WITH THE BIRTH of our second child, I wanted to learn some hymns on my guitar to share with my children. Most printed hymns, however, are written for the piano or organ in mind—any chords written for a guitar (or even a contemporary worship team) seemed like an afterthought. So, with the help of some friends and the Trinity Hymnal, I got working…
After gathering a few hymns and typing them up with the appropriate chords, I tested them out on my children. To my surprise, they loved them! No matter how somber or energetic the hymns were, they danced to almost every one. My wife and I then made it an informal habit to do a “worship time” in the family room at least once a week.
After several months of this, my children actually started to sing the lyrics to many hymns. And after a year had gone by, they each had picked their favorite one. My eldest daughter, who was five years old at the time, chose Nothing But The Blood and my second daughter, who was three years old at the time, chose Angel We Have Heard on High. That’s when something quite amazing dawned on me: my children, even at their very young age, were starting to learn deep and penetrating theology. They were singing songs about holiness, sin, God’s sovereignty, the incarnation, the cross, the resurrection, heaven, righteousness, mercy, and faith! Although I am sure that my kids did not understand the intricacies of these precious doctrines, I could tell that they were starting to pick up the spiritual gist of many of these hymns. In fact, hymns can do one important thing that a book on worship by itself cannot—they can stimulate both the mind and the heart at the same time (just like they did for my children). In hymns, heady theology and heartfelt passion are mixed together in a mysterious and wonderful way.
So it is my simple prayer that these precious hymns, handed down from generation to generation, may be a blessing to you and your family also.
To my loving wife, Julie, who has proofread every single article (even when she is very, very tired).
Thanks to the friends at the Cincinnati Chinese Church: Grace Chen, John Bascom, Reggie Tsang, and Michael Chung for helping to edit the music and/or review articles. You all are wonderful!
Special thanks to Saint Andrew’s Chapel, our church home, who has taught us the joy, beauty, and magnificence of a high and exulted worship service.
And finally, thank you Wes Avants for teaching me one tremendously important life lesson—without which this blog would never have happened: Saying “yes” to one thing means that I’m indirectly saying “no” to something else. Thanks for teaching me to say “no” to the thousands of nonessential things in life so that I can say “yes” to the precious few things that matter most.
Can I print out these hymns?
Yes! You are free to use any of the hymns in this blog for personal, non-commercial use so long as you do not alter or sell them. Feel free to print them out for yourself, your worship team, your youth group, etc.