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, April 28, 2024


          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 2014 .

          While writing this I was waiting for a friend who had told us that he would visit with us this morning.  But it is now two hours past the time when he said he would stop by. I assume that he must have forgot.  It happens.  
          Recently a friend promised to take care of making arrangements and securing something that I really needed for a program I had agreed to lead.  Despite several reminders, he forgot to follow through until the last minute.  And then, when he finally remembered to fulfill his promise to me, it was too late and he wasn't able to do it.  That left me stuck at the last minute and forced me to change my plans.  Even our best friends can forget their promises to us. It happens.  
          The older I get the more I am learning to write everything down.  I need a calendar and I need "to do" lists, otherwise it is easy for me to forget.  Sometimes forgetting can be caused by serious physical problems.  I think dementia is a frightful thing and we have no control over it.  It is heartbreaking to see loved ones no longer recognize their mates because of devastating mental changes.  
          But forgetting isn't just limited to older people.   As a teacher for 39 years I often had students who forgot assignments or materials they needed for class.  A college friend of mine forgot and left his mother several times when they went to church gatherings.  It happens.        
          It can be bad and embarrassing when you forget something. And it can really hurt when somebody forgets you or forgets to do something they had promised to do for you.  But this week's hymn choice reminds us of One who never forgets us - the Lord Jesus Christ.  He has promised never to leave us or forsake us. And He never has.  He continues to guide us and strengthen us and provide the wisdom that we need.  And He has gone to prepare a special home for us and has promised to come back for us.  He hasn't forgotten us.  
          I don't know what event may have stirred Charles H. Gabriel (1856 - 1932) to pen these words in 1889, but he was right on. The chorus reminds us "I will not forget thee or leave thee; In My hands I'll hold thee, in My arms I'll fold thee; I will not forget thee or leave thee; I am thy Redeemer, I will care for thee."  What a tremendous reminder that we can depend upon our Redeemer who loves us and protects us and will never leave us or forget us. 
           Maybe you are lonely or discouraged right now.  Meditate upon these words and realize that you are not forgotten.  You may feel very insignificant, but you are loved and are valued by the Father.  Reflect upon this truth and be encouraged this week


(1) Sweet is the promise "I will not forget thee,"

Nothing can molest or turn my soul away;

E'en though the night be dark within the valley,

Just beyond is shining an eternal day.

I will not forget thee or leave thee;

In My hands I'll hold thee, in My arms I'll fold thee;

I will not forget thee or leave thee;

I am thy Redeemer, I will care for thee.


(2)     Trusting the promise "I will not forget thee,"

Onward I will go with songs of joy and love,

Though earth despise me, though my friends forsake me,

I shall be remembered in my home above.

I will not forget thee or leave thee;

In My hands I'll hold thee, in My arms I'll fold thee;

I will not forget thee or leave thee;

I am thy Redeemer, I will care for thee.


.(3)     When at the golden portals I am standing,

All my tribulations, all my sorrows past;

How sweet to hear the blessed proclamation,

"Enter, faithful servant, welcome home at last."

I will not forget thee or leave thee;

In My hands I'll hold thee, in My arms I'll fold thee;

I will not forget thee or leave thee;

I am thy Redeemer, I will care for thee.



