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 28, 2013


Salvation is a word that is used in many religions, but it is in the definition of that word that separates Christianity from all other so-called attempts to know God.   Today many feel "Whatever you think is right must be okay, because everybody has a right to his own opinion. You find God your way, and I'll find Him my way. Don't impose your thinking on anyone else."  We live in an age of political correctness. You cannot say, do or even think anything for fear of offending someone! For many faith and spiritual life are nothing more than one's personal philosophy of life.  But the scripture tells us otherwise. "Neither is there salvation in any other for there is no other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved."  This week's choice makes it very clear that our faith can't be in any device or creed but in the death of Jesus Christ who paid the price for our salvation.  For years today's song has been popular as a testimonial hymn although little has been known of the listed author, Lidie H. Edmunds. What has been known is that the tune is an old Norwegian folk melody and was published in 1891.  In recent years research has found that Lidie Edmunds was the pen name for Eliza Hewitt. Eliza was a public school teacher. One of her students struck her with a heavy slate and she suffered a severe spinal injury which forced her to retire from teaching and made her an invalid the rest of her life in Philadelphia. However, she was able to continue to be involved with children in Sunday School and as superintendent at the Northern Home for Friendless Children. She also was used to write a number of hymns.  We don't know the specific story behind the writing of this hymn but we can assume that it grew out of her experience.  If you have placed your faith in the finished work of the Cross, then you can sing along with this song.  For you need no other argument or plea. It is enough that Jesus died and that He died for you.
(1)    My faith has found a resting place,
Not in device or creed;
I trust the ever living One,
His wounds for me shall plead.
I need no other argument,
I need no other plea,
It is enough that Jesus died,
And that He died for me.

(2)   Enough for me that Jesus saves,
This ends my fear and doubt;
A sinful soul I come to Him,
He'll never cast me out.
I need no other argument,
I need no other plea,
It is enough that Jesus died,
And that He died for me.

(3)   My heart is leaning on the Word,
The living Word of God,
Salvation by my Savior's Name,
Salvation through His blood.
I need no other argument,
I need no other plea,
It is enough that Jesus died,
And that He died for me.

(4)   My great Physician heals the sick,
The lost He came to save;
For me His precious blood He shed,
For me His life He gave.
I need no other argument,
I need no other plea,
It is enough that Jesus died,
And that He died for me.

You can listen to it here.   LISTEN

Sunday, July 21, 2013


Edward Hopper was a Presbyterian minister who spent most of his life in his home town of New York City helping sailors from around the world in a small church in New York harbor known as the "Church of Sea and Land."   As part of his ministry to the sailors he published a  poem which first appeared as an "anonymous" poem in the Sailor's Magazine of New York in 1871.  Shortly afterwards, John E. Gould, while in ill health, took the poem and put it to music. Later that year it was published in The Baptist Praise Book.  In 1880 the secretary of the Seamen's Friend Society, asked Dr. Hopper for an anniversary hymn and he sent him the first two and last verses of the poem.  These were printed, and sung by the congregation at the Broadway Tabernacle on May 10,1880. Now while the words were written specifically for sailors who regularly experienced the roughness of the sea, thousands of others have been helped since then as they have experienced the difficult waves and stormy seas of life.  Life too is filled with hidden rocks and treacherous shoals.  And we only get through those seas and times with a pilot, the Lord Jesus, who guides us with His chart and compass.  Our cry needs to be, Jesus Savior, Pilot Me.  Maybe today you are being rocked by the seas and waves of life.  Trust Jesus.  He knows the way and He will pilot you to shore. Hopper actually penned six verses and they are all included below.  However, most hymnals only carry three - the ones shown in bold below.  Edward Hopper's prayer expressed in the final stanza of his immortal hymn had its complete fulfillment when he died in 1888. He was found sitting in his study chair, pencil in hand, writing a new poem on the subject of heaven.

(1)    Jesus, Savior, pilot me
Over life's tempestuous sea;
Unknown waves before me roll,
Hiding rock and treacherous shoal.
Chart and compass come from Thee;
Jesus, Savior, pilot me.

(2)   While th'Apostles' fragile bark
Struggled with the billows dark,
On the stormy Galilee,
Thou didst walk upon the sea;
And when they beheld Thy form,
Safe they glided through the storm.

(3)   Though the sea be smooth and bright,
Sparkling with the stars of night,
And my ship's path be ablaze
With the light of halcyon days,
Still I know my need of Thee;
Jesus, Savior, pilot me.

(4)   When the darkling heavens frown,
And the wrathful winds come down,
And the fierce waves, tossed on high,
Lash themselves against the sky,
Jesus, Savior, pilot me,
Over life's tempestuous sea.

(5)   As a mother stills her child,
Thou canst hush the ocean wild;
Boisterous waves obey Thy will,
When Thou sayest to them, "Be still!"
Wondrous Sovereign of the sea,
Jesus, Savior, pilot me.

(6)   When at last I near the shore,
And the fearful breakers roar
'Twixt me and the peaceful rest,
Then, while leaning on Thy breast,
May I hear Thee say to me,
"Fear not, I will pilot thee."

