My first experience with RUF was the summer conference at Panama City Beach in 1994. I have very fond memories of that trip. That conference was also my first exposure to RUF music. I had been in youth groups, sung on praise teams, and listened to countless hours of contemporary Christian music, but RUF music was distinctly different. The melodies were easy to sing and beautiful to listen to, but the words were absolutely wonderful. The first two RUF hymns that I learned were Psalm 130 and Give to the Wind Thy Fears. Here is the first stanza of Psalm 130:
From the depths of woe I raise to Thee
The voice of lamentation;
Lord, turn a gracious ear to me
And hear my supplication;
If Thou iniquities dost mark,
Our secret sins and misdeeds dark,
O who shall stand before Thee?
And Give to the Wind Thy Fears:
Give to the winds thy fears,
Hope and be undismayed.
God hears thy sighs and counts thy tears,
God will lift up,
God will lift up
God will lift up thy head
These hymns were so moving. I was so impressed by the rich vocabulary. These were not typical praise songs. I couldn’t wait to learn more. What I discovered was that there was a move within RUF to bring old hymns, many almost forgotten, back into use, some with new music. Men such as Chris Miner, Darwin Jordan, and Brian Habig were instrumental in this new venture. Kevin Twit helped take the RUF hymns to a much wider audience. Continue reading