Listen to it being sung here.     LISTEN

Sunday, April 21, 2024


           "Sweet Beulah Land" is a beautiful song with deep meaning for many.  However, I found it very difficult to write about it since there are at least two different songs written in different eras by different men with the same titles. As I searched the internet, I found several sites which confused the two.
          The older one was written in 1876 by Edgar P. Stites and the music was written by John R. Sweney. Stites claimed that at first he could only write two verses and the chorus.  Then he was overcome and fell on his face.  On the following Sunday he wrote the third and fourth verses and again was so influenced by emotion that he could only pray and weep. He claimed that he had never received a cent for his songs.  He could "not do the work for the Master and receive pay for it."
          After serving in the American civil war, Stites became a riverboat pilot on the Delaware River. He belonged to the first Methodist Church in Cape May, New Jersey, for 60 years.
           The newer song was written in 1973 by Squire Parsons and was recorded by Squires in 1979.  Parsons was born in Newton, West Virginia, in 1948. He surrendered his heart to Christ at age 9 and began his song writing ventures 11 years later. He studied music at a West Virginia college where he majored in voice and bassoon.  While still a student, he was employed as a bass soloist for Christ United Methodist Church, in Charleston, West Virginia. He later said that it was a wonderful experience because he was exposed to the Christian classics, which influenced some of his later writing.
          Looking back to Squire's preteen years, while a member of the small church in Newton, he remembers a particular song his dad led the congregation in singing, "Is Not This the Land of Beulah?". The whole congregation seemed swept up in the song. That picture remained in young Parson's mind.
          Squire shared the following: "One morning, years later, as I was driving to my high school teaching job, my mind drifted back to a service in our little church. As I drove along, I was humming the old song about 'Beulah Land,' which I had learned from the hymnal years earlier. As I topped one of the beautiful West Virginia mountains, I faced a brilliant sun in all of its glory. My thoughts continued to be about the singing in our little Newton church, but this time it was a different song - one that I had never heard or sung before." It was the chorus to what has become the increasingly popular song, "Sweet Beulah Land."
Squire added, "I traveled on to the school. It was early, and the students had not yet arrived. I found some paper and wrote the words and music to the chorus I had been given. I then wrote a single verse to go with the chorus". The song was not recorded for another six years, until 1979. By this time, he had joined the Kingsmen Quartet.  However, he re-discovered the song that had been tucked away while searching for songs for his first solo recording.  In just a few moments, the words to the second verse flowed from his heart to his pen. After he finished writing the second verse, he titled the composition Sweet Beulah.
          This song is interesting in that some phrases are used, which seem paradoxical in nature - such as being homesick for a country to which I have never been before. Faith is a key element in this highly descriptive song - faith that we hold as we look toward heaven, faith that will end in sight. The name "Beulah Land" is a term we have used for many years and one that evokes happiness and sweetness in our hearts.
          Now I've chosen to feature the song written by Parsons since I assume it might be the one that most of my readers remember.  I recall singing it often in Sunday evening services and in prayer meetings.  Oh, how the saints used to
 sing this with hope and enthusiasm.

1.    I'm kind of homesick for a country
To which I've never been before;
No sad good-byes will there be spoken,
For time won't matter anymore.

Beulah Land, I'm longing for you,
And some day on thee I'll stand;
Where my home shall be eternal--
Beulah land, sweet Beulah land.

2.  I'm looking now across the river
Where my faith will end in sight;
There's just a few more days to labor,
Then I will take my heav'nly flight.

3.  I see the lights, I hear the singing;
A brand new song of joy divine.
My soul rejoices just in knowing
That soon these pleasures will be mine.


You can listen to it here.  BEULAH



Sunday, April 14, 2024


            "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

              As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

          Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

              For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

          Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."  

Romans 8:35-39

          Tom Fettke and Doug Holck used these powerful scriptures to write this week's hymn concerning God's power to choose, redeem, and keep us from the power of Satan. Nothing can separate us from Him. Victory is ours through Him. No creature can take us or our victory away.

          Born in 1941, for many years Fettke taught vocal music in California's public school systems. He served as church choir director and minister of music in churches large and small for over thirty years. While at the Redwood Christian School System in Castro Valley, California, Mr. Fettke held the positions Director of Choral Activities and Supervisor of Music.  He was the senior editor of The Hymnal for Worship & Celebration and the senior editor of The Celebration Hymnal.

           Music dominated his life since he was five years old. His parents sacrificed mightily to provide him with training in the arts which included voice and piano lessons, drama lessons and even ballet lessons. His interest in the arts did not waver as he continued to mature. An interest in choral music came early in his development. 

