Sunday, April 25, 2021

Cowboy Church #116

 Hello my friends and welcome back for another service of Cowboy Church. 

Today's musical selection begins with The Foggy Mountain Quartet with Are You Washed in the Blood of the Lamb. This hymn was written by Elisha Albright Hoffman (Leaning on the Everlasting Arms, Glory to His Name) in 1878. It first appeared in his book, Spiritual Songs for Gospel Meetings and the Sunday School. Yet it was strangely dropped from later versions of this book. Here being performed by some of the all time greats of bluegrass music, the song truly shines. When most people think of Ken Curtis, they think of the comedic Festus from the Gunsmoke TV show. However the man was also a really good singer and had at a time been a member of The Sons of the Pioneers. Here he sings a lovely version of Prairie Serenade in the movie That Texas Jamboree (1946). The actress he is singing to Jean Marie (“Jeff”) Donnell. Ken himself co-wrote this song with  Lee Penny. Up next is George Jones with Just a Little Talk With Jesus.  This song was written by Rev. Cleavant Derricks, who served as a pastor of a small town African-American church in Alabama. During the great depression the church needed hymnals but couldn't quite afford them. Cleavant contacted a publishing company (Stamps-Baxter) with some hymns he had written in hopes that he could make enough money to afford hymnals for his church. The company did not want most of these song but took interest in this song. It is said he received fifty hymnals in exchange for the rights for this song. The company published this song in 1936 and it has gone on to become a gospel favorite of many music fans. Next comes Roy Rogers performing Peace in the Valley. This song was written by Thomas A. Dorsey in 1937. He later described writing this song, “It was just before Hitler sent his war chariots into Western Europe in the late 1930s. I was on a train going through southern Indiana and saw horses, cows and sheep all grazing together in this little valley. Everything seemed so peaceful. It made me question, 'What’s the matter with mankind? Why can’t men live in peace?' Out of those thoughts came 'Peace in the Valley.'" This is followed by Gene Autry and Dinah Shore singing In the Garden. This song was written by C. Austin Miles. As well as a hymnist, Austin's hobby was photography. He wrote this song in 1912 while waiting some film to dry in a cold and leaky basement. Miles had discovered earlier that he could read the bible in the red lighting of his darkroom and often did. This day he was reading John 20. He read about how Mary went into the garden to see Jesus' tomb. Her heart was full of sadness, but when she learned that Jesus had overcome the grave she was moved to great joy. This passage moved Miles as he read it, and this song started to come to him. Miles originally intended this song to be an Easter song and for it to be from the point of view of Mary Magdalene. Miles would later say about this song, “This is not an experience limited to a happening almost 2,000 years ago. It is the daily companionship with the Lord that makes up the Christian’s life.” Learning this story has made this song all the more powerful for me and I hope it enhances the power of this great hymn for you as well. Next is the Oak Ridge Boys singing I'd Rather Have Jesus. This song began as a poem by Mrs. Rhea F. Miller. Singer George Beverly Shea's mother often left poems or notes around the house for her son. One day as he was preparing for a morning Church service, his mother left this poem for him. He found himself deeply moved and and wrote music for the words. He later stated, "Over the years, I’ve not sung any song more than 'I’d Rather Have Jesus,' but I never tire of Mrs. Miller’s heartfelt words.” Today's musical selection ends with The Sons of the Pioneers with their 1948 recording of Read the Bible Everyday. This song was written by Tim Spencer, one of the group's founding members. 

Psalm 31

1In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;
    let me never be put to shame;
    deliver me in your righteousness.
2 Turn your ear to me,
    come quickly to my rescue;
be my rock of refuge,
    a strong fortress to save me.
3 Since you are my rock and my fortress,
    for the sake of your name lead and guide me.
4 Keep me free from the trap that is set for me,
    for you are my refuge.
5 Into your hands I commit my spirit;
    deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.

6 I hate those who cling to worthless idols;
    as for me, I trust in the Lord.
7 I will be glad and rejoice in your love,
    for you saw my affliction
    and knew the anguish of my soul.
8 You have not given me into the hands of the enemy
    but have set my feet in a spacious place.

9 Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in distress;
    my eyes grow weak with sorrow,
    my soul and body with grief.
10 My life is consumed by anguish
    and my years by groaning;
my strength fails because of my affliction,[b]
    and my bones grow weak.
11 Because of all my enemies,
    I am the utter contempt of my neighbors
and an object of dread to my closest friends—
    those who see me on the street flee from me.
12 I am forgotten as though I were dead;
    I have become like broken pottery.
13 For I hear many whispering,
    “Terror on every side!”
They conspire against me
    and plot to take my life.

14 But I trust in you, Lord;
    I say, “You are my God.”
15 My times are in your hands;
    deliver me from the hands of my enemies,
    from those who pursue me.
16 Let your face shine on your servant;
    save me in your unfailing love.
17 Let me not be put to shame, Lord,
    for I have cried out to you;
but let the wicked be put to shame
    and be silent in the realm of the dead.
18 Let their lying lips be silenced,
    for with pride and contempt
    they speak arrogantly against the righteous.

19 How abundant are the good things
    that you have stored up for those who fear you,
that you bestow in the sight of all,
    on those who take refuge in you.
20 In the shelter of your presence you hide them
    from all human intrigues;
you keep them safe in your dwelling
    from accusing tongues.

21 Praise be to the Lord,
    for he showed me the wonders of his love
    when I was in a city under siege.
22 In my alarm I said,
    “I am cut off from your sight!”
Yet you heard my cry for mercy
    when I called to you for help.

23 Love the Lord, all his faithful people!
    The Lord preserves those who are true to him,
    but the proud he pays back in full.
24 Be strong and take heart,
    all you who hope in the Lord.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Proverbs 30:5

A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs15:1

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. John 3:16-18

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved, Romans 10:9

Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Hebrews 7:25

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

"...Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

Thank you joining me come back next week for another service of Cowboy Church. Happy Trails to you until we meet again. 


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