He Died For Me

March 13, 2011 at 9:56 am | Posted in hymns | Leave a comment
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It has been an interesting two and a half months for Kim and I. The next two months should be pretty interesting also. We are getting ready to move as I have accepted a call to pastor a redevelopment church in northeast Ohio. We are going through all the things associated with moving. We have many mixed emotions connected with this move, but we know that God has released me to go and pastor this church. We know that He is sending me and us to serve there. We are looking forward to it. This move will take place soon.

There are other things going on in our lives too, both good and bad, or encouraging and discouraging; whichever way you want to describe them. No matter how you look at them or describe them, we know that God is in control. We have rested in Him and His plans for us for too long to give up now. These circumstances involve both of our sons. Two completely different circumstances or events, but they are linked because of family. No matter the outcomes we know that God is in control here also. They were both dedicated to the Lord when they were babies and we have trusted God to watch over them and teach them.

That brings me to today and blogging. Sometimes I like blogging and sometimes I don’t. I have been busy and preoccupied so I have chosen not to blog consistently over the past few months. I was going to start earlier this week, but then I decided to start with a hymn for Sunday. I have a couple of things in mind with this hymn. First, I want to do some hymns that have an Easter type theme to lead up to Easter Sunday. Second, I hope to encourage people with hymns they may not know or have not sung in a while. Third, I hope to reaquaint some people with great old hymns and introduce some people to some hymns they may never have heard of.

So I hope this hymn blesses you and encourages you to think about what Jesus did for you. He died a painful, terrible death on a cross to pay for your sins (and mine of course). But there is more to that story. God raised Him from the dead and seated in Him in heaven and gave Him the Name that is above every name. Now God the Father offers new life and forgiveness of sins by grace through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ. Hallelujah, what a Savior! I think there is a hymn by that name, but that is for another Sunday.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

Romans 15:13; Ephesians 1:15-23

He Died For Me

by John Newton (1725-1807), sung in 6/4 time

1.      I saw One hanging on a tree, In agony and blood;

He fixed His loving eyes on me, As near His cross I stood.

(Refrain) Oh, can it be, upon a tree The Savior died for me?

My soul is thrilled, my heart is filled. To think He died for me!

2.      Sure, never till my lastest breath. Can I forget that look;

It seemed to charge me with His death. Though not a word He spoke.

(Refrain)

3.      My conscience felt and owned the guilt, And plunged me in despair;

I saw my sins His blood had spilt And helped to nail Him there.

(Refrain)

4.      A second look He gave, which said, “I freely all forgive;

This blood is for your ransom paid, I die that you may live.”

(Refrain)

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Power from on High

October 16, 2010 at 10:47 am | Posted in hymns | Leave a comment
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I may not take the time to post tomorrow so I thought I would give you a good old hymn today. It would be well worth the time to learn about A. B. Simpson if you don’t know anything about him. He was quite the godly man. Some of the hymns he wrote are hard to sing but they have good words. I hope you have an enjoyable weekend.

Stay faithful and hopeful,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

Romans 15:13

Power from on High

By A. B. Simpson, sung in 2/2 time

1.      Gracious Heavenly Father, Hear Thy people’s cry; See us! How we languish! Help us ere we die! Send us by Thy Spirit Power from on high.

(Refrain) Power, power, power from on high, Send us by Thy Spirit Power from on high.

2.      Oh, how long we struggle! Oh, how hard we try! Helplessly we labor, Helplessly we sigh Till Thy Spirit gives us Power from on high.

(Refrain)

3.      Send divine conviction, Bring salvation nigh: Curcify and quicken, Save and sanctify. Blessed Spirit, bring us Power from on high.

(Refrain)

4.      As the heavenly sunshine Bringing summer nigh, As the showers that water Deserts parched and dry, Quickening Spirit, bring us Power from on high.

(Refrain)

Thursday’s Hymn – Holy, Holy, Holy

May 27, 2010 at 9:18 am | Posted in hymns | Leave a comment
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This is simply one of the best songs of all time. As you read it I hope your thoughts are turned to the greatness of God. Who is like Jehovah? May you understand the blessings you can have in Christ and may you be glad with the joy of His presence.

Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty

By Reginald Heber (1783-1826)

1.      Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty!

Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;

Holy, Holy, Holy, merciful and mighty!

God in Three Persons, blessed Trinity!

2.      Holy, Holy, Holy! all the saints adore Thee,

Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;

Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee,

Which wert, and art, and evermore shalt be.

3.      Holy, Holy, Holy! thought the darkness hide Thee,

Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see,

Only Thou art holy, there is none beside Thee,

Perfect in power, in love, and purity.

4.      Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty!

All Thy works shall praise Thy name in earth, and sky, and sea;

Holy, Holy, Holy, merciful and mighty!

God in Three Persons, blessed Trinity!

This is one of those songs where you want people to raise their voices and sing out to God. If possible you want to hear piano and organ playing together. You can through in some string, brass and woodwind instruments too. It just makes me want to praise God for who He is and that He alone is God and there is no other. Hallelujah!

Stay faithful and hopeful because our God reigns,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

Romans 15:13; Revelation 4:1-11

Thursday’s Hymn – Victory in Jesus

May 20, 2010 at 9:51 am | Posted in hymns, Praise | Leave a comment
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When I was younger and pastoring my first church which was also a church plant, God laid on my heart something that we should begin to do during the offering. We should begin to stand and sing upbeat songs and give praise as we gave our tithes and offerings. Now our people loved to clap their hands when they sang and back in the day we used an overhead projector to put the words of the songs on a screen. So we had a good time when we gave to the Lord.

Now our music team grew as our church did. We sang both hymns and choruses during the singing portion of our worship service. At one time we had guitar, bass guitar, drums, keyboard and ladies who played various percussion instruments such as tambourine, kabasa, and maracas. We had men and women in our music team. If I may say so, we got down as we worshiped God in song. We had some great people serving and coming to the church.

Imagine all of those instruments and about eight people leading the singing during the offering! It was wonderful. People were clapping and singing and giving with joy to the Lord. Our people literally looked forward to our offering time. I think it was because we first gave our hearts to the Lord. Then we could give everything else cheerfully too.

I hope you are blessed by the words of this hymn and that you can offer it up to the Most High God as gift of praise for saving you. Stay faithful and hopeful.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

Romans 15:13; 2 Corinthians 8:1-9

Victory in Jesus

(Eugene M. Bartlett, 1855-1941)

1.      I heard an old, old story, how a Savior came from glory,

How He gave His life on Calvary to save a wretch like me.

I heard about His groaning, of His precious blood’s atoning.

Then I repented of my sin and won the victory.

(Refrain) Oh, victory in Jesus, my Savior, forever! He sought me and bought me with His redeeming blood. He loved me ere I knew Him, and all my love is due Him. He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood.

 2.      I heard about His healing, of His cleansing power revealing,

How He made the lame to walk again and caused the blind to see.

And then I cried, “Dear Jesus, come and heal my broken spirit”;

And somehow Jesus came and brought to me the victory.

 (Refrain)

 3.      I heard about a mansion He has built for me in glory,

And I heard about the streets of gold beyond the crystal sea,

About the angels singing, and the old redemption story;

And some sweet day I’ll sing up there the song of victory.

(Refrain)

Thursday’s Hymn – One of My Mother’s Favorites

May 6, 2010 at 9:54 am | Posted in Mother's Day | Leave a comment
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I’ve told many people over the years that I had a good mother. She wasn’t perfect, but she was a good mom. She loved my two sisters and my brother and me. She accepted us for who we are. She encouraged us and wanted us to succeed in life. When we made poor choices and caused her pain, she forgave us and didn’t hold a grudge. She sacrificed her comfort for her children. She did all of this while being unsaved. God in His Sovereignty blessed me and my brother and my sisters with a good mother.

She was friendly, outgoing and giving. She honestly cared about other people. She helped and befriended black people before the civil rights and political changes. There were times she had the opportunity to befriend and help immigrants who were new to our country and she did. Again, all this while she was unsaved. Then on November 18, 1989 she got saved. This good hard working, friendly, loving woman realized she was a sinner before a Holy God and she humbled herself and asked Him to forgive her of all of her sins. She surrendered and accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior.

