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Deadworm

The Most Blessed Hymn in My Life Experience

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When I was a new United Methodist pastor in western New York, neither I nor my 2 congregations knew much about contemporary praise choruses.   I soon felt the need to expand our congregational singing beyond our hymnal.  I went on a long contemplative walk in the hilly countryside to meditate on this question.  Suddenly the lyrics of 2 lively old hymns played sequentially in my mind: "Lily of the Valley" and "Dwelling in Beulah Land."  I think I had only heard them once each decades ago in my childhood.  So it astounded me that I was now accurately hearing the lyrics of both hymns in my head after all these years!    I asked me music directors at both churches in my 2-church charge to introduce them the next Sunday.  In one church they were well received, but in the other church the effect was electrifying, partly because the pianist in that church was an accomplished jazz pianist with his own professional band.  Particularly electrifying was his accompaniment of "Dwelling in Beulah Land," which sounded something like this:

https://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=0FBCBJNU

 

Notice how joyfully the young children react to this song.  For some reason, the Holy Spirit was so palpable during the singing of that hymn in one of the 2 churches that miracles rivaling any in the Book of Acts happened shortly thereafter!   Now I'm well versed in contemporary praise music and have grown to love it.  But no praise chorus has even remotely sparked a mass reaction like the singing of "Dwelling in Beulah Land" that fateful epic Sunday.

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