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, July 14, 2019

A PERFECT HEART



        Dony and Reba Rambo-McGuire were invited to vacation with their friends on a houseboat on a lake near Nashville.  They had determined to work diligently on their song writing during that time, and they did so. They prayed earnestly that the Lord would do something special through them that week. At the end of the week they had completed a number of songs and done some work on a musical. According to Reba, "On the very last morning we were to be on the boat, Dony got up very early to try to catch a catfish for breakfast ... I was so full of faith in his fishing ability that I proceeded to the kitchen and started to cook bacon and eggs ... The sun was peeking over the hills and a mist was rising from the water. It was a glorious morning. I looked out of a small porthole and caught a glimpse of Dony with a strange look on his face. ... I couldn't explain it, but I knew something good was about to happen. I turned off the burners where I was cooking and removed the food. I gathered our song writing materials and sat down to wait for him to come in ... When he came in a few minutes later, he sat down before a small electric piano and began to play. As he played what the Lord was giving to him, I began to write lyrics as they were being given to me. That kind of inspiration had only occurred a few times in our short song writing career together. It was as if God was saying, 'You've been faithful in your praying and studying for a week, now I'm going to give you something just because I have the power to do so.' I wrote as fast as I could write while Dony continued to play. We both completed the whole composition and have never changed a word or the musical setting ... It became our 'little lake song.' We used it for a time around our offices as a devotional song and sang it at a few small churches. One day Bill Gaither came by our offices and heard us singing it during one of our devotional periods. He asked where we got it. We told him it was our 'lake song.' He expressed such a keen interest in it that Dony made a tape of it for him. That started it on its way."   The result of their "little lake song" was a beautiful song of praise of the only One who can make a perfect heart.  For 25 years we had a family ministry and while we were setting up our equipment for a Sunday morning program I would often play a tape of this song.  It would calm my spirit and prepare my heart for worship and ministry.  It would also remind me that the One who we were representing is the only one who could change the hearts of those who would be in attendance that day.  May the Lord use this song to calm your spirit today as you are filled with love as He makes in you a new and perfect heart.


Morning song, the light of creation
Grassy fields, of velvet flow
Silver clouds are shimmering curtain
God has designed a perfect world

I am amazed at His talents
I stand in awe of One so great
And now my soul begins to sing out
To the source from which it came

Bless the Lord
Who reigns in beauty
Bless the Lord
Who reigns with wisdom and in power
Bless the Lord
Who reigns my life with so much love
He will make in me a new and perfect heart

Bless the Lord
Who reigns in beauty
Bless the Lord
Who reigns with wisdom and in power
Bless the Lord
Who reigns my life with so much love
He will make in me a new and perfect heart

God will make in me a new and perfect heart
A new, a perfect heart

Bless the Lord who reigns in beauty
Bless the Lord who reigns with wisdom and with power
Bless the Lord who reigns my life with so much love
He can make a perfect heart

Listen to it here (you may need to skip the ad if it appears).   PERFECT

Sunday, July 7, 2019

ABIDE WITH ME (TH)


TIMELESS HYMN - Another revised and repeated blog of one of the great hymns of the faith - Abide With Me - originally shared on March 14, 2010.


          This hymn is one of those which I believe is being lost to present and future generations because it is seldom sung anymore. That is sad because it really is a special testimony hymn which I never fully appreciated myself until I did a brief study of its history. I often thought of this hymn at times when I was perplexed and challenged by all the changes around me. Then I would recall the words of the second verse, "Change and decay in all around I see, O Thou who changest not, abide with me." And that itself is a powerful prayer in the day in which we live. But the real impact of this hymn may come when you realize why it was written. The author, Henry F. Lyte (1793-1847), was known as a man frail in body but strong in faith and spirit. His health was continually threatened by asthma and tuberculosis. He is said to be the one who coined the phrase, "it is better to wear out than to rust out." Wherever he ministered it is said that he was greatly loved and admired by his people. For the last twenty-three years of his life he pastored a poor parish church among fishing people in England. His health became progressively worse so he was forced to seek a warmer climate in Italy. For his last sermon to his poor parishioners, in 1847, he nearly had to crawl to the pulpit and his message came from a dying man. He told his folks that it was his desire to "induce you to prepare for the solemn hour which must come to all by a timely appreciation and dependence on the death of Christ." It is said that he penned the words of this hymn just before his last Sunday in his church. On his trip to Italy he died in France, three weeks after writing this hymn. So this hymn is really the testimony of one who knew he would soon die. Remember this as you read these words.  Make this your prayer and testimony during the days that the Lord gives you before calling you home.

