Friday, 29 July 2016

Ascribe Greatness {WEEK 1 - lettering challenge}

This has been a crazy couple of weeks. Planning and tidying up school related things. Getting ready for Holiday Bible Club. A little boy having hernia repair surgery. And then, this week, the crazy, but rewarding, that is Holiday Bible Club. I. Am. Wrecked. It's 7.30pm, and if I didn't have a high maintenance 5 month old who doesn't go down for the night until silly o'clock, I would be in my BED!!!! (I think I am getting old....)


I am SO excited to be starting off with my FIRST EVER lettering prompt series, starting on MONDAY!!! 

As long as I can remember, I have LOVED singing. I sang in the school choir. I learned to sing alto when I was quite young, just by listening to the older ladies in the Church singing. I love to lift my voice in praise to God. In Church. In the car. In the home. I love to sing. 

The words matter to me. 

If your singing of Christian praise is NOT about the words, but only the emotion or the music, then there is something wrong. You've missed the purpose of praise in song. I digress.

I was travelling with Robert to a wedding, recently, and we were, as we often are, listening to Christian praise - hymns and songs. I was thinking about some of the words that I hold very dear, and I thought "these would make great lettering prompts!"  Sometimes it was only a word or two, sometimes a phrase or line. Some hymns have whole verses that are precious to me. The wonderful thing about hymns is that, for each of us, the Lord may use different words to speak life to us, whilst we worship HIM! It's a perfect combo for lettering, I reckon.

I scoured through Instagram, but couldn't find any obvious challenges revolving around hymns and songs, so it was a perfect opportunity!

I made a list of some of my all time favourites. They are mostly traditional "older" hymns, but some are more modern. All of them have solid Christian doctrine and scriptural basis, and have an amazing depth. In some ways, they just don't write 'em like they used to! Maybe there are many you don't know at all, because you've only  known more modern worship? Don't miss out on these superb words of praise. 

Every week I will either share the words or a link to sites where  you can find the words to these hymns, so that you can find them easily if they are unfamiliar to you, or if you don't have a hymn book that has them. (I don't think any one hymn book will have them all, anyway!)

So, from August the 1st, jump in and join us on Instagram and Facebook. You  don't need to be able to write "fancy", but maybe this would make a great opportunity for you to jump in and join with learning lettering? A great way to be creative and relax over the summer, whilst dwelling on these great words of praise and worship. 

(This whole endeavour has sent me on an educational trip all around hymn copyright! It's involving maths, and working out dates and years!!!)

1. I lift my heart to thee

I lift my heart to Thee, Saviour divine;
For Thou art all to me, and I am Thine;
Is there on earth a closer bond than this,
That my Belovèd’s mine, and I am His?
Thine am I by all ties; but chiefly Thine,
That through Thy sacrifice Thou, Lord, art mine.
By thine own cords of love, so sweetly wound,
Around me, I to Thee am closely bound.
To Thee, Thou bleeding Lamb, I all things owe—
All that I have, and am, and all I know.
All that I have is now no longer mine,
And I am not mine own; Lord, I am Thine.
How can I, Lord, withhold life’s brightest hour
From Thee; or gathered gold, or any power?
Why should I keep one precious thing from Thee;
When Thou hast giv’n Thine own dear self for me?
I pray Thee, Savior, keep me in Thy love,
Until death’s holy sleep shall me remove
To that fair realm where, sin and sorrow o’er,
Thou and Thine own are one forevermore.

Charles E. Maudie (1872)

2.  When peace like a river

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought—
My sin—not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
But, Lord, ‘tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh trump of the angel! Oh voice of the Lord!
Blessèd hope, blessèd rest of my soul!
And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so—it is well with my soul.

Horatio Spafford (1873) 

3. His robes for mine

Find the lyrics here. This a new hymn, but the words are incredible. I first heard it three years ago,
 when tragedy struck the heart of a Church where I had visited in Indianapolis. The youth pastor, 
and his wife - Chuck and Courtney Phelps - their unborn baby, and a lady from their congregation,
 Tonya Weindorf, all tragically lost their lives in a coach accident, returning from camp. 
This is a hymn that was sung at their funeral, which I watched via livestream. 
The words really challenged me, especially the words at the end of the chorus. 
"Bought by such love, my life is not my own.
My praise-my all-shall be for Christ alone."  Their lives were lived faithfully for the Saviour, and I want my life to be lived the same way. 

