Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Hymnal

I was raised on the Worship in Song Hymnal published by the Nazarene Publishing House.  It was opened every time we had service at the Overland Park Church of God (Holiness.)  In fact, I had some of the song numbers memorized due to so much time being spent in it.  I used it to begin playing hymns and improvising.  One of the first hymns I learned to improvise on was "Jesus Lover of My Soul," page 37.  It was especially fitted for early improvisation.  I remember my Uncle Leon Wright, helping me with one of those early experiences.  I am grateful.
 Using a hymnal helped me to learn to read music and understand the concept of four part harmony.
 I learned a lot of Theology about God by singing from a hymnal.  "A Mighty Fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing....for still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe.  His craft and power are great and armed with cruel hate.  On earth is not his equal..."
Hymns and Gospel songs speak to the soul.  When learning about Hymns, knowing stories behind them can be especially meaningful.  Take, for example, "O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go," page 35 in the Worship in Song Hymnal.  The words were written by George Matheson.  Something happened between he and his fiance.  There was no marriage.  From his sorrow he wrote the beautiful words that have spoken to many hearts since..."O love that wilt not let me go, I rest my weary soul in Thee, I give Thee back the life I owe, that in Thine ocean depths its flow may richer, fuller be."  Truly, the love of Christ never lets those who are His, go.  It draws us in.  It soothes.  It strengthens.  It gives us hope. 

The Destruction of God's Prized Creation...

From the beginning, when sin came into the world, the Enemy has done everything possible to destroy God's prized creation, Mankind. One way he does this, is by destroying normal procreation. Homosexuality, Lesbianism, "over population," abortion, and, yes, Transgenderism. For parents to embrace the idea that their child was "born in the wrong body" when they clearly have the reproductive organs of a particular gender (boy OR girl) plays right into the evil designs of the Enemy. Yes, I believe there is absolute truth. Yes, I believe that the Holy Bible is the source of that absolute truth. And yes, I believe that Romans 1:18-32 describes our current culture clearly.
"18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
19Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
20For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
21Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
23And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
24Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
28And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
29Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
30Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
32Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them."