Showing posts with label hymns. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hymns. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

What's On Deck

Posted by Christine Pack

Any of our regular readers know of my deep and abiding love for hymns. I am constantly finding and downloading new hymns:  some old, some new, some contemporary, some traditional, some gospely and bluesy, some on the pipe organ, and everything in between.  I am also constantly being surprised at hearing from readers who report that they have had little to no exposure to hymns.  With that in mind, I'd like to share my current iPod playlist, for anyone who would like to check out a few of these hymns and see what they've been missing. Be blessed.
Stricken, Smitten and Afflicted (Fernando Ortega)
Come, Come Ye Saints (Libbie Linton)
Wayfaring Stranger (Trent Wagler and the Steel Wheels)
What Wondrous Love Is This? (Chelsea Moon and the Franz Brothers)
I Know Whom I Have Believed (Jesse Lee Campbell)
And Can It Be? (The Enfield Hymn Sessions)
Wading Deep Waters (Crooked Still)
He Hideth My Soul (Mark Miller)
My Faith Has Found A Resting Place (Billy and Cindy Foote)
Just A Closer Walk With Thee (Damian Jurado and Rosie Thomas)
Go Down, Moses (The Lower Lights)
It Is Well With My Soul (Jesse Lee Campbell)
O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus (The Enfield Hymn Sessions)
Nearer, My God, To Thee (The Lower Lights)
I Stand Amazed In the Presence (The Village Church)
photo credit: chrisgrayphotos via photopin cc

 Additional Resources 

A Few Thoughts On Christian Music (Sola Sisters)

Expressions of Worship - A Biblical Examination of Worship (Pastor Chris Anderson)

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Stricken, Smitten and Afflicted (Fernando Ortega)

Posted by Christine Pack

I recently went with friends to see Fernando Ortega, and this was one of the worship hymns he sang. I haven't been able to get this beautiful old German hymn out of my head since then. I pray it is a blessing to our readers.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Few Thoughts on Christian Music

Posted by Christine Pack

An excellent article over at Herescope discusses music in today's culturally relevant church:  "Like a bunch of conformist teenagers kowtowing to “peer pressure,” churches have adapted their musical style to whatever is hip in the culture." This has certainly been true even in my lifetime.  We sang traditional hymns in the church I grew up in, but after leaving the church for more than a decade, I was very surprised to find that the music in the churches I attended upon returning was radically different from what I was familiar with.  I was told that this was a way of "deconstructing" people's preconceived notions about what music "should" be in church.  In true postmodern fashion, I began to ponder this.  Well, what did I think music "should" be?  Sad to say, I did not come up with a very postmodern answer: to my mind, church music should clearly be traditional hymns played on a 19th century pipe organ. But in the little start-up church where my husband and I were saved, they had neither the budget for any such thing, nor, more importantly, any inclination toward having this kind of music.  Instead, we sang short songs with very few words, often repeating verses over and over.  Now, when we began attending this church, God had not yet saved me, and so my reaction to this music was simply personal: I didn't like it.  But after I was saved, I realized there was a deeper, more troubling reason why I didn't like the music: it was doctrinally vapid.

I had one friend who sardonically referred to this music as "7-Eleven songs," as in, 7 words sung 11 times.  The first time I heard this (and after I stopped laughing) I remember thinking what an apt description this was for this kind of music.  7-Eleven songs for a fast food culture.  Perfect.  And when I would ask about hymns at our church, I was told that this was what people wanted, they didn't like the tired old hymns of our "parents' church," we had to be culturally relevant, and that after all, worship wasn't about "me."  Well, I definitely got that worship wasn't about "me," but then that made me wonder: was God really glorified by these shallow songs devoid of doctrine?  Every now and then, our church would play a hymn.  My reaction to these lovely old songs would be so immediate, so visceral, and I simply couldn't understand why.  I would oftentimes be so overcome from hearing these old hymns that I would weep, and literally be unable to sing!  I initially chalked it up to nostalgia, to just remembering growing up and hearing these songs every week.  But as time went on, I began to realize how deep the theology was in these hymns.  I became obsessed with hymns.  Realizing this, one of my new Christian girlfriends gave me a book called Then Sings My Soul, which I absolutely loved and still love to this day.  This book catalogs many of the great classic old hymns, telling the story of how each hymn came into existence, what was happening in history at that time, and so on.  I began to realize why I loved these old hymns so much.  Not simply because the music was lovely - though it was, but chiefly because the lyrics were so rich.  Many of these great old hymns would "tell" the amazing story of redemption and God's mercy in just a few short verses.
"Jesus sought me when a stranger, wandering from the fold of God; He to rescue me from danger, interposed his precious blood." (Come Thou Fount, Robert Robinson, 1758)
Okay, in just those few words - which, incidentally, are only one half of one verse - you've got separation and alienation from God, the danger of hell, and God intervening into this dire situation with the life-giving blood of his Son. That's the gospel right there, folks.  How about this one: 
"Jesus paid it all, all to him I owe, sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow." (Jesus Paid It All, Elvina Hall, 1865)
In this one, you have an unpaid debt, sin leaving a stain that cannot be removed, and then - here comes the gospel - God intervening with his plan of salvation: the blood of Jesus, given to remove the stain, and leaving the white purity of righteousness in its place.  Glorious!

