Saturday, March 28, 2015

Hymn For The Week: He Leadeth Me

He Leadeth Me - Piano/Cello Arrangement of the Classic Hymn

  1. He leadeth me, O blessed thought!
    O words with heav’nly comfort fraught!
    Whate’er I do, where’er I be
    Still ’tis God’s hand that leadeth me.
    • Refrain:
      He leadeth me, He leadeth me,
      By His own hand He leadeth me;
      His faithful foll’wer I would be,
      For by His hand He leadeth me.
  2. Sometimes ’mid scenes of deepest gloom,
    Sometimes where Eden’s bowers bloom,
    By waters still, o’er troubled sea,
    Still ’tis His hand that leadeth me.
  3. Refrain:
    He leadeth me, He leadeth me,
    By His own hand He leadeth me;
    His faithful foll’wer I would be,
    For by His hand He leadeth me.
  4. Lord, I would place my hand in Thine,
    Nor ever murmur nor repine;
    Content, whatever lot I see,
    Since ’tis my God that leadeth me.
  5. Refrain:
    He leadeth me, He leadeth me,
    By His own hand He leadeth me;
    His faithful foll’wer I would be,
    For by His hand He leadeth me.
  6. And when my task on earth is done,
    When by Thy grace the vict’ry’s won,
    E’en death’s cold wave I will not flee,
    Since God through Jordan leadeth me.
  7. Refrain:
    He leadeth me, He leadeth me,
    By His own hand He leadeth me;
    His faithful foll’wer I would be,
    For by His hand He leadeth me.

"He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake." Psalms 23:3

On autumn nights as we sleep peacefully in our beds, millions of songbirds travel under cover of darkness, heading south. Somehow, they know their way. God has given them a state-of-the-art internal guidance system.

We're more valuable than many sparrows. If God guides His creation, will He not also His children? The Psalmist thought so, saying, "He leadeth me....He leadeth me..." Psalm 23: 2-3

Dr. Joseph H. Gilmore, son of a Governor of New Hampshire, gave this account of writing his famous hymn on this theme:

A a young man recently graduated..., I was preaching for a couple of Sundays at the pulpit of the First Baptist Church in Philadelphia. At the midweek service, on the 26th of March, 1862, I sent out to give the people an exposition of the Twenty-third Psalm, which I had given before on three or four occasions, but this time I did not get further then the words "He Leadeth Me." Those words took hold of me as they had never done before, and I saw in them a significance...of which I had never dreamed.

It was the darkest hour of the Civil War. I did not refer to that fact-that is, I don't think I did-but it may subconsciously have lead me to realize that God's leadership is the one significant fact in human experience, that it makes no difference how we are lead, or whither we are led, so long as we are sure God is leading us.

At the close of the meeting a few of us in the parlor of my host, Deacon Watson, kept on talking about the thought I had emphasized; and then and there, on a black page of the brief form which I had intended to speak, I penciled the hymn, talking and writing at the same time, then handed it to my wife and thought no more about it. She sent it to The Watchman and Reflector, a paper published in Boston, where it was first printed. I did not know until 1865 that my hymn had been set to music by William B. Bradbury.

Hymn For The Week: Take My Life and Let It Be

Take My Life and Let It Be 

"Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ." Philippians 3: 8

Although hymnist Frances Havergal, 36, had served the Lord for years, she felt something was missing in her Christian experience. Then one day in 1873, she received a little book called, "All for Jesus," which stressed the importance of making Christ the King of every corner and cubicle of one's life. Soon thereafter, she made a fresh and complete consecration of herself to Christ.

Years later when asked about it, she replied, Yes it was on Advent Sunday, December 2, 1873, I first saw clearly the blessedness of true consecration. I saw it as a flash of electric light, and what you see you can never un-see. There must be full surrender before there can be full blessedness." 

Not long afterward, she found herself spending several days with ten people in a house, some of them unconverted. Others were Christians, bur not fully surrendered to Christ. "Lord, give me all in this house," she prayed. She went to work witnessing, and before she left, all ten were yielded Christians. On the last night of her visit, Frances-too excited to sleep-wrote this great consecration hymn, "Take My Life..."

Have you given your whole life-everything-over to Jesus? Why not make this the date of your own complete consecration?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Hymn For The Week: Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

Hymn For The Week: Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus(Instrumental)

Helen H. Lemmel was born in (1863-1961) England, but lived most of her life in America. She was a gifted concert soloist, a music teacher at the Moody Bible Institute, and music critic for the Seattle Post. She also worked as director of a woman's choral group. Helen wrote the words and music of Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus in 1922, to be sung at those meetings.

The inspiration for Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus, which Helen entitled The Heavenly Vision, came from the writings of author and artist Lilias Trotter (1853-1928).

Lilias Trotter was a brilliant artist whose talent opened the doors to wealth and influence. Her other love was missions. After struggling in prayer for two years, Trotter came to the conclusion that she must lay down her love of art in order to fix her eyes solely on Jesus, and on His calling to the mission field. She subsequently served for more than 38 years as a missionary to Muslims of Algeria. She also authored several book and tracts. The following is an excerpt from her tract, Which Passion Will Pervail?

"Never has it been so easy to live in half a dozen harmless worlds at once --art, music, social science, games, motoring, the following of some profession, and so on. And between them we run the risk of drifting about, the good hiding the best." It is easy to find out whether our lives are focused, and if so, where the focus lies. Where do our thoughts settle when consciousness comes back in the morning? Where do they swing back when the pressure is off during the day? Dare to have it out with God, and ask Him to show you whether or not all is focused on Christ and His Glory. Turn your soul's vision to Jesus, and look at Him, and a strange dimness will come over all that is apart from Him."

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Hymn For The Week: A Mighty Fortress Is Our God

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help on trouble. (Psalm 46: 1)

A Mighty Fortress Is Our God-Instrumental

A Mighty Fortress Is Our God-lyrics

We think of Martin Luther as a great reformer, Bible translator, political leader, fiery preacher, and theologian. But he was also a musician, having been born in an area of Germany known for its music. There in his little Turingian village, young Martin grew up listening to his mother sing. He joined a boys' choir that sang at weddings and funerals. He became proficient with the flute (recorder), and his volcanic emotions often erupted in song. 

When the Protestant Reformation began, Luther determined to restore worship to the German Church. He worked with skilled musicians to create new music for Christians, to be sung in the vernacular. He helped revive congregational singing and wrote a number of hymns.

Often he "borrowed" popular secular melodies for his hymns, through occasionally a tune brought criticism and he was "compelled to let the devil have it back again" because it was to closely associated with bars and taverns.

In the forward of a book, Luther once wrote: "Next to the Word of God, the nimble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world. It controls our thoughts, minds hearts, and spirits....Such a person who does not regard music as a marvelous creation of God does not deserve to be called a human being; he should be permitted to hear nothing but the braying of asses and the grunting of hogs."

Luther's most famous hymn is "Ein' feste Burg ist unser Gott."-"A Mighty Fortress Is Our God." Based on {Psalm 46, it reflects Luther's awareness of our intense struggle with Satan. In difficulty and danger, Luther would often resort to this song, saying to his associate, "Come, Philipp, let us sing the 46th Psalm."

This is a difficult hymn to translate because the original German is so vivid. At least 80 English version are available. The most popular in America was done by Frederic Henry Hodge.