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, February 27, 2011


This month when thoughts turn to love around Valentine's Day, we have chosen hymns and songs which center around God's great love for all of us. This theme which echos through the pages of the Bible and in the lives of saints for centuries, has been the theme of hymns for years. Some of the ones that we have chosen this month are more than 100 years old. But this week I've chosen one which was copyrighted only 15 years ago. I don't know the story behind its writing except that the words were written by Greg Nelson and the music by Phil McHugh. The words share the impact of Calvary's love, a priceless gift, to heal the spirit that life has crushed and cast aside. It's a love which surpasses our deepest sin. A love that loved enough to die. A love which fills once empty eyes with joy. Many years ago, Amy Carmichael shared the impact of Calvary's love when she wrote. "If I wonder why something trying is allowed, and press for prayer that it may be removed; if I cannot be trusted with any disappointment, and cannot go on in peace under any mystery, then I know nothing of Calvary love." Meditate on the words this week.

Calvary's love will sail forever,
Bright and shining, strong and free,
Like an ark of peace and safety
On the sea of human need.
Through the hours of all the ages
Those tired of sailing on their own
Finally rest inside the shadow
Cast by Calvary's love across their souls.

Calvary's love, Calvary's love,
Priceless gift Christ makes us worthy of;
The deepest sin can't rise above Calvary's love.

Calvary's love can heal the spirit
Life has crushed and cast aside,
And redeem till heaven's promise
Fills with joy once empty eyes.
So desire to tell His story
Of Love that loved enough to die
Burns away all other passions,
Fed by Calvary's love becomes a fire.

Calvary's love, Calvary's love,
Priceless gift Christ makes us worthy of;
The deepest sin can't rise above Calvary's love.

Calvary's love has never faltered,
All its wonders still remain.
Souls still take eternal passage;
Sins atoned and heaven gained,
Sins atoned and heaven gained,
Sins atoned and heaven gained.

You can listen to it here. LISTEN

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Continuing with this month's theme of love, this week's choice is a simple but powerful hymn that was actually written by a teenager. Sixteen year old William Featherston of Montreal, Canada wrote this hymn in 1862, not long after he was converted to Christ. He sent a copy to his aunt who encouraged him to have it published. It appeared anonymously in The London Hymn Book in 1864. The original copy of the hymn, in the author's handwriting, is still a cherished treasure in the family. William wrote no other hymns that we know of and his brief life ended just before his twenty-seventh birthday. But for 150 years this hymn has touched the lives of countless people. Ira D. Sankey reports this story of a famous actress, who while walking down the street, passed an open door, through which she saw an invalid girl laying on a couch watching people pass by. Wanting to cheer her up, she went inside. The sick girl was a devout Christian. The actress, impressed with her words, her patience, her submission, her heaven-lit countenance, and the manner in which she lived her religion, was lead to seriously consider the claims of Christianity. As a result she became a true follower of Christ. She told her father, the leader of the theater troupe, of her conversion and her conviction that she could not live a consistent Christian life and still be an actress. Her father was upset, attempting to convince her that their living would be lost and their business ruined if she persisted. Because she loved her father dearly, she consented to fill the published engagement set, of which she was the star, for a few days. The play was set to go on. That evening came and the father rejoiced that he had won back his daughter and their living was not to be lost. However, as the actress came out on stage to the applause of the large audience, she stepped forward. A light beamed from her beautiful face. To the now-silent audience she repeated: "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." She left with the audience in tears, and retired from the stage, never to appear on it again. But through this her father was converted and through their combined evangelistic labors, many were led to Christ. May the words of this simple but profound hymn speak to your heart this week.

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 has 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;
I'll sing with the glittering crown on my brow;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, 'tis now.

Listen to a beautiful arrangement of this hymn by the group Avalon. LISTEN

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Happy Valentine's Day to all of you. During this time we are drawn to thoughts of love, love between friends, between boyfriend and girlfriend, or between husband and wife. But in my choice of hymns this month, I am trying to center on the greatest love, the love of Christ for each of us. The love that would cause Jesus to leave the beauty and glory of heaven to come to this earth to give His life for us, even while we were deep in sin. And it is because of that love that we desire to love Him more each day. "We love Him because He first loved us." (I John 4:19) Frederick Whitfield was born and reared in England and was graduated from Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. He studied for the ministry and was ordained in the Church of England. He was first appointed to parishes in Yorkshire, and later served at Greenwich near London. He wrote this hymn in 1855 while still a student at Trinity College. He published about 30 volumes of prose and verse, and a couple of his songs can be found in some hymnals today. But most familiar to us is "O How I Love Jesus". In less than ten years after its first printing, the hymn began to appear in hymnals in America. Churches on the western frontier and rural churches in the eastern states usually only had one copy of a songbook, and it contained only the words. The preacher or song leader would give the tune and then would "line out" the hymn by reading ahead line-by-line as the congregation sang the hymn. (A technique often used today by "praise and worship" leaders.) The refrain is not part of Whitfield's original hymn, but was later added by some unknown person. Characterized by simplicity and a lilting style, the tune used here is typical of camp meeting songs that emerged in America in the early 19th century. It's a simple song with a deep meaning. If Jesus is your Savior, then you may want to sing this hymn to Him this Valentine's Day.

(1) There is a name I love to hear,
I love to sing its worth;
It sounds like music in my ear,
The sweetest name on earth.
O how I love Jesus,
O how I love Jesus,
O how I love Jesus,
Because he first loved me!

(2) It tells me of a Savior's love,
Who died to set me free;
It tells me of his precious blood,
The sinner's perfect plea.
O how I love Jesus,
O how I love Jesus,
O how I love Jesus,
Because he first loved me!

(3) It tells of one whose loving heart
Can feel my deepest woe;
Who in each sorrow bears a part
That none can bear below.
O how I love Jesus,
O how I love Jesus,
O how I love Jesus,
Because he first loved me!

You can listen to it here. LISTEN

Sunday, February 6, 2011


As we come to February, thoughts often turn to Valentines Day and love. So I began to look for some hymns which talk about God's love. This week's choice has an interesting story behind its writing. It was written by George Matteson on the evening of his sister's marriage. His whole family had gone to the wedding and had left him alone. Years before, he had been engaged until his fiance learned that he was going blind, and there was nothing the doctors could do. She told him that she could not go through life with a blind man. He went blind while studying for the ministry, and his sister had been the one who had taken care of him all these years, but now she is married and gone. He had been a brilliant student, some say that if he hadn't gone blind he could have been the leader of the church of Scotland in his day. He turned to the pastoral ministry, and the Lord richly blessed him, finally bringing him to a church where he regularly preached to over 1500 people each week. But he was only able to do this because of the care of his sister and now she was married and gone. Who will care for him, a blind man? Not only that, but his sister's marriage brought a fresh reminder of his own heartbreak, over his fiance's refusal to "go through life with a blind man." It was in the midst of this circumstance and intense sadness that the Lord gave him this hymn – written he says in just 5 minutes! You can almost feel his pain at his human loss, but you can also sense his hope as he realizes that rest for his weary soul will only come from His Lord and that love will never let him go. Meditate on the truth of this hymn this week and be thankful for God's love that never lets us go.

1. O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

2. O light that foll'west all my way,
I yield my flick'ring torch to thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in thy sunshine's blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.

3. O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.

4. O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life's glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.

You can listen to this hymn here. LISTEN