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 30, 2014


How easy it is for us to find and even point out the faults of others.   We can criticize what they say, what they do, the decisions that they make, and even their commitment.  Often they just don't live up to our standards and we can dwell upon their faults and apparent sins.  Knowing that this would be a problem for mankind, Jesus reminded us to first examine our own lives before ever judging others.  Matthew 7:3 (ESV),  "Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?" We just ignore the log in our own eye. We don't want to see or admit the sin in our own lives that hinders our fellowship with the Lord.  David also had a handle on this problem when he prayed, as recorded in Psalm 139: 23-24, "Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way."  What a powerful but dangerous prayer.  When we ask the Lord to search our lives He may indeed point out sin that we need to deal with.  And if we don't deal with what he reveals, we will not experience the victory and joy He desires for His children.  It was this passage that stirred James Edwin Orr, in 1936, to pen the words of this week's hymn.  Orr (1912-1987) was a well-known Baptist minister, historian, lecturer, author and revivalist. He wrote numerous books and composed a number of hymns. He was one of the original board members of Campus Crusade for Christ. Throughout his lifetime Dr. Orr traveled to more than 100 countries, spreading the Good News.  He is said to have used an aboriginal tune from the Maori tribe in New Zealand to compose this song. It was a Maori song of farewell.  Orr wrote this song after participating in an Easter convention in Ngaruawahia, New Zealand.  He was so inspired by the move of the Holy Spirit that was taking place in this community that he decided to write a song about revival.  He believed this song reflected the heart of the revival that was taking place there.  Dr. Orr would often use this song in ministry events to encourage new spiritual awakenings, especially in Australia.   I hope that this is your prayer and desire, not because you are confident that there is no wicked way in you, but because you recognize God's control over your life and you are willing to submit yourself to Him. We can have complete confidence that whatever God might find and cleanse is for our good and that it is done out of love.  

(1)    Search me, O God,
And know my heart today;
Try me, O Savior,
Know my thoughts, I pray.
See if there be
Some wicked way in me;
Cleanse me from every sin
And set me free.

(2)    I praise Thee, Lord,
For cleansing me from sin;
Fulfill Thy Word,
And make me pure within.
Fill me with fire
Where once I burned with shame;
Grant my desire
To magnify Thy Name.

(3)   Lord, take my life,
And make it wholly Thine;
Fill my poor heart
With Thy great love divine.
Take all my will,
My passion, self and pride;
I now surrender, Lord
In me abide.

(4)   O Holy Ghost,
Revival comes from Thee;
Send a revival,
Start the work in me.
Thy Word declares
Thou wilt supply our need;
For blessings now,
O Lord, I humbly plead.

I am providing you with two choice this week.  First you can listen to a beautiful duet of two members of the Cathedrals singing the first verse.    LISTEN1
Or you can listen to all the verses being played and displayed.   LISTEN2

Sunday, March 23, 2014


In Psalm 9:2 the Psalmist proclaims "I will be glad and rejoice in Thee; I will sing praise"   Now I'm not sure that we use the word glad too often to describe our Christian life as the Psalmist testifies.  But a thesaurus says that other choices for the word glad could be thrilled, elated or thankful.  And certainly they could be ways to describe our joy, a gift of the Holy Spirit, that believers should experience despite circumstances.  Being a believer in Christ does not shelter us from human circumstances and the challenges that are common to man.  We get sick, we hurt, we have disappointments, we are forsaken, we are left out, we are mistreated.  But there is a big difference - we are forgiven, we are given a peace that passes all understanding, we have joy, real joy, and we should be glad, thrilled, elated and thankful. Now once again we know nothing about the circumstances that caused the writing of these words.  But, the author must have experienced the forgiveness and joy which only comes through knowing the Lord Jesus Christ personally.  We also don't know much about the author, James Patrick Sullivan, who was born in 1876.  He probably was a pastor since some books list him as the "Rev. James P. Sullivan".  The music was added by Mildred Sullivan Lacour.  The song was copyrighted in 1930 and "dedicated to Bishop A. J. Moore."  Unfortunately we all know people who call themselves believers but who never seem to radiate joy or appear to be glad that they know the Lord.  But when we really understand what He has done for us and that His Spirit indwells us, it should radiate to our faces, our conversations, and the way that we approach life each day.  May this week's song remind you of that this week and may its message captivate your mind each day.  O! say but I'm glad, Jesus has come and my cup's overrun, O! say but I'm glad!

