All posts by Ken

Ken Puls is a follower of Jesus, husband, father, worship leader, pastor and song writer. Over the past 27 years of ministry he has composed over 50 songs and hymns. He directs the music and media ministries at Grace Baptist Church, Cape Coral, FL.

Visited by Neighbors

Mrs. Timorous and Mercy come to visit

But while they were thus about to be gone, two of the women that were Christiana’s neighbors came up to her house, and knocked at her door. To whom she said, as before, “If you come in God’s name, come in.” At this the women were stunned; for this kind of language they used not to hear, or to perceive to drop from the lips of Christiana. Yet they came in; but behold, they found the good woman preparing to be gone from her house.

So they began, and said, “Neighbor, pray what is your meaning by this?”

Christiana answered and said to the eldest of them, whose name was Mrs. Timorous, “I am preparing for a journey.” (This Timorous was daughter to him that met Christian upon the Hill Difficulty, and would have had him go back for fear of the lions.)

Timorous: “For what journey, I pray you?”

Christiana: “Even to go after my good husband. And with that she fell a-weeping.”

Timorous: “I hope not so, good neighbor. Pray, for your poor children’s sakes, do not so unwomanly cast away yourself.”

Christiana: “Nay, my children shall go with me; not one of them is willing to stay behind.”

Timorous: “I wonder, in my very heart, what or who has brought you into this mind.”

Christiana: “Oh, neighbor, knew you but as much as I do, I doubt not but that you would go with me.”

Timorous: Prithee, what new knowledge have you got that so turns your thoughts from your friends, and that tempts you to go nobody knows where?

Then Christiana replied, “I have been sorely afflicted since my husband’s departure from me; but specially since he went over the river. But that which troubles me most is, my churlish carriages to him when he was under his distress. Besides, I am now as he was then; nothing will serve me but going on pilgrimage. I was dreaming last night that I saw him. Oh that my soul was with him! He dwells in the presence of the King of the country; he sits and eats with him at his table; he is become a companion of immortals; and has a house now given him to dwell in, to which the best palaces on earth if compared, seem to me to be but as a dunghill.”

“The Prince of the place has also sent for me, with promise of entertainment if I shall come to him. His messenger was here even now, and has brought me a letter, which invites me to come.” And with that she plucked out her letter, and read it, and said to them, “What now will you say to this?’”

Timorous: “Oh, the madness that has possessed you and your husband, to run yourselves upon such difficulties! You have heard, I am sure, what your husband did meet with, even in a manner at the first step that he took on his way, as our neighbor Obstinate, can yet testify; for he went along with him. Yea, and Pliable too, until they, like wise men, were afraid to go any farther. We also heard, over and above, how he met with the lions, Apollyon, the Shadow of Death, and many other things. Nor is the danger that he met with at Vanity Fair to be forgotten by you. For if he, though a man, was so hard put to it, what can you, being but a poor woman, do? Consider, also, that these four sweet babes are your children, your flesh and your bones. Wherefore, though you should be so rash as to cast away yourself, yet, for the sake of the fruit of your body, keep yourself at home.”

But Christiana said unto her, “Tempt me not, my neighbor; I have now a price put into mine hand to get gain, and I should be a fool of the greatest size if I should have no heart to strike in with the opportunity. And for that you tell me of all these troubles that I am like to meet with in the way, they are so far off from being to me a discouragement, that they show I am in the right. The bitter must come before the sweet; and that also will make the sweet the sweeter. Wherefore, since you came not to my house in God’s name, as I said, I pray you to be gone, and not to disquiet me further.”

Then Timorous also reviled her, and said to her fellow, “Come, neighbor Mercy, let’s leave her in her own hands, since she scorns our counsel and company.”

Notes and Commentary

Soon after Secret wishes Christiana and her children well on their journey, there is another knock at the door. Two neighbors, Mrs. Timorous and Mercy, stop by to visit. Upon hearing the knock, Christiana replies, “If you come in God’s name, come in.” This was the same greeting she had given when Secret came to visit. Secret’s reply was  “Amen,” and “Peace be to this house!” But the two women are stunned by the greeting. These are not the words they expected to hear! They were accustomed to hearing complaints and laments from Christiana. They were expecting her to still be bitter towards God. After all, Christian, her husband, fled Destruction in search of eternal life, though she had cried after him to return. Now Mrs. Timorous and Mercy enter the house and find Christiana and her children preparing to leave on a journey of their own.

