Musical Countdown to Christmas: Joy to the World by Isaac Watts

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Welcome to my musical countdown to Christmas, Day 5. You may also want to read about the carols and composers from Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, and Day 4. Don’t forget to leave a comment for an opportunity to win my gift of the day.

Who was Isaac Watts?

  • Born on July 17, 1674 in Southampton, England
  • He complained to his father that the songs of the church were hard to sing; his father told him to write something better
  • Learned Greek, Hebrew, and Latin
  • 1696 became a tutor
  • 1702 became a pastor
  • Struggled with poor health
  • Wrote books on geography, astronomy, grammar, and philosophy, but he’s most famous for the more than 700 hymns/poems which he wrote both for adults and children. Most of his poetry and hymns were based on Scripture passages.
  • Considered the “Father of English hymnody”
  • Awarded a Doctor of Divinity degree by the University of Edinburg

The story behind Joy to the World

  • Written in 1719 under a tree on the Abney Estate near London, England
  • Based on Psalm 98
  • Original theme of the song was the second coming of Jesus
  • Watt’s poem was set to music over 100 years later by Lowell Mason

Historical context (1719)

  • Daniel Defoe published Robinson Crusoe
  • First recorded sighting of the northern lights (Aurora Borealis) in New England

Looking for more details?

My gift for today

Leave a comment below to be entered in a draw for the devotional book, Rise. This book has 32 weeks of devotionals for students in their first year of college, written by ninety-two different authors.

Rise by Ruth L Snyder


Book Signing information from Heaven Sent

New Paperback and July 30 Book Signing

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The author team of “The San Francisco Wedding Planner” will be releasing the “Complete Series” ebook & paperback this Thursday evening!
Who is on the author team? Jen Cudmore,Patti J. Smith, Mishael Austin Witty, Sheila Seiler Lagrand,and Ruth L. Snyder!
Heather Donovan has no time for her own romance—she’s busy making wedding dreams come true for other people and trying to reel her lonely and lovesick widowed mom Gloria back from beyond the brink of good taste. Her receptionist, Raul, is as interested in his hair style as he is in the clients. Indigo, the wedding photographer, never goes anywhere without his beret—or his attitude. Toss in Skye, the mommy-track best friend who wants to breathe organic air, Mario, the talented, hotheaded caterer with an eye for the ladies, and a tall, dark, and handsome stranger visiting the office on the eve of the busiest weekend ever, and you have a recipe for disaster. Or love. Or maybe both? Along the way discover how duck-hunter ice sculptures end up as rehearsal dinner décor at an upscale hotel, why the young doctor has a broken heart, and whose will prevails when the photographer challenges a young couple’s vision of the perfect wedding.

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On July 30th I’ll be at Heaven Sent in St. Paul from noon to 4 pm to meet you and sign copies of the books to which I’ve contributed. Copies of Rise, The Kathi Macias 12 Days of Christmas, and The San Francisco Wedding Planner will be available for purchase at special prices. I look forward to seeing you there!