Sunday, September 22, 2019

Sunday Songs of Grateful Praise

I love this old hymn. Although the story behind it is heart-breaking, the truth of the words has stood the test of time. I've sung this song many times at church, at memorial services and when I needed the reminder that it really is well with my soul.

Horatio G. Spafford was a successful lawyer and businessman in Chicago with a lovely family - a wife, Anna, and five children. However, they were not strangers to tears and tragedy. Their young son died with pneumonia in eighteen-seventy-one, and in that same year, much of their business was lost in the great Chicago fire. Yet, God in His mercy and kindness allowed the business to flourish once more.

In November of eighteen seventy-three, the French ocean liner, Ville du Havre was crossing the Atlantic from the U.S. to Europe with three hundred thirteen passengers on board. Among the passengers were Mrs. Spafford and their four daughters. Although Mr. Spafford had planned to go with his family, he found it necessary to stay in Chicago to help solve an unexpected business problem. He told his wife he would join her and their children in Europe a few days later. His plan was to take another ship.

About four days into the crossing of the Atlantic, the Ville du Harve collided with a powerful, iron-hulled Scottish ship, the Loch Earn. Suddenly, all of those on board were in grave danger. Anna hurriedly brought her four children to the deck. She knelt there with Annie, Margaret Lee, Bessie and Tanetta and prayed that God would spare them if that could be His will, or to make them willing to endure whatever awaited them. Within approximately twelve minutes, the Ville du Harve slipped beneath the dark waters of the Atlantic, carrying with it two hundred twenty six of the passengers including the four Spafford children.

A sailor, rowing a small boat over the spot where the ship went down, spotted a woman floating on a piece of the wreckage. It was Anna, still alive. He pulled her into the boat and they were picked up by another large vessel which, nine days later, landed them in Cardiff, Wales. From there she wired her husband a message which began, “Saved alone, what shall I do?” Mr. Spafford later framed the telegram and placed it in his office.

Another of the ship’s survivors, Pastor Weiss, later recalled Anna saying, 'God gave me four daughters. Now they have been taken from me. Someday I will understand why.'

Mr. Spafford booked passage on the next available ship and left to join his grieving wife. With the ship about four days out, the captain called Spafford to his cabin and told him they were over the place where his children went down.

According to Bertha Spafford Vester, a daughter born after the tragedy, Spafford wrote “It Is Well With My Soul” while on this journey.


When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blessed assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trumpet shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

 
Anna gave birth to three more children, one of which died at age four with dreaded pneumonia. In August eighteen-eighty-one, the Spaffords moved to Jerusalem. Mr. Spafford died and is buried in that city.

And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding,
shall keep your hearts, your minds through Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:7.

Song: 'It Is Well With My Soul'
Written by Horatio G. Spafford

You can hear a beautiful rendition of this song here.

When the world seems upside-down, what a comfort to know that it is well with my soul!
 
With A Grateful Heart,
Adrienne

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Sunday Songs of Grateful Praise


That's me with my dad! I had an incredibly wonderful, loving, kind, gentle and Godly father. He was a preacher and anyone who knew him knew he always lived what he preached. And that's true - what you saw in public was the man he was at home. He was a good father - and I was blessed!

Quite a few years ago a new song appeared in worship music in churches around the world. It had special meaning to me and I immediately identified with it. You see, the way we visualize God is often influenced by our relationship with our earthly fathers. That was true of me. The Heavenly Father described in this song touched my heart deeply because my earthly father taught me by his example that I can trust my Heavenly Father.  He taught me that God means what He says. He taught me that God loves me more than anyone on earth will ever love me and His love will never fail. He taught me that God is good, even when it seems things are wrong or unfair - because God is a good, good Father.

I've sung this song many times as I've walked through tough times. It's always a reminder and a comfort and it brings reassurance and peace to my troubled heart. As my father was about to leave this world I sat beside his bed in the middle of the night and sang this song. I sang it repeatedly through the last days of my dear mother's life and I sang it again recently as I faced a serious health crisis. The words are true - God is a good, good Father. No matter what things look like. When life is good and all is well. In those in-between times when you don't know what's going to happen. In the hard times that seem as if they will tear you apart. God is good all the time! I know it's true because He has proved it to me over and over again. He's a good, good Father - that's who He is. And I'm loved by Him - that's who I am!

Oh, I've heard a thousand stories of what they think you're like
But I've heard the tender whisper of love in the dead of night
And you tell me that you're pleased
And that I'm never alone

You're a Good, Good Father
It's who you are, it's who you are, it's who you are
And I'm loved by you
It's who I am, it's who I am, it's who I am

Oh, and I've seen many searching for answers far and wide
But I know we're all searching
For answers only you provide
'Cause you know just what we need
Before we say a word

You're a Good, Good Father
It's who you are, it's who you are, it's who you are
And I'm loved by you
It's who I am, it's who I am, it's who I am

'Cause you are perfect in all of your ways
You are perfect in all of your ways
You are perfect in all of your ways to us

You are perfect in all of your ways
You are perfect in all of your ways
You are perfect in all of your ways to us

Oh, it's love so undeniable
I, I can hardly speak
Peace so unexplainable
I, I can hardly think

As you call me deeper still
As you call me deeper still
As you call me deeper still
Into love, love, love

You're a Good, Good Father
It's who you are, it's who you are, it's who you are
And I'm loved by you
It's who I am, it's who I am, it's who I am

You're a Good, Good Father
It's who you are, it's who you are, it's who you are
And I'm loved by you
It's who I am, it's who I am, it's who I am

You're a Good, Good Father
It's who you are, it's who you are, it's who you are
And I'm loved by you
It's who I am, it's who I am, it's who I am

You're a Good, Good Father
(You are perfect in all of your ways)
It's who you are, it's who you are, it's who you are
And I'm loved by you
(You are perfect in all of your ways)
It's who I am, it's who I am it's who I am 
  
So if you sinful people know

how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your heavenly Father
give good gifts to those who ask him.

Matthew 7:11
(New Living Translation)
Song: 'Good, Good Father'
Sung by Chris Tomlin
Written by Pat Barrett and Tony Brown

(you can hear the song here)

With A Grateful Heart,
Adrienne

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Sunday Songs of Praise


The splendor of the King
Clothed in majesty
Let all the earth rejoice
All the earth rejoice
He wraps Himself in light
And darkness tries to hide
And trembles at His voice
And trembles at His voice

How great is our God
Sing with me
How great is our God
And all will see how great
How great is our God

And age to age He stands
And time is in His hands
Beginning and the End
Beginning and the End
The Godhead three in one
Father Spirit Son
The Lion and the Lamb
The Lion and the Lamb

Name above all names
Worthy of all praise
My heart will sing
How great is our God

 
Blessed are you, God of Israel,
our father
from of old and forever.
To you, O God, belong the greatness and the might,
    the glory, the victory,
the majesty, the splendor;

Yes! Everything in heaven, everything on earth;
    the kingdom all yours!
You’ve raised yourself high over all.

Riches and glory come from you,
    you’re ruler over all;
You hold strength and power in the palm of your hand
    to build up and strengthen all.
And here we are, O God, our God,
giving thanks to you,

    praising your splendid Name.
I Chronicles 29:11-13 (The Message)


Song: ' How Great Is Our God'
by Chris Tomlin
You can listen to the song here

With A Grateful Heart, Adrienne