"Great Is Thy Faithfulness"

In 1923, Thomas O. Chisholm (1866-1960) wrote a poem about God’s faithfulness to us,  based on the scripture found in Lamentations 3:22-23. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. Thomas Chisholm’s life began in a Kentucky log cabin…

"Eternal Father, Strong to Save"

I’m nervous around water.  Not the water-in-the-sink kind of water, but the it’s-over-my-head-and-I-can’t-swim kind of water.  Water makes a lot of people nervous.  Storms make a lot of people nervous.  Storms on the water can be downright terrifying.  Have you ever had any storms in your life?  Those can be terrifying, too. William Whiting was the headmaster of…

"It Is Well With My Soul"

Their story began quite happily.  Anna Larson was young, lovely and intelligent.  Horatio Spafford was a businessman and senior partner in a successful law firm.  They married in 1861 when Anna was 19 and Horatio was 33, and had a beautiful home in Chicago.  They were devout and active Christians, Ira Sankey and Dwight Moody…

"I Have Decided to Follow Jesus"

“Decide (verb): come to resolution in the mind as a result of consideration.” “Consequence (noun): the effect, result, or outcome of something occurring earlier.” So says dictionary.com. Every decision has consequences, whether big or small, good or bad.  Some things happen to us because of decisions we make.  Some things happen to us because of…

"I'm Gonna Live So God Can Use Me"

Anyone who knows me knows that for better or worse, I am a planner, a list-maker, an over-achieving perfectionist.  In spite of my color coded post-it notes, volumes of topically organized handwritten notes, meticulous scrap books and perfectly arranged sock drawer, there are only a few things is virtually nothing in my life that is the…

"God of Grace and God of Glory"

“God of grace and God of glory, on your people pour thy power.”  These opening words from the hymn with the same name set the mood for a majestic and jubilant hymn.  Although it is typically used as a processional hymn, I think it makes a particularly effective closing or recessional hymn, asking for God’s…

"In Times Like These"

Have you ever wondered what might inspire someone to write a song?  What event or circumstance motivates a person to sit down and write the words and/or music?  In 1944, in the height of World War II, the stress and conflict weighed heavily on British housewife, Ruth Caye Jones. In the midst of going about…

"The King of Love My Shepherd Is"

With a few decades now behind me as a church musician, I have attended, played and/or sung for many funerals and memorial services.  Time and time again I have seen people turn to Psalm 23 for comfort in time of loss.  Whenever I hear Psalm 23, I am reminded of a very specific time and…

A Great Recital

What a wonderful musical afternoon we had!   Twelve students of piano and voice gave outstanding performances of teaching pieces, popular, sacred and classical music.  Everyone performed one or two solos, and some also played duets.  Were there are few performance jitters?   Naturally.  But everyone was so very well prepared that every song sounded marvelous.  I…