From the compilation,

 The One-year Book of Hymns

Edited by Kathryn S. Olson

Fairest Lord Jesus


This hymn may have first been sung by followers of reformer John Hus, who lived near Prague around 1400. In an anti-Reformation purge, Hussites were expelled from Bohemia and went into Silesia, where they became weavers and cobblers, maintaining their faith in secret. But they had a strong tradition of hymn singing, and the most reliable tradition says that this hymn came from these humble



The hymn contains no comments on persecution, but only praise to a wonderful Savior. The lyricist of this hymn was close to nature and adored God’s creation but recognized that even fairer than the creation is the Creator. This season, as we bask in the beauties of all that God has given us to enjoy, we must not forget that Jesus is fairer and purer than all the blooming garb of spring.


Fairest Lord Jesus

Münster Gesangbuch,

1677 Translator unknown


Fairest Lord Jesus,

Ruler of all nature,

O Thou of God and man the son,

Thee will I cherish,

Thee will I honor,

Thou, my soul’s glory, joy, and crown.


Fair are the meadows,

Fairer still the woodlands,

Robed in the blooming garb of spring:

Jesus is fairer,

Jesus is purer,

Who makes the woeful heart to sing.


Fair is the sunshine,

Fairer still the moonlight,

And all the twinkling starry host:

Jesus shines brighter,

Jesus shines purer,

Than all the angels heaven can boast.


Praise the Lord from the heavens! Praise him from the skies! Praise him, all his angels! Praise him, all the armies of heaven! Praise him, sun and moon! Praise him, all you twinkling stars! Praise him, skies above! Praise him, vapors high above the clouds! PSALM 148:1-4


© 2017 by Robert K. Brown and Mark R. Norton All rights reserved

Paraphrased by Music Director, David K. Bakken, Ed.D.

IMAGE : Valley Of Flowers National Park In West Himalaya


May 9, 2021

From the compilation,

 The One-year Book of Hymns

Edited by Kathryn S. Olson

For the Beauty of the Earth


Since Roman times, the town of Bath, on the banks of the Avon River in England , has been considered one of the most beautiful spots on the British Isles. Enclosed by an amphitheater of hills and blessed with warm springs, it has been both a pleasure resort and a health spa for the ailing.


Folliot Pierpoint was born in Bath but went away to attend Cambridge University, where he became a classical scholar and taught. But, when he was twenty-nine years old, he returned to his hometown of Bath. In the late spring, the beauty of the countryside caused his heart to well up with emotion and inspired this hymn.



Each stanza thanks God for a different kind of beauty. In its original form, it was a Communion hymn of eight stanzas. Each stanza concluded with the words, “Christ our God, to thee we raise this our sacrifice of praise,” alluding to Hebrew 13:15.


For the Beauty of the Earth

Folliot Sanford Pierpoint (1835-1917)


For the beauty of the earth,

For the glory of the skies,

For the love which from our birth

Over  and around us lies:


REFRAIN

Lord of all, to Thee we raise

This our hymn of grateful praise.


For the beauty of each hour

Of the day and of the night,

Hill and vale, and tree and flower,

Sun and moon, and stars of light:

REFRAIN


For the joy of ear and eye,

For the heart and mind’s delight,

For the mystic harmony

Linking sense to sound and sight:

REFRAIN


For the joy of human love,

Brother, sister, parent, child,

Friends on earth, and friends above;

For all gentle thoughts and mild:

REFRAIN


For Thy Church, that evermore

Lifteth holy hands above,

Offering up on every shore

Her pure sacrifice of love:

REFRAIN


For Thyself, best Gift Divine!

To our race so freely giv’n;

For that great, great love of Thine,

Peace on earth, and joy in heaven:


REFRAIN

Lord of all, to Thee we raise

This our hymn of grateful praise!


“Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name.”


HEBREWS 13:15

© 2017 by Robert K. Brown and Mark R. Norton All rights reserved

Paraphrased by Music Director, David K. Bakken, Ed.D.

