Although I love hymns and choruses focused on God Himself, rather than on us as worshippers, there are some great lyrics that refer to the actual worship of the believer. These too have a place in our hymnals and in our worship.
Standing on the promises of Christ my King, thro’ the eternal ages let His praises ring. Glory in the highest I will shout and sing; standing on the promises of God. — R. Kelso Carter
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of Creation! O my soul, praise Him, for He is they health and salvation! All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near; join me in glad adoration! — Joachim Neander
What have I to dread, what have I to fear, leaning on the everlasting arms? I have blessed peace with my Lord so near, leaning on the everlasting arms. — Elisha A. Hoffman
This week I’ m focusing on hymn lyrics. I’ve been seeing these in my devotions this year and some of the lyrics have made their way into my journal. I’m not one to say that we need only hymns in our worship services, but I do think they have a way of worshipping God that is truly special. But chorus or hymn, I love the ones that are more focused on God (His character, His works, His heart) than on us (our worship, our service, our hearts).
He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater; He sendeth more strength as our labors increase. To added afflictions He added His mercy; to multiplied trials He multiplies peace. –Annie J. Flint
I sing the mighty power of God that made the mountains rise.; that spread the flowing seas abroad and built the lofty skies. I sing the wisdom that ordained the sun to rule the day. The moon shines full at His command and all the stars obey. — Isaac Watts
Wonderful grace of Jesus, reaching to all the lost. By it I have been pardoned, saved to the uttermost. Chains have been torn asunder, giving me liberty; for the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me. — Holder Lillenas
He framed the globe, He built the sky. He made the shining worlds on high and reigns in glory there. His beams are majesty and light; His beauties, how divinely bright! His dwelling place how fair! — Isaac Watts
My Word of the Year has been “Worship,” as you may recall. I’ve certainly been learning to worship God in any and every situation, not only at church services, and not only when things are going well.
Today’s quote says it all — these lyrics of a song by Danny Oertli, a dear Compassion friend. He certainly learned to worship God through his tears when his first wife died of cancer. His music has always been a huge encouragement to me. This is truly what worship is all about — trusting God in all situations; knowing He’s still on the throne, and certain that He can be trusted fully. This is why we worship Him.
While in Nairobi we also got to meet some young men that Chris knew from a previous trip. Patrick and Freddie are members of a Christian band called “BMF” — or “Be My Faithful.” They are very well known in Kenya, and other places, and we were privileged to have dinner with them. This is Freddie on the left and Patrick on the right.
Our dinner was delicious:
We heard some of their stories and asked a lot of questions about various ministries. Patrick works with a ministry called “Dusty Feet,” which is working to rescue children from slave labor (check out their website here!. These guys have a heart of gold, and it was a pleasure to meet them!
People ask me what I’m planning to do, now that I’m retired from BHS as the accompanist. Well, I won’t be playing 200 pieces of music per year, but I’ll still be involved in some way. I’ve been studying jazz at Sheridan College and hope to continue playing with the ensembles there. I also hope to play with jazz combos here in Buffalo, and will certainly be playing for worship services from time to time. As I said earlier, I can sit at the piano and play only for myself and the Lord for hours at a time. The piano won’t be completely silent, and hopefully someone better than me will be playing this one.
I’ve always been interested in jazz music. Years ago, on a cruise with my parents and husband, I was practicing in a lounge during the day and didn’t realize one of the members of the professional jazz band was listening. He asked me to join their set that evening and I did. We had a blast.
Here are some recent pics of moments with local jazz musicians.
I even ended up in the news with the Sheridan College Jazz Band. Let’s keep this going, friends!