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Christian Beliefs, Teachings, Doctrines, Christian Living, Christian Ethics
Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them
is like a [wise] man which built a house, and digged deep, and laid the foundations on a rock:
and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it:
for it was founded upon a rock (Luke 6:47-48)
Let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
For other foundation can no man lay that is laid, which is Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3:10b-11)
If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Psalm 11:3)
Some Favourite Hymns
(and the Stories Behind Some of Them)
Silent Night | In the Sweet By and By
Three Harvest Hymns | Great Is Thy Faithfulness | Heaven Came Down and Glory Filled My Soul | There Shall Be Showers of Blessing
Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah | Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted | We Rest On Thee, Our Shield and Our Defender
Favourite Hymns | Music, Worship, CCM: Articles and Videos | Music, Worship, CCM: Quotes and Comments
Music, Worship, CCM: Books, CDs, DVDs, Websites | Music, Worship, CCM: Some Scriptures | Foundations: Index
December 2019 ~ This Month's Favourite Hymn
There are varying legends of the origin of this carol ...
and there is a second and very poignant part to the story...
Silent Night (November 2019)
YOUTUBE: Silent Night: Kaoma Chenda (Published on 24 December 2018)
This is a fabulous a cappella rendition of this carol; all four parts are sung by one man!
YOUTUBE: Stille Nacht / Silent Night (Published on 23 November 2014)
"Christmas Eve 1914 singing. Perhaps this is what the truce sounded like? In memory of the brave soldiers of WW1" / Viewers' comments: "Never forget the Christmas truce of WW1 when troops refused to be pawns of empires for one blessed day" / "Imagine the courage it took these soldiers to climb out of the trenches holding nothing but a newspaper. Lest we forget" / "I had a relative who was there when this took place. Months later he was nothing but an atomised corpse. He wrote home to his family in NZ that this is what had happened" / "My paternal Great Great Grandfather was fighting on the Western front for the British empire when this happened. He understood it as he was German English: his father was German and his mother was from England. His name was Ernest George Von Ehran, he was born in 1890 in London" / "And on that night, one shred of humanity made it through the war"
YOUTUBE: Silent Night: Choir of St John's College, Cambridge (Published on 22 December 2011)
"So beloved and so well-known is the carol, in fact, that according to accounts by soldiers who fought in the First World War, 'Silent Night' was sung - in English, French, and German together - across No man's Land during the Christmas Truce of 1914" / Viewers' comments: "Sung with a sense of reverence, simplicity and awe. Wonderful! Peace on earth, and goodwill towards men. Amen" / "All the more beautiful for its almost glacial sparseness. For me, it transcends all earthly matters. Humbling" / "Dear Lord, bless us with your grace" / "So beautiful" / "So peaceful"
YOUTUBE: Stille Nacht: The Vienna Boys Choir (Published on 19 December 2009)
Viewers' comments: "To listen to this in the original German is just something special" / "What beautiful images! Thanks to all photographers who capture the beauty of this world!" / "Most definitely beautiful" / "I first heard Silent Night in German in Bad Fallingbostal in '78 as a Coldstream Guardsman. Beautiful" / "Beautiful pictures, beautiful song. Thank you for this"
In the Sweet By and By (November 2019)
In the Sweet By and By (October 2019)
"Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body" (Hebrews 13:3).
27th October to 3rd November 2019 is Suffering Church Action and Awareness Week. The Barnabas Fund describes this annual week as "an opportunity for us to stand alongside our suffering brothers and sisters, in every corner of the globe, and demonstrate Christ's love to each one of them, whatever they are facing." As one incredibly brave family was martyred in North Korea, they started to sing the old and beautiful hymn In the Sweet By and By, so this is the hymn I have chosen for this month.
YOUTUBE: In The Sweet By And By (Published on 27 October 2015)
This is a very gentle and lovely Bluegrass version of this hymn by the Seminole String Band.
