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A song that has lived on

Musings and Memories

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Back in the early 70s I moved to a town on the Western Slope of the Rocky Mountains to attend a small Bible college, sight unseen.  

When I said small college, I meant small.  

There was one building that housed the four classrooms on the ground floor and the men’s dorm rooms upstairs. The administrative offices were in a small, old house off the college’s parking lot. And the cafeteria was in an old building across the street and down the block. The women’s dorm rooms were upstairs over the cafeteria.  
Moving there from a beautiful Bible college campus in sunny Southern California was somewhat of a culture shock, which in itself had been a culture shock moving there for this young man from the plains of Eastern North Dakota. I got my education all across the US of A.  

When I enrolled at Intermountain Bible College in Grand Junction, Colorado, I was recruited right away to sing in the school’s traveling choir. I was asked if I could carry a tune and I told the choir director I could. I could carry it from the left side to the right.  

So, I became a member of this fundraising arm for this Bible College hidden away in the Rockies.  

A week after classes started, and practicing with the choir for five afternoons, we hit the road in a white school bus early Saturday morning.  

We crossed over the winding, scary passes of the Rocky Mountains in an old white school bus and sang in two churches on Sunday morning and evening. I barely knew the songs we were singing, but I guess I pulled it off— twice—once in the morning and then again that night.  

The next week the choir director placed me in a “duet” with a baritone named Randy. And the next weekend Randy and I hit the road. We were out there representing a college I had been at for just two weeks.  

There was a song that I had to learn back then that over the years has become one of my favorite hymns; it’s called “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.”  

Both the full choir and Randy and I would sing that song in every church we ministered in. Over and Over and Over Again. So, I really got to know the hymn, and all these years later I still like it.  

The lyrics go like this: 

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 Name! I’m fixed upon it  

Name of Thy redeeming love  

(Verse Two)  

Hitherto Thy love has blessed me  

Thou hast brought me to this place  

And I know Thy hand will bring me  

Safely home by Thy good grace  

Jesus sought me when a stranger  

Wandering from the fold of God  

He, to rescue me from danger  

Interposed His precious blood  

(Verse Three)  

Oh to grace how great a debtor  

Daily I’m constrained to be  

Let Thy goodness, 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, oh take and seal it  

Seal it for Thy courts above  

(Verse Four)  

Oh that day when freed from sinning  

I shall see Thy lovely face  

Full arrayed in blood-washed linen  

How I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace  

Come, my Lord, no longer tarry  

Bring Thy promises to pass  

For I know Thy power will keep me  

Till I’m home with Thee at last.  

The closer I get to the Savior; the better I get to know His Word, and the stronger my cravings to be like Him grows, the more meaning those lyrics have for me.  

Verse three has spoken so clearly to me over the years, and I have ministered to so many people over the years and those lyrics tell their personal stories.  

“Oh to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be. Let Thy goodness, 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, oh take and seal it; seal it for Thy courts above.”  

So many times we are “prone to wander.” It becomes so easy to do.  

And sometimes we may face the temptation to “leave the God I love,” even for a side-trip, or a fleeting moment.  

I have often prayed: “Let Thy goodness, like a fetter (chains), bind my wandering heart to Thee.”  

O God, don’t let me get away! Don’t let me have my own way! I want Your will to be done in my life. Always Your will! O God, bind my wandering heart to Thee.  

“Jesus sought me when a stranger, wandering from the fold of God; He, to rescue me from danger, interposed His precious blood.”  

Many hymn books have left the fourth verse out for some reason, but it is one of my favorites. It goes like this: “Oh that day when freed from sinning I shall see Thy lovely face; full arrayed in blood-washed linen, how I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace.”  

And here is my constant prayer (I am ready): “Come, my Lord, no longer tarry, bring Thy promises to pass. For I know Thy power will keep me till I’m home with Thee at last.”  

After all these years of singing and living these lyrics, I am ready and listening for that trumpet blast. I’m ready for the parting of the clouds.  

I am ready. I am ready, O Lord. Come quickly Lord Jesus!  

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