No pushing, shoving for a seat;
THE PURPOSE OF THIS BLOG
I am the song leader in my church. I am not very proficient as a musician or a choral director. I pray that, someday soon, God will send someone more capable, to take this ministry from me. But for the time being it is my responsibility to select the music and lead the congregation in the singing every week.
I take that responsibility seriously. The hymns and songs that I select must be doctrinally sound, they must be appropriate for worship with a God-centered worldview, and, withing those parameters, I try to select music that will reinforce and, support the text and subject of my pastor’s messages.
Some of us have been singing the hymns for years; the words roll off our lips but the messages often don't engage our minds or penetrate our hearts. With the apostle Paul, I want the congregation to "sing with understanding."
So for the past couple years, it has been my practice to select one hymn each week, research it, and then highlight it with a short introductory commentary so that the congregation will be more informed regarding the origin, the author's testimony, or the doctrinal significance of the hymns we sing.
It is my intention here with this blog, to archive these hymn commentaries for my reference and to make them freely available to other church song leaders. For ease of reference, all the hymn commentaries in this blog will be titled IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. Other posts (which will be music ministry related opinion pieces) will be printed in lower case letters.
I know that some of the comments contain traces of my unique style, but please feel free to adapt them and use the content any way you can for the edification of your congregation and to the glory of God.
All I ask is that you leave a little comment should you find something helpful.
Ralph M. Petersen
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Monday, December 26, 2016
No pushing, shoving for a seat;
Monday, December 19, 2016
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Monday, December 12, 2016
Monday, December 5, 2016
In 1753, George Whitefield, a famous English preacher, rewrote the first line of the carol into the modern version, “Hark! the herald angels sing — Glory to the newborn King!”
Monday, November 28, 2016
Ev'ry breath we take is sacred,
In the season of our plenty;
We will find His grace sufficient:
Safe within His hand that guides us,
Day by day His love provides us,
In thanksgiving, let us praise Him;
Songs of praise and adoration,
Monday, November 21, 2016
Sunday, November 13, 2016
Why? "Because his spirit departs, he returns to his earth; in that very day, his plans perish.”
Sunday, November 6, 2016
For example, Let’s Just Praise The Lord, by the Gaithers, was very popular for several years and is still well-known today. It’s not a terrible chorus; it is just that the object of its praise is vague and so the song has a comfortable, universal appeal; It can be used and enjoyed by almost anyone who believes in a god but has no saving knowledge of the One True Living God of the Bible.
At this point, the writer reveals the triune nature of our God; He is the ONE God who created us, the Savior who redeemed us, and the Comforter who indwells us and hold us all together.
Real praise and worship, as the final lines of this hymn imply, engages our minds with a knowledge of Who He is and why we worship Him. If He is to be the object of our worship, our focus must be on Him; we must extol His attributes and His works. PRAISE THE ONE WHO BREAKS THE DARKNESS