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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)
All the Way My Saviour Leads Me
God of Glory, We Exalt Your Name | The Lord's My Shepherd | O Holy Night | The Green Fields of France
The Fields Are White Unto Harvest | I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say: Come Unto Me and Rest | How Great Thou Art!
Hide Me in the Secret Place | The Head That Once Was Crowned With Thorns | In Christ Alone
When Peace Like A River | Handel's Messiah | Will Your Anchor Hold? | The Church's One Foundation
Master, the Tempest is Raging | When I Survey the Wondrous Cross | I Need Thee, O, I Need Thee
Our God, Our Help in Ages Past | 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
April 2022 ~ This Month's Favourite Hymn
All the Way My Saviour Leads Me
For my dear brothers and sisters
in the LORD at FBC...
"For I know whate'er befall [us], Jesus doeth all things well"
Favourite Hymns and the Stories Behind Them
All the Way My Saviour
For my dear brothers and sisters in the LORD at FBC...
YOUTUBE: All the Way My Saviour Leads Me (13 April 2016)
Viewers' comments: "Thank God for hymns and hymn writers, especially Fanny Crosby" / "Hallelujah! There are still churches that still sing the old, old hymns of the church, and they sing with power and fervency! My soul rejoices as I listen to this great hymn of Sister Fanny Crosby. Though blind she could still see!" / "What blessings these hymns have bestowed through the years to all the church of God. Praise Him!"
God of Glory, We Exalt Your Name (March 2022)
Last Sunday, our visiting (fiery Irish) preacher spoke on Matthew 24, Revelation 18, and Zephaniah 1-3, and God's 'Outrageous Grace'. He chose this hymn to remind and encourage us that when we see the "wars and rumours of wars" and all the evil and rebellion against God in this world, we can look up because our redemption draweth nigh - the LORD will soon return and put all these things under His feet and reign for ever in Glory and Majesty and Power Resplendent!
YOUTUBE: God of Glory, We Exalt Your Name (09 April 2012)
Viewers' comments: "I love the hymns that just worship the Lord for who he is. Glorious" / "Hope I'll still be singing this in heaven" / "My dear friends, when we worship we are practising our new occupation when we are in heaven around the throne of Almighty God and the Lamb"
The Lord's My Shepherd (January 2022)
"And I will trust in You alone" - not in princes, not in politicians, not in the clever men of this world, which are all naught but wells without water and shifting sinking sand - "for your endless mercy follows me, your goodness will lead me home"
YOUTUBE: The Lord's My Shepherd (02 November 2012)
Our church's first hymn of 2022 :-) / Viewers' comments: "As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I shall fear no evil, for thy rod & thy staff shall comfort me" / "Thank you, Lord Jesus, for your faithfulness" / "The Lord is truly my shepherd. In the dark years of my life God truly saved me" / "Lord, you are our Shepherd because a shepherd has deep concern and care, not only for all his sheep but also for each and every single one. Thank you Lord for your unending love" / Praise the Lord. For we need to ask for His love and mercy now more than ever in these dire situations" / "His Trust is all we need as he guides us in every situation and gives us comfort" / "He delivers His people from all sorts of difficulties and fears. He comforts us" / "Lord, I fully put my trust in you, knowing that you are the only one whom I can count on"
O Holy Night (December 2021)
One day every knee shall bow before Him: no longer a baby in a manger but Lord and Judge of All, the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last. Even so, Come, Lord Jesus.
YOUTUBE: O Holy Night (22 December 2017)
Perhaps the most beautiful rendition of this carol, sung by the choir of King's College, Cambridge / Viewers' comments: "Today a Saviour has been born to us. He is Christ the Lord" / "Let us praise and worship our Lord Jesus Christ" / Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever" / "Praise to God Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth and everything seen and unseen" / "Our Saviour Jesus Christ the Lord" / "Thank you Jesus for coming to our midst and saving us from our sins" / "He is the KING of kings"
YOUTUBE: O Holy Night (28 November 2017)
"André Rieu and His Johann Strauss Orchestra performing O Holy Night live in London." / This fabulous rendition is for Dulce, Jane, and Richard :-)
The Green Fields of France (November 2021)
This isn't a hymn, but it is a very poignant poem about the horror and futility of war, and it is my choice this month for Remembrance Day...