Continue reading Notes and Commentary

The text for The Pilgrim’s Progress and images used are public domain.

Notes and Commentary for Part II ©2014, 2021 Ken Puls

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from 
the New King James Version (NKJV) ©1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Return to A Guide to John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress Part 2

Return to A Guide to John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress Main Page

Christiana Prepares for Her Journey

Christiana and her children

Now I saw in my dream, that this old gentleman, as he told me this story, did himself seem to be greatly affected therewith. He moreover, proceeded and said, “So Christiana called her sons together, and began thus to address herself unto them, “My sons, I have, as you may perceive, been of late under much exercise in my soul about the death of your father; not for that I doubt at all of his happiness for I am satisfied now that he is well. I have also been much affected with the thoughts of mine own state and yours, which I verily believe is by nature miserable. My carriages also to your father in his distress is a great load to my conscience; for I hardened both my own heart and yours against him, and refused to go with him on pilgrimage.”

“The thoughts of these things would now kill me outright, but that for a dream which I had last night, and but that for the encouragement that this stranger has given me this morning. Come, my children, let us pack up, and be gone to the gate that leads to the celestial country; that we may see your father, and be with him and his companions in peace, according to the laws of that land.”

Then did her children burst out into tears for joy that the heart of their mother was so inclined. So their visitor bade them farewell: and they began to prepare to set out for their journey.

Notes and Commentary

In Part 1 of The Pilgrim’s Progress, Christiana made a foolish decision to remain in the City of Destruction. She hardened her heart (as well as the hearts of her children) against her husband and refused to follow him on his pilgrimage to the Celestial City. But now in Part 2 her heart is fearful and broken. She fears judgment if she stays. She fears danger if she leaves her home to embark on a journey. Yet she has a persistent hope that she will one day share the same heavenly reward that Christian has attained. Her hope has been strengthened by a visit from Secret (the hidden work of the Spirit upon the heart). And now she holds a Letter close to her heart (assurance that she will be received at the gates to the Celestial City with joy).

Christiana’s sorrows, fears, and hopes are encouraging evidence that grace is stirring in her heart. But sorrows, fears, and hopes are all for naught if she remains in Destruction. In themselves, they provide no refuge from the coming judgment. If she and her family are to be saved, they must “pack up and be gone.” They must find “the gate that leads to the celestial country.” They must find Christ!

Continue reading Notes and Commentary

The text for The Pilgrim’s Progress and images used are public domain.

Notes and Commentary for Part II ©2014, 2021 Ken Puls

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from 
the New King James Version (NKJV) ©1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Return to A Guide to John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress Part 2

Return to A Guide to John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress Main Page

Ten Years Online

Guitar and Mountains

Today (July 30, 2021) marks the ten year anniversary of kenpulsmusic.com. In 2011 I launched a website with a small collection of sheet music featuring hymns and songs that I had written. Today the site features over 2000 resources including:

Take time to visit the site, explore, and share.

The Drop That Grew Into a Torrent

Fountain at Samford University

Charles H. Spurgeon is well known as a great preacher and pastor. He championed the truth of God’s Word and labored to make known the gospel of Jesus Christ. Spurgeon, however, was also a hymn-writer and compiler of hymns. He prepared a collection of hymns for use at the Metropolitan Tabernacle during his ministry. And he composed hymns.

The last hymn written by Spurgeon is included in the second volume of his autobiography, The Full Harvest, reprinted by Banner of Truth in 1973. On pages 426–427 he provides the words to the hymn and the following account:

The hymn was written in the early part of the year 1890, and was inserted in the programme used at the next College Conference. Those who were present, on that occasion, are not likely to forget the thrilling effect produced when five hundred ministers and students joined in singing it to the tune “Nottingham”. At the commencement, all sat and sang; but as they came to the later verses, they spontaneously rose, the time was quickened, and Mr. Manton Smith’s cornet helped to swell the volume of praise expressed by the writer.