Now, I’ll stop here. I’ll try to write more about her on Saturday in honor of Mother’s Day. She died almost four years ago three days past what would have been my youngest sister’s fortieth birthday. I’m not overly sentimental or sappy. I don’t have tears in my eyes as I remember her and write this. I don’t need a group hug. But I still love her and respect her and know that one day in the future I will see her again. That future day will be a great family reunion!

To any men reading this, you still have time to go out and get your mother a card and mail it to her. You still have time to do something nice for her. You still have time to call her on Mother’s Day and let her know you appreciate her. Now I’ll share one of her favorite hymns.

When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder

By James M. Black (1856-1938)

1.      When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound and time shall be no more, And the morning breaks eternal, bright and fair; When the saved of earth shall gather over on the other shore, And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.

 (Refrain) When the roll is called up yonder, when the roll is called up yonder, when the roll is called up yonder, when the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.

 2.      On that bright and cloud-less morning when the dead in Christ shall rise, And the glory of His resurrection share; When His chosen ones shall gather to their home beyond the skies, And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.

 (Refrain)

 3.      Let us labor for the Master from the dawn to setting sun, Let us talk of all His wondrous love and care; Then when all of life is over, and our work on earth is done, And the roll is called up yonder, We’ll be there.

 (Refrain)

These are just some of my thoughts and what this hymn reminds me of. I hope you have a good weekend and a good Mother’s Day.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

Romans 15:13; Psalm 50:23

Come, Thou Fount

April 29, 2010 at 9:44 am | Posted in encouragement, hymns, Praise | Leave a comment
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Come, Thou Fount

By Robert Robinson (1735-1790)

1. Come, Thou Fount of every blessing, Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;

Streams of mercy never ceasing, Call for songs of loudest praise.

Teach me some melodious sonnet, Sung by flaming tongues above.

Praise the mount – I’m fixed upon it – Mount of Thy redeeming love.

2. Hither to Thy love has blest me; Thou hast brought me to this place;

And I know Thy hand will bring me Safely home by Thy good grace.

Jesus sought me when a stranger, Wandering from the fold of God;

He, to rescue me from danger Bought me with His precious blood.

3. Oh, to grace how great a debtor, Daily I’m constrained to be!

Let Thy goodness, as a fetter, Bind my wandering heart to Thee;

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love;

Here’s my heart, oh, take and seal it – Seal it for Thy courts above.

 

There are a lot of hymns that I like to sing. That’s not to say I like every hymn ever put in a hymnal. I also like many choruses and praise songs and some of the modern songs written for church. What I’m trying to say is that I like a blended song selection to be sung in church. I don’t like the singing part of a worship service to be all one way or the other. I like balanced song selection and singing.

So I will try to pick a hymn a week to put in this blog for my readers. My hope is that they will appreciate the words and thoughts behind them. I also hope they may sing them as an offering to the Lord in their personal prayer or study time. They may even want to suggest to their church’s song leader to consider singing them some Sunday. I do think that our singing in the worship service should be balanced between old and new, traditional and contemporary.

Those are just my thoughts. There will be another hymn next week.

I read an interesting Spurgeon selection this morning at: http://www.reformationtheology.com/2010/04/and_this_was_just_part_of_spur.php#more

If you have the time you should check it out.  God bless you, stay faithful and hopeful!

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

Romans 15:13; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

There Is Power In The Blood!

April 1, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Posted in Easter songs, hymns | Leave a comment
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Here again is the title of a favorite song of mine. Sometimes when I sing this song I can see myself as a young Christian with four of my buddies in church singing this song. Around the same time that I got saved I stopped to visit an old friend from high school that I only saw occasionally. We used to wrestle on the same high school team and we used to get high together. We did other stuff but as I get older it is harder to remember all of it. Or I just don’t want to.

Well I stop to see him and we’re talking like old friends do and he asks what I’ve been getting into lately. I tell him that I’ve been reading the Bible and trying to learn about God and he says he has been doing the same thing. A few weeks later we both ended up getting saved, real genuine Holy Spirit conversions. We got baptized and so did three other guys that we knew. Then four of us rented a house together. We all started going to church together to a small little community church.

