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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.
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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: Roland Hill (b. Aug. 23, 1744; d. Apr. 11:1833)
Music: Missionary Chant, by Heinrich Christoph Zeuner (b. Sept. 20, 1795; d. Nov. 7, 1857)
Note: Roland Hill was an English pastor who had a great interest in world evangelism. He helped found the London Missionary Society, and served on the first committee of the Religious Tract Society. In 1783, in nine stanzas, Hill gave us a hymn about heaven, based on Revelation 7:9-17. And since one of the heavenly elders asks John a question about those gathered around God’s throne, Pastor Hill adopted that format in his hymn, alternating stanzas with questions and answers.
Heinrich Zeuner came from Germany to America, where he took the name Charles Zeuner. His Missionary Chant is also used with the hymn Ye Christian Heralds.
Time travel is, so far anyway, exclusively the province of science fiction. In 1895, British author H. G. Wells published a novel called The Time Machine (a term he made up). The time traveler–who was given no name in the original story–invented a machine that enabled him to journey through time.
If you had that power, when and where would you like to go? What would be, for you, the place to be? There are many choices, some pleasant and exciting, others terrible and distressing. Would you like to be there when Gutenberg invented the printing press, and began turning out the first printed Bibles? Or what about the birth of Christ? What if you could join with the shepherds and see the Baby Jesus in the manger?
Even with unpleasant or criminal events there would be things to learn that have puzzled historians for years. Who, for instance, was Jack the Ripper? Or was there actually a second gunman involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy? Or what about Jimmy Hoffa? The American leader of the Teamsters Union disappeared in 1975, and no one knows what happened to him.
On my desk, as I write, are three books. One is The Random House Timetables of History, published in 1991. It describes over five thousand events from ancient times to 1990, all the way from giving an approximate day for the invention of the wheel and the sail, to the release of Nelson Mandela from prison.
Another book is Dates with Destiny, in which the authors tell us about what they consider the one hundred most important dates in church history. They begin with the persecution of the early Christians, and end with the amazing growth of the church in China, in spite of oppression by a communist government.
Finally, there is a the Holy Bible on my desk, always within reach. That’s the book that covers history, with divinely inspired precision, from eternity past to eternity up ahead. Encompassed in that infinite span is the creation of the present earth and heavens (Gen. 1:1), the final destruction of these (II Pet. 3:10), and the creation of the new heavens and earth “in which righteousness dwells [abides, makes its home, forever]” (II Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21:1).
The heavenly kingdom must surely be something to see! The Apostle Paul speaks of a man who saw it (many commentators believe it was likely Paul himself). In Paradise he heard “inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter [i.e. that he was not permitted to repeat]” (II Cor. 12:1-4). But about forty years later, the Apostle John was given a revelation of heavenly things which he was told not to hold back from the telling others (Rev. 1:11; 22:10).
The heavenly city is given various names, several that indicate its relation to the earthly city of Jerusalem. It is “mount Zion and the city of the living God,” and “heavenly Jerusalem” (Heb. 12:22-24), “the holy city New Jerusalem” (Rev. 21:2), and “the Paradise of God” (II Cor. 12:4).
We know a few things about it (especially from the last two chapters of Revelation). The Lord has pulled back the curtain slightly to give us a glimpse, but there is so much more to discover. It’s definitely the place to be, and we can be, through faith in the shed blood of Christ, who paid our debt of sin (Eph. 2:13; Rev. 5:9).
CH-1) Exalted high at God’s right hand,
Nearer the throne than cherubs stand,
With glory crowned, in white array,
My wondering soul says, “Who are they?”
CH-2) These are the saints beloved of God,
Washed are their robes in Jesus’ blood;
More spotless than the purest white,
They shine in uncreated light.
CH-3) Brighter than angels, lo! they shine
Their glories great, and all divine;
Tell me their origin, and say
Their order what, and whence came they?
CH-4) Through tribulation great they came;
They bore the cross, and scorned the shame;
Within the living temple blest,
In God they dwell, and on Him rest.
1) Other than the Lord Jesus Christ, what Bible character are you looking forward to meeting in heaven?
2) What question(s) would you like to ask when you meet him or her?