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All I Have Is Christ – Jordan Kauflin

All I Have Is Christ

by Jordan Kauflin

I once was lost in darkest night
Yet thought I knew the way
The sin that promised joy and life
Had led me to the grave
I had no hope that You would own
A rebel to Your will
And if You had not loved me first
I would refuse You still

But as I ran my hell-bound race
Indifferent to the cost
You looked upon my helpless state
And led me to the cross
And I beheld God’s love displayed
You suffered in my place
You bore the wrath reserved for me
Now all I know is grace

Hallelujah! All I have is Christ
Hallelujah! Jesus is my life

Now, Lord, I would be Yours alone
And live so all might see
The strength to follow Your commands
Could never come from me
Oh Father, use my ransomed life
In any way You choose
And let my song forever be
My only boast is You

© 2008 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI)

Download the score for free.


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Then Will The Very Rocks Cry Out

The title of this song is Then Will The Very Rocks Cry Out however in my mind the title is If We Keep Our Voices Silent. 🙂

I sang this song when I was in high school in the youth choir at Dawson Memorial.  That was years ago but I remember it well.  I think it must have been one of my favorite choral arraignments we sang.

Then Will The Very Rocks Cry Out

If we keep our voices silent, all creation will rise and shout.
If we fail to praise you, Father, then will the very rocks cry out!
If we keep our voices silent, all creation will rise and shout.
If we fail to praise you, Father, then will the very rocks cry out!

From the corners of creation come the people of the Living God.
Every tongue and every nation gather now to praise the Lord.

If we keep our voices silent, all creation will rise and shout.
If we fail to praise you, Father, then will the very rocks cry out!
If we keep our voices silent, all creation will rise and shout.
If we fail to praise you, Father, then will the very rocks cry out!

From a world of tribulation, come and let your voice be raised.
Join us now in congregation. Let the Living God be praised.

Alleluia! alleluia! unto Him we offer praise.
Alleluia! alleluia! this song of joy to him we raise.
Alleluia! alleluia! In the heavens angels sing.
Alleluia! alleluia! give glory to the most high King!

If we keep our voices silent, all creation will rise and shout.
If we fail to praise you, Father, then will the very rocks cry out!
If we keep our voices silent, all creation will rise and shout.
If we fail to praise you, Father, then will the very rocks cry out!

Alleluia! Alleluia, Amen!

by Mark Hayes

Listen

This is based on this passage in the Bible.

Luke 19:37-40 (ESV)

37 As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives— the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen,
38 saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
39 And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.”
40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”


See if you don’t find yourself singing this after listening to it!



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Bad Hymns / Gospel Songs – Have A Little Talk With Jesus

Can’t be anything wrong with this song, I mean Elvis Presley sang it.  {sarcasm}

 

Have A Little Talk With Jesus

I once was lost in sin but Jesus took me in
Well then a little light from heaven healed my soul
Well, he bathed my heart in love, and wrote my name above
Well just a little talk with my Jesus gonna make it right

We’ll just have a little talk with Jesus
Were gonna tell him all about our troubles
He will hear our fainted cry
He will answer by and by
Oh well, when you feel a little prayer wheel turning
And you will know a little fire is burnin’
You will find a little talk with Jesus makes it right

You may have doubts and fears
Your eye be filled with tears
Oh well my Jesus is a friend who watches day and night
Well he wrote my name above, and he bathed my heart in love
Oh well just a little talk with my Jesus gonna make it right

Let us have a little talk with my Jesus
Please let us tell him all about our troubles
He will hear our faintest cry
He will answer by and by
Now when you feel a little prayer wheel turning
You’ll know just a little fire is burnin’
And have a little talk with my Jesus gonna make it right

Well you may have doubts and fears
Your eye be filled with tears
Oh well now my Jesus is a friend who watches day and night
Well you go to him in prayer
He answers my every prayer
Oh well just a little talk with my Jesus gonna make it right
Now let us have a little talk with my Jesus
Tell him all about our troubles
He will hear our faintest cry
And I know hes gonna answer by and by
Now when you feel a little prayer wheel turning
You’ll know a little fire is burnin’
And have a little talk with my Jesus gonna make it right
Make it right

There is so much wrong with this song but here is something most people don’t notice.