Now I’ve left a lot out of that story. But that little church used to have singspirations every so often on Sunday evenings. We were long haired, some of us bearded, jeans, flannel shirt and work boot wearing young men. We had a lot of young Christian passion and faith. We also had to learn about sanctification and transformation. That little church really wasn’t ready for God to lead us to them. But they tried to accept us and love us. Two of us became pastors, one of us faithfully serves in his local church and two I think fell away (I hope they were really saved).

I remember singing this song as a grateful young Christian. I remember what it was like to be saved from all of my sins. I remember what it was like when the pastor explained to me that now I was a new creation in Christ Jesus and God and Jesus were not going to hold my past life against me. I was really forgiven! Before coming to Christ I knew what it was like to be a sinner and to be headed to hell. Really, I knew I deserved hell and was going there. I really did not think I was good enough to go to heaven, no way. I knew the things that I had done and still did. If you had to be good then I wasn’t getting into heaven.

Then God made me fear Him. Over time I read the Bible and God helped me understand what Jesus did for me and what was offered to me. God had mercy on me and one night alone in my apartment let me get on my knees and pray a sinner’s prayer of repentance toward God and faith in Jesus Christ. God filled me with His Spirit and put my name in the Lamb’s Book of Life. He gave me new life, changed my life and changed the direction of my life.

He can do the same for you. There really is power in the blood! The blood has not lost any power! You can call out to God and ask Him to forgive you. If you are sincere He will forgive you and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. Jesus has purchased your forgiveness and redemption by His shed blood. And they sang a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because You were slain, and with Your blood You purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. (Revelation 5:9).

Even today, years later, I am grateful to God to be saved, redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. I can say with assurance, my sins have been covered by the blood of the Lamb. My name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. I am adopted into God’s family. I am sealed by the Holy Spirit guarantying my future redemption. Hallelujah! What a Savior!

I hope you have a great Easter. If you don’t know Jesus personally I hope you come to know Him. If you do know as Savior and Lord, I hope you appreciate anew what He has done for you.

GRACE and peace to you,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

Romans 15:13; Ephesians 1:3-14      I want to give a shout out to M.W. – keep pressing on broham, your redemption is closer than when you first believed!

 

There Is Power in the Blood

By Lewis E. Jones (1865-1936)

1. Would you be free from the burden of sin? There’s power in the blood, power in the blood; Would you o’er evil a victory win? There’s wonderful power in the blood.

(Refrain) There is power, power, wonder working power In the blood of the Lamb; There is power, power, Wonder working power In the blood of the Lamb.

2. Would you be free from your passion and pride? There’s power in the blood, power in the blood; Come for a cleansing to Calvary’s tide; There’s wonderful power in the blood.

(Refrain)

3. Would you be whiter, much whiter than snow? There’s power in the blood, power in the blood; Sin stains are lost in its life giving flow; There’s wonderful power in the blood.

(Refrain)

4. Would you do service for Jesus, your King? There’s power in the blood, power in the blood; Would you live daily His praises to sing? There’s wonderful power in the blood.

(Refrain)

Washed In The Blood Of The Lamb

March 31, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Posted in Easter songs, hymns, pray | Leave a comment
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This is one of my all time favorite hymns. I like both the words and the beat. I like to sing it and clap my hands and sway a little bit too. Not too much movement, because I don’t have a lot of rhythm, but I do have enough to get into this song. I love this song! So today I am starting five days of songs about the blood of the Lamb leading up to Easter Sunday.

Let me say this as clearly as I can; if you think you can have a bloodless Christianity, you do not have a Biblical Christianity. (18)For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, (19)but with the precious blood of the Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect (1 Peter 1:18-19). I think some Christians need to get over their fear of not being accepted by unbelievers and begin to sing confidently, humbly and passionately about the blood of Lamb that was shed to purchase our redemption.

