Our God is kind in every way,
He holds the evil tide at bay,
With love he showers his faithful saints,
In Christ no follower falls or faints.
He bears us on the Spirit’s wing,
That we might daily praise and sing;
In us he lives, we shall not tire,
The word within burns like a fire.
Our God is good, and goodness proves,
In every trial and pain he moves;
In heaven’s path the Cross we bear,
His suffering and joy we gladly share.
STIRRING SENTIMENTS OF SACRED SONGS AND HYMNS
For almost seventy years my life has been shaped by what has transpired in the Bible classes and worship assemblies of local churches committed to preaching, practicing, worshiping, and living according to the pattern set forth in the New Testament. No small part of this have been the truths and sentiments to be found in “the psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs” lifted in praise to the Father in the teaching and admonishing of one another (Colossians 3:16). Among the many such sentiments, consider the following. Continue reading
Seems that hymnology has gotten complicated. Many songs are hard for new people to pick up on. Continue reading
There is beyond the azure blue,
Deut. 4:39 Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the LORD he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else.
A God concealed from human sight.
John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. Continue reading
HUGH’S NEWS & VIEWS
HOLD TO GOD’S UNCHANGING HAND
In most of my gospel meetings this year I have emphasized the theme “Hold to God’s Unchanging Hand.” This is the title of a song that I have sung all my life in church. I love this moving old spiritual song with its strong cadence (especially the chorus), and as I have grown older it has become more meaningful to me. (It might be remembered that the melody of this song was played in a stirring scene of the 2010 version of the movie “True Grit,” starring Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, and Hailee Seinfeld.)
We live in an unsettled and therefore an unsettling world, a shakable and therefore a shaking world, a changeable and therefore a changing world. In the midst of such a world we long for stability and security. Where is this security and stability to be found? In God and God alone! Continue reading
I don’t know the people who did this, but you might enjoy this arrangement. It uses the NKJV as a basis for the words, following exactly except for maybe one word.
This has a bit of humming in the beginning, if that bothers you, but otherwise a very nice arrangement, sung by one fellow.
An American patriotic hymn’s final verse is a prayer:
“Our father’s God, to Thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing;
Long may our land be bright
With freedom’s holy light;
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God, our King.”
When we sing this prayer, written in 1832 by Samuel Smith, we remember passages that talk about Christ’s concern for freedom. When Jesus preached in his hometown synagogue in Nazareth, he read a passage from Isaiah 61:1-2:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18,19). He chastised religious leaders who attempted to go beyond the word of God in binding additional requirements on God’s people. He modeled how freedom works best when exercised with discipline and respect for others. Jesus could converse with people whom others disdained because of their lifestyle because he could see their potential for being God’s people. He could forgive people who tried to hurt him and even people who had committed adultery, but express anguish over others who tried to deny help to suffering individuals because of religious laws. Jesus understood, as they did not, that submission means giving up my desires and wants to serve another, not making another into a clone of myself. Freedom does not mean doing whatever one wants. The same biblical chapter that begins, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free,” also warns that those who engage in the acts of the flesh will not inherit the kingdom of God, and concludes, “Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying one another” (Galatians 5:1, 19-21, 26). Freedom is messy. Sometimes I am bothered by something I observe in a congregation, but when I search the Scriptures, pray, and perhaps check out the history there, I realize they are merely exercising their freedom in Christ. That sometimes is hard for me to admit, because I thought initially that they were wrong and needed to be corrected. On the other hand, some times what people do or tolerate is wrong and should be corrected (Note Paul’s letters to the Corinthians, whom the apostle corrected on several issues. Christ’s letters to the seven churches in Asia (Revelation 2 and 3) also emphasize that there are limits to individual and congregational freedom in Christ. What helps me is to imitate what Barnabas did at Antioch and look for the grace of God at work (Acts 11). Freedom, whether in our nation or in the church, may make us uncomfortable, but so long as it is in harmony with the word of God, we rejoice because we too are free in Christ.
We celebrate the beginnings of our nation’s independence and its continuing quest for freedom for its citizens. We moan because someone else’s freedom conflicts with our own. We worry when our freedoms (both as citizens and Christians) seem to be threatened. Let’s keep singing and praying that God will protect us and our nations (for those who live elsewhere), that he will use us to bring liberating light into the lives of our neighbors and our enemies, that we will grow in love and in disciplined use of the freedoms God has given us.
The fervent march, the hymn of praise,
The echoed chant in hallowed halls,
Without a heart to launch the phrase,
Will only bounce off deadened walls.
The soul that finds in God his rest,
His manly strength and glorious weight,
Will sing with words that from the breast
Spring lively up to heaven’s gate.
—JRM, on this quiet evening of thanksgiving
Some people have problems with certain hymns because they refer to walking and talking to Jesus. They say that we do not pray to Jesus because he is the intercessor.
This exists in hymns such as:
1). Follow Me
2). He Lives
3). My God and I
4). I Must Tell Jesus
5) Jesus Hold My Hand
6). Tell it to Jesus Alone
What would be your Biblical argument for or against this idea? Thanks for your help.
The song in my heart today is Victory in Jesus. Regardless of the trials and tribulations of the day, I always have a victory in Jesus.
If you have never read the story behind the hymn, “It Is Well With My Soul,” I highly recommend that you read it. The story is available on my blog, Know Him Better.
On this fine Monday morning, with the promise of all things new, the Daily Nudge asks the Fellows, “What song is in your heart today, and why?” If a non-Fellow reader would like to reply, you can click Reply in the upper right of this post. The question doesn’t ask your favorite song, just what song your heart is singing today. If they’re the same, by chance, then well and good.
A bit of news: our sister Barbara Ann travels to Costa Rica the 15th, I believe it is, for three months of work and study. Please pray for her that all goes well and that these last days of preparation go smoothly. Always so much to do as the day approaches.
What news have you, good reader?
While we are discussing favorite hymns, I wonder if you all could share your thoughts on the song, “Where Could I Go.” The first verse I have never understood. Living below in this old sinful world; Hardly a comfort can afford, etc….. I wonder if I misunderstand the meaning of that verse because I usually don’t sing it until that verse is past. Can you all help me?
Most of my Christian life has been spent in Brazil. I was baptized 10 Jan. 1971, some 39 years ago, and we’ve been in Brazil 25. Although English is my native tongue and spoken during my formative years, we’ve sung songs in Portuguese so much that they’ve become warp and woof of my spiritual life.
With that preface, ONE of my favorites is the Portuguese translation of “More About Jesus.” We had only two stanzas of it in Portuguese. So for the hymnal I published, I wrote a third stanza, here translated literally, with no rhyme:
More about Jesus will I speak,
I will proclaim His Cross,
His inner pardon,
His superior power.
Maybe I’ll get around some day to doing a loose translation into English that will rhyme and fit the music.