Posted by: rcottrill | July 25, 2019

My Jesus, I Love Thee

Graphic Bob New Glasses 2015HOW TO USE THIS BLOG
1) The Almanac. Click on the month you want in the side-bar, then the specific date. The blog will tell you what happened in hymn history on that day.
2) Reflections. There is always a current article on a hymn. But you can find many others by clicking on the Index tab. (More being added all the time.)
3) Topical Articles are opinion pieces on many aspects sacred music.
4) To Donate. If you can help with the cost of developing and maintaining this site, click on the “Support” tab above and the page will show you how.

Also see 30+ Ideas for Promoting Hymn Singing in your church. As others have contributed ideas, this wonderful resource has grown to over 80 items now. And, for more than three dozen reasons why congregations should still use hymn books rather than merely projecting words on the wall, see The Value of Hymn Books.

Words: William Ralph Featherstone (b. July 23, 1846; d. May 20, 1873)
Music: Adoniram Judson Gordon (b. Apr. 13, 1836; d. Feb. 2, 1895)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: Ralph Featherstone, a resident of Montreal, wrote this song as a teen-ager, after his conversion to Christ. His heartwarming expression of love for the Lord ends in triumph, in “mansions of glory and endless delight.”

Likely some readers have had the experience of being called as a witness in court, as the present writer has. So, what exactly is a witness?

The term comes from an old usage of the word “wit” which, a thousand years ago, referred to knowledge or understanding. As a noun, a witness is a person who has seen or heard some event, or can give first-hand evidence about it. As a verb, to witness is to give that evidence, or serve, personally, as the evidence.

In contrast, perjury is the willful giving of false testimony, or the act of swearing to a statement known to be false. When this is done in a court of law, it is a criminal offense and can bring a severe penalty.

In the Bible, witnesses are spoken of 170 times. The New Testament word is a translation of the Greek martus, sometimes translated “martyr” (Acts 22:20; Rev. 2:13). Surely the willingness to stake one’s life on the validity of a testimony is a strong indication that it’s true.

Just before the ascension of Christ, He commissioned His followers to bear witness to what He had done and what He’d taught (Acts 1:8). This they proceeded to do, particularly focusing on His resurrection, and the fact that they had seen the risen Christ (e.g. Acts 2:32; 3:15; 4:33). The Lord’s resurrection was essential to the truth of the gospel.

“If Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up–if in fact the dead do not rise” (I Cor. 15:14-15).

When the writer of Hebrews says “we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses” (Heb. 12:1), he’s likely speaking of the people of faith spoken of in chapter 11. Not that they’re surrounding us now, witnessing what we do. The word is used in more of a courtroom sense. The writer is pointing out that their experiences, just described, bear witness to the value of trusting in the Lord.

As to our hymns, whether they’re masterpieces or more commonplace, in the vast majority of cases, they’re a personal testimony given by the author, a sincere expression of his (or her) beliefs. Only rarely did a writer speak of things he did not personally believe. Based on many years of study, here are three that come to mind.

1) Likely in the late nineteen century, an agnostic named James Proctor wrote some lines of verse mocking the gospel.

I’ve tried in vain a thousand ways
My fears to quell, my hopes to raise;
But what I need, the Bible says,
Is ever, only Jesus.

But he didn’t believe that–until, some time later, he put his faith in Christ. Then, he added to the poem and turned it into In Jesus, a testimony of personal faith.

2) In 1910, D. R. Van Sickle boasted he could write a good hymn, even though he was not a believer. As evidence, he produced a fine one, All Hail the Thee, Immanuel, usually sung by a choir. Some time later, Van Sickle was sitting in church and heard a choir sing the song. As he thought about the words, God used his own hymn to convict and convert him!

3) Ray Overholt, a night club entertainer, thought it would be useful to write some kind of religious song to use on occasion. So he got a Bible and looked for a subject. He settled on the record of what happened to Jesus in Gethsemane and, in 1958, wrote Ten Thousand Angels (cf. Matt. 26:53). He was later wonderfully saved, and used music as a means of ministry.

On the other hand, there seems to be no doubt of the utter sincerity of the author of My Jesus, I Love Thee. As far as I know, it’s the only hymn he ever wrote.

CH-1) My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine;
For Thee all the follies of sin I resign.
My gracious Redeemer, my Saviour art Thou;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

CH-2) I love Thee because Thou has first loved me,
And purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree.
I love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

CH-4) In mansions of glory and endless delight,
I’ll ever adore Thee in heaven so bright;
I’ll sing with the glittering crown on my brow;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

Questions:
1) It seems Ralph Featherstone is remembered only for writing this hymn. What would you most like to be remembered for?

2) Two crowns are mentioned in this hymn (stanzas 2 and 4). What is the difference between them? (And why?)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Posted by: rcottrill | July 22, 2019

My Faith Looks Up to Thee

Graphic Bob New Glasses 2015HOW TO USE THIS BLOG
1) The Almanac. Click on the month you want in the side-bar, then the specific date. The blog will tell you what happened in hymn history on that day.
2) Reflections. There is always a current article on a hymn. But you can find many others by clicking on the Index tab. (More being added all the time.)
3) Topical Articles are opinion pieces on many aspects sacred music.
4) To Donate. If you can help with the cost of developing and maintaining this site, click on the “Support” tab above and the page will show you how.

Also see 30+ Ideas for Promoting Hymn Singing in your church. As others have contributed ideas, this wonderful resource has grown to over 80 items now. And, for more than three dozen reasons why congregations should still use hymn books rather than merely projecting words on the wall, see The Value of Hymn Books.

