This Is My Father’s World

So glad we sang this beautiful hymn today during the worship service at Kenwood Baptist Church – it is one of my favorites.

This is my Father’s world,
and to my listening ears
all nature sings, and round me rings
the music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world:
I rest me in the thought
of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;
his hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father’s world,
the birds their carols raise,
the morning light, the lily white,
declare their maker’s praise.
This is my Father’s world:
he shines in all that’s fair;
in the rustling grass I hear him pass;
he speaks to me everywhere.

This is my Father’s world.
O let me ne’er forget
that though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the ruler yet.

This is my Father’s world:
why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King; let the heavens ring!
God reigns; let the earth be glad!

—Words by Maltbie D. Babcock and music adapted by Franklin L. Sheppard

The King of Love My Shepherd Is

The King of love my shepherd is,
whose goodness faileth never.
I nothing lack if I am his,
and he is mine forever.

Where streams of living water flow,
my ransomed soul he leadeth;
and where the verdant pastures grow,
with food celestial feedeth.

Perverse and foolish, oft I strayed,
but yet in love he sought me;
and on his shoulder gently laid,
and home, rejoicing, brought me.

In death’s dark vale I fear no ill,
with thee, dear Lord, beside me;
thy rod and staff my comfort still,
thy cross before to guide me.

Thou spreadst a table in my sight;
thy unction grace bestoweth;
and oh, what transport of delight
from thy pure chalice floweth!

And so through all the length of days,
thy goodness faileth never;
Good Shepherd, may I sing thy praise
within thy house forever.

—Henry W. Baker, 1868

Be Thou My Vision

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

—Words at­trib­ut­ed to Dal­lan For­gaill, 8th Cen­tu­ry

No Grave Could Keep

We sang this beautiful song yesterday during the Easter worship service at Kenwood Baptist Church. It was written by our Associate Pastor of Worship, Matt Damico.

No Grave Could Keep
by Matt Damico

Verse 1
The Maker of all, in a young virgin’s womb,
the Word, now a baby, cries.
In humility robed, in the form a slave,
the Lord of life come to die.

Verse 2
The Judge of mankind, now placed on a trial,
the guilt of His people now His.
The righteous one bears these thorns for a crown,
that sinners found in Him might live.

Refrain:
Mighty Savior!
Death could not hold Him, no grave could keep.
Hallelujah!
He reigns forever, the risen King!

Verse 3
Lifted and nailed to a cross where He died,
the record of sin, now paid.
But look for Him not, for the Man is not there,
the King is alive, as He said.

Verse 4
The bride now awaits for her King to appear,
when she will in purity rise.
And on that fair day, His praises we’ll sing,
our heart’s trust beheld with our eyes.

Come Behold the Wondrous Mystery

The worship team at Kenwood Baptist Church sang a beautiful new hymn today before communion. The hymn is titled “Come Behold the Wondrous Mystery” and is on Matt Papa’s latest album called Look & Live.

Come behold the wondrous mystery
In the dawning of the King
He the theme of heavens praises
Robed in frail humanity
In our longing, in our darkness
Now the light of life has come
Look to Christ, who condescended
Took on flesh to ransom us

Come behold the wondrous mystery
He the perfect Son of Man
In His living, in His suffering
Never trace nor stain of sin
See the true and better Adam
Come to save the hell-bound man
Christ the great and sure fulfillment
Of the law; in Him we stand

Come behold the wondrous mystery
Christ the Lord upon the tree
In the stead of ruined sinners
Hangs the Lamb in victory
See the price of our redemption
See the Father’s plan unfold
Bringing many sons to glory
Grace unmeasured, love untold

Come behold the wondrous mystery
Slain by death the God of life
But no grave could e’er restrain Him
Praise the Lord; He is alive!
What a foretaste of deliverance
How unwavering our hope
Christ in power resurrected
As we will be when he comes

—Matt Papa, Matt Boswell, Michael Bleecker
© 2013 Love Your Enemies Publishing

The Long Goodnight

One of my favorite songs on the album Watch the Rising Day by Matthew Smith is “Goodnight.” It’s a song written from the standpoint of a christian on their deathbed who is giving hope and solace to their loved ones. The words come from an old German hymn of unknown authorship which was later translated by Jane Borthwick. It was printed in Hymns from the Land of Luther under the title “The Long Goodnight.”