(1)   Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

(2)   Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day;
Earth's joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.
.
(3)   I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter's power?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me
.
(4)   I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death's sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

(5)   Hold Thou Thy Word before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven's morning breaks, and earth's vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

Listen to the hymn here. ABIDE

Sunday, June 30, 2019

SINCE THE FULLNESS OF HIS LOVE CAME IN



        Eliza Edmunds Hewitt (1851-1920) was educated in the Philadelphia school system and graduated as valedictorian of the Girl's Normal School.  After graduation she became a teacher in the public schools of her city.   But then her life became filled with pain and misery when she was forced to bed with a painful spinal problem.  It is said to have been caused by a reckless student striking her with a piece of slate. Lying in bed, she could have been bitter, but instead she studied English literature and began to write, especially for the primary department of her church.  She wrote "There Is Sunshine in My Soul Today" after getting her body cast off and being allowed to walk again in the nearby park.  She wrote in thankfulness at the joy of being able to get about again.   Some of her lines came into the hands of Professor John R. Sweney who wrote to her asking for more. He set a few of her songs to music. and then he and William J. Kirkpatrick published her first hymns.  It is said that she wrote almost 200 hymns. Despite her health problems, she was deeply interested in Sunday school work, and served as superintendent of a Sunday school for the Northern Home for Friendless Children. This was followed by similar work in the Calvin Presbyterian Church where at one point she had a class of 200.  This week's hymn choice, written by Eliza, shares what happens when one experiences the fullness of God's love.  Our lives are completely changed and despite our limitations, God can use us to "spread abroad the story - other souls to win". That exuberant outpouring of the love of God, that new awareness that we are beloved by the Almighty, transforms our attitude toward Him, toward ourselves, and toward others as well. "If God so loved us, we also ought to love one another" (I John. 4:11).  And as a result, our desire should be to "live for Jesus only."  I trust that you are experiencing the fullness of His love daily.


1.    Once my way was dark and dreary,
For my heart was full of sin,
But the sky is bright and cheery,
Since the fullness of His love came in. 
Chorus:
I can never tell how much I love Him,
I can never tell His love for me,
For it passeth human measure,
Like a deep, unfathomed sea;
'Tis redeeming love in Christ my Savior,
In my soul the heav'nly joys begin;
And I live for Jesus only,
Since the fullness of His love came in. 

2.    There is grace for all the lowly,
Grace to keep the trusting soul:
Pow'r to cleanse and make me holy,
Jesus shall my yielded life control.
Chorus:
I can never tell how much I love Him,
I can never tell His love for me,
For it passeth human measure,
Like a deep, unfathomed sea;
'Tis redeeming love in Christ my Savior,
In my soul the heav'nly joys begin;
And I live for Jesus only,
Since the fullness of His love came in. 

3.    Let me spread abroad the story,
Other souls to Jesus win;
For the cross is now my glory,
Since the fullness of His love came in
Chorus:
I can never tell how much I love Him,
I can never tell His love for me,
For it passeth human measure,
Like a deep, unfathomed sea;
'Tis redeeming love in Christ my Savior,
In my soul the heav'nly joys begin;
And I live for Jesus only,
Since the fullness of His love came in. 