Words: Ray Palmer (b. Nov. 12, 1808; d. Mar. 29, 1887)
Music: Olivet (or Mason), by Lowell Mason (b. Jan, 8, 1792; d. Aug. 11, 1872)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: Palmer was an American college professor, and later a pastor. He also wrote many hymns. Though most of them are no longer in use, Hymnary.org reports My Faith Looks Up to Thee has appeared in nearly two thousand hymnals.

Many students are familiar with Coles Notes. They began this way.

In 1948, Toronto bookstore owners Jack and Carl Cole started publishing the short study guides on school subjects. They provided helpful summaries of longer and more complicated topics. In 1958, the Cole brothers sold the series rights to Cliff Hillegass, and Coles Notes became Cliff Notes.

Sixteen of Shakespeare’s plays have been covered, and many English novels. Eventually there were 120 titles also dealing with science, foreign languages, biology, sociology, economics. accounting, algebra, history, and more. As I write, there is beside me the Coles Notes synopsis of Tolkien’s trilogy, The Lord of the Rings In a mere 85 pages, it provides highlights and helpful explanations of a work totaling over ten times that.

Some argue that the shortcuts promote laziness, and deprive students of a richer learning experience. They certainly have a point when it comes to English literature. You can grasp the plot of a novel or a play in a summary, but you miss experiencing the richness of language. Whether it’s Shakespeare, Dickens, or another of the true masters, it’s not only what they say but how they say it that’s worth studying.

However, that being said, especially with more technical subjects, getting an overview can assist us in keeping the details straight. It can give us mental hooks to hang specific facts on, so we can recall them, and make use of them in an orderly and effective way.

There’s a sense in which many of the hymns of the church can do likewise, serving as summaries of biblical truth. There are Trinitarian hymns, for example, that teach us things about the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Or take a simple gospel song such as At Calvary, which gives a clear and compelling explanation of God’s plan of salvation, and how to receive it.

Ray Palmer gave us another simple song like that in 1830. It’s a prayer hymn, still appreciated for its clear message and a singable tune. Lowell Mason, who provided the tune, told Pastor Palmer:

“You may live many years and do many good things, but I think you will be best known to posterity as the author of My Faith Looks Up to Thee.”

He was right. The four stanzas teach us about four aspects of the Christian life, and they can be identified with four key words.

Salvation
Eternal salvation is found in Christ alone, called the Lamb of God (Jn. 1:29). It is through faith in Him and His Calvary work that we are saved (Jn. 3:16).

CH-1) My faith looks up to Thee,
Thou Lamb of Calvary,
Saviour divine!
Now hear me while I pray,
Take all my guilt away,
O let me from this day
Be wholly Thine!

Service
As Christians, we are called into the service of the Lord. It’s our love’s response to what His love did for us (I Jn. 4:10, 19).

CH-2) May Thy rich grace impart
Strength to my fainting heart,
My zeal inspire!
As Thou hast died for me,
O may my love to Thee,
Pure warm, and changeless be,
A living fire!

Suffering
While we are in this world, there will be trials to face (Jas. 1:2-4; Rom. 8:18).

CH-3) While life’s dark maze I tread,
And griefs around me spread,
Be Thou my guide;
Bid darkness turn to day,
Wipe sorrow’s tears away,
Nor let me ever stray
From Thee aside.

Sanctuary
Heaven awaits the children of God, where the Lord Jesus has gone to prepare an eternal home for us (Jn. 14:2-3).

CH-4) When ends life’s transient dream,
When death’s cold sullen stream
Shall o’er me roll;
Blest Saviour, then in love,
Fear and distrust remove;
O bear me safe above,
A ransomed soul!

Questions:
1) How would you describe what it means, spiritually to “look up” to the Lord Jesus?

2) Why do you think Lowell Mason was convinced Ray Palmer would be remembered for this hymn?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Posted by: rcottrill | July 18, 2019

More Holiness Give Me

Graphic Bob New Glasses 2015HOW TO USE THIS BLOG
1) The Almanac. Click on the month you want in the side-bar, then the specific date. The blog will tell you what happened in hymn history on that day.
2) Reflections. There is always a current article on a hymn. But you can find many others by clicking on the Index tab. (More being added all the time.)
3) Topical Articles are opinion pieces on many aspects sacred music.
4) To Donate. If you can help with the cost of developing and maintaining this site, click on the “Support” tab above and the page will show you how.

Also see 30+ Ideas for Promoting Hymn Singing in your church. As others have contributed ideas, this wonderful resource has grown to over 80 items now. And, for more than three dozen reasons why congregations should still use hymn books rather than merely projecting words on the wall, see The Value of Hymn Books.

Words:
Philip Paul Bliss (b. July 9, 1838; d. Dec.. 29, 1876)
Music: Calvat, by Philip Paul Bliss

Links:

Wordwise Hymns (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: Though he only lived to the age of thirty-eight (he and his wife died in a train accident), Mr. Bliss provided many effective hymns for the Christian church. These include: Hallelujah, What a Saviour; Jesus Loves Even Me; I Will Sing of My Redeemer; and Wonderful Words of Life.

The word integrity is an interesting one. The dictionary gives us this definition: “Adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.” In that sense, when we say a person has integrity, we’re describing someone of good character who is honest in his dealings with others.

But there’s another meaning of the word. It can refer to the soundness, unity or wholeness of something. To preserve the integrity of a country is to keep it together, protecting it from a revolution that would split it apart. The integrity of a bridge or a building speaks of the soundness of its structure–and thus its safety. After an earthquake, inspectors concern themselves with checking for structural integrity, confirming that buildings are whole, not in danger of breaking apart.

There’s a sense in which those meanings come together when we’re speaking of Christian conduct and spirituality. The Bible has a word for it: holiness. To be holy is to be completely set apart from evil and corruption of any kind. The Bible tells us God is holy, and He expects the same of us (I Pet. 1:15-16). Integrity and holiness are related. To be holy means to be wholly His, pleasing God in every aspect of our lives. Perhaps the word wholesome hints at the connection between the two.