The hymn is a glorious expression of praise for God’s grace coming upon a dry and dead sinner, raising him up, and plunging him into the glories of knowing and serving Jesus. The verses form a grand crescendo that reaches its peak in Christ alone.

“I will make the dry lands a spring of living water”

The Drop that Grew into a Torrent
A Personal Experience

1. All my soul was dry and dead
Till I learned that Jesus bled;
Bled and suffered in my place,
Bearing sin in matchless grace.

2. Then a drop of Heavenly love
Fell upon me from above,
And by secret, mystic art
Reached the center of my heart.

3. Glad the story I recount,
How that drop became a fount,
Bubbled up a living well,
Made my heart begin to swell.

4. All within my soul was praise,
Praise increasing all my days;
Praise which could not silent be:
Floods were struggling to be free.

5. More and more the waters grew,
Open wide the flood-gates flew,
Leaping forth in streams of song
Flowed my happy life along.

6. Lo! A river clear and sweet
Laved my glad, obedient feet!
Soon it rose up to my knees,
And I praised and prayed with ease.

7. Now my soul in praises swims,
Bathes in songs, and psalms and hymns;
Plunges down into the deeps,
All her powers in worship steeps.

8. Hallelujah! O my Lord!
Torrents from my soul are poured!
I am carried clean away,
Praising, praising all the day.

9. In an ocean of delight,
Praising God with all my might,
Self is drowned; so let it be:
Only Christ remains to me.

C.H. Spurgeon, 1890

Download music for this hymn:

  • The words set to the tune NOTTINGHAM, sung at the Pastor’s College, based on music by W. A. Mozart (1756-1791)
  • A setting of the tune NOTTINGHAM for Classical Guitar

Originally posted on the Founders site (April 11, 2013).

Brushing Up Your Guitar Playing

Guitar Tracks

If you enjoy classical guitar music and want to brush up on your playing this summer, check out this page:

Student Resources and Music for Classical Guitar

These are some of the exercises and pieces I give to my guitar students at FSW. The pieces are arranged from easiermore challenging, to even more challenging.

New this summer: STUTTGART: A Study in Counterpoint

This study uses the hymn tune STUTTGART and includes playing music in two-parts (bass and melody together), playing tremelo (with melody on top), and playing two-parts with added harmony.

You can download this study or all of the resources for free.

Explore the site for more Music for Classical Guitar.

Visited by Secret

Christiana visited by Secret

Next morning, when she was up, and had prayed to God, and talked with her children awhile, one knocked hard at the door; to whom she spoke out saying, “If you come in God’s name, come in.” So he said, “Amen,” and opened the door, and saluted her with, “Peace be to this house!” The which when he had done, he said, “Christiana, do you know why I am come?’ Then she blushed and trembled; also her heart began to wax warm with desires to know whence he came, and what was his errand to her. So he said unto her, “My name is Secret. I dwell with those that are high. It is talked of where I dwell as if you have a desire to go thither; also there is a report that you are aware of the evil you have formerly done to your husband in hardening of your heart against his way, and in keeping of these your babes in their ignorance. Christiana, the merciful One has sent me to tell you that He is a God ready to forgive; and that He takes delight to multiply pardon to offenses. He also would have you know that he invites you to come into His presence; to His table; and that He will feed you with the fat of his house, and with the heritage of Jacob your father.”

“There is Christian, your husband that was, with legions more, his companions, ever beholding that face that does minister life to beholders; and they will all be glad when they shall hear the sound of your feet step over your Father’s threshold.”

Christiana at this was greatly abashed in herself; and bowed her head to the ground, this visitor proceeded, and said, “Christiana, here is also a letter for you, which I have brought from your husband’s King.” So she took it and opened it; but it smelt after the manner of the best perfume. Also it was written in letters of gold. The contents of the letter was, That the King would have her do as did Christian her husband; for that was the way to come to His City, and to dwell in His presence with joy for ever. At this the good woman was quite overcome. So she cried out to her visitor. “Sir, will you carry me and my children with you, that we also may go and worship this King?”