Listen to it here.  I hope that you enjoy this style!    FULLNESS

Sunday, June 23, 2019

MORE THAN WONDERFUL



         "Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! "  (2 Corinthians 9:15)   How does one explain the gift of Jesus?   He's the Savior of the world, the Lamb of God, the Wonderful Counselor, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.  I am told that the Bible uses more than 300 names and titles to describe Him. But Jesus is more than can be contained in His names and titles.   Charles Spurgeon confessed, "I know my words cannot honor Him according to His merits. I wish they could.  Indeed, I grow less and less satisfied with my thoughts and language concerning Him.  He is too glorious for my feeble language to describe Him.  If I could speak with the tongues of men and of angels, I could not speak worthy of Him.  If I could borrow all the harmonies of heaven and enlist every harp and song of the glorified, yet were not the music sweet enough for His praises."   And to that I say "Amen"!  Over the years many hymn writers have attempted to find words to describe Him.  One of the most common attempts has been to use the word "Wonderful".  And yet even that description falls way short.  Lanny Wolfe, a more contemporary writer, penned his description as "More Than Wonderful". This powerful ballad is pure praise to the Lord as He is more than wonderful to us!  His love for us is beyond our comprehension. He is greater than anything we will ever know on this earth. That is a powerful truth.  This song has been recorded by several artists over the years, most notably by Larnelle Harris and Sandi Patty, whose performance earned writer Lanny Wolfe a Grammy Award.  I would encourage you to sing and claim these words throughout this week as you worship and praise the risen and soon coming King of Kings!  He is more than wonderful, more than miraculous, more than amazing, and more than anything this world could ever offer. This is what Jesus is to me!


1.     He promised us that He would be a counselor
A Mighty God and the Prince of Peace
He promised us that He would be a Father
And that He would love us with a love that would not cease
Well, I tried Him and I found His promises are true
He's everything He said that He would be
The finest words I know could not begin to tell
Just what Jesus really means to me

[Chorus]
For He's more wonderful than my mind can conceive
He's more wonderful than my heart can believe
He goes beyond my highest hopes and fondest dreams
He's everything that my soul ever longed for
Everything He's promised and so much more
More than amazing, more than marvelous
More than miraculous could ever be
He's more than wonderful, that's what Jesus is to me

I2.      stand amazed when I think that the King of glory
Should come to dwell within the heart of man
I marvel just to know He really loves me
When I think of who He is, and who I am

[Chorus]
For He's more wonderful than my mind can conceive
He's more wonderful than my heart can believe
He goes beyond my highest hopes and fondest dreams
He's everything that my soul ever longed for
Everything He's promised and so much more
More than amazing, more than marvelous
More than miraculous could ever be
He's more than wonderful, that's what Jesus is to me

Listen to it here   MORE THAN

Sunday, June 16, 2019

AT THE END OF THE ROAD


          Several months ago a close friend of ours shared with us the final days that she spent with her suffering husband before the Lord took him home.  She mentioned that a particular hymn, "At the End of the Road", kept coming to her mind during those final hours and that it was a real comfort to both of them during that time.  I remembered this hymn even though I hadn't heard it in years and I decided that it needed to be shared with my blog readers.  The song was written by A. H. Ackley (1887 - 1960).  Ackley was taught music by his father and he studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London.  He graduated from Westminster Theological Seminary in Maryland, was ordained as a Presbyterian minister in 1914, and served churches in Pennsylvania and California. He also worked with the Billy Sunday and Homer Rodeheaver evangelist team and for Homer Rodeheaver's publishing company. He wrote around 1500 hymns including the one shared here today.  Unfortunately I don't know why or even when he wrote this hymn.  Perhaps it was his hope as family or friends faced death or maybe a personal testimony of what he was looking forward to.  While we may look forward to heaven, I would imagine that many of us wonder what our transition will be like.  Will it be quick?  Will we suffer long?  Will our loved ones be there?  None of us know how it will be but it is comforting to know that the Savior will be there at the end of our road to meet and welcome us home.  What a comfort that should be. Now I had some difficulty finding much information and a video of this song.  A few sources had different versions of  a second or third verse.  So I will first share the two verses that I think Ackley may have written, then two others that might have been added by someone else.  As you meditate upon them, be sure that your final destination will be that blessed abode where the Savior is waiting.  You can be assured of this final home and welcome if you have put your trust in Jesus and accepted His free gift of salvation.


1.     There'll be light in the sky from the palace on high, 
When I come to the end of the road; 
Sweet relief from all care will be waiting me there, 
When I come to the end of the road. 
Chorus: 
When the long day is ended, the journey is o'er. 
I shall enter that blessed abode, 
For the Saviour I love will be waiting for me 
When I come to the end of the road. 

2     Just a gate open wide
And a friend by my side
When I come to the end of the road
That is all that I ask
As a crown for my task
When I come to the end of the road.     
Chorus: 
When the long day is ended, the journey is o'er. 
I shall enter that blessed abode, 
For the Saviour I love will be waiting for me 
When I come to the end of the road. 


