Hymn Story: Lift High the Cross

Lift High the Cross is a 19th Century English hymn. It was written by George Kitchin and altered by Michael R. Newbolt in 1916. It has been suggested the hymn was inspired by Constantine the Great’s conversion to Christianity and seeing a cross which had the Latin version of “In this sign thou shalt conquer” written on it. Kitchin wrote […]

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Hymn Story: Simple Gifts   

Simple Gifts is attributed to Joseph Brackett, a member of the Alfred Shaker Village. It was composed in 1848, and relatively unknown until Aaron Copeland used the melody in the score of Martha Graham’s ballet Appalachian Spring, first performed in 1944. Copeland used the song a second time “in 1950 in his first set of Old American Songs.” Several Shaker […]

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Names of God: Jehovah Hashopet

Jehovah Hashopet means the Lord my Judge The LORD is our judge the LORD is our lawgiver; the LORD is our king; he will save us.  Isaiah 33:22 I have not wronged you, but you are doing me wrong by waging war against me. Let the Lord, the Judge, decide the dispute this day between the Israelites and the Ammonites.”     […]

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Book Review: The Petticoat Spy by Elva Cobb Martin

Elva Cobb Martin takes us on a journey through the birth of our country. After the murder of her parents and seizing of her family plantation, Anna Grace Laurens escapes but is determined to seek revenge. John Cooper Vargas rescues Anna Grace and outsmarts the Tory’s, eventually joining Francis Marion’s militia. John and Anna each save one another and lean […]

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Names of God: Jehovah-Go’el

Jehovah-Go’el means the Lord my Redeemer I will make your oppressorseattheir own flesh;    they will be drunk on their own blood, as with wine.Then all mankind will know    that I, the Lord, am your Savior,    your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”    Isaiah 49:26 You will drink the milk of nations    and be nursedat royal breasts.Then you will knowthat I, the Lord, am your […]

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Behind the Hymn: Built on the Rock

Built on the Rock was written by Nicolai Frederik Severin Grundtvig. He was born at Udby, in Seeland, in 1783. Upon leaving university, he took to teaching. During this time,  he devoted his attention to poetry, literature, and Northern antiquities. In 1810 he became assistant to his father in a parish in Jutland where he became ordained. After his father’s […]

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Behind the Hymn: Christ is the world’s redeemer

Christ is the world’s redeemer is attributed to St. Columba, an Irish abbot, born in 521. He is credited with spreading Christianity through what is today Scotland. He is highly regarded among the Gaels and Picts and is considered one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland. Around 563, he and twelve companions sailed to Ionia, Scotland where they founded a […]

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Behind the Hymn: Awake my heart with gladness

Awake my heart with gladness was written by Paul Gerhardt. The song was translated by John Kelly. Gerhardt was born in Gräfenheinichen, Saxony, Germany in 1607. He studied theology and wrote many hymns including Now Rest Beneath Night’s Shadow. He died in 1676 in Lubben, Germany. John Kelly was born in 1833 Newcastle-on-Tyne, England. He ministered to churches Hebburn-on-Tyne and […]

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