One of my earliest memories of attending church was sitting in a church basement singing a children's song called "Running Over" dutifully dong the actions that went along with it. I loved to sing and would do so at the top of my lungs. During song service upstairs, I would stand on the pew (so I could see) singing and clapping with all of my heart. We sang hymns.
My grandmother played the harmonica. She called it a mouth organ. Whenever she'd come visit, I would start digging in her purse looking for her mouth organ. She'd smile when I found it. With eyes twinkling at me she would begin to play familiar hymns.
Two years ago (after a long and faithful life) my aunts, some cousins and I stood around my grandma's hospital bed and sang hymns. We later found out that people (both visitors and staff) gathered outside her door to listen to the words of hope and comfort.
There are many wonderful new songs of worship. I realize that some hymns are...well a bit interesting to say the least. However, looking back over my life, I realize how often I've received additional encouragement, strength, etc. after singing a hymn or meditating on it's words.
Many people worship God through music. I think it's wonderful that God often uses it to bless us or help us minister to others.
My dad passed away from colon cancer when I was 16. He was hospitalized the last six weeks of his life He became a Christian three weeks before his death. It was right before an emergency surgery.
One of the amazing things that happened was my dad began to sing. I'd never heard him sing before. He had lived with very severe chronic pain since he was critically injured in the navy at the age of 19. In addition to this, my dad was no loinger able to drink fluids after his surgery so his throat and mouth were very dry. That doesn't help your voice much. It was beautiful!
The hymn he kept singing over and over again was "Oh, How I Love Jeus." You could hear him all the way down the hall singing of our wonderful Savior. He couldn't leave his bed, but strangers came by, following the voice that was singing those words. They were astonished to see someone in his terrible condition sing those beautiful words of love and praise. Of course, they had to hear the story behind it all and of course, he had to tell them why he had a song in his heart in spite of his physical condition.
A few of the hymns that have meant a lot to me over the years are:
It Is Well With My Soul
I Am Thine O Lord
‘Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus
The Old Rugged Cross
The Solid Rock
Some church services have 45minutes of praise and wordhip, which I too enjoy very much. Where I am now we sing 2 or 3 songs, sometimes a hymn and sometimes something from our celebration book. The celebration book has "As the deer panteth for the water, so my soul longeth after you" From the Psalms of David. All the other catchy songs are in there.
I find hymns quite serious, and prefer the celebration songs. Nobody seems to sing here in this city where I live now, but when I first went to Cape Town, people walked down the street singing. What an amazing thing to see!
Yes where would we be without the uplifting words from our worship songs?
This blog was written shortly after I joined CB and about four months before I was diagnosed with cancer. In reading this again I was struck by how these are some of the very songs that I would find myself singing during chemo. Yes, I would sometimes sing during the infusions and would try to sing a lot afterward. I took Chris Tomlin's How Can I Keep From Singing to heart...literally.
The songs God poured into my heart and soul in my youth, poured out of me as I battled for my life many years later.
He knew what I needed and when I would need it and He made provision for me.
This my dear K is exactly why we are twins!
As soon as I read the first couple of sentences I was back there singing "Running over, running over, my cup's full and running over...." As I realised in my recent years that I wasn't going to hear as many of the hymns I love I collected a few CD's which (because I live out in the middle of nowhere) I crank up to great volume and "sing" to the Lord. If there was ever any times that I am guaranteed to enter the throne room of God, it is at those times.
One of those 'special' memories is from when I was in a pub at about 20 years old. A Salvation Army Officer came in with one of this young female officers. I remember her standing by the bar singing "The Old Rugged Cross" and I remember how deeply it touched my heart. It wouldn't have been much more than a year or two later that I asked God to take over my life and to this day "The Old Rugged Cross" draws me closer to God.kbird
I have to agree with everyone here. There is just something powerful about the old hymns. Nothing comforts me more than to start singing the song your father sang, K.
There is a name I love to hear
I love to sing its worth
It sounds like music in my ear
The sweetest name on earth
Oh, how I love Jesus
Oh, how I love Jesus
Oh, how I love Jesus
because He first loved me
Oh my goodness, Kbird! I was shocked when I read your comment and saw the words to that old song. LOL! My cup is full and running over! Yes, I crank the music up and belt it out at the top of my lungs...particularly when I'm on one of my power drives.
Melisa Edmunds (@Melisa)
There was a woman across the hall. All she would do was curse everyone who came near her. She cursed at people who passed her door. She cursed at employees, she cursed at her family, and she cursed at God. The suddenly, above it all, you would hear my dad singing that song. Both people were dying and yet while one cursed at God, the other one was praising God. This is evidence of the Power of Christ in us. I never want to forget that He keeps me singing...regardless of my circumstances.