Sunday, September 25, 2016

Hymns & Hymn Writers: There Is Power in the Blood by David R. Kenney


 
The hymn “There Is Power in the Blood” was published in 1899 by Lewis Jones who is credited with both the lyrics and the music for this powerful hymn about the sacrifice of Christ and the shedding of His blood for the salvation of mankind.
 
Lewis Ellington Jones (1878-1917), Lyricist & Composer
 
There is misinformation on some sources in relation to the names and dates of Lewis Jones.  Some record his name as “Lewis Edgar Jones”.  Also, some sources mistakenly date his birth as February 8, 1865 in Yates City, IL.  Similar sources mistakenly state he died September 1, 1936 in Santa Barbara, CA, and he was buried in Altoona Walnut Grove Cemetery in Etowah County, AL.  Obviously, research often needs refined at times!
 
Supposedly, he was a Baptist and a fellow classmate of Billy Sunday at the Moody Bible Institute.  He worked with the YMCA which in its day stood for “Young Men’s Christian Association”.  The YMCA was founded by George Williams to provide refuge for young men to study the Bible and engage in prayer.  The organization now prefers to use the term “the Y” indicating changing times.  Changing indeed!  Jones’ work with this organization would take him to Davenport, IA; Fort Worth, TX; and Santa Barbara, CA. 
 
“There Is Power in the Blood” was his most published hymn according to Hymnary.org.  The meter of this hymn is 10.9.10.8.9.6.9.8.  He wrote “There Is Power in the Blood” while attending a camp meeting in Mountain Lake Park in Maryland.  There are over 200 texts credited to his name.  His other works include:  “We Shall See The King Some Day”. 
 
Jones also wrote under pseudonyms including:  Lewis Edgar, Edgar Lewis, and even Mary Slater.  In contradiction to the dates mentioned above, his grave marker in the Walnut Grove Cemetery in Alabama clearly reads:

Lewis Ellington Jones
1878-1917
Author of
There Is Power in the Blood
We Shall See the King Some Day
And other songs

An ancestry site which has the correct dates and such report that he married Mary Scott (1879-1954), and they had one daughter named Beulah Mae Jones (1911-1997).
 
There Is Power in the Blood
 
Blood has always been a powerful agent in God’s scheme of redemption for man.  Animal sacrifices were made which certainly included blood (Genesis 4:4).  The blood of the Passover lamb was slain to protect the firstborn in Egypt (Exodus 12:7,13).  Blood was considered the life of the flesh—“But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood” (Genesis 9:4, NKJV.)  It should be easily seen that an animal or human sacrifice includes blood!
 
The blood of numerous animals was used to atone for mankind’s sin; however, the blood of animals was insufficient—“For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins” (Hebrews 10:4, NKJV.)   Why was the blood of animals insufficient?  Because animals are not the same as humans!  It would take a sacrifice greater than animal sacrifices to deal with a man’s sin, and it would take far more than just any ordinary man’s blood to deal with the sins of the world’s blood.  It would take God-Made-Flesh Jesus the Christ to shed His blood for the remission of sins for the whole world, both those under the first covenant and those under the second covenant—“how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?  And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance” (Hebrews 9:14-15, NKJV.)
 
Where does one come in contact with the blood of Christ?  Another way to phrase the question is where does one come in contact with the death of Christ which is when He shed His blood?  The answer is very plain—we come into contact with the death of Christ (and the blood of Christ) through our contact with the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.  Paul wrote, “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?  Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:3-4, NKJV.)  Paul would go onto write, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27, NKJV.) 
 
The song reflects “Come for a cleansing to Calvary’s tide; There’s wonderful pow’r in the blood.”  This cleansing comes from baptism as Ananias told Saul of Tarsus—“And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16, NKJV.)
 
The Baptist Manual clearly states “Baptism is not essential to salvation, for our churches utterly repudiate the dogma of ‘baptismal regeneration’; but it is essential to obedience, since Christ commanded it.  It is also essential to a public confession of Christ before the world, and to membership in the church which is his body.”  One wonders how something can be essential for obedience but not be essential for salvation!  Contrast this to what Peter wrote “There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:21, NKJV).
 
