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, August 27, 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 

        So many of the great hymns were written by folks who lived with serious physical challenges.  Lydia Baxter (1809 - 1874) was a bedridden invalid for much of her life, but that didn't keep her from leading a life full of service and encouragement.  
          It is said that she and her sister were once responsible for establishing a Baptist Church in Petersburg, New York.  After her marriage, she and her husband moved to New York City where her home became known as a gathering place for preachers, evangelists, and Christian workers who would come to her for inspiration and advice.  
          It is said that a visit to her sickroom was not so much to comfort her as to receive encouragement for their own lives and spirits.  Whenever she was questioned about her cheery disposition, despite her physical limitations, she would reply, "I have a very special armor.  I have the name of Jesus. When the tempter tries to make be blue or despondent, I mention the name of Jesus, and he can't get through to me anymore."  
          This week's hymn is said to have been written by her on her sickbed, four years before her death in 1874. William H. Doane composed the music for this text shortly after Mrs. Baxter wrote it, and the hymn was first published in the hymnal, Pure Gold, edited by Doane and Robert Lowry, in 1871. This hymn was widely used during the Moody-Sankey evangelistic campaigns, in the latter quarter of the nineteenth century.  
          Although she wrote a number of other gospel hymns, this is the only one that remains in common use today. It has often been used in church services as a closing hymn since it provides an important reminder to go forth each day, taking His name with us, while sharing with others what He has done in our lives. In one sense the hymn is really the personal testimony of Lydia Baxter's experiences with the name of Jesus throughout her life.   
          His name is indeed precious and sweet and the only real hope of earth and joy of heaven.  May we fall prostate before the King of Kings and claim victory through His precious name!
(1)    Take the name of Jesus with you,
Child of sorrow and of woe;
It will joy and comfort give you,
Take it then where'er you go.
Precious name! Oh, how sweet!
Hope of earth and joy of heav'n;
Precious name! Oh, how sweet!
Hope of earth and joy of heaven.
(2)   Take the name of Jesus ever,
As a shield from every snare.
If temptations round you gather,
Breathe that holy name in prayer.
Precious name! Oh, how sweet!
Hope of earth and joy of heav'n;
Precious name! Oh, how sweet!
Hope of earth and joy of heaven.
(3)   Oh, the precious name of Jesus,
How it thrills our souls with joy;
When His loving arms receive us,
And His songs our tongues employ.
Precious name! Oh, how sweet!
Hope of earth and joy of heav'n;
Precious name! Oh, how sweet!
Hope of earth and joy of heaven.
(4)    At the name of Jesus bowing,
Falling prostrate at His feet,
King of kings in heaven we'll crown Him,
When our journey is complete.
Precious name! Oh, how sweet!
Hope of earth and joy of heav'n;
Precious name! Oh, how sweet!
Hope of earth and joy of heaven.
Listen to it here.   LISTEN

