age
Came to us through sacrifice
Oh heed the faithful words of Christ
Holy words long preserved
For our walk in this world
They resound with God's own heart
Oh let the ancient words impart
Ancient words ever true
Changing me and changing you
We have come with open hearts
Oh, let the ancient words impart

We have come with open hearts
Oh, let the ancient words impart

Listen to it here.    ANCIENT

Sunday, November 18, 2018

TRUST HIS HEART



        How do you react when you face the unexpected challenges of life which suddenly appear in our lives and wear us down?  Often, as much as we try, we can't  seem to find the answers or directions.  And, sadly, we often think that God has abandoned us and our reactions can range from panic, to doubt, and often to complaining.  We know that we should trust the Lord, but when you can't see the future or control it yourself, that isn't always so easy. We know verses like Proverbs 3:5,6 and we know that the Lord has never failed us, but we still stumble on, often discouraged and depressed. Unfortunately, I must say, "been there done that."  But we must remember that our God is all-knowing and wise and we should be able to trust His heart.  After all, we are His workmanship.  He has made us and has a plan for our lives. And our God is good and loving and that should even help us more to trust His heart.  The words of this week's song choice were popularized in 1989 by Christian singer-songwriter Babbie Mason who with Eddie Carswell wrote "Trust His Heart". In an interview, Mason said the song was influenced by a North Atlanta pastor who "became inspired by the words that Charles Haddon Spurgeon had coined in his writings, 'God is too wise to be mistaken. God is too good to be unkind. And, when you can't trace His hand, you can always trust His heart.'"  God wants you to trust His heart even when you don't understand His plan for your life. Trust HIS heart, not your heart. Trust HIS wisdom, not your wisdom. Trust HIS way not your way.  Know that His heart will never take you where His grace cannot take care of you.  Now, as I write this blog, I realize that it is often easy to give advice to somebody else even when you have not faced the same challenges.   But it is often much more difficult to claim that advice for your life and for the challenges that you are facing during tough times.  "Dear Lord, when the challenges of life come and we are overwhelmed, help us to remember ... we see the present clearly, but you see the first and the last ...  You see the master plan and You hold our future in Your hand ... and when we don't understand, when we don't see Your plan, when we can't trace Your hand ... may we trust Your heart.  Thank you Lord!"

All things work for our good
Though sometimes we don't see 
How they could
Struggles that break our hearts in two
Sometimes blind us to the truth

Our Father knows what's best for us
His ways are not our own
So when your pathway grows dim
And you just don't see Him,
Remember you're never alone

God is too wise to be mistaken
God is too good to be unkind
So when you don't understand
When don't see His plan
When you can't trace His hand
Trust His Heart

Trust His Heart
He sees the master plan
And he holds our future in His hand,
So don't live as those who have no hope,
All our hope is found in Him

We see the present clearly
But He sees the first and the last
And like a tapestry He's weaving you and me,
To someday be just like Him

God is too wise to be mistaken
God is too good to be unkind
So when you don't understand
When don't see His plan
When you can't trace His hand
Trust His Heart

He alone is faithful and true
He alone knows what is best for you

God is too wise to be mistaken
God is too good to be unkind
So when you don't understand
When don't see His plan
When you can't trace His hand
Trust His Heart

When you don't understand
When you don't see His plan
When you can't trace His hand
Trust His Heart