There’s a problem, however. God is wholly holy. That is, His whole being is free of any taint of evil. What He is, what He plans, what He does are fully and eternally perfect. But that’s not true of any of us. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory [the perfect standard] of God” (Rom. 3:23).

When we trust in Christ for salvation, we are confessing that He bore the punishment for our sins on the cross. The other side of that transaction is that God credits our heavenly account with the righteousness of Christ.

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (II Cor. 5:21).

But that has to do with our legal standing before God. What about the matter of our daily conduct? Too often we don’t live like the Christians we’ve become, through faith in the Saviour. Christ Himself is to be the example and pattern for how we are to behave.

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you….And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us” (Eph. 4:32; 5:2).

“By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (I Jn. 3:16).

The Holy Spirit helps us to live in a way that’s pleasing to God (Gal. 5:22-23), but we can still fall short again and again. That doesn’t mean we should give up on practical Christian living. Day by day we can confess our failures before the Lord and claim His forgiveness (I Jn. 1:9), and we can aspire to do better, and pray that He will help us to do better.

That’s the basis for an insightful hymn by Philip Bliss. Bliss himself was a godly and deeply humble man. Yet he longed to become more and more like his Saviour. That’s the thrust of his prayer hymn, More Holiness Give Me. The repetition of the word “more” (24 times), expresses the universal longing of the believer who is walking in the Spirit (Gal. 5:25). Wherever we are in our Christian pilgrimage, by God’s grace, we desire to be “more, Saviour, like Thee.”

CH-1) More holiness give me, more strivings within.
More patience in suffering, more sorrow for sin.
More faith in my Saviour, more sense of His care.
More joy in His service, more purpose in prayer.

CH-2) More gratitude give me, more trust in the Lord.
More zeal for His glory, more hope in His Word.
More tears for His sorrows, more pain at His grief.
More meekness in trial, more praise for relief.

CH-3) More purity give me, more strength to o’ercome,
More freedom from earth-stains, more longings for home.
More fit for the kingdom, more useful I’d be,
More blessèd and holy, more, Saviour, like Thee.

Questions:
1) Which of the “mores” Bliss mentioned is a special desire of your own heart?

2) What portions of God’s Word relate to this, or guide your growth in this area?

Links:

Wordwise Hymns (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Posted by: rcottrill | July 15, 2019

Midst the Darkness, Storm and Sorrow

Graphic Bob New Glasses 2015HOW TO USE THIS BLOG
1) The Almanac. Click on the month you want in the side-bar, then the specific date. The blog will tell you what happened in hymn history on that day.
2) Reflections. There is always a current article on a hymn. But you can find many others by clicking on the Index tab. (More being added all the time.)
3) Topical Articles are opinion pieces on many aspects sacred music.
4) To Donate. If you can help with the cost of developing and maintaining this site, click on the “Support” tab above and the page will show you how.

Also see 30+ Ideas for Promoting Hymn Singing in your church. As others have contributed ideas, this wonderful resource has grown to over 80 items now. And, for more than three dozen reasons why congregations should still use hymn books rather than merely projecting words on the wall, see The Value of Hymn Books.

Words: Emma Frances Shuttleworth Bevan (b. Sept. 25, 1827; d. Feb. 13, 1909)
Music: Almaden, by S. H. Price (no further information available)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Emma Bevan) (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: Emma Bevan was the daughter of Philip Shuttleworth, warden of New College at Oxford, and later bishop of Chichester, England. In 1856, she married Robert Bevan, of the Lombard Street banking firm that later became Barclays Bank Limited. She wrote many fine hymns. Some have attributed the present hymn to Paul Gerhardt (1607-1676), but it seems certain it was original with Bevan.

The late Agatha Christie (1890-1976) is the top selling novelist of all time–three billion books sold, and counting. Her speciality was cleverly plotted mystery stories. Popular books such as The Mysterious Affair at Styles, And Then There Were None, and more than sixty more, built her reputation as the Queen of Crime.

With many misleading clues along the way, Christie tries to keep us guessing as to the solution of each puzzle until the very end. But in a book published in 1934 she daringly put the answer at the beginning, in the very title. Once the meaning of the question Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? is understood, all the tangled threads of the plot fall into place, showing what happened, and why.

In a way, it’s the same with the Bible. It starts with the words, “In the beginning God” (Gen. 1:1). And that’s the answer and explanation of everything that follows. God alone is eternal, “from everlasting to everlasting” (Ps. 90:2). Human history begins with God, because all things begin with Him, are sustained by Him and, in one way or another, find their final destiny in Him (Rom. 11:36). And “by faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible” (Heb. 11:3).

Evolutionists strive mightily to convince us that everything came spontaneously from nothing, that life sprung somehow from non-life, and each intricate marvel of creation is the result of billions of years of blind chance. Matthew Henry (1662-1714) began his commentary on the Bible more than three hundred years ago. And, in the opening chapter’s description of creation, he says:

“Concerning this, the pagan philosophers wretchedly blundered, some asserting the world’s eternity and self-existence, others ascribing it to a fortuitous concourse of atoms. Thus ‘the world by wisdom knew not God’ [I Cor. 1:21, KJV] but took great pains to lose Him!”

The entire Bible is about God and His relationship with man. It’s difficult to determine exactly how many times He is mentioned, given the many names and titles plus personal pronouns used for Him. But even the words God and Lord are found in the Scriptures more than ten thousand times. And over and again the inspired authors anchor their beliefs and actions in the creative work of the Lord (e.g. Ps. 148:1-5; Jer. 32:16-17; Zech. 12:1ff; Acts 4:24, 29).