YOUTUBE: The Green Fields of France (06 March 2013)
"This poignant song was written by Eric Bogle in 1975. This is what he said about the song: 'When I was in Northern France in 1975, I stopped at a small Battalion cemetery near the Belgian border. It was a beautiful little spot, very peaceful, the sun was shining and poppies grew in the fields. It was so beautiful that one could almost forget the Great Obscenity that had murdered the 310 soldiers lying buried in that cemetery. Almost, but not quite. I wrote this song two months later.' The last verse carries a very powerful message, extremely relevant to this day:
And I can't help but wonder now Willie McBride, / Do all those who lie here know why they died? / Did you really believe when they told you the cause, / Did you really believe that this war would end wars? / Well the suffering, the sorrow, the glory, the shame, / The killing, the dying, it was all done in vain, / For Willie McBride it's all happened again, / And again and again and again and again!
YOUTUBE: The Green Fields of France (20 September 2014)
This version of The Green Fields of France is by The Fureys; it is raw and and it is blunt and it is passionate.
The Fields Are White Unto Harvest (October 2021)
Our fellowship this morning thought we'd be singing a different song with this title, when this one popped up onto the overhead. Nevertheless we were all delighted with this wonderful A Cappella hymn, and it will no doubt become a fellowship favourite! Thankyou to Andy our technical chap for finding this amazing harvest hymn :-)
YOUTUBE: The Fields Are White Unto Harvest (21 January 2020)
John 4:35; Matthew 9:37; Matthew 7:13; Philippians 1:17; Mark 16;15; Matthew 28:18-20; Romans 6:3-4; Mark 16:16; 1 Peter 3:15; Ephesians 5:25; Acts 2:38,47; Ephesians 5:23; Revelation 21:2; 1 Corinthians 9:22; Matthew 25:9-13.
Viewers' comments: "Lovely hymn, God bless" / "Pure truth! Love it!"
I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say (August and September 2021)
This is for my mother, called home by the Lord on 8th March 2020, and sung at her thanksgiving service on 10th August 2021.
YOUTUBE: I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say (06 October 2019)
"I heard the voice of Jesus say: Come unto Me and rest; Lay down, thou weary one, lay down thy head upon my breast. I came to Jesus as I was, weary and worn and sad; I found in Him a resting place, and He has made me glad..."
How Great Thou Art! (July 2021)
When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation to take me home: "All the beauty of our faith in one line" [viewer's comment at source].
This is one of the most magnificent congregational hymns! God's Word commands His people to worship and praise Him and our fellowship has sung this hymn twice in the last two weeks. Praise our Great God that He created ALL things and that He is in control of ALL things, and that there is no room for fear or facemasks when singing this majestic hymn to our Lord God!
YOUTUBE: How Great Thou Art! (30 December 2018)
This is a typically joyous Southern Baptist rendition of this wonderful hymn! / "Hymn sung at the Graduation Preaching Conference at Southwest Baptist Church, Oklahoma, May 16th 2018"
YOUTUBE: How Great Thou Art (27 June 2014)
Sung at Winchester Cathedral with great majesty!
Hide Me in the Secret Place (June 2021)
"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty..." (Psalm 91:1)
Almost every month the Lord lays a hymn on my heart, but this time nothing came to mind until my sister emailed me this beautiful song which she said the Lord had laid on her heart to send me. Thankyou Lord and bless you dear sis!
YOUTUBE: Hide Me in the Secret Place (18 April 2016)
"A beautiful ballad with gorgeous strings. In English, some Hebrew" / Viewers' comments: "God heals. The Word will heal your flesh. Selah. Baruch ata Elohim" / "Healing takes place in times of pure worship to our KING ... restoration and shalom. Blessings to you my sister" / "So beautiful and He is worthy of all praise" / "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" / May HaShem bless, forgive, and protect us all"
The Head That Once Was Crowned With Thorns (May 2021)
A joyful hymn for Ascension Day!
"And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven" (Acts 1:9-11).
