Be Still My Soul by Randy Peterson tells the behind the music story of 175 different hymns. I've read other books like this and always found them interesting. We've used them as devotionals and I've taken some of the stories and used them as the starting point for a special musical worship service at church a few years back. So when I had the opportunity to receive a copy of Randy Peterson's new anthology of some more hymn stories, I was pleased. I like that there are some longer biographies for certain hymn writers such as
Charles Wesley, Ira Sankey and Fanny Crosby. While many hymns included were familiar to me, their histories were not; and I also found hymns with beautiful lyrics that I've never known before. The tune to one of those unfamiliar hymns, FACE TO FACE, was inspired by a simple jar of jelly; and the words came from a poem written by a busy mother of five who said she often wrote hymns while rocking babies, mending, or even sweeping the floor.
This book or any of the other hymn story books which have been published would make wonderful gift books, perhaps as an appreciation gift for the organist or choir director. Since so many of the long lasting hymns were inspired by God's faithfulness in tough times, this book would also be great for sharing with someone who is homebound, hospitalized, or in the nursing home.
I received a copy of this title for review purposes from Tyndale Blognetwork