The New Testament makes clear that the Lord Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity, had an active part in the work of creation. “All things were created through Him and for Him” (Col. 1:16-17; cf. Jn. 1:1, 3). And through faith in Him and His sacrifice on the cross we’re redeemed and receive everlasting life. “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7).

The long record of human history is to end with eternal blessing in His presence, when Christ returns to take us to the heavenly home He’s prepared for us (Jn. 14:2-3). “Surely I am coming quickly,” Jesus says. And with the Apostle John we reply, “Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” (Rev. 22:20). What a shattering and yet glorious experience it will be to stand in the presence of our Creator and Redeemer. To borrow and insightful observation of C. S. Lewis, We’ll be “too afraid to be glad, and too glad to be afraid.”

That day is wonderfully portrayed by English hymn writer Emma Bevan in her fourteen stanza hymn about heaven.

CH-1) ’Midst the darkness, storm and sorrow,
One bright gleam I see;
Well I know the blessèd morrow
Christ will come for me.

CH-2) ’Midst the light, and peace, and glory
Of the Father’s home,
Christ for me is watching, waiting,
Waiting till I come.

CH-10) He and I together entering
Those fair courts above–
He and I together sharing
All the Father’s love.

CH-14) He and I, in that bright glory,
One deep joy shall share–
Mine, to be for ever with Him;
His, that I am there.

Questions:
1) How should the anticipation of our heavenly home with Christ affect us here and now?

2) The C. S. Lewis quotation above comes from The Chronicles of Narnia. Explain, in your own words, how it fits our future meeting with Christ.

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Emma Bevan) (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Posted by: rcottrill | July 11, 2019

May the Mind of Christ, My Saviour

Graphic Bob New Glasses 2015HOW TO USE THIS BLOG
1) The Almanac. Click on the month you want in the side-bar, then the specific date. The blog will tell you what happened in hymn history on that day.
2) Reflections. There is always a current article on a hymn. But you can find many others by clicking on the Index tab. (More being added all the time.)
3) Topical Articles are opinion pieces on many aspects sacred music.
4) To Donate. If you can help with the cost of developing and maintaining this site, click on the “Support” tab above and the page will show you how.

Also see 30+ Ideas for Promoting Hymn Singing in your church. As others have contributed ideas, this wonderful resource has grown to over 80 items now. And, for more than three dozen reasons why congregations should still use hymn books rather than merely projecting words on the wall, see The Value of Hymn Books.

Words: Kate Barclay Wilkinson (b. Aug. 27, 1859; d. Dec. 28, 1928)
Music: St. Leonards, by Arthur Cyril Barham-Gould (b. _____, 1891; d. Feb. 14, 1953)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: Little is known of the British author of this hymn. Her maiden name was Kate Johnson. She married in 1891 (using the name Katie) Frederick Barclay Wilkinson (ca. 1855-1937), a clerk from London. This is the only hymn she is known to have written. The composer of the tune was an Anglican clergyman.

The human mind is a wonderful thing. Scientists are still exploring its powers and functions. And we have many colourful expressions that use the word, though they may not always relate directly to our mental faculties. Consider: changing your mind, mind your own business, I’ve half a mind, out of his mind, make up your mind, a mind of his own, bear in mind, it blew his mind, mind you, it’s all in your mind, mind games, mind over matter.

But we need to ask: What is the mind? It might be harder to define precisely than we suppose. If there’s life after death–which many of us believe–we need to make a distinction between the mind and the brain. The brain is a physical organ. When the body dies, the brain dies. But a conscious existence after death will surely involve thinking, feeling, perceiving, deciding, and remembering–all functions of the mind.

Possibly the mind is what the New Testament refers to as the soul. It’s the psychological part of man. And the Greek word commonly translated soul is psuche (soo-kay), from which our word psychology comes. With the body (through our physical senses) we have world consciousness; with our souls we have self consciousness. And through our spirits, when we are born again of the Spirit of God, we gain God consciousness, and a new awareness of spiritual realities.

There’s a verse in Philippians that uses the word mind in a slightly different way. Paul is exhorting his readers to humbly and graciously serve one another…

“Being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Phil. 2:2-4).

As the supreme example of what he means, he speaks of the humbling of the Lord Jesus, when He came to this earth to suffer and die for our sins (vs. 6-8). And he says (in the King James Version), “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (vs. 5).

Modern Bible translators often use the word attitude there, instead of mind. It’s speaking of our point of view, particularly as it relates to others. Rather than a selfish and self-centred outlook that’s concerned primarily for our own advantage, we’re to think of the needs of others and adopt a perspective of humble servanthood.

If the Lord had thought only of Himself, He never would have left heaven’s glory to suffer the pain and ignominy of Calvary. But He wanted to redeem lost sinners, so they might be fitted to spend eternity with Him. It was “for the joy that was set before Him [He] endured the cross” (Heb. 12:2).

His humble sacrifice is to be a pattern for His followers.

“If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you” (Jn. 13:14-15).

“For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps” (I Pet. 2:21).

It’s an exalted purpose, and only by the daily grace of God can we begin to live it out (Heb. 4:14-16). Around 1913, Kate Barclay Wilkinson wrote a beautiful hymn based on Philippians 2:5. The six stanzas can serve well as a practical application of what the text should mean when it’s lived out in our daily lives.

CH-1) May the mind of Christ, my Saviour,
Live in me from day to day,
By His love and power controlling
All I do and say.

CH-2) May the Word of God dwell richly
In my heart from hour to hour,
So that all may see I triumph
Only through His power.

CH-4) May the love of Jesus fill me
As the waters fill the sea;
Him exalting, self abasing,
This is victory.

