Singing Cowper’s Song

February 16, 2011

I wanted to take a moment to explain the subtle change to my website. I recently asked my web guy, Sam Guzman, to add the words, “Redeeming Love Has Been My Theme and Shall Be Till I Die,” to the top logo area of my website. These is a line from the fourth verse of There is a Fountain, the wonderful, gospel soaked hymn by William Cowper. The entire verse reads like this:

E’er since, by faith, I saw the stream Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.
And shall be till I die, and shall be till I die;
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.

I have sung this song my entire life. It is my favorite hymn, the one I hope is sung at my funeral. But why put this line at the top of my site? Well, a few months ago, I was thinking about the “theme” of my ministry. If you talk to the experts in publishing and media and public relations, they say every content creator needs a “brand.” I hate that really, because I don’t like to think of myself as a brand. I also don’t like to pigeonhole myself into one particular area of writing/preaching/speaking. I write for teens, I write for men, I write for pastors, I write for lay people. I write devotionals, I write columns, I write books. So for me, the whole branding concept hasn’t taken root. And I haven’t really given much thought to it.

Till one night, I was at a Sunday Hymn Sing at Gages Lake Bible Church. I was leading the service and we were singing “There Is a Fountain.” Every time I sing this song, my heart is filled with great joy. I’m not sure there is a more descriptive hymn to describe the atonement than this one. It continually brings me back to the gospel, making me realize, as the third verse says, “The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in his day, and there have I, though vile as he, washed all my sins away.”

I was leading this song that night and suddenly we arrived at the fourth verse. I looked at the words, “Redeeming love has been my theme and shall be till I die.” I thought to myself, “Hey, that’s it. That’s the theme of my ministry.” So I asked Sam to change the logo and put that on my theme. I’m glad he did. Because I want to remind myself that every piece I publish, every blog post, every sermon, every book I write–this is the theme of my life: God’s redeeming love.

I think longtime Christians like me can get old and faded and lose our luster for Christ because we move away from that fountain filled with blood. But Cowper’s beautiful words draw us near, time and time again.

So, no, I don’t have a brand and I’m cool with that. But I do have a theme, borrowed from my favorite hymn.