Hymns and other songs help brighten our lives

Published 2:50 pm Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Mt. Olivet News

While working in my mini-garden, that no one would call a garden but me, I thought of the late John Denver’s song “Sunshine on My Shoulders.” I’m wondering how I’m going to feel about this when it’s 100 degrees outside?

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I can get the best sermons and inspiration from songs. Sometimes instead of playing them on the piano, I just sit and read the words. Ephesians 5:19 says…”singing hymns, Psalms, and spiritual songs.”

I think about the more than 600 songs that John Wesley wrote. What inspiration it must have taken to pen that many verses, and I am sure that he never meant for us to leave out the third verses. When we sing, we are presenting our own individual concerts.

When Martin Luther nailed his “Ninety-five” thesis to the door of the Church of England in the 1500s, the results were Bibles that people could read own their own, and hymnals from which they could sing on their own.

Where, o where, have these melodies gone today?

I have to listen to television church services lates, and I am appalled. If you can understand the words at all, they, in opinion, don’t really say anything. But, maybe that is their form of worship.

To quote Charles R. Swindoll in his book “Finishing Touches”…”sing often..add one or two songs to your day….concentrate on the words…never mind how beautiful or pitiful you may sound. You are not auditioning for the choir; you are singing for you. If you listen closely when you are through, you may hear the hosts of heaven shouting for joy. Then again, it might be your neighbor screaming for relief.”

I recall the little black “Cokesbury Hymnal” we used at Mt. Olivet for many years. It had old songs like The Old Rugged Cross, What a Friend We Have in Jesus, and Amazing Grace.

I asked a publisher why some of the old songs like The Old Rugged Cross are not in some newer hymnals. He told me The Old Rugged Cross was old and outdated, and did not represent a Biblical theology.

Wow! I think I better stick to the old Cokesbury.

My mother, Miss Jessie Palmertree, at age 100 was still singing her favorite hymn verses – Have thine own way, Lord, have thine own way. Thou are the potter, I am the clay. Mold me and make me after thy will, have thine own way, Lord, have thine own way.

Tom T. Hall sang about old dogs, children, and watermelon wine. Do you have stories to tell about any of those things, or anything that would be interesting to readers? Give me a call at 662-563-1742 (home) or 901-828-8824 (cell).

Late Breaking News: Our friend and fellow church member “Skeeta” Thornton has a new residence. He is at Culpepper Place in Olive Branch, an assisted living place. At the present time he is in the Germantown Methodist Hospital and we wish him well.

Transitions are hard on an individual as well as their families. This is something that we will all face at one time or another. Letters, phone calls, and visits (when permitted) will help ease Skeeta’s transition.