Listen to it here.   LISTEN

Sunday, November 11, 2018

A NEW NAME IN GLORY


          A story is told about a young man who did some work as a consultant  for one of the wealthiest businessmen in town.  As a result he was told that he would be invited to a gala that the businessman was hosting in an expensive restaurant on the top floor of the tallest building in town.  The young man was thrilled because he never expected to be able to enjoy such an event in such an elegant location.  He and his wife prepared to attend and waited for this once in a lifetime experience.  When the night finally arrived, they took the elevator to the top floor.  But when they went to enter they were stopped at the door because the doorkeeper could not find their names written in the guest book.  As it turns out, he had failed to respond to the rsvp and because his name was not found in the book, he and his wife were turned away.  Revelation 20:15 warns us  "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."  What a sad event it would be to be turned away from the gates of heaven because you had never accepted Christ and had your name written in the Lamb's Book of Life.  We have previously shared in this blog about C. Austin Miles (1868  - 1946) who wrote the words to this week's song choice in 1910.  Miles worked as a pharmacist until he left that field and became senior editor and manager at the Hall-Mack Publishing Company where he worked for 37 years.  It is said that he wrote the words to at least 398 songs and the music to at least eight more.  His best known song is probably "In the Garden."  This week's choice is an upbeat song that was often sung by gospel quartets, especially at special events such as camp meetings.  It expresses the joy  and assurance that occurs when we come to Jesus and we are forgiven and made whole.  Then our names are entered in His Book of Life and someday we will enter into His home because we have accepted what He did for us on the cross - Saved by grace!  Is your name written there?  If you've trusted Christ, you can take "mine" out of the chorus and sing it with your own name in its place!

1      I was once a sinner, but I came 
Pardon to receive from my Lord. 
This was freely given, and I found 
That He always kept His word. 
Chorus:
There's a new name Written down in glory, 
And it's mine, (And it's mine,) 
oh yes, it's mine! (yes, it's mine!)
And the white-robed Angels sing the story, 
"A sinner has come home." (home, has come home." 
For there's a new name written down in glory, 
And it's mine, (And it's mine,) 
oh yes, it's mine! (yes, it's mine!) 
With my sins forgiven I am bound for heaven, 
Nevermore to roam.

2      I was humbly kneeling at the cross, 
Fearing naught but God's angry frown, 
When the heavens opened and I saw 
That my name was written down. 
Chorus:
There's a new name Written down in glory, 
And it's mine, (And it's mine,) 
oh yes, it's mine! (yes, it's mine!)
And the white-robed Angels sing the story, 
"A sinner has come home." (home, has come home." 
For there's a new name written down in glory, 
And it's mine, (And it's mine,) 
oh yes, it's mine! (yes, it's mine!) 
With my sins forgiven I am bound for heaven, 
Nevermore to roam.

3      In the Book 'tis written, "Saved by grace." 
Oh the joy that came to my soul! 
Now I am forgiven, and I know 
By the blood I am made whole.
Chorus:
There's a new name Written down in glory, 
And it's mine, (And it's mine,) 
oh yes, it's mine! (yes, it's mine!)
And the white-robed Angels sing the story, 
"A sinner has come home." (home, has come home." 
For there's a new name written down in glory, 
And it's mine, (And it's mine,) 
oh yes, it's mine! (yes, it's mine!) 
With my sins forgiven I am bound for heaven, 
Nevermore to roam.

Listen to it here      NEW NAME

Sunday, November 4, 2018

THANK YOU LORD (TH #24)


TIMELESS HYMN #24 - A special feature where I highlight some of my favorite hymns that I have featured previously in this blog.  These entries are revised and expanded and shared again for your encouragement and challenge. This hymn was originally shared here on November 23, 2008.



          When we come to November we generally think of Thanksgiving Day and then one of the choruses that often comes to mind is "Thank you Lord for saving my soul."  Many of us have sung this familiar chorus for years, especially in prayer meetings.  But many don't realize that the writers, Seth and Bessie Sykes, also wrote three verses to accompany the chorus.  The Sykes were evangelists who were well known in the United Kingdom. Seth was actually a tram conductor but in 1929 he resigned so that he and his wife could travel to mission churches with their barrel organ.  They sang and preached, retelling stories from the Bible with lantern slides.  The Sykes wrote a number of hymns and choruses to use in their services. Seth wrote the lyrics and Bessie usually wrote the music.  This chorus was written in 1940 in a railway carriage between Edinburgh and Glassgo.  It  has been wonderfully used of God and has been translated into more than 70 different languages.  It has been  sung both on radio and television throughout the world.  In an age when it is more common to be bitter, complaining, and self-absorbed, sometimes we often are so guilty of living thankless lives.  Our hearts should be flowing with thanks, not just on Thanksgiving Day, but every day of our lives.  When I led Awana I often had to remind our Awana clubbers that it was appropriate to say "thank you" when they received their awards.  Unfortunately, being thankful isn't natural  and thankfulness is not often taught or modeled today.  But are we really any different?  How often do we forget to be thankful, to friends, family members or especially the Lord?  The scripture says "in everything give thanks". And when we stop and think about what God has done for us, our hearts should be filled with thanksgiving.  Maybe the words of these verses will help remind us of the many things we should be thankful for ... friends, home, mercies, flowers, stars ... but most importantly, our salvation, so rich and free.   Thank you Lord!

