Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A book report

Recently I read a book titled "Then sings my soul: 150 of the world's greatest hymn stories" by Robert J. Morgan. I've really enjoyed reading learning the background to some wonderful songs, and I found it can be very encouraging to sing those songs to myself. Just yesterday I sang "It is well with my soul" under my breath while Andrew threw beanie babies at Jeremy, who I was trying to put to bed for his nap so I could go clean house and do chores before an unexpected visitor arrived. My attitude was not right but the song reminded me to not get so frustrated with small things. One of my favorite stories from this book was the story of the hymn "Praise ye the Lord, the Almighty" which is just such a fun song to sing. The author, Joachim Neander, was born in Germany in 1650. He was converted to Christianity at age twenty, and he died ten years later from tuberculosis. The last year of his life, he wrote this beautiful hymn. He loved to roam the nearby hills so much that eventually one of his favorite walking spots was named for him-Neander valley, or Neanderthal, "thal" meaning "valley" in German. Recognize that name now? In 1856, human bones were found in a cave in that very valley. The scientist William King claimed that bones were that of the "missing link" of evolution. Which we know to be baloney, as Joachim Neander would have also rightly asserted. I liked this hymn book so much that I plan to buy them for Dad this Christmas. Don’t tell!

1 Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near;
Praise Him in glad adoration.

4 Praise to the Lord, Who doth prosper thy work and defend thee;
Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee.
Ponder anew what the Almighty can do,
If with His love He befriend thee.

7 Praise to the Lord, O let all that is in me adore Him!
All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him.
Let the Amen sound from His people again,
Gladly for aye we adore Him.

6 comments:

Rabenstrange said...

It's sad that most Christian kids nowadays don't know any of the old hymns.

While contemporary Christian music is often good, hymns are the time tested classical music of the faith.

Frazzledsister said...

I find that Contemporary Christian music, while it keeps me awake in the car, is often very repetitive and not very deep.

Laurenium said...

Here at Cedarville the music is mixed. I like it that way. 'How Great Thou Art' is definitely among my favorite hymns. And while thats the case, I agree that some Contemporary Christian music is repetitive and deep, there are some songs that are very thoughtful and deep.

Rabenstrange said...

I probably place a higher value on contemporary music than you do. It certainly is good for more than merely keeping a person awake.

I may be completely off base here, but I suspect you listen to a relatively narrow selection of Christian music (not saying there's anything wrong with that).

Frazzledsister said...

I would agree that perhaps we do listen to a narrow selection of CC music, because we only listen to it on the radio as cds are way to expensive to buy. But how many kinds of soft contemporary Christian music are there and how would other kinds benefit me?

Pansy B. said...

Hey again!

Ah, music, my favorite subject. Hymns are certainly a necessity in my life. Ya just can't beat that stirring feeling when a whole congregation is belting out an old time hymn.

I don't think much of a lot of the CC stuff, for the reason that they don't seem very thoughtful sometimes. Do these people never have a hard day? That's a big part of why I like some of the harder Christian music. They seem to have thought about life a little harder. They realize that life as a Christian isn't all hunky dory BUT then they also remember that neither is it hopeless.

You personally might not benifit from other types of music, but I know I sure have. So many times when I've had a really bad day, I'll pop in a Christian rock CD and it makes me feel mucho better. It'll say to me, "you're not the only one, but it'll be better soon." I dunno, I'm rambling as usual, so I'll quit now. =)

I REALLY WILL email soon. I've not forgotten you!