Be thou my vision (new monthly feature w free printable)

I love hymns, I love words, I love it when old words still have everything to say about our very modern daily lives.

In the throes of modern culture we threw away so much tradition that we really ought to have redeemed.

We need to be using words that the average soul can grasp onto but we have to be always bridging our story to that of those who went before.  This struggle for faith, these issues, this pain… it’s nothing new.

There is beauty in the old practices, there is loveliness in the liturgy and the old songs and hymns still speak volumes to us if we to sit with them for a while.

Certainly there are thees and thous to work around, but for me, there is something deeply comforting about knowing that back in the 7th century the struggle was basically the same:  Faith is a hard won battle and at the end of it all we are prone to wander and focus on everything but the truth of God.  So we’d better keep on asking for help in this midst of the fray.  

At my current church, worship is a blend of old and new.  There are hymns done in contemporary style and there is liturgical, responsive reading but it’s done in modern language.

I believe in the old ways and I believe that the truth behind those words can bring us back, connect our now with the history of ages.

I need words, I believe in plastering the walls of my home with the truth that I am so prone to walk away from.  I believe in reminders, Ebenezers, things that ground me when I try to spin into madness.

So along those lines, I want to share hymns here on the 20th of the month, some sort of old school, blog worship.

I’ll provide the following:

  • Link to song on youtube (open in new tab)
  • Lyrics and reflections
  • Free 8×10 Printable for your home.

I hope you enjoy this, I know I’m going to love seeing words and truth that tell our story covering walls of our home.

Let’s start now, eh?  First up:  My Favorite Hymn of all time, likely because A) It’s awesome, B) It was my Dad and Rich Mullins’ favorites.


guys this is my first printable, bear with me here.  I pulled out the lines of the song that I need to glance at the most.  When you click on it, it should be a nice, high resolution 8 x 10 that can easily be resized to a smaller frame if you’d like.  

Be Thou My Vision (I’d go play the song now… but that’s just me)

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

Guys this song is a prayer, and those sort of songs are my favorite. The writer isn’t declaring himself as having achieved something lofty, he’s asking God to be his everything,  he isn’t claiming to be there.  This I can get on board with.

He’s asking God to filter the very way he sees the world and all the life humming around him.  My eyes are seeing all the wrong things Lord, will you enter into what my eyes gather of the world?

Dear Lord,  be our vision
Our Best Thought
Ever with us
Better than money and recognition is Jesus, the best thing we can think as we move through our day.

Yes please.  And Amen.

  • Stephanie B.

    We sang this song at our wedding right after we talked about how maybe marriage isn’t meant solely to make us happy, but more to make us holy and more like Jesus. Be our vision, we certainly can’t do that alone.

    • Leanne Penny

      Stephanie that is so beautiful. This song has such rich history.

      Over and over this song has reminded me that I can’t love unconditionally, see the people in need on my own. I need God directly in my eyeballs.

  • Louise Bates

    I sang this hymn for my college voice class final, and my husband and I sang it with all of our guests at our wedding. Still one of my all-time favorite hymns. Thank you for sharing it with us today! I do love [some of] the old hymns. The richness of the words and thoughtfulness behind the music is so deep.

    • Leanne Penny

      Yes I am with you with the loving (some of) them too. Bringing in the Sheaves for example? Does nothing for me 😉
      But this and “It is well”? They have a place in both my history… and my future…

  • Jo Inglis

    I guess if it had come back into vogue we would have sung it at our wedding. But I have sung it many times over the years since. Preciously through hard stuff when the words have forged their truth deep within and I can lose myself in the beauty of their truth when singing. I get so very defensive when people dismiss it as a dirge (& it’s one hymn where I can usually push through even when it’s being played like a dirge because of those words!)
    Looking forward to see what other hymns/songs you pick out.

  • Daniel McDonald

    Thank you. One of my favorite hymns.

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  • Janelle Keith

    Love this post, thank you for putting our confusion into words and directing our thoughts towards freedom in Christ, and that freedom is something to celebrate everyday!