Tag Archives: hymn

Scripture at Sunrise 2.9.2012

“As far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us.” -Psalm 103:12

Well may the accuser roar, of sins that I have done; I know them all and thousands more, Jehovah knoweth none! -Tullian Tchividjian via Twitter (Quoting a hymn: “What Though the Accuser Roar“)

[Read the full blog-post here.]

A song for your Friday…Here Is Love

Hear this beautiful song on YouTube (can’t be embedded).

Here is Love
Here is love, vast as the ocean,
Lovingkindness as the flood
When the Prince of life, our ransom,
Shed for us His precious blood
Who His love cannot remember?
Who can cease to sing His praise?
He can never be forgotten
Throughout Heaven’s eternal days.

Grace takes my sin, calls me “friend”
Pays my debt completely
Love rescued me, seated me
With my King forevermore

On the mount of crucifixion
Fountains opened deep and wide
Through the floodgates of God’s mercy
Flowed a vast and gracious tide
Grace and love like mighty rivers
Poured incessant from above
Heaven’s peace and perfect justice
Kissed a guilty world in love

Let me all Your love accepting
Love You ever all my days
Let me seek Your kingdom only
And my life be to Your praise
You alone shall be my glory
Nothing in the world I see
You have cleansed and sanctified me
God Himself has set me free!

Robert Lowry (1826-1899) & William Rees (1802-1883), Additional Chorus by Kate Simmonds
©2010 Phat Music


Scripture at Sunrise 4.9.2010

“When Jesus had received the vinegar, He said, ‘It is finished’; and He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.”  -John 19:30

Beneath the Cross of Jesus by Elizabeth Cecelia Clephane (1830-1869)
Beneath the cross of jesus
I fain would take my stand—
The shadow of a mighty Rock
Within a weary land;
A home within the wilderness,
A rest upon the way,
From the burning of the noontide heat,
And the burden of the day.

Upon that cross of Jesus
Mine eye at times can see
The very dying form of One
Who suffered there for me;
And from my smitten heart with tears
Two wonders I confess—
The wonders of redeeming love
And my unworthiness.

I take, O cross, thy shadow
For my abiding place;
I ask no other sunshine than
The sunshine of His face;
Content to let the world go by,
To know no gain nor loss,
My sinful self my only shame,
My glory all the cross.

Story Behind the Song
Compliments of Hymntime/Click for linkElizabeth Cecelia Clephane spent her whole life in Scotland. Daughter of a county sheriff, she grew up in the village of Melrose.  She suffered from poor health most of her life, but that didn’tkeep her from serving others.  She regularly helped the poor and those with disabilities, even selling a horse and carriage to give mroe money.  Her cheery attitude and selfless spirit earned her the nickname, “The Sunbeam of Melrose.” 

She wrote eight hymns in her lifetime, including “The Ninety and Nine.” A Presbyterian, Clephane filled her hymns with biblical images. In this hymn, she gathers various biblical examples of restoration and protection, uniting them with the benefits of the Cross.  Thus the Cross becomes a rock that offers shade to the desert traveler.  It’s a home in the wilderness, a rest stop for the exhausted wanderer. 

The “two wonders” that the author confesses in this hymn are Christ’s love and her own unworthiness.  These are common themes for Christian writers.  Even the apostle Paul suggested that someone might give his life for a good person, but marveled that God showed His love to us “while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8).

[From The One Year Book of Hymns, April 12 entry]

Scripture at Sunrise 1.29.10

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.”  -Romans 8:28

There is something indescribably beautiful about hymns in another language, especially when they have rich words to begin with. This one is sung by Haitian-American Davidson Jean-ReJouis in Creole and English as a message of hope to his homeland.

God Moves in a Mysterious Way

  1. God moves in a mysterious way
    His wonders to perform;
    He plants His footsteps in the sea
    And rides upon the storm.
  2. Deep in unfathomable mines
    Of never failing skill
    He treasures up His bright designs
    And works His sov’reign will.
  3. Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
    The clouds ye so much dread
    Are big with mercy and shall break
    In blessings on your head.
  4. Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
    But trust Him for His grace;
    Behind a frowning providence
    He hides a smiling face.
  5. His purposes will ripen fast,
    Unfolding every hour;
    The bud may have a bitter taste,
    But sweet will be the flow’r.
  6. Blind unbelief is sure to err
    And scan His work in vain;
    God is His own interpreter,
    And He will make it plain.

Be still, be still, oh my soul and know
That God is sitting on His throne.
Be still, be still, oh my soul and know
That God works all things for His glory and my good.

[Words by William Cowper, arranged by Kelley Coppage]

Scripture at Sunrise 11.20.09

“Christ Jesus…is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.”  -Romans 8:34

Arise, my soul, arise; shake off thy guilty fears;
The bleeding sacrifice in my behalf appears:
Before the throne my surety stands,
Before the throne my surety stands,
My name is written on His hands.

