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, June 25, 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

          Often it is very hard to find any information about the writing of a song.  Some times it is hard to verify that a story is correct.  So, I pass on this interesting story even though I haven't been able to verify its truth.  
          In 1924, Peter W. Philpott was serving as pastor of the Moody Church in Chicago, Illinois. One night he was awakened by a call to come help a young woman staying at a hotel in the city. He arrived to find her in the company of two family members. The woman, Lela Long, was gravely ill, and in great distress. Philpott prayed for her physical needs, and had the privilege of leading her to faith in Christ. 
         Late the next day, he phoned the hotel to see how she was doing, only to learn the three had checked out. He wondered what had become of them, but had no way of getting in touch.  
          Five or six years later, Philpott was pastor of a large church in Los Angeles, California. At the close of one service, who should come up to him but the three people he had met in Chicago. They had seen his picture in a church advertisement and came to meet him. An emergency had required their rapid departure from Chicago, and they apologized for not getting in touch. 
          Lela Long thanked him for pointing her to the Savior, saying her life was wonderfully changed, and that she was now using her musical talent to serve the Lord. She handed Philpott a copy of Jesus Is the Sweetest Name I Know, written shortly after her conversion: "I have written this especially for you, in remembrance of the day that you introduced me to the most wonderful Person I have ever known."  Her song has been a favorite of many since that day.  
          For most folks their name is very special and they love to hear it.  But when we consider who Jesus is and what He has done for us, His name should be the one we love to hear.  But, tragically, to many today the only time that they hear it is when it is used as a swear word.  But to believers it is a name to be honored.  
          And I love the reminder of the last verse that some day we will see Him face to face and thank and praise Him for His wondrous grace.  What an exciting day that will be.  
          Yes, Jesus is the sweetest name I know!
(1)    There have been names that I have loved to hear,
But never has there been a name so dear
To this heart of mine, as the Name divine,
The precious, precious Name of Jesus.
Jesus is the sweetest name I know,
And He's just the same as His lovely Name,
And that's the reason why I love Him so;
Oh, Jesus is the sweetest name I know.
(2)   There is no name in earth or Heav'n above,
That we should give such honor and such love
As the blessèd Name, let us all acclaim,
That wondrous, glorious Name of Jesus.
Jesus is the sweetest name I know,
And He's just the same as His lovely Name,
And that's the reason why I love Him so;
Oh, Jesus is the sweetest name I know.
(3)   And some day I shall see Him face to face
To thank and praise Him for His wondrous grace,
Which He gave to me, when He made me free,
The blessèd Son of God called Jesus.
Jesus is the sweetest name I know,
And He's just the same as His lovely Name,
And that's the reason why I love Him so;
Oh, Jesus is the sweetest name I know.
You can listen to it being sung here.   SWEETEST

Sunday, June 18, 2023


            Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you (1 Peter 5:7)  A hymn that talks about how the Lord cares for us is "How Gentle God's Commands."  The text was written by Philip Doddridge (1702–1751) who was the youngest of twenty children.  His mother died when he was eight years old.  Then his father died when the boy was thirteen, and Philip became an orphan.  Only one of his siblings, a sister, survived to adulthood.  
          In 1730, he married a young lady named Mercy.  They had nine children, with four living to adulthood.  A friend and admirer of fellow minister and hymn writer Isaac Watts, Philip himself wrote 400 hymns, mostly to accompany his sermons.  This one was published posthumously under the title "God's care - a remedy for ours" .
belonged to the Non-conformist Church (not associated with the Church of England). Its members were frequently the focus of discrimination. Offered an education by a rich patron to prepare him for ordination in the Church of England, Doddridge chose instead to remain in the Non-conformist Church. For twenty years he pastored a poor parish in Northampton, where he opened an academy for training non-conformist ministers and taught most of the subjects himself.
          Doddridge also served as a Presbyterian minister at a time and place of religious contention. Yet, having seen enough of intolerance and bigotry, he sought tirelessly for healing and unity. One biographer said of him, "Doddridge carried out his own ideal with great fidelity and with conspicuous success. He did more than any man in the 18th century to obliterate old party lines and to unite nonconformists on a common religious ground."
          In this hymn Doddridge 
tells us to cast our cares on the Lord because of His gentleness. In stanza 2 he mentions God's providence and in stanza 3 he mentions God's throne.  Stanza 4 shares God's goodness. The entire hymn stands as a tribute to this gentle man and his gentle beliefs
Doddridge suffered from tuberculosis, and when Lady Huntington, one of his patrons, offered to finance a trip to Lisbon for his health. But it was too late and he died shortly after the offer.
1     How gentle God's commands!
How kind His precepts are!
Come, cast your burdens on the Lord,
And trust His constant care.
2    While Providence supports,
Let saints securely dwell;
That hand which bears all nature up
Shall guard His children well.
3    Why should this anxious load
Press down your weary mind?
Haste to your heavenly Father's throne,
And sweet refreshment find.
4.    His goodness stands approved,
Down to the present day:
I'll drop my burden at His feet,
And bear a song away.