ART: Dance of Grace , by Mark Keathley


artworkarchive.com/profile/mark-keathley

May 2, 2021


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From the compilation,

 The One-year Book of Hymns

Edited by Kathryn S. Olson

Jesus, Priceless Treasure


Jesus told a story about a man who found treasure buried in a field. The man sold all he had to buy that field. A merchant found a pearl of great price and sold his fortune to claim it. That, Jesus said, is what the kingdom of God is all about – giving up everything to gain eternity.


A rich man came to Jesus and asked what he had to do to gain eternal life. Jesus told him to sell all he had and give it to the poor, and then he could come and follow Jesus.



Such a complete sacrifice scares most of us. We cling to our possessions and relationships, and habits. We cannot imagine life without them. We assume that a life sold out to Jesus would be dry and joyless. However, that could not be further from the truth. Jesus is our  purest pleasure.  Possessions rust and wear out, but Jesus gives joy forever.


O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you.My soul thirsts for you; My whole body longs for you In this parched and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in your sanctuary and gazed upon your power and glory” PSALM 63:1-2


Jesus, Priceless Treasure

Johann Franck

(1618-1677)

Translated by

Catherine Winkworth

(1827-1878)


Jesus, priceless treasure, 

source of purest pleasure, 

truest friend to me,

Long my heart hath panted, 

till it well-nigh fainted, 

thirsting after Thee.

Thine I am, O spotless Lamb, 

I will suffer naught to hide Thee, 

ask for naught to hide Thee.


In Thine arms I rest me; 

foes who would molest me

cannot reach me here.

Though the earth be shaking, 

every heart be quaking, 

God dispels our fear;

Sin and hell in conflict fell

with their heaviest storms assail us; 

Jesus will not fail us.


Hence, all thoughts of sadness! 

For the Lord of gladness, 

Jesus enters in;

Those who love the Father, 

though the storms may gather, 

still have peace within;

Yea, whate’er we here must bear, 

still have peace within;

Still in Thee lies purest pleasure, 

Jesus, priceless treasure


An addition by David:

God does not discourage wealth, however. When Job endured all he had, his faith was steadfast. “After Job had interceded for his friends, God restored his fortune – and then doubled it! All his brothers and sisters and friends came to his house and celebrated. God blessed Job’s later life even more than his earlier life.” JOB 42:10-15 (The Message)

April 24, 2021


 © 2017 by Robert K. Brown and Mark R. Norton All rights reserved

Paraphrased by Music Director, David K. Bakken, Ed.D.

ART: Dance of Grace , by Mark Keathley

artworkarchive.com/profile/mark-keathley

______________________________________________________

From the compilation,

 The One-year Book of Hymns

Edited by Kathryn S. Olson

Be Still, My Soul


During the psalmist's troubles, the Lord said, "Be still and know that I am God." These words spoke to Katharina von Schlegel in the turbulent times of post-Reformation Germany. A century after Luther's reforms, central Europe was racked by the Thirty-Year War, which pitted Catholics against Protestants. The Lutheran church lapsed into formalism and dead orthodoxy. In the darkness of that time, God raised up the Pietist movement, which stressed personal holiness, charity, missions, and music.


The Pietists' songs were largely unknown outside of Germany until three British women – Jane and Sarah Borthwick and Catherine Winkworth – began to translate the poetic lyrics into English a hundred years later. Today's hymn, penned by the leading woman of the Pietist movement, a canoness of a women's seminary, was among those forgotten songs.


Be Still, My Soul

Katharina Amalia von Schlegel

(1697-?)

Translated by Jane Laurie Borthwick

(1813-1897)

Music by Jean Sibelius

(1865-1957)


Be still, my soul! The Lord is on thy side;

Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;

Leave to thy God to order and provide;

In ev’ry change He faithful will remain.

Be still, my soul! Thy best, thy heavenly Friend.

Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.


Be still, my soul! Thy God doth undertake

To guide the future as He has the past.

Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;

All now mysterious shall be bright at last.

