Wednesday, July 12, 2017

With a Song in My Heart

I love music and it has always been a huge part of my life – from beginning piano lessons at age 11 to playing in worship for going on 54 years now. Other than some contemporary worship music, most of my favorites can be found in Southern gospel, folk music, pop, and traditional country from years past. Any other fans of these genres?

This blog has primarily been book reviews, but my original intention was to include music-related themes and Erma Bombeck’s poignant humor. Life’s “busyness” always seems to get in the way, but I’m going to do my best at sharing what I’ve loved through the years, what moves me most. It will be an eclectic assortment from the many styles that I mentioned above, from the mid-50s on. So welcome to With a Song in My Heart

Farther Along

… A song which looks forward to that time and place
where there will be no more death, sorrow, and crying
(Revelation 21:4)

In thinking about where to begin, I came across a video of Joni Eareckson Tada’s testimony leading into Farther Along, and couldn’t think of a better starting place. Others that I love have recorded it (Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, etc.) and I’ll probably share their arrangements in the future –but Joni’s testimony is so moving that I had to begin with her. And she has a beautiful voice! May you be blessed by her words and music, and please share your thoughts. (Be sure to watch the whole video).

Tempted and tried, we’re oft made to wonder
Why it should be thus all the day long
While there are others living about us
Never molested, though in the wrong

Farther along we’ll know all about it
Farther along we’ll understand why
Cheer up, my brother, live in the sunshine
We’ll understand it all by and by

When we see Jesus coming in glory
When He comes from His home in the sky
Then we’ll join Him in that bright city
And we’ll understand it all by and by


        The text and the tune are both attributed to William B. Stevens (1862-1940), a Church of God preacher in Schuyler County, Missouri. If anyone had a motivation to write such a song, it was Stevens; he was a truly Job-like figure who outlived all six of his children, many of them dying in childhood.
        Farther Along is one of those songs in which words and music blend almost perfectly to present a wonderful message of faith. We should derive comfort from the chorus that what we now know only in part, we shall certainly understand Farther Along. Then we will not have to ask why, or to speculate. We may not always understand why things happen the way they do on earth, but we can eagerly anticipate being at home with Christ Farther Along.


  1. Great post! I love music almost as much as books!

  2. Love it. We have music in common. I started playing the piano when I was 10 and have been playing for worship service for 56 years. I enjoy the same genres you do. I love the song Farther Along. It was my grandmother's favorite.

    1. Ann, so glad to find that we share a love for similar types of music and piano - you've got two years on me! When I was 16, I filled in for the regular pianist and have been playing ever since. Wish we lived close together, Ann. It would be fun to talk about all the changes in worship that we've experienced over the years. It was piano/organ when I started, as I guess it was with you, and now I play digital piano in a worship band. I actually like that piano because it's easy for the sound techs to balance the instruments properly.

  3. We are a traditional church so I play the piano. Actually my sister and I swap out. It would be wonderful to sit and visit with you.

  4. I love this kind of music as well. Love the old hymns, and I as well have taken piano/organ lessons since I was 8 years old and played the church organ for many years. The church we attend now no longer has an organ. I played keyboard for a couple of years, but it had a technical issue and I have to work too many Sundays, so gave it up.

  5. I love music as well as a good book. Both have a way of reaching into your soul. I have never played the piano,but always wanted to. I love old hymns. Thank you for sharing this.

  6. Thank you for sharing this beautiful post and video. And yes, one day, we will understand it, all by and by. God is so good.

  7. I love this hymn. We don't have to understand why, we just have to know that God is good, and in whatever happens to us, He has a purpose and a plan and He will work it out for our good, and for His glory and honor.