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, May 28, 2023


 TIMELESS HYMNS - A regular feature in which I choose a previous hymn blog, revise it and post it again.  This one was first posted in 2013. 

         Many folks make resolutions in an attempt to improve their lives.  They vow to lose weight, to exercise more, to follow a budget, to get out of debt, to spend more time with loved ones, and a variety of worthwhile goals.  
          Unfortunately, many of these resolutions are soon broken or forgotten as the weeks pass by.  But for those who do have the discipline to follow through, their lives can be enriched and improved.  And with those positive results in mind, let me suggest that this week's hymn choice might be an appropriate prayer or goal for your spiritual life.   
          St. Patrick (385-461 AD), a missionary, was a man zealous for the things of God.  He chose to defy an Irish King's edict that restricted the lighting of candles on Easter Eve. King Logaire of Tara had decreed that no one was allowed light any fires until a pagan spring festival was started by the lighting of a fire on Slane Hill. 
          But Patrick decided to honor God in spite of the threat of death. It is said that King Logaire was so impressed with Patrick's brave devotion that he let him continue his missionary work unhindered.   
          An 8th Century Monk, Dallan Forgaill penned the words to Be Thou My Vision, as a tribute to St. Patrick's loyalty to God. The hymn was translated from Irish to English in 1905 by Mary E. Byrne. In 1912, Eleanor H. Hull arranged the song into the verse most commonly found in English hymnals today. The music to accompany the lyrics is an ancient Irish folk tune called Slane.  
          Meditate carefully on the words this week and make them your prayer today and throughout the coming year.  May God be your vision, your wisdom, your battle shield, your delight, your shelter, your treasure, and your inheritance.  May He be first in your heart.
          "Heart of my own heart, whatever befall, still be my vision, O ruler of all!"  What a desire and goal
(1)   Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.
(2)   Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.
(3)   Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul's Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.
(4)   Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.
(5)   High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven's joys, O bright Heaven's Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.
Listen to it being sung here.   LISTEN

Sunday, May 21, 2023


          As a small girl, Cecil Frances Humphries (1918-1895) wrote poetry in her school's journal.  She was recognized for her writing skills.  In 1850 she married Rev. William Alexander, who later became the Anglican primate (chief bishop) of Ireland.
          From a young age she cultivated a desire to love and serve others in the Lord's name.  She especially loved children and spent much of her life ministering to their needs.  In 1846 she helped establish a school for deaf and dumb children.  Long after she was gone, those who knew her remembered her walking to the farthest regions carrying food and love and then returning home, often in inclement weather.
          Encouraged by her father and later by her husband, she composed more than 400 hymns during her lifetime. She wrote hymns based on the Apostles' Creed, baptism, the Lord's Supper, the Ten Commandments, and prayer, writing in simple language for children.  
Even though this hymn was written with children in mind, her clear presentation of the redemptive work of Christ has allowed the hymn to prosper and continue to find favor even among adults. 
          In the first stanza, the green hill is Golgotha (Calvary), far away in both time and geography. According to lore, the author would often pass by a green hill between her home and Derry, and she associated it with what Calvary might look like. The second line, "Without a city wall," most likely was intended to mean "Outside a city wall," and some hymnals make that change. The last line, "Who died to save us all," is borne out of Scriptures such as 1 John 2:2 ("he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world," KJV) and Isaiah 53:6 ("the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all"). Similarly, the second stanza speaks of a substitutionary atonement, as in Galatians 3:13 ("being made a curse for us"), Isaiah 53:5 ("he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities"), or 2 Corinthians 5:21 ("For our sake, he made him to be sin who knew no sin," ESV).
          The third stanza speaks of a forgiving act, as in Hebrews 9:22 ("without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins," ESV) or Ephesians 1:6–7 ("To the praise of the glory of his grace, . . . In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins," KJV; also Colossians 1:14). This act also makes us better, bringing about change (2 Cor. 5:17, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature," etc.).   The image of the doorway to heaven continues into stanza four, where it says only Christ was "good enough / To pay the price for sin." Hebrews 4:15 speaks of one "who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin." Likewise, 1 Peter 2:22 says, "He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth," and 1 John 3:5 says, "You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin" (ESV).
          The last stanza is one of application, calling upon worshipers to "love Him too / And trust in His redeeming blood / And try His works to do." The first of these is summarized well in the way the greatest commandment in the Bible is the instruction to "love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might" (Deut. 6:5; also Matt. 22:37, Mk. 12:30, Lk. 10:27). The Bible also explains, the one who loves God keeps his commandments (Deut. 7:9, Jn. 14:15,21–24, 1 John 5:3). Finally, 1 Peter 1 tells us to "call on him . . . knowing that you were ransomed . . . with the precious blood of Christ" (1:17–19). 
          Some believe that this is the most perfect hymn in the English language. 
          She died in 1895 and is buried in Derry Cemetery … on the very "green hill far away."
1   There is a green hill far away,
without a city wall,
where the dear Lord was crucified,
who died to save us all.
2   We may not know, we cannot tell,
what pains he had to bear;
but we believe it was for us
he hung and suffered there.