There is indeed power in the blood of Christ, and one comes in contact with the blood of Christ when one comes in contact with the death of Christ in baptism!

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SOURCES:

Howard, V. E., and Broadus E. Smith, eds.  Church Gospel Songs & Hymns. Texarkana, TX:  Central Printers & Publishers, 1983.

“Lewis E. Jones.” No pages. Cited 25 September 2016. Online: http://www.hymnary.org/person/Jones_Lewis.

“Lewis Edgar Jones.”  No pages. Cited 25 September 2016. Online:  http://www.cyberhymnal.org/bio/j/o/jones_le.htm.

“Lewis Ellington Jones.” No pages. Cited 25 September 2016. Online: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=pv&GRid=85056617&PIpi=69163812.

“Lewis Ellington Jones.” No pages. Cited 25 September 2016. Online: http://mykindred.com/cloud/TX/getperson.php?personID=I36731&tree=mykindred01.

“There Is Power In The Blood.” No pages. Cited 29 September 2016. Online: https://hymnstudiesblog.wordpress.com/2013/02/19/there-is-power-in-the-blood.

Wiegand, John P., Editor. Praise for the Lord. Nashville, TN:  Praise Press, 1997.

Friday, September 9, 2016

A Tribute to Neil W. Anderson & The Gospel Advocate Company


A Tribute to Neil W. Anderson & The Gospel Advocate Company
by David R. Kenney

My father and I often attended the Freed-Hardeman Lectureship.  In fact, when I was a boy he would attend these lectures with Artie Collins as I stayed home with my mother. He would regale us with stories, laughter, and memories of the time they had together.  I decided long ago that if I were to attend a Christian college, then it would be Freed-Hardeman College.  After I graduated from Freed-Hardeman University, my father and I attended the lectureships together.  In February 2010, the trip back from Henderson, TN was special because as we travelled through Nashville dad mentioned he would like to go by the Gospel Advocate and wondered if I would be interested.  To put it mildly, I was interested, and I suspected he knew of that interest too.  So, we pulled up unannounced, walked in, and asked to speak to Neil Anderson.  I had sort of foisted myself upon Neil because we both knew R. C. Thompson who was also good friends of my father. So, I just used their friendships to springboard a relationship with Neil Anderson whether he wanted such or not.

While we waited, we looked around at the displays and saw things I had only read about or seen pictures of; e.g., Ira North’s “fiery red” sports coat was on display.  I admired it because I know my father loved the bright color that matched North’s reported personality.  Neil came out and graciously greeted us.  He gave us a complete tour of the facility.  He asked me who some of my favorite writers were, and among those I mentioned was Guy N. Woods.  I told him I wanted to see some of the memorabilia relating Guy N. Woods.  He told me to follow him into his son’s office.  He encouraged me to look around.  I felt a bit awkward looking through someone’s office and expressed some reservation.  He laughingly reassured me, and he told me the story behind why he brought me into this office.  When Guy N. Woods passed away in 1993, Neil immediately went that night to the Gospel Advocate and locked up Guy N. Woods’ office.  Apparently the death of a prior editor taught Anderson the wisdom of doing so.  Anderson wanted to preserve Woods’ office. He told me that his son’s office was the way it was when Guy N. Woods passed away.  He watched me look through his library, encouraging me not to hesitate to bring down any book to look at.  I just did not want to disturb it so others would have the same opportunity to see Woods office.  Neil saw my admiration and appreciation of Guy N. Woods.  He went to a drawer in Guy N. Woods office and told me he wanted me to have this book, How to Study the New Testament Effectively.  I thanked him and told him I had this book and enjoyed it immensely.  He assured me that I did not have this book, and he opened it to the page which had Guy N. Woods’ signature.

Neil Anderson would encourage me to write, but he would not just accept any article.  On more than one occasion he would return an article for improvement.  Once I commented to my dad that I was not sure if I would ever get an article in the Gospel Advocate, but both men encouraged me to keep at it.  I attended the Writing Workshop that Gospel Advocate hosted during the FHU Bible Lectureship, and I continued to work at honing my craft of writing. 

