The Wanderer

As I walked through the wilderness of this world …

Posts Tagged ‘singing

Sing in faith with Ryland

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john-ryland-jrThe Baptist pastor and teacher, John Ryland, wrote the following hymn in 1777. I have updated the language slightly, and suggested a couple of tunes (one more assertive, one more meditative). I draw your attention to the line which I have as, “Mortal dangers round me fly.” Ryland’s original? “Plagues and deaths around me fly.” Sometimes an update loses a little something, so feel free to revert to Ryland at that point. May these timeless truths prove a help and an encouragement to God’s people during these days!

St. Bees / Aberafon 7 7. 7 7

Sovereign Ruler of the skies!
Ever gracious, ever wise!
All my times are in your hand,
All events at your command.

His decree, who formed the earth,
Fixed my first and second birth;
Parents, native place, and time—
All appointed were by him.

He that formed me in the womb,
Guides my footsteps to the tomb;
All my times shall ever be
Ordered by his wise decree.

Times of sickness, times of health;
Times of poverty and wealth;
Times of trial and of grief;
Times of triumph and relief.

Times the tempter’s power to prove;
Times to taste a Saviour’s love:
All must come, and last, and end,
As shall please my heavenly Friend.

Mortal dangers round me fly;
Till he bids, I cannot die:
Not a single arrow hits
Till the God of love permits.

O Most Gracious, Wise, and Just,
In your hands my life I trust:
Have I something dearer still?
I resign it to your will.

May I always own your hand,
Still to the surrender stand;
Know that you are God alone,
I and mine are all your own.

You at all times I will bless;
Having you, I all possess;
What in truth a loss can be
Since you will not part from me?

John Ryland

Written by Jeremy Walker

Wednesday 18 March 2020 at 07:36

Singing in worship

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Over at Reformation21, some thoughts on public worship as it relates to our singing:

The New Testament data with regard to singing in the worship of the church is, to put it bluntly, sparse. On the one hand, it seems strange that an issue which excited so little attention in the early church should be the sphere of so many of the worship wars which have erupted in recent years. On the other, perhaps it is precisely because the instruction is sparse and simple that we feel we have a right or even a need to develop our own principles and practice. . . .

I hope that these few thoughts will at least stimulate us to consider once again and more carefully, the hows, whys and wherefores of our sung worship, lifting up heart and voice in the right way and for the right reason, glorifying God and doing good to men as we sing a new song to the Lord.

Read it all if you’re interested.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Thursday 28 June 2012 at 09:25

Posted in Doxology

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Sing like you mean it

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What follows is the conclusion to Stephen Altrogge’s moving piece about his dad:

I decided to write this all out first as a means of expressing for myself what is sometimes difficult to verbalize. And secondly as a means of encouragement to the fathers in this church. Please sing like you mean it on Sunday morning. I am not asking you to “fake” anything… but rather embrace the very meaning these songs were written for. Seek to express your joy in your Savior Jesus Christ by singing in response to what he has done for you, and in agreement with the truths imbedded in these songs. Neither am I encouraging you to do this specifically for your children’s benefit but first for yourselves with the added comfort of knowing how much it will affect your children. I am simply encouraging you to worship in spirit and in truth. Sing strong because that is what God wants from you. Trust God to bless your children with the echo.

Do read it all to see why Stephen should write such an exhortation.

HT: David Murray.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Wednesday 14 March 2012 at 16:52

Posted in While wandering . . .

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Truth and/or music

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Greg Gilbert makes some helpfully unsubtle points regarding our tendency to be moved emotionally by the music to which we sing truth rather than the truth which we sing to music.  There are, perhaps, some assumptions underlying the piece that would need to be considered, but – whether or not our background is unaccompanied psalms and/or hymns, simple accompaniment by organ or piano, or the band that has become de rigeur in modern evangelicalism, whether or not we sing older or newer tunes, or a combination of both – the challenge as to whether we have come to obsess over, rely upon and ultimately idolise our music is a good one.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Wednesday 30 September 2009 at 08:44

Posted in Doxology

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Our greatest instrument

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One of my great delights is the beauty, range and power of the human voice.  These two videos, posted independently on a couple of sites over the last few days, demonstrate – in slightly different ways – why the human voice is well-qualified to be our primary instrument in the worship of God.  This is, of course, not a plea for mere performance in worship, either by a ‘choir’ or any individual, nor a recommendation about styles of worship.

However, anything which detracts from or overpowers – rather than guides and assists – the congregation united in vocal praise is, to my mind, unhelpful.  The voice can do so much if it is allowed to do so.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Monday 22 June 2009 at 20:55

Posted in General

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Congregational singing

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Some very stimulating thoughts on some of the reaons behind what can feel to be the slow death of congregational singing can be found here.  For those interested, the thoughts seem to have begun here and wandered through here on the way.

Mind you, its worth noting that good hymns, a handheld hymnbook, an organ or piano, and a reformed doctrine of worship don’t necessarily guarantee God-glorifying congregational singing either.  Perhaps that’s a matter for another post . . .

Written by Jeremy Walker

Saturday 26 July 2008 at 13:23

Posted in General, While wandering . . .

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