Posted tagged ‘How Great Thou Art’

Half Song Singer

June 13, 2017

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                            June 13, 2017


My friend David Volitis breaks out in song quite often. Sometimes I can even figure out what song he is singing. I say disparaging things to him like “Wow! You hit that one note consistently!”, or “Hold on! I think I hear the neighborhood dogs howling!” The razzing is part of our friendship. In return he razzes me about how I drink soda pop with my lips stretched out like a bird’s beak!

With Dave you never know what the next song is going to be and when it will erupt onto the scene. It might be a song about the rapture, the Holy Ghost, or Forest Gump…so you have to be on your toes!

Unfortunately, I am “lyrics impaired!” I can remember about one line of words and then I start humming! There are some exceptions, like “Amazing Grace” or “How Great Thou Art!” I can get through the whole first verse of those before my mouth closes and I start humming like a bird!

Perhaps you have the same lyric limitation in your life. “Great is thy faithfulness, O Lord…hum hum hum!”

Praise songs are the worst considering their reoccurring verbiage. I mean…if you can’t remember the words of the line that is repeated sixteen times in a row you resonate and announce your limited intellectual capacity.

I often throw some “Dum, Dum, Dum’s” into my hums as well. So it could be “hum…hum…dum…hum…dum…dum!”

Don’t get me started on rap music! Do you know how stupid it sounds to hum a rap?

All of this comes out when my friend Dave requests my joining in on the latest tune that comes to his mind. He sings the words, but I hum more than one note! I can hum the high notes just as well as the low notes. He questions my salvation based on how much I have to hum and I question him on his lack of compassion for my ears!

That reminds me of a song…Dum-de-dum…Jesus! Hum, hum, hum…Jesus!


How Great Is…Was Our God

July 31, 2016

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                                 July 31, 2016


This morning from my writing perch the ear buds began streaming in the praise song to my mind, How Great Is Our God.

The greatness of God fits nicely into a four minute song. A lady with a voice that seemed to reach to heaven sang about his awesomeness. My soul got picked up and elevated upwards.

Last Sunday in worship we sang How Great Thou Art!

Singing about God’s greatness is something we do quite often. It seems, however, that singing about God’s greatness…past tense…is not something that appears on our playlists very much.

That’s not the case for several of David’s Psalms. He talked and sang quite often about what God had done. Psalm 78 focuses on the hand of God in the exodus from Egypt. He says, “He divided the sea and led them through; he made the water stand firm like a wall. He guided them with the cloud by day and with light from the fire all night…” (Psalm 78:13-14, NIV)

The greatness of God for the Jews was told in the stories of the past, how he had shown his greatness…already!

Our history is the great revealer of what we believe in the present.

So…how great was God? Is our belief system “end times focused” as a result of our failing to see his greatness in the steps we’ve already journeyed? Do we hope for his greatness in the moment, almost like praying that our Lotto tickets numbers rise to the top?

For me the great indicator of the greatness of God is how he has already touched my life, my personal history of his greatness.

Just clarifying here! How great God was did not get transferred into meaning my personal greatness. In fact, the greatness of God in my life mostly has come through in my weaknesses, incompetence, and cluelessness. God’s greatness can be seen in how I screwed things up and he made a masterpiece out of the mess.

We often trumpet the greatness of God in events of a grand scale. Churches build great worship centers. Football stadiums get reserved for great revival meetings. The greatness of pastors is focused on as a result of being called in for a private session with the President. We define greatness in human terms, and thus look at how great our God is in human terms.

But how great has our God been? I’ll always remember his greatness in the midst of the birth of our oldest daughter. There were complications…Carol and I took hold of each other’s hands and prayed…the medical team worked on Kecia…and the blessed sound for the first time of her suddenly exercising her lungs! God was great in that moment!

I’ve seen the greatness of God in the spiritual depth of others. My life has the brush strokes of so many people who have walked closely with our God: Marie Lyons, Ben Dickerson, Ken and Ardis Bystrom, Vera Ziegler, Steve Wamberg, Tom Bayes, Dave Shaffer, Cyndi Martin Constertina…the list is long and deep.

My God has been great. The assurance of how great he is comes in the evidence of how great he has been. God’s greatness is not something that will just suddenly happen, like the first chin hair on an adolescent.

I love Hebrews 11 and 12, a reminder of the people of faith who God has used…and then the looking forward. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2. NIV)

There it is! How great God was…the stories of the great cloud of witnesses, how great God is…the ongoing salvation story of Jesus, and how great God will be…the race marked out for us…the path of the future he has prepared.

Makes me want to sing! “How great thou art…and have always been!”