Category Archives: Hymn tunes

By Blessed Wounds (T.L. Moody)

Tammy Moody wrote a lovely text about trusting God to be a good father rather than a vengeful or cruel one. She and I have discussed the fact that using the image of God as Father is quite out of … Continue reading

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Ask the Complicated Questions (David Bjorlin)

It seems that Dave and I grew up in similar church contexts, where easy answers were dished out with as much relish as jello salad at a Sunday potluck. Unfortunately, those easy answers overlooked the subtleties of real life, used … Continue reading

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Build a Longer Table (David Bjorlin)

I met Dave Bjorlin at a Hymn Society conference in 2018 in a late-night chat among HS night owls. “Good guy,” I thought. What I didn’t know is that he’s an excellent hymn text author. GIA recently published a collection … Continue reading

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Hosanna in the Highest! (UNIQUE CROWN)

Sometimes you just have to go with an idea. Here’s what that looked like for me today: 11:15am The church organist and I had a brief conversation about tunes for “Ride On! Ride On in Majesty!” We both agreed that … Continue reading

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CHARMING FOURTH

I don’t enter hymn contests as obsessively as I used to, but when I do, I usually lose. My entry into the Eastman School of Music’s hymn tune contest battled with 131 other contestants and fell to fellow Grand Rapids … Continue reading

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T. L. Moody: Will Rise in Spring

Another collaboration with Tammy Moody. Like many of her songs, this one features vivid images of nature. In this, she takes us through the seasons, ultimately connecting spring’s budding new life to our hope of resurrection in Christ. Besides writing … Continue reading

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T. L. Moody: Hands Come Gleaning.

Tammy Moody wrote the lyrics for this new song. I love the way she ties together images of harvesting the land, social justice, and the Lord’s Supper. The more connections we can make between what we do in worship and … Continue reading

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The Church of Christ Cannot Be Bound (Adam M. L. Tice)

Fuller Ave CRC is in the middle of a sermon series called “Love Your Neighbor.” What better hymn could be sung than Adam Tice’s “The Church of Christ Cannot Be Bound”?: The church of Christ cannot be bound by walls … Continue reading

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GILLIGAN/Transfiguration

You probably know Harry Plantinga and me as the duo who co-founded Hymnary.org. As of a month ago, though, we are also a musical duo–a veritable hymnological Lennon and McCartney. Harry wrote a Transfiguration hymn based on Luke 9:28-36 that … Continue reading

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Speak Sabbath O’er My Soul (TL Moody)

My second collaboration with TL Moody is a tune for her text “Speak Sabbath O’er My Soul.” What I love about this text is that positions Sabbath as something life-giving that God does for us rather than a teeth-gritting discipline … Continue reading

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