Tag Archives: hymns

A Stewardship Hymn –Take My Life

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One day in 1873 hymnist Frances Havergal received a little book entitled “All For Jesus.”  It stressed the importance of making Christ the king of every corner of one’s life.  Soon afterward, she found herself visiting with a group of ten people, some of them unconverted, others not yet fully devoted to Christ.  She prayed, and went to work witnessing, and before she left all ten were yielded Christians.  On the last night of her visit, she wrote this great hymn about allowing God to own and control one’s entire life.  In the years that followed, Frances often used it in her own devotions.

 

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The Story of We Give Thee But Thine Own

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The author of “We give Thee but Thine Own” was William Walsham How (1823-1897), an Anglican bishop.  He was known as “the poor man’s bishop” because of his concern for the poor—and “the omnibus bishop” because he used public transportation rather than a private carriage for travels around town.

Bishop How wrote a number of hymns that reflect his concern for expressing the Gospel in terms that the average person could understand.  This hymn is a good example.  It speak of stewardship, not as a church budget concern, but as acknowledgement of the blessings that we have received from God.

We sing this hymn every week in our worship service as the collection is taken.

We give Thee but Thine own,
Whate’er the gift may be;
All that we have is Thine alone,
A trust, O Lord, from Thee.

May we Thy bounties thus
As stewards true receive,
And gladly, as Thou blessest us,
To Thee our firstfruits give.

Listening to Music

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Yes, I spend some of my time listening to music.  While I drive to work and back I listen to the local Christian station.  I pick up new songs and sometimes the songs I listen to just uplift me.  I sing along if I’ve learned the words and just have a good ole time.

I have a new favorite:  I Got Saved by Selah.  Selah always has good music and I have several of their CD’s.  They have a Traditional Hymns CD that is wonderful.  Their arrangement of “There is Power in the Blood” is fantastic.  Anyway, I digress.

This song takes me back to my childhood when my Aunt Viola took us to a gospel sing at a local arena or theater.  All this song is missing is the really low bass.  Otherwise, it’s a wonderful song.  I love the line “I’ve Got Jesus, How could I want more?”

 

Precious Memories

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 Precious Memories was written by John Wright as he reflected on the loss of his parents and son. The song explains why the memory of the righteous is blessed.  Published in 1920 it quickly became an immediate hit with average people everywhere. Unfortunately the publishing company did not honor their original contract and John received only $36 for his song–the first and only payment.  He ended his life as a janitor of a local business.  How has God blessed you with precious memories?

Thy Strong Word

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This post is for my husband, it is one of his favorite hymns.

It was written by Martin Franzmann while he was chairman of the department of exegetical theology at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. Franzmann was a respected scholar, teacher, and theologian, and his gifts shine in this hymn. The text is based on the motto of the seminary, “Anothen to Phos”, which means “light from above”. The hymn takes the idea of light, beginning with creation, and takes it all the way to its fulfillment as we worship the Triune God with all the company of heaven in the splendor of God’s glory.

 

 

Thy strong word
did cleave the darkness;
at thy speaking it was done;
for created light we thank thee,
while thine ordered seasons run:
Alleluia, alleluia!
Praise to thee who light dost send!
Alleluia, alleluia!
Alleluia without end! 

Lo, on those who dwelt
in darkness,
dark as night and deep as death,
broke the light of thy salvation,
breathed thine own
live-giving breath:
Alleluia, alleluia!
Praise to thee who light dost send!
Alleluia, alleluia!
Alleluia without end!

Thy strong word
bespeaks us righteous;
bright with thine own holiness,
glorious now,
we press toward glory,
and our lives our hopes confess:
Alleluia, alleluia!
Praise to thee who light dost send!
Alleluia, alleluia!
Alleluia without end!

God the Father, Light-Creator,
to thee laud and honor be;
to thee, Light of Light begotten,
praise be sung eternally;
Holy Spirit, Light-Revealer,
glory, glory be to thee;
mortals, angels, now and ever
praise the Holy Trinity

Story Behind the Song: What a friend we have in Jesus!

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I thought it would be appropriate to reblog the story behind Michele’s favorite hymn about prayer. Learning why it was written makes it even more meaningful.

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What a Friend We Have in Jesus,

the Song and the Story

Irish born Joseph M. Scriven (1819-1896) was 25 years old, in love and to be married.

The day before his wedding his fiancé died in a tragic drowning accident. Heartbroken, Joseph sailed from his homeland to start a new life in Canada. While in Canada working as a teacher, he fell in love again and became engaged to Eliza Roche, a relative of one of his students.

Once again, Joseph’s hopes and dreams were shattered when Eliza became ill and died before the wedding could take place.

Although one can only imagine the turmoil within this young man, history tells us that his faith in God sustained him.

Soon after Eliza’s death Joseph joined the Plymouth Brethren and began preaching for a Baptist church. He never married, but spent the remainder of his life giving all his time…

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A Song about Prayer?

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Ever since we started our new month’s theme a certain song has been running through my mind.  I think music can be part of “renewing your mind” in prayer, don’t you? Songs have a way of focusing out thoughts and evoking emotion. A friend of mine once said the Sunday hymns drew her to God more often than the sermon!  I don’t know about that but we are certainly more likely to remember the words and repeat them, so there is a lasting effect.

Although it doesn’t mention prayer, I think this song IS about prayer, the kind of prayer Brother Lawrence described.  Maybe you know it, and if not, I hope you like it.  Please comment and let me know if you, too, find it a song about Prayer.
Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

Refrain:
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
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O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s a light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!

Refrain

Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
Over us sin no more hath dominion
For more than conquerors we are!

Refrain

His Word shall not fail you, He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!

Refrain

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus.” (Hebrews 12:2) 

 

Resurrection in the Old Testament

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“I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.  And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God.  I myself will see him with my own eyes–I, and not another.  How my heart yearns within me!” Job 19:25-27

I couldn’t close out the month without this verse which is one of my personal favorites.  It’s from the book of Job, which some scholars think is the oldest book in the Bible.  It records events that took place during the time of the patriarchs, approximately 2000 BC.  There was no doctrine of bodily resurrection at this time, yet here Job is, professing his faith in it.  This could only be through God’s inspiration and is a wonderful example of how the Old Testament “informs” the New.  When I read it, my heart also years to see God.

These verses also form the basis for a couple of wonderful hymns, one written in the 1700’s, the other modern.  I love them both.  Here are the words to the old classic:

I Know that My Redeemer Lives
By: Samuel Medley

I know that my Redeemer lives!
What comfort this sweet sentence gives!
He lives, he lives, who once was dead;
He lives, my ever living head!

He lives triumphant from the grave;
He lives eternally to save;
He lives exalted, throned above;
He lives to rule his Church in love.

He lives to grant me rich supply;
He lives to guide me with his eye;
He lives to comfort me when faint;
He lives to hear my soul’s complaint.

He lives to silence all my fears;
He lives to wipe away my tears;
He lives to calm my troubled heart;
He lives all blessings to impart.

He lives to bless me with his love;
He lives to plead for me above;
He lives my hungry soul to feed;
He lives to help in time of need.

He lives, my kind, wise, heavenly friend;
He lives and loves me to the end;
He lives, and while he lives, I’ll sing;
He lives, my Prophet, Priest, and King!

He lives and grants me daily breath;
He lives, and I shall conquer death;
He lives my mansion to prepare;
He lives to bring me safely there.

He lives, all glory to his name!
He lives, my savior, still the same;
What joy this blest assurance gives:
I know that my Redeemer lives!

Hymn # 264 from Lutheran Worship
Author: attr. John Hatton
Tune: Duke Street 1st Published in: 1775

 

 

In the Garden

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“…she turned around and saw Jesus standing there…”  John 20:14

Most of you are probably familiar with the hymn, In the Garden, but you may not know how it came to be written.  This story of it’s origination comes from the book, Then Sings My Soul, by Robert J. Morgan.

The author of the hymn was a pharmacist named C. Austin Miles.  He began writing gospel songs and became an editor of hymnals and songbooks, as well as a music director for camp meeting, conventions and churches.  His hobby was photography and he found his darkroom to be the perfect place to read the Bible and meditate on the Scripture.  One day in 1912, while waiting for some film to develop, he turned to his favorite chapter of the Bible, John 20, the story of the first Easter.  Here’s his report of what happened:

As I read it that day, I seemed to be part of the scene …A woman in white, with head bowed, hand clasping her throat as if to choke back sobs, walked slowly into the shadows.  It was Mary.  As she came to the tomb, upon which she placed her hand, she bent over to look in and hurried away.  John appeared…then came Peter….As they departed, Mary reappeared, leaning her head upon her arm …She wept.  Turning herself, she saw Jesus standing;  so did I.  I knew it was He…..Under the inspiration of this vision I wrote as quickly as the words would be formed the poem exactly as it has since appeared.  That same evening I wrote the music.”

I never knew until I read this book that the hymn was referring to the meeting of Mary Magdalene and Jesus in the garden after His resurrection.  Here are the words:

I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses.

Refrain

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

He speaks, and the sound of His voice,
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.

Refrain

I’d stay in the garden with Him
Though the night around me be falling,
But He bids me go; through the voice of woe
His voice to me is calling.

Does the story of the hymn, and the Scripture put a fresh perspective on the words for you?