(1)    There is a song in my heart today,
Something I never had;
Jesus has taken my sins away,
O! say, but I'm glad.
O! say, but I'm glad, I'm glad,
O! say, but I'm glad,
Jesus has come and my cup's overrun;
O! say, but I'm glad.

(2)    Wonderful, marvelous love He brings,
Into a heart that's sad;
Through darkest tunnels the soul just sings,
O! say, but I'm glad.
O! say, but I'm glad.
O! say, but I'm glad, I'm glad,
O! say, but I'm glad,
Jesus has come and my cup's overrun;
O! say, but I'm glad.

(3)    We have a fellowship rich and sweet,
Tongues can never relate;
Abiding in Him: the soul's Retreat,
O! but say, I'm glad.
O! say, but I'm glad.
O! say, but I'm glad, I'm glad,
O! say, but I'm glad,
Jesus has come and my cup's overrun;
O! say, but I'm glad.

(4)    Won't you come to Him with all your care,
Weary and worn and sad?
You, too, will sing as His love you share,
O! say, but I'm glad.
O! say, but I'm glad.
O! say, but I'm glad, I'm glad,
O! say, but I'm glad,
Jesus has come and my cup's overrun;
O! say, but I'm glad.

You can listen to it here.    LISTEN

Sunday, March 16, 2014


Over a century ago much of this country's economy depended upon the sea.  Without radar and all the technological improvements that we have today, shipping and fishing were very dangerous occupations.  Storms and waves created many shipwrecks and many sailors and fishermen lost their lives while trying to earn a living using the sea.  That is probably why so many hymns written at that time used a nautical theme to share an important message.  Last week this blog featured Rescue The Perishing and this week we feature another nautical based hymn, My Anchor  Holds.  The writer, William Martin was a Baptist pastor who served at least five different churches in New England, Indiana and Florida. He was also a hymn writer who penned these words in 1902. We don't know much more about him except that he died at the relatively young age of fifty.  The music was added by Daniel B. Towner.  Once again I could not find anything about what stirred Martin to write these words, but possibly it was hearing of many tragedies caused by the turbulent seas or as a result of experiencing rough seas in his own personal life.  Now all of us face treacherous storms during our lives and we need a secure anchor to get through those times.  I, too, have faced such storms in my life - the emergency surgery on our baby, the death of my mother in an auto accident, the death of my brother, my diagnosis of cancer, and others - but the Lord was my anchor in those times.  As I look back I remember the peace, strength and wisdom that He gave me during those personal storms that threatened to pull me under.  I'm sure that you've had similar experiences. And the verses and choruses of this hymn remind us of those times when the angry surges rolled and the storms and gale force winds threatened to destroy our small bark.   But by God's grace our anchor held and it always will hold no matter how rough the waves. In Christ we can be bold, for our anchor holds.  Surely Christ is the answer for the safety and security of our soul.  I trust that He is your anchor and security.

(1)   Though the angry surges roll
On my tempest driven soul,
I am peaceful, for I know,
Wildly though the winds may blow,
I've an anchor safe and sure,
That can evermore endure.
And it holds, my anchor holds:
Blow your wildest, then, O gale,
On my bark so small and frail;
By His grace I shall not fail,
For my anchor holds, my anchor holds.

(2)   Mighty tides about me sweep,
Perils lurk within the deep,
Angry clouds o'ershade the sky,
And the tempest rises high;
Still I stand the tempest's shock,
For my anchor grips the rock.
And it holds, my anchor holds:
Blow your wildest, then, O gale,
On my bark so small and frail;
By His grace I shall not fail,
For my anchor holds, my anchor holds.

(3)    I can feel the anchor fast
As I meet each sudden blast,
And the cable, though unseen,
Bears the heavy strain between;
Through the storm I safely ride,
Till the turning of the tide
And it holds, my anchor holds:
Blow your wildest, then, O gale,
On my bark so small and frail;
By His grace I shall not fail,
For my anchor holds, my anchor holds.