Once when I was attending the lectures, Neil invited me to attend the special luncheon the Gospel Advocate hosted for their writers.  I told him that I did not have an article in the Gospel Advocate and did not considered qualified to be one of their writers.  He asked me “Have you ever had an article in the Gospel Advocate?”  I replied “Yes, a couple of years ago.”  “Then you are one of our writers, so come to the luncheon and we can eat and visit together.”  He was so gracious, generous, and encouraging.

It is with mixed emotions that I recognize the Andersons’ wishes to turn over the Gospel Advocate Company.  I am saddened that the time for change has come, but sometimes that is the nature of change—a mixed bag.  I welcome the new leadership at the Gospel Advocate Company, look forward to meeting the Dukes, and pray for its continued success for the Kingdom of Christ.  Neil, thank you for your kind, gentle, and even fatherly-like encouragement.  May God richly bless you and your family.



June 10, 2016

Monday, August 15, 2016

Perfectionism by David R. Kenney


PERFECTIONISM
by David R. Kenney
 
Our family was watching J*A*G* and I took notice of a quotation used about one of the characters, Sturgis, who had fallen into the malady called Perfectionism.  It was ruining himself, his friendships, and his faith.  The quotation was attributed to "Zito" who is also the name of the producer of the show—“If you demand perfection in yourself, you will always be unsatisfied.  If you demand it of others, you will be disappointed.”  I think this was a very insightful look into the potential snare of perfectionism, a world that I myself fall prey to as well.  Oh, I know that I am not perfect, but sometimes I feel so driven to reach a standard that I not only fail to reach but also fail in other important matters that I could have obtained.
 Now, are Christians supposed to strive to be better?  Yes.  Are we to become satisfied with our own righteousness so as to give up on improving?  Certainly not!  Christians are to work to improve their walk with God as the apostle Paul wrote, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2, NKJV.)  We must have a balanced view of ourselves and others, or we risk being out of balance. Imbalance leads to friction, frustration, surrender and defeat.
Now, I am not speaking of lowering standards in order to make ourselves “feel good”.  As Christians, the standards are the teachings of the New Testament.  What does it mean to lower the standards in Christianity?  It means compromising doctrine!  We cannot lower these standards by compromising doctrine, but we should not expect to exceed these standards either.  We should strive to achieve the standards of Christ; however, God knows that we will fall short.  That is what the sacrifice of Jesus Christ was about.  If God loves us enough to send His beloved Son, if Jesus loved us enough to die for our sins, if the Holy Spirit was willing to work with imperfect men to reveal the perfect will of God, then why cannot we love ourselves enough to be more charitable to ourselves, thus being more charitable with others?   Remember what the second greatest commandment was—“You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39, NKJV.)  We may be able to examine ourselves more objectively by reflecting on how we feel about others.  For example, there is an old saying, “All the world is mad save for me and thee, and sometimes I wonder about thee.”  When we examine our brothers and sisters, does this expression describe our feelings?  If so, we may be struggling with perfectionism, expecting such of others.
Perhaps we should consider the consequences of perfectionism on the church.  Have you ever wondered why we have men who are reluctant to lead prayers, direct singing, teach classes and other areas of service?  Why are women less likely to be involved in service of the church whether teaching Bible Class or a host of other matters that women perform in service to Christ and His church?  Could it be that they are so reluctant because it is new to them?  Certainly.  But I would like to ask this question—could it be that we have less willing to serve in worship and the operation of the church because they have been impacted by seeing expectations of perfectionism in others?  If they see us expecting perfectionism of others, then could this discourage them from even trying?  We should give serious consideration before we offer those words of “constructive criticism” for all to hear.  Perhaps instead of offering what we think is “constructive criticism” we should try to give perfecting praise! 
So, let us work to go onto perfection realizing that perfection in New Testament context means that we grow and mature as Christians.  We are not perfect, but we are being made perfect through the ministry of Jesus Christ.  Remember that pursing excellence as a Christian includes love, for yourself and one another—“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.  But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.  And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful” (Colossians 3:13-15, NKJV.)