YOUTUBE: The Head That Once Was Crowned With Thorns (07 January 2021)
Viewers' comments: "I love this version. So anointed. All praise to the Most High" / "What a beautiful song... our Redeemer lives" / "Amen, Glory be to His Holy Name"
In Christ Alone (April 2021)
YOUTUBE: In Christ Alone (10 February 2008)
"In Christ alone my hope is found ... This gift of love and righteousness, Scorned by the ones He came to save. Till on that cross as Jesus died, The wrath of God was satisfied; For every sin on Him was laid - Here in the death of Christ I live. "There in the ground His body lay, Light of the world by darkness slain; The bursting forth in glorious day, Up from the grave He rose again! And as He stands in victory, Sin's curse has lost its grip on me; For I am His and He is mine - Bought with the precious blood of Christ"
When Peace Like A River (March 2021)
"Then Job arose ... and said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD" (Job 1:21) / "Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stall: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation" (Habakkuk 3:17-18).
YOUTUBE: When Peace Like A River / It Is Well With My Soul (28 January 2010)
Viewers' comments: "Horatio Spafford's only son died at age 4 in 1871. In 1872, the Great Chicago fire wiped out his vast estate, made from a successful legal career. In 1873 he sent his wife and 4 daughters over to Europe on a summer trip on the ill-fated SS Ville du Havre ... he planned to follow them later. The ship sank and he lost his 4 daughters, his wife being the only survivor ... His law firm was burned down and the insurance company refused to pay him ... he had no work, he also lost his house ... When you look at your life, career, job, or family life, what do you say? Do you praise God?" / "January 15 2019, I hid in a toilet wishing I could flush myself away as Al Shabaab terrorists shot up the door at the office and hotel complex in Nairobi, Kenya. This was the only song I could remember as I prayed ... My every ambition, every want, everything assumed its rightful irrelevance as the bullets flew ... God hid me, spared me from the murderous group ... God allowed me to live"
Peace Like A River (No Date)
"In the moments before the ship sunk, Anna Spafford gathered her four young girls, ranging in ages from 18 months to 12 years to her side and prayed with them, holding the youngest in her arms. As the icy waters swept over the decks, the three older children disappeared and eventually even the baby was washed from her mother's arms ... When she was able to wire her anxious husband, the message was brief and poignant: 'Save Alone' ... Horatio had to have the peace that only Heaven could give - the peace that passeth all understanding -- to be able to go through this tragedy and still say 'it is well with my soul' ... The foundation of all true peace is the Word of God. The knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus Christ brings true and lasting peace ... All who come unto [Jesus] will find that the yoke of Christ will help them to bear every burden needful for them to carry ... Then, no matter how tumultuous and treacherous the way seems to be, no matter how heavy the burdens are, of how bleak the future, if we are anchored in the Lord Jesus Christ, we too, like Horatio Spafford, can say, 'It is well, it is well, with my soul'."
Handel's Messiah (December/January 2020)
YOUTUBE: G.F. Handel: Messiah HWV 56 (07 April 2014)
Viewers' comments: "That is surely the most joyous, even riotous, performances I have ever heard or seen! The tenor is magnificent; he is not just singing words but rejoicing in the story of the Messiah" / "Every now and then, I bump into something so unimaginably wonderful I forget the dark side of humanity and lose myself in awe, beauty, and inspiration" / "This has to be the most beautiful presentation of the most beautiful, faith-filled, Oratorio by Georg Handel ever" / "It is the glorification of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world and how He is felt in this. My soul is overwhelmed by His Majesty and the wonders of the prophecies of the scriptures that have come together to announce Him in this grand masterpiece by Handel" / "...the exquisite melodies and the pure 'sola scriptura' which gives this Oratorio its power to touch the hearts of believers as well as those who have chosen to disbelieve" / "Truly a wonderful performance" / "All honour and praise and worship to our Messiah Jesus" / "Herein is love, not that we loved, but that God loved us" / "Magnifico. Glory to God. Worthy, worthy, worthy, is the Lamb" / "And He shall reign for ever and ever"
Will Your Anchor Hold? (November 2020)
YOUTUBE: Will Your Anchor Hold? (17 October 2010)
This month it is the 60th Anniversary of our church's Boys' Brigade Company, so there is no question which is my favourite hymn for November - and this version of the wonderful BB hymn is just magnificent! Throughout the video are shown numerous photographs of BB companies dating back many decades, and at the end is played the march, Mechanised Infantry. The video was put together and uploaded by brawladdie1, who writes: "Many a Scots lad was kept on the straight and narrow through the turbulent years of adolescence and beyond, thanks to the Boys Brigade. Its decent values of truthfulness, self-discipline, clean living, self-improvement, duty and camaraderie, and respect for elders lasted until the egotistical, hedonistic sixties made all that appear uncool ... God bless all the men who selflessly devoted their hours and energies to making generations of Scottish boys into good Christian men and citizens!"
