Hello my friends and welcome back for another service of Cowboy Church.
Today's musical selection begins with Roy Rogers and Dale Evans singing a medley of Whispering Hope and Star of Hope. Whispering Hope beautiful hymn comes from the pen of Alice Hawthorne (the pen name for poet Septimus Winner), who is best known for her contributions to children's music with songs like, Where, Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone? and Ten Little Indians. This lovely medley comes from Roy and Dale's 1973 gospel album, In the Sweet Bye and Bye. Next is Johnny Cash with He'll Understand and Say Well Done. Jesus said that we are meant to share the good news of the gospel. However many of us can be afraid to do this for this simple reason of God's word being rejected. This hymn is a song of encouragement reminding us that no matter what people on this Earth think of us, when we do God's will he is proud of us. This song was written by Lucy Eddie Campbell-Williams and was first published in 1933. African-American Gospel Scholar Horace Clarence Boyer wrote about the song's author, "From 1930 to 1962, [Campbell] introduced a new song each year at the National Baptist Convention. Her songs became gospel standards, sung by all races and creeds. Campbell had the distinction of having composed the second most popular song in all Black Christendom after Thomas A. Dorsey’s song ‘Precious Lord’, which is, of course, 'He understands; He’ll Say, ‘Well Done’.' One can go to a Black church at the time of a funeral and find Catholics, Lutherans, Methodists, Baptists, and Holiness singing this song, and they will be singing it without sheet music." This lovely recording comes from John's 1962 gospel album, Hymns From the Heart. Next comes The Louvin Brothers with their self-penned If We Forget God, from their 1958 gospel album, The Family Who Prays. Next comes The Carter Family's classic 1927 recording of Can The Circle Be Unbroken. This song was based off of the 1907 Christian hymn (written by Charles H. Gabriel and Ada R. Habershon), Will the Circle Be Unbroken. Uncle A.P. Carter reworked this song changing the lyrics to be about the death of a mother. Though this version would be covered by an incredible amount of artists, many of them would change the title back to Will the Circle Be Unbroken as well as changing that one word in the chorus. However these cover versions would use A.P.'s lyrics for the rest of the song. This is one of my all time favorite songs, because it is a sad song, but one which also finds hope within its darkness. This is a song about trusting in God in times when it is very difficult to, which is something many gospel songs don't cover but which many Christians struggle with. Country music has often focused more on the singers and the lyrics than anything else. That is why it is surprising that someone like Chet Atkins could make it as big as he did in Nashville. Chet Atkins was a guitarist rather than a singer and most of his output was purely instrumental. Yet his talent on the guitar can hardly be denied and he rightfully earned the nickname, "Mr. Guitar." His playing is a soulful and expressive as the voices of any of the great country singers. In 1962 Chet put out what I view as one of his finest albums, Chet Atkins Plays Back Home Hymns. This album is made up of instrumental versions of classic gospel songs. In this Cowboy Church post I have included his lovely version of Amazing Grace from this album. Next is Christian southern rock band, Third Day with the beautiful self-penned, Your Love Oh Lord from their 3rd album 2000's Time. Much of the lyrics to this song come directly from the bible, Psalm 36 in fact. Many of us today associate folk music with the political and social minded songs of the 1960's. These songs were predated by the work of Woody Guthrie, whose songs were just as filled with social commentary as anything that came out in the 60's. One of my favorite of his songs of this type is Jesus Christ. This song speaks of how Jesus spoke about giving to the poor and helping those in need and uses it to tie into how such a message is still needed in more modern times. This recording of the song comes from 1944, but is still just as powerful and affecting today. We continue with The Sons of the Pioneers with their 1948 recording of Read the Bible Everyday. This song was a Sons original and was written by one of the group's founding members Tim Spencer. While the advice this song gives is simple, it is pivotal for all Christians. Too often we (and I have certainly been guilty of this too) drift away from our bibles and when we do this we find ourselves drifting further from God and greater into sin. God's word is a mighty sword against Satan and something we must all hold on to. Today's musical selection ends with Charley Pride singing Take My Hand Precious Lord. This song was written by Thomas A. Dorsey after the passing of his wife and newborn son in 1932. Though Dorsey had given his life to the Lord and was moving away from his career as a blues singer instead writing gospel songs and even pastoring churches. Still after the death of his beloved wife and child, he began to question his faith. Instead of giving up his faith he turned to prayer. He prayed that God would lead him through all the troubles of life. He put his prayer to music (George Allen's Maitland) and this turned out to be one of his most popular songs.
Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9
For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. Romans 6:14
Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. John 2:24
Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out. Acts 3:19
Then I said, ‘I will not make mention of Him, nor speak anymore in His name.’ But His word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, and I could not. Jeremiah 20:9
But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:4-5
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
Thank you for joining me. Come back next week for another service of Cowboy Church. Happy trails to you until we meet again.