“when you feel a little prayer wheel turning”

Do you know what that is talking about?

“You’ll know a little fire is burnin'”

I’m amazed that people don’t wonder about those phrases.

The concept of the prayer wheel is a physical manifestation of the phrase “turning the wheel of Dharma,” which describes the way in which the Buddha taught….

Fire Prayer Wheel –  This wheel is turned by the heat of a candle or electric light. The light emitted from the prayer wheel then purifies the negative karmas of the living beings it touches.

Prayer Wheel


Think there is a problem here !?!


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Theology in Hymns

Have you ever been singing a well known hymn and suddenly come to realize how much poor theology is in it?

I have had that happen quite frequently when I’ve been somewhere singing praise choruses or more contemporary songs.  There is one song in particular that a previous church sang that I refused to sing.  The following is a bad song theologically and it makes every singer out to be a liar.

Ain’t No Rock

Ain’t no rock, gonna cry in my place
as long as I’m alive I’ll glorify his holy name.

CHORUS
Everybody praise his holy name
As long as I’m alive I’ll glorify his holy name

Ain’t no bird, gonna flap its feathers
As long as I’m alive I’ll glorify his holy name.

Ain’t no tree, gonna wave its branches.
As long as I’m alive I’ll glorify his holy name.

Ain’t no rock, gonna cry in my place.
Long as I’m alive, I’ll glorify his holy name.

Sorry if you like this song, but it is stupid (that is a very harsh word around here).

No birds are going flap its feathers?  No tree wave its branches?  I don’t think so.

While we hopefully all desire to Glorify God while we are alive and everyday, we know that does not happen and we shouldn’t lie.  We could point out our desire to glorify God but we must admit our inability without the Lord.

What hymns do you know that are just as poor theology or makes the singer out to be a liar?  When you really think about them you just might be surprised.

 


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The Star Spangled Banner

Very few know the rest of the verses in this song.  Pay close attention to the last verse.

The Star Spangled Banner

O! say can you see by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O! say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner, O! long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”