This site has many newly written hymns. They marry up wonderful words and beautiful melodies. They make them free to use and print for worship, because they desire that God should be praised more than making money. You will be blessed by the hymns you will find there. 

4. Great is thy faithfulness

Find the words here. This is one of my all time favourites, because my heart is so thankful for God's faithfulness to me. 

5. Come, thou fount of every blessing

(I've added this one as it was written, although it's not in the format I am used to singing it - we have some parts skipped out, to make three verses.)

Come, Thou fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.
Sorrowing I shall be in spirit,
Till released from flesh and sin,
Yet from what I do inherit,
Here Thy praises I’ll begin;
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Here by Thy great help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood;
How His kindness yet pursues me
Mortal tongue can never tell,
Clothed in flesh, till death shall loose me
I cannot proclaim it well.
O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.
O that day when freed from sinning,
I shall see Thy lovely face;
Clothèd then in blood washed linen
How I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace;
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry,
Take my ransomed soul away;
Send Thine angels now to carry
Me to realms of endless day.

6. When all thy mercies

(Another one that had many more verses than I am accustomed to, but I loved how it tells
 a life story of God's mercy!)

When all Thy mercies, O my God,
My rising soul surveys,
Transported with the view, I’m lost
In wonder, love and praise.
O, how shall words with equal warmth
The gratitude declare,
That glows within my ravished heart!
But Thou canst read it there.
Thy providence my life sustained,
And all my wants redressed,
While in the silent womb I lay,
And hung upon the breast.
To all my weak complaints and cries
Thy mercy lent an ear,
Ere yet my feeble thoughts had learned
To form themselves in prayer.
Unnumbered comforts to my soul
Thy tender care bestowed,
Before my infant heart conceived
From whom those comforts flowed.
When in the slippery paths of youth
With heedless steps I ran,
Thine arm unseen conveyed me safe,
And led me up to man.
Through hidden dangers, toils, and death,
It gently cleared my way;
And through the pleasing snares of vice,
More to be feared than they.
When worn with sickness, oft hast Thou
With health renewed my face;
And when in sins and sorrows sunk,
Revived my soul with grace.
Thy bounteous hand with worldly bliss
Hath made my cup run o’er;
And, in a kind and faithful friend,
Hath doubled all my store.
Ten thousand thousand precious gifts
My daily thanks employ;
Nor is the least a cheerful heart
That tastes those gifts with joy.
Through every period of my life
Thy goodness I’ll pursue
And after death, in distant worlds,
The glorious theme renew.
When nature fails, and day and night
Divide Thy works no more,
My ever grateful heart, O Lord,
Thy mercy shall adore.
Through all eternity to Thee
A joyful song I’ll raise;
For, oh, eternity’s too short
To utter all Thy praise!

Joseph Addison (1712)

7. How sweet the name of Jesus sounds

(We have just finished Holiday Bible Club. Our "Missionary story" was about John Newton! 
What a life of testimony to God's redemption and grace! I live just a few miles from where he 
ministered, in Olney)

How sweet the name of Jesus sounds
In a believer’s ear!
It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds,
And drives away his fear.
It makes the wounded spirit whole,
And calms the troubled breast;
’Tis manna to the hungry soul,
And to the weary, rest.
Dear name, the rock on which I build,
My shield and hiding place,
My never failing treasury, filled
With boundless stores of grace!
By Thee my prayers acceptance gain,
Although with sin defiled;
Satan accuses me in vain,
And I am owned a child.
Jesus! my shepherd, husband, friend,
O prophet, priest and king,
My Lord, my life, my way, my end,
Accept the praise I bring.
Weak is the effort of my heart,
And cold my warmest thought;
But when I see Thee as Thou art,
I’ll praise Thee as I ought.
Till then I would Thy love proclaim
With every fleeting breath,
And may the music of Thy name
Refresh my soul in death!

John Newton (1779)

There you have it. All the hymns for the first week of #ascribe_greatness, starting

I hope you join with me, and that your heart is truly blessed by these great hymns. 

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