          He began attending a small church as a result of the missionary outreach of his next-door neighbor. Because the church consisted of a small number of followers, he was privileged to participate in church musical activities at a much earlier age then is probably normal. The Youth for Christ movement, most noted for their Saturday Night Youth Rallies, was the most influential experience of his young life. These rallies were loaded with musical opportunities and were a catalyst for putting his music performing as well as writing gifts to work.

          He began church choir directing when he was 19.  At 31 years of age he had the opportunity to show his compositions to a publisher. All three of the ones he submitted were accepted. Since then, many of his works, like this one, have been used to encourage folks around the world. He has published over 800 compositions and arrangements (some under the pseudonyms Robert F. Douglas and David J. Allen) and produced a number of recordings.

          May this hymn encourage you this week to put your complete trust in the One who has chosen you and will protect you with the love of God, for eternity.


He chose me before the world was known.
He chose me to be His very own

He made me, then let me choose my way.  

I chose to move away.


He loved me when hope had taken wing

He loved me when I lost everything

He bought me redemption’s work was done 
thro’ Jesus Christ His Son


Who shall separate me from the love of God 
shall dreams of tomorrow

Pain or sorrow 
can the need of food

or earthly possessions, 
the threat of war or man’s oppression?

In all these things

Vict’ry is our reward,

Vict’ry is our reward through Jesus Christ our Lord


Of this I am sure 
that neither death, nor life.
 nor angels nor principalities

Nor powers, nor things present 
nor things to come

Not height, nor depth,

Nor any creature 
shall separate me from the love of God
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Listen here    CHOSEN


Sunday, April 7, 2024


Once a month I take time to share one of my favorite hymns.  This month I have chosen He Giveth More Grace which has been a personal favorite of mine for many years.


            It seems that sometimes problems come in waves and they seem to overwhelm us. And recently it seems like there have been many waves of problems for many of our friends. Some have been family related, some health related, some job related and some others just unusual situations. But in this life, problems are to be expected. Yet sometimes out of problems come times of great encouragement.

           Annie Johnson Flint (1866 - 1932) lost both of her parents before she was six years old. She was adopted by a childless couple and then as a teen became afflicted with arthritis. Later she became unable to walk. She had wanted to be a composer and concert pianist, but her illness deprived her of the ability to play the piano. So, she began to write poetry. Later in life, being unable to open her hands, she wrote many of her poems on the typewriter, using her knuckles. 

          And out of these trials and problems came this great hymn which has helped so many folks over the years. It might have been based on 2 Corinthians 12:9, "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me". 

          I imagine that the words also were Flint's testimony of God's provision of peace as she faced so many difficult challenges throughout her life. Have you experienced the same?  Remember, "His love has no limits, His grace has no measure, His power no boundary known unto men. For out of His infinite riches in Jesus, He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again." Over the years this has become one of my favorites because I have found it so true.  I have found his grace sufficient, over and over.  This is my testimony.

          When our family used to minister in various churches this hymn was one of our favorite hymns to sing as a family. The first two verses are very familiar to me, but I must admit that I've never heard the third verse. 

          Maybe this reminder of God's grace and provision in hard times is something that you need today. Meditate and sing the following words as you trust the Lord for what He will provide for you.


(1)    He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater,

He sendeth more strength as our labors increase;

To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,

To multiplied trials He multiplies peace.

Chorus: His love has no limits,

His grace has no measure,

His power no boundary known unto men;

For out of His infinite riches in Jesus

He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.


(2)    When we have exhausted our store of endurance,

When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,

When we reach the end of our hoarded resources

Our Father's full giving is only begun.

Chorus: His love has no limits,

His grace has no measure,

His power no boundary known unto men;

For out of His infinite riches in Jesus

He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.


(3)    Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,

Our God ever yearns His resources to share;

Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;

The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.

Chorus: His love has no limits,

His grace has no measure,

His power no boundary known unto men;

For out of His infinite riches in Jesus

He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.


Listen to it here. 

Here is an interesting A Capella version