Sunday, January 20, 2019


Hello, friends!  I woke up early thinking I would need to get out the shovel and ice melt and all we got was rain.  I am so thankful for that.  And for a warm house because it is very cold out there.  So much to be thankful for if we will only open our eyes.

Today's opening hymn is Our God, Our Help.  It is also known a O God, Our Help.  Again has been a tremendous help to me.

The words were written by Isaac Watts in 1714 shortly before the death of Queen Anne of England.  (Poor Queen Anne -- a tragic figure and one of my favorite monarchs to study.  But that's another story.)  This was a time of great crisis and stress.  Queen Anne's successor had not yet been chosen.  There was a great fear that the next monarch would begin a persecution of the Protestants again.  Just about anyone in line to the throne was a Catholic.  King George I who succeeded Queen Anne was a Protestant, so the persecution did not happen, but there had been great fear.

Isaac Watts was the son of a schoolteacher.  He was born in Southampton on July 17, 1674.  He began to study Latin at age 4 and by the time he was 7 he was writing poetry in that language.  At age 16 he went to London to study.  In 1698 he became assistant minister at the Independent Church, Berry Street in London.  He later became its pastor.

Isaac Watts was a prolific writer composing poems, hymns, sermons and lectures.  His collected works were first published in 1720.  In his lifetime he published more than 800 hymns.

He died on November 25, 1748.  There is a monument in his honor both in his hometown of Southampton and in Westminster Abbey.

The tune to this hymn is entitled St. Anne.  It is attributed to William Croft.  William Croft, Mus. Doc., was born in 1677.  He received his musical education in the Chapel Royal under Dr. Blow.  In 1700 he was admitted a Gentleman Extraordinary of the Chapel Boyd; and in 1707 at the death of Jeremiah Clark, he was appointed joint organist with his mentor Dr. Blow.  In 1709 he became organist of Westminster Abbey.  He died in 1727 at age 50.  There are a large number of his compositions still in manuscript form.  Perhaps someday they will be published.

This hymn is a declaration of trust in God to provide for our needs and a reminder of our own limitations.

And now for your video of this hymn.

Stay warm and dry everyone.



  1. Glad you only got rain and hope it stays that way. Stay warm and be safe going out to church this morning.

  2. We got rain too, in fact it’s still raining. But it’s to be 4 degrees tonight :o
    Interesting information about that familiar hymn. Enjoy your Sunday service this morning! Stay safe and warm!

  3. Thank you, Kathy, for sharing these incredible stories of history that tie in with many beautiful hymns. It's unfortunate many churches no longer sing them as they are so meaningful, each and every word.

    Our weather has been a mix of rain and sleet, then blowing snow, nearly blizzard like. One of my family members nearby had a four foot drift in their driveway!

    Be safe out there & keep warm. There is much to be thankful for; I so agree!
    God's Blessings to you! Net

  4. Issac Watts has the most fascinating life story. I am always amazed by all the wonderful hymns he wrote in spite of his many human frailties. Now I must learn more about Queen Anne. I have always liked this hymn!

  5. We got several inches of snow then it changed over to rain. It's been raining all day. Tonight it will be 4F degrees and tomorrow will get up to 5F degrees. Yup, lots of ice! Be safe and warm my friend, hugs, Edna B.

  6. Another great hymn! Another great biography!
    I love that you do this for us.

  7. I didn't know this hymn. Here in Sicily it was quite warm today actually, maybe because of the scirocco, but it's raining quite a bit these days.

  8. Yes, there is so much to be thankful for if we just open our eyes. Sometimes it's difficult for some people to realise that.

  9. Thank you for the Sunday hymns you research and showcase. Know that's a lot of work and want you to know how much it is appreciated and enjoyed.
    -Eileen in FLA.


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