Thursday, August 11, 2011

Songs from long ago...

The past couple of days...
In between laundry,
shopping for school supplies,
running to Alison's soccer practices and back,
changing diapers,
sipping coffee with the hubby,
painting my Mom's vintage telephone table she is buying from me,
trying on new school shoes with the boys (Yes, I got a pair, too.),
running after Belle down the road as she sneaked away in the
motorized Gator truck,
retrieving the Gator truck from the woods,
getting my teeth cleaned,
helping Sam try on his first pair of school jeans,
making mac and cheese and peanut butter and jelly,
and shopping for cheap old picture frames...

I have also had a chance to experiment with an idea that has been brewing in my head for the past couple of weeks.

I am so happy to say, I am very pleased with the outcome...

Though I have no musical ability whatsoever, I have always felt a special connection to song writing and especially the hymns of the past. Probably because I do enjoy writing, and am always wondering about the heart of the person behind the words they wrote.

It wasn't until the past couple of years that I really appreciated these hymns. Namely, the people who wrote them and their stories that drove them to write the words we sing at my church today. And how God is still using those words today to encourage, give joy to, and strengthen so many people.

If you click on the pictures, you will be able to see an up close shot,
which really helps to see the detail.

William Cowper, wrote this, my very favorite hymn of all time. His words spoke to me and gave me strength during a time I was really questioning my faith and was struggling with depression.

I was so encouraged knowing he too struggled with believing the Gospel, yet the words he wrote were so strong and so assuring, even as he questioned how God loved him.

A few facts about the man, William Cowper:

He was born in 1731 and was the fourth child of his family.

His three older siblings died.

His Mom died while giving birth to her fifth child when William was 6 years old.

He never recovered from that.

He was sent to a boarding school where he was terrorized by a bully.

He loved literature and poetry but his father wanted him to be an attorney.

Preparing for the bar exam, he experienced runaway anxiety, threw his Bible away
and attempted suicide.

He was put under the care of Dr. Nathanial Cotton, a Christian man who ran an asylum.

He slowly recovered and in 1764 in the asylum, God rescued him.

In the book, "Then Sings My Soul", author Robert J. Morgan says,

"William Cowper is one of God's gracious gifts to those suffering from depression. Cowper shows us that our emotional struggles often give us heightened sensitivity to the heart of God and to the needs of others."

Morgan also goes on to say in his book, "His depression was never far away, and it intensified as he aged. In this melancholia, William died on April 25th, 1800. There is a report, however, that on his deathbed his face suddenly lit up as he exclaimed,
"I am not shut out of heaven after all!"

So I can't help but be so thankful for this man, and how God used his life, full of sorrow and fear, to encourage so many other brothers and sisters like me.

He is one of my top 10 people I want to see first when I get to Heaven.

I look forward to that conversation.


And here's a couple more favorites...

All of these framed hymns are for sale. You can find the prices under the tab,
"Kaboodles for Sale" on the top of this page.

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