Saturday, January 10, 2009

TSMS - From Distracted to Focused

How easy it is to get distracted when life gets busy or stressful. This beautiful old hymn never fails to center me and realign my priorities.

In 1918, a missionary friend gave Helen Howarth Lemmel a tract. Reading it, she was struck by the line: "So then, turn your eyes upon Him, look full into His face, and you will find that the things of earth will acquire a new dimness." She later said
Suddenly, as if commanded to stop and listen, I stood still, and singing in my soul and spirit was the chorus, with not one conscious moment of putting word to word to make rhyme, or note to note to make melody. The verses were written the same week, after the usual manner of composition, but none the less dictated by the Holy Spirit.
The song was published that same year and soon spread as a favorite of believers throughout the world.

Amazing Grace: 365 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions by Kenneth W. Osbeck, Kregel, 2002
Some of you younger gals may not be familiar with Cynthia Clawson, one of the legendary voices in Christian music. She can sing this like no one else!

And while many churches sing the chorus, don't miss the beautiful message of the verses. She just sings the first one, but the others are written below.


O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
O’er us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conquerors we are!

His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!
Be sure to go by Amy's blog for more songs to bless your weekend!


View blog reactions


ktwalden said...

I have always loved this anointed song! May our eyes always be focused upon Him...

Jennifer said...

One of my favorite hymns...oh, the wonderful message this song holds. I always have a very hard time listening to it or singing it without crying because of the powerful message there.

So, needless to say...I'm crying.

Happy TSMSS!

Scrapping Servant said...

This was a GREAT reminder to me today, thank you for sharing!

Peggy said...

Blessings Linda & Happy New Year!
(I'm a little late and a bit behind) This is so awesome! You are so right about the voice of Cynthia Clawson!!! I'm am always so aMazed by the beauty of the background on these wonderful classics & precios hymns! Who would have thought a simple tract could so profoundly impact so many for so long and have been such a Holy Spirit stirring!

I am so trusting in "HIS WORD shall not fail you" This last verse is the Go & Tell of each of us for
the Great Commission. Thank you!
Enjoy TSMSS & be blessed!

Mel said...

I have never heard this hymn before but it is beautiful.

Amy Wyatt said...

A classic and one of my favorites. I used to sing this to Spencer when he was a baby and I rocked him. Thanks for the memories.

Molly said...

Thank you for sharing a classic!

lana said...

Cynthia Clawson is one of my all time favorite... love the song too!

Xandra@Heart-of-Service said...

I love Selah's version too. This is just another example of how the beautiful (and edifying) words of a hymn have been reduced to a chorus in our modern churches.


Debbie said...

I'm familiar with Cynthia Clawson but haven't heard her in a while. What a beautiful rendition of this long time favorite hymn. The words have such meaning and truth. Thank you Linda for sharing this one.

Joanne@ Blessed... said...

Got the book in the mail! Just wanted you to know.

Heading up right now to listen to your pick for 'Sings My Soul Saturday'.

Blessings Friend...

Rebecca said...

This is a beautiful song that we sung often in church when I was young. She sings it with such conviction too.

Cathy said...

Just beautiful, I love that hymn. Thanks so much for sharing it, Linda.

Sweet Blessings said...

What a beautiful song- I love singing this hymn! Thank you for sharing! Thank you for the prayers for my sister-n-law-they are highly coveted! Blessings:) Amanda

Jill said...

This is by far one of my favorite songs to sing when the day seems to get away from me - takes me right back to what is important!

Blessings - Jill

Julie D said...

This was a song my Daddy loved to lead.

Darlene said...

Great song....I didn't realize there was more than 1 verse! Our church usually sings the one verse with chorse.
Thanks for sharing!!

Have a fabulous weekend!!

Debra said...


I love this song. When I taught sunday school one year, I taught the children a sacred dance that went along with the song and they presented it to the congregation. It was very moving.

Thanks for posting brought back very special memories.

Blessings to you today!

Tammy said...

I have never heard of Cynthia Clawson but the hymn is very familiar. Thank you for sharing it's beautiful message with us today.

Chatty Kelly said...

Good to keep in touch this weekend! Keep the music coming.

Tim and Vicky said...

It's had to beat this song . . . and she sings with anointing.

Named Alicia said...

I love this song. It is one of my favorite hymns. I love the thought htat the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace. What a wonderful promise!

Thanks for sharing! And thanks for sharing the story behind it.

Laurie Ann said...

One of my favorite hymns, and I always enjoy the message you share with your posts on TSMS Saturdays. Thanks so much for stopping by today! I truly appreciate it.

Cristine said...

This was new to me, but so beautiful. I loved it. Thank you for posting it. God Bless,


A Stone Gatherer said...

Oh how I love that song! A few years ago our pastor, doing a sermon on marriage, had couples turn to each other and sing it to each other. My husband had to work that morning so he wasn't there. It was very emotional!

Anonymous said...

Love the song AND the big hair!