Monday, July 11, 2016

THAT SILVER-HAIRED DADDY OF MINE by David R. Kenney


THAT SILVER-HAIRED DADDY OF MINE
By David R. Kenney
 
My family are fans of the music of Gene Autry.  We have listened to his music for several years, even purchased CDs of his music for our children.  As I was going through my late father’s collection of cassette tapes in his truck, there were several that had been played so often, or set out in a hot truck for too long, that the music has become distorted.  One of the cassette tapes in his collection was a collection of Gene Autry’s music.  I smiled as I looked over the titles, then one caught my attention that had escaped my memory, “That Silver-Haired Daddy of Mine”.  Dad loved that song.  I recalled the song; I had just forgotten that it was a song of Gene Autry being a hit in 1935.

Dad did not get the opportunity to see his daddy with silver hair as his father died in 1948 when he was but three years old.  He loved the song, and he longed for days he could never see.  I listen to the song; and I long for the days I have seen, days of my memory.  My father was a silver-haired daddy to me.  The song’s message is one of regret and sorrow including these poignant words—“I could recall all the heartaches Dear old Daddy, I've caused you to bear, If I could erase those lines from your face, And bring back the gold to your hair.”  I was blessed to have a father who loved me, whom I loved, and this was not a secret to either of us.  It is a message my father has lived before my life:  to make sure you show your love for your children, and for children to show their love for their father by both being lovable and loving.

Sure, I have made mistakes, things I regret.  As adults with children of our own, we look back and see the things we have done and more fully understand the impact such had on our parents.  The song also speaks about that too—“God would but grant me the power just to turn back the pages of time I'd give all I own if I could but atone to that silver haired daddy of mine.”  Sadly, some of us, including myself, cannot speak words of atonement to our fathers any longer, but that does not mean we should not speak such words to the Father who our fathers should be pointing us too.  The noble work of being a father, the sacred calling of fatherhood, is to lead our children to our Heavenly Father.  I believe that pointing is what Paul meant when he wrote “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4, NKJV.)   You may not have had a silver haired daddy, but you can be that kind of a father to your children.  If you are a woman, you can make diligent effort to marry that kind of man for your children.

It may be too late for us to bring acts of atonement to our earthly fathers, but it is not too late to take steps of atonement toward our Heavenly Father.  That is something our fathers, whether silver-haired or not, would be pleased to know. God blessed me with a black, then grey, then silver, and then white headed daddy (Proverbs 16:31).  Be a blessing!

David R. Kenney
July 11, 2016
(On the occasion of Dad’s 72nd birthday)

 

 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Hymns & Hymn Writers: Stand Up, Stand Up For Jesus by David R. Kenney


The lyrics to this hymn date back to 1858, but the music goes back further to 1837.  The meter of the song is 7.6.7.6 D, which means the major phrases are alternating 7 syllables followed by 6 syllables.  The “D” means doubled; i.e., one could write this as 7.6.7.6.7.6.7.6.  The name of the tune is WEBB, which is the same for the song “The Church’s One Foundation”.
 
George Duffield, Jr. (1818-1888), Lyricist
 
George Duffield, Jr. was born in Carlisle, PA on September 12, 1818.  He was part of a family with strong Presbyterian heritage.  He attended Yale College and Union Theological Seminary obtaining the Doctorate of Divinity.  He preached in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Michigan.
 
The song “Stand Up, Stand Up For Jesus” first appeared in Living Sacra Americana in 1868 as the author originally wrote it; however, it appeared in an altered form earlier in 1859 in The Church Psalmist.  The basis of the song was the life events of Dudley A. Tyng who was a popular denominational preacher in his day who was fatally wounded in a farming accident.  Tyng was outspoken against slavery.  The report of the these last words of Duffield to his father as he breathed his last reached Duffield who wrote the lyrics based on Tyng’s words of “Stand up for Jesus” to his father which some thought were encouraging his father to speak against slavery after his son died.  Duffield heard this report and formulated these lyrics.  This is Duffield’s most popular work according to the number of hymns it appears according to Hymnary.org.  The song has been set to various tunes; however, WEBB is by far the most popular.
 
He was married and had one son.  Duffield passed away in the home of his son on July 6, 1888 in Bloomfield, NJ and was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Detroit, MI.  Words from this hymn were engraved on his tombstone.
 
