“I am the light of the world.”
Jn 8:12, KJV

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God Leads Us Along

January 9th, 2009
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This is a slow meditative hymn which reminds us of God’s providence, even through difficult situations. The author and composer of “God Leads Us Along” was an obscure preacher and carpenter who spent a lifetime humbly serving God in small rural areas. Often the salary was meager and life was difficult for his family. Through it all, however, George Young and his wife never wavered in their loyalty to God and His service.

The story is told that after much struggle and effort, the George Young family was finally able to move into their own small home, which they had built themselves. Their joy seemed complete. But then, while Young was away holding meetings in another area, hoodlums who disliked the preacher’s gospel message set fire to the house, leaving nothing but a heap of ashes. It is thought that out of that tragic experience, George Young completed this hymn, which reaffirms so well the words of Job 35:10: “God my Maker, who gives songs in the night.”

Words and Music: G.A Young

In shady, green pastures, so rich and so sweet,
God leads His dear children along;
Where the water’s cool flow bathes the weary one’s feet,
God leads His dear children along.

Refrain:
Some through the waters, some through the flood,
Some through the fire, but all through the blood;
Some through great sorrow, but God gives a song,
In the night season and all the day long.

Sometimes on the mount where the sun shines so bright,
God leads His dear children along;
Sometimes in the valley, in darkest of night,
God leads His dear children along.

Though sorrows befall us and evils oppose,
God leads His dear children along;
Through grace we can conquer, defeat all our foes,
God leads His dear children along.

Away from the mire, and away from the clay,
God leads His dear children along;
Away up in glory, eternity’s day,
God leads His dear children along.

May the Lord help us through our struggles in life.

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May The Lord Find Us Faithful – Sunday School P5 Video

January 7th, 2009

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There is a Fountain

January 5th, 2009
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This is one of the first hymns Cow­per wrote af­ter his first at­tack of tem­po­ra­ry mad­ness. Cow­per had been prom­ised a post as Clerk of the Jour­nal to the House of Lords, but was dis­mayed up­on learn­ing he would have to un­der­go a pub­lic ex­am­in­a­tion in the House be­fore be­gin­ning his du­ties. The fol­low­ing ar­ti­cle from the North Amer­i­can Re­view, Jan­u­a­ry, 1834, de­scribes his di­lem­ma, and how God pre­vent­ed him from de­stroy­ing him­self:

As the time drew nigh, his agony became more and more in­tense; he hoped and be­lieved that mad­ness would come to relieve him; he attempted also to make up his mind to commit su­i­cide, though his conscience bore stern testimony against it; he could not by any argument per­suade himself that it was right, but this des­per­a­tion pre­vailed, and he pro­cured from an apothecary the means of self-destruction. On the day before his public appearance was to be made, he happened to notice a letter in the newspaper, which to his dis­or­dered mind seemed like a ma­lig­nant li­bel on himself. He im­med­i­ate­ly threw down the pa­per and rushed into the fields, de­ter­mined to die in a ditch, but the thought struck him that he might es­cape from the count­ry. With the same vi­o­lence he pro­ceed­ed to make hasty prep­ar­a­tions for his flight; but while he was en­gaged in pack­ing his port­man­teau his mind changed, and he threw him­self into a coach, or­der­ing the man to drive to the Tower wharf, in­tend­ing to throw him­self in­to the ri­ver, and not re­flect­ing that it would be im­poss­i­ble to ac­comp­lish his pur­pose in that pub­lic spot. On ap­proach­ing the wa­ter, he found a por­ter seated upon some goods: he then re­turned to the coach and was con­veyed to his lodg­ings at the Temple. On the way he at­tempt­ed to drink the laud­a­num, but as oft­en as he raised it, a con­vuls­ive agi­ta­tion of his frame pre­vent­ed it from reach­ing his lips; and thus, re­gret­ting the loss of the op­por­tun­i­ty, but un­a­ble to avail him­self of it, he ar­rived, half dead with an­guish, at his apart­ment. He then shut the doors and threw him­self upon the bed with the laud­a­num near him, try­ing to lash himself up to the deed; but a voice within seemed con­stant­ly to for­bid it, and as of­ten as he ex­tend­ed his hand to the poi­son, his fing­ers were con­tract­ed and held back by spasms.

At this time one of the in­mates of the place came in, but he con­cealed his ag­i­ta­tion, and as soon as he was left alone, a change came over him, and so de­test­a­ble did the deed ap­pear, that he threw away the laud­a­num and dashed the vial to pieces. The rest of the day was spent in heavy insensibility, and at night he slept as usual; but on waking at three in the morning, he took his penknife and lay with his weight upon it, the point toward his heart. It was brok­en and would not pen­e­trate. At day break he arose, and pas­sing a strong gar­ter around his neck, fast­ened it to the frame of his bed: this gave way with his weight, but on securing it to the door, he was more successful, and remained suspended till he had lost all consciousness of existence. After a time the garter broke and he fell to the floor, so that his life was saved.; but the conflict had been greater than his reason could endure. He felt for himself a contempt not to be expressed or imagined; whenever he went into the street, it seemed as if every eye flashed upon him with indignation and scorn; he felt as if he had offended God so deep­ly that his guilt could ne­ver be for­giv­en, and his whole heart was filled with tu­mult­u­ous pangs of despair. Mad­ness was not far off, or rather mad­ness was al­ready come.