There are other Scriptures that speak about the blood of the Lamb and I will share some of them over the next few days as I share five of my favorite songs about the blood of the Lamb. I would also like to encourage you to begin to pray for your church’s Easter service and for unbelievers to come and fully understand the message and to experience the redeeming power of the blood of the Lamb. Pray for backslidden Christians to repent of sin and worldliness and to surrender their lives to the Lord. Pray for all of your church’s ministries to be done in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Washed in the Blood of the Lamb

by Elisha Hoffman (1839-1929)

1. Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing power? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb? Are you fully trusting in His grace this hour? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

(Chorus) Are you washed in the blood, in the soul cleansing blood of the Lamb? Are your garments spotless? Are they white as snow? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

2. Are you walking daily by the Saviour’s side? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb? Do you rest each moment in the Crucified? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

(Chorus)

3. When the Bridegroom cometh, will your robes be white, Pure and white in the blood of the Lamb? Will your souls be ready for the mansions bright And be washed in the blood of the Lamb?

(Chorus)

4. Lay aside the garments that are stained with sin And be washed in the blood of the Lamb; There’s a fountain flowing for the soul unclean; Oh, be washed in the blood of the Lamb.

(Chorus)

 God bless you and may you experience the presence and power of God in your church service this Sunday! Stay faithful and hopeful until Jesus returns in glory.

GRACE and peace to you,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

Romans 15:13; Revelation 22:17, 20-21

Offering the Sacrifice of Praise

March 6, 2010 at 5:27 pm | Posted in hymns, Praise | Leave a comment
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Sometimes I like to imagine myself having a great voice. You know, one of those voices that just booms. One of those voices that just sounds good. When I sing I have to imagine I have one of the those voices because I don’t. I have one of those voices that can change key in the middle of a song and I couldn’t tell you what key we started in. But you see I like to sing and praise the Lord who saved me.

I’m not usually too shy so I will sing out when I’m in church. I know what it is like to make a joyful noise to the Lord. I also know what it is to sing while I’m alone worshipping God. Which got me thinking about songs we usually only sing around Easter. These songs could be sung any day, but usually they are reserved for special days.

One of my favorite Scriptures that helps me sing praises to God even when I don’t feel like it is Psalm 50:23. He who sacrifices thank offerings honors Me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God. (NIV). I don’t pretend to have a great singing voice, but I can sing praises to the One who redeemed me. I know He does not get tired of hearing me make a joyful noise to Him.

Sometimes when it is difficult for us to sing praises to Him is when we should make ourselves sing. Somehow, the sacrifice of my praise honors the Lord who redeemed me. Somehow it prepares the way for the salvation of God. I don’t pretend to have the greatest singing voice. That doesn’t matter to God. More importantly, I don’t have to pretend that I am redeemed and my name is written in the Lamb’s book of life, I am assured of that truth.

I can gladly offer the sacrifice of praise any day including Easter Sunday. There are a lot of good Easter songs, so I’ll share five with you that I am glad were written. I look forward to singing them and I hope you do too.

  1. Man of Sorrows by Philip Bliss
  2. Christ Arose by Robert Lowry
  3. The Easter Song by Keith Green
  4. He’s Alive by Don Francisco
  5. Rejoice, the Lord is King by Charles Wesley

 

Christ Arose

By Robert Lowry

1.      Low in the grave He lay – Jesus my Savior! Waiting the coming day – Jesus, my Lord!

(chorus) Up from the grave He arose, with a mighty triumph o’er His foes; He arose a victor from the dark domain, And He live forever with His saints to reign. He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!

2.      Vainly they watch His bed – Jesus, my Savior! Vainly they seal the dead – Jesus, my Lord!

(chorus)

3.      Death cannot keep his prey – Jesus, my Savior! He tore the bars away – Jesus, my Lord!

(chorus)

Go ahead, sing Christ Arose, offer the sacrifice of praise. You’ll be glad you did. Jesus has triumphed over death and the devil. The power that raised Jesus from the dead is at work in us who believe. Hallelujah! I’ll say it again; the power that raised Jesus from the dead is at work in us who believe! (18)I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, (19)and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of His mighty strength, (20)which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, (Ephesians 1:18-20 NIV).

Give praise a chance,

Bill

Romans 15:13

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