Archive for the ‘ Hymn Stories ’ Category

A Shelter in the Time of Storm


This was a fun hymn story to work on, since it was written by a Baptist and because the music is fun to sing. The song is peppy and uplifting in spirit.

The writer happens to be the headmaster of the Spurgeon Stockwell orphanage. This was a large set of homes that became their own district in England! The goal was at first to provide a Christian school for children, but when Spurgeon got a large endowment to start an orphanage, it was used to build a row of houses for boys.

Vernon Charlesworth was a Baptist minister and school headmaster at his church, so he was soon recruited to head up the project. The orphanage took off like wildfire. Soon there was a row of houses for girl orphans across the street from the boys homes.

The unique purpose of the homes was to give orphans a family like setting and to provide for children of all faiths and backgrounds, offering them free housing, food, education and care. They tried to dress the children differently, but this proved more difficult than it was seemed.

What made this orphanage unique was that orphans were normally sent to “poor houses.” These were very inadequate warehouses where the children were employed in hard labor to fund their room and board. But food was scarce in such places, and the “bosses” were very abusive and cruel.

Spurgeon’s homes were designed to provide the children a good education, healthy food, and parental love and discipline. They also did not limit the kinds of children they would take in to help. They tried to accept all that applied.

At any rate, the hymn came from this busy Baptist minister and head master, and it quickly became popular particularly among the fishermen who had to face frequent and cruel storms off the northern shores of England.

Ira Sankey found the poem, but did not like the difficult to sing tune that was being used. So he wrote some easy rhythmic music to go with the words and modified the words a bit and added a chorus.

That hymn spread quickly world-wide and is a favorite for young and old and those who never face the rough seas, but do face the storms of daily living.

Take a moment to learn more about the authors of this hymn and the hymn itself! Use the following link:

A Shelter in the Time of Storm.

Does Jesus Care articles


Praise the Lord! We just finished another triplet of articles that center around the hymn “Does Jesus Care?” They are an attempt to update and dramatically improve the original article on that hymn.

The writer of the hymn, Frank Graeff, wrote the words the time when he was sorely depressed. It seems that the writer that originally mentioned this condition, made it sound like a one-time event. Subsequent writers seem to dwell on this condition and make him sound bipolar.

It is very possible that Frank Graeff did not have a bipolar personality, but all the talk about how cheerful he was would indicate that he would have been a very emotionally driven person and one prone to severe highs and lows in his feelings.

It is interesting that the Wesley brothers had the same problem, and that Frank was part of their movement. Unfortunately when we rely on our feelings about our salvation, we are right where the devil wants us. Those who are very soulful, and very weak spiritually, are prone to such attacks. Both charismatic and Pentecostal industry is based on this emotional roller coaster. People frankly become exhausted all the highs and lows and quite often escape the church scene to try to level out emotionally. The great cost times because the weight this emotionalism with being Christian, and so those who would seek to reach them from Scripture find process very difficult.

Whether not Frank was actually bipolar is something that is too late to determine. But he was a Methodist minister and so part of this emotional connection for his salvation, would indicate that he indeed would have been driven to a bipolar mental state. Add circumstantial trauma and an exhausted physical body into the mix, and yes, you have the recipe for a mental illness.

It is true that Christians need to be assured their salvation, and the fact that Jesus Christ cares for them. This hymn has been able to reach and fulfill that need for so many people. It is sad to realize how many people are caught in this emotion and as a result need the words of this hymn.

The hymn is built around the phrase from first Peter that states that “He careth for you.” The context of the verse is about how the Christian needs to behave, and to be able to achieve this spiritual life, he must cast his burdens onto his Savior, because our Savior does care for his sheep.

You can probably tell that I find the hymn very boring, and it had difficulty in leading it when we sing it. The music was designed for the poem, and it was done prayerfully, but it was also written by a Methodist too! I have a hard time with it because to me the tune is more of the lilting dance number that is hard to get a good tempo and feeling for the words. I much prefer him instead originate from the Psalter and age-old tunes to go with them. They have more of a staunch firm and solid message as well as very old solid tunes that go with the words. So instead of trying to generate an extremely soul-ish emotion, a very spiritual and godlike nature comes from just singing the Psalter pieces.

