Joyful Noise with Lynnda









Dear Friends in Christ,

One week from today is Maundy Thursday. We have been in the season of Lent for 5 weeks. A BBC website defines Lent as: " period of 40 days which comes before Easter in the Christian calendar. Beginning on Ash Wednesday, Lent is a season of reflection and preparation before the celebrations of Easter. By observing the 40 days of Lent, Christians replicate Jesus Christ's sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days. Lent is marked by fasting, both from food and festivities."

Circumstances in the world this year have forced most of us to withdraw from the world and avoid festivities. Perhaps we have been more focused on our relationship with God this Lenten season because of this. 

Today's hymn comes from the Lenten section of our hymnal,"What Wondrous Love Is This." 

Here is a very contemporary rendition:

This is an a cappella version. If you notice, some of the notes are not round. This type of note is used to facilitate sight singing (singing the song without hearing it first) in the shape singing tradition. Shape singing is most frequently found in the southern part of the United States. It a cappella singing and the harmonies are quite distinctive.


Dear Friends in Christ

Although we have already listened to "It Is Well With My Soul," I feel that it fits our church family right now. The text author had lost his wife and daughters in a ship wreck and wrote this hymn as he sailed over the place in ocean where their ship went down. As we grieve with Pastor Joshua, we can find comfort in these words. Philip Bliss is the composer of the melody. He compose many hymn tunes and also wrote the lyrics to a number of them.  This American composer  left home at age 11 and supported himself thereafter. He died in a train wreck at the age of 38, just one month after composing the music for "It Is Well With My Soul." More information on Philip Bills is found at:

There are many renditions of "It Is Well With My Soul." Here is a more 

contemporary presentation.

Here is another:

You get two songs today. I always think of Juli's email when I hear"little ones to Him belong," in Jesus Loves Me. This cherished song was written as a poem in a novel just prior to the Civil War. In the novel (by Anna Warner) the original poem is recited to comfort a dying person. The music was composed by William Bradbury. People from both the North and South found comfort in the poem and then the song during the terrible years of Civil War. [Source:]. I hope you find comfort in it also.  This is a cute animated version of "Jesus Loves Me" that children might enjoy:

In His Service,



Dear Friends in Christ,

Today as I thumbed through my hymnal looking for inspiration in this time of grief and uncertainty, I came across "Be Still, My Soul." The words speak to me and I think most of us today. "the Lord is on our side as we bear patiently the cross of grief and pain." We can leave it to Go to order and provide in every change.."

Here are some links to performances of this.


Dear Friends in Christ,

I'm certain that we are all praying for Pastor Joshua, Josie, Levi, Bekah, Matthew, Kai, and Susie as we all grieve the loss of our precious sister in Christ.

I know that Pastor likes the hymn "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" and its words seem to cover our needs today (and always). Our loving God will share our sorrows, and we can all pray that He will hold the Wiley family close in His loving arms and comfort them in this terrible time of loss.

Here are some presentations of the hymn;

I want to include a song that Bekah had planned for the youth to lead yesterday. "Brokenness Aside" Here is a link to a performance of it:

Let's all try to learn it so that we can sing it when we gather together again.


Dear Friends in Christ,

Although we can not gather together physically, we can spiritually and so I bring you today's hymn, "We Gather Together." This is not in our Lutheran Hymnal, but I think you may be familiar with it. It is often sung at Thanksgiving, a closer look at the words will show that it fits us very well today. I particularly like verse 2, "Beside us to guide us, Our God with us joining." 

Theodore Baker, 1894---translator

Verse 1:
We gather together to ask the Lord's blessing;
He chastens and hastens His will to make known.
The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing.
Sing praises to His Name; He forgets not His own.

Verse: 2
Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,
Ordaining, maintaining His kingdom divine;
So from the beginning the fight we were winning;
Thou, Lord, were at our side, all glory be Thine!

Verse 3:
We all do extol Thee, Thou Leader triumphant,
And pray that Thou still our Defender will be.
Let Thy congregation escape tribulation;
Thy Name be ever praised! O Lord, make us free! 


Dear Friends in Christ,

Today let's step out into of the Lutheran tradition and sing an African American spiritual. This is a song I learned as a child and taught to my students when we studied African American music. In 2020 there is much discussion about appropriate ways of using music from other cultural groups. There is also new research being done into song origins and history. Here is a lively recording of the song.