(4)   Troubles almost 'whelm the soul;
Griefs like billows o'er me roll;
Tempters seek to lure astray;
Storms obscure the light of day:
But in Christ I can be bold,
I've an anchor that shall hold.
And it holds, my anchor holds:
Blow your wildest, then, O gale,
On my bark so small and frail;
By His grace I shall not fail,
For my anchor holds, my anchor holds.

I have always enjoyed this song, not only because of its message, but because of the moving bass part in the chorus.  You can listen to that here.    LISTEN

On a personal note, thank you for visiting this blog.  By the time you read this, the total number of visits to this blog will have surpassed 100,000!  I am amazed that what started out as a hobby to share with a few close friends has turned into a ministry with 700-800 visits each week.  Thank you, too, to those who have left comments sharing how various blogs and hymns have spoken to your personal needs. You have encouraged me. When I feel like quitting, your visits and comments keep me going.  Thank you!

Sunday, March 9, 2014


In days when reaching the lost seemed to be more of a priority for most believers, many hymn writers and evangelists would use the sea to illustrate the sin in which the lost were drowning.  They would then refer to things, such as lighthouses and lifelines, as the Gospel which was needed to rescue drowning mankind.  Such was the case with the prolific blind hymn writer , Fanny Crosby, who penned the words to "Rescue The Perishing".  Often we don't know the story behind the writing of a hymn, but in this case we do.  In his Story of Ninety-Four Years, the Rev. S. Trevena Jackson gives the account of how this hymn came to be written, just as he had received it from the lips of Fanny Crosby. "It was written in the year 1869, when I was forty-nine years old. Many of my hymns were written after experiences in New York mission work. This one was thus written. I was addressing a large company of working men one hot summer evening, when the thought kept forcing itself on my mind that some mother's boy must be rescued that night or not at all. So I made a pressing plea that if there was a boy present who had wandered from his mother's home and teaching, he would come to me at the close of the service. A young man of eighteen came forward and said, 'Did you mean me? I promised my mother to meet her in heaven, but as I am now living that will be impossible.' We prayed for him and he finally arose with a new light in his eyes and exclaimed in triumph, 'Now I can meet my mother in heaven, for I have found God!' A few days before, Mr. Doane, the musical composer, had sent me the subject, 'Rescue the Perishing,' and while I sat there that evening, the line came to me, 'Rescue the Perishing, care for the dying.' I could think of nothing else that night. When I arrived home I went to work on the hymn at once, and before I retired it was ready for the melody. The next day my song was written out and forwarded to Mr. Doane, who wrote the beautiful and touching music as it now stands to my hymn.  In November, 1903, I went to Lynn, Massachusetts, to speak before the Young Men's Christian Association. I told them the incident that led me to write 'Rescue the Perishing,' as I have just related it. After the meeting a large number of men shook hands with me, and among them was a man, who seemed to be deeply moved. You may imagine my surprise when he said, 'Miss Crosby, I was the boy, who told you more than thirty-five years ago that I had wandered from my mother's God. The evening that you spoke at the mission I sought and found peace, and I have tried to live a consistent Christian life ever since. If we never meet again on earth, we will meet up yonder.' As he said this, he raised my hand to his lips; and before I had recovered from my surprise he had gone; and remains to this day a nameless friend, who touched a deep chord of sympathy in my heart."  Times have changed, but mankind is still drowning in the sea of sin. The Gospel has not changed and it can still rescue and save mankind, those who are drowning and headed for spiritual death.  It must still be our desire and goal to share the Gospel which alone can rescue them.  May we do our part to rescue the perishing, with a renewed spirit and fervor.
(1)   Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,
Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave;
Weep o'er the erring one, lift up the fallen,
Tell them of Jesus, the mighty to save.
Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,
Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save.

(2)   Though they are slighting Him, still He is waiting,
Waiting the penitent child to receive;
Plead with them earnestly, plead with them gently;
He will forgive if they only believe.
Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,
Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save.

(3)    Down in the human heart, crushed by the tempter,
Feelings lie buried that grace can restore;
Touched by a loving heart, wakened by kindness,
Chords that were broken will vibrate once more.
Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,
Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save.

