Here’s a testimony from last week’s blog titled “Don’t Give Up.”
Anonymous — “For sure that is one of my favorite songs no one can tell it like you can tell it. When we often look back over our lives there’s a shout in every memory, A praise for every victory, and a Hallelujah for how he has brought us through, there might’ve been a pause in your life or a delay but it doesn’t mean you won’t reach your destiny keep calling on Jesus and look up.”
And, in conclusion, that is the blog for today because this wraps the matter up nicely … just kidding.
I may have shared already, this semester I had a course called “An Introduction to Christianity: Defining Moments of a Faith. It was superb with Dr. Brian Clark! We had a couple of assignments where we were to share our favorite hymn(s) explaining some of what it means to you. Here’s one of my favorites and its significance in my life.
Please share the names of your favorite songs, should you have time this week or whenever, and perhaps why or what they mean to you!!!
“Listening to or singing hymns are tools I use to draw closer to God. I believe its one of God’s ways he designed to draw nearer to us. When I initially started to post my favorite song it was going to be Great is Thy Faithfulness because it is at the top of my list of songs. However, as I was doing a little digging and reading on it, I discovered a song that I do not listen to often but its one of the songs I clearly remember when I was in about the second or third grade and was probably one of the first songs that made me think more deeply and intimately about God and my relationship with him. Its called “In the Garden.” In verse 1, the song makes me think about spending time alone with God in the garden and especially early in the morning since the dew is still on the roses, a type of paradise similar to where he placed Adam and Eve. In this garden, time starts out endlessly but by the three stanza he tells me I have to go back out into the cold world of reality. Question/Side Bar: Anybody ever feel like me, when you are in your church worshipping you are so close to God, you do not want to leave the premises?
“In the Garden” was the most requested hymn for inclusion in The United Methodist Hymnal according to Carlton Young. “In the Garden” (sometimes rendered by its first line “I Come to the Garden Alone”) is a gospel song written by American songwriter C. Austin Miles (1868–1946), a former pharmacist who served as editor and manager at Hall-Mack publishers for 37 years. According to Miles’ great-granddaughter, the song was written “in a cold, dreary and leaky basement in Pitman, New Jersey that didn’t even have a window in it let alone a view of a garden.” The song was first published in 1912 and popularized during the Billy Sunday evangelistic campaigns of the early twentieth century by two members of his staff, Homer Rodeheaver and Virginia Asher.
The song has been recorded by popular folks over the times such as Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Doris Day and the husband and wife team of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. I have chosen to share it sung by two African Americans. 1st Mahalia Jackson, 20th century recording artist known as the Queen of Gospel and is revered as one of the greatest musical figures in U.S. History. She was a colleague of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and she sung at the John F. Kennedy inauguration. “I sing God’s music because it makes me feel free”, Jackson once said about her choice of gospel, adding, “It gives me hope. With the blues, when you finish, you still have the blues.” The second rendition is by Marvin Sapp. Pastor Marvin Louis Sapp (born January 28, 1967) is an American Gospel music singer-songwriter who has been nominated and won several Gospel Music awards which are similar to the Grammys.
BTW – in today’s contemporary world, we hear the term Praise and Worship songs more often than hymns in many churches and denominations. Music has come a long way and is such an integral part of many worship experiences. There use to be churches, and a few may still exist, where songs are sung acapella (meaning without musical accompaniment). There may also be churches where there is no music but it would be a minority such as Quakerism. “In the early days of Quakerism, music was rejected as part of worship. As the early Quakers tried to distance themselves from the practices of the English Church at the time, they also distanced themselves from the traditions of singing music, even Psalms. The practice was at times also viewed as frivolous, and not in line with the value of Simplicity.”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2eSfKqMRbALinks to an external site.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uttIAHmW_8Links to an external site.
“In the Garden.”
- I come to the garden alone, While the dew is still on the roses, And the voice I hear falling on my ear, The Son of God discloses.
And He walks with me, and He talks with me, And He tells me I am His own; And the joy we share as we tarry there, None other has ever known.
- He speaks, and the sound of His voice, Is so sweet the birds hush their singing, And the melody that He gave to me Within my heart is ringing.
- I’d stay in the garden with Him Though the night around me be falling, But He bids me go; through the voice of woe His voice to me is calling.
1 Chronicles 16:8 Oh give thanks to the LORD, call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples.
Psalm 103:1-5 Bless the LORD, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases; read more.
Hebrews 13:15 – Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.
169 Bible Verses about Praise … https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Praise
Dear Lord, we thank you for walking with us through the gardens of our lives. We thank you for the lovely bouquets of people you have connected us with who helped us on our journey. From our dearest friends and mentors to our greatest ‘haters.’ Your word says in James 1:2 “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds.” Father you know we have certainly been tested on this account. Though we thank you for our tests, for without them we would not have our testimonies, I ask and pray that you would keep us in perfect peace with our minds, hearts and souls steadfast on you. The devils wants to sift us like he did Peter. And, we thank you that, though he comes to steal, kill and destroy, Jesus came that we might have abundant life. We thank you also that like Peter, Jesus is praying for all of us. Help us to remember to pray for others … actually, it loosens us from our burdens when we think, pray and help others. These prayers we ask in Jesus name, Amen.
Reminder: The National Day of Prayer, May 4, 2017
Love, Joy and Peace,
Debra J. Ellis
Reminder AND/OR for those of you just joining us either by contacting me or I personally added you: The purpose of Fast Wednesdays is to draw near to God on this specific day of the week fasting and praying in whatever manner the Holy Spirit is leading you as sisters in Christ…some have fasted from social media, coffee, or observed a traditional fast with no eating from sunrise to sunset with only liquids for the day, no deserts, etc. I know many of us for various reasons participate every week but in different manners. This has still been beneficial and the sisterhood continues to grow!
The key ingredient is that we are doing this together as sisters, of all ages, in the Lord both chronologically and spiritually in accordance to: A God-Filled Life Titus 2:3-5 “Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don’t want anyone looking down on God’s Message because of their behavior.” Note: Please share Fast Wednesdays with your friends and/or send me names to add to the distribution list. For now, I will post in three places: email (firstname.lastname@example.org), Facebook (Debra Fuller Ellis) and blog.