You can listen to it here.  CARE

Sunday, June 11, 2023


             Many of us grew up in an era when it was common to include an invitation hymn at the conclusion of the service.  This was especially true at revival services and camp meetings.  Those in the congregation were then invited to either make a profession of faith or a recommitment of one's life.       
          This week's hymn choice is a classic invitation hymn that was very common in services during that era. Now some of you may disagree with the doctrine behind such hymns but I will let that choice up to you.  I have decided to include it in my blog because, right or wrong, it was a major part of Christian music for centuries.  Over the years many Christians were influenced by the Holy Spirit through this hymn.
          Will Lamartine Thompson (1847-1909) was born in Pennsylvania and died in New York City. He attended Mount Union College in Alliance, Ohio, and the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, before continuing his musical studies in Leipzig, Germany.  In addition to being a composer of secular, patriotic and gospel songs, Thompson was a music publisher. When his songs were rejected by publishers of his day, he formed his own enterprise, Will L. Thompson & Company, with offices in Chicago and East Liverpool, Ohio. By the 1880s the company expanded beyond publishing music and sold pianos, organs and other instruments and supplies.
           The words and music for "Softly and Tenderly Jesus Is Calling" first appeared in Sparkling Gems, Nos. 1 and 2, a collection compiled for Thompson's company in 1880 by singing-school teacher J. Calvin Bushey.  Perhaps Revelation 3:20 captures the spirit of the hymn: "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." (KJV) This patient Jesus stands "on the portals   . . .  waiting and watching  . . .  for you and for me."
          The second stanza takes a different approach: How can we reject the "pleading" one who offers "pardon"? The third stanza increases in urgency: "Time is now fleeting, the moments are passing . . . shadows are gathering, deathbeds are coming . . . ." The refrain extends the invitation to "come home" four times in the melody.
          Hymnologist Ernest Emurian told a story associated with this hymn: "When the world-renowned lay preacher, Dwight Lyman Moody, lay on his deathbed in his Northfield, Massachusetts, home, Will Thompson made a special visit to inquire as to his condition. The attending physician refused to admit him to the sickroom.  But, Moody heard them talking just outside the bedroom door. Recognizing Thompson's voice, he called for him to come to his bedside. Taking the Ohio poet-composer by the hand, the dying evangelist said, "Will, I would rather have written "Softly and Tenderly Jesus Is Calling" than anything I have been able to do in my whole life."
          Have you heard the call of the Savior?  Have you responded to it?  If not, don't delay any longer.  Accept His free gift of salvation today.
1.    Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling,
Calling for you and for me;
See, on the portals He's waiting and watching,
Watching for you and for me.
Come home, come home,
You who are weary, come home;
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
Calling, O sinner, come home!
2.   Why should we tarry when Jesus is pleading,
Pleading for you and for me?
Why should we linger and heed not His mercies,
Mercies for you and for me?
3.   Time is now fleeting, the moments are passing,
Passing from you and from me;
Shadows are gathering, deathbeds are coming,
Coming for you and for me.
4.   Oh, for the wonderful love He has promised,
Promised for you and for me!
Though we have sinned, He has mercy and pardon,
Pardon for you and for me.
Listen to it here.  SOFTLY

Sunday, June 4, 2023


          Most of the hymns that have been featured over the years in this blog are more than a century old.  However, one of my personal favorites is this week's choice, a little known work that was written in 1959 by Esther Duvall Eden.  Eden was the sister of Ruth Crawford Porter, the wife of the late evangelist Percy Crawford, who, among many other things, founded Pinebrook in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. Pinebrook is a special place where thousands have come to know the Lord and commit their lives to Him over the decades. 
          The music for this song was actually written by Blanche Osborn who added the music to many of Eden's writings.  Because the hymn is not well known, it has been impossible to find anything out about the actual events behind its writing.  But since I have a special place in my heart for Pinebrook, having volunteered there for over 40 years, I'd like to imagine that maybe Eden was inspired by viewing the majestic skies from this place in the mountains.  
          In those days there would not have been many lights to detract from the clear nights when one could clearly see the stars and distant space.  What a spectacular view to gaze upon the vastness of the universe and to reflect upon the greatness of the Creator.  
          What a thrill to realize that the One who called all of this into being actually cared enough about us to send His Son to this earth to die for us.  And that is really so hard to comprehend.  But this realization should make our hearts cry out in wonder, "O mighty God, how wonderful art Thou."  
          I pray that as you reflect upon these words this week that your heart will respond in gratitude and worship to the One who did all of this for You.
(1)     I walk at night beneath majestic skies
And know behind them is a God all-wise,
Who fixed all stars, each in its lonely place,
And wrapped them in a darkened robe of space.
O mighty God, how wonderful art Thou
To love the world while heav'ns before Thee bow.
I fail to comprehend it all some how.
O mighty God, how wonderful art Thou.
(2)     I see the moon, the stars in distant space,
And think of how the God of matchless grace
Is coming in the clouds to claim His own -
Such wonders that on earth cannot be known.
O mighty God, how wonderful art Thou
To love the world while heav'ns before Thee bow.
I fail to comprehend it all some how.
O mighty God, how wonderful art Thou.
(3)     I scan the heav'ns with rapture in my soul
And wonder how the God Who made the whole
Could ever fix His thoughts on such as I
And give His Son upon the cross to die.
O mighty God, how wonderful art Thou
To love the world while heav'ns before Thee bow.
I fail to comprehend it all some how.
O mighty God, how wonderful art Thou.
Here is the only video of this song that I could find.  Take time to listen to it and worship with a heart full of praise and thanksgiving.   LISTEN