1)   Some thank the Lord for friends and home,
For mercies sure and sweet;
But I would praise Him for His grace
In prayer I would repeat:
Thank you, Lord, for saving my soul,
Thank you, Lord, for making me whole;
Thank you, Lord, for giving to me
Thy great salvation so rich and free.

(2)   Some thank Him for the flow'rs that grow,
Some for the stars that shine;
My heart is filled with joy and praise,
Because I know He's mine.
Thank you, Lord, for saving my soul,
Thank you, Lord, for making me whole;
Thank you, Lord, for giving to me
Thy great salvation so rich and free.

(3)    I trust in Him from day to day,
I prove His saving grace;
I'll sing this song of praise to Him
Until I see His face. Thank you, Lord, for saving my soul,
Thank you, Lord, for making me whole;
Thank you, Lord, for giving to me
Thy great salvation so rich and free.

You can listen to it here      LISTEN

Sunday, October 28, 2018

HIDING IN THEE



        "Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah" . Psalms 32:7.  "Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word."  Psalms 119:114.  William O. Cushing (1823-1902) was a successful pastor for over twenty years in the eastern area of the United States. Following the death of his wife in 1870, ill health forced his retirement from the active ministry. During this time he became intensely interested in hymn writing and wrote more than three hundred hymns, cooperating with such gospel musicians as Ira Sankey, Robert Lowry, George Root, and others. Cushing also had serious trouble with his voice, meaning that he probably could not sing his own hymns out loud, but only in his heart.  Concerning this hymn, Cushing wrote,." It must be said of this hymn that it was the outgrowth of many tears, many heart-conflicts and soul-yearnings, of which the world can know nothing. The history of many battles is behind it. But the occasion which gave it being was the call of Mr. Sankey. He said, 'Send me something new to help me in my Gospel work'. A call from such a source, and for such a purpose, seemed a call from God. I so regarded it, and prayed, 'Lord, give me something that may glorify Thee'. It was while thus waiting that Hiding in Thee pressed to make itself known. Mr. Sankey called forth the tune, and by his genius gave the hymn wings, making it useful in the Master's work."  And since 1876 it has been a blessing and an encouragement to scores of people.  We've all experienced, like Cushing, those times of conflict and sorrow, those tempests of life.  But in those times of conflict, when pressed by the foe, we can find the strength and relief we need hidden in the great Rock of Ages.  William Cushing knew personally the sorrows and turmoil of life, but he also knew where he could find safety and rest-in the "blest Rock of Ages."  Hopefully this has been your experience.   When this hymn was first published, the author prefaced it with Psalm 31:2,  "Be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me."

1.     O safe to the Rock that is higher than I,
My soul in its conflicts and sorrows would fly;
Alone I would perish, undone would I be;
Thou blest "Rock of Ages," I'm hiding in Thee.
Hiding in Thee, hiding in Thee,
Thou blest "Rock of Ages," I'm hiding in Thee.
I
2.     In the calm of the noontide, in sorrow's lone hour,
In times when temptation casts o'er me its pow'r;
In the tempests of life, on its wide, heaving sea,
Thou blest "Rock of Ages," I'm hiding in Thee.
Hiding in Thee, hiding in Thee,
Thou blest "Rock of Ages," I'm hiding in Thee.

3.     How oft in the conflict, when pressed by the foe,
I have fled to my Refuge and breathed out my woe;
How often, when trials like sea billows roll,
Have I hidden in Thee, O Thou Rock of my soul.
Hiding in Thee, hiding in Thee,
Thou blest "Rock of Ages," I'm hiding in Thee.

Listen to it here.    HIDING