YOUTUBE: In Sweet By and By (Published on 06 April 2015)
This is just one man singing all four parts - sublime! / "The gifted Christian musician Joseph T. Webster was often tormented by deep feelings of depression. On one occasion, when he was in a melancholy mood, he received a visit from his close acquaintance Fillmore Bennett. Knowing that one way to keep Webster from brooding over his problems was to interest him in writing a hymn tune, Bennett decided he'd try to pen some lyrics that would direct his friend's thoughts heavenward. The despondent man himself unwittingly supplied the theme, for when he was asked, 'What's the matter now?' he replied, 'Oh, it will be all right by and by!' 'That's true,' exclaimed Bennett, 'trials do generate great glory for us in the sweet by-and-by!' Inspired by this thought, [Bennett] immediately sat down and wrote several poetic verses on the subject. When his friend read them, a new look of hope came into his eyes, and his whole attitude changed. After jotting down some musical notes, Webster took up his violin and played the melody he had composed to fit the words. Within half an hour the enduring hymn 'In the Sweet By-and-By' was born."
YOUTUBE: In the Sweet By and By (Published on 26 May 2011)
This is a wonderfully uplifting Mennonite a cappella rendition of this precious old hymn. / Viewers' comments: "What a beautiful version of this song. Thank you for posting" / "Thanks for your sweet and beautiful song. God bless you" / "So beautiful, wholesome and pure" / "The 4 part harmony is a foretaste of Heaven's choir" / "This song is beautiful. Thank you for your blessings" / "Love the old hymns. Thank you" / "May God bless you and your loved ones" / "Such beautiful singing. Soothes the heart and soul" / "God bless all who see this" / "It's a song for someone who has lost hope" / "Glory to Him who keeps a watch over us from His secret place"
YOUTUBE: Sweet By and By (Published on 07 July 2007)
"Great old gospel hymn done up in Bird's country style using acoustic and electric guitars, electric piano, bass and drums" / Viewers' comments: "This song is always an assurance that we are gonna meet the ones whom we lost, on that beautiful shore..." / "And when we do meet our loved ones we need never say goodbye again" / "God bless you. You lift up so many with your talent" / "Jesus ... is the only hope of mankind in perilous times like ours" / "God bless you Brother for this beautiful song!"
Three Harvest Hymns (September/October 2019)
Come, Ye Thankful People, Come | We Plough the Fields and Scatter | All Creatures of Our God and King
"While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease" (Genesis 8:22). / "And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and ye shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest unto the priest" (Leviticus 23:9-10).
YOUTUBE: Three Harvest Hymns (Published on 18 September 2017)
Come, Ye Thankful People, Come: This hymn was written in the 19th Century by Henry Alford, "nurtured by Christian parents and greatly influenced by a grandfather and father who were Anglican clergymen. Their example guided him into a personal commitment to Jesus Christ ... This hymn was written to celebrate the beautiful days of harvest festival in the English countryside. The glory of creation is breathtaking and everyone is invited to join the festivities in loving response to a faithful God" [source].
We Plough the Fields and Scatter: This hymn was "written by poet Matthias Claudius [in the 18th century, who] had become ill and returned to Christianity after leaving it in his 20s ... [It] is based on Psalm 144 ... [and] is predominantly used as a hymn to give thanks to God for the harvest and it has also been used in the United States as a hymn for Thanksgiving ... The hymn references Acts 14:17 (verse 1), James 1:17 (chorus), Psalms 65:7 and Matthew 6:26 (verse 2, line 3)" [source]. "The hymn echoes two of Christ's parables: Matthew 13:24-30 (the story of the wheat and the tares) and Mark 4:26-29 (the story of the seed springing up without the sower knowing of it)" [source].
All Creatures of Our God and King: "The words of [this hymn] were initially written by Francis of Assisi in 1225 ... based on Psalm 148. The words were translated into English by William Draper, who at the time was rector of a Church of England parish at Adel near Leeds ... between 1899 and 1919. Draper wrote it for his church's children's Whitsun festival celebrations" [source].
