Sunday, March 27, 2016

Hymns & Hymn Writers: We Are In The Sunshine by David R. Kenney

The song “We Are In The Sunshine” was written and composed by Holland Boring, Sr. in 1953 and published by the Firm Foundation of Austin, Texas.  Boring was a member of the church of Christ, and sadly we do not sing as many of his songs today as in days past.  He has been instrumental in writing songs, teaching how to lead singing, and editing church hymnals.
Holland Levelle Boring, Sr. (1905-2000), Lyricist & Music
Holland Levelle Boring, Sr. was born March 15, 1905 in Ridge, Robertson County, TX. His mother died when he was but five years old; however, she left quite an impression on his life. He was baptized by M. C. Moser in 1920.  He was a talented song leader and began conducting singing schools at the age of 15.  In fact, he made more money one summer with singing schools than working on the farm.  He attended Abilene Christian College where he obtained a B. S. degree.  He also pursued graduate work in various Texas universities and colleges.  He was a high school teacher and principal for many years before he became involved with the Firm Foundation.  He taught a year at Abilene Christian University and Fort Worth Christian.  He was taught music by Virgil O. Stamps.  He served as Dean and Principal of Columbia Christian College from 1954-1958 and conducted the Christian High School Academy Chorus in Portland, Oregon.  He also is the composer of Columbia Christian College’s school song, “Columbia”.  He also served as a gospel preacher for various congregations in Texas.
While with the Firm Foundation, Boring edited: Awakening Songs (Firm Foundation Publishing, 1971), Songs for the Master (Firm Foundation Publishing, 1975), Gems for His Crown (Firm Foundation Publishing, 1977), Hymns of Praise (Firm Foundation Publishing, 1978), and Songs of Hope (Firm Foundation Publishing, 1979).  He is credited for writing about 100 hymns.  His “He Is Near” was one of the more popular songs which appeared in Our Garden of Song volume of hymn writers among churches of Christ.
Holland Boring, Sr. taught in many singing schools including teaching along with Austin Taylor in the Texas Normal Singing School.  He was instrumental in the establishment of the Haskell Singing School too.  He is also one of the founders of Foundation School of Church Music along with Reuel Lemmons in 1968 in Austin, TX.  The Foundation School is still in existence under the direction of Cecil and Wade Price which is dedicated in instruction of congregational music theory. 
Boring was affectionately called “Paw-Paw” by those who knew him.  He was married to Gladys Lucille Bullock Boring on Bryan, TX in 1930.  They had three sons:  Holland Boring, Jr., Kenneth Boring and Don Boring.  His wife and three sons all preceded him in death.  Holland Levelle Boring, Sr. passed away Aug. 1, 2000 in Arlington, TX.  He is buried in Steep Hollow Cemetery in Bryan, Texas.
We Are In The Sunshine
The prophet Isaiah recorded words from the Lord:  “For so the Lord said to me, ‘“I will take My rest, and I will look from My dwelling place like clear heat in sunshine, like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.’”  (Isaiah 18:4, NKJV)  The thought is one of a clear outlook when matters are clear and the time to take action is certain. 
It seems that the weather in Northeast Ohio has had more than its fair share of what is called “partly cloudy”!  