Hymns & Songs

Holy Spirit, fall afresh on me

Jun 2012    

Spirit of the Living God (UMH 393)

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me;
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.
Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me.
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me. (Adapt. Acts 11:15)

Spirit of the living God, move among us all;
Make us one in heart and mind, make us one in love:
Humble, caring, selfless, sharing.
Spirit of the living God, fill our lives with love.

IN 1926, ORLANDO, FLORIDA, Daniel Iverson (1890-1977) – an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church – attended an evangelism crusade by the George Stephans Evangelistic team. Iverson was moved by the preacher’s message about the Holy Spirit. e message inspired him to write the text and music of the song “Spirit of the Living God”.

Miss Birdie Loes, the pianist of the Stephans’ group, copied the song on manuscript paper. The team song leader was impressed and quickly taught the song to the people that evening. The song was sung throughout the campaign.

In 1980, a second stanza was added by Michael Baughen. Baughen was a priest in the Church of England and became Bishop of Chester from 1982 till he retired in 1996.

The United Methodist Hymnal has the first stanza only. The two stanzas were published together in 1982 in the hymnal Hymns for Today’s Church. The first stanza is a personal prayer calling the Holy Spirit to renew the individual’s heart. e second stanza moves from a personal to a corporate prayer that calls the Holy Spirit to unite us and transform our hearts that we may be renewed.

As we ponder upon this hymn, let us refer to what the apostle Paul teaches about the Holy Spirit. Acts 19:1-7 is an account of Paul’s ministry in Ephesus where the power of the Holy Spirit had been working through him in the midst of the power of darkness.

In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he explains whose power it was that worked abundantly amongst them. Paul speaks to believers also in Ephesians chapter 4. He encourages believers to “make every effort to be united in the Spirit”.

In chapter 5, Paul exhorts us to “let our lives be filled with the Holy Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs … always giving thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”. It is by God’s grace that we are blessed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Judith Mosomos is Lecturer in Church Music at the Methodist School of Music.

BOOKS

Leadership counts, not titles

You Don’t Need A Title To Be A Leader
Author: Mark Sanborn 112 pages $21 (paperback), S$29 (hardcover)
Available at Girls’ Brigade Bookshop and www.amazon.com
Orders can be made with Times Bookshop, Kinokuniya and Popular

MENTION THE WORD “LEADER”, and many of us think of a person with a position and title in an organisation. But Mark Sanborn maintains that you do not need a title to be a leader in life, and having a title does not automatically make you a leader. He has found that everyone has the opportunity to lead every day; and it does not matter what position the person holds, or how long the person has been on a job.

He asked his readers the following questions: Do you shape your life and career?

Do you affect the quality of others’ experience? Do you inspire or influence others?

Do you work to achieve specific goals by working with or coordinating the efforts of others?

If they answered “yes” to any of these questions, then they are leaders.

He said that leadership is influence, and he quotes leadership guru John Maxwell as saying that it is positive influence. Anyone at any level can learn to be a leader and help shape or influence the world around him.

Sanborn begins the book by telling stories of people who had no title and no proper qualifications, but yet were able to influence in their spheres of contact.

As I read these stories, I was reminded of our church’s former tea lady, the late Aunty Margaret, who went home to be with the Lord in August 2010. Her position in the hierarchy of our church would have been the lowest. No one realised how much influence she had on young and old, until we saw the number of people who attended her wake, and heard the stories they told of how she had touched their lives. e young people who could not attend her wake even sent their parents to represent them. What a legacy she left behind!

Sanborn discusses six principles of leadership: the power of self-mastery, the power of focus, the power with people, the power of persuasive communication, the power of execution, and the power of giving. He then goes on to discuss how to leave a leadership legacy, and what it takes to master the art of leadership.

Tan Peck Yin is one of two Associate Lay Leaders of Trinity Annual Conference and worships at Christ Methodist Church, where she also serves as an Associate Lay Leader, a Care Group Leader and a musician.

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