Sunday, May 2, 2021

Cowboy Church #117

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

Today's musical selection begins with Charley Pride singing In Jesus' Name I Pray. This song comes from his 1976 album, Sunday Morning With Charley Pride (his second all gospel album). Up next is Johnny Cash singing All of God's Children Ain't Free. This song is from the 1965 album, Orange Blossom Special. In his Johnny Cash biography, The Man Called Cash, Steve Turner calls this "Cash's most folk-inspired album." This is no coincidence  as John's heart was drifting heavily towards the current folk scene at this time. He had preformed at the Newport Folk Festival was spending much time with Bob Dylan, was recording songs by current folk songwriters such as Peter La Farge, and was addressing politics and social commentary in his music in a way he did much less often in the 1950's. This album contained three songs written by Bob as well as some more traditional folk music. This song (written by John himself) was a protest song of the type that was popular in the folk work at this time. This is followed by Mel Tillis singing How Great Thou Art. Around 1886 Swedish pastor, Carl Boberg is said to have been caught in a violent thunderstorm. When soon after he saw the sun return and birds singing, he fell to his knees in amazement of God's incredible majesty. He then wrote the words to this song as a poem. Supposedly serval years later he was surprised to hear a congregation singing his poem to an old Swedish folk melody. Its first English translation was in 1925 by E. Gustav Johnson. However this version simply never caught on and has faded into obscurity. In 1927 it received a Russian version by Ivan S. Prokhanoff. This version inspired English missionary Stuart K. Hine, who began writing his own version. When Hine returned back to England in 1939, he brought this song with him and it is this version that we know so well today. The hymn reached a new popularity with Billy Graham's crusades. George Beverly Shea later remembered, "We first sang in the Toronto, Canada, Crusade of 1955. Cliff Barrows and his large volunteer choir assisted in the majestic refrains. Soon after, we used it in the ‘Hour of Decision’ [radio broadcasts] and in American crusades. In the New York meetings of 1957 the choir joined me in singing it ninety-three times!" Next comes Roy Rogers singing Read the Bible and Pray. Though this song's advise may sound obvious, it is still something that even the most devoted Christians need to be remind of sometimes. The more time we spend in God's word and in prayer, the more we become in tune with the things of God. Yet when we skip or overlook these things our mind drifts away from the things of God. It is so easy to fall into this trap (I know I have), but by doing these two simple things we can avoid it and keep our minds set on the things of God. Afterwards is Hank Williams singing The Battle of Armageddon. Hank recorded this song in 1949, but it was not released until after Hank's death. The song was written by Roy Acuff (a legendary country singer in his own right) and Odell McLeod. However the song truly has the feel of a Hank song. Though his best known gospel work is the upbeat and fast paced, I Saw the Light, Hank recorded a lot of songs filled with dark and moody imagery based off the book of Revelation. This is followed by The Monroe Brothers with their 1936 recording of My Savior's Train. This is followed by The Charlie Daniels Band with A Day in the Life, an original song from their 1996 Christian album, Steel Witness. Today's musical selection ends with The Sons of the Pioneers with their 1947 recording of The Old Rugged Cross. The song dates back to 1913 and was written by evangelist, George Bennard. Actually the first verse was written in 1912. It was written while Bennard was a part of a series of revival meetings in Albion, Michigan. He was worried about the complete disregard for the gospel around him and wrote this verse as a repose. Of writing it Bennard said, "I seemed to have a vision ... I saw the Christ and the cross inseparable." The song wouldn't be completed for several months, when he was leading meetings at a local church in Pokagan, Michigan. He played it for Rev. Leroy (the sponsoring pastor) and his wife, Ruby Bostwick, both of whom found themselves moved to tears. It was then incorporated into a service at that church on June 7, 1913. The song has the same effect today as it must have back then.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6

 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God  not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

 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

He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized. Acts 16:30-33

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. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. Romans 10:9-10

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other. “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’ “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me. And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning. John 15:1-27

Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. Proverbs 15:22

Do everything without grumbling or arguing. Philippians 2:14

And he believed the Lord and He accounted it to him for righteousness. Genesis 15:6

But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. Genesis 50:20

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

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