"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair." ~ from ISAIAH 61 Bible verse for this Blog

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

THEN SINGS MY SOUL, Book 3

Then Sings My Soul Book 3 : The Story of Our Songs: Drawing Strength from the Great Hymns of Our Faith, Robert J. Morgan
Then Sings My Soul Book 3 : The Story of Our Songs: Drawing Strength from the Great Hymns of Our Faith by Robert J. Morgan is the long awaited third installment of the world's greatest hymns and their stories ... and this is not just the description of the publisher, but mine also, because it's been a 'long awaited' review from me of this third book from his series, that I so enjoyed as I've been 'long awaiting' to read at least one of the 3 books he's written. Since I missed the first two - this was a MUST! I took my time drawing strength from the great hymns of our faith that were featured in this 3rd book and plan to use much more. It's a great addition to any home or church library.


I love church music and I was sure that I'd love learning about the hymns through this magnificent collection spanning from, believe it or not, the first biblical hymns, all the way to our current contemporary praise ones, crossing through worship music in the church from ancient to medieval to Gospel from German and English ancestors to current generations. Truly an amazing accomplishment and quite the collection to treasure so very well written!

I must admit that I have never been much of a "lover of hymns" though so that may be why I tarried so because I hardly knew many of these hymns. Although I have my favorites and love to hear their stories, reading "Then Sings My Soul..." has definitely made me much more interested in listening and appreciating our hymns. I learned so much soaking in this book.

I was so thankful that this detailed collection of over 50 hymns, not only includes an overview of Christian hymnody through the centuries, as I already shared, but it includes the actual music and all the verses. This allowed me to sit and read the music to become better familiar with the hymn and in some cases, I was able to figure out that I actually did know the hymn. For this alone, I took much time in thoroughly acquainting myself with the hymns, the stories behind them and the well documented church history as told by Robert J. Morgan, truly a master of concisely covering so much history and information in such an interesting manner, making it  easy to enjoy reading.

My favorite part, in addition to singing through the hymns, was learning more about the hymn, its composer, and its composition - the behind the "hymn". When you read the biographical sketches and the lyrics, knowing what part of history they were written, it takes on so much more meaning and it does strengthen your faith as well as deepen the meaning of our church music history, realizing the great importance of hymns to our contemporary music.

The book is divided into four sections: an overview of Christian "hymnody" from Biblical scriptures to modern times as I already noted; a series of short stories for a variety of many unknown hymns to me; then the section I liked best because of familiarity of six well loved hymns that gives more detail then the previous section for these and finally the role of hymns in private and public life. I completely agree with Morgan's concluding part of "interwoven worship", blending hymns along with our contemporary worship and praise songs.

"Then Sings My Soul..." Book 3 stands alone with all of Robert Morgan's detailed background information. I'm sure that the first two are just as great but I'm glad to add this unique book to my collection and so would you. "Hymns are great therapy" (as he wrote) to draw strength from the song, the words. I love the recommendations that Robert Morgan gives us in the final part to read the hymns, memorize the hymns, meditate on the hymns, play the hymns, PRAY the hymns, proclaim the hymns, quote the hymns, lean on the hymns, start each day with a hymn, but most importantly pass them on to our children.

Even the wonderful texture of the pages makes it one that I will return to often for information and using it in my time alone with God because the 3 indexes which make it so easy to access the hymn by first line, title or author/songwriter.I believe strongly in starting each day with praise and prayer so I hope to do so more often with these hymns after reading this unique book and becoming more of a hymn lover. My soul will continue to SING more hymns and unto HIM with a deepened faith strengthened by "THEN SINGS MY SOUL, Book 3..."

Thomas Nelson Product page
Amazon.com Product Page

*Note: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

* extra blog NOTE:
I'm hoping to make my WOW posts into Worship OWeds. for awhile to focus on the great hymns in this book with hopes to strengthen your faith too. Remember there were more than 50 in this book alone covered...

I do not know anything about 'Scrap booking' but I bookmarked a wonderful blogger I encountered who does beautiful scrap booking and up until she was moving, she had been doing a great Challenge on this: Hymn and Scripture Challenge so I'm sure I'll be linking to hers rather than duplicate info if I do any of the ones that she's already covered... and I hope that she continues on her blog soon with this challenge. 

Maybe you would like to join me in sharing one of these great hymns/songs of our church history every week. (Weds. for me but you can do it any day) Should we do a LINK UP? Now that's real accountability and inspiration from just reading the 3rd Volume. Imagine if I had read all 3 volumes. So check back on Weds. or SONdays for more about this.

I've found many wonderful resources and today I'd like to share just one, where you can learn about a hymn each week and so much more at Center for Church Music Songs and Hymns. Also every Sunday, they have a spot for just 5 minutes on a Moody radio station for you to listen. Check this out also on the link to their website.


APOLOGY

On July 18, 2017, I drafted almost 3000 blog posts that I had published since 2008 when I began blogging rather than edit each one. So if you clicked from somewhere and ended up here and the post was unavailable, I am sorry. It would be too much work for me to go back through each one and fix. I guess I'm still learning. I apologize also to anyone who subscribes that perhaps received many old ones in your email. There's somewhat of an explanation on 7/19/17.
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