George James Webb (1803-1887), Music
 
George J. Webb as born June 24, 1803 near Salisbury, England.  His father was a prosperous farmer which afforded him the opportunity to come to the United States to further pursue a career in music.  He came to American and formed a close friendship with Lowell Mason in Boston where they founded the Academy of Music.  He followed Mason in relocating to Orange, NJ in 1871. 
 
The music he wrote, WEBB, was actually for a secular musical show for which he wrote the song “’Tis Dawn, the Lark is Singing”.  According to Hymnary.org, based on publication in hymnals this tune was Webb’s most popular religious work.
 
He passed away on October 7, 1887 in Orange, NJ and is buried there in Rosedale Cemetery. 
 
Stand Up, Stand Up For Jesus
 
There is a story of a young boy who wanted to stand in his chair even after being directed by his parents to sit down.  The child was told to sit down numerous times, but the child persistently rebelled until the parent made him sit.  The boy replied “I may be sitting on the outside, but I am standing on the inside.”  I thought of this story as I read of this song being excluded from a 1990 Presbyterian hymnal because they thought it was insensitive to handicapped people who were unable to stand.  There is a MAJOR difference from those who refuse to stand up for Jesus, and those who are unable to stand up for Jesus!  Another important reminder—there are more important ways to stand for Jesus than merely taking a standing position during the singing of this hymn.  Far more!
 
Some opposed the song because of its militaristic theme; however, apparently these opponents fail to realize that living the Christian life; e.g., “This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare” (1 Timothy 1:18, NKJV).  Of course, the New Testament makes it plain that we are not speaking about a warfare fought with swords or guns:  “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.  For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled” (2 Corinthians 10:3-6, NKJV.)
 
To stand up for Jesus, one must first be enrolled in the Lord’s army.  One must enlist by putting Christ on in baptism (Galatians 3:28), and putting on the Christian armor (Ephesians 6:10-20).  We then stand up for Jesus by defending Him and His word.  The battle is not easy, but the victory is secured as the song well states:  “The strife will not be long; This day the noise of battle, The next the victor’s song.”  If you want to be victorious with Christ, then you must be “in Christ”—“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3, NKJV).
 
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SOURCES:   
 
Emurian, Ernest K.  Living Stories of Famous Hymns.  Grand Rapids, MI:  Baker Book House, 1995.
 
“George Duffield, Jr. 1818-1888.”  No pages.  Cited 23 June 2016.  Online:  http://www.cyberhymnal.org/bio/d/u/f/duffield_g.htm. 
 
“George Duffield.” No pages.  Cited 23 June 2016.  Online:  https://www.hymnary.org/person/Duffield_G. 
 
“George James Webb 1803-1887.”  No pages.  Cited 23 June 2016.  Online:  http://www.cyberhymnal.org/bio/w/e/b/webb_gj.htm. 
 
“George James Webb.” No pages.  Cited 23 June 2016.  Online:  http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=4000.
 
“George James Webb.” No pages.  Cited 23 June 2016.  Online:  https://www.hymnary.org/person/Webb_GJ?tab=tunes. 
 
Howard, V. W., and Broadus E. Smith, eds.  Church Gospel Songs & Hymns. Texarkana, TX:  Central Printers & Publishers, 1983.
 
McCutchan, Robert G.  Our Hymnody.  Nashville, TN:  Abingdon Press, 1937.
 
“Stand Up, Stand Up For Jesus.”  No pages.  Cited 23 June 2016.  Online:  http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/s/t/standufj.htm.
 
“Stand Up, Stand Up For Jesus.”  No pages.  Cited 23 June 2016.  Online:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stand_Up,_Stand_Up_for_Jesus. 
 
Wiegand, John P., ed. Praise for the Lord.  Nashville, TN:  Praise Press, 1997.

 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Hymns & Hymn Writers: The Lord and Savior of Mankind by David R. Kenney


Tommy Wheeler copyrighted this song on the same date as his other song “I Love The Lord” in 1970.  It was among the collection of the hymns both he and his father, Palmer Wheeler, published in Tommy Wheeler’s Gospel Gems hymnal in 1970.
 