CH-6) May His beauty rest upon me,
As I seek the lost to win,
And may they forget the channel,
Seeing only Him.

Questions:
1) Is there someone you know who regularly shows he/she has the mind of Christ?

2) How does this show itself in the person mentioned?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Posted by: rcottrill | July 8, 2019

Lord, It Belongs Not to My Care

Graphic Bob New Glasses 2015HOW TO USE THIS BLOG
1) The Almanac. Click on the month you want in the side-bar, then the specific date. The blog will tell you what happened in hymn history on that day.
2) Reflections. There is always a current article on a hymn. But you can find many others by clicking on the Index tab. (More being added all the time.)
3) Topical Articles are opinion pieces on many aspects sacred music.
4) To Donate. If you can help with the cost of developing and maintaining this site, click on the “Support” tab above and the page will show you how.

Also see 30+ Ideas for Promoting Hymn Singing in your church. As others have contributed ideas, this wonderful resource has grown to over 80 items now. And, for more than three dozen reasons why congregations should still use hymn books rather than merely projecting words on the wall, see The Value of Hymn Books.

Words: Richard Baxter (b. Nov. 12, 1615; d. Dec. 8, 1691)
Music: Evan, by William Henry Havergal (b. Jan. 18, 1793; d. Apr. 19, 1870)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (nothing in the Almanac for this hymn, but for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: Richard Baxter was a clergyman in England during a time of great upheaval. There was the removal and execution of King Charles, under Oliver Cromwell. Baxter served as chaplain of one of Cromwell’s regiments. Later, after the Restoration, there was a new king, Charles II, whom Baxter served as chaplain. William Havergal, also an English clergyman, was the father of hymn writer Frances Havergal.

It’s likely an expression we’ve heard–maybe even used ourselves. One person will ask another, “What time have you got?” Meaning, what does your watch say the time is?

But there’s another, and much more sobering, way to read that question. What time have you got left of your mortal life? Medical discoveries seem to be pushing the limits of the average life span on a little. But that’s just it. It’s an average, not an individual guarantee. Yes, there seem to be more people living into their nineties and beyond. But not all do. Maladies, mishaps and malice can bring someone’s life to a sudden and unexpected end.

As Ecclesiastes puts it, there’s “a time to be born, and a time to die” (Ecc. 3:2). But did those on September 11th of 2001, going to work as usual at the World Trade Centre, know that would be their time to die? No. Nor, in Christ’s day, did those “eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them” (Lk. 13:1-5). The Lord doesn’t give each of us a guarantee that we’ll have a long pilgrimage on this earth.

It’s no good being anxious and worried about that. In truth, chronic worry may itself shorten our lives. The Bible says, “Do not fret–it only causes harm” (Ps. 37:8). “Who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?” (Matt. 6:27, NASB). Even so, there are some things we need to do.

First, be ready.
“Be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Lk. 12:40). However long we live, it’s less than the blink of an eye in comparison to eternity. Each of us needs to be ready for that by claiming God’s remedy for sin. We do that by putting our faith in the Saviour, who died on the cross to bear sin’s punishment for us (Jn. 3:16; I Cor. 15:3). It’s also important after that to deepen our fellowship with the Lord by spending regular time in His Word and in prayer.

Second, be busy.
We ought to use the gifts an opportunities the Lord gives us to serve Him. And a related point: We need to plan for the future to some degree (Lk. 14:28), but we must not become possessive of our plans, demanding that God has to do things our way. “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit;’ whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow” (Jas. 4:13-14).

Third, be far-sighted.
As Christians we can look beyond the uncertainties and the trials of this life to the eternal future God has prepared for the saints. It’s said of the patriarch Abraham, “He waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Heb. 11:10). The Lord Jesus promised, “ I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (Jn. 14:2-3). Christians have that to look forward to which is “far better” (Phil. 1:23).

This relates to a touching and insightful hymn by English clergyman Richard Baxter. His hymn wrestles with the issue of time discussed above.

CH-1) Lord, it belongs not to my care
Whether I die or live;
To love and serve Thee is my share,
And this Thy grace must give.

CH-2) If life be long, I will be glad,
That I may long obey;
If short, yet why should I be sad
To welcome endless day?

CH-5) Then I shall end my sad complaints
And weary sinful days,
And join with the triumphant saints
That sing my Saviour’s praise.

CH-6) My knowledge of that life is small,
The eye of faith is dim;
But ’tis enough that Christ knows all,
And I shall be with Him.

Questions:
1) What are some common worries about the future?

2) Why do you think God does not commonly reveal to us how much time of life we have left?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (nothing in the Almanac for this hymn, but for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Posted by: rcottrill | July 4, 2019

Just As I Am

Graphic Bob New Glasses 2015HOW TO USE THIS BLOG
1) The Almanac. Click on the month you want in the side-bar, then the specific date. The blog will tell you what happened in hymn history on that day.
2) Reflections. There is always a current article on a hymn. But you can find many others by clicking on the Index tab. (More being added all the time.)
3) Topical Articles are opinion pieces on many aspects sacred music.
4) To Donate. If you can help with the cost of developing and maintaining this site, click on the “Support” tab above and the page will show you how.

Also see 30+ Ideas for Promoting Hymn Singing in your church. As others have contributed ideas, this wonderful resource has grown to over 80 items now. And, for more than three dozen reasons why congregations should still use hymn books rather than merely projecting words on the wall, see The Value of Hymn Books.