Be still, my soul! The waves and winds still know

His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.


Be still, my soul! The hour is hast’ning on

When we shall be forever with the Lord,

When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,

Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.

Be still, my soul! When change and tears are past.

All safe and blessed, we shall meet at last.


An addition by David:

I am reminded of a tune from the 1980s by Randy Stonehill (Still, Small Voice) that detailed this message: “I. Can Hear. That Still, Small Voice. Whispering. ‘I AM’.” As I’ve grown enough to realize the benefits of listening to God speaking in that still, small voice, His will becomes more alive. At times, life gets in the way of hearing that still, small voice; however, God affirms, "Be still and know that I Am God!"


© 2017 by Robert K. Brown and Mark R. Norton All rights reserved

Paraphrased by Music Director, David K. Bakken, Ed.D.


April 18, 2021

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When Love Comes

David offers his apologies~

Lyric correction *noted below


From Pastor Pat:

"When Love Comes" were David's words to begin this song's collaborative process with me. They led me to think about the many ways God has expressed His love to His people over the ages: in the creation; the salvation of His people, both Israel and humankind in general; provision for our needs; in the Incarnation and sacrifice of His Son, Jesus; just to name a few. And, of course, since God is love, His love comes constantly. But for me, it is the realization that his love has come to me,


something that didn't really hit me until I was in my mid-twenties. But that realization changed my life and continues to fill me with joy and hope. And that leads me to worship, serve and cherish God, whenever and always "When Love Comes."


From David:

When this song's melody was written sometime in the wee hours of the morning in 2000, I was filled with a message from Jesus who said, "When Love Comes ." That was a darker time in my life when I felt as though God had drifted from me. Instead, it was I who drifted. The melody wrote itself that night as I transferred from melodic to harmonic transformation through Christ. When I met with Pat mid-year, we penned this tune, which wasn't copyrighted until 2005. 



The second verse, brought to everyone's attention on Good Friday's Message by Pastor Pat, delved into the angels’ reaction. “Angels held from response as condemned He’s crucified.” Can you imagine that scene? “Do I get him now, God? Now? Now?” Incessantly they ask, to which God answers, “No.” Thankfully, the debt has been paid. “But His death paid a price that the world be justified. Daylight comes. Open tomb. Now proclaim death is DISARMED!” Praise the Lord, our Risen Savior…When Love Comes.


When Love Comes

Music and Lyrics

by David K. Bakken

and Rev. J. Patrick Fitzgerald


By your gift at the cross, you have made us one with you.

Nailed our sin with you there;

Perfect sacrificial Lamb.

Lord, we’re drawn by your love, just the way you want us to

Come to know and to live in the presence of “I AM!”


CHORUS

When love comes, the Savior reveals life everlasting

He brings from the Father above.

In seeing your dying and rising *for all people,

We’re set free to worship

When love comes.


Angels held from response as condemned, he’s crucified.

Burning hearts, anguish torn, want to save him from all harm.

But his death paid the price that the world be justified.

Daylight comes, open tomb, now proclaim death is disarmed.


CHORUS

When love comes, the Savior reveals life everlasting

He brings from the Father above.

In seeing your dying and rising *for all people,

We’re set free to serve you

When love comes.


For God loved the world that he gave his only Son

That believing in him, we will live eternally.

For he came to the world not condemning everyone.

That the world might be saved and in him forever free!


CHORUS

When love comes, the Savior reveals life everlasting

He brings from the Father above.

In seeing your dying and rising *for all people,

We’re set free to cherish


When love comes, the Savior reveals life everlasting

He brings from the Father above.

In seeing your dying and rising * for all people,

We’re set free to worship

When love comes.

When love comes.


When love comes.