Needless to say, I still love hymns, and have found so many wonderful contemporary renditions of some of my favorites. I've also discovered some I had never heard  - because they weren't sung in our denomination of church - but have grown to love equally as much.  Below are some of my favorites -

Red Mountain Church
Crown Him (Alternately Titled: Look Ye Saints)
Lead Me To The Rock (never knew it growing up, have crazy love for it now)
Jesus, Lover of My Soul
My Jesus, I Love Thee
Come Boldly To The Throne of Grace
Why Should I Fear?
Pass Me Not O Gentle Savior (beautiful harmonizing)
Christ or Else I Die (great song, love his voice)
There Is A Fountain
Dearly We're Bought
Friend of Sinners
Melt My Soul To Love (there's a crazy, Appalachee-flavor to this song - you'll either love it or hate it) 

Keith Urban
I'll Fly Away (and some nifty guitar playing too) 

Emmylou Harris (what a voice)
Wayfaring Stranger
I Love to Tell The Story 

Chris Rice
Rock of Ages 

Candi Pearson
He Leadeth Me
Be Thou My Vision 

Shelly Moore Band
Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee
Hallelujah, What A Savior
Jesus I Am Resting 

Debra Fotheringham
More Holiness Give Me 

Indelible Grace
Beneath The Cross of Jesus
O The Deep, Deep Love Of Jesus
Not What My Hands Have Done
O For A Thousand Tongues To Sing
What Wondrous Love Is This
Go To Dark Gethsamene
O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go
The Church's One Foundation 

David Crowder
All Creatures Of Our God and King
Rock of Ages (great hymn, fantastic version) 

Scott Underwood
Fairest Lord Jesus 

Dierks Bentley
It Is No Secret 

Natalie Grant
Fairest Lord Jesus 

Katie Nelson
Wonderful Merciful Savior 

Kourtney Heying
Holy, Holy, Holy 

Paul Baloche
How Great Thou Art 

Jadon Lavik
This is My Father's World
Blessed Assurance
Take My Life
'Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus
Come Thou Fount
Turn Your Eyes
What Wondrous Love is This
I Need Thee Every Hour
I Surrender All 

Rebecca St. James
It Is Well With My Soul 

Sara Evans
Just A Closer Walk With Thee
Sweet By And By 

Bart Millard
Hymned - the whole album 

Jars of Clay
Redemption Songs - the whole album 

Kyle Henderson
Nearer My God To Thee 

Tim Milner
This is My Father's World
O Worship The King
When Morning Gilds The Sky
All Hail The Power of Jesus' Name 

Shane & Shane
Before the Throne
O Worship the King 

Sherri Youngward
Amazing Grace
O Sacred Head Now Wounded 

Sarah McIntosh
Then Sings My Soul - whole album 

Nichole Nordeman
How Deep The Father's Love For Us 

Newsboys (lyrics by Stuart Townend)
In Christ Alone (just an awesome song, not technically a hymn, but so doctrinally rich it makes the cut) 

Jeremy Camp
It Is Well With My Soul 

Jessica Lofbomm
O Sacred Head Now Wounded
It Is Well With My Soul 

Bethany Dillon
How Deep The Father's Love For Us 

Shawn McDonald
Amazing Grace 

Carrie Underwood
How Great Thou Art 

Mark Roach
It Is Well With My Soul 

Aaron Keyes
Jesus Paid It All
It Is Well With My Soul 

Chris Rice 
A Mighty Fortress Is Our God 

Kristian Stanfill
Jesus Paid It All 

Sovereign Grace
How Sweet and Aweful Is The Place
I Will Glory In My Redeemer 

Todd Agnew 
Savior, Like A Shepherd Lead Us 

Alan Jackson
Leaning on the Everlasting Arms
Standing On The Promises
The Old Rugged Cross 

Sufjan Stephens
Holy, Holy, Holy
Amazing Grace

Michael Tait
How Great Thou Art 

Ginny Owens
It Is Well With My Soul 

Sara Groves
Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing 

Patty Loveless
Two Coats 

Randy Travis
Are You Washed In The Blood?
O How I Love Jesus
Sweet By and By
Shall We Gather At the River
He's Got The Whole World In His Hand

Amy Grant
This Is My Father's World 

Allison Kraus
Down To The River To Pray
I'll Fly Away 

John Anderson
Peace In The Valley

Terry Butler
On Christ The Solid Rock (one of the best  hymns ever) 

Ben Kweller
Rock of Ages (you will either love or hate this version - I love it) 

Amy Nobles
O God, Our Help In Ages Past
Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee 

Aaron Neville
Morning Has Broken

Willie Nelson
Just As I Am (instrumental) 

Billy Ray Cyrus
Just As I Am (very sweet rendition) 

Debby Smith-Tebay
What A Friend We Have In Jesus 

Trace Adkins
Victory in Jesus

Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver

Peace Like A River (not technically a hymn I don't think, but so precious) 

Lari White
Power In the Blood (sing it sister - it's the blood!) 

Chris Tomlin
Take My Life and Let It Be 

Mark Schultz
Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing 

Ricky Van Shelton
Take My Hand, Precious Lord 

Billy and Cindy Foote
Rescue the Perishing 

Casting Crowns
'Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus 

Eric Clapton
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
photo credit: cealwyn via photopin cc
photo credit: @boetter via photo pin cc

 Additional Resources