Hello my friends and welcome back for another service of Cowboy Church.
Today's musical selection begins with The Sons of the Pioneers with their 1937 recording of Heavenly Airplane. This song was written by Bob Nolan, one of the founding members and one of my favorite songwriters. Bob also sings lead on the track. Hugh Farr's fiddle playing is simply wonderful here.
Next comes The Carter Family with their 1964 recording of Troublesome Waters.
This is followed by Johnny Horton with Church by the Side of the Road. This song was written by Johnny Horton himself. The background vocals are by the Jordanaires who back Elvis Presley on many of his gospel recordings.
Afterwards is Johnny Cash with The Great Speckled Bird. The song was written by Reverend Guy Smith. These lyrics reference Jeremiah 12:9, "Mine heritage is unto me as a speckled bird, the birds round about are against her; come ye, assemble all the beasts of the field, come to devour." The song would become a country music standard when Roy Acuff recorded it in 1936 and it became of his signature songs. Johnny Cash's version comes from his 1959 album, Song of Our Soil. Kitty Wells recorded the song the same year.
Next is Roy Rogers and Dale Evans with 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.”
Now for Merle Haggard singing What a Friend we Have in Jesus. Despite being Joseph Medlicott Scriven's most famous composition, when he made a collection of his writings entitled Hymns and Other Verses it did not appear. It has been assumed that the reason for this is that he probably wrote it for his mother when she was sick and not for the public. It is believed that it is through his mother that the hymn reached the public. It first appeared in 1865's Social Hymns, Original and Selected credited as anonymous.
Next comes Gene Autry and Diana Shore with The Old Rugged Cross. The song itself 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.
Today's musical selection ends with The Everly Brothers with Softly and Tenderly.
Two movie trailers for today. The first is for True Grit (1969) and the second is True Grit (2010).
Despite the lateness in John Wayne's career, True Grit is one of the films he is most associated with and is still a staple on any TV channel that shows western movies. The amount of times I have watched this on TV is higher than how high I wish to count. As many of you know Glen Campbell both acts and sings the opening song. Campbell was not the first considered for this role. The original choice for this role was Elvis Presley. However Elvis' manager insisted Elvis get top billing. Of course for any but John Wayne to get top billing in a John Wayne movie was unheard of, so another singer was found to play the part. Director Henry Hathaway hated Glen Campbell's performance in this movie. To be fair though Glen Campbell also completely dismissed his performance in this film as well. Henry Hathaway had earlier directed John Wayne in North to Alaska (1960) and The Sons of Katie Elder (1965). The 2010 remake while not as great as the original is still a really good film as well.
Next comes the C.S. Lewis essay, On the Reading of Old Books.
And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. John 6:44
... 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 everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 1 John 2:16
No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. Matthew 6:24
There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land. Deuteronomy 15:11
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. James 2:14-17
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9
Thanks for joining me. Come back next week for another service of Cowboy Church. Happy trails to you until we meet again.