"God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again." JOHN 3:17 The Message


©2005 David K. Bakken Publishing

Photo credit: Getty Images/kieferpix

______________________________________________________

From the compilation,

 The One-year Book of Hymns

Edited by Kathryn S. Olson

I Know That My Redeemer Lives


Every once in a while, a verse jumps out of the Old Testament and takes on a new meaning. Job lost his fortune, family, and much of his health. In a stunning display of faith, he expressed his only remaining hope: “I know that my Redeemer lives, and he will stand upon the earth at last” (Job 19:25). The words find fulfillment in Jesus.


Jesus gave His life to redeem us, to repurchase us from our bondage to sin. His death was the price of our freedom. But that's not the bottom line. As the sun rises on Easter morning, we can say with Job, "I know that my Redeemer lives!" He lives! Death could not hold Him. He lives to finish the work of salvation in me.


Hymnwriter Samuel Medley often repeated words and phrases in his songs. Here, repeated is the most important concept: "He lives…HE Lives…HE LIVES!"


I Know That My Redeemer Lives

Samuel Medley (1738-1799)


I know that my Redeemer lives:

What joy the blest assurance gives!

He lives, He lives, who once was dead;

He lives, my everlasting Head!

~

He lives to bless me with His love;

He lives to plead for me above;

He lives my hungry soul to feed;

He lives to help in time of need.

~

He lives and grants me daily breath;

He lives, and I shall conquer death;

He lives my mansion to prepare;

He lives to bring me safely there.

~

He lives, all glory to His name;

He lives, my Savior, still the same;

What joy the blest assurance gives:

I know that my Redeemer lives!


As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and he will stand upon the earth at last. And after my body has decayed, yet in my body, I will see God! I will see him for myself. Yes, I will see him with my own eyes. I am overwhelmed at the thought!  JOB 19:25-27


© 2017 by Robert K. Brown and Mark R. Norton All rights reserved

Paraphrased by Music Director, David K. Bakken, Ed.D.


Easter Weekend April 4, 2021

______________________________________________________

From the compilation,

 The One-year Book of Hymns

Edited by Kathryn S. Olson  

All Glory, Laud, and Honor


When Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey, hopeful crowds filled the streets, waving palm branches and praising God. But, less than a week later, when it became clear that Jesus was not the political and military revolutionary they expected, this same crowd demanded his crucifixion.


When life keeps pace with expectations, praise comes quite easily. For Theodulf, who King Charlemagne had made bishop of Orléans in the late 700s, acclaim was born of painful circumstances. After Charlemagne's death, Theodulf was exiled to Angers, France, on the charges of conspiracy. In the dark prison at Angers, Theodulf apparently wrote the text of this hymn, which has become the grand Palm Sunday processional of the Western church– a celebration of God's grace sung by millions throughout the centuries.



All Glory, Laud, and Honor


Theodulf of Orléans

(ca. 750-821)

Translated by John Mason Neale (1818-1866)


All glory, laud, and honor

To Thee, Redeemer, King,

To whom the lips of children

Made sweet hosannas ring:


Thou are the King of Israel,

Thou David’s royal Son,

Who in the Lord’s name comest,

The King and blessed One!


All glory, laud, and honor

To Thee, Redeemer, King,

To whom the lips of children

Made sweet hosannas ring!


The company of angels

Are praising Thee on high,

And mortal men and all things

Created make reply:


All glory, laud, and honor

To Thee, Redeemer, King,

To whom the lips of children

Made sweet hosannas ring!


The people of the Hebrews

With palms before Thee went;

Our praise and prayer and anthems

Before Thee, we present.


All glory, laud, and honor

To Thee, Redeemer, King,

To whom the lips of children

Made sweet hosannas ring!


To Thee, before Thy passion,

They sang their hymns of praise

To Thee, now high exalted,

Our melody we raise:


All glory, laud, and honor

To Thee, Redeemer, King,

To whom the lips of children

Made sweet hosannas ring!


Thou didst accept their praises– 

Accept the praise we bring,

Who in all good delightest,

Thou good and gracious King!


All glory, laud, and honor

To Thee, Redeemer King,

To whom the lips of children

Made sweet hosannas ring!