Would it not be better to sing “That man hath perfect blessedness, who walketh not to astray, in council of ungodly men, nor stands in sinners’ way.” That one verse says it all. If you want to experience spiritual blessing, you have to separate yourself from the ungodly and from sinners. You also have to abide by the holy and true gospel of God, and to not stray into philosophies in vain deceits. A good place to start is in how you dress. If you are here to simply impress people, and so use makeup and wearing modest clothing, you are not impressing anyone. You are proving that you are worldly and vain in your imaginations and quite corrupt in your thinking. If you are feeling lonely, depressed, in need of a “pick me up,” then frankly you need to separate from the world and draw closer to the Savior. Yes, He does care about you, but if you are going to resist His words and His instruction as printed in his Holy Book, there is not much He can do to bring real blessing into your life. You are simply going to have to comfort yourself, and bring solace to yourself by chanting some lilting hymns like “Does Jesus Care?”

Okay now for the facts about the hymn, please use the following links:

  1. Frank E. Graeff
  2. J. Lincoln Hall
  3. Does Jesus Care?

Hymn Story and History Additions


I keep forgetting to make these announcements! Last weekend and the weekend before that, we got several more articles rewritten and moved to the Berean Bible Heritage Church website. They are listed below with links to the them:

1.       I Sing the Mighty Power of God

2.       Ralph Williams

3.       William How

4.       For All the Saints

5.       I Need Thee Every Hour

6.       Annie Hawks

Theodore Dubois


What a sad story. This man wanted to be anything but what God seemed to have for him. He was good at one thing and that was harmony and music, but he looked for worldly fame in the opera and in secular music, rather than in God’s house. Yes, he was a great organist, but if he had not written The Seven Last Words of Christ, frankly, he would have lapsed into complete obscurity along with all the other nominal Christians of the world. Frankly, his one “great” work was simply done to fulfill his obligation as a paid organist and music director, something he apparently did not relish that much.

What does that say about us? Do we also seek worldly fame and recognition? Are we working very hard for that which amounts to nothing in the end? Are we going to leave this earth with nothing to show for the life God gave us but a pile of worthless attempts at getting what is not ours to get? When it is all said and done, is there proof we did seek to follow the Lord and give up this world at all?

As I write this, family and friends all around the world have been partying and celebrating a most wicked and godless Winter Solstice, otherwise generally called Christmas, to try to “Christianize” the whole evil day. What is Biblical about dragging a tree into your house and putting all kinds of lights and stuff on it? God’s Word specifically condemns it as blatant Idolatry. What is so wonderful about giving gifts to each other on this most evil day? God mentions that too as being idolatrous. God instructs His people to celebrate Passover week and the Feast of Tabernacles, which are times to thank Him for what He has done during crucial times of the year, when we need to remember how God has blessed us and need to come to God to seek his blessing for the next season. Christmas is frankly a heathen day where the world seeks to make money one last time during their calendar year (which is very different from Gods!).

Did we make a big fuss over proving our heathen natures by celebrating the month of Christmas or did we seek to save that which was lost? Maybe we need to seek God’s salvation for our souls first, so He can fill us and show us our purpose in life.

To see the little we could find on Theodore Dubois, use this link: Theodore Dubois.

Take Time to Be Holy


This is a very boring hymn for those that have no spiritual interest, but to those that love God and want to become faithful servants of God, it is an important reminder. In order to love the Lord Jesus, we have to love His word. If we love His Word, we will make the time to stop the wild living and sincerely study God’s word. So, while this hymn may bore the unfaithful, it is actually a good thermostat of the spiritual nature of a person. Does this hymn speak to you? Do you make and take time to be holy? Do others see a holy person or one driven by worldly ambitions?

For more information about this great hymn, use the following link to the hymn story.

Take Time to Be Holy hymn story.

Beneath the Cross hymn story


We have just finished a rewrite of the hymn story we have had: “Beneath the Cross of Jesus.” This is a beautiful hymn written by Elizabeth Clephane and the music for it was written by Frederick C. Maker. To fit our latest format, the hymn story was broken up into three articles and they have all been re-researched and expanded.

To get started, click on the linked words in the previous paragraph. You should be directed to the appropriate page on the Berean Bible Heritage Church website.