A Hymn For Today – Forever With the Lord


“Forever with the Lord!”
Amen, so let it be!
Life from His death is in that word –
‘Tis immortality.
Here in the body pent,
Absent from Him I roam,
Yet nightly pitch my moving tent
A day’s march nearer home

My Father’s house on high,
Home of my soul, how near
At times, to faith’s foreseeing eye,
Your golden gates appear!
Ah! then my spirit faints
To reach the land I love,
The bright inheritance of saints,
Jerusalem above.

“Forever with the Lord!”
Forever in His will,
The promise of that faithful word,
Lord, here in me fulfill.
With You at my right hand,
Then I shall never fail.
Uphold me, Lord, and I shall stand;
Through grace I will prevail.

So when my latest breath
Breaks through the veil of pain,
By death I shall escape from death,
And life eternal gain.
That resurrection word,
That shout of victory:
Once more, “Forever with the Lord!”
Amen, so let it be!

SMD ( – James Montgomery, 1835                                                                                                                    Tune: TERRA BEATA – Franklin L. Sheppard, 1915                                                                                                                # 695 in Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, 2012

A HYMN FOR TODAY – God of the Living, In Whose Eyes

I posted this on March 27, 2013 — almost 2 years ago — and it seems appropriate to reblog it now.



God of the living, in whose eyes

Unveiled, Thy whole creation lies;

All souls are Thine; we must not say

That those are dead who pass away.

From this our world of flesh set free,

We know them living unto Thee.

Released from earthly toil and strife,

With Thee is hidden still their life;

Thine are their tho’ts, their works, their pow’rs,

All Thine, and yet most truly ours;

For well we know, where’er they be,

Our dead are living unto Thee.

Not spilled like water on the ground,

Not wrapped in dreamless sleep profound,

Not wandering in unknown despair,

Beyond Thy voice, Thine arm, Thy care;

Not left to lie like fallen tree –

Not dead, but living, unto Thee.

Thy Word is true, Thy will is just;

To Thee we leave them, Lord, in trust;

And bless Thee for the love which gave


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God of the Living, in Whose Eyes

God of the Living, in Whose Eyes

Carl Peterson on John Ellerton – worth reading!

Strains Divine

When the hymnal Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs (PHASS) was published in 2012 by Sumphonia Productions, it introduced to its users a number of texts which had not been available previously in hymnals commonly in circulation among its primary audience. Some of these were more recent texts that had not yet had opportunity to do so (or had not been sought out until this publication); others were much older, going back 100 years or more, that for various reasons had never penetrated “the brotherhood.”

One such hymn (to my knowledge and ability to research) is “God of the Living, in Whose Eyes.” The text was written by John Ellerton, whose hymn, “The Day Thou Gavest,” is well regarded in some quarters and has appeared in brotherhood hymnals since at least Jorgensen’s Great Songs of the Church (both editions). The tune used in PHASS was composed by C. E. Couchman in 2011, presumably…

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A HYMN FOR TODAY – O LORD Whose Law Is My Delight

From the “New Hymns vs. Old Hymns” Front: Here is a prime example of a “new” (recently written) hymn — yet filled with “old” (Biblical) imagery and phrasing. And paired with a great tune which, oh-by-the-way, is a mere 230 years old (that’s nearly a quarter-millennium for those of us who think in such terms). Hymns written in this manner have every right and expectation to survive and thrive in the repertoire of Christian hymns — especially when fitted to an enduring and musically sound tune. This is another of the hymns recently recorded in Tampa for the forthcoming third Sumphonia CD.

A HYMN FOR TODAY – O LORD Whose Law Is My Delight

O LORD, whose law is my delight,
My meditation day and night,
I have found peace through years of strife
By holding fast the word of life.

Though frail my soul and faint my song,
“When I am weak, then I am strong.”
If struggles now or sorrows new,
I have no strength but strength from You.

I need not see the pathway bright;
“We walk by faith and not by sight”:
No cloud by day, no fire by night,
But You, my God, my inward light.

Should I depart or long remain,
“To live is Christ, to die is gain.”
So help me, God, with every breath
To honor Christ by life or death.

LM – C.A. Roberts, 2009

Tune: WARRINGTON – Ralph Harrison, 1784, alt.

#276 in Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, 2012

A HYMN FOR TODAY – I Could Not Do Without You

A HYMN FOR TODAY – I Could Not Do Without You

A fine example of “old” lyrics which deserve to be sung, “refreshed” by new Charli Couchman music appropriate to the lyrics. This is one of the hymns recently recorded in Tampa for inclusion on the forthcoming third Sumphonia CD.

I could not do without You,
O Savior of the lost,
Whose precious blood redeemed me
At such tremendous cost.
Your righteousness, Your pardon
Your precious blood, must be
My only hope and comfort,
My glory and my plea.

I could not do without You;
I cannot stand alone;
I have no strength or goodness,
No wisdom of my own;
But You, beloved Savior,
Are near in all I do,
And weakness will be power
If leaning hard on You.

I could not do without You,
For, oh, the way is long,
And I am often weary,
And sigh replaces song:
How could I do without You?
I do not know the way;
You know, Lord, and You lead me
And will not let me stray.

I could not do without You,
For years are fleeting fast,
And soon in solemn oneness
The river must be passed;
But You will never leave me,
And though the waves roll high,
I know You will be near me
And whisper, “It is I.” – Frances R. Havergal, 1873

Tune: ELBERT – C.E. Couchman, 2003

#313 in Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, 2012


Another of the hymns we recently recorded in Tampa for the 3rd Sumphonia CD.

The evening light is failing;
The sun has passed away;
Our Father’s hand is veiling
The splendor of the day,
But still we know His favor
And see it shine more bright
In Jesus Christ our Savior,
Our pure and changeless Light.

In peace beyond all sorrow,
We let our eyelids close,
Unworried by tomorrow,
Untroubled by our foes.
Our Shepherd will not fail us;
He watches for His sheep;
No evil will assail us,
For He will never sleep.

Our God, as we adore You,
We learn that life shall pass;
All flesh is dust before You,
Its glory, like the grass.
But You will not forsake us
Nor leave Your word undone;
From darkness You will wake us
To glory like the sun. – M. W. Bassford, 2005

Tune: EVENSONG – Matthew L. Harber, 2005

#320 in Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, 2012


This is the 100th hymn I have posted on this blog since I began in March 2013. It is one of 25 we recently recorded in Tampa for the 3rd Sumphonia Hymn CD, now in production.

El Elyon
Pavilioned high above the earth
And clothed in majesty,
His robe is light, His path the wind,
His age, eternity.

The earth abounds with all His works;
In wisdom they were made.
And from His hand we take our fill;
His blessings do not fade.

From day to day and night to night,
His majesties unfold:
Without a word, the heav’ns proclaim
The Mighty One of old.

CM ( – C. E. Couchman, 2004
Based on Psalm 19:1-6, Psalm 97:9, Psalm 104:1, 3, 24-28 Tune: EL ELYON – C.E. Couchman, 2004
# 63 in Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, 2012