A Journey of Hope by Stacy Simmons

This week my dear friend and critique partner Stacy Simmons released her book A Journey of Hope. But, you see, Stacy celebrated her release day in heaven. It was my privilege to journey through this story with Stacy as Hope’s story sprang to life. Last July Stacy shared about a personal struggle and the first book in this series A […]

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Hymn Story: Blaenwern

Blaenwern is a Welsh hymn. The song was composed by William Penfro Rowlands during the 1904-1905 Welsh revival. Rowlands was born on April 19, 1860. He was a Welsh schoolteacher, composer, and conductor of the Morriston United Choral Society. He died on October 22, 1937. The song was first published in the 1915 Cân a Moliant by Henry H. Jones. This […]

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Hymn Story: My soul, there is a country

My Soul, There is a Country was written by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry. He was the 1st Baronet and an English composer, teacher and historian of music.  He was born February 27, 1848. He is best known for his choral songs “Jerusalem” and anthem “I was Glad”. He died on October 7, 1918 from the Spanish flu. “In May […]

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Song Story: Auld Lang Syne

Every year we sing Auld Lang Syne on New Year’s Day, but where did it come from? Auld Lang Syne is a Scots poem that was written by Robert Burns in 1788.  His poem was set to a traditional folk song.  Music historians are unsure if the melody used today is the original melody Burns set to the song or […]

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Christmas Song: The Hallelujah Chorus

The Hallelujah Chorus is the most well-known portion of Geroge Frideric Handel’s “Messiah”. Handel used the King James Bible and the Coverdale Psalter to compose his text. The “Messiah” was first performed in Dublin on April 13, 1742. The “Hallelujah Chorus” is at the end of part 2, which concentrates on the Passion of Jesus. This portion has become a […]

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The Nativity by Dianne Marie Andre

Mary, mother of Jesus. My heart can barely grasp what an extraordinary woman she must have been to be chosen the mother of the world’s Savior. I imagine her perfect, without sin. Though this is unlikely, God blessed her above all women. Yet His path for Mary wasn’t easy. To avoid disgrace as an unwed mother, God instructed her fiancée […]

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Christmas Hymn: Sussex Carol

The “Sussex Carol” is a popular Christmas Carol in Britain. Luke Wadding, a 17th Century Irish Bishop, first published the song in 1684. It is unknown whether he wrote the song himself or had recorded it from earlier coposers. The text and tune were discovered by Cecil Sharp and Ralph Vaughan Williams. The men wrote the song down as sung […]

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Far From Home Christmas by E.V. Sparrow

In 1975, I accepted Jesus Christ’s work on the cross for my salvation, and a few months later, my parents sold my childhood home. We moved into a new community for people over 55. Because of my parents’ ages, they allowed me in. The promise of the clubhouse pool helped sell me on the idea and get excited. The day […]

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Christmas Season Must Watch List by Karin Beery

I love the holiday season. It’s not just Christmas—it’s the love, anticipation, grace, and thankfulness that fills our house every November, December, and January. I start decorating the first weekend of November, and I have to pace myself when it comes to wrapping presents, donating gifts, and baking (and baking and baking) so I don’t do it all in one […]

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Christmas Song: The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy

I have found two different stories for this hymn. The first states it is believed “The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy” was written Jamaican singer-songwriter Oswald Dunbar sometime in the early 1960s. Legend states he adapted the lyrics from an earlier Jamaican folk song “Livvy’s Song” to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. The text follows the story as […]

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Christmas Hymn Story: In Dulci Jubilo

“In dulci jubilo” means in sweet rejoicing in Latin. The original text is believed to have been written around 1328 by Heinrich Seuse, a German mystic. According to folklore, “Seuse heard angels sing these words and joined them in a dance of worship.” The tune first appears in a manuscript dating around 1400. Many historians believe the melody may have […]

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Christmas Hymn Story: In the Bleak Mid-Winter

English poet Christina Rosetti published a poem under the title “A Christmas Carol” in January 1872 issue of Scribner’s Monthly. Composer Gustav Holst composed a setting to her words in 1906. The new hymn appeared in The English Hymnal under the title “In the Bleak Midwinter”. In 1909, Harold Darke composed an anthem for the piece, which is widely performed […]

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Hymn Story: Now We Thank We All Our God

At the beginning of the Thirty Years’ War, the walled city of Eilenburg, Saxony struggled with overcrowding, deadly pestilence, and famine.  This area is part of Germany today. Lutheran minister Martin Rinkart, and his family, opened their home to refuges. By 1637, Rinkart was the only surviving pastor, conducting as many as fifty funeral a day throughout a severe plague. […]

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Patriotic song: This Land Is Your Land

I thought we’d look at a popular Patriotic song, This Land is Your Land. The American folk song was written in 1940 by Woody Guthrie.  During this time he hitchhiked from Los Angeles to New York City and continuously heard God Bless America played on the radio and jukeboxes.  He is said to have written the song in a “flophouse […]

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