3   He died that we might be forgiv'n,
he died to make us good,
that we might go at last to heav'n,
saved by his precious blood.

4   There was no other good enough
to pay the price of sin;
he only could unlock the gate
of heav'n, and let us in.

                                     5   O dearly, dearly has he loved,
                                   and we must love him too,
                                        and trust in his redeeming blood,
                                 and try his works to do.

Listen to it here.  GREEN

Sunday, May 14, 2023


          "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Blessed art thou, O LORD: Teach me Thy statutes. With my lips have I declared All the judgments of Thy mouth. I have rejoiced in the way of Thy testimonies, As much as in all riches." Psalm 119:11-16 KJV.
          Music written about scripture is important because it helps us learn and remember vital truths shared in God's Word.  This week's choice is no exception because it reminds us of the importance of hiding God's Word in our hearts for our spiritual growth.
          The song was written in 1908 by Ernest O. Sellers (1869-1952).  Following his graduation from high school in Lansing, Michigan, he became an apprentice to a surveyor and civil engineer.  Five years later he was appointed city engineer and superintendent of public works.  Then he was 
converted at the Lansing YMCA and he enrolled as a student with the Moody Bible Institute at Chicago, IL in 1895.  From 1901 to 1905, he served as a YMCA secretary at Macon, GA, then Washington, DC, and finally Wilmington, DE. For the next two years, he was an assistant minister with the Euclid Ave. Baptist Church in Cleveland, OH, but in 1908 and for the next ten years he returned to Moody as an assistant director of the Music Department. It was during this time that Sellers paraphrased portions of Psalm 119 for this hymn..
          He also produced many articles, poems, and other hymns. In 1921, he provided a tune for words by Anna B. Russell entitled "A Song in the Heart" beginning, "There is never a day so dreary" to create the hymn "Wonderful, Wonderful Jesus,".  This is  perhaps his best known work. 
          Stanza 1 of this week's hymn is based on verse 105, stanza two on verses 89 and 90, stanza three on verses 164, 62, and 57, with the chorus on verse 11.  Stanza 1 says that the Word guides and saves us.  Stanza 2 says that it tells us about God's faithfulness.  Stanza 3 shares that it reveals that the Lord is our portion and stanza 4 foretells the coming of the Savior.  The chorus emphasizes the necessity of having this word in our hearts to help us not to sin against the Lord.
          Let this simple song remind us daily of our need to commit God's Word to our hearts.  May this be a daily goal for each of us
1      Thy Word is a lamp to my feet,
A light to my path alway,
To guide and to save me from sin,
And show me the heav'nly way.
Thy Word have I hid in my heart,
That I might not sin against Thee;
That I might not sin, that I might not sin,
Thy Word have I hid in my heart.
2      Forever, O Lord, is Thy Word
Established and fixed on high;
Thy faithfulness unto all men
Abideth for ever nigh. (Refrain)

3      At morning, at noon, and at night
I ever will give Thee praise;
For Thou art my portion, O Lord,
And shall be thro' all my days! (Refrain)

4      Thro' Him whom Thy Word hath foretold,
The Savior and Morning Star,
Salvation and peace have been bro't
To those who have strayed afar. (Refrain)
Listen to it here.   THY WORD


Sunday, May 7, 2023


For over 16 years I have written weekly hymn blogs, nearly 800 of them.  But while I have shared information about them, I have never shared which were my personal favorites.  So I began, in 2023, a new feature in which, once a month, I share one of my favorites and why it has had an impact on my life.

          The older I become, the more I feel the need to walk moment by moment in the presence of the Lord. As the burdens grow greater and our strength decreases, it is vital to recognize that He is with us always and everywhere, each moment of the day. There is no event in our lives that He is not aware of and in control of. 
          Think of some of the important moments you have experienced:
1.      The moment you knew you needed a Savior;
2.      The moment you first experienced the grace of God;
3.       The moment you found the strength to keep going;
4.       The moment you gained the courage to stand up for Christ;
5.       The moment you discovered the answer in God's Word.
This hymn is so true and probably one that we need to sing daily as a reminder of His presence, love and concern, each moment of our lives.  
          Ira Sankey shared an interesting story about this hymn. "While I was attending the World's Fair in Chicago, Henry Varley, a lay preacher from London, said to Major Daniel W. Whittle: "I do not like the hymn 'I Need Thee Every Hour' very well, because I need Him every moment of the day. Soon after Major Whittle wrote this sweet hymn …n[He] brought the hymn to me in manuscript a little later, saying that he would give me the copyright of both the words and music if I would print for him five hundred copies on fine paper, for distributing among his friends. His daughter, May Whittle, who later became the wife of Will R. Moody, composed the music. I did as Mr. Whittle wished; and I sent the hymn to England, where it was copyrighted on the same day as at Washington. In England the hymn became very popular. 
          Falling into the hands of the well-known Rev. Andrew Murray, of South Africa, then visiting London, he adopted it as his favorite hymn. A year later Mr. Murray visited Northfield, Massachusetts], and while holding a meeting for men in the church he remarked, "If Sankey only knew a hymn which I found in London, and would sing it, he would find that it embraces my entire creed." I was very anxious to know what hymn it was, and when he had recited it I said to him: "Doctor, that hymn was written within five hundred yards of where we are standing." For years Dr. Murray had his wife sing this hymn in nearly all his meetings. It also became a great favorite in South Africa during the war."
          While the hymn speaks of moments that have been important to us, we must also remember that this is a moment that matters to others.  It is a moment when thousands are dying without the Lord.  A moment when God's love, peace and strength desperately need to be felt by multitudes.  A moment when the still small voice of the Jesus is speaking to someone's heart.  A moment when we today share His love with others so that the truth of this hymn can become their testimony.
          But there is another moment when, in a moment our chance to reach the lost for Jesus will end.  "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.  For the trumpet will sound and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."  I Corinthians 15:52.  Hopefully that moment will come soon.
          Today may we be reminded that in this moment you are His and are held in His love.
1.      Dying with Jesus, by death reckoned mine;
Living with Jesus, a new life divine;
Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine,
Moment by moment, O Lord, I am Thine.
Moment by moment I'm kept in His love;
Moment by moment I've life from above;
Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine;
Moment by moment, O Lord, I am Thine.
2.      Never a trial that He is not there,
Never a burden that He doth not bear,
Never a sorrow that He doth not share,
Moment by moment, I'm under His care.
Moment by moment I'm kept in His love;
Moment by moment I've life from above;
Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine;
Moment by moment, O Lord, I am Thine.
3.      Never a heartache, and never a groan,
Never a teardrop and never a moan;
Never a danger but there on the throne,
Moment by moment He thinks of His own.
Moment by moment I'm kept in His love;
Moment by moment I've life from above;
Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine;
Moment by moment, O Lord, I am Thine.
4.      Never a weakness that He doth not feel,
Never a sickness that He cannot heal;
Moment by moment, in woe or in weal,
Jesus my Savior, abides with me still.
Moment by moment I'm kept in His love;
Moment by moment I've life from above;
Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine;
Moment by moment, O Lord, I am Thine.
Listen to the words here.  LISTEN