Words: Charlotte Elliott (b. Mar. 18, 1789; d. Sept. 22, 1871)
Music: Woodworth, by William Batchelder Bradbury (b. Oct. 6, 1816; d. Jan. 7, 1868)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Charlotte Elliott) (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: Charlotte Elliott was the granddaughter of a pastor, and two of her brothers also entered the ministry. She carried on a long correspondence with César Malan, who led her to the Lord. Miss Elliott was invalided for the last fifty years of her life, but she wrote several books of verse, and about 150 hymns. According to Hymnary.org, Just As I Am is found in 1,629 hymn books, testifying to its effective use as an invitation hymn, and a statement of saving faith.

In 1902, British author Rudyard Kipling produced a book of stories that went on to become a classic of children’s literature. With illustrations drawn by Kipling himself, it told fanciful tales of how animals got their unique characteristics–how the camel got his hump, how the elephant got his trunk, and so on.

The chapters had their origin in bedtime stories Mr. Kipling told his daughter Josephine (“Effie”). The book’s unusual title, Just So Stories, came from that nightly ritual. As young children often do, Effie would ask for the stories to be told and retold. And the author says:

“You were not allowed to alter those by one single little word. They had to be told just so; or Effie would wake up and put back the missing sentence.”

There are other things that have to be “just so.” Computer language provides an example. Some addresses to a particular page can involve a hundred letters, numbers, and symbols. Get one wrong, and the machine won’t take you where you want to go. It’s no good arguing that your effort is 99% perfect. It just won’t do. And we can be thankful for this precision when we add passwords to sites we want to keep private.

This has its application to God’s plan of eternal salvation. There’s a theory that entry into heaven has to do with whether, when we stand before our Maker, our good deeds outweigh our bad deeds. But here’s what the Bible says:

“Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them” (Gal. 3:10). “Whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.” (Jas. 2:10).

We might liken it to someone hanging over an abyss by a long chain. How many links of the chain would have to break for the person to fall? Only one. Likewise, God’s standard is “just so.” Perfection is required, and none of us qualify. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).

Our condition is hopeless, unless God intervenes. And He has. The perfect Son of God came to earth as Man, and suffered the wrath of God in our place. “Christ died for our sins” (I Cor. 15:3). That’s the meaning of Calvary.“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (Jn. 3:16).

Not that there’s anything wrong with trying to live a good life. It’s simply that no life is good enough to gain God’s heaven. When we come to Him just was we are, “warts and all,” and put our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, we’re trusting that our sins were charged against Him, long ago, and now His perfect righteousness is credited to our account (II Cor. 5:21).

What we’ve been considering was lived out in the life of Charlotte Elliott. For a period of time, in 1822, she was deeply burdened about her spiritual need, but was unsure of how to become a Christian. She spoke about it to a minister of the gospel named César Malan, saying she supposed she needed to do something to make herself acceptable to God. But he replied that she needed to “Come to Him just as you are.” And she did.

Some years later she wrote a now familiar hymn about her experience that day–which she looked upon as the date of her spiritual birthday. The song says:

CH-1) Just as I am–without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidst me come to Thee–
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

CH-2) Just as I am–and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot,
To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot–
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

CH-3) Just as I am–though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fightings and fears within, without–
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

CH-5) Just as I am–Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe–
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Every verse of this hymn is insightful. You can check them out on the Cyber Hymnal link. And that site includes a beautiful seventh stanza not found in many hymnals. It carries the believer’s relationship with Christ on into eternity.

(CH-7) Just as I am–of that free love
The breadth, length, depth, and height to prove,
Here for a season, then above–
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

Questions:
1) Was there a day when you came to Christ “just as you are” to receive His salvation? (If this has not been your experience, I invite you to check out God’s Plan of Salvation.)

2) What are you doing currently to share the gospel, and support the sharing of the gospel by others?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Charlotte Elliott) (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Posted by: rcottrill | July 1, 2019

I Want to Be Like Jesus

Graphic Bob New Glasses 2015HOW TO USE THIS BLOG
1) The Almanac. Click on the month you want in the side-bar, then the specific date. The blog will tell you what happened in hymn history on that day.
2) Reflections. There is always a current article on a hymn. But you can find many others by clicking on the Index tab. (More being added all the time.)
3) Topical Articles are opinion pieces on many aspects sacred music.
4) To Donate. If you can help with the cost of developing and maintaining this site, click on the “Support” tab above and the page will show you how.

Also see 30+ Ideas for Promoting Hymn Singing in your church. As others have contributed ideas, this wonderful resource has grown to over 80 items now. And, for more than three dozen reasons why congregations should still use hymn books rather than merely projecting words on the wall, see The Value of Hymn Books.

Words: Thomas Obediah Chisholm (b. July 29, 1866; d. Feb. 29, 1960)
Music: David Livingstone Ives (b. _____, 1921)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Thomas Chisholm born, died) (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal (Thomas Chisholm)
Hymnary.org

Note: Mr. Chisholm became a school teacher at the age of sixteen, then a newspaper editor, and he became a pastor for a short time (before ill health led to his resignation). But it’s as the author of hundreds of hymns that we know him today.

Note also that Chisholme died on February 29th, one of the few hymn writers who were born or died on that leap year day. Because 2010 was not a leap year, when the Almanac portion of this blog was written, I included articles for that date at the bottom of the page on February 28th.

Desire. The dictionary says to desire something is to wish for, long for, crave, or want it, often for our own enjoyment or satisfaction. The term seems to have come, centuries ago, from the phrase de sidere, meaning from the stars. Perhaps this indicated a belief in astrology, looking to the heavens to see what fate, or good luck would come.

We have many desires. Some seem to be good and worthy. We have a desire for financial stability, and the safety of our children. But because of the sinfulness of the human heart, we may also crave things that are bad, or harmful to us. When greed or lust come into play, our desires have taken a wrong turn.

And are there ever neutral desires–ones that are neither good nor bad? Possibly. There are at least ones that seem relatively inconsequential. But we don’t always know what the final outcome will be of the desires that result in a multitude of choices and decisions each day.

