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.