Af­ter re­cov­er­ing, Cow­per came to real­ize how God can erase the stain of any sin.

I love this good old fashioned American hymn. The lyrics of this piece are especially meaningful.

Lyrics: William Cowper
Music: American melody

There is a fountain filled with blood
drawn from Emmanuel’s veins;
and sinners plunged beneath that flood
lose all their guilty stains.
Lose all their guilty stains,
lose all their guilty stains;
and sinners plunged beneath that flood
lose all their guilty stains.

The dying thief rejoiced to see
that fountain in his day;
and there may I, though vile as he,
wash all my sins away.
Wash all my sins away,
wash all my sins away;
and there may I, though vile as he,
wash all my sins away.

Dear dying Lamb, thy precious blood
shall never lose its power
till all the ransomed church of God
be saved, to sin no more.
Be saved, to sin no more,
be saved, to sin no more;
till all the ransomed church of God
be saved, to sin no more.

E’er since, by faith, I saw the stream
thy flowing wounds supply,
redeeming love has been my theme,
and shall be till I die.
And shall be till I die,
and shall be till I die;
redeeming love has been my theme,
and shall be till I die.

When this poor lisping, stammering tongue
lies silent in the grave.
Then in a nobler, sweeter song,
I’ll sing thy power to save,
I’ll sing thy power to save,
I’ll sing thy power to save,
Then in a nobler, sweeter song,
I’ll sing thy power to save.

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Thanks to God

January 4th, 2009
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This sacred song is another Swedish heritage. There is so much gratitude, warmth of text and a folk-like quality in the music that appeals to any believer. “Thanks to God!” is one of the most popular Swedish hymns that found its way into many evangelical hymnals.

August Ludvig Storm was born on October, 1862, in Motala, and converted to Christ in a Salvation Army meeting. He joined the Salvation Army Corps and became one of its leading officers. He wrote this hymn’s text for the Army publication, Stridsropet (The War Cry), on December 5, 1891. The Original Swedish version had four stanzas, with each verse beginning with the word ‘tack’ (thanks,” having a total of thirty-two “thanks” in all.) The gratitude expressed to God ranges from the “dark and dreary fall” to the “pleasant, balmy springtime,” and “pain” as well as “pleasure.”

Storm suffered a back ailment at the age of 37 that left him crippled for life but he continued to administer his Salvation Army duties until his death. A year before his death, he wrote another poem in which he thanked God for the years of calm as well as pain.

Storm’s text later appeared in the Swedish Salvation Army songbook with a Welsh tune. It wasn’t until 1910, when J.A. Hultman included the text with his own tune in the publication Solskenssonger, that the hymn became popular, both in Sweden and in the U.S.

Read more: http://christianmusic.suite101.com/article.cfm/thanks_to_god_hymn_notes#ixzz0KqMAvGQM&C

We sang this in church today. It’s a great hymn which reminds us to be grateful to our omnipotent God and provider.

Lyrics: August Ludvig Storm
Music:  John Alfred Hultman

Thanks, O God, for boundless mercy
From Thy gracious throne above
Thanks for ev’ry need provided
From the fullness of Thy love
Thanks for daily toil and labour
And for rest when shadows fall
Thanks for love of friend and neighbour
And Thy goodness unto all

Thanks for thorns as well as roses
Thanks for weakness and for health
Thanks for clouds as well as sunshine
Thanks for poverty and wealth!
Thanks for pain as well as pleasure
All Thou sendest day by day
And Thy Word our dearest treasure
Shedding light upon our way

Thanks, O God, for home and fireside
Where we share our daily bread
Thanks for hours of sweet communion
When by Thee our souls are fed!
Thanks for grace in time of sorrow
And for joy and peace in Thee
Thanks for hope today, tomorrow
And for all eternity!

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I am Thine, O Lord

January 3rd, 2009
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The famous hymn composer Fannie Crosby wrote “I Am Thine, O Lord (Draw Me Nearer).” Ms. Crosby got the idea for “I Am Thine, O Lord (Draw Me Nearer) because she had passed one afternoon at the home of Mr. W. H. Doane, in Cincinnati where the two had been talking about how near God was to us when the evening shadows closed in. By the end of the night, she had written the words to this song.

This beautiful hymn assures us of our salvation and belonging to our Heavenly Father. May we be able to always echo the words “I am Thine, O Lord” in our hearts! Amen.

Lyrics: Fanny J. Crosby
Music: William H. Doane

I am thine, O Lord, I have heard Thy voice,
And it told Thy love to me;
But I long to rise in the arms of faith,
And be closer drawn to Thee.

Refrain:
Draw me nearer, nearer, blessed Lord,
To the cross where Thou hast died;
Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer, blessed Lord,
To Thy precious, bleeding side.

Consecrate me now to Thy service, Lord,
By the pow’r of grace divine;
Let my soul look up with a steadfast hope,
And my will be lose in Thine.

O the pure delight of a single hour,
That before Thy throne I spend;
When I kneel in prayer, and with Thee, my God,
I commune as friend with friend.

There are depths of love that I cannot know,
Till I cross the narrow sea;
There are heights of joy that I may not reach,
Till I rest in peace with Thee.

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