And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

~~~~~~~

Francis Scott Key



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You Know What Fetter’s Do?

Our hymn of the month for June was Come Thou Fount.

Come Thou Fount

Come, Thou Fount of ev’ry blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise:
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above;
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.

Here I raise mine Ebenezer;
Hither by Thy help I’m come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home:
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wand’ring from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood.

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy grace, Lord, like a fetter,
Bind my wand’ring heart to Thee:
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it;
Seal it for Thy courts above.

We have been singing this song quite a bit over the past month. The other day in the car the baby was singing it at the top of his lungs as we were driving around. He has the tune down perfect and he has a good portion of the words down pat. However, he tends to sing “Come thou Fountain” instead of “Come Thou Fount“.

I asked the kids if anyone knew what a “fetter” was. As is typical with such a wide age range I started at the five-year old and worked my way up. The five-year old had no problem answering.

“It is a leaf-like thing that is on birds. They are for tickling.”

Needless to say there was a lot of hooting and hollering about his answer.

The next two had no clue.  But the 15-year old and the 18-year old did know the answer.

So what fetter’s you?

Do you know what a fetter is?

Fetter

  1. A chain or shackle for the ankles or feet.
  2. Something that serves to restrict; a restraint.

Similar to hobbles on a horse or shackles on prisoners.



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In Thy Wrath and Hot Displeasure

Here is a new hymn based on Psalm 38 that we are working upon for a future Sunday.  Thankfully, the tune is easy because it is sung to “O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus.”

In Thy Wrath and Hot Displeasure

In thy wrath and hot displeasure,
Chasten not thy servant, Lord;
Let thy mercy, without measure,
Help and peace to me afford.
Heavy is my tribulation,
Sore my punishment has been;
Broken by thine indignation,
I am troubled by my sin.

With my burden of transgression
Heavy laden, overborne,
Humbled low I make confession,
For my folly now I mourn.
Weak and wounded, I implore thee;
Lord, to me thy mercy show;
All my pray’r is now before thee,
All my trouble thou dost know.

Darkness gathers, foes assail me,
But I answer not a word;
All my friends desert and fail me,
Only thou my cry hast heard.
Lord, in thee am I confiding;
Thou wilt answer when I call,
Lest my foes, the good deriding,
Triumph in thy servant’s fall.

I am prone to halt and stumble,
Grief and sorrow dwell within,
Shame and guilt my spirit humble;
I am sorry for my sin.
Lord, my God, do not forsake me,
Let me know that thou art near,
Under thy protection take me,
As my Saviour now appear.

PDF of music


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Church Music in the Days of The Puritians

During their day, Puritans would play musical instruments in their homes but never in the church. It just wasn’t done that way. The psalm book that they sang from did not have musical notes or notations but the tune was chosen by the presenter and then the congregation followed. Or at least was supposed to. But with no written music to follow and no musical instruments the singing over the years denigrated into cacophony. Congregations did not even sing the same “tune” the same way.

Judge Sewell according to his diary complained that twice the congregation was started on one tune and quickly charged right into a totally different tune. He soon gave up his job as presenter.

“. . . the Tunes that are already in use in our Churches; which, when they first came out of the Hands of the Composers of them, were sung according to the Rules of the Scale of Musick, . . . are now miserably tortured, and twisted, and quavered, in some Churches, into a horrid Medly of confused and disorderly Noises. . . .Our Tunes are, for the want of a Standard to appeal to in all our Singing, left to the Mercy of every unskilful Throat to chop and alter, twist and change, according to their infinitely divers and no less odd Humours and Fancies. That this is most true, I appeal to the Experiences of those who have happened to be present in many of our Congregations, who will grant me, that there are no two Churches that sing alike. Yea, I have my self heard (for Instance) Oxford Tune sung in three Churches (which I purposely forbear to mention) with as much difference as there can possibly between York and Oxford, and any two other different Tunes. … For much time is taken up in shaking out [the] Turns and Quavers; and besides, no two Men in the Congregation quaver alike, or together; which sounds in the Ears of a good Judge, like Five Hundred different Tunes roared out at the same time, whose perpetual interferings with one another, perplexed Jars, and unmeasured Periods, would make a Man wonder at the false Pleasure, which they conceive in that which good Judges of Musick and Sounds, cannot bear to hear.”

Grounds and Rules 1721, Thomas Walters

Or how about this quote:

“… sad to hear what whining, toling, yelling or shreaking there is in our country congregations.” Master Mace

And another controversy over music and singing.

So villanous had church-singing at last become that the clergymen arose in a body and demanded better performances; while a desperate and disgusted party was also formed which was opposed to all singing. Still another band of old fogies was strong in force who wished to cling to the same way of singing that they were accustomed to; and they gave many objections to the new-fangled idea of singing by note, the chief item on the list being the everlasting objection of all such old fossils, that “the old way was good enough for our fathers,” &c. They also asserted that “the names of the notes were blasphemous;” that it was “popish;” that it was a contrivance to get money; that it would bring musical instruments into the churches; and that “no one could learn the tunes any way.”

Sabbath In Puritan New England by Alice Morse Earle

Here is some more information about Edwards:

And the duty of singing praises to God, seems to be appointed wholly to excite and express religious affections. No other reason can be assigned, why we should express ourselves to God in verse, rather than in prose, and do it with music, but only, that such is our nature and frame, that these things have a tendency to move our affections.

Jonathon Edwards Religious Affections (WJE Online Vol. 2)