Tommy Wheeler (1931-2016), Lyricist & Music
 
Tommy Wheeler was the only child to Palmer Esker Wheeler (1904-1983) and Lena Bandy Wheeler, and he was born February 1, 1931 in Scottsville, KY.  His father was an accomplished hymn writer, and he taught Tommy about music as he was learning to read.  His parents were converted out of the Baptist Church, and his mother was converted by G. K. Wallace.  His father had spent many years singing with the Vaughan and Stamps Quartet.  His father taught music at Freed-Hardeman College (now University) from 1937-1939 during which time Tommy attended grade school in Henderson, TN.  His father decided to devote his life to leading singing in evangelistic efforts.  Palmer led singing for preachers such as N. B. Hardeman, Foy E. Wallace, Jr., E. R. Harper, and G. C. Brewer. 
 
Tommy Wheeler had a B.A. in Music from Abilene Christian College (now University) and a M. A. in Music from Texas Tech in Lubbock, TX.  He had a career in teaching music in public schools and also worked in the banking industry.  When his father retired from the work, Wheeler coordinated the music for “Way of Truth” TV program for 30 years.  He wrote many songs published by Stamps-Baxter Music Company, but “I Love The Lord” first appeared in his own hymnal, Gospel Gems in 1970 which contained all of his father’s hymns plus 30 of Tommy’s hymns.  He was elected in 1976 to the American Society of Composers and Publishers (ASCAP).  He and his father wrote Down Memory Lane With the Wheelers in 1977 which was a biographical sketch of their family.  He married Beth Wood Wheeler in 1956; however she passed away in 1965.  He then married his second wife Joyce Preston Wheeler.  On February 9, 2010, Tommy Wheeler donated his family’s music scores to Freed-Hardeman University Archives which are entitled “The Wheeler Family Music Collection”.  Tommy Wheeler wrote hundreds of hymns including some with his cousin, Max Wheeler.  Tommy Wheeler passed away November 21, 2015 and is buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Paris, TX.  He was survived by his wife, Joyce Wheeler, two sons (Dennis and Gary), one daughter (Kathy Wheeler Lemay), grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 
 
The Lord and Savior of Mankind
 
There are some who sometimes say “I want the God of the New Testament, but not the God of the Old Testament.  The God of the Old Testament is filled with hate, but the God of the New Testament is one of love.”  There was an interesting conversation between Jesus and His disciples-- “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.”  Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?  Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.  Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves (John 14:7-11, NKJV.)
 
There are some who mistakenly believe that God has three modes—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit rather than being distinct beings.  This view, as opposed to trinitarianism, was first championed by Sabellius of the 3rd century  It holds that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all the same person, the difference is in God’s mode (or modal) of operation.  Would this passage support such a view?  No.  What Jesus is explaining to His disciples is that both the Father and the Son are united and not divided.  How does one explain Jesus’ prior statement—“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.  And where I go you know, and the way you know.”  Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?”  Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:2-6, NKJV.)
 
Notice the phrase in Wheeler’s song “He prayed to God in full review, ‘Please forgive they know not what they do.’”  Did Jesus pray to Himself?  Of course not.  He prayed to His Father.  The plan for the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to redeem mankind was actually made before the foundation of the world—“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love” (Ephesians 1:3-4, NKJV).  Jesus is the Lord and Savior of mankind who came here in accordance with the will of the Father and revealed to us by the Holy Spirit.

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SOURCES:   

Finely, George E., ed.  Our Garden of Song – A Biography of Song Writers of the Church of Christ and Articles and Other Items of Interest of Our Worship in Song.  West Monroe, LA:  Howard Publishing Company, 1980.
 
Howard, V. W., and Broadus E. Smith, eds.  Church Gospel Songs & Hymns. Texarkana, TX:  Central Printers & Publishers, 1983.
 
Jackson, Wayne. "An Attack upon the Trinity." No pages.  Cited 26, May 2016.  Online:  https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/529-attack-upon-the-trinity-an.
 
“Tommy Wheeler.” No pages.  Cited 23 May 2016.  Online:  http://www.taylorpublications.com/index.php?route=product/category&path=111_112_123_129.
 
