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Notes on the Notes – May 11, 2014

This week’s scripture reading: John 10:1-10

This week’s music:

“All Things Bright and Beautiful” (VU #291)

The text, from Cecil Frances Alexander’s Hymns for Little Children (1846), is based on the phrase “Maker of heaven and earth” in the Apostles’ Creed.  The new words for verse four are particularly apt in the Canadian context.  The tune is an English traditional melody associated with the restoration of the Stuart monarchy in 1660.  The arrangement in Voices United is by Martin Shaw (1915).  The editors of “Voices United” also changed the words slightly in the interest of inclusivity.

“All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small,  all things wise and wonderful:  in love, God made them all.

Each little flower that opens, each little bird that sings, God made their glowing colours, God made their tiny wings.

The purple-headed mountains, the river running by, the sunset and the morning that brightens up the sky.

The cold wind in the winter, the pleasant summer sun, the ripe fruits in the garden:  God made them every one.

The rocky mountain splendor, the lone wolf’s haunting call, the great lakes and the prairies, the forest in the fall.

God gave us eyes to see them, and lips that we might tell how great is God our maker, who has made all things well.”

To hear this hymn on pipe Organ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zo1qW0q7wZU

Watch a beautiful video by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir at – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZNt4avXVcI

“Great Shepherd of Your People” (VU #398)

“Great Shepherd of your people, hear!  your presence now display; as you have given a place for prayer, so give us hearts to pray.

Within these walls let holy peace and love and friendship dwell; here give the troubled conscience ease, the wounded spirit heal.

May we in faith receive your word, in faith present our prayers; and in the presence of our God unburden all our cares.

The hearing ear, the seeing eye, the contrite heart bestow; and shine upon us from on high, that we in grace may grow.”

This hymn, for the Olney Hymns (1779), was written by John Newton for the opening of the new meeting room at Olney in 1769.  The revised text was published in Hymns for Today’s Church (1982).  The tune, known as ABRIDGE in England and as ST STEPHEN’S in Scotland, was composed by Isaac Smith, a Baptist precentor in London.  To learn more about John Newton’s life, go to http://www.wholesomewords.org/biography/biorpnewton.html

“All the Way My Saviour Leads Me” (VU #635)

“All the way my Saviour leads me, what have I to ask beside?  Can I doubt his tender mercy who through life has been my guide?  Heavenly peace, divinest comfort, here by faith in him to dwell, for I know, whate’er befall me, Jesus doeth all things well.

All the way my Saviour leads me, cheers each winding path I tread, gives me grace for every trial, feeds me with the living bread.  Though my weary steps may falter, and my soul athirst may be, gushing from the rock before me, lo, a spring of joy I see!

All the way my Saviour leads me; O the fullness of his love!  Perfect rest to me is promised in my Father’s house above.  When my spirit, clothed, immortal, wings its flight to realms of day, this my song through endless ages, “Jesus led me all the way!'”

“All The Way My Savior Leads Me” was written by one of the most pro­lif­ic songwriters in history. Fanny Crosby wrote over 8,000 Christian hymns despite the handicap she struggled with during her life. An inept doc­tor left Fanny without her eyesight at six weeks of age after a botched procedure. She said, “ If per­fect earth­ly sight were of­fered me to­mor­row I would not ac­­cept it. I might not have sung hymns to the praise of God if I had been dis­tract­ed by the beau­ti­ful and in­ter­est­ing things about me.” “All The Way My Savior Leads Me” is one of her songwriting masterpieces.

Fanny Crosby worte this hymn on a day when an unexpected kindness had come her way.  This beloved hymn came to Fanny as a result of a prayer. Struggling financially, she desperately needed some money. As her usual custom, Fanny began to pray. A few minutes later, a gentleman offered her five dollars, the exact amount she needed. Later recalling the incident, she said, “I have no way of accounting for this except to believe that God put it into the heart of this good man to bring the money.” The poem she wrote afterward became “All The Way My Savior Leads Me.”   She sent the text to Robert Lowrey who composed the tune for it.  It was first published in Chicago, in Brightest and Best (1875), a tune book for Sunday schools.

“How Can I Keep From Singing with Praise Him! Praise Him!”

“There is an endless song, echoes in my soul, and I hear the music ring.  And tho’ the storms may come, I am holding on, and to the rock I cling.

How can I keep from singing Your praise?  How can I ever say enough?  How amazing is Your love.  How can I keep from shouting Your name?  I know I am loved by the King, and it makes my heart want to sing.

Praise Him!  Praise Him!  Jesus, our blessed Redeemer!  Sing, O earth His wonderful love proclaim!  Hail Him!  Hail Him! highest archangels in glory; strength and honor give to His holy name!  Like a shepherd, Jesus will guard His children; in His arms He carries them all day long.  Praise Him!  Praise Him!  Tell of His excellent greatness.  Praise Him!  Praise Him! ever in joyful song!

Now I will lift my eyes in the darkest night, for I know my Savior lives.  And I will walk with You, knowing You’ll see me through, and sing the songs You give.

 How can I keep from singing Your praise?…”

This week’s anthem combines original music by Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman and Ed Cash with the hymn “Praise Him!  Praise Him!” with words by Fanny J. Crosby and music by Chester G. Allen.  The anthem was arranged by Tom Fettke in 2008.  It is an example of the practice in blended worship of incorporating “old favorites” with popular contemporary worship songs.    The anthem was dedicated in memory of Worship Choir member Donald Ramcharan in April 2009.

Hear Chris Tomlin singing “How Can I Keep from Singing”  at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEzEbtA9ba8

Hear “Praise Him!  Praise Him!”played on the organ at:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KX3YrRZHjSo

“Would You Bless Our Homes and Families” (VU #556)

“Would you bless our homes and families, source of life who calls us here;  in our world of stress and tension teach us love that conquers fear.  Help us learn to love each other with a love that constant stays;  teach us when we face our troubles, love’s expressed in many ways.

When our way is undemanding, let us use the time that’s our to delight in simple pleasures, sharing joys in gentle hours.  When our way is anxious walking and a heavy path we plod, teach us trust in one another and in you, our gracious God.

From the homes in which we’re nurtured, with the love that shapes us there, teach us, God, to coaim as family everyone whose life we share.  And through all that life may offer, may we in your love remain; may the love we share in families be alive to praise your name.

Let us reach beyond the boundaries of our daily though and care till the family you have chosen spills its love out everywhere.  Help us lear to love each other with a love that constant stays; teach us when we face our troubles love’s expressed in many ways.”

This hymn, by Walter Farquharson and Ron Klusmeier, was published in Worship the Lord (1977), a collection of hymns by Walter Farquharson, Fred Kaan, and Ron Klusmeier, and it was also a popular selection in the United Church Hymnary supplement,  Songs for a Gospel People (1987).

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