How Firm a Foundation

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My granddaughter, Arianna and I have a habit of watching an episode of “Andy Griffith” every night before bed. Last night Sheriff Andy was humming a song as he sat on his porch in the evening. Recognizing the tune as “How Firm a Foundation”, I found the words and started recording.

Every source I looked at said the author was unknown. It first appeared in 1787 simply labeled with the letter K. Somehow, I don’t think the original author would mind. Anyone who wrote words like the ones below was looking to glorify God, not himself.

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,

Is laid for your faith in His excellent word!

What more can He say than to you He hath said,

To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled.

Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,

For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;

I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,

Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.

When through the deep waters I call thee to go,

The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;

For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,

And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,

My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;

The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design

Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.

The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose,

I will not, I will not desert to his foes;

That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,

I’ll never, no never, no never forsake!

For Further study:

Luke 21:33 – “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.”

Isaiah 41:10 – “Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

Deuteronomy 31:6, 8 – “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” “And the LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear, or be dismayed.”

Hymn – I Heard the voice of Jesus Say

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My goal is to put up one or two old hymns every month. Music paired with true words are healing to the soul. I hope they are an encouragement to you.

Horatius Bonar, a clergyman from Scotland, wrote this hymn in the 1800s. It has been sung to several tunes, but my favorite is an English folk tune called “Kingsfold” which was paired with the words around 1900.

You will find the music and words below so we can sing together.

I heard the voice of Jesus say, “Come unto Me, and rest.

Lay down, thou weary one, lay down, Thy head upon My breast.”

I came to Jesus as I was, Weary and worn and sad.

I found in Him a resting place, and He has made me glad.

I heard the voice of Jesus say, “Behold, I freely give

The living water thirsty one, stoop down, and drink, and live.”

I came to Jesus, and I drank, of that life giving stream.

My thirst was quenched, my soul revived, and now I live in Him.

I heard the voice of Jesus say, “I am this dark world’s Light.

Look unto Me, thy morn shall rise, And all thy day be bright.”

I looked to Jesus, and I found in Him my Star, my Sun,

and in that Light of life I’ll walk, ‘Till trav’lling days are done.

………………………………………………………..

“To be entitled to use Another’s name when my own name is worthless,

To be allowed to wear Another’s raiment because my own is torn and filthy.

To appear before God in Another’s person – the person of the beloved Son –

This is the summit of all blessing.”

Horatius Bonar (1808-1889)

For further study:

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

“but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

On Jordan’s Stormy Banks I Stand

This song written by Samuel Stennett in 1787 (or earlier) was originally written in a minor key. It was given a new tune in 1835 and the chorus was added in 1895. I have removed the chorus and given it a minor key again in keeping with the original author’s intent.

I hope you enjoy this “new” version. Take special note of verse 3, which has special significance in our present situation. I’ve included the words so you can sing with me.

On Jordan’s Stormy Banks – Samuel Stennett – 1787

  1.   On Jordan’s stormy banks I stand,
    And cast a wishful eye
    To Canaan’s fair and happy land,
    Where my possessions lie.
  2. O’er all those wide, extended plains
    Shines one eternal day;
    There God the Son forever reigns,
    And scatters night away.
  3. No chilling winds or poisonous breath
    Can reach that healthful shore;
    Sickness and sorrow, pain and death,
    Are felt and feared no more.
  4. When I shall reach that happy place,
    I’ll be forever blest,
    For I shall see my Father’s face,
    And in His bosom rest.
  5. Filled with delight my raptured soul
    Would here no longer stay;
    Though Jordan’s waves around me roll,
    Fearless, I’d launch away.

(Music copyright 2021 – Karen Pickering)

Revelation 21:23 – And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.

Hymn #1 – Day by Day

I’ll be posting some hymns from time to time. I’m choosing things that are over 100 years old to avoid copyright infringement. The words will be posted so you can sing along with me. I wish I could hear you.

Day by Day – Sandell Berg / Oscar Ahnfelt

Day by day and with each passing moment, Strength I find to meet my trials here.

Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment, I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.

He whose heart is kind beyond all measure gives unto each day what He deems best,

Lovingly its part of pain and pleasure, mingling toil with peace and rest.

Every day the Lord Himself is near me with a special mercy for each hour.

All my cares He fain would bear and cheer me, He whose name is Counselor and Pow’r.

The protection of His child and treasure is a charge that on Himself He laid.

“As your days, your strength shall be in measure,” This the pledge to me He made.

Help me then in every tribulation So to trust Your promises, O Lord,

That I lose not faith’s sweet consolation Offered me within Your holy Word.

Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting, E’er to take, as from a Father’s hand,

One by one, the days, the moments fleeting, Till I reach the Promised Land.

 

Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy

Come, ye sinners, poor and needy, weak and wounded sick and sore.

Jesus ready stands to save you, full of pity love and pow’r.

I will arise and go to Jesus, He will embrace me in His arms.

In the arms of my dear Savior, O, there are ten thousand charms.

Come, ye thirsty, come and welcome. God’s free bounty glorify;

True belief and true repentance, every grace that brings you nigh.

Let not conscience make you linger, Nor of fitness fondly dream.

All the fitness He requireth is to find your need of Him.

Come, ye weary, heavy laden, Lost and ruined by the fall.

If you tarry till you’re better; You will never come at all.

(by Joseph Hart 1759)

I should have included this song in my last post.  When my voice returns I will try and record an audio version to be added here.  There is a modern/new tune, but I prefer the old one.

 

I Hear My Savior

I posted this a few months ago and promised you the music. You can find the recording just below. Hope you enjoy it.

Lytroo Retreat

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I Hear My Savior – Karen Pickering

I hear my Savior walking; His steps so close to mine.

Though I wander from His presence, He seeks my soul to find.

None other is so faithful as He who bore my shame.

Yet here I strive without Him and fail to speak His name.

I hear my Savior calling, His breath so close to mine.

“Come rest beneath my shadow. You should no longer pine”.

He woos and I still slight His voice for others hold more sway.

This mighty God so tender, He will not slip away.

I hear my Savior pleading, His voice so soft and low.

“I paid the awful ransom. How can you from me go?”

“Your life is lost without me. I only want to give.

This new life everlasting, so come to me and live.”

I turn to face Him fully this one who loves…

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