Sunday, March 2, 2008

Speaking to Yourselves in.... HYMNS

I noticed that I had been tagged by some friends to pick up the nearest book of 123 pages or more. Find Page 123.
Read the first 5 sentences.
Post the next 3 sentences.
Tag 5 people......
Well, the book closest to me doesn't have 123 pages, so I guess I'm cheating a little, but it does lead to what I had been thinking of blogging about, so here goes....
The book is Christ's Standard Bearer by George Finlay.
It is a study in the hymns of Charles Wesley.
I love thrift stores and old books. I found this book recently and bought it, mainly because Dan has been doing a Sunday night series on the Hymns of the Church.

These services have been very informative.

The first topic was, "Hymns Which Were Written Over 100 Years Ago". Some of those included: My Savior First of All, I Belong to the King, The Old Rugged Cross and Be Still My Soul. Somehow, I believe those will still be around a long time after I'm gone!

In the second service, Dan spoke about "Hymns Written in 30 Minutes or Less". I found this just amazing! Songs like, Abide With Me, In the Sweet Bye and Bye and No One Ever Cared For Me Like Jesus. These are songs which could hardly be described any other way, but "God-inspired"!

Unfortunately, I missed last Sunday's hymn service, due to sickness. The theme was, "Hymns Written By Those Who Endured Physical Suffering". I was able to read Dan's notes. Some of the song titles written by those with immense suffering were:
God Will Take Care Of You, Near To The Heart of God and The Solid Rock.

I have come to love the hymns which I grew up singing in church. It seems like they have taken on new meaning for me over the past few years. I've never been privileged to sit in on a hymnology class, but I think it would be so cool! I admit, I enjoy a wide variety of music. I can listen to anything from bluegrass to opera and feel blessed! :-) My daughter has taken an interest in classical, partially because she has had to in her musical studies. (She just completed Bach Inventions 8 and 13) I really liked those too! But there's just nothing like the old hymns!
I heard Gloria Gaither say that hymns are really "portable pieces of theology". What an excellent analogy! How important they will be to us and our children in the years to come!
I remember the first fierce battle I faced as a young mother and wife. One night in the hardest part of it all, the Lord brought a song to my mind, and the most overwhelming peace filled my heart. Now, when I think back to it, the song completely overshadows the trial. And it's been that way all along! Next to the Psalms, nothing has lifted my spirit like the hymns.
I can't say I have a favorite... There are too many wonderful hymns which speak to different occasions and situations we face day to day, but the following song has become ONE of my all-time favorites:

Born on October 3, 1832, in Sweden, Lina was the daughter of a pastor. When she was twenty-six years of age, she accompanied her father on a journey to Gothenburg, but tragedy occurred before the destination was reached. The ship gave a sudden lurch and Lina’s father fell overboard, and drowned before the eyes of his devoted daughter.
Soon many songs began to flow out of her broken heart. Her songs reflect a simple child-like trust in Christ, and a deep sense of His abiding presence in her life, including this song.
Day by day, and with each passing moment, Strength I find, to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment, I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.
He Whose heart is kind beyond all measure Gives unto each day what He deems best—
Lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure, Mingling toil with peace and rest.

Oh, I guess I really didn't get to the book overview... Maybe some other time.


Angie Davis said...

That's beautiful, Leah! I met your hilarious husband last summer and only recently realized you had a blog.

connie said...

I enjoyed your blog sooo much. Day by Day is one of my favorites, too. I've had the privilege of teaching Hymnology to college music majors and it is so interesting, informative and inspiring!!