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Then Sings My Soul Book 2 Paperback – Sep 10 2004
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About the Author
Rob Morgan is the pastor of Donelson Fellowship in Nashville, Tennessee, where he has served for 25 years. He is the best-selling and Gold-Medallion winning writer with well over a million books in print. His titles include Then Sings My Soul (volumes 1 and 2), The Red Sea Rules, He Shall be Called, and The Preacher's Sourcebook. He is also a staff writer for Turning Points Magazine, and has many articles published in other leading Christian magazines.
Author, award-winning songwriter, and speaker, Gloria Gaither is known as a stateswoman in the field of Christian ministry. Gloria has written lyrics to more than 600 songs, including such gospel classics as "Because He Lives," "The King Is Coming," and "I Am a Promise" and has authored such best-selling books as "Because He Lives, God Gave the Song", and "Friends through Thick and Thin".
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Significant Songs (just a few of another 50 I could list)
* "O Sacred Heart Now Wounded"
* "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring"
* "Joy to the World!"
* "The First Noel"
* "O Holy Night"
* "O How I Love Jesus"
* "I Love to Tell the Story"
* "Beulah Land"
* "Nothing But the Blood"
* "God of Our Fathers"
* "Softly and Tenderly"
* "I'll Fly Away"
* "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?"
Christian hymns are part of world music, going back hundreds of years. Whether written by a repentant slave owner or a Catholic priest who believes scripture should be in the common man's language, or as an extension of a theologian's great poetic skill, the stories of the classics are anything but ordinary.
What impressed me was the easy style of Morgan's writing as he explained the theology and origin of the songs. Each song receives one page describing its author and history.
I learned, for example, "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?" by Ada Ruth Habershon isn't a secular song of generic faith sung only by folk singers, but a rich song of longing for eternity in Heaven specifically for Christians.
I like that Morgan included "Away in the Manger" and other Christmas carols. In the Christmas holiday context, they feel like simple ditties, but reading the lyrics showed me how many started as hymns sung throughout the year as worship.
A downside of the book was the organization. Morgan researched this carefully and grouped the hymns chronologically. Each song gets its own entry. In many cases, specific material was lacking, or, as in the case of the Wesley brothers, John and Charles, many were written by one author. There was only so much Wesley information to spread out over all of their songs. It would have made more senses to collection the songs of one author together, with one essay to avoid this problem.
"Then Sings My Soul" is aptly titled, referencing the famous lyric. It is as instructive as it is encouraging. For me, as I walked through memories new and old, I found that this coming Sunday as I sing these with my fellow parishioners, I will be singing with more soul than the Sunday before.
I fully recommend "Then Sings My Soul: 150 of the World's Greatest Hymn Stories" by Robert J. Morgan.
In Book II, there are stories about many hymn favorites, including: "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross," "Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus", "The First Noel", "Break Thou the Bread of Life" and "Joy to the World!"
Both books would be very helpful to pastors planning worship-and indeed could be the springboard for any number of sermons, illustrations or hymn festivals.
But the usefulness does not stop there. These volumes are really a mini compendium of faith's response to God's wonders and blessings, and so, together, they are treasuries of devotional resources.
For more than twenty years, author Robert J. Morgan has served as the pastor of The Donelson Fellowship in Nashville, Tennessee, so he brings a pastor's reverence and appreciation of these hymns to his narrative
From the publisher:
Rob Morgan's unmistakable talent for storytelling continues to help reacquaint people with the hymns of the faithful. Then Sings My Soul has sold over 300,000 copies, and it's still going strong!
In Then Sings My Soul Book 2, these devotional-style stories brim with emotion and drama about the people whose faith led them to write the hymns, and about the people whose lives were changed by them. Designed to be personally reflective, these stories speak to your soul and add depth and meaning as you worship God through the beauty of song.
This book was full of interesting facts about various hymn writers and their hymns. There are "regular" Sunday hymns, Christmas hymns, Easter hymns.
Each song is present in its entirety (complete with the music, much to my husband's delight!) along with biography of the hymn writer and a brief narrative about the hymn itself.
This book is great to use to learn the history of some of our most beloved hymns.
As a lover of the old time hymns, and a music junkie in general, this is a pleasant and insightful read, with bios of the hymn writers similar to the write ups on cyberhymnal.com, but more informative. On the right hand pages are the histories of the writers and the inspiration for the songs they penned, and on the left, corresponding to each, is the sheet music of said hymn, suitable for piano or private or group singing. Most include 3 or 4 verses a piece, leaving no piece of the glorious gospel message out. It even has purposely dogged-eared pages, making it look like a wellused and well loved hymn book that you might find in your Grandma's church. It even includes some much loved Christmas carols.
It took me a while to catch on to the layout, but the hymns are arranged according to year, going from the earliest (1153) to the newest (1971). This presents a clear historical timline of when the hymns came into being and when the hymnists lived.
I like the neutral style in which Morgan presents the information, not unduly emphasizing one person, denomination, or line of doctrine over the other. This is good because it is obvious that some of the hymn writers were not Christians at the time they penned their songs, or some coming out of heretical lines such as the Catholic church of the Church of God In Christ.
I've really learned of lot of fascinating snippets about these beloved hymns, which are becoming so scarce in today's CCM ladened world. I truly believe that almost all CCM music is self-glorifying garbage, and with the exception of some light (but reverent) praise music (think the Maranatha! Singers), it is the old tyme hymns that i love and that bring glory to God. Call me an old fart, but i would rather sit in an empty country church and sing these praises to God alone rather than join the CCM arena, bells, whistles, and flashing lights and all.
While most are my favorite hymns are in this Book 2, i've liked it so much i am going to town tomorrow to get Book 1 as Fred's only had number two.
Highly recommended for any one who loves hymns and wants to share them with younger generations or any one else who might otherwise be unfamiliar with them. Five stars!!!
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