Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Friday, May 19, 2017

My Favorite Hymns

A while back, I passed on to you a few favorite verses. I thought I would also tell you my favorite hymns. They are And Can It Be, Amazing Grace, All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name (both tunes), What A Friend We Have In Jesus (both tunes), and O For A Thousand Tongues to Sing.

My most favorite hymn is one I found when I was 8 or 9 years old, a dozen years before I received Christ. I was ready then, but it did not happen. The church was the Church of the Open Door pastored by E.W. Kenyon. You can read one of his messages in the appendix of my book Dead and Alive: Obedience and the New Man. Here is the hymn:
Where the Gates Swing Outward Never

Just a few more days to be filled with praise,
And to tell the old, old story;
Then, when twilight falls, and my Savior calls,
I shall go to Him in glory.

Chorus:
I’ll exchange my cross for a starry crown,
Where the gates swing outward never;
At His feet I’ll lay every burden down,
And with Jesus reign forever.

Just a few more years with their toil and tears,
And the journey will be ended;
Then I’ll be with Him, where the tide of time
With eternity is blended.

Chorus:
I’ll exchange my cross for a starry crown,
Where the gates swing outward never;
At His feet I’ll lay every burden down,
And with Jesus reign forever.

Though the hills be steep and the valleys deep,
With no flowers my way adorning;
Though the night be lone and my rest a stone,
Joy awaits me in the morning.

Chorus:
I’ll exchange my cross for a starry crown,
Where the gates swing outward never;
At His feet I’ll lay every burden down,
And with Jesus reign forever.

What a joy ‘twill be when I wake to see
Him for Whom my heart is burning!
Nevermore to sigh, nevermore to die,
For that day my heart is yearning.

Chorus:
I’ll exchange my cross for a starry crown,
Where the gates swing outward never;
At His feet I’ll lay every burden down,
And with Jesus reign forever.
I do not sing anymore because my voice is too weak. Most of my Christian life I sung all of the time, at work and at home (although I did not sing much on ships in the Navy). it was not singing for or to people who might hear me. It was my own expression of my own joy.

One day a student at Concordia College in Ann Arbor, MI, a Lutheran college where I ran the college bookstore, told me that he and other students listened to me. He commented that they realized that the songs were different from the Lutheran hymns. He said that mine were all about heaven. I had not been conscious of that.

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