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, November 30, 2008


It is difficult to choose my very favorite hymn, but "Like A River Glorious" certainly ranks as one of my top favorites.  I especially love to hear it sung by a congregation or an ensemble without any instruments.  It does have great harmony, but more importantly, the words always speak to my heart.  In a world filled with turmoil, our only hope is to live lives that are stayed upon Jehovah.  Now, I admit that I struggle with the words of the second verse ... not a surge of worry ... for I am a worrier.  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.  When Frances Havergal was vacationing in the south of Wales, 1876, she caught a severe cold, 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.  Meditate on these powerful words as you sing along.

(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.
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.    Refrain

(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.
Listen to it here.     LISTEN

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Choosing a hymn for this week isn't too difficult.  With Thanksgiving just a few days away it is certainly appropriate to choose one which reminds us to have a thankful spirit.  In an age when it is more common to be bitter, complaining, and self-absorbed, sometimes we  are so guilty of living thankless lives.  Maybe we need a special holiday to remind us that our hearts should be flowing with thanks - not just on Thanksgiving Day, but every day of our lives.  I had to remind out Awana clubbers the other night that it is appropriate to say "thank you" when they receive their awards.  Unfortunately, the lesson was not learned since the next week not a single clubber responded with a "thank you".  Manners and thankfulness are 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".  Sometimes, like with some events that we've personally faced in recent weeks, it is hard. It is easier to fret and complain.  But when we stop and think about what God has done for us, our hearts should be filled with thanksgiving.  Here is an old hymn - often just the chorus has been sung - that should challenge us to be more thankful.  The words and music were written by Seth and Bessie Sykes.
(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.     Chorus

(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.     Chorus

You can listen to it here      LISTEN

Sunday, November 16, 2008


I vividly recall one early morning when I was taking my morning walk before going to school.  My heart was very heavy that day.  While I walked, I prayed and listened to the early morning music on one of our Christian music stations.  Suddenly I heard one of my favorite hymns, "Day By Day", being sung.  And, it ministered powerfully to my need at that exact moment - God's answer to my prayer.  Strength I find to meet my trials here ... I've no cause to worry or to fear ... a special mercy for each hour ... His protection ... His promises ... my Father's hand.  My wife and I have often sung this as a duet and it remains one of my very favorites because of its message.  It was written by Karolina Sandell-Berg who is often called the Sweedish Fanny Crosby.  Her many songs flowed from a broken heart after having seen her father fall overboard and drown when their boat gave a sudden lurch. This is another example of a great hymn born out of a time of tragedy.  So often God has met a special need and as a result that person has penned words that later help thousands in their times of need.  Meditate upon these powerful words today as you trust Christ to meet your need.

     1.     Day by day, and with each passing moment,
Strength I find to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father's wise bestowment,
I've no cause for worry or for fear.
He, whose heart is kind beyond all measure,
Gives unto each day what He deems best,
Lovingly its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.

     2.     Every day the Lord Himself is near me,
With a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares He fain would bear and cheer me,
He whose name is Counsellor and Pow'r.
The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
"As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,"
This the pledge to me He made.

     3.     Help me then, in every tribulation,
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith's sweet consolation,
Offered me within Thy holy Word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
E'er to take, as from a father's hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till with Christ the Lord I stand.

Listen to it here.    LISTEN

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Election disappointments, sickness, recession, rising prices, unemployment, IRA's, problems of aging, terror threats, and fears of all types. It is so easy to get discouraged and overwhelmed by the problems of life that we face.  And as we keep our thoughts and eyes on them we often sink deeper.  My grandfather who was a pastor for many years used to encourage his congregation with the admonition, "Keep Looking Up".   And that is such good advice because that is where our relief and help comes from, both now, day by day, and then one of these days when Christ comes back to take us away from the problems of this world.  That was probably the hope and experience that led Helen H. Lemmel, in 1922, to pen the words of this inspirational hymn.  Read and sing the words carefully and let them challenge you today to turn your eyes to Jesus.  He alone is the answer for our needs.

(1)    O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There's a light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

(2)    Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
Over us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conquerors we are!

(3)    His Word shall not fail you — He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!
Listen to it here.   LISTEN

Monday, November 3, 2008


Many of us are very alarmed about what appears to be a radically different direction for our country following this election.  We are concerned about our probable ultra-liberal future which will increase abortion, nontraditional marriages, a liberal justice system, and new limits on our freedom to worship and express Biblical morality.  And as we face this uncertain future, I am reminded of the scripture that spoke so clearly to Martin Luther when he faced uncertain times and attempts to limit his freedom to speak the truth many centuries ago. "God is our Refuge and Strength, a very present Help in trouble." Psalm 46:1.  In 1529 he published his famous hymn which has encouraged saints throughout the centuries.  So if you too are concerned today, meditate on these words.  Hopefully you will be reminded and encouraged that God is still in control and is our Refuge and Strength.

A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God's own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God's truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.

Listen to it here.       LISTEN

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Thursday will bring back many sad memories.  It will be 15 years ago that the Lord took my mother home to be with Him as a result of a fatal automobile accident.  Wednesday is her birthday and we are thankful that we all spent time with her that day, not knowing that it would be the last time that we would be with her on this earth. The years have eased the pain and sorrow, but we still miss her deeply.  She was a special godly mother.  Her favorite hymn was "In The Garden".  This hymn was written by C. Austin Miles after his having read the scripture passage of Mary Magdalene's encounter with the risen Jesus in the garden of Joseph.  What a joy to know that we can live and walk in the presence of the One who loves us enough to die for us.  I often wonder if today mother is walking with her Lord as she is in His presence.  That was her desire.

(1)  I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses.

Refrain:  And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

(2)  He speaks, and the sound of His voice,
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.      Refrain

(3)   I'd stay in the garden with Him
Though the night around me be falling,
But He bids me go; through the voice of woe
His voice to me is calling.     Refrain
You can listen to it here      LISTEN