1 I waited patiently for the LORD;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the LORD
and put their trust in him.
Saturday, January 8, 2011
01/09/11: 40 (U2), Mighty to Save, He is Exalted, Stronger, Christ is Risen, You are My King (Amazing Love)
1 I waited patiently for the LORD;
Saturday, January 1, 2011
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Friday, September 3, 2010
Come Thou Fount (Robert Robinson)
"O LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago." Isaiah 25:1
The background for the next two songs can be found in a book called "101 Hymn Stories"
Robert Robinson was born of lowly parents in Swaffham, Norfolk, England, on September 27, 1735. His father died when Robert was eight, and at the age of fourteen he was sent by his mother to London to learn the barbering trade. Here for the next few years he was associated with a notorious gang of hoodlums and lived a debauched life. At the age of seventeen he attended a meeting where George Whitefield was preaching. Robinson and his friends went for the purpose of "scoffing at the poor, deluded Methodists." However, Whitefield's strong evangelistic preaching so impressed young Robinson that he was converted to Christ. Several years later he felt called to preach and entered the ministry of the Methodist Church. Subsequently, he left the Methodist Church when he moved to Cambridge and became a Baptist pastor. Here he became known as an able theologian through his writing of many theological works as well as several hymns.
This hymn text, written when Robinson was only twenty-three years of age, contains an interesting expression in the second stanza, "Here I raise mine Ebenezer - Hither by Thy help I'm come." This language is taken from 1 Samuel 7:12, where the Ebenezer is a symbol of God's faithfulness. An expression in the third verse, "Prone to wander - Lord, I feel it - Prone to leave the God I love," seems to have been prophetic of Robinson's later years, as once again his life became characterized by lapses into sin, unstableness, and an involvement with the doctrines of Unitarianism.
The story is told that Robinson was one day riding a stagecoach when he noticed a woman deeply engrossed with a hymn book. During an ensuing conversation the lady turned to Robinson and asked what he thought of the hymn she was humming. Robinson burst into tears and said, "Madam, I am the poor unhappy man who wrote that hymn many years ago, and I would give a thousand worlds, if I had them, to enjoy the feelings I had then."
All Creatures of Our God and King (Francis of Assisi)
"All you have made will praise you, O LORD; your saints will extol you. They will tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might" Psalm 145:10-11
This inspiring expression of praise found in nearly every hymnal was originally written in 1225 by one of the most interesting figures in all of church history. Giovanni Bernardone, who was better known as Saint Francis of Assisi, was a mystic, medieval monk who spent his lifetime as an itinerant evangelist, preaching and helping the poor people of Italy.
Saint Francis was born in Assisi, Italy, in 1182. After an early indulgent life as a soldier, he reformed his ways dramatically, at the age of twenty-five, and determined to serve God by imitating the selfless life of Christ in all that he did. Although his family were people of considerable means, Francis scorned the possession of material goods, denounced his inherited wealth, denied himself everything but the most meager necessities, and devoted himself completely to moving about his area as Christ's representative. At the age of twenty-eight Francis founded the influential Franciscan Order of Friars, which developed into a large movement of young men and some women who adopted his religious beliefs and ascetic style of life.
Saint Francis was known as a great lover of nature, seeing the hand of God in all creation. One of the well known master painting from this time was done by the famous Italian artist, Giotto, and shows Saint Francis feeding the birds. The following well-known verse was writtten in tribute to this man:
"Saint Francis came to preach - with smiles he met the friendless, fed the poor, freed a trapped bird, led home a child; Although he spoke no word - his text, God's love, the town did not forget."
"All Creatures of Our God and King" is from one of Saint Francis's writings entitled "Canticles of the Sun," said to have been written one hot summer day in 1225, one year before his death, while Francis was very ill and suffering the loss of his eyesight. Throughout his life Saint Francis made much use of singing and believed strongly in the importance of church music. In all he wrote more than sixty hymns for use in the monastery. This beautiful expression of praise is one that has survived the passing of these several hundred years.
Although there is much that is difficult to understand and explain about the author of this text, we certainly can be thankful that God ordained the birth, translation and the preservation of this fine expression of praise for His people to enjoy even to the present time.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Come and Listen (Crowder)