Sunday, August 20, 2023


          I've decided to start this blog with a trivia question.  Question – What do "Listen to the Mockingbird", Where, Oh, Where Has My Little Dog Gone?", "Ten Little Indians", and "Whispering Hope" have in common?
– They were all written by Alice Hawthorne, one of the pseudonyms used by the 19th century songwriter Septimus Winner (1827 – 1902).
          Winner, a self-taught musician, did study violin briefly around 1853 with Leopold Meignen, a former bandmaster in Napoleon's army and a composer and conductor. Winner could play a variety of instruments, including the guitar and banjo, and became proficient in the violin by the age of 20. After graduating Philadelphia's Central High School, he opened a music shop and gave lessons on a number of instruments and performed locally with the Cecillian Music Society and the Philadelphia Brass Band.  
            From 1845 to 1854, Winner and his brother, Joseph, formed a music publishing business, Winner & Shuster, which Winner continued with various partners and names until 1902. During this time, he wrote or edited 200 volumes of music for more than 20 instruments and produced more than 2,000 arrangements for violin and piano plus more than 1,500 easy arrangements for a number of instruments. His book on banjo instruction is still used today.
          During the American Civil War, Winner composed a song entitled "Give Us Back Our Old Commander: Little Mac, The "Peoples Pride".  He aimed it as an appeal to President Abraham Lincoln to return Union General George McClellan to service. Unfortunately, it was deemed anti-Union and Winner was jailed on a charge of treason.  He was freed after he agreed to destroy all remaining copies of the song.
          "Whispering Hope," published in 1868 and also written under the name Alice Hawthorne, was not meant to be a religious song, according to friends of Winner. But it proved to be his most successful song, a fact that amazed, and even amused, Winner. The hymn gained instant success in churches and has been published in hymnbooks continuously since that time.
          Based on Hebrews 6:19, "This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the presence behind the veil," The text of the song refers to the anchor that keeps the soul unwavering - the "Whispering Hope" for all Christians.
         1 Peter 1:3 ~ "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."
          Jeremiah 29:11  "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.by
          The hope of which Winner wrote is a secure hope not like "I hope it will rain today".  This hope is secure and guaranteed and provided by Jesus whose promises will never fail.  The hymn says that hope is a source of comfort, a source of light in darkness and a source of steadfastness in our lives.
            This grand old song contains several tender expressions which allude to the quiet comfort and strength that we can find in God's "Whispering Hope.".  Let's rejoice in that hope this week.
1    Soft as the voice of an angel,
Breathing a lesson unheard,
Hope with a gentle persuasion
Whispers her comforting word:
Wait till the darkness is over,
Wait till the tempest is done,
Hope for the sunshine tomorrow,
After the shower is gone.
Whispering hope, 
oh, how welcome thy voice,
Making my heart in its sorrow rejoice.
2    If, in the dusk of the twilight,
Dim be the region afar,
Will not the deepening darkness
Brighten the glimmering star?
Then when the night is upon us,
Why should the heart sink away?
When the dark midnight is over,
Watch for the breaking of day. [Refrain]
3    Hope, as an anchor so steadfast,
Rends the dark veil for the soul,
Whither the Master has entered,
Robbing the grave of its goal;
Come then, oh, come, glad fruition,
Come to my sad weary heart;
Come, O Thou blest hope of glory,
Never, oh, never depart. [Refrain]
Listen to it here.   HOPE

Sunday, August 13, 2023


          Throughout my life I have had the honor of ministering as a baritone in numerous quartets.  We sang in churches, Bible conferences and on the radio. This particular song has always been one of my favorites.
          When sharing this hymn, I am reminded of one of my most embarrassing situations.  One Sunday morning our male quartet was singing this song.  We were doing fine until we came to the phrase "And then a cloud of doubt".  Somehow each of us stumbled over these words and we broke out laughing. Unfortunately, we were not able to finish the song.  We didn't really minister, but the congregation enjoyed our failure.
          This song was written by Cleavant Derricks (1910-1977), a pastor, a choir director, 
poet, musician, and composer.  At age 21, he directed a gospel choir of more than 100 voices in Washington, D.C. at the Vermont Avenue Baptist Church. It is said that he had written more than 300 songs and several song books. Among his more famous songs are the much-recorded and performed "When God Dipped His Love In My Heart," "We'll Soon Be Done With Troubles and Trials," and "When He Blessed My Soul." He was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1984.
As a young songwriter, Derricks developed a relationship with the Stamps-Baxter office in Chattanooga, run by co-owner J.R. Baxter Jr. (1887–1960). Stamps-Baxter published this gospel song in Harbor Bells No. 6 (Dallas: Stamps-Baxter, 1937). The original version had three stanzas and a refrain that I have posted in this blog.  He sold the song to Stamps-Baxter in exchange for fifty songbooks, which he then sold to others for ten cents each.
           Now despite this being one of my favorite songs, I have hesitated sharing it because I have a problem with the phrase "feel a little prayer wheel turning".  It almost makes one think that there is a Buddhist influence.  Unfortunately, it is unknown what Derricks intended by including this phrase. Those who've studied these words
 recognize their place in broader Christian practice. In the end, this song is intentionally Christian and not at all connected with Buddhism. Keep the line if you sing this song, or if you prefer, edit it as many have done.
              Don't let this controversy detract from the truth and purpose of this hymn.  We Christians have a Father who is always available and ready to listen to our concerns. He's never too busy or on vacation.  No need is too large or even too small for Him.  Are you 
Troubled?  Concerned?  Frustrated?  Worried?  Take your need to the Lord and have a little talk with Hin.  He will hear and answer and grant you peace.