He ever lives above, for me to intercede;
His all redeeming love, His precious blood, to plead:
His blood atoned for all our race,
His blood atoned for all our race,
And sprinkles now the throne of grace.

Five bleeding wounds He bears; received on Calvary;
They pour effectual prayers; they strongly plead for me:
“Forgive him, O forgive,” they cry,
“Forgive him, O forgive,” they cry,
“Nor let that ransomed sinner die!”

The Father hears Him pray, His dear anointed One;
He cannot turn away, the presence of His Son;
His Spirit answers to the blood,
His Spirit answers to the blood,
And tells me I am born of God.

My God is reconciled; His pardoning voice I hear;
He owns me for His child; I can no longer fear:
With confidence I now draw nigh,
With confidence I now draw nigh,
And “Father, Abba, Father,” cry.

[Words by Charles Wes­ley; Music by Lew­is Ed­son]

Scripture at Sunrise 11.13.09

“These things I have spoken to you, while I am still with you.  But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”  -John 14:25-27
Blessed Quietness
Verse 1
Joys are flowing like a river,
since the Comforter has come;
He abides with us forever,
makes the trusting heart His home.Chorus
Blessed quietness, holy quietness,
what assurance in my soul,
on the stormy sea, Jesus speaks peace to me,
and the billows cease to roll.

Verse 2
Bringing life and health and gladness,
all around this heavenly Guest,
banished unbelief and sadness,
changed our weariness to rest.


Verse 3
Like the rain that falls from heaven,
like the sunlight from the sky,
so the Holy Ghost is given,
coming on us from on high.


Verse 4
See a fruitful field is growing,
blessed fruit of righteousness;
and the streams of life are flowing
in the lonely wilderness.


Verse 5
What a wonderful salvation,
Where we always see His face!
What perfect habitation,
What a quiet resting place!

[by Manie Payne Ferguson 1850-?]
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
On the stormy Sea of Galilee, Jesus commanded the winds and waves, “Peace, be still” (Mark 4:39) and immediately there was calm.  And later in the upper room, as Jesus told His disciples that He would leave them, He promised them the Holy Spirit and peace.
Manie Payne, born in Carlow, Ireland, was a Christian, but she did not know peace.  She struggled with her sinful nature until she bgan to experience the fullness of the Holy Spirit.  This is the “blessed quietness” that she wrote about.  Once that occurred, she was so happy she could hardly contain herself.  Indeed, joy was flowing like a river in her life.
Later she married T.P. Ferguson and founded Peniel Missions, with branches in Egypt, China, and the west coast of the United States.
[from the One Year Book of Hymns, May 21 entry]
Listen to a beautiful jazzed up piano version!

Scripture at Sunrise 10.30.09

“I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in.” -Revelation 3:20

Since Jesus Came Into My Heart
What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought
Since Jesus came into my heart!
I have light in my soul for which long I had sought,
Since Jesus came into my heart!

Since Jesus came into my heart,
Since Jesus came into my heart,
Floods of joy o’er my soul
Like the sea billows roll,
Since Jesus came into my heart.

I have ceased from my wandering and going astray,
Since Jesus came into my heart!
And my sins, which were many, are all washed away,
Since Jesus came into my heart!

I’m possessed of a hope that is steadfast and sure,
Since Jesus came into my heart!
And no dark clouds of doubt now my pathway obscure,
Since Jesus came into my heart!

There’s a light in the valley of death now for me,
Since Jesus came into my heart!
And the gates of the City beyond I can see,
Since Jesus came into my heart!

I shall go there to dwell in that City, I know,
Since Jesus came into my heart!
And I’m happy, so happy, as onward I go,
Since Jesus came into my heart!

[Words by // Ru­fus H. Mc­Dan­i­el, 1914 / Music by // Charles H. Gabriel, 1914]

McDaniel, an Ohio native, wrote these words after the death of his son.  Gabriel was a well-known composer who also wrote hymns such as I Stand Amazed in the Presence and Send the Light.

Here’s a beautiful rendition I found on YouTube.

Scripture at Sunrise 9.4.09

“For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him.  He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.  On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God.  Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah”  -Psalm 62:5-8

Rock of Ages
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
let me hide myself in thee;
let the water and the blood,
from thy wounded side which flowed,
be of sin the double cure;
save from wrath and make me pure.

Not the labors of my hands
can fulfill thy law’s commands;
could my zeal no respite know,
could my tears forever flow,
all for sin could not atone;
thou must save, and thou alone.

Nothing in my hand I bring,
simply to the cross I cling;
naked, come to thee for dress;
helpless, look to thee for grace;
foul, I to the fountain fly;
wash me, Savior, or I die.

