Celebrating the Life & Music of Fanny Crosby (8/31/14)

Posted by on Sep 1, 2014 in Sermons | 2 comments

 Pastor Jim’s sermon on August 31 took on a bit of a different format.  This week, we Rev Bolton 2014-08-03 _0646looked not only at God’s Word as text in the Bible, but also as the expression of God’s word in the music and lyrics of Fanny Crosby.
Click on the “Play” button below to listen to the sermon (this is from the 9:30 AM service).  Scroll down,  open the scripture readings, and follow along.




 Click on the “down arrow” to open up the Scripture Readings…

Scripture Readings

Job 38:1-7 (King James Version)

1 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,

2 Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?

3 Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.

4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.

5 Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?

6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;

7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?


Ephesians 5:15-20 (New International Version)

15 Be very careful, then, how you live — not as unwise but as wise,

16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.

18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.

19 Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord,

20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.


Fanny Crosby

Fanny Crosby


When Fanny Crosby was an infant, she developed an eye infection.  The wrong “doctor” applied the wrong treatment and she lost her sight completely.  She was blind for the rest of her life.  But how did that affect her?  Anger? Fear? “Woe is me” self pity?  Reclusion?

No!  Listen to this quote:

“It seemed intended by the blessed providence of God that I should be blinded for the rest of my life, and I thank Him for it!  If perfect earthly sight were offered me tomorrow, I would not accept it.  I might not have sung hymns to the praise of God if I had been distracted by the beautiful and interesting things about me.

If I had a choice, I would choose to remain blind.  For when I die, the first face I see will be the face of my blessed Savior”

Do we have that kind of faith???



Fanny Crosby’s “unfortunate” circumstance and God given music inspired many to make a commitment to Christ. She was a friend to all who love Jesus and accept the scriptures.

“Where selfishness is, there, happiness cannot be.”

She never complained, but instead sought to bring cheer to others.  Days before she passed away, lying on her own death bed,  a friend was overcome with grief.  She was the one who was dying, but she gave comfort to her friend.  She wrote him a note saying, “May our blessed Savior give you the assurance to know that everything is going to work out for your good.” Fanny Crosby lived out the promise of  Romans 8:28!

Jesus Keep Me Near the Cross…

When you take the cross and Jesus Christ out of the mix, you’re left with nothing.  You’re just like any other man-made religion of the world.  The cross is the portal from a sinful life into a life of forgiveness and relationship with God.

—> Click Here to see the words to this hymn <—

Many of the critics of Christianity try to discredit the cross and the brutality to Jesus. But Paul said that the cross is the Power of God…

1 Cor 1:18-19

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.  For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”


When you realize how much God loves us and how much He did to save us, doesn’t that make you want to cling to the cross?


Pass Me Not O Gentle Savior…

Consider these people who persisted against opposition to reach the Savior…

  • As a crowd around Jesus approached Blind Bartimaus, he  repeatedly cried out, “Jesus Son of David have ChapelWin-StandAtDoor_7059mercy on me!” The disciples told him to shut up, but Jesus stopped and healed him.
    What if Bartimaus had allowed the “church people” to stop him from calling out?
  • A bleeding woman crawled through the crowed just to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment… and she was healed.
    What if she hadn’t been so persistent?
  • Short Zacchaeus climbed a tree to catch a view of Jesus.  The crowds pushed him away, but Jesus stopped and invited himself to dinner.
    What if Zacchaeus lagged behind and gave up?
  • Fanny Crosby was blind…
    What if she gave into self pity and chose to ignore God’s grace?

Jesus would have walked on by.  But Jesus responds when we call out.  He will never kick the door down (the handle is on the inside).

—> Click Here to see the words to this hymn. <—


Rescue the Perishing…

When we come to a saving faith in Christ, we’re actually entering a covenant with Him.  It take commitment on both sides.  The opportunities in front of us to serve Christ become real when we take our commitment seriously.

Poor children are often left on the wayside.  They’re not seen of value.  As a blind child, Fanny experienced this firsthand.  Throughout her life she worked with kids in New Your City and strove to relieve the suffering of the poor.  It’s up to the Body of Christ to “rescue these perishing,” to feed the hungry, to share God’s word.  You and I have been called to tell the world that there is a Savior who is mighty to save.

—> Click Here to see the words to this hymn. <—


In 1882, the second great awaking was in real force.  Camp Meetings (like the one in Pitman) were blossoming.  But the only way to have eternal and abundant life, was for people to be saved.  We must receive Christ as our savior; during the Camp Meetings this frequently happened at an Altar.  There is great joy in knowing that God knows us so much that He broke into human history to die our death.  There is joy in “coming forward” to accept God’s Grace.

We can’t be a Christian and keep it a secret!  We’ve GOT to share it with someone!!!

In John 10:28 Jesus said that no one can snatch us from His Father’s hand.  His child and FOREVER I am!

—> Click Here to see the words to this hymn. <—


Blessed Assurance…

We can’t do all of the hymns because she wrote over 8000 of them!  Fanny Crosby wrote an autobiography; check it out if you can.  To hear her life as seen through her (blind) eyes is something truly amazing.

The lyrics that she wrote frequently came in a single God given moment of inspiration. Words would jump into her mind.  On one occasion she was visiting with a composer friend who played her a tune she had just written.  She asked Fanny “what thought does this tune bring to mind?”  She immediately thought of the words “blessed assurance… Jesus is mine… this is my story this is my song.”

O the joy that awaits us!  Not only to see… but to see Jesus.

As we’re watching and waiting for Jesus to return, we experience heaven on earth as God fills us with His mercy and love.

—> Click Here to see the words to this hymn. <—



Don’t let the music stay here!!!

Quiz Time!

Just for the fun of it, try out these True/False questions.   Don’t Worry- there’s no gradebook!

When you’re done, click the “Review” button to see the right answers.  If you missed any questions, re-read the scripture and try it again.  If you’re stuck (or disagree with the answer!), feel free to post a comment.






Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Judy jones

    How wonderful and uplifting that service was. Really enjoy the fact that when we can’t make it to church, we still have the opportunity to hear Pastor Jim’s sermons.

  2. Margie Nelson

    Wonderful and inspirational.

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