10 episodes

Pioneering podcaster Steve Webb tells the stories behind some of Christianity's greatest hymns, then plays the song, often with a contemporary flair, from some of today's most talented musicians.

Lifespring! HymnStories Steve Webb

    • Christianity

Pioneering podcaster Steve Webb tells the stories behind some of Christianity's greatest hymns, then plays the song, often with a contemporary flair, from some of today's most talented musicians.

    HS56: Lifespring! HymnStories “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus”

    HS56: Lifespring! HymnStories “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus”

     

    Written by Charles Wesley in 1744, this hymn first appeared in the 1745 “Hymns for the Nativity of Our Lord”.

    Listen for the story behind the song.

    .

    Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus

    Text: Charles Wesley, 1707-1788

    Music: Rowland H. Pritchard

     

    Come, thou long expected Jesus,

    born to set thy people free;

    from our fears and sins release us,

    let us find our rest in thee.

    Israel’s strength and consolation,

    hope of all the earth thou art;

    dear desire of every nation,

    joy of every longing heart.

     

    Born thy people to deliver,

    born a child and yet a King,

    born to reign in us forever,

    now thy gracious kingdom bring.

    By thine own eternal spirit

    rule in all our hearts alone;

    by thine all sufficient merit,

    raise us to thy glorious throne.

    • 6 min
    HS55: Lifespring! HymnStories “Jesus Shall Reign”

    HS55: Lifespring! HymnStories “Jesus Shall Reign”

    This is a show dedicated to renewing love for the great hymns of the Christian faith. In this episode I tell the story behind the hymn “Jesus Shall Reign”, which was written in 1719 by Isaac Watts, with the music being written by John Hatton.

    The version of the song played in this episode is performed by Scott Wesley Brown.

    Jesus Shall Reign

    Isaac Watts

    John Hatton

    Jesus shall reign where’er the sun

    Does his successive journeys run;

    His kingdom stretch from shore to shore,

    Till moons shall wax and wane no more.

    Behold the islands with their kings,

    And Europe her best tribute brings;

    From north to south the princes meet,

    To pay their homage at His feet.

    There Persia, glorious to behold,

    There India shines in eastern gold;

    And barb’rous nations at His word

    Submit, and bow, and own their Lord.

    To Him shall endless prayer be made,

    And praises throng to crown His head;

    His Name like sweet perfume shall rise

    With every morning sacrifice.

    People and realms of every tongue

    Dwell on His love with sweetest song;

    And infant voices shall proclaim

    Their early blessings on His Name.

    Blessings abound wherever He reigns;

    The prisoner leaps to lose his chains;

    The weary find eternal rest,

    And all the sons of want are blessed.

    Where He displays His healing power,

    Death and the curse are known no more:

    In Him the tribes of Adam boast

    More blessings than their father lost.

    Let every creature rise and bring

    Peculiar honors to our King;

    Angels descend with songs again,

    And earth repeat the loud amen!

    Great God, whose universal sway

    The known and unknown worlds obey,

    Now give the kingdom to Thy Son,

    Extend His power, exalt His throne.

    The scepter well becomes His hands;

    All Heav’n submits to His commands;

    His justice shall avenge the poor,

    And pride and rage prevail no more.

    With power He vindicates the just,

    And treads th’oppressor in the dust:

    His worship and His fear shall last

    Till hours, and years, and time be past.

    As rain on meadows newly mown,

    So shall He send his influence down:

    His grace on fainting souls distills,

    Like heav’nly dew on thirsty hills.

    The heathen lands, that lie beneath

    The shades of overspreading death,

    Revive at His first dawning light;

    And deserts blossom at the sight.

    The saints shall flourish in His days,

    Dressed in the robes of joy and praise;

    Peace, like a river, from His throne

    Shall flow to nations yet unknown.

    • 7 min
    HS54: Lifespring! HymnStories “How Great Thou Art”

    HS54: Lifespring! HymnStories “How Great Thou Art”

    Carl Boberg, a 26-year-old Swedish minister, wrote a poem in 1885 which he called “O Store Gud” (“O Mighty God”). The words, literally translated to English, said:

    When I the world consider

    Which Thou has made by Thine almighty Word

    And how the web of life Thou wisdom guideth

    And all creation feedeth at Thy board.

    Then doth my soul burst forth in song of praise

    Oh, great God,

    Oh, great God!

    His poem was published and “forgotten”, or so he thought….