(4)    Rescue the perishing, duty demands it;
Strength for thy labor the Lord will provide;
Back to the narrow way patiently win them;
Tell the poor wand'rer a Savior has died.
Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,
Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save.

Listen to it being sung here.  LISTEN

Sunday, March 2, 2014


Tragedy strikes when you least expect it.  This week we received the news that a Facebook friend of ours, 30 year old Pastor Josh Allen, was killed instantly when he was hit head on by a driver driving in the wrong lane.  This 24 year old driver was estimated to have been going 90 mph when he hit Josh who was headed to the airport to pick up his twin brother.  The next day was Josh's wife's birthday.  He is also survived by a nine-month old son.  They have no life insurance.  And not only does my heart ache for his family, but I can't help but ask why would a loving God permit this to happen. Why would God ever take home a young pastor, husband, and father in the prime of his life?  It just doesn't seem fair!  Ironically, the very same thing happened to Josh's grandfather, who was also a pastor and who was survived by his wife and four young children.  Why?  Those are hard questions that we ask so often after tragic events like this.  I freely admit that I asked the same thing when my mother was killed in an auto accident twenty years ago. Why?  Unfortunately, there are no earthly answers and all we can do is ask God for peace and strength in those tragic times, believing and knowing that God's ways are always perfect and right, even when we don't understand why.  Life is hard, but God is good, all the time.  Pat Thum was the only child of traveling evangelists who taught her about prayer and helped give her the assurance that Jesus was always with her.  But because of their travels she grew up in an adult world and was always very lonely.  Her music career began when she was three years old and started singing on stage.  As the years went on, Pam began to realize the effect music had on people and the hope that the words she sang often gave them. "I wanted them to feel the peace I did when I sang to God. I wanted them to feel as though Jesus were hugging them through my music."  And so it began. Pam Thum started writing songs when she was 16 and decided to pursue song writing and performing as her own full time ministry. In fact, she is the author of this week's song. But she faced disaster when she became engaged and almost married a man she really didn't love, all because she let fear run her life. She was afraid of what people would think and afraid not to do what they thought. But, standing at the front of the church in a wedding gown, friends and family all there, Pam did one of the hardest things she's ever done and backed out of the ceremony. It was the right decision but right decisions have a way of amplifying all the terrible decisions that have lead up to that critical day. Pam says there were no smiles, just a lot of confusion and hurt.  Today, Pam is married to Stephen Marshall and together they have built Pam Thum Ministries, which is partnered with several other "world-changing" ministries. Her mission remains the same - to fearlessly share the Good News of Christ with the world and encourage others to do the same."  Life is hard, but God is good.  I don't know what tragedy or challenge you might be facing today - physical, emotional, financial, relational or whatever. Sometimes it may be the loss of a loved one like Josh, or a devastating announcement by your doctor, or a hard decision that you are forced to make.  You, too, may be crying out "Why?" and desperately seeking answers.  And while the answers may not come now, God's peace can indwell your life - a peace that passeth all understanding - a peace which He alone can give in the deepest storm.  I know, for I have experienced that in my life.  Just remember, the Lord has promised never to leave us or forsake us. "Don't give up, He walks beside you, On this journey home and He knows. Yes, life is hard, but God is good!"
You turn the key
Then close the door behind you
Drop your bags on the floor
You reach for the light
But there's darkness deep inside
And you can't take it anymore

'Cause sometimes living takes the life out of you
And sometimes living is all you can do

Life is hard, the world is cold
We're barely young and then we're old
But every falling tear is always understood
Yes, life is hard, but God is good

You start to cry
'Cause you've been strong for so long
And that's not how you feel
You try to pray
But there's nothing left to say
So you just quietly kneel

In the silence of all that you face
God will give you His mercy and grace

Jesus never said
It was an easy road to travel
He only said that you would never be alone
So when your last thread of hope
Begins to come unraveled
Don't give up, He walks beside you
On this journey home and He knows

Life is hard, the world is cold
We're barely young and then we're old
But every falling tear is always understood
Yes, life is hard, but God is good.

Listen to it here.    LISTEN

(Note - I have related comments on my personal blog for March 2 which can be found at http://barrysbasicblog.blogspot.com/