This hymn text came to prominence during the Welsh Revival (early 1900’s) and was soon translated into English from the original Welsh language text.

It became known as the “Love Song of the Welsh Revival.”  I hope to teach the church this song soon!

Here is love, vast as the ocean,
Lovingkindness as the flood,
When the Prince of Life, our Ransom,
Shed for us His precious blood.
Who His love will not remember?
Who can cease to sing His praise?
He can never be forgotten,
Throughout heav’n’s eternal days.

On the mount of crucifixion,
Fountains opened deep and wide;
Through the floodgates of God’s mercy
Flowed a vast and gracious tide.
Grace and love, like mighty rivers,
Poured incessant from above,
And heav’n’s peace and perfect justice
Kissed a guilty world in love.

Let me all Thy love accepting,
Love Thee, ever all my days;
Let me seek Thy kingdom only
And my life be to Thy praise;
Thou alone shalt be my glory,
Nothing in the world I see.
Thou hast cleansed and sanctified me,
Thou Thyself hast set me free.

In Thy truth Thou dost direct me
By Thy Spirit through Thy Word;
And Thy grace my need is meeting,
As I trust in Thee, my Lord.
Of Thy fulness Thou art pouring
Thy great love and power on me,
Without measure, full and boundless,
Drawing out my heart to Thee.

“The goal of a musician . . . should be to diminish as many distractions as possible.”

James Koerts on the role of the listener and the musician in worship:

We all know about Paul and Silas singing in prison, but have you ever heard a prisoner sing?  Thursday night I had the opportunity to hear believers sing in the state penitentiary.  It was uplifting,enthusiastic and full of heart.  May our “free” church sing with that kind of joy!

(here’s the “and more” part)

These believers weren’t incarcerated for their faith: some were saved in prison, others came back to the Lord after getting into trouble.  But well over 200 men came together to feed on God’s word.  Almost every one brought their Bibles, and most followed with rapt attention as the word was preached.  It was a blessing to see many respond at the invitation to live out Romans 6, and several accept Christ as their Savior!

Talking with Chaplain Pennel, I found out that there are some 300 former members of his “prison church” now free and living in the community.  If I heard correctly, only about 10 have ended up back in jail.  Many are active in their churches, some even as deacons and Sunday School teachers.

I left recognizing the great mission field in our back yard.  Praise the Lord for men like Roger Napper, Tim Heald, Gary Cowley and Chaplain Pennel.

Maybe we should have a “mission trip” there this year!

When we are blessed by music in the church services, what exactly does that mean?  Here are a couple of possibilities:

  • We feel warmer and closer to God and those around us.
  • We appreciate the excitement of the music and are moved to respond with an “Amen” or in some places, to clap.
  • We are thankful and proud of the music our church is able to provide for Sunday Services.
  • We compare the particular musician to others and are glad he/she was chosen for this service.
  • We try to meditate on the words of the song, and allow our hearts to be so affected with truth about God and gratefulnes for his work that we adore God and abhor our sin.

I hope the last response is the one you work towards.  Music can be emotionally uplifting and enthusiastic, but if the words and truths of the text are missed, we have only been entertained.

Did you ever stop to think that there was a time when those Hymns in our Hymnbook were new, when entire congregations actually learned them for the first time?  I think that we tend to look at our hymnals almost as a closed canon (like scripture).

But there was a time when a invalid preacher named Isaac Watts would write a new hymn a week for his congregation to sing.  There was a real man named Sankey who wrote gospel songs (sometimes during the service) that people began singing in their own churches when they left the revival services.  Charles Wesley wrote and taught many new hymns while traveling the world with his preacher brother John.   And Martin Luther, while defending the authority of scripture and the doctrine of Salvation by Faith Alone was also writing doctrinal hymns that would boulster the believers faith.

May our time does not end without great new hymns being written that will benefit the church.  I’ve been excited to see some great new hymns being written that are doctrinally strong, well crafted poetry with beautiful tunes.   I’m looking forward to teaching the congregation some of them this year!

In the meantime, check out this website:  Right now the Teen Choir is learning “My Jesus Fair”

Pastor Pritt

music20conf20banner202k92I remember hearing the audio of the attack on Hamilton Square Baptist Church by militant gay activists.  Chants of “we want your children” still ring in my ears when I think of it.

Fast forward 15 years.  Dr. David Innes is still the pastor of that church, which is thriving in downtown San Francisco.  One of our missionary families, the Sneedens, come from that ministry.  And I’m sitting at the Wilds Conference getting to hear him preach each night.

Let me give you just a few of the many quotes I wrote down:

“Knowing God is the most important privilege in life…Knowing God is the most important responsibility in life.”

“Determine as soon as possible in life that you are going to do it right!”

“Fundamentalism is establishing a relationship with the Word of God and not being willing to give up anything in the Word”

“No great work for God is done without someone taking enormous personal risks”

Needless to say, it’s been a very challenging and encouraging week!

