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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Behind the Hymn: Now Rest Beneath Night’s Shadows

Now Rest Beneath Night’s Shadows was written by Paul Gerhardt. Gerhardt was born in Gräfenheinichen, Saxony, Germany in 1607. He studied theology and wrote many hymns. He endured much suffering and lived through The Thirty Years War. Four of his five children died young and his wife endured a prolonged illness. Like many other German hymns, Gerhardt’s songs are very […]

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Couples in the Bible: Aquila and Priscilla

 Aquila and Priscilla are always mentioned together. They are mentioned six times throughout scripture. “There he became acquainted with a Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently arrived from Italy with his wife, Priscilla. They had left Italy when Claudius Caesar deported all Jews from Rome. Paul lived and worked with them, for they were tentmakers just as […]

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Couples in the Bible: Joseph and Mary

Mary is a young woman when the angel Gabriel appears to her to tell her that she had been chosen to give birth to the Messiah—” for you have found favor with God. “  {Luke 1:30}  She replied  “Behold, I am the servant[f] of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” {Luke 1:38} and later went to visit her […]

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Behind the Hymn: My Song is Love Unknown

My Song is Love Unknown is a hymn by Samuel Crossman. Crossman was a Puritan minister who opposed the Act of Uniformity 1662 and was exiled from the Church of England. He wrote the poem “My Song Is Love Unknown” in 1664. It was not published until he rejoined the Church of England and published in The Young Man’s Meditation […]

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Behind the Hymn: The Day Thou Gavest

The Day Thou Gavest was written by John Ellerton. The hymn was first published in 1870. Ellerton was born in London, England in 1826. He was ordained to the Church of England in 1851 and served six different churches throughout his career. He also helped to compile several hymn books. He died in England in 1893. Ellerton wrote and translated […]

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Couples in the Bible: King Xerxes and Esther

Esther, also known as Hadassah, is being raised by her cousin and guardian, Mordecai. The king banishes his queen and his men sought out “beautiful young virgins”. {Esther 2} Esther arrived at the king’s palace and underwent the beauty regiment required. When her time came she went into King Ahasuerus and “the king loved Esther more than all the women, […]

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Behind the Hymn: Now I Belong to Jesus

Now I Belong to Jesus was written by Norman J. Clayton. Clayton composed the tune Ellsworth in 1942 and a year later wrote the lyrics to this hymn to go with it.  The hymn is sometimes referred to by it’s first line “Jesus, my Lord will love me forever”. Clayton was born on January 22, 1903 in Brooklyn, New York. […]

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