Great Is Thy Faithfulness (August 2019)
"And I said, My strength and my hope is perished from the LORD: Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall. My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me. This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in Him. The LORD is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh Him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD" (Lamentations 3:18-26).
Bed-ridden with serious ill-health for much of his life, Thomas Chisholm was yet able to praise God for His "many wonderful displays of His providing care", and wrote this soaring hymn inspired by Jeremiah's Lamentation for the capture of Jerusalem and the suffering of his people...
The Midweek Hymn: Great Is Thy Faithfulness (16 October 2019)
"The week's choice is ... based on one of the saddest stories of the Bible, yet it is one of the most hopeful hymns of the 20th century. In 589 BC, the Neo-Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II laid siege to Jerusalem, and for many months the inhabitants suffered terrible privations. In either 587 or 586 BC, Nebuchadnezzar broke through Jerusalem's walls and conquered the city ... Jerusalem was plundered and razed, and Solomon's Temple was destroyed, Most of the elite were taken into captivity in Babylon. Some people were permitted to remain to tend the land. The heart was torn out of the community and the people were desperate. Yet one of their number, the prophet Jeremiah, found a reason for hope..."
YOUTUBE: Great Is Thy Faithfulness - Austin Stone Worship (Published on 18 July 2018)
Two verses have been added to this rendition, and being somewhat of a purist, I confess I'm not usually in favour of hymns being interfered with, neither do I much like bands 'performing' hymns on a stage; but I have to concede that on this occasion - this version of one of my favourite hymns is wonderful! / Viewers' comments: "This song always makes me weep and reminds me of God's Greatness and loving kindness" / "Thanks for the lyrics - so inspiring" / "What beautiful worship this is ... a reminder of God's never ending faithfulness to me even when I'm unfaithful to Him" / "Such a beautiful voice; this song is a blessing to my heart" / "Outstanding. God bless you"
YOUTUBE: Great Is Thy Faithfulness - Grace Community Church (Published 30 November 2015)
This is a rightfully traditional and majestic rendition sung by Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, USA. / Viewer's comment: "What a glorious rendition of this beautiful hymn. Trying to sing along, I was in tears most of the way through"
YOUTUBE: Great Is Thy Faithfulness - Fernando Ortega (Published 12 December 2012)
This is a very gentle, quiet and prayerful arrangement of this lovely hymn.
Heaven Came Down and Glory Filled My Soul (July 2019)
"[T]his song was inspired by a testimony given at Montrose Bible Conference, in Montrose, Pennsylvania ... It was during the summer of 1961 that John W. Peterson was a guest there. According to Peterson, 'During one of the sessions an opportunity for a time of personal testimonies was given the audience, and Old Jim rose to his feet and told of his conversion experience. In describing that night when he met Christ, he used the phrase, "It seemed like Heaven came down and glory filled my soul." Right away I sensed that it would be a fine title for a song, so I wrote it down and later in the week completed the song'..."
YOUTUBE: Heaven Came Down and Glory Filled My Soul (Published on 16 February 2013)
This is a fabulous rendition of this wonderful hymn (taken from the superb Songs of Redemption CD recorded in 2003) / Viewer's comments: "I am still overwhelmed everytime I remember the day that Jesus came into my heart" / Oh how this song describes the joy I felt when my 'eyes' were opened and I 'saw' the Lord Jesus for the first time! No words! Just a life seeking to love and obey Him! Amen" / Thank you Jesus for saving my soul" / "God bless you for uploading this. I'm really touched by this beautiful song" / "Yes, it's true. It happens for sure when every person gets saved. That person's life will not be the same again. In good times and bad times he will have heaven with him"
There Shall Be Showers of Blessing (June 2019)
"And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing" (Ezekiel 34:26).
There Shall Be Showers of Blessing (May 2019)
"Ezekiel 34:26 says that the Lord refreshes the earth with showers of rain and refreshes us with showers of blessing..."
