Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs

…speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord… Eph 5:19

Our culture has pretty much rejected hymns. Even our church culture has often rejected hymns. I was in a church once where the pianist disliked them so much that she raced through them whenever they were on the program! It made me laugh at the time. But I’ve come to have a deeper appreciation of hymns in recent years.

hymns of the faith

Hymns, unlike modern contemporary Christian music, tell a story. They teach theology. Modern worship songs have their place, but they, generally, take one concept and repeat it over and over again. Sometimes that zoning in on one point is just what I need – to have my spirit engaged in meditating on one concept of God.

That is not all there is to worship, though. There are times when I want need my mind to be stretched to envelop the fullness of God in my worship. Granted, I can only be stretched so far, but to be confronted with a bigger picture of God than I have at a given moment is a wondrous thing. And one that I certainly need in my life, from time to time!

Not all hymns are created equally.

I’m going to have a bit of my snobbishness showing here, I’m afraid. I don’t think all hymns have the same caliber of content. We’ve all heard the stories that many of the old hymns were bar/pub songs put to Christian lyrics. That may or may not be the case, and I don’t really care. I can see a distinct difference in lyrics written prior to the 1850s from those in later years. The older ones really tell a story, and teach doctrines of the faith. Like the Psalms that go from present pain and fight their way to seeing God’s glory, the old hymns rise from circumstance to victory over the course of 4-6 (sometimes many more) stanzas.

I’m not saying that older is always better. But there is a power in those hymns that recognize the daily struggles, the suffering and the need and power of looking to the cross to rise in triumph! And I’ll tell you, I often desperately need that power!

Hymn of the month.

This year, I would like to introduce a theme of Hymns. I want to have the chance to look at a large number of deep, worshipful and theologically powerful hymns. And since most hymnals have lists according to topic, it might be easy to choose some of my favorites based on those topics.

My goal? That we’ll all come away with a sweeter and more loving view of hymns. And that our faith will be stretched to see a more expanded view of God and His redemption.

Today’s topic – praise:

O Love That Will Not Let Me Go
(author: George Matheson, 1882)

The author went blind at age 21. He told his fiance he was losing his sight and she broke off their engagement, saying she didn’t want to be married to a blind man. He thought he was fine with this, until sometime later, on the eve of his sister’s wedding. This song poured out from him, as if he heard an audible voice. I hope it touches you.

O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul on Thee;
I give Thee back the life I owe,
That in Thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

O Light that follow’st all my way,
I yield my flick’ring torch to Thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in Thy sunshine’s glowe its day
May brighter, fairer be.

O Joy that seekest me thro’ pain,
I cannot close my heart to Thee;
I trace the rainbow thro’ the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain
That morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from Thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.

Honorable mentions:

All Creatures of Our God and King

O Worship the King, All Glorious Above


My Menu (for May)

Here’s my menu for the week, plus please feel free to download my FREE, fully editable, Month at a Glance menu planner, my Weekly Menu Planner and my new Snacks planner.

Monday:

  • B: 2 eggs, 2 pieces turkey bacon
  • L: 6 slices deli meat, 1 small sweet potato, ½ apple
  • S: yogurt, raw veggies, tea w/collagen
  • D: hamburger, large salad

Wednesday:

  • B: 2 eggs, 2 pieces turkey bacon
  • L: 6 slices deli meat, salad, 1 apple
  • S: yogurt, 2 pieces 85% dark chocolate, 1 c berries
  • D: grilled chicken breast, asparagus

Friday:

  • B: 2 eggs, 2 pieces turkey bacon
  • L: oatmeal, 1 c berries
  • S: broiled fish, salad
  • D: beef fajitas (onions, peppers, salsa on low carb tortilla), salad

Sunday:

  • B: 2 eggs, 2 pieces turkey bacon
  • L: tuna w/mayo, salad, 1 c berries
  • S: yogurt, apple
  • D: sliced chicken breast on large salad, 2 pieces 85% dark chocolate

Tuesday:

  • B: 2 eggs, 2 pieces turkey bacon
  • L: sliced chicken breast, raw veggies, 1 c berries
  • S: 2 Wasa crackers w/LLC, tea w/collagen
  • D: broiled fish, broccoli

Thursday:

  • B: 2 eggs, 2 pieces turkey bacon
  • L: tuna w/mayo, salad, 1 c berries
  • S: fat stripping frappa
  • D: pasta carbonara w/Dreamfields, salad

Saturday:

  • B: 2 eggs, 2 pieces turkey bacon
  • L: 6 slices deli meat, raw veggies, ½ c berries
  • S: fat stripping frappa
  • D: pizza on Lavash bread
All Scripture quotations are taken from the NASB.
Unless otherwise indicated, photos from pixaby.com
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