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, March 28, 2010


Today we celebrate Palm Sunday and most Christians will remember how Christ was praised and honored as he entered the city just a few days before His death. So it may be fitting that we choose this week a hymn that centers on praising and honoring our King, the Lord Jesus Christ. In Revelation 19:12a we read, "His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns." It is this verse which appears to have inspired Matthew Bridges, in 1851, to write this great hymn. Bridges (1800-1894), once wrote a book condemning Roman Catholic theology, and then later, at the age of 48, converted to Catholicism. His original title was "The Song of the Seraphs" which included six stanzas. Thirty years later, Godfrey Thring (1823-1903), a devout Anglican clergyman, was concerned that this popular hymn was allowing Catholic theology to be sung by protestant congregations. And so he wrote six new verses. The 12 stanzas have been mixed and matched during the years but today most hymnals include just four of the twelve. Verses 1, 2, and 4 were written by Bridges and verse 3 was written by Thring. The powerful words and the stirring music make this a moving hymn of triumph and praise. I love to hear it sung by a large choir or congregation, backed by brass instruments and an organ. Wow, how powerful! It certainly must be one of those hymns which we will sing around His throne in heaven.

(1) Crown Him with many crowns, the Lamb upon His throne:
Hark! how the heav'nly anthem drowns all music but its own!
Awake, my soul, and sing of him who died for thee,
And hail Him as thy matchless King thru all eternity.

(2) Crown Him the Lord of love: Behold His hands and side--
Rich wounds, yet visible above, in beauty glorified;
No angel in the sky can fully bear that sight,
But downward bends his wond'ring eye at mysteries so bright.

(3) Crown Him the Lord of life: Who triumphed o'er the grave,
Who rose victorious to the strife for those He came to save;
His glories now we sing, who died and rose on high,
Who died eternal life to bring and lives that death may die.

(4) Crown Him the Lord of heav'n: One with the Father known;
One with the Sprit thru Him giv'n from yonder glorious throne.
To Thee be endless praise, for Thou for us hast died;
Be Thou, O Lord, thru endless days adored and magnified.

Listen to it here. LISTEN

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Isaiah 6: 1 – 3 "In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory." This hymn, one of the greatest worship hymns ever penned, was written by Reginald Heber (1783-1826) in 1827. For years believers have worshipped Almighty God by singing this hymn in worship services around the globe. It is one of those hymns that continues to be sung even when contemporary praise songs replace traditional hymns in today's church services. While I remember singing this as a youngster, the words of the third verse became very meaningful to me several years ago when I went to Washington D.C. to join with a million men gathered there to worship God Almighty. I remember singing this and other great hymns as we would be waiting for transportation. We would join with men from all over the world and our voices would radiate, often through subway tunnels. It sent chills through my body. It had to be a small glimpse of what heaven will be like. But then, as we headed into the mall, we walked through a group of misguided women from NOW who were protesting our right to gather and misjudging our purpose for being there. Seldom have I felt evil, all around me, as I felt at that time. Then these words came to me, "though the eye of sinful men thy glory may not see." It hit home to me. These poor women were blinded to the Almighty God and they could not see or experience His glory. How sad and how common this is today. But God is holy and someday "all Thy works shall praise Thy Name, in earth and sky and sea!" Sing along with these truths today as you worship Him.

(1) Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee.
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty,
God in three Persons, blessèd Trinity.

(2) Holy, holy, holy! All saints adore thee,
casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee,
which wert, and art, and evermore shalt be.

(3) Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide thee,
though the sinful human eye thy glory may not see,
only thou art holy; there is none beside thee,
perfect in power, in love, and purity.

(4) Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All thy works shall praise thy Name, in earth, and sky, and sea;
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty,
God in three Persons, blessèd Trinity.

You can listen to it here. LISTEN.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


This hymn is one which I believe is being lost to present and future generations because it is seldom sung anymore. That is so 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, 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 and 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. LISTEN

Sunday, March 7, 2010


This morning, in our early worship service, my wife will play this week's hymn choice on the piano for an offertory. She was asked to do this on Friday when the person who was to provide the music said that she wouldn't be able to do so. My wife wondered what she could play and since it was Communion Sunday, I suggested this hymn with a beautiful, quiet arrangement I have often heard her practice. I tried, almost unsuccessfully, to find some background on this hymn and about all I could find was a little information about the men who wrote the words and the music. What I was surprised to learn is that the writer of the words, Robert Lowry, attended the University of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, and later became a professor of literature there. This university was later named Bucknell University and that is where I did my master's degree work. He was also an ordained Baptist minister and even pastored the First Baptist Church in Lewisburg. The writer of the music, William Doane, called music his "avocation" even though he produced over 2,000 hymn tunes in his lifetime. He was actually president of the J. A. Faywood Machinery Company and was a very successful businessman. Unfortunately, this well known hymn is not sung as often today as it probably should be. It appears that more and more evangelicals believe Christ's atoning death is merely a grotesque creation of the medieval imagination. But knowing and accepting this truth is the only way to a relationship with Christ. . Apart from Christ's atoning work, we would be forever guilty, ashamed, and condemned before God. The priestly work of Christ separates Christianity from Judaism and Islam. Not surprisingly, the Cross has become the symbol for our faith. I think the third verse really sums up the message, "Nothing can for sin atone … Naught of good that I have done … Nothing but the blood of Jesus!" I trust that you've experienced the cleansing and the new life that God promises to you through the Blood of Jesus.

(1) What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Oh! precious is the flow,that makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know, nothing but the blood of Jesus.

(2) For my pardon, this I see, nothing but the blood of Jesus;
For my cleansing this my plea, nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Oh! precious is the flow,That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know, nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Nothing can for sin atone, nothing but the blood of Jesus;

(3) Naught of good that I have done, nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Oh! precious is the flow,That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,nNothing but the blood of Jesus.
This is all my hope and peace, nothing but the blood of Jesus;

(4) This is all my righteousness, nothing but the blood of Jesus
Oh! precious is the flow,That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know, Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

(5) Now by this I'll overcome, nothing but the blood of Jesus,
Now by this I'll reach my home - nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Oh! precious is the flow,That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know, Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Listen to it here. LISTEN