The Church's One Foundation (September/October 2020)
...and her one Head, is Jesus Christ her Lord
"For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 3:11); "Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world" (1 John 4:4); "the King of kings, and Lord of lords" (1 Timothy 6:15)
YOUTUBE: The Church's One Foundation (05 July 2020)
This version is wonderful; it is sung by this choir with all due reverence and at the correct speed.
YOUTUBE: The Church's One Foundation (10 June 2020)
If your church fellowship is one that has no pianist or musician or is one that sometimes needs some extra help with the music - as does our fellowship - then this version of this glorious hymn is definitely the best!
See also: www.emw.org.uk/onlinesongs
YOUTUBE: The Church's One Foundation (10 May 2019)
This is a truly beautiful rendition of this hymn. Viewer's comment: "I will be preaching a sermon this coming Sunday, based on this beautiful hymn. Without Christ as our foundation, we will fail miserably. Always have Jesus Christ as your foundation and He will bless you mightily"
YOUTUBE: The Church's One Foundation (17 February 2019)
"This hymn was written in the 1860s by Samuel John Stone, as a direct response to the schism within the Church of South Africa caused by John William Colenso, first Bishop of Natal, who denounced much of the Bible as fictitious" / Viewers' comments: "My whole heart and being thanks you for these never-forgotten hymns and the melody of the pipe organ" / "Reminds me of past precious years, when the church earnestly contended for the faith once delivered to the saints" / "Perfect harmony ... the descant is very beautiful"
Master, the Tempest is Raging (May 2020)
We need not fear anything - whether it be man, demons, or even coronaviruses
"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1:7)
YOUTUBE: Peace! Peace! Be Still (Master, the Tempest is Raging!) (01 September 2017)
"Mary Baker says the song came about as a result of being asked to write several that would suit some current Sunday School lessons. One of the themes was 'Chrsit Stilling the Tempest'. She notes that the Scripture mirrored the tumult in her own life at the time, coming as a result of the death of her brother. She says, 'I became wickedly rebellious at this dispensation of divine providence. I said in my heart that God did not care for me or mine. But the Master's own voice stilled the tempest in my unsanctified heart, and brought it to the calm of a deeper faith and a more perfect trust' May He calm the storms of this world and the storms you are experiencing in your life right this moment. Peace! Be still. Amen"
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross (April 2020)
Nothing else matters...
"When I survey the wondrous Cross, on which
the Prince of Glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss, and pour contempt on all my pride ...
The Good Friday Hymn: When I Survey the Wondrous Cross (02 April 2021)
"This hymn is considered the crowning achievement of the man called the Father of English Hymnody, Isaac Watts ... When I Survey the Wondrous Cross ... is said to be based on Galatians 6:14, 'But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world'..."
YOUTUBE: When I Survey (22 March 2019)
"When I Survey is one of my favourite hymns. I hope you enjoy my rendition!" / Viewer's comment: "Wonderful! Thanks Sarah!"
YOUTUBE: When I Survey the Wondrous Cross (24 April 2011)
From the Choir of King's College, Cambridge. / Viewers' comments: "When reflecting on the words it makes you feel the tremendous love which the Saviour has for him to have paid such a heavy price for our salvation. O how Great is our God!" / "The usual King's College impeccable quality. Thank you" / "Does it seem ever amazing, that the God of the universe who created all things and upholds all things by the word of his power, forsook his glory, came to earth in the form of a mere creature that he created, was scorned at every turn, yet he was proclaiming God's redemption and love for mankind, and then was crucified by the same people whom he was preaching to" / "One of the most beautiful hymns of all" / "Glory to God for this sacrifice He made for us" / "What a splendid rendition of this glorious song" / "Truly inspirational at this time of crisis in the world. A wonderful performance" / "So beautiful, praise to our Lord who gave all to all who love Him!"
