Archive for June, 2009

Like A River Glorious

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

This hymn was written in 1876. That year, Frances Havergal was on vacation in the south of Wales where she caught a severe cold and inflammation of the lungs. She was told that she might die and her amazing response was “If I am really going, it is too good to be true.” She however survived and wrote this hymn later that year.

Frances was very frail in health in went home to be with the Lord at the age of 42. Her dying words were “Come, Lord Jesus, come and fetch me.” She had a peace that truly “passeth all understanding”.

Lyrics: Frances R. Havergal
Music: James Mountain

Like a river glorious is God’s perfect peace,
Over all victorious, in its bright increase;
Perfect, yet it floweth fuller every day,
Perfect, yet it groweth deeper all the way.

Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest
Finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest.

Hidden in the hollow of His blessed hand,
Never foe can follow, never traitor stand;
Not a surge of worry, not a shade of care,
Not a blast of hurry touch the spirit there.

Every joy or trial falleth from above,
Traced upon our dial by the Sun of Love;
We may trust Him fully all for us to do;
They who trust Him wholly find Him wholly true.

This is quite an inspiring hymn with a simple but beautiful melody.

Day By Day

Monday, June 29th, 2009

This is a Scandinavian hymn written by Karolina W. Sandell-Berg who was the daughter of Jonas Sandell, pastor of the village’s Lutheran church. She had a frail body but a strong spirit.

She face tragedy at the age of 26 when her father was drowned during a boat trip on the east coast of Sweden near Gothenburg. “Day by Day” is one of her best known hymns.

Lyrics: Karolina Sandell-Berg
Music: Oskar Ahnfelt

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.

Every day the Lord Himself is near me,
With a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares He fain would bear and cheer me,
He whose name is Counsellor and Pow’r.
The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
“As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,”
This the pledge to me He made.

Help me then, in every tribulation,
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith’s sweet consolation,
Offered me within Thy holy Word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
E’er to take, as from a father’s hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till with Christ the Lord I stand.

This hymn was a beautiful flowing melody.

Lead Me, Savior

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

The text was written and the tune (Lead Me) was composed both by Frank M. Davis, who was born on Jan. 23, 1839, near Marcellus in Onondaga County, NY. During his life, he traveled extensively, living at different times in Marcellus, NY; Vicksburg, MS; Baltimore, MD; Cincinnati, OH; and Burr Oak and Findley, MI. A teacher of voice and instrumental classes, he had charge of choirs in various places and was known as a fine soloist. His first published composition appeared in Waverly Magazine. Some of his compilations include Notes of Praise, Brightest Glory, and in 1877 New Pearls of Song.

Da­vis wrote this song in Au­gust 1880, on a steam­er in Ches­a­peake Bay, bound for Bal­ti­more, Mar­y­land. It was pub­lished in Bright Gems, com­piled by S. B. El­len­berg­er, 1881.

Lyrics and Music: Frank M. Davis

Savior, lead me, lest I stray,
Gently lead me all the way;
I am safe when by Thy side,
I would in Thy love abide.

Lead me, lead me,
Savior, lead me lest I stray;
Gently down the stream of time,
Lead me, Savior, all the way.

Thou the refuge of my soul
When life’s stormy billows roll;
I am safe when Thou art nigh,
All my hopes on Thee rely.

Savior, lead me, then at last,
When the storm of life is past,
To the land of endless day,
Where all tears are wiped away.

An excellent writeup can be found at

Blessed Assurance (flute)

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

Here’s a piano and flute version using a regular concert flute. I believe it takes years of practice to be able to play the flute well.

Piano only version:

Come, Thou Fount (flute)

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

Here’s another track with Michael playing an Irish flute together with me on the piano. Irish flutes do not have key pads on them and are harder to play than normal concert flutes. Do you think the flute brings out the melody better in this hymn?

Piano only version:

Nothing But The Blood of Jesus (piano and flutes)

Friday, June 19th, 2009

Take a listen to this hymn played with piano and flutes. The flutes are played by my colleague Michael Spicer who is a very talented flute player.

