I am asked why we don’t have our picture on the cover; my reaction is that we intuitively know something about God when we consider nature, so we want to remind everyone to look around, appreciate the beauty of the universe.
The cover shot, from the North coast of California, also reminds us of the relative insignificance of man’s puny efforts beside the works of God.
One of the truly beautiful things that man does do is music, and these songs too, should remind us all of the larger realities of life, and our place in the universe.
Questions arise because we are producing an accompanied version as well as a capella, which is my personal tradition; my feeling is that both versions are worth a listen, but that they have different strengths. You can hear the individual parts better on the a capella version, but the other version is simply more acceptable to others’ tastes.
Seems to me the question becomes insignificant in the light of Jesus’ second commandment to love one another; to paraphrase McLuhan, the message is more important than the medium of expression. I have lately begun to appreciate the truth of that statement personally after hearing some of the variations of modern gospel music, including some that sounds like alternative rock, grunge and rap.
It’s a question of intent: what is the intent of the artist, and does it help someone, who might otherwise be unreachable, to come to the Lord?
We’re told not to judge, and in this matter I think we would all do well to heed the admonishment.
There’s room in “God’s big tent” for all styles and flavors, as long as the gospel message comes through. It’s simply a matter of taste.
My taste, is of course reflected in the song choices. Again, Fanny Crosby is a featured writer, appearing in three of the selections. Her lyrics, coupled with music from various composers, produce an outstanding effect, truly inspired.
From what we now call ”Southern Gospel” comes the relatively upbeat “Where the Soul Never Dies,” a message we all need, reminding us of that better place we’ll all go.
Again, we hope this effort is seen as respectful and reverent of the great gospel tradition it represents, and perhaps it will help some person find the Lord. These songs have helped me, and I thank God for the opportunity to share them with you.
Ernie Wylie Harkins May 2, 1996
Copyright © 1997 Adama Music. All rights reserved.
”In The Cross” (Jesus Keep Me Near the Cross) after John 19:25, by Fanny Crosby (words) and William H. Doane (tune), 1869
“There’s a Fountain Free” after Rev. 22:1, by Mrs. Mary B. C. Slade, and A.B. Everett (tune), 1876
”Have Thine Own Way” after Isaiah 64:8, by Adelaide A. Pollard (words) 1902, and George C. Stebbins (tune: Adelaide) 1907
“Sweeter Than All” (Christ Will Me His Aid Afford) after Rev. 7:17, by Johnson Oatman, Jr. (words) and J. Howard Entwisle (tune), 1900
“On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand” (My Hope is Built on Nothing Less) after I Corinthians 3:11, by Edward Mote (words) 1834, and William B. Bradbury (tune) 1863
“Hallelujah Praise Jehovah” after Psalm 148, by William J. Kirkpatrick, 1893
“Fairest Lord Jesus” (Crusader’s Hymn) after Colossians 1:17, 17th Century German Hymn, Heinrich von Fallersleben, trans. Richard S. Willis, 1850 (words), Silesian folk song, arr. 1842 by Heinrich von Fallersleben: Slesische Volksleider
“Stand up, Stand Up for Jesus” after Ephesians 6:13, by George Duffield (words) 1858, and George J. Webb (tune) 1837
“Faith is the Victory” (Encamped Along the Hills of Light) after 1 John 5:4, by John Yates (words) 1891, and Ira D. Sankey (tune) 1891
“Yield Not to Temptation” after Romans 6:16 by H.R. Palmer, 1868
“O Worship the King” after I Chronicles 29:11, by Robert Grant (words) 1833, and Johann Michael Haydn (tune attributed to him by William Gardiner’s Sacred Melodies, 1815, possibly an adaptation from William Croft’s ”Hanover,” 1708)
I Am Thine O Lord” (Draw Me Nearer) after Hebrews 10:22, by Fanny J. Crosby (words), and William H. Doane (tune) 1875
”To Canaan’s Land I’m on My Way” (Where the Soul Never Dies) after Rev. 21:4, by William M. Golden 1914
“Love One Another”(Angry Words) after Matthew 22:39, John 15:17, by H.R.Palmer, 1867
“He Hideth My Soul” (A Wonderful Savior) after Hebrews 2:14, 15, by Fanny J. Crosby and William J. Kirkpatrick, 1890
“Song Data from: Great Songs of the Church” ACU Press, 1986, Songs of the Church, Howard Publishing, 1977, Family Songbook of Faith and Joy, Reader’s Digest Association, 1975, “The Hymnbook” (Presbyterian) 1955