*     Ev'ry long weary mile I'll recount with a smile 
When I come to the end of the road. 
And the foes that beset God will make me forget 
When I come to the end of the road.
Chorus: 
When the long day is ended, the journey is o'er. 
I shall enter that blessed abode, 
For the Saviour I love will be waiting for me 
When I come to the end of the road. 

*     Looking back o'er the years that were long and drear 
The hand of the Christ I'll see 
While my heart will go forth with a song of praise 
Because of His love for me
Chorus: 
When the long day is ended, the journey is o'er. 
I shall enter that blessed abode, 
For the Saviour I love will be waiting for me 
When I come to the end of the road. 

Listen to it here.   COME TO

Sunday, June 9, 2019

THERE'S A NEW SONG IN MY HEART


          Many years ago when my boys were still in elementary school we decided to go on vacation with another family.  We decided to go to Maine where we had reserved, sight unseen, two cottages along a lake. The night before we were to leave we had a bad storm and we lost our electricity and of course our air conditioning.  I chose to sleep on the floor near our front door hoping to get some air and some rest before our long trip.  Early in the morning the power finally came back on and at 4 am, with little or no sleep, we left for Maine.  It was a dreary day and after fighting traffic jams we arrived at our cabins about dusk, very exhausted.  What we found were two dirty, musty cabins with primitive furniture and beds.  We were upset and ready to leave, but it was too late to find any other accommodations. So we decided to at least stay and endure the night.  Hours later we woke to a crisp morning and a spectacular sunrise overlooking a beautiful lake.  We found an old pump organ on a porch overlooking the lake and we spent the early minutes of the day singing hymns together and enjoying God's beautiful creation.  That morning everything seemed new and different than it had the night before and we had a memorable week enjoying Maine.  Now I use this story as an introduction to this week's song knowing that it seriously pales in comparison to what happens to us when we first experience salvation.  We are told in 2 Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."  And if you have experienced God's free gift of salvation you understand fully the changes that you experienced. The gloominess of sin was replaced with the beauty of salvation. IPsalm 40:3 says, "He lifted me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay; He set my feet upon a rock, and made my footsteps firm. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD."   And I assume that it is this truth and this scripture that stirred John W. Peterson (1921-2006) to pen these simple but meaningful words.  "There's a new song in my heart since the savior set me free."  Peterson had a major influence on evangelical music in the 1950's through the 1970's.  He wrote over 1000 songs and 35 cantatas, many of which we grew up singing.  In this song he moves from "Once my life was filled with discord, sadness reigned within, for my heart was heavy laden with a weight of sin" ... to " I shall never cease in praising Jesus Christ my Lord, for the wonderful salvation that He did accord."   Hopefully you have experienced that transformation that only Jesus can provide.  Hopefully you are a new creation and have a new song in your heart.   If that is the case, then celebrate that experience this week and live a life of thankfulness for what He has done for you.


1      Once my life was filled with discord, sadness reigned within, 
For my heart was heavy laden with a weight of sin. 
Chorus 
There's a new song in my heart since the savior set me free 
There's a new song in my heart 'tis a heav'nly harmony 
All my sins are washed away in the blood of Calvary 
O what peace and joy nothing can destroy 
There's a new song in my heart. 

2      What a wondrous transformation in my life was wrought, 
When I trusted Christ my Savior and His pardon sought.
Chorus 

3      Someday I will go to Heaven where the angels sing, 
And I'll join their happy chorus praising Christ the King.
Chorus 

4      I shall never cease in praising Jesus Christ my Lord, 
For the wonderful salvation that He did accord. 
Chorus

Listen to it here.        NEW SONG

Sunday, June 2, 2019

MY JESUS I LOVE THEE (TH)


TIMELESS HYMN - 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 our encouragement and challenge.  This hymn was first shared here on February 21, 2010.


         "Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity."  1 Timothy 4:12.  I am so thankful that at an early age the Lord provided meaningful ways for me to be involved in ministry. It started in elementary school when I was able to help my mother teach a Good News Club. Since we were charter members of a new small church, I had the chance to teach Sunday School and even lead the children's department when I was in junior high. While in senior high I directed our first church choir. From my personal experiences I firmly believe that Christian young people need to be given areas of responsible ministry. But most of the time today this doesn't happen and their gifts aren't utilized or developed. Maybe that is part of the reason so many leave the church as they grow older. I find this so very sad. Young people who know and love the Lord can have a profound  impact on others. Take for example William Ralph Featherston (1846–1873). As a sixteen-year-old, while living in Montreal, he wrote this week's hymn shortly after his conversion in 1862. He died before his twenty-seventh birthday and this is apparently the only hymn he ever wrote. Young Featherston sent the poem to his aunt in Los Angeles who then sent it to England where it appeared in The London Hymnbook of 1864. Back in Boston a Baptist minister was preparing a hymnal for Baptist congregations when he saw "My Jesus, I Love Thee" in the British hymnal. He didn't like the music the words were set to and he later wrote that "in a moment of inspiration, a beautiful new melody sang itself to me." The simple tune he wrote perfectly complemented the simple words, and soon the hymn was being sung across America. That composer, A. J. Gordon, had a remarkable ministry in New England. But putting music to this hymn written by a teenage boy might be the one accomplishment in A. J. Gordon's life that has touched the most lives of all. I'm sure that many of you, like me, have often been touched by the words of this hymn, penned by a sixteen-year-old. And once again I call your attention to the final verse, which like many older hymns, shares the glorious hope of heaven when we will see Jesus, the one we love, face to face.

My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine;
For Thee all the follies of sin I resign;
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, 'tis now.

I love Thee because Thou hast first loved me,
And purchased my pardon on Calvary's tree;
I love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, 'tis now.

I'll love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death,
And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath;
And say when the death dew lies cold on my brow,
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, 'tis now.

In mansions of glory and endless delight,
I'll ever adore Thee in heaven so bright;
'll sing with the glittering crown on my brow,
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, 'tis now.

Listen to the words and music here.      LOVE 1        LOVE2

Sunday, May 26, 2019

GOD OF GRACE AND GOD OF GLORY


          Today believers are increasingly under attack and facing many difficult challenges as the culture changes and public support of Christianity declines.  And I believe that an an appropriate prayer by believers should be "grant us wisdom, grant us courage ... for the facing of this hour ...for the living of these days ...lest we miss thy kingdom's goals ... that we fail not them nor Thee ... serving Thee whom we adore."  More than ever we need wisdom to be discerning when so many conflicting ideas abound.  And believers need the courage to take a stand for the Truth when it is not popular or accepted.  Harry Emerson Fosdick  (1978 - 1969) was the author of this week's hymn choice which shares this prayer.  Fosdick was ordained in 1903 as a Baptist minister and while it is said that he was a man of great talent, He was also controversial.  However John D. Rockefeller recognized his talent and asked him to serve as pastor of Park Avenue Baptist Church.  Fosdick refused, in part because of Rockefeller's wealth and in part because Park Avenue Baptist Church was too swank.  Rockefeller didn't give up though, and finally persuaded Fosdick to be the pastor of a new church that he would build in a more modest area near Harlem - Riverside Church.  After gaining a number of concessions, Fosdick finally agreed.  He wrote "God of Grace and God of Glory" to be sung at the opening service of that church. This hymn is a prayer - a prayer for God to bestow power upon the church - and wisdom - and courage "for the facing of this hour."  The hour that they were facing at that time was the Great Depression - an economic disaster that drained the nation of life and hope.  "For the facing of this hour," however, is a timeless phrase, because there is never a time when we do not need God's help. "Save us from weak resignation" is an important part of the prayer.  We are always tempted to believe that the evils that we face far outstrip our resources to deal with them.  We are tempted to retreat into a safe place and wait for the storm to blow over. But evil unopposed doesn't blow over.  Now Fostick was said to be a liberal preacher.  Unfortunately, often we don't know the precise theological convictions of many hymn writers.  But in reviewing the words of Fostick's hymn, I personally could not find any words or thoughts that I felt weren't scriptural.  So I have chosen to include it here since I think it is a prayer that is needed today more than ever. I hope that you will agree.  "Grant us wisdom, grant us courage."


1. God of grace and God of glory,
on thy people pour thy power;
crown the ancient church's story;
bring its bud to glorious flower.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
for the facing of this hour,
for the facing of this hour.

2. Lo! the hosts of evil round us,
scorn thy Christ, assail his ways!
From the fears that long have bound us,
free our hearts to love and praise.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
for the living of these days,
for the living of these days.

3. Cure thy children's warring madness,
bend our pride to thy control;
shame our wanton, selfish gladness,
rich in things and poor in soul.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
lest we miss thy kingdom's goal,
lest we miss thy kingdom's goal.

4. Set our feet on lofty places;
gird our lives that they may be
armored with all Christlike graces,
pledged to set all captives free.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
that we fail not them nor thee,
that we fail not them nor thee!

5. Save us from weak resignation
to the evils we deplore;
let the gift of your salvation
be our glory evermore.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
serving thee whom we adore,
serving thee whom we adore.

Listen to it here.    GOD OF GRACE

Sunday, May 19, 2019

I AM AMAZED THAT GOD COULD EVER LOVE ME



        One of the scripture verses that has always challenged me is Romans 5:8, "But God showed His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."  Now I think that most of us could comprehend dying for one that we loved, such as a spouse or a child.  But to die for one living in sin, that is unthinkable and amazing.  And yet, that is what Christ did for us, while we were unworthy sinners.  And that truth is what stirred Alfred Ackley (1887-1960) to pen the words of this song in 1932.  He simply called it, "Amazed".  His brother, Bentley DeForest Ackley, provided the tune.  A. H. Ackley's father taught him music and he also studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London.  A graduate of Westminster Theological Seminary in Maryland, he was ordained as a Presbyterian minister in 1914.  He served churches in Pennsylvania and California and worked with the Billy Sunday and Homer Rodeheaver evangelistic team.  It is said that he wrote around 1500 hymns.  But this one really celebrates the wonderful love and the amazing grace of God, His great salvation and His eternal blessings.   As we consider all that God provided for us, while we were yet sinners, we too should be amazed that God could ever love us enough to provide salvation for us.  Meditate upon these truths this week and be amazed at what God hath done for us.


1.    I am amazed that God could ever love me,
So full of sin, so covered o'er with shame;
Make me to walk with Him who is above me,
Cleansed by the pow'r of His redeeming name.

2.   I am amazed that God would ever save me,
Naught but the cross could take away my sin;
Through faith in Christ, eternal life He gave me,
Now He abides forevermore within.

3.    I am amazed that God should grant salvation,
To such as I and all who heed His word;
Eternal life to ev'ry land and nation,
This is the wondrous message we have heard.

Listen to it here.    AMAZED

Sunday, May 12, 2019

LEAD ME GENTLY HOME


          We all have different experiences and challenges during our journey here on earth.   Some experiences are joyful successes and some disappointing failures.  Some folks develop and enjoy good relationships while others find some relationships very difficult.  Often we face sorrowful losses such as the loss of loved ones or good friends.  As we grow older we often face difficult physical challenges that we never anticipated. Sometimes discouragement, depression or bitterness can develop in our lives. Throughout our journey here we often encounter various temptations.  Unfortunately, sometimes we give in to those temptations and that keeps us from finishing well.  Sadly, too many believers have seen their testimony and reputation spoiled by making wrong choices later in life. The journey isn't always easy. Because of all these challenges it is comforting to have a guide who leads us gently along our path to our final destination  Psalm 23: 2,3 reminds us, "He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters.  He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake."  This week's hymn choice is a prayer to ask our heavenly Father to gently lead us through our life's journey and to our final home.  I used to think that this hymn was really about our final hours when the Lord was about to take us home.  Certainly those are days that we all wonder about, and sometimes worry about.  Will it be sudden? Will we go through months and years of suffering? How and when will it happen?  But the Lord will be there to lead us gently through that time.  But as I examine the verses of the hymn I believe that this is a prayer for His leading throughout our entire life. "In life's darkest hours ... When life's troubles come ... Keep my feet from wandering, lest from Thee I roam ... Lest I fall upon the wayside ... Lead me gently home."  Will Lamartine Thompson (1847-1909) penned these words in 1879.  Rebuffed in an early attempt to sell his songs to a commercial publishing company, he started his own publishing company.  He later expanded to sell pianos, organs and sheet music.  Among his most well known hymns are "Jesus Is All the World to Me", "Softly and Tenderly Jesus Is Calling", and "There 's a Great Day Coming".  I don't know the events that led him to compose "Lead Me Gently Home, Father", but I can assume that it was based on his personal experiences on his journey as well as scripture verses such as Psalm 23, or "Lead me, O LORD, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face." (Psalm 5:8).  "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." (Psalm 139:23-24). Our prayer should be to wait on Him, not getting ahead of His hand and not seeking our on path on our journey: "Show me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day." (Ps 25:4-5).   May our Father daily gently lead us on our journey and one day bring us safely to our eternal home