Piano alone version:

Shall We Gather At The River

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

This hymn is one of the best known of Robert Lowry. It is often used at baptism, though it actually speaks of heaven. There is an account of how this hymn came to be written:

One afternoon in July, 1864, when I was pastor at Hanson Place Baptist Church, Brooklyn, the weather was op­pressively hot, and I was lying on a lounge in a state of physical exhaustion…My imagination began to take it self wings. Visions of the future passed before me with startling vividness. The imagery of the apocalypse took the form of a tableau. Brightest of all were the throne, the heavenly river, and the gathering of the saints…I began to won der why the hymn writers had said so much about the “river of death” and so little about the “pure water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and the Lamb.” As I mused, the words began to con­struct them selves. They came first as a question of Christian inquiry, “Shall we gather?” Then they broke in chor­us, “Yes, we’ll gather.” On this question and answer the hymn developed itself. The music came with the hymn.

Lyrics and Music: Robert Lowry

Shall we gather at the river,
Where bright angel feet have trod,
With its crystal tide forever
Flowing by the throne of God?

Yes, we’ll gather at the river,
The beautiful, the beautiful river;
Gather with the saints at the river
That flows by the throne of God.

On the margin of the river,
Washing up its silver spray,
We will talk and worship ever,
All the happy golden day.

Ere we reach the shining river,
Lay we every burden down;
Grace our spirits will deliver,
And provide a robe and crown.

At the smiling of the river,
Mirror of the Savior’s face,
Saints, whom death will never sever,
Lift their songs of saving grace.

This hymn goes out especially to David from North Carolina. Thanks for all the encouraging comments. Stay tuned.

When We See Christ

Monday, June 15th, 2009

I cannot find much information regarding the history of this hymn apart from the fact that it was written in 1941 and is an old American hymn. It speaks of the second coming of the Lord Jesus.

Lyrics and Music: Esther Kerr Rusthoi

Oft times the day seems long, our trials hard to bear,
We’re tempted to complain, to murmur and despair;
But Christ will soon appear to catch His Bride away,
All tears forever over in God’s eternal day.

It will be worth it all when we see Jesus,
Life’s trials will seem so small when we see Christ;
One glimpse of His dear face all sorrow will erase,
So bravely run the race till we see Christ.

Sometimes the sky looks dark with not a ray of light,
We’re tossed and driven on, no human help in sight;
But there is one in heav’n who knows our deepest care,
Let Jesus solve your problem – just go to Him in pray’r.

Life’s day will soon be o’er, all storms forever past,
We’ll cross the great divide, to glory, safe at last;
We’ll share the joys of heav’n – a harp, a home, a crown,
The tempter will be banished, we’ll lay our burden down.

Let us look to the Lord as we await His return.

The Love Of God

Sunday, June 14th, 2009

This hymn was written in 1917 by a German-born Christian named Frederick M. Lehman. He was working in a packing factory for lemons and oranges. During breaks, he sat down on empty lemon crates and jotted down the words of this hymn with a stubby pencil. The third stanza comes from the pen of an eleventh-century Jewish poet in Germany named Meir Ben Isaac Nehorai.

Lyrics and Music: Frederick M. Lehman

The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin.

O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints’ and angels’ song.

When years of time shall pass away,
And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
When men, who here refuse to pray,
On rocks and hills and mountains call,
God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
All measureless and strong;
Redeeming grace to Adam’s race-
The saints’ and angels’ song.

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

This was the camp theme song of a recent church camp which I attended.

Trust And Obey

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

Lyrics: John H. Sammis
Music: Daniel B. Towner

This hymn was written in 1887 by John H. Sammis. He wrote a poem based on the phrase “Trust and Obey” and sent it to Towner who wrote the music for it. This phrase “Trust and Obey” is based on a testimony heard by D. L. Moody during a meeting – “I am not quite sure – but I am going to trust, and I am going to obey”.

When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.

Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross,
But is blessed if we trust and obey.

But we never can prove the delights of His love
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.

Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet.
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way.
What He says we will do, where He sends we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey.

Hymnpod episodes will resume on 14 Jun 2009, as I will be attending a church camp from 10-13 Jun 2009. God Bless.