More importantly we need to think about this: what is our greatest desire? What’s the one that sets the direction of our lives, the one that influences and guides the lesser desires of our days? It’s possible to say of this overarching desire that, rather than us having it, it has us. It grips us. It flavours all we do, either with sweetness or bitterness, depending on what it is. Hatred or jealousy toward some individual can do the former, and wholesome love can do the latter.

In the Bible, some form of the word desire is used over 200 times. The first reference provides a negative example. The devil (in the guise of a serpent) contradicted God’s warning about not eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge (Gen. 2:17; 3:4-5), and the Bible says, “When the woman [Eve] saw that the tree was…desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate (Gen. 3:6). It effect, they were saying God had lied to them, and Satan was speaking the truth.

Overwhelmingly, on the positive side, we see the people of God desiring to know Him, and to live to please Him.

“Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You” (Ps. 73:25).

“O Lord, we have waited for You; the desire of our soul is for Your name and for the remembrance of You” (Isa. 26:8).

In the New Testament, this becomes a desire to know Christ, to serve Him, and to follow His example in both character and conduct (Phil. 3:7-11). Paul says:

“For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain…having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better” (Phil. 1:21, 23).

“One thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:13-14).

Understandably, this deep spiritual craving has entered our hymnody. There’s James Rowe’s, “Earthly pleasures vainly call me; I would be like Jesus.” And Johnson Oatman’s “Shining for Jesus everywhere I go.” But it’s to a lovely hymn by Thomas Chisholm that we turn here. I Want to Be Like Jesus presents the ruling desire of his long life.

1) I have one deep, supreme desire,
That I may be like Jesus.
To this I fervently aspire,
That I may be like Jesus.
I want my heart His throne to be,
So that a watching world may see
His likeness shining forth in me.
I want to be like Jesus.

4) O perfect life of Christ, my Lord!
I want to be like Jesus.
My recompense and my reward,
That I may be like Jesus.
His Spirit fill my hung’ring soul,
His power all my life control;
My deepest prayer, my highest goal,
That I may be like Jesus.

Questions:
1) What is the quality you most admire in the Lord Jesus?

2) What are some practical ways this can be revealed in your own life?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Thomas Chisholm born, died) (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal (Thomas Chisholm)
Hymnary.org

Posted by: rcottrill | June 27, 2019

Jesus, Thy Boundless Love to Me

Graphic Bob New Glasses 2015HOW TO USE THIS BLOG
1) The Almanac. Click on the month you want in the side-bar, then the specific date. The blog will tell you what happened in hymn history on that day.
2) Reflections. There is always a current article on a hymn. But you can find many others by clicking on the Index tab. (More being added all the time.)
3) Topical Articles are opinion pieces on many aspects sacred music.
4) To Donate. If you can help with the cost of developing and maintaining this site, click on the “Support” tab above and the page will show you how.

Also see 30+ Ideas for Promoting Hymn Singing in your church. As others have contributed ideas, this wonderful resource has grown to over 80 items now. And, for more than three dozen reasons why congregations should still use hymn books rather than merely projecting words on the wall, see The Value of Hymn Books.

Words:
Paul Gerhardt (b. Mar. 12, 1607; d. May 27, 1676)
Music: St. Catherine (or Walton), by Henri Frederick Hemy (b. Nov. 12, 1818; d. June 10, 1888)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Paul Gerhardt born, died) (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: Paul Gerhardt was a German pastor and theologian who also gave us a number of beautiful hymns. From 1653 comes this lengthy (sixteen stanza) hymn, translated into English nearly a century later by John Wesley. For the wonderful story behind another hymn by Pastor Gerhardt, Give to the Winds Thy Fears, see here. It gives insight into the man’s character.

The expression “staying power” has been around for nearly two centuries. Originally it referred to the stamina and endurance needed to maintain speed through a race. But it has since been applied to human endeavour in other areas, and to human relationships such as friendship and marriage. The question in the latter case is: will the bond last?

The enduring partnership of George and Ira Gershwin produced many popular songs and Broadway musicals in the early part of the twentieth century. As a composer, George created a unique style of music, combining the classical genre with American jazz. His older brother Ira provided effective lyrics for George’s melodies.

In 1937, George composed his last tune–before a brain tumour took his life at the early age of thirty-eight. After his death, Ira wrote lyrics for the music as a tribute to his brother. The result was a charming, and often recorded love song entitled Love Is Here to Stay–“not for a year, but ever and a day.”

Contrasts are made in the song to things that may simply be “passing fancies,” such as “the movies that we know.” Even the seemingly unshakable Rocky Mountains, and the rock of Gibraltar may some day be gone, “they’re only made of clay,” but “our love is here to stay.” It has staying power, or so the song claims.

It’s a warmly touching sentiment. But we all know many such pledges are broken every day. The unconditional vows of the traditional wedding ceremony, “to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, turn out to be “I’ll still love you if…” or “I’ll remain faithful to you if…”

This issue enters the spiritual realm when we consider the Lord’s love for us, and our love for Him. As to the former, it reaches from eternity past, into the eternal future. It was the love of God that sent His Son to Calvary to pay our debt of sin (Jn. 3:16; Gal. 2:20). Our Saviour “loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood” (Rev. 1:5). And it’s a tender love that guides us all the way to our eternal home.

Of our own love, the Lord Jesus says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matt. 22:37). But the truth is often different. Sometimes, He noted, “people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honour Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me” (Matt. 15:8). We need a work of the Spirit of God within to develop a deep and enduring love for the Lord (Gal. 5:22).

Gerhardt’s hymn celebrates both the Calvary love mentioned above, and the ongoing power of that glorious love in his life.