“Wheeler.” Gospel Advocate  158 (2016): 41.
 
Wiegand, John P., ed. Praise for the Lord.  Nashville, TN:  Praise Press, 1997.

Hymns & Hymn Writers: I Love the Lord by David R. Kenney


 
Tommy Wheeler wrote this song in response to the question as to why he loved the Lord.  “I Love the Lord” was his favorite hymn.
 
Tommy Wheeler (1931-2016), Lyricist & Music
 
Tommy Wheeler was the only child to Palmer Esker Wheeler (1904-1983) and Lena Bandy Wheeler, and he was born February 1, 1931 in Scottsville, KY.  His father was an accomplished hymn writer, and he taught Tommy about music as he was learning to read.  His parents were converted out of the Baptist Church, and his mother was converted by G. K. Wallace.  His father had spent many years singing with the Vaughan and Stamps Quartet.  His father taught music at Freed-Hardeman College (now University) from 1937-1939 during which time Tommy attended grade school in Henderson, TN.  His father decided to devote his life to leading singing in evangelistic efforts.  Palmer led singing for preachers such as N. B. Hardeman, Foy E. Wallace, Jr., E. R. Harper, and G. C. Brewer. 
 
Tommy Wheeler had a B.A. in Music from Abilene Christian College (now University) and a M. A. in Music from Texas Tech in Lubbock, TX.  He had a career in teaching music in public schools and also worked in the banking industry.  When his father retired from the work, Wheeler coordinated the music for “Way of Truth” TV program for 30 years.  He wrote many songs published by Stamps-Baxter Music Company, but “I Love The Lord” first appeared in his own hymnal, Gospel Gems in 1970 which contained all of his father’s hymns plus 30 of Tommy’s hymns.  He was elected in 1976 to the American Society of Composers and Publishers (ASCAP).  He and his father wrote Down Memory Lane With the Wheelers in 1977 which was a biographical sketch of their family.  He married Beth Wood Wheeler in 1956; however she passed away in 1965.  He then married his second wife, Joyce Preston Wheeler.  On February 9, 2010, Tommy Wheeler donated his family’s music scores to Freed-Hardeman University Archives which are entitled “The Wheeler Family Music Collection”.  Tommy Wheeler wrote hundreds of hymns including some with his cousin, Max Wheeler.  Tommy Wheeler passed away November 21, 2015 and is buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Paris, TX.  He was survived by his wife, Joyce Wheeler, two sons (Dennis and Gary), one daughter (Kathy Wheeler Lemay), grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 
 
I Love The Lord
 
The psalmist wrote “I love the Lord, because He has heard My voice and my supplications” (Psalm 116:1, NKJV.) which is the passage one biographer who discussed this song with Tommy Wheeler cited.  Also, the precious answer for us—“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16, NKJV.) 
 
One can quickly detect the influence of these passages in Wheeler’s lyrics—“I love the Lord, for He died my soul to save, On Calvary His dear life He freely gave.  From realms above, Jesus freely came to die, That I might live some day with Him on high.”
 
Before you write God off as unsympathetic, uncaring, or unloving, consider these words—“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8, NKJV.)

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SOURCES:   

Cain, David.  “I Love the Lord – Tommy Wheeler.”  No Pages.  Cited 23 May 2016.  Online:  http://songscoops.blogspot.com/2012/12/i-love-lord-tommy-wheeler.html.
 
Finely, George E., ed.  Our Garden of Song – A Biography of Song Writers of the Church of Christ and Articles and Other Items of Interest of Our Worship in Song.  West Monroe, LA:  Howard Publishing Company, 1980.
 
Howard, V. W., and Broadus E. Smith, eds.  Church Gospel Songs & Hymns. Texarkana, TX:  Central Printers & Publishers, 1983.
 
“Tommy Wheeler.” No pages.  Cited 23 May 2016.  Online:  http://www.taylorpublications.com/index.php?route=product/category&path=111_112_123_129.
 
“Wheeler.” Gospel Advocate  158 (2016): 41.
 
Wiegand, John P., ed. Praise for the Lord.  Nashville, TN:  Praise Press, 1997.