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.
1In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;
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.