I Need Thee, O, I Need Thee (March 2020)
Sometimes life can be so very hard...
"'One day as a young wife and mother of 37 years of age, I was busy with my regular household tasks. Suddenly, I became so filled with the sense of nearness to the Master that, wondering how one could live without Him, either in joy or pain, these words, 'I Need Thee Every Hour', were ushered into my mind...' After writing the lyrics, Hawks gave them to her pastor, Robert Lowry, who added the tune and refrain. The hymn was first published at the National Baptist Sunday School Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio, in November 1872. Some years later, after the death of her husband, Hawks wrote: 'I did not understand at first why this hymn had touched the great throbbing heart of humanity. It was not until long after, when the shadow fell over my way, the shadow of a great loss, that I understood something of the comforting power in the words which I had been permitted to give out to others in my hour of sweet serenity and loss'" [source].
YOUTUBE: I Need Thee Every Hour (04 January 2016)
Congregational singing by the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London.
YOUTUBE: I Need Thee Every Hour - Annie Hawks (12 April 2012)
The Celebration Choir and the Salvation Army Citadel Band, taken from the album The Hymn Makers: Ira D. Sankey Vol 2. / Viewers' comments: "If more churches sang hymns like this, there would be more churches" / "We really do need the Saviour especially in this world that is full of pains and sorrows" / "Thank you so much for posting this wonderful hymn" / "The sheer beauty of this lovely hymn and the emotions it generates wash over me and take me right back over the years. What a contrast to the horrible, clunking, one-note, boring 'worship songs' so prevalent nowadays"
YOUTUBE: I Need Thee Every Hour by Fernando Ortega (03 December 2009)
Viewers' comments: "Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God!" / "My family recently lost our 16 year old daughter and this song brings me peace. Thank you Fernando for your lovely rendition" / "I can't even begin to describe how fortunate we have a God who's merciful and forgiving., Even after our sins brought him so much pain"
Our God, Our Help in Ages Past (January/February 2020)
YOUTUBE: O God, Our Help in Ages Past (06 August 2018)
A wonderfully joyful version of this hymn sung by the congregation of Temple Baptist Church, Tennessee, USA. / Pastor Clarence Sexton: "O God, our help in ages past.' And He's the same yesterday, today, and forever. Let's sing this song to His glory, with all of your heart..."
YOUTUBE: O God, Our Help in Ages Past (07 November 2013)
I always love a cappella - and this is no exception! / Viewers' comments: "Praise God! God bless!" / "Beautiful hymn, may God bless you" / "We thank you Lord God for this grace in which we stand ... that all your words are true ... that you hear and answer prayer and that when we know not what to ask You help us with Your Holy Spirit" / "O for a faith to keep these words in mind" / "You have been our dwelling place - A prayer of intercession"
YOUTUBE: Westminster Abbey - Oh God, Our Help in Ages Past (19 November 2011)
Viewers' comments: "In the first stanza, we ask God to be our help, our hope and our shelter. In the last stanza, we ask God to be our help, our hope and our guard. Both stanzas end with us asking Him to be our eternal home ... being with my Father, who loved me so much that he gave Jesus as a sacrifice so that I could be right with him - THAT is the goal of my life. HE is what makes it heaven" / "It shows me GOD in all his majestic splendor" / "Glorious ... truly is majestic, and worship at its best" / "God be praised for all eternity!" / "Magnificent!"
YOUTUBE: O God, Our Help in Ages Past (15 July 2010)
This is a superb instrumental rendition played on the organ. / Viewer's comment: "Very beautiful and uplifting ... lyrics to live by and treasure forever along with God's everlasting grace"
Silent Night (December 2019)
Silent Night (November 2019)
"There are varying legends of the origin of this carol... [And] there is a second and very poignant part to the story of Stille Nacht / Silent Night..."
YOUTUBE: Silent Night: Kaoma Chenda (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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (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 every time 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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (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'..."
Hymns and Songs
The hymns and songs
chosen here are all ones which focus on God the Father and on the Lord Jesus
and on what He has done for us on the cross, what He does for us as we walk with
Him day by day,
and His eventual return in glory to take us home to be with Him. They are hymns
and songs which words are rich in doctrine and biblical truth,
which music soars our spirits and restores our souls, which melodies
are simple and beautiful, contemplative and rousing,