    Listen to the show to hear the rest of the story.

    Today’s Music

    Instrumental Version

    Judson Hurd



    Vocal Version

    Steve Amerson

    “How Great Thou Art/Be Exalted”

    from “Hymns and Gospel Songs”

    • 10 min
    HS53: Lifespring! HymnStories “Jesus Loves Me – Revisited”

    HS53: Lifespring! HymnStories “Jesus Loves Me – Revisited”

    Take Two

    Revisiting the story behind “Jesus Loves Me”, perhaps the best known children’s hymn of all time. The reason we’re doing this is that, when I did it in HymnStories #2, I didn’t have a version of the music with the lyrics that was cleared for play in a podcast. Now that more music is available, I felt it was time to bring it back.

    Jesus Loves Me

    Lyrics: Anna B. Warner

    Music: William B. Bradbury

    Verse 1

    Jesus loves me! this I know,

    For the Bible tells me so;

    Little ones to Him belong,

    They are weak, but He is strong.

    Chorus

    Yes, Jesus loves me,

    Yes, Jesus loves me,

    Yes, Jesus loves me,

    The Bible tells me so.

    Verse 2

    Jesus loves me! He who died,

    Heaven’s gate to open wide;

    He will wash away my sin,

    Let His little child come in.

    Verse 3

    Jesus take this heart of mine,

    Make it pure and wholly Thine;

    Thou has bled and died for me,

    I will hence-forth live for Thee.

    Verse 4

    Jesus loves me! He will stay,

    Close beside me all the way;

    He’s prepared a home for me,

    And someday His face I’ll see.

    Music In This Episode

    Vocal Rendition

    James Morrison”Jesus Loves Me”

    from “James Morrison: Gospel Collection Volume One”

    Instrumental Version

    Special thanks to Larry Elliot for allowing me to use his version in the show.

    • 7 min
    HS52: Lifespring! HymnStories “Away In A Manger”

    HS52: Lifespring! HymnStories “Away In A Manger”

    Away In A Manger Was written in 1887, and is commonly known as “Luther’s Cradle Hymn.” But did the great German Reformer, Martin Luther, really write the words? Did he sing them by the cradle of his little son, Hans?

    Listen to the show for a possible answer.

    This hymn is beautifully performed by David Phelps, from his wonderful Christmas CD/DVD set “O Holy Night.”

     

    Away In A Manger

    Lyrics: Anonymous

    Music: James R. Murray

    Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,

    The little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head.

    The stars in the sky looked down where he lay,

    The little Lord Jesus asleep in the hay.

    The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes,

    But little Lord Jesus no crying he makes.

    I love Thee, Lord Jesus, look down from the sky

    And stay by my cradle til morning is nigh.

    Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay

    Close by me forever, and love me, I pray.

    Bless all the dear children in thy tender care,

    And take us to heaven, to live with Thee there.

    • 8 min
    HS51: Lifespring! HymnStories “He Hideth My Soul”

    HS51: Lifespring! HymnStories “He Hideth My Soul”

    Bouncing back- that’s a quality to be cultivated, because life is full of struggles. How do we become resilient? Unsinkable? Joyful amid the blows and burdens of life? This hymn tells us:

    A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord, He taketh my burden away;

    He holdeth me up, and I shall not be moved, He giveth me strength as my day.

    This hymn by Fanny Crosby explains the author’s life, for Fanny faced three incredible hardships durning her ninety-five years. The first was her…

    Listen to the show for the rest of the story, and to hear the stirring rendition by Scott Wesley Brown.



    HE HIDETH MY SOUL

    Lyrics: Fanny J. Crosby

    Music: William J. Kirkpatrick

    A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord,

    A wonderful Savior to me;

    He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock,

    Where rivers of pleasure I see.

    Refrain

    He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock

    That shadows a dry, thirsty land;

    He hideth my life with the depths of His love,

    And covers me there with His hand,

    And covers me there with His hand.

    A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord,

    He taketh my burden away;

    He holdeth me up, and I shall not be moved,

    He giveth me strength as my day.

    Refrain

    With numberless blessings each moment He crowns,

    And filled with His fullness divine,

    I sing in my rapture, oh, glory to God

    For such a Redeemer as mine!

    Refrain

    When clothed in His brightness, transported I rise

    To meet Him in clouds of the sky,

    His perfect salvation, His wonderful love

    I’ll shout with the millions on high.

    • 8 min

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