Listen to it being sung here.   LISTEN

Sunday, July 14, 2013


John Ernest Bode (1816-1874) was an Anglican clergyman serving a small parish near Cambridge, England, when his three children, a daughter and two sons, were ready for confirmation.  Bode not only presided over their confirmation, but also wrote this hymn especially for the occasion.  He told his children that "I have written a hymn concerning all the important truths I want you to remember."  I imagine that his children never forgot that service and their father's concern for them and their spiritual lives. However, we have all experienced broken promises - some that our friends have broken and maybe some that we ourselves have broken.  Many folks make promises to God, especially when they are in deep need, and then fail to keep them when times are better.  If you heal me or if you help me escape this danger or if you help me get this new job ...  I'll ... you can fill in the blanks.  I have often watched folks joining our church promise things like faithfully attending services, giving regularly, or serving in some ministry. Then after they join, these promises are forgotten.  It is so sad when believers do not live lives of integrity.  But it is even worse to be judged by God for making a vow or promise to him and then not keeping it. Vows to God are serious business and need to be kept. This hymn serves as a hymn of commitment for every Christian.  It reminds us of  promises that we have probably made to Jesus.  It also asks Jesus to protect us from the dangers and temptations posed by the world.  And it reminds us that Jesus has made promises too, such as the promise never to leave us and that we will live with him in glory.  And, unlike we humans, He is faithful and keeps all of His promises to us.  And we can count on that.

(1)   O Jesus, I have promised to serve Thee to the end;
Be Thou forever near me, my Master and my Friend;
I shall not fear the battle if Thou art by my side,
Nor wander from the pathway if Thou wilt be my Guide.

(2)   O let me feel Thee near me! The world is ever near;
I see the sights that dazzle, the tempting sounds I hear;
My foes are ever near me, around me and within;
But Jesus, draw Thou nearer, and shield my soul from sin.

(3)   O let me hear Thee speaking in accents clear and still,
Above the storms of passion, the murmurs of self will.
O speak to reassure me, to hasten or control;
O speak, and make me listen, Thou Guardian of my soul.

(4)   O Jesus, Thou hast promised to all who follow Thee
That where Thou art in glory there shall Thy servant be.
And Jesus, I have promised to serve Thee to the end;
O give me grace to follow, my Master and my Friend.

(5)   O let me see Thy footprints, and in them plant mine own;
My hope to follow duly is in Thy strength alone.
O guide me, call me, draw me, uphold me to the end;
And then in Heaven receive me, my Savior and my Friend.

This has been sung to many different tunes, but the one that might be the most familiar can be heard here.     LISTEN

Sunday, July 7, 2013


This week our country celebrated birthday number 237.  That seems like a long time, especially when you compare it to our average lifetime of about 80 years.  But when compared to eternity, it is just a small dot on that timeline.  Some hymn writers have used the term ten thousand years to try to help us understand the beginning of eternity. One of my favorite verses of any hymn is "When we've been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun, we've no less days to sing God's praise then when we've first begun."  The writer of this week's song, Elmer Cole, uses the same idea.  "Ten thousand years, we'll just be started."  What a thrilling thought.  The night before my aunt died I asked her to tell my parents that I loved them and missed them.  She said that she would, but that she expected to spend the first ten thousand years in heaven just praising the Lord.  Now I don't know anything about the writer of this song except that he sang lead for the Statesmen from 1973-1974 and that he also performed with Willie Wynn and The Tennesseans.  But I have always enjoyed this song and when we had out family ministry this was one of our favorite songs to sing as a family.  It is tremendous to have the hope that as we near the end of our journey here on earth that we will soon meet Jesus, the One who gave His life for us.  I remember well the thrill and anticipation that I had in 1984 when I was going to meet and talk with President Reagan.  But that experience pales in the knowledge that soon we will meet the Creator of the Universe, our Lord and Savior.  And the first ten thousand years will just be the beginning of our eternity with Him.  Do you have that assurance and hope?  Do you know without a doubt that you will spend eternity with Him?  You can have that assurance today.  He told us that He was going to prepare a place for His children and that one day He would come again and take us to our eternal home.  And He will do just what He has promised.

(1)   Soon I'll come to the end of my journey
And I'll meet the One who gave His life for me
And I will thank him for the love that He gave me
And ten thousand years or more I'll reign with Him
Ten thousand years, we'll just be started
Ten thousand years, we've just begun
The battle will be over, and the victory is won
Ten thousand years, and we've just begun

(2)   We will just begin to sing loves sweet story
And it's a song that the angels they just could not sing
And I've been redeemed by the blood of my Savior
And ten thousand years or more I'll praise His name
Ten thousand years, we'll just be started
Ten thousand years, we've just begun
The battle will be over, and the victory is won
Ten thousand years, and we've just begun
For the battle is over, the victory's been won, ten thousand years 
and we've just begun.
Ten thousand years, and we've just begun

Listen to it here.   LISTEN