A Soft Spot for the Old Hymns

Does hearing the old hymns bring a tear to your eye?

Growing up in the 60’s my father had several of the old record albums. Everything from Sons of the Pioneers, John Susa, Big Bands, and his favorite hymns.
Being a Glider Pilot in WWII had left him with PTSD, shrapnel fragments in his back and disabled. Some days he could hardly walk and sleep was pretty much out of the question most nights. That’s when he would pile the records on the stereo, close his eyes and sit back in the recliner.

Dad’s Favorite

Dad’s favorite singer was George Beverly Shea with the Billy Graham Crusades’s. As George would sing you could see him starting to relax. The stress of his pain seemed at times to just melt away. The words from “I’d Rather Have Jesus“, “How Great Thou Art” would seem to wrap around him like a warm quilt. I think that is when Jesus would place His hands on the pain, giving dad a little rest.
Sometimes dad would sing along. I can still hear his soft voice when I close my eyes. He never sang very loud as he felt he could not carry a very good tune. But then God doesn’t judge your ability to praise Him.


We would do our bible devotions just before bed. I would play the piano as my family would sing. Oh, and that is also when our dog would howl along. I think she wanted to praise God also. We made a joyful noise.

You see hymns were (and still are) important. They give us the encouragement, hope, and strength we need on our daily walk with God. Hymns are our voice of victory over Satan, conquering our fears, giving praise to Him who holds us in His hands.

My love for these hymns came from my father’s pain. Now when I hear them, my heart fills with joy as I am transported by remembering those memories from my childhood. A time when God’s love would fill our home and hearts through the words of the great old hymns.

I’d Rather Have Jesus
George Beverly Shea

I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold
I’d rather be His than have riches untold
I’d rather have Jesus than houses or land
I’d rather be ed by His nail scared hands

Than to be a king of the best domain Or be held in sin’s dreads way
I’d rather have Jesus than anything this world affords today.

I’d rather have Jesus than man’s applause
I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause
I’d rather have Jesus then world wide things
I’d rather be true to His holy name

Than to be a king of the best domain Or be held in sin’s dreads way
I’d rather have Jesus than anything this world affords today.

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  1. Brenda Fawcett

    I didn’t know you played the piano! What other secrets are you keeping from me? LOL Loved your story and love that hymn. Somehow those old hymns stir my soul! After watching Billy Graham’s funeral, I couldn’t quit singing in my head and heart: “Until Then” they used it in the prelude. Good words, my friend!

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