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, January 14, 2018

REDEMPTION DRAWETH NIGH


          For centuries believers have looked for the return of the Lord and yet one day, maybe even soon, it will happen.  Jesus himself promised that He would come again to take us home with Him.  Over the years many have tried to set dates for this coming event, but they have all failed.  And that shouldn't surprise anybody for we are told that we won't know when His return will happen.  Mark 13:32 says, "But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."  But yes, it could even be today - at morning, at noon or at night, at a time when we least expect it. Signs of the time are everywhere.  Our redemption does draw nigh.  Gordon Jensen knew the scripture and the promise of Jesus.   He knew the scripture, Luke 21:28, "And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh."  And that led him to write this week's song choice.  Gordon himself shared the story of the writing of "Redemption Draweth Nigh". He told of how he took the song to one of the biggest groups of that time period and the group didn't like the song and told him it wasn't the kind of song that people wanted to hear. Not giving up, he continued to pitch the song until it was finally recorded.  Duane Allen of the Oak Ridge Boys told Gordon that "Redemption Draweth Nigh" was the type of song that would be sung for years.  Well, that statement came true as most of the groups of the early 1970's recorded this gem.  Even now, groups still record and stage what is now Gordon Jensen's classic.  It is good Gordon didn't listen to the first group who shot the song down but continued to believe in what he wrote because look at all the countless listeners who have since heard this song in the decades that followed.  What a wonderful day it will be when Jesus comes again.  The return of Christ is "the blessed hope" of every believer (Titus 2:13). We eagerly "wait for His Son from heaven" (I Thessalonians 1:10). Perhaps He'll come today. What a tremendous way that would be to start a new year.  I trust that you count yourself among those who "love His appearing" (II Timothy 4:8).   For the Christian, this is an exciting and energizing prospect, long anticipated - Jesus is coming again. Are you ready should it be today?  "Keep your eyes upon the eastern sky. Lift up your heads, redemption draweth nigh!"

1.     Years of time have come and gone
Since I first heard it told,
How Jesus would come again someday.
If back then it seemed so real,
Then I just can't help but feel
How much closer his coming is today.
Chorus:
Signs of the times are everywhere.
There's a brand new feeling in the air.
Keep your eyes upon the eastern sky,
Life up your heads, redemption draweth nigh!

2.   Wars and strife on every hand
And violence fills our land,
Still some people doubt he'll come again.
But the Word of God is true,
He'll redeem his chosen few.
Don't lose hope, soon Christ Jesus will descend.
Chorus:
Signs of the times are everywhere.
There's a brand new feeling in the air.
Keep your eyes upon the eastern sky,
Life up your heads, redemption draweth nigh!

Listen to it here.   LISTEN

Sunday, January 7, 2018

NO ONE UNDERSTANDS LIKE JESUS (TH #14)


TIMELESS HYMN #14 - Another revised and repeated blog of one of the great hymns of the faith - NO ONE UNDERSTANDS LIKE JESUS - originally shared on March 15, 2009.

          All of us go through periods when we feel all alone and think nobody seems to care.  The problems seem so heavy and we wish that we just had somebody who could help us through the fog that we face.  The difficult times in which we live have brought new, heavy tensions -   unemployment, bills, mortgages, illnesses, family struggles, fears, terrorism, loss of freedoms, uncertainty - heavy burdens to bear.  And as we begin a new year we start afresh hoping that things will change for the better.  But we live in a sinful world where problems are not going to vanish even if we make good "resolutions".  A hymn by John Peterson (1921– 2006) has often been a comfort to me when I have faced these seemingly "impossible" pressures.  Incidentally, back when I used to sing solos, this was the first hymn that I sang with a taped background - in fact it was the first time any soloist used a background tape in our church.  Mr. Peterson wrote this hymn in the early years of his ministry.  Here is his account of how it was written. "At one time I had a fairly responsible position with a well-known gospel ministry. One day a supervisory position opened up in my department. I was led to believe that I was to be promoted to this position. I was thrilled and challenged by the prospect of a new job. But I was by-passed, and a man from the outside was brought in to fill the position.  There followed days of agonizing heart searching. It was all I could do to keep from becoming bitter. One night I had occasion to spend an evening with the man who was brought in for "my" position. For some reason or other, though otherwise a very pleasant fellow, that night he became quite caustic in some of his remarks to me; and I was deeply hurt.   Later that evening, after returning home, I was sitting in our living room thinking about the events of the past days and about the bitter experiences of that evening. I began to feel very alone and forsaken. Suddenly, I sensed the presence of the Lord in an unusual way and my mind was diverted from my difficulties to His faithfulness and sufficiency. Soon the thought occurred to me that He fully understood and sympathized with my situation  In fact, no one could ever completely understand or care as did He. Before long, the idea for the song came and I began to write."  Since then this hymn and its truth have been a special comfort to me as well as to untold scores of believers. Yes, Jesus is a friend who will never leave us or forsake us.  He is our only true friend.  May the words of this song encourage you during the new year.  Cast your every care on Him.



1.     No one understands like Jesus.
He's a friend beyond compare;
Meet Him at the throne of mercy;
He is waiting for you there.
No one understands like Jesus
When the days are dark and grim;
No one is so near, so dear as Jesus--
Cast your ev'ry care on Him!

2.     No one understands like Jesus;
Ev'ry woe He sees and feels;
Tenderly He whispers comfort,
And the broken heart He heals.
No one understands like Jesus
When the days are dark and grim;
No one is so near, so dear as Jesus--
Cast your ev'ry care on Him!

3.     No one understands like Jesus
When the foes of life assail;
You should never be discouraged;
Jesus cares and will not fail!
No one understands like Jesus
When the days are dark and grim;
No one is so near, so dear as Jesus--
Cast your ev'ry care on Him!

4.     No one understands like Jesus
When you falter on the way;
Tho' you fail Him, sadly fail Him,
He will pardon you today.
No one understands like Jesus
When the days are dark and grim;
No one is so near, so dear as Jesus--
Cast your ev'ry care on Him!

Listen to this beautiful hymn sung here.    

A solo   LISTEN1
A choir   LISTEN2