Saturday, February 28, 2015

Hymn For The Week: Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

Hymn for the week: Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

Robert Robinson (1735-1790) was eight years old at the time of his father's death. He was a very bright, headstrong boy who became increasingly more difficult for his mother to handle. When Robert turned 14, she sent him to London for an apprenticeship with a barber. Robert proceeded to get into even more trouble, taking on a life of drinking and gambling.

At 17, Robert and some of his drinking buddies decided to attend an evangelistic meeting, with a plan to make fun of the proceedings. When George Whitfield began to preach, Robert felt as if the sermon was just for him. He did not respond to the altar call that night, but the words of the evangelist would haunt him for the next three years, 

On Dec. 10, 1755, at age 20, Robert finally yielded his life to Christ, and very soon thereafter answered a call to the Ministry. Three years later, as he was preparing to preach a sermon at the Calvinist Methodist Chapel in Norfolk, England, Robert wrote Come Thou Fount of Evey Blessing to complement his sermon. The music for the hymn was composed by Asahel Nettleton in 1813.

The song has since been included in most protestant hymnals of England and the U.S. The song has been recorded by several artists, including Jars of Clay and The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and is a recurring background theme of the film Love Comes Softly, which is based on a Janette Oke novel. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Hymn For The Week: In The Garden

Hymn for the week: In The Garden-Instrumental

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.

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. 

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.

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

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.

The song and the story composer C. Austin Miles writes In The Garden. C Austin Miles (1868-1946) was a pharmacist turned hymn writer and church music director. He was also an amateur photographer. One day in March, 1912, while in his dark room waiting for film to develop. Miles had a profound spiritual experience in which he saw an incredible vision of Mary Magdalene visiting the empty tomb. He saw her leave the tomb and walk into a garden where she met the Master and hear Him speak her name.

When Miles came to himself his nerves were vibrating and his muscles tense; the words to a new song were filling his mind and heart. He quickly wrote out the lyrics to In The Garden and later that evening composed the musical score. The song was published that same year and became a theme song of the Billy Sunday evangelistic crusade.

In The Garden was recorded on an album by Perry Como in 1950, and was sung in the closing scene of the 1984 film 'Places in the Heart' and continues to be a favorite of  hymn lovers who treasure that quiet 'garden time' with their savior.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Hymn For The Week: Day By Day

Hymn For The Week: Day By Day

Day by Day

Day by day, and with each passing moment,
Strength I find to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,
I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.
He, whose heart is kind beyond all measure,
Gives unto each day what He deems best,
Lovingly its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.

Every day the Lord Himself is near me,
With a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares He fain would bear and cheer me,
He whose name is Counsellor and Pow’r.
The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
“As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,”
This the pledge to me He made.
Help me then, in every tribulation,
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith’s sweet consolation,
Offered me within Thy holy Word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
E’er to take, as from a father’s hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till with Christ the Lord I stand.

by Lina Sandell

Lina Sandell (1832-1903), the author of this hymn, was a Lutheran pastor's daughter in Froderyd, Sweden. She was a "daddy's girl" -very close to her father. As a child, she enjoyed playing quietly in her father's study as he worked.

Lina began writing hymns at an early age. Then, when she was 26 years old, tragedy struck. She and her father were passengers in a boat crossing Lake Vattern when the boat lurched and her father fell overboard. As Lina watched in horror, her father drowned before anyone could mount a rescue effort.

When tragedy strikes, some people allow it to destroy them, but Lina's faith saw her through the tragedy. Her grief gave her music a depth and sensitivity that had been missing earlier.

During her lifetime, Lina wrote 650 hymns. "Day by Day" is familiar to many English-speaking congregations. Many people will also recognize the hymn that begins with the words, "Children of the Heavenly Father"-a hymn of quiet assurance.

The hymn, "Day by Day,"offers that same kind of assurance. It speaks of finding strength to face trials-and having no cause for worry or for fear. It encourages us to love with the promise of "a special mercy for each hour" (v.2). It asks God's help in tribulation-to trust God's promises (v.3)-"till I reach the promised land."

This sort of song readily becomes popular, because it provides comfort to people in distress. That describes most of us at some time or another. We need strength to meet the trials that we encounter. We need the assurance that God is with us-and loves us- and will help us-even when our circumstances are grim. We need to know that God will hep us "till (we) reach the promised land." Those are the assurances that this hymn provides.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Hymn For The Week: Great is Thy Faithfulness

Great Is Thy Faithfulness (from A Quiet Place Instrumental Hymns)

Thomas Obadiah Chisolm (1866-1960) had a difficult adult life. His health was so fragile that there were periods of time when he was confined to bed, unable to work. Between bouts of illness he would have to push himself to put in extra hours at various jobs in order to make ends meet.

After coming to Christ at age 27, Thomas found great comfort in the Scriptures, and in the fact that God was faithful to be his strength in time of illness and provide his needs.Lamentations 3:22-23 was one of his favorite scriptures: "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."

While away from home on a mission tip, Thomas often wrote to one of his good friends, William Runyan, a relatively unknown musician. Several poems were exchanged in these letters. Runyan found one of Williams' poems so moving that he decided to compose a musical score to accompany the lyrics. Great is Thy Faithfulness was published in 1923.

For several years, the hymn got very little recognition, until it was discovered by a Moody Bible Institute professor who loved it so much and requested it sung so often at chapel services, that the song became the unofficial theme song of the college.

It was not until 1945 when George Beverly Shea began to sing Great is Thy Faithfulness at the Billy Graham evangelistic crusades, that the hymn was heard around the world.

Thomas Chisolm died in 1960 at age 94. During his lifetime ,he wrote more than 1,200 poems and hymns including O To Be Like Thee and Living for Jesus