"Jesus was in the center of the procession, and the people all around him were shouting, "Praise God! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessings on the coming Kingdom of our ancestor David! Praise God in the highest heaven!"  MARK 11:9-10


An addition by David:

As we turn from Palm to Passion Week, later that week, on Friday, the angels were anxiously awaiting an opportunity to save Jesus. As Pastor Pat so eloquently wrote in “When Love Comes,” the second verse captures that moment: Angels held from response, as condemned he’s crucified. Burning hearts, anguish torn, wants to save him from all harm.”


© 2017 by Robert K. Brown and Mark R. Norton All rights reserved  Paraphrased by Music Director, David K. Bakken, Ed.D.

From the compilation,

 The One-year Book of Hymns

Edited by Kathryn S. Olson

In the Cross of Christ, I Glory


Tradition has it that John Bowring – linguist, author, and British governor of Hong Kong – was inspired to write this hymn by the sight of a massive cross on Macao's cathedral ruins on the Southern Chinese coast. Apparently, the cathedral, built by Portuguese colonists, had been leveled by a typhoon, but the wall with this bronze cross remained standing. The imagery is a strong one – the cross, "tow'ring o'er the wrecks of time" above Macao's shore.


In the Cross of Christ,  I Glory

John Bowring (1792-1872)


In the cross of Christ, I glory,

Tow’ring o’er the wrecks of time;

All the light of sacred story

Gathers ‘round its head sublime.


When the woes of life o’ertake me,

Hopes deceive, and fears annoy,

Never shall the cross forsake me:

Lo! It glows with peace and joy.


When the sun of bliss is beaming

Light and love upon my way;

From the cross the radiance streaming,

Adds more luster to the day.


Bane and blessing, pain and pleasure,

By the cross are sanctified;

Peace is there, that knows no measure,

Joys that through all time abide.


In the cross of Christ, I glory,

Tow’ring o’er the wrecks of time;

All the light of sacred story

Gather ‘round its head sublime.


I CORINTHIANS 2:1-2, 4-5

"When I first came to you, dear brothers and sisters, I didn’t use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God’s secret plan. For I decided that while I was with you, I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the One who was crucified…


And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God."  


2017 by Robert K. Brown and Mark R. Norton All rights reserved

Paraphrased by Music Director, David K. Bakken, Ed.D.

From the compilation,

 The One-year Book of Hymns

Edited by Kathryn S. Olson


Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus


Helen Lemmel was already a noted Christian singer and voice teacher on that day in 1918 when a missionary friend handed her a tract called "Focused." It said, "So, then, turn your eyes upon Him, look full into His face, and you will find that the things of earth will acquire a strange new dimness."


The tract struck a chord in Lemmel. “Suddenly,” she said later, “as if commanded to stop and listen, I stood still, and singing in my soul and spirit was the chorus, with not one conscious moment of putting word to word to make rhyme, or note to note to make melody. The verses were written the same week, after the usual manner of composition.”


Later the same year, the song was published in London in pamphlet form. It quickly became a favorite of Christians in England (especially at the Keswick Convention), then in America and worldwide .


"Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God." COLOSSIANS 3:1-3


Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

 

O soul, are you weary and troubled?

No light in the darkness you see?

There is light for a look at the Savior,

And life more abundant and free!  


Chorus

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,

Look full in His wonderful face,

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim

In the light of His glory and grace.

 

Through death into life everlasting

He passed, and we follow Him there;

Over us sin no more hath dominion –

For more than conquerors, we are!

Chorus


His Word shall not fail you – He promised:

Believe Him, and all will be well;

Then go to a world that is dying,

His perfect salvation to tell!

Chorus


Helen H. Lemmel (1864-1961)


Go to a world that is dying…" –This line brings me to a conversation we had back "in April 2020, when the worship team met, and all concurred that we are on the brink of massive revival! Let the revival begin with us. Peace to you....David


© 2017 by Robert K. Brown and Mark R. Norton All rights reserved

Paraphrased by Music Director, David K. Bakken, Ed.D.