YOUTUBE: There Shall Be Showers of Blessing (21 July 2018)
A truly joyous rendition of this hymn! / Viewer's comment: "Very well sung and coordinated"
YOUTUBE: Showers of Blessing (27 May 2016)
A lively and typical Baptist rendition! Please note that it includes the first three verses and chorus only. / Viewers' comments: "I'm greatly blessed. Hymns that are refreshing and revitalizing my spirit" / "So glad that the Lord has laid it on Gerald's heart to revive these beautiful songs for us! ... that blesses probably hundreds of thousands of Christians around the globe. Thank you, brother!"
Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah (May 2019)
YOUTUBE: Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah (Published on 16 September 2012)
This a wonderfully rousing rendition of this glorious hymn! / "Sung in English and Welsh to the tune of 'Cwm Rhondda' by the choirs and congregation of Tabernacle Welsh Baptist Church, Cardiff. They hymn and tune are often called 'Bread of heaven' due to a line in the hymn. Often used as the informal anthem of Wales." / Viewers' comments: "Praise our Good God for Welsh hymns! Bless you for posting this exultant hymn of praise, and how wonderful to hear the real Welsh at the end!" / "How refreshing to see believers, God's people, praising Him with joy" / "Praise the Lord!!"
YOUTUBE: Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah (Published on 22 February 2011)
A magnificent version by 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards, The Regimental Band, The Caerphilly Male Voice Choir. Sung with due gravitas, in both Welsh and English. / "Also known as 'Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer', this hymn was written by William Williams, regarded by some as 'the Welsh Charles Wesley'." / Viewers' comments: "This glorious hymn billows from the soul" / "It touches my soul. Love hearing the Welsh Male Choirs doing it justice" / "A very beautiful, profoundly moving and stirring hymn. The choir sings beautifully and magnificently ... spiritually elevating and comforting for the soul. The LORD GOD above is indeed the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth, the Source of all Life and the Bread of Heaven. It is just glorious!" / "Very Regal, Royal, and Reverent! It speaks to me that the Jehovah God of the Old Testament IS the Lord Jesus Christ of the New Testament, He being manifested in the flesh of His own Sonship"
Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted (April 2019)
"Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:4-5).
Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted (March 2019)
"Whilst on YouTube recently I happened across a hauntingly beautiful version of this hymn ... it is my choice of hymn for April as this month we meditate on the Lord's death and resurrection..."
YOUTUBE: Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted (Published on 11 August 2017)
A hauntingly beautiful version of this hymn, sung by Fernando Ortega, and played on piano and viola. / Viewers' comments: "Such a beautiful song with lyrics that are so true and based on the Scriptures. Powerful, beautiful song" / "Love this heart-piercing song... Thank you for sharing"
YOUTUBE: Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted (Published on 05 May 2017)
If you prefer traditional congregational singing, this rendition by Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington D.C. is quite splendid. / Viewers' comments: "It's truly beautiful!"
YOUTUBE: Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted (Published on 03 March 2010)
Fernando Ortega has also recorded another exquisite version of this hymn accompanied on this occasion by harp and viola. / Viewers' comments: "Beautiful hymn beautifully performed. Christ be praised!" / "What a blessing! Thank you for posting" / "We cannot take sin lightly. Sin causes the death of our Savior" / "This is the hymn I go to when I feel too confident, too complacent. It humbles me ... Thank you Lord for loving the unloveable, like me" / "Praise and thanksgiving to the Lord Jesus Christ for His sacrifice for my sins! What a wonderful Savior" / "Washed clean of sin by his blood and then wonder of wonders given his royal righteousness as our eternal clothing" / "Thank you Lord Jesus for paying our debt in full"
We Rest On Thee, Our Shield and Our Defender (March 2019)
"And Asa cried unto the LORD his God and said, LORD, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power: help us, O LORD our God; for we rest on thee, and in thy name we go against this multitude. O LORD, thou art our God; let not man prevail against thee" (2 Chronicles 14:11).
The Midweek Hymn: We Rest On Thee (06 March 2019)
"In 1893, when she was 23, [Edith Gilling Cherry] wrote We Rest On Thee, based on 2 Chronicles 14:11 ... Edith Cherry's words were paired with Jean Sibelius's Finlandia Hymn..."