Then said the visitor, “Christiana! the bitter is before the sweet. You must through troubles, as did he that went before you, enter this Celestial City. Wherefore I advise you to do as did Christian your husband. Go to the wicket gate yonder, over the plain, for that stands in the head of the way up which you must go; and I wish you all good speed. Also I advise that you put this letter in your bosom. That you read therein to yourself and to your children, until you have got it by heart. For it is one of the songs that you must sing while you are in this house of your pilgrimage. Also this you must deliver in at the further gate.”

Notes and Commentary

Upon awakening, Christiana begins the morning in prayer. She knows it will take divine strength and courage if she is to embark on a pilgrimage and leave the only life she has ever known. She then tries to comfort her children, who had heard her distress in the night as she dreamed. Christiana’s dreams bring to mind many grave concerns.

Continue reading Notes and Commentary

The text for The Pilgrim’s Progress and images used are public domain.

Notes and Commentary for Part II ©2014, 2021 Ken Puls

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from 
the New King James Version (NKJV) ©1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Return to A Guide to John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress Part 2

Return to A Guide to John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress Main Page

Christiana’s Dreams

Christian praising with the harp in heaven

The next night Christiana had a dream; and behold, she saw as if a broad parchment was opened before her, in which were recorded the sum of her ways; and the times, as she thought, looked very black upon her. Then she cried out aloud in her sleep, “Lord, have mercy upon me, a sinner!” 

And the little children heard her.

After this she thought she saw two very ill favored ones standing by her bedside, and saying, “What shall we do with this woman; for she cries out for mercy waking and sleeping? If she be suffered to go on as she begins, we shall lose her as we have lost her husband. Wherefore we must, by one way or other, seek to take her off from the thoughts of what shall be hereafter; else all the world cannot help it but she will become a pilgrim.”

Now she awoke in a great sweat, also a trembling was upon her; but after awhile she fell to sleeping again. And then she thought she saw Christian her husband in a place of bliss, among many immortals, with a harp in his hand, standing and playing upon it before One that sat on a throne, with a rainbow about his head. She saw also as if he bowed his head with his face to the paved work that was under the Prince’s feet, saying, “I heartily thank my Lord and King for bringing of me into this place.” Then shouted a company of them that stood around about, and harped with their harps; but no man living could tell what they said but Christian and his companions.

Notes and Commentary

Bunyan relates the entirety of The Pilgrim’s Progress, both Part 1 and Part 2, “under the similitude of a dream.” But now he uses dreams within his story to give us more insight into Christiana’s distress. As she lies down to sleep, her thoughts are unsettled. Though grace has begun to stir in her heart, she is still troubled with guilt and fears.

Continue reading Notes and Commentary

The text for The Pilgrim’s Progress and images used are public domain

Notes and Commentary for Part II ©2014, 2021 Ken Puls

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from 
the New King James Version (NKJV) ©1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Return to A Guide to John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress Part 2

Return to A Guide to John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress Main Page

Classical Guitar Hymn Collections for Holy Week

Classical Guitar in front of mountain and sunrise

If you are a guitarist looking for music to play this Easter weekend, here are two hymn collections for you to enjoy:

Classical Guitar Hymns for Good Friday

Classical Guitar Hymns for Easter Sunday

The hymn transcriptions in these collections are free downloads (PDF) and can be used for accompanying congregational singing, as well as playing prelude or offertory music. You can also simply play them for your own enjoyment. 

Go to the hymn collection and click on the hymn title to view or download the free sheet music.

You are welcome to copy and share these hymns with friends and fellow guitar enthusiasts. Please copy the full page with the website address and the “Used by Permission” notice at the bottom (see Permissions).

For additional music, visit:

Hymns for Classical Guitar

Christmas Music for Classical Guitar

Wedding Music for Classical Guitar

Music for Flute and Classical Guitar

More Music for Classical Guitar 

Stirrings of Grace in a Time of Sorrow

Christiana's Sorrow

This Christiana (for that was her name from the day that she, with her children, betook themselves to a pilgrim’s life), after her husband was gone over the river, and she could hear of him no more, her thoughts began to work in her mind.

First, for that she had lost her husband, and for that the loving bond of that relation was utterly broken between them; for you know, said he to me, nature can do no less but entertain the living with many a heavy cogitation in the remembrance of the loss of loving relations. 

