I love my church. The Word is preached, the fellowship is sweet, and we are active in trying to reach our world for Christ. Of course, no church on earth is perfect, and one of the things I wish I could change about mine is the lack of hymns. I love the old hymns, they are so sweet, and are full of inspired words and lovely melodies.
That is probably part of the reason that I thoroughly enjoyed Phillip Keveren's "Abide with Me: Piano and Praise" CD. Keveren puts his on small touches on the songs, but the beauty of the original music still shines through. I really don't love when songs are so re-arranged that you cannot even recognize the original tune; that is not the case with these.
My favorite tracks were "Here I Am to Worship" and "Be Thou My Vision". I sang "Be Thou My Vision" in a youth drama in high school, and it has always been one of my favorites. I was very pleased with this version. I liked that it was just the piano, that way I could sing along if I wanted, but it also made very pleasant back drop music as well.
I was not familiar with all the songs, but even the new ones were still beautiful and made me want to look up the words, so I could appreciate them fully. Most of them I did know, and I loved how all the pieces were reminders of God's promises to be with us, His holiness, and how worthy He is of our worship and praise.
It reminded me of the majestic offertory pieces played by the pianist at the churches I attended when I was younger. You just wanted the song to last a little longer, and you loved the peaceful feeling it left you with. You wanted to just be quiet, and for me, it often was truly a time of worship. Now, I don't have to wait for the infrequent appearance of hymns at my church. I can listen whenever I want!
You can find your own copy of "Abide with Me: Piano and Praise" at Discovery House Publishers website: http://www.dhp.org/, as well as other inspirational CDs and books . They kindly provided me with a complimentary copy to review.