The Love of Christ Is Rich and Free

Countless songs have been written about the love of God for his people. Many songs, however, particularly modern worship songs, lack specificity. When I sing a song to God about his love for the church corporately or me individually, I want to be specific in my praise toward God. Rather than simply singing, “O how he loves me” (which…

The Wexford Carol

The Wexford Carol is a 12th century Irish hymn and is one of the oldest surviving European Christmas carols. It tells the simple Nativity story in Bethlehem. (If you cannot watch it in this window, please click on the “Watch on YouTube” link that will appear.) Good people all, this Christmas time, Consider well and…

Welcome to Advent

Advent is the historical church name for the Christmas season. It comes from the Latin word adventus which means “coming.” Thus, Advent is the season of preparation, expectation, and celebration of Jesus’ incarnation (literally his “taking on flesh”) at Christmas. The Advent Season also points us forward to the Second Advent when Jesus will return…

Father, Long Before Creation

This is one of my favorite hymns. It was originally a Chinese hymn, and it was translated by Francis P. Jones.  It was most recently re-recorded by Matthew Smith on the Beams of Heaven: Indelible Grace IV project. *               *               * Translated by Francis P. Jones Music and Chorus by Andrew Osenga Father, long before…

How Helpless

By Anne Steele (modified by Matthew Smith) How helpless guilty nature lies, Unconscious of its load The heart, unchanged, can never rise To happiness and God. Can nothing less than power divine, The stubborn will subdue? ‘Tis Thine, eternal Spirit, Thine, To form the heart anew. ‘Tis Thine, the passions to recall, And upwards bid…

The Lord Will Provide

By John Newton and William Cowper Though troubles assail, And dangers affright; Though friends should all fail, And foes all unite, Yet one thing secures us, Whatever betide: The Scripture assures us, “The Lord will provide.” The birds, without barn Or storehouse, are fed; From them let us learn To trust for our bread; His…