All posts tagged "U-S history"

Jonathan Edwards on giving to the poor


THIS duty is absolutely commanded, and much insisted on, in the Word of God. Where have we any command in the Bible laid down in stronger terms, and in a more peremptory urgent manner, than the command of giving to the poor? – in his message on Deuteronomy 15:7-11, Christian Charity (or The Duty of Charity to the Poor, Explained and Enforced). Photo cred:  Photobucket


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Harriet Tubman’s hymnal


From the Washington Post: On a blue-covered table in a Capitol Hill hearing room, an ordinary hymnal was raised to the status of a historical object with the simple signature of its owner, Harriet Tubman Davis. The book of gospel hymns was among an extraordinary trove of Tubman artifacts given Wednesday to the National Museum of African American History and Culture… Lonnie G. Bunch, the founding director of the museum, described the November meeting in Philadelphia when Blockson, who lives there, first showed the staff the 39 objects he is donating. “Each object in this collection humbled us, excited us and moved us to tears. And then, Dr. Blockson uncovered Harriet Tubman’s personal hymnal, and I think many of us lost it,” Bunch said. Harriet Tubman, of course, was the 19-century leader in the Underground Railroad and an emancipation leader, leading hundreds of slaves to freedom. The hymnal, titled “Gospel Hymns No. 2,” was by Philip Bliss (“It Is Well With My Soul”) and Ira Sankey (“The Ninety and Nine” and D.L. Moody’s songleader) can be seen here, including Tubman’s autograph. Interesting to note the ceremony concluded with everyone singing “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.” The truth sets you free indeed…


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Save the Children- Essie Mae Brooks


American roots music provides an untapped resource for church musicians who are looking for something different yet familiar. Well-known are the spirituals (Ain’t that Good News, Swing Low Sweet Chariot, etc.), but early rural American blues & gospel music contains profoundly spiritual elements. Here is an example:  Save The Children – Essie Mae Brooks (mp3 download) Who is Essie Mae Brooks? From the Music Maker Relief Foundation website: Essie Mae Brooks was born in Houston County, Georgia in 1930.  Her father was a great drummer in the nearly forgotten African-American tradition called “Drumbeat.” He would play the drum every weekend and people would gather and dance all night long.  Her grandfather was a harmonica player and Essie started singing to accompany him. She began singing and writing gospel songs as a girl and has never stopped. Here’s a video of Essie Mae performing a snippet of a song. For more like this, click here. (Audio & photo credit:  Music Maker Relief Foundation)


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Praying for the first Independence Day


It was a gloomy atmosphere which greeted the delegates gathered in the old Statehouse in Philadelphia over 200 years ago. They had come from all 13 colonies to act upon the troubled conditions which plagued the New World.  Should a new nation be considered or not? Elder statesman Benjamin Franklin spoke: “…the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governs the affairs of men.  And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his will, is it possible for an empire to rise without his notice?…except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it.  I firmly believe this.” This statement, from Psalm 127, was followed by a time of prayer from which came the singleness of purpose which gave birth to America on July 4, 1776. (from On This Day by Carl D. Windsor, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1989, p. 203)


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