Lord, thank you for how you provide for us even when we may struggle to see good in our situation. Every good and perfect thing comes from you, and though the world is shifty and unstable, you do not change due to circumstance or whim. Bless us, Father and keep our hearts under your protection.
Come Thou Fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it,
Mount of God's unchanging love.
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Hither by Thy help I'm come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood.
O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I'm constrained to be!
Let that grace now like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.
Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing was written by Robert Robinson according to one source. After a prank pulled by his friends ended in a drunken fortune teller predicted that Robinson would live long enough to see children and grandchildren, he began to ponder his life career choice and decided to enter the ministry instead of becoming a hairdresser. However some accounts deny Robinson's authorship attributing it instead to "Mr. Wheatley of Norwich" and also to a Countess of Huntingdon. To add to the confusion, a Bradford J. Brown wrote a 4th verse which I have not listed above. However, I think we can all agree that the lyrics are as beautiful now as when they were first penned, no matter when or by whom that originally was.
The origins of the hymn-tune NETTLETON is likewise the subject of much debate. The most accurate answer I think I can safely provide to you is that it is likely a folk tune that has gone through many iterations over the centuries. One tidbit of info that was fascinating to me however is that it is linked to a family of tunes for a folk song that says, "Go tell Aunt Rhody, the old grey goose is dead," which was one of the first simple melodies I learned on violin as a child.
Come Thou Fount has always been a favorite hymn especially because it lends itself so well to a little bit of Celtic-inspired flare which I embrace whenever possible. Many of you also requested it in my Instagram Request-A-Favorite-Hymn poll last week, so it definitely needed to make the list.
About 8 years ago I started a blessing jar. I wrote things I was thankful for on small scraps of paper and put them in a glass jar that sat on my desk. Sometimes the blessings were big like a new job when I needed it. And sometimes they were silly like when our anti-social cat was in a snuggly mood and sat in my lap. But the discipline of choosing joy in both the ordinary and the extraordinary was a beautiful thing. It turned my eyes from the things around me that were frustrating or "going wrong" and I found myself actually seeking the good and the joyful in my day-to-day actions. Just like in this hymn lyric that proclaims, "here I raise my Ebenezer" which in the Bible was a stone placed in remembrance of a good thing the Lord had done, these recordings were tiny Ebenezers proclaiming His goodness in my life.
Last week when we began a self-imposed stay home order even prior to the official one, I started another blessings list. It's an informal one scribbled on the notepad that I typically write my grocery lists on, but it sits on our kitchen countertop so that my husband and I can both jot something down as we walk by. In a season like this, capturing these big and little things are so beautiful. At the end of my thankfulness journey we commissioned a local artist to paint a collage with all my thanks and it hangs in our living room to this day - a testament to the sweetness of the Lord. In these days that seem to last forever where the kids are tired of every activity you've thought up or maybe you're tired of trying to cook meals for just one person and you long for a time that you can go out to eat with friends like normal. Whatever your circumstances, I encourage you to see the blessings in each day. You'll find your heart lighter as you see them out, and find Him in new ways in the process.
**if you want to read more about my painting, you can check out my original blog post about it it HERE as well as a post about "The Big Reveal" HERE.
Stories and thoughts and current happenings in music and life
Bethany is a freelance violinist/fiddler and tour manager who works with artists & events such as Kelly Minter, Cultivate: A Gathering Around The Word and Laura Story. She and her husband Keith live in Nashville, TN with their daughter Clare, cat & 6 backyard chickens. For more info on Bethany, visit her bio page!!