My granmother’s funeral service is later this morning and when I said goodbye to her last Saturday I don’t know if she recognized me. However, I will never forget what she told me the last time I was talking with her. We’d spent the morning visiting and as I was getting ready to leave I told her that I loved her and she told me she loved me too. She said, “I’ve loved you for a long time. I loved you before I even knew you.” I know that it’s true. I know that she loved me and prayed for me before I ever took my first breath – and she never stopped. I can’t wait to see her again in glory.

I journey forth rejoicing
From this dark vale of tears
To heavenly joy and freedom
From earthly bonds and fears
Where Christ our Lord shall gather
All His redeemed again,
His kingdom to inherit
Goodnight, goodnight till then

Why thus so sadly weeping
Beloved ones of my heart?
The Lord is good and gracious
Though now He bids us part
Oft have we met in gladness
And we shall meet again
All sorrow left behind us
Goodnight, goodnight till then

I go to see His glory
Whom we have loved below
I go, the blessed angels
The holy saints to know.
Our lovely ones departed
I go to find again
And wait for you to join us
Goodnight, goodnight till then

I hear the Savior calling,
The joyful hour has come
The angel-guards are ready
To guide me to our home
Where Christ our Lord shall gather
All His redeemed again,
His kingdom to inherit
Goodnight, goodnight till then

—Matthew S. Smith
Based in part on a hymn text by an unknown
German writer, translated by Jane Borthwick

Hallelujah, What a Savior

Man of Sorrows! What a name
For the Son of God, Who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned He stood;
Sealed my pardon with His blood.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Guilty, vile, and helpless we;
Spotless Lamb of God was He;
“Full atonement!” can it be?
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Lifted up was He to die;
“It is finished!” was His cry;
Now in heav’n exalted high.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

When He comes, our glorious King,
All His ransomed home to bring,
Then anew His song we’ll sing:
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

—Philip P. Bliss

Christ is Risen, He is Risen Indeed

Verse 1
How can it be, the One who died,
Has borne our sin through sacrifice
To conquer every sting of death?
Sing, sing hallelujah.
For joy awakes as dawning light
When Christ’s disciples lift their eyes.
Alive He stands, their Friend and King;
Christ, Christ He is risen.

Chorus
Christ is risen, He is risen indeed!
Oh, sing hallelujah.
Join the chorus, sing with the redeemed;
Christ is risen, He is risen indeed.

Verse 2
Where doubt and darkness once had been,
They saw Him and their hearts believed.
But blessed are those who have not seen,
Yet, sing hallelujah.
Once bound by fear now bold in faith,
They preached the truth and power of grace.
And pouring out their lives they gained
Life, life everlasting.

Verse 3
The power that raised Him from the grave
Now works in us to powerfully save.
He frees our hearts to live His grace;
Go tell of His goodness.

Bridge
He’s alive, He’s alive!
Heaven’s gates are opened wide.
He’s alive, He’s alive!
Now in heaven glorified.

—Keith Getty, Kristyn Getty, and Ed Cash
©2012 Gettymusic and Alletrop Music

Via: Bob Kauflin

Joyful, Joyful

I’ve watched this video several times today and each time end up with tears in my eyes. The melody is Ode to Joy from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and the words are from the poem Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee by Henry van Dyke. It’s not a christmas hymn, but it is a beautiful reminder of the joy that surrounds the advent of Christ.

Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee, opening to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness, fill us with the light of day!

All Thy works with joy surround Thee, earth and heaven reflect Thy rays,
Stars and angels sing around Thee, center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain, flowery meadow, flashing sea,
Singing bird and flowing fountain call us to rejoice in Thee.

Thou art giving and forgiving, ever blessing, ever blessed,
Wellspring of the joy of living, ocean depth of happy rest!
Thou our Father, Christ our Brother, all who live in love are Thine;
Teach us how to love each other, lift us to the joy divine.

Mortals, join the happy chorus, which the morning stars began;
Father love is reigning o’er us, brother love binds the Holy Trinity
Ever singing, march we onward, victors in the midst of strife,
Joyful music leads us Sunward in the triumph song of life.

—Henry van Dyke