We Rest On Thee, Our Shield and Our Defender (February 2019)
"One of the favourite hymns of our fellowship sung in our Sunday meetings is this wonderful hymn ... Like many hymns, this hymn has a story - in fact, it has two stories..."
YOUTUBE: We Rest On Thee (Published on 09 April 2016)
This is a slightly quirky - and beautiful - version of this hymn. It also includes pictures of the film version of the story of Jim Elliot and the four missionaries with him. / Viewers' comments: "Beautiful very beautiful" / "In love with this version"
YOUTUBE: We Rest On Thee (Published on 01 January 2011)
This is a superb rendition but please note that it includes the first and fourth verses only. / Viewers' comments: "Was this not the song that was sung as the five young men went to certain death by the Auca Indians? Such courageous faith" / "When days are hard, this song comforts me greatly" / "Reminding me of God's unfailing care"
YOUTUBE: We Rest On Thee (Published on 01 April 2010)
A wonderful rendition but please note it does not include the second verse. / "A cappella rendition of We Rest On Thee by The Mennonite Hour Men's Chorus ... Basic Mennonite Hour sound with simple arrangement, solid harmony and clear diction" / Viewers' comments: "This is by far my favourite hymn" / "This is a very, very special hymn" / "I was greatly impacted by these Christian missionary martyrs. I have sung this song many times"
YOUTUBE: We Rest On Thee, Our Shield and Our Defender (Published on 07 October 2009)
"From the evening service on May 31, 2009" / Viewers' comments: "This has been a blessing over and over" / "Very moving, thank you" / "The words speak so much truth" / "Beautiful"
YOUTUBE: Elisabeth Elliot - A Pattern for Good (06 July 2014)
@22:45 - 25:00: "[Jim and the other four men] made an attempt to reach the Auca Indians. You know the end of the story. The men had trusted God at every single point through the entire 3 or 4 months of dropping gifts to the Auca Indians to prove their friendship, praying that God would specifically show them how they should make an entrance, when they should make an entrance, who should go ... As [the men] went, they sang that hymn by Edith G. Cherry, We Rest On Thee, Our Shield and Our Defender. And I want you to ask yourself tonight if it fits into your category of the way God does things; that He would allow five obedient servants of His to trust Him to be their Shield, and would then allow them to be speared to death..."
BOOK: The Master's Touch and Other Poems by Edith Gilling Cherry
Memory Notes of the Sweet Singer: "What was she like, herself - this writer of The Master's Touch? She was just a bright winsome girl ... with a spirit deeply taught in the truths of God. Sweet and gentle in disposition, but frail in body, yet that did not sadden her life - scarcely handicapped it - seemed rather to thin the casement through which the light of Heaven shone into her spirit so clearly as to make the Homeland almost more real than earth, things Eternal more visible and certain than the things of time ... gifted with the power of entering into the sorrows of others; ... Hence, some of her poems express a depth of experience in suffering that it would, otherwise, be difficult to accredit to one so young ... The Master's Touch ... was the outcome of bitter personal trial while engaged in Christian work ... The space reserved in this first small volume is too limited for many more Memory Notes ... Several of the poems in this collection were published during the life-time of the beloved writer, and she had the exquisite joy of knowing that her first efforts in the service of song were used and blessed of the Lord ... and how many sick and suffering ... have been helped by its comforting messages, none can tell..."
BOOK: Through Gates of Splendour by Elisabeth Elliot
"At the close of their prayers the five men sang one of their favourite hymns, 'We Rest On Thee', to the stirring tune of 'Finlandia'. Jim and Ed had sung this hymn since college days and knew the verses by heart. On the last verse their voices rang out with deep conviction: 'We rest on Thee, our Shield and our Defender / Thine is the battle, Thine shall be the praise / When passing through the gates of pearly splendour / Victors, we rest with Thee, through endless days'..."