Edwards lived at the time when Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) was dominating the world of music. Though the two were separated by an ocean, one was a Congregationalist and the other a Lutheran, and it is probable that Edwards never actually heard any of Bach’s music, Edwards shared a similar vision with the great composer. Bach, as the composer par excellence at the time, used harmony and counterpoint to direct one’s attention to a higher reality. Edwards likened the harmony of music to the proportionality of beautiful physical features on a woman, as musical harmony symbolized future heavenly harmonious relationships. Music, as well, was to him the most perfect means of communication. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that Edwards often enjoyed singing with his wife Sarah. As a result of this love of music, Edwards set about to reform congregational singing. Strict Calvinism (and correspondingly high Biblicism) led many to believe, as Calvin did, that the only appropriate songs to sing in church were those found in the Bible, translated literally from the Hebrew or Greek. Thus, the Psalms (usually unaccompanied by instruments) was the only form of musical worship allowed in New England churches. By Edwards’ time, this had become pure cacophony, especially in contrast to the music epitomized by Bach. People like Cotton Mather, Isaac Watts, and Edwards’ grandfather Solomon Stoddard brought in the “new music,” including hymns, into the churches. Thus it was that Edwards was able to enjoy the advent of this new musical revolution, the style of which he dearly loved.

http://edwards.yale.edu/wiki/Music

The quote from Master Mace seems that we have come full circle back to where we started centuries ago.

“… sad to hear what whining, toling, yelling or shreaking there is in our country congregations.”

Does that not describe many of our contemporary worship services where the noise of the instruments and the screaming of lyrics obscur any possible value in the words?


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Sacred Harp Singing – Losing Its Heart

This weekend we attended the National Sacred Harp Convention in the Birmingham, Alabama area. I enjoyed getting to hear the style singing that I grew up listening to. Although I found I was seriously out of practice. I could not sing as fast as they did.

The National Convention draws some of the best Sacred Harp singers from around the world.

There were around a dozen singers from the UK, lots from Canada, one lady was from Holland, and many from all over the USA. Singers drove or flew from Oregon, Montana, New York, and California. There was one lady that has flown from England for ten years for this conference.

We didn’t see anyone we really knew this year. Most of the older individuals aren’t able to travel any longer or else they have passed away. We saw several that we are familiar with but really don’t know, many that are part of promoting Sacred Harp Singing nationally. And of course there was the eclectic older individual man that is a regular each year. You never know what to expect from him. I guess you would call him a modern day hippy. The day we saw him he wore shorts, a printed shirt, black knee high socks, and some kind of rolled beret hat. The day before he was proudly wearing a NO WAR shirt.

That was a symptom of a larger problem which I have noticed for years but never so much as this year. What is the problem? The fact that although in some ways Sacred Harp Singing is thriving and being introduced to more and more younger generations, it has lost its heart.

What do I mean about losing its heart?

The National Convention has become a singing for the sake of singing and promoting Sacred Harp singing. But the real reason for singing is lost, just like Christmas today has no evidence of the purpose intended. The heart of Sacred Harp singing is worshiping our Lord, singing praise to His name and His wonderful provisions for us. But that was missing. Now granted there were those there that were singing to praise and worship the Lord, particularly the older individuals. But many, many were there to sing a style of music and they had never caught the reason for the singing.

Sacred Harp singing was a method of learning to sing notes and carry tunes in order that hymn singing in worship services might be beautiful praise to the Lord. It was developed at a time when reading music was not known by the general population and tunes were sung differently in different churches just from memory.

Within a generation or two, the Puritans forgot many of their psalm tunes, and the pace of singing slowed. Lining out, a practice in which a clerk or precentor sang or read a line followed by the people’s singing of that line, gradually became more popular. This call-response pattern and the slowed tempo encouraged individuals to improvise their own variations on the psalm tunes ever more loudly in an increasingly cacophonous sea of sound. Ministers like Thomas Walter found this “singing by rote” intolerable and began in the second and third decades of the eighteenth century to argue for a return to “regular singing.” By 1800 the practice of “lining out” had died in New England and moved South, more of its own accord than by argument, but concern for “regular singing” helped to create singing schools.

Dictionary of Christianity in America

So villanous had church-singing at last become that the clergymen arose in a body and demanded better performances; while a desperate and disgusted party was also formed which was opposed to all singing. Still another band of old fogies was strong in force who wished to cling to the same way of singing that they were accustomed to; and they gave many objections to the new-fangled idea of singing by note, the chief item on the list being the everlasting objection of all such old fossils, that “the old way was good enough for our fathers,” &c. They also asserted that “the names of the notes were blasphemous;” that it was “popish;” that it was a contrivance to get money; that it would bring musical instruments into the churches; and that “no one could learn the tunes any way.”

Sabbath In Puritan New England by Alice Morse Earle

So Sacred Harp singing developed as a way to teach the hymns and tunes to the congregations in order that the hymn singing could be done “decently and in order”.

If you visit a small Sacred Harp singing in a church there is often praying and testimonies given during the singing. Even the songs attest to the Lord’s Grace and faithfulness to us worthless sinners. Although the singings may be doing the right things and saying the right words, they are becoming lacking in the truly important things – worshiping the Lord with all the heart and spirit.

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