It has been a real blessing to be on vacation the last few days.  Several highlights have been:

  • Spending an hour at the gun range with Shelley, her dad and her brother, Jeremy.  Shelley’s a pretty good shot!
  • A liesurely stroll with Shell through the old historic town square of Marietta, GA, browsing in some of the antique shops, then a nice dinner for two at the Melting Pot (first time we have been there in about 10 years)
  • A send-away party for Jeremy.  He’s going back on active duty Monday, and will be heading to Afghanistan.  Several of the testimonies were very moving, and the Schlender family did a mini concert of patriotic and sacred music.   (The Schlenders have inspired us…they all play string instruments beautifully together).
  • Eating Barbeque with good friends.  I’m talking about pulled pork with a slightly sweet sauce and a little chipotle Tabasco sauce on the side.  I’d better stop now, I’m making myself hungry again.
  • Taking the time to play games with the kids, and not being in a hurry to be done.
  • Starting a new Bible reading schedule with my girls.   They are planning to read the NT, Psalms and 1/2 the OT this year, following Roberty Murry McCheyne’s reading plan. Two years ago Reagan and I read together.  I’m really excited about Madi joining us this year!

Now vacation is over.  This afternoon I arrived at the Wilds Music Conference.  I am really looking forward to finding new music, hearing great preaching, fellowshipping with fellow music directors and friends in ministry, and learning a lot in the workshops.

Music is very powerful in the way it interacts with our soul.  While we go about our routines of life, we often find music running through our minds, emerging as we hum and whistle to ourselves.

For example, this morning, as I was reading Psalm 55, promises of one particular verse (22) gripped me and encouraged me largely because I had heard it set to music and listened to recordings of it numerous times.

Psalm 1 says that the man who meditates on God’s word day and night is blessed.  The Book of Psalms and many other passages of scripture were written for singing.  Let’s use this wonderful tool to aid us in our walk with God!

Pastor Pritt




A preacher has a great task when preparing for sermons.  You may be surprised to find out that preachers often spend 10-20 hours preparing a single sermon.  They have to examine the scripture at hand, ask and answer questions that arise from the passage, look up word meanings, compare their interpretation with commentaries, and only then can they begin to craft the message.  Hours of research and notes have to be boiled down into a tight, clear, message that will fit into the 45 minutes or so of time allowed. 

A good hymn is like a sermon, except it must get deep truths across in 3-5 minutes.  Plus, the message has to be carefully eased into the mold of poetry, with meter and rhyme, while not compromising accuracy or clarity.  When it works, we get a result that can deeply move a heart.

This one encouraged my heart today:

    Is there a heart o’er bound by sorrow?
    Is there a life weighed down by care?
    Come to the cross, each burden bearing,
    All your anxiety – leave it there.

    All your anxiety, all your care,
    Bring to the Mercy-seat, leave it there;
    Never a burden He cannot bear,
    Never a Friend Like Jesus.

    No other Friend so keen to help you;
    No other Friend so quick to hear;
    No other place to leave your burden;
    No other one to hear your prayer.

    Come, then at once, delay no longer;
    Heed His entreaty, kind and sweet;
    You need not fear a dissapointment,
    You shall find peace at the mercy seat.

    All your anxiety, all your care,
    Bring to the Mercy-seat, leave it there;
    Never a burden He cannot bear,
    Never a Friend Like Jesus.

Thank God for the many ways he touches our hearts!

Pastor Pritt

I love to hear good congregational singing  It is corporate worship in the fullest sense.  Everyone can be actively involved at the same time, and everyone who joins in enhances the experience.

John Wesley, a great Christian leader and preacher of the past knew of the importance of congregational singing and instructed his people with these words (keep in mind that he wrote this 250 years ago):

1. Sing all. See that you join with the congregation as frequently as you can. Let not a slight degree of weakness or weariness hinder you. If it is a cross to you, take it up and you will find a blessing.

2. Sing lustily, and with a good courage. Beware of singing as if you were half dead, or half asleep; but lift up your voice with strength. Be no more afraid of your voice now, nor more ashamed of it being heard, then when you sing the songs of Satan.

3. Sing modestly. Do not bawl, as to be heard above, or distinct from, the rest of the congregation, that you may not destroy the harmony; but strive to unite your voices together, so as to make one clear melodious sound.

4. Sing in time. Whatever time is sung, be sure to keep with it. Do not run before, not stay behind it; but attend closely to the leading voices, and move therewith as exactly as you can. And take care you sing not too slow. This drawling way naturally steals on all who are lazy; and it is high time to drive it out from among us, and sing all our tunes just as quick as we did at first.

5. Above all, sing spiritually. Have an eye to God in every word you sing. Aim at pleasing Him more than yourself, or any other creature. In order to do this, attend strictly to the sense of what you sing, and see that your heart is not carried away with the sound, but offered to God continually; so shall your singing be such as the Lord will approve of here, and reward when he cometh in the clouds of heaven.

(Select Hymns, 1761)

Let’s make the singing at LBC glorious!

Pastor Pritt