While I draw this fleeting breath,
when mine eyes shall close in death,
when I soar to worlds unknown,see thee on thy judgment throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
let me hide myself in thee.
[by Augustus Toplady, 1740-1778]

Story Behind the Song
It may seem strange that such a sedate hymn as “Rock of Ages” was written by a feisty, pugnacious man named Toplady.  Converted under a Methodist evangelist while attending the University of Dublin, Toplady decided to prepare for the ministry.  Though impressed with the spirit of Methodism, he strongly disagreed with the Wesleys’ Arminian theoloty and waged a running battle with them through tracts, sermons, and even hymns.  “Wesley,” said Toplady, “is guilty of Satan’s shamelessness.”  Wesley retorted, “I do not fight with chimney sweeps!” 

Toplady wrote “Rock of Ages” to conclude a magazine article in which he emphasized that, just as England could never repay its national debt, so humans through their own efforts could never satisfy the eternal justice of God.  He died of tuberculosis and overwork at the age of thirty-eight, two years after he published his own hymnal, in which “Rock of Ages” and Charles Wesley’s “Jesus, Lover of My Soul” were placed side by side.  (Read More)
[from The One Year Book of Hymns, July 19 entry]

Listen to Chris Rice’s version of this timeless hymn. 

Scripture at Sunrise 8.28.09

“I will give you one heart and a new spirit; I will take from you your hearts of stone and give you tender hearts of love for God, so that you can obey My laws and be My people, and I will be your God.”  -Ezekiel 11:19-20

O For a  Heart to Praise My God
O for a heart to praise my God,
a heart from sin set free,
a heart that always feels thy blood
so freely shed for me.

A heart resigned, submissive, meek,
my great Redeemer’s throne,
where only Christ is heard to speak,
where Jesus reigns alone.

A humble, lowly, contrite heart,
believing, true, and clean,
which neither life nor death can part
from Christ who dwells within.

A heart in every thought renewed
and full of love divine,
perfect and right and pure and good,
a copy, Lord, of Thine.

Thy nature, gracious Lord, impart;
come quickly from above;
write thy new name upon my heart,
Thy new, best name of Love.
[by Charles Wesley 1707-1788]

Story Behind the Song
It is not surprising that John and Charles Wesley should be concerned about the human heart.  After all, they had gone through the motions of a heartless Christianity fr years.  It was not enough, they discovered, for a person to be religious, moral, and orthodox.  They had been all that—as ordained clergymen, they knew the gospel well.  But their hearts still had to be changed by an encounter with God’s Word.  As John Wesley read Luther’s commentary of Galatians and then read about “the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20), the personal pronouns struck him.  Suddenly he saw the necessity of a personal faith that would change the heart.

This hymn, written by Charles Wesley less than four years after his conversion, is based on Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a pure heart, O God.”  He knew as well as anybody that that was the only way he could truly be what God wanted him to be.
[from The One Year Book of Hymns, August 26 entry]

Scripture at Sunrise 8.21.09

“And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that He was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to His disciples, ‘Why does He eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ And when Jesus heard it, He said to them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.'”  -Mark 2:16-17

Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy
Come, ye sinners, poor and needy,
Weak and wounded, sick and sore;
Jesus ready stands to save you,
Full of pity, love and pow’r.

I will arise and go to Jesus,
He will embrace me in His arms;
In the arms of my dear Savior,
Oh, there are ten thousand charms.

Come, ye thirsty, come, and welcome,
God’s free bounty glorify;
True belief and true repentance,
Every grace that brings you nigh.

Come, ye weary, heavy-laden,
Lost and ruined by the fall;
If you tarry till you’re better,
You will never come at all.

View Him prostrate in the garden;
On the ground your Maker lies;
On the bloody tree behold Him;
Sinner, will this not suffice?

Lo! th’ incarnate God ascended,
Pleads the merit of His blood:
Venture on Him, venture wholly,
Let no other trust intrude.

Let not conscience make you linger,
Not of fitness fondly dream;
All the fitness He requireth
Is to feel your need of Him.

[by Joseph Hart 1712-1768]

Story Behind the Song
London-born Joseph Hart struggled against God for years.  When he attended church, he went to find fault.  He responded to a sermon by John Wesley by writing a tract, “The Unreasonableness of Religion.”  He was a language teacher by profession, but spiritually he was (in his own words) a “loose backslider, an audacious apostle, and a bold-faced rebel.”  Then he came under conviction.  At times he was afraid to sleep, fearing he would “awake in hell.”  He went from church to church, but as he said, “everything served only to condemn me.”
Finally at the age of forty-five he wandered into a Moravian chapel in London and heard words of hope.  On returning home he knelt in prayer.
Three years later he became a minister and began writing hymns to touch the hearts of others who had experienced similar struggles.  The words of his hymns come from the heart of someone who has been there.
[from The One Year Book of Hymns, August 20 entry]