This week on the Voices In My Head Podcast, Andrew Peterson returns. Since we are so close to the Easter Season we talk a lot about his classic record, Resurrection Letters Volume 2. It was great to record this episode on location in Nashville at the Rabbit Room’s North Wind Manor. There’s a little something for everyone here. Great music and great conversation with a great artist, Andrew Peterson.
This album features tracks with Brandon Sipes , Brannon Hancock , Brenda Spicer Thornberry-Crabtree , Mandy Holcomb, Shawn Alex, and more.
Also, we are still raising funds for the Hymn Project. It’s a record, a film, and a documentary we want to make in Nashville with Dove award winning producer Craig Adams. Click any of the graphics below for more information on the Project. You can also click this link. http://www.GoFundMe.com/Hymns
There’s just no doubt about it, Charles Wesley was a Hymn writing machine. Most scholars believe there are around 5000 songs attributed to him. In the last few weeks I’ve been asking people, what is your favorite hymn? The most repeated answer by far is And Can It Be by Charles Wesley.
Now, You might think a song this popular among Christians of every denomination would have come from a seasoned hymn writer who had been a believer for years, but the fact is that ‘And Can It Be’ was one of the first hymns that Wesley ever wrote, and he wrote it two day safter his conversion.
Both Charles and his brother John were ordained ministers in the Anglican Church who founded a holy club which would ultimately become the Methodist church. In October of 1735 Charles and John took journey across the ocean as missionaries to the colony of Georgia. This trip did not turn out well. Both of them were largely rejected by the settlers in Savannah. In August of 1736 the Wesley brothers returned to England, broken, tired, and ill, never to return to America again. Both brothers came home asking questions about their faith. John is famously quoted as saying, “I went to convert the Indians, but oh, who shall convert me?”
After they returned home they met a Moravian named Peter Bohler. Bohler spent a great deal of time with the Wesleys discussing the Christian faith and he became a spiritual mentor to them, speaking with them often of the necessity of prayer and faith. He urged them to focus less on what they wanted to achieve for God, and more on what God could do for and through them. Charles in particular, like most creative types, viewed himself as being worthless and beyond Gods grace. Bohler said of him, “(Charles) is very much distressed in mind and does not know how he shall begin to be aquainted with the Saviour.”
In May of 1738 Charles had taken ill again and Bohler prayer at his bedside for his healing and recovery, then taking Charles hand he said, “You will not die now”. Bohler asked Charles whether he hoped to be one of the saved. Charles responded that he had used his best endeavours to serve God, believing that salvation needed to be earned. Charles fear of dying was a confirmation for him that even though he was a minister, he was not a reborn Christian.
Charles had many struggles with illness and it drove him to seek to know Christ more. On May 17, 1938, Charles was given a copy Martin Luther’s book on Galatians. In reading this Charles was shocked to find that that Bohler’s views, which he had resisted, were not new, but were also the views of Luther. That night Charles had a true experience of conversion. In a journal he wrote, “At midnight I gave myself to Christ, assured that I was safe, whether sleeping or waking. I had the continual experience of His power to overcome all temptation, and I confessed with joy and surprise that He was able to do exceedingly abundantly for me above what I can ask or think.”
He also journaled, “I now found myself at peace with God, and rejoiced in hope of loving Christ. I saw that by faith I stood.” Two days after this experience he began writing a hymn that we now know as And Can It Be. The hymn was first published in John Wesley’s Psalms and Hymns in 1738, then in Hymns and Sacred Poems in 1739 with the subtitle, Free Grace. In a poetic manner, this hymn proclaims the mystery of God’s grace extended to sinners who turn in faith to the risen Christ. Wesley’s use of methor contrasting light and darkness, slavery and freedom, life and death, and Christ’s righteousness and our unworthiness is a beautiful example not only of a life transformed by Christ, but of a masterful lyricist.
Do You Have A Favorite Hymn? Let Me Play It For You
Good Evening, If you read my blog then you know that I’m in the middle of a campaign to raise money for my first ever hymns record, with 5 time Dove Award winning producer Craig Adams. As a part of this process I am recording new videos each week for YouTube featuring hymns that are special to supporters of this project. I would love to know not only some of your favorite hymns but the stories behind them of why they are special to you. Simply reply to this Email, send me a Facebook message, and Tweet me to let me know some hymn you would like me to record.
I’m also pleased to announce that we have met now met 1% of our goal to get this album made. Today we also had our first $100.00 donation. I know that may not seem like a lot with a $30,000.00 budget, but I’m counting 1% as the first of many victories with a project this huge.
We just need to do what we’ve already done 99 more times and we can make this hymns record happen. Please keep telling your friends by sharing the video on YouTube. The more times it is seen, the better visibility it will have on the internet and the more likely we are to get more supporters. Let’s shoot for 400 plays by the end of Monday. That would be awesome.
And remember, if we can just get 6000 people to give $5.00 each we will have met our goal.
You all bless me and I am thankful to partner with you on this endeavor.