This, therefore, of her husband did cost her many a tear. But this was not all; for Christiana did also begin to consider with herself, whether her unbecoming behavior towards her husband was not one cause that she saw him no more, and that in such sort he was taken away from her. 

And upon this, came into her mind by swarms, all her unkind, unnatural, and ungodly carriages to her dear friend, which also clogged her conscience, and did load her with guilt. 

She was, moreover, much broken with calling to remembrance the restless groans, brinish tears, and self-bemoanings of her husband; and how she did harden her heart against all his entreaties and loving persuasions, of her and her sons, to go with him; yea, there was not anything that Christian either said to her, or did before her, all the while that his burden did hang on his back, but it returned upon her like a flash of lightning, and rent her heart in sunder. Specially, that bitter outcry of his, ‘What must I do to be saved?’ did ring in her ears most dolefully.

Then said she to her children, “Sons, we are all undone. I have sinned away your father, and he is gone; he would have had us with him, but I would not go myself. I also have hindered you of life.” With that the boys fell all into tears, and cried out to go after their father. “Oh,” said Christiana, “that it had been but our lot to go with him; then had it fared well with us beyond what it is like to do now! For though I formerly foolishly imagined concerning the troubles of your father, that they proceeded of a foolish fancy that he had, or for that he was overrun with melancholy humors; yet now it will not out of my mind, but that they sprang from another cause, to wit, for that the Light of life was given him; by the help of which, as I perceive, he has escaped the snares of death.”

Then they all wept again, and cried out, “Oh, woe worth the day!”

Notes and Commentary

Mr. Sagacity’s account of Christiana’s story begins with a salient turn of fortune. In Part 1 of The Pilgrim’s Progress, when Christian spoke of his wife and children, it was with a broken heart. At House Beautiful he shared with Charity his attempts to convince his family to flee Destruction and go with him on his journey. But, he lamented, “my wife was afraid of losing this world, and my children were given to the foolish delights of youth.” Now, following Christian’s death, as Christiana remembers her husband, it is likewise with a broken heart. Though she “did harden her heart against all his entreaties and loving persuasions,” all that he did and said has “returned upon her like a flash of lightning, and rent her heart in sunder [i.e. laid bare her heart].” She had refused to leave the City of Destruction, yet now she betakes (commits) to embark on a “pilgrim’s life.”

Continue reading Notes and Commentary

The text for The Pilgrim’s Progress
and images used are public domain
Notes and Commentary for Part II ©2014, 2021 Ken Puls

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from 
the New King James Version (NKJV) ©1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Return to A Guide to John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress Part 2

Return to A Guide to John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress Main Page

News About Christian’s Wife and Children

Christiana and Children

But pray, sir, while it is fresh in my mind, do you hear anything of his wife and children? Poor hearts! I wonder in my mind what they do.

Sagacity: Who? Christiana and her sons! They are like to do as well as did Christian himself; for though they all played the fool at the first, and would by no means be persuaded by either the tears or entreaties of Christian, yet second thoughts have wrought wonderfully with them; so they have packed up, and are also gone after him.

“Better and better,” said I. “But what! Wife and children and all?”

Sagacity: ‘Tis true. I can give you an account of the matter; for I was upon the spot at the instant, and was thoroughly acquainted with the whole affair.

“Then,” said I, “a man, it seems, may report it for a truth?”

Sagacity: You need not fear to affirm it. I mean, that they are all gone on pilgrimage, both the good woman and her four boys; and being we are, as I perceive, going some considerable way together, I will give you an account of the whole of the matter.

Notes and Commentary

The conversation between Bunyan and Mr. Sagacity now turns to Christian’s family. Perhaps the most perplexing question left unanswered in Part 1 of The Pilgrim’s Progress is: What became of Christian’s wife and children who remained behind in the City of Destruction? 

Continue reading Notes and Commentary

The text for The Pilgrim’s Progress
and images used are public domain
Notes and Commentary for Part II ©2014, 2021 Ken Puls

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from 
the New King James Version (NKJV) ©1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Return to A Guide to John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress Part 2

Return to A Guide to John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress Main Page