1      Lead me gently home, Father,
Lead me gently home;
When life's toils are ended,
And parting days have come,
Sin no more shall tempt me,
Ne'er from Thee I'll roam,
If Thou'll only lead me, Father,
Lead me gently home. 
Refrain:
Lead me gently home, Father,
Lead me gently home, Father,
Lest I fall upon the wayside,
Lead me gently home. 

2      Lead me gently home, Father,
Lead me gently home;
In life's darkest hours, Father,
When life's troubles come,
Keep my feet from wandering,
Lest from Thee I roam,
Lest I fall upon the wayside,
Lead me gently home. 
Refrain:
Lead me gently home, Father,
Lead me gently home, Father,
Lest I fall upon the wayside,
Lead me gently home

Listen to it here    LEAD ME

Sunday, May 5, 2019

SOME GOLDEN DAYBREAK (TH)


TIMELESS HYMN - A special feature where I repeat and highlight some of my favorite hymns that have been featured previously in this blog.  These entries are revised and expanded and shared again for our encouragement and challenge.  This hymn was first shared here on January 24, 2010.

          
          The rapture and heaven were major topics of older hymns. If you look at many of these hymns you will find that the final verse often takes up these themes and the hymn ends with a message of hope for the future. And many hymns, like this week's choice, expand the theme and the hope that Christians have in the midst of the turmoil of daily life here on earth. I admit that I really miss that message in much of today's music, maybe it is my age or maybe it is my recent experiences.  But thinking about and singing about the rapture and heaven comforts my heart as it has done for many believers over the years. While preaching on the radio on the subject of the second coming of Christ, the Rev. C.A. Blackmore was outlining some of the marvelous things that would happen to Christians at the rapture. A lady who had been bedridden for twenty-three years heard the message and wrote, "Will I really be well? Will all pain and sorrow actually be gone?"  Blackmore replied, "Yes, my friend, some glorious day, when Jesus comes, you will fly from that bed with all the vigor of youth and never know pain again." Blackmore's son, Carl, was greatly impressed with the reality of this coming event. As he pondered the glorious prospect, the words and melody of a chorus took form in his mind, and he said to his father, "Dad, you should write some verses for this chorus." After much prayer, early one morning, unable to sleep as he anticipated the thrill of the rapture, the elder Blackmore rose from his bed and wrote the verses of "Some Golden Daybreak." As the song became known, it grew in popularity. But, unfortunately, I haven't heard it sung in public for many years. But that doesn't change the truth of its message. Think about the hope in the words of this week's hymn choice.  What a day that will be!  It could even be today!  Lord, come quickly!

(1) Some glorious morning sorrow will cease
Some glorious morning all will be peace
Heartaches all ended, school days all done
Heaven will open - Jesus will come
Some golden daybreak Jesus will come
Some golden daybreak, battles all won
He'll shout the vict'ry, break thro' the blue
Some golden daybreak, for me, for you.

(2) Sad hearts will gladden, all shall be bright
Goodbye forever to earth's dark night
Changed in a moment, like Him to be
Oh, glorious daybreak, Jesus I'll see
Some golden daybreak Jesus will come
Some golden daybreak, battles all won
He'll shout the vict'ry, break thro' the blue
Some golden daybreak, for me, for you.

(3) Oh, what a meeting, there in the skies
No tears nor crying shall dim our eyes
Loved ones united eternally
Oh, what a daybreak that morn will be
Some golden daybreak Jesus will come
Some golden daybreak, battles all won
He'll shout the vict'ry, break thro' the blue
Some golden daybreak, for me, for you.

Listen to it here   DAYBREAK