CH-1) Jesus, Thy boundless love to me
No thought can reach, no tongue declare:
O knit my thankful heart to Thee
And reign without a rival there;
Thine wholly, Thine alone I am;
Be Thou alone my constant flame.

CH-12) What in Thy love possess I not?
My star by night, my sun by day;
My spring of life when parched with drought,
My wine to cheer, my bread to stay,
My strength, my shield, my safe abode,
My robe before the throne of God!

But, in contrast, the author sees his own love for the Lord pitifully weak and inconstant. He confesses, in stanza 6:

“More hard than marble is my heart,
And foul with sins of deepest stain.”

So he prays:

CH-2) O, grant that nothing in my soul
May dwell, but Thy pure love alone;
Oh, may Thy love possess me whole,
My joy, my treasure, and my crown.
Strange fires far from my heart remove;
My every act, word, thought, be love.

May this be true of each of us.

Questions:
1) How have you shown and shared the love of Christ with others during the past week?

2) What do you believe is still lacking in your life of the expression of the love of Christ? (For a list of some characteristics, see First Corinthians 13:4-8a.)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Paul Gerhardt born, died) (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Posted by: rcottrill | June 24, 2019

Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee

Graphic Bob New Glasses 2015HOW TO USE THIS BLOG
1) The Almanac. Click on the month you want in the side-bar, then the specific date. The blog will tell you what happened in hymn history on that day.
2) Reflections. There is always a current article on a hymn. But you can find many others by clicking on the Index tab. (More being added all the time.)
3) Topical Articles are opinion pieces on many aspects sacred music.
4) To Donate. If you can help with the cost of developing and maintaining this site, click on the “Support” tab above and the page will show you how.

Also see 30+ Ideas for Promoting Hymn Singing in your church. As others have contributed ideas, this wonderful resource has grown to over 80 items now. And, for more than three dozen reasons why congregations should still use hymn books rather than merely projecting words on the wall, see The Value of Hymn Books.

Words: Bernard of Clairvaux (b. _____, 1091; d. Aug. 21, 1153)
Music: St. Agnes, by John Bacchus Dykes (b. Mar. 10, 1823; d. Jan. 22, 1876)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (for another article on the hymn see here)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: Bernard lived about eight centuries ago. He was a deeply spiritually minded man. Centuries after his time, Protestant reformer Martin Luther called him, “the best monk that ever lived, whom I admire beyond all the rest put together.” The Cyber Hymnal has fifteen stanzas for this hymn, including other lines from the longer poem from which the hymn was taken. Most hymnals use only four or five of these.

Sometimes there are sentiments expressed in romantic songs–wholesome ones–that seem to point to our relationship with the Lord, in a deeper and more spiritual sense. That’s not to say there’s no difference between sacred and secular, or between human and divine. But there are some parallels.

In 1934, English band leader Ray Stanley Noble wrote words and music for a tender ballad called The Very Thought of You. With recordings by well known singers such as Billie Holiday and Nat King Cole, it soon became a popular standard. A look at the lyrics invites the comparison mentioned earlier. The song begins:

The very thought of you
And I forget to do
The little ordinary things
That everyone ought to do.

Being in a loving relationship affects our behaviour. At the human level, the intensity of emotion can induce a kind of absent-mindedness bordering on amnesia. Accidentally putting on socks that don’t match, or leaving the house and forgetting to close the door, could be symptoms of it.

That might sometimes happen occasionally in the Christian’s relationship with the Lord, but there’s another aspect of it to consider. Our love for the Lord Jesus ought to affect our behaviour. But it should prompt us to do those things, morally, “that everyone ought to do.”

“If you love Me, keep my commandments,” Christ said. “Whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected [brought to maturity] in him” (I Jn. 2:5).

Then Noble’s song says:

You’ll never know
How slow the moments go
Till I’m near to you.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder, says the old proverb. Being away from each other for a time can increase the desire to be together again. But, as with many maxims, there’s another one that says just the opposite: out of sight, out of mind.

In the spiritual realm, the knowledge that we have a personal relationship with the eternal God should excite a desire to fellowship with Him, through prayer and the study of His Word. But what if it doesn’t?

Sometimes the dulling of our desire results from a neglect of the activities mentioned, regular times in His Word, and in prayer. Also, a prolonged absence from the house of God, and fellowship with His people can do the same. But the most common cause is sin in our lives that has not been confessed and forsaken. It was when Adam and Eve sinned that they were moved to hide from God (Gen. 3:8).

Finally, the lover in the popular ballad says:

I see your face in every flower,
You eyes in stars above.

Everywhere he looks, he sees things that remind him of the one he loves. And there’s a spiritual correspondence there too. We see God’s hand at work in everything. Everywhere, there are tokens of His grace and power.

An 1876 hymn called Loved with Everlasting Love, by clergyman George Robinson, puts the spiritual parallel this way:

Heav’n above is softer blue,
Earth around is sweeter green!
Something lives in every hue
Christless eyes have never seen.

Believers are given a new perspective on life, we view things in a different way. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (II Cor. 5:17).

Bernard produced a hymn that echoes Noble’s secular ballad in a profoundly spiritual way.

CH-1) Jesus, the very thought of Thee
With sweetness fills the breast;
But sweeter far Thy face to see,
And in Thy presence rest.

CH-2) Nor voice can sing, nor heart can frame,
Nor can the memory find
A sweeter sound than Thy blest name,
O Saviour of mankind!

CH-5) Jesus, our only joy be Thou,
As Thou our prize will be;
Jesus be Thou our glory now,
And through eternity.

Questions:
1) Do you know Christians for whom Christ is a real and beloved presence in their daily lives?

2) How does this show itself?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (for another article on the hymn see here)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Older Posts »

Categories