Verse 1 
I once was lost in sin
But Jesus took me in
And then a little light
From heaven filled my soul
It bathed my heart in love
And wrote my name above
And just a little talk with Jesus
Made me whole
Now let us have a little talk with Jesus
Let us tell Him all about our troubles
He will hear our faintest cry
And He will answer by and by
Now when you feel a little prayer wheel turning
And you know a little fire is burning
You will find a little talk with Jesus
Makes it right (it makes it right)
Verse 2 
Sometimes my path seems drear
Without a ray of cheer
And then a cloud of doubt
May hide the light of day
The mists of sin may rise
And hide the starry skies
But just a little talk with Jesus
Clears the way
Verse 3 
I may have doubts and fears
My eyes be filled with tears
But Jesus is a friend
Who watches day and night
I go to Him in pray'r
He knows my ev'ry care
And just a little talk with Jesus
Makes it right

Listen to it here.  TALK

Sunday, August 6, 2023


This is a feature where once each month 

I share one of my personal favorite hymns.


          The older I grow the more I love to appreciate the hymns that talk about heaven and the hymns that talk about God's continued care for His children as they age.  He has promised never to leave us and He never has.  And each year He grows sweeter to those who trust Him.

          Recently a local radio station was playing programs from the past and they played an old recording of "The Old Fashioned Revival Hour". After Rudy Atwood's traditional piano opening, the choir sang this week's hymn. I hadn't heard it in years but I sang along and thought how true the words really were not only years ago, but even more so, today. 

          No matter how long you have served the Lord, I hope that this is also your testimony. If you have found this true you can understand why it is one of my favorites.  Unfortunately, it seems to have gotten lost with all the new music which have become favorites today. That is sad.  We need music with this message today.

          I understand that the lyrics and music were written by Leila N. Morris (1862-1929). She became blind in her early fifties, but that didn't keep her from writing. I am told that she had a 28-foot long blackboard with large music staff lines. Using this special board she was able to see enough to help her write hymns. In all she wrote more than 1,000 hymn texts as well as many of the tunes. Her handicap didn't keep her from doing this and being productive for God. 

          This hymn was first copyrighted in 1912 and the stanzas were originally for soprano and alto duet. But arrangements for full four part harmony were made by the Lillenas Publishing Company. Even with her blindness, Mrs. Morris found that her Lord did become sweeter to her as the years went by. 

          Richer, fuller, deeper, Jesus' love is sweeter, sweeter as the years go by. May this also be your experience.  May it always be true, no matter how many years go by.


1. Of Jesus' love that sought me, 

when I was lost in sin;

Of wondrous grace that brought me 

back to His fold again;

Of heights and depths of mercy, 

far deeper than the sea,

And higher than the heavens, 

my theme shall ever be.

Sweeter as the years go by, 

sweeter as the years go by,

Richer, fuller, deeper, 

Jesus' love is sweeter,

Sweeter as the years go by.


2. He trod in old Judea l

ife's pathway long ago;

The people thronged about Him, 

His saving grace to know;

He healed the broken hearted, 

and caused the blind to see;

And still His great heart

yearneth in love for even me.

Sweeter as the years go by, 

sweeter as the years go by,

Richer, fuller, deeper, 

Jesus' love is sweeter,

Sweeter as the years go by.


3. 'Twas wondrous love which l

ed Him for us to suffer loss,

To bear without a murmur 

the anguish of the cross;

With saints redeemed in glory, 

let us our voices raise,

Till Heaven and earth reecho 

with our Redeemer's praise.

Sweeter as the years go by, 

sweeter as the years go by,

Richer, fuller, deeper, 

Jesus' love is sweeter,

Sweeter as the years go by.


I often have difficulty finding videos of many of these old hymns. I finally found a video for this hymn, but it is just an instrumental rendition accompanied by the words. So sing along as you recall this hymn.  LISTEN