Dear Friends in Christ,

The mountains are not falling around us, but we are experiencing a crisis unlike any we have experienced before. Today, when I was feeling frightened and worried, I came across this song and it reminded me that God will be with all of us through what ever happens next in our ever changing world situation. I am grateful to God for inspiring Dan Schutte to compose '"Though the Mountains May Fall."  

Here is a great version with guitar.


Dear Friends in Christ,

Our God truly is Immortal, Invisible, and Wise as we sing in the hymn. The text is by W.Chalmers Smith (1824-1908) and the tune is a Welsh folk tune. If you were to look in the back of our hymnal in the "Composers and Sources" section, you would discover that we have 3 hymns that use Welsh folk tunes, and 5 that use Welsh melodies. 

The scriptural reference is from 1 Timothy 17 in which Paul refers to Christ as: "... the king of ages, immortal, invisible, the only god, be honor and glory for ever and ever, Amen."

Here is a nice rendition of the hymn as sung by a congregation with organ. Sing along and feel God's presence.

In His Service,



Dear Friends in Christ,

Today we are singing an "oldie, but goodie", "Beautiful Savior," 

Copy and paste this link to hear a nice rendition of the hymn. This one is a quick tempo.

The version with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is slower. Take a look at that pipe organ! Imagine the sound that could come out of that with even half of the stops out.

In His Service,



Dear Friends in Christ,

Today's hymn is "On Eagles Wings". I like to think that God is holding each one of us in the palm of His had through these challenging times.

A nice performance of this can be found at:

In His Service with Faith that are being lifted up on eagles wings.



Dear Friends,

Here is hymn #7 of our worship at home series. Today I chose a contemporary song, "In Christ Alone." In times of trouble we can lean on Christ and trust Him to see us through dark and stressful times. He is our hope, light, and strength.


Dear Friends,

As we worship and pray in our own homes, we always know that our loving God is with each and every one of us. I find a reminder of this in the hymn "God Himself Is Present." This is found in the Opening of Service section of our hymnal. You might want to sing it at the beginning of a family worship time or before you listen to Pastor Joshua's sermon. 

Here is a link to a Youtube presentation:  (you will have to copy and paste this in your browser. 

The hymn is by 17th- and early 18th-century German Reformed mystic Gerhard Tersteegen, sung to a chorale melody by Joachim Neander.  It is widely sung in both the Reformed (Calvinist) and Lutheran traditions, and it has been translated variously

This information is from a longer post about the hymn. The full post can be found at: (again, copy and paste in your browser).

In His Service,



Although we all have many things on our minds with today's health crisis, we should not forget that we are in the season of Lent. Today's hymn, "Jesus, Refuge of the Weary," is a Lenten hymn. This link takes you to a nice rendering of the hymn with lyrics so you can sing along.

This link is to a contemporary melody with the same lyrics. It has some interesting visual effects you might enjoy.

We sometimes forget that what we know as the hymn is really a two part entity. The hymn technically encompasses the lyrics and the hymn tune refers to the melody that we sing. Very early hymnals presented the lyrics in one section and a few tunes in a second section. There would be a number beside the lyrics to indicate which tune was to be used. Sometimes one hymn may be sung to two or more different melodies. A case in point is "Blest Be the Tie that Binds." I grew up in the Methodist church and sang this hymn with one tune, but when I joined Grace, I discovered the same hymn sung to a different melody. 

Jesus is our refuge in times of trouble, Lynnda


No matter what is going on around us we can all know that "It Is Well With My Soul." 

This is a nice performance by Chris Rice:


For today's hymn, we are looking back a few hundred years to Martin Luther. When ever I feel stressed and worried, I sing this. Our God is indeed A Mighty Fortress.

This link takes you to a performance of the hymn with lyrics so you can sing along. You will notice that the choir is singing a slightly different translation of the original German lyrics.


Let us join together in song to praise our God and ask for His blessing in this time of isolation and worry. Here is a hymn for you to sing or listen to at home and know that your brothers and sisters at Grace are doing the same thing. We can sing together even though we are apart.. God is with each one of us where ever we are . Imagine your voices joining together today as you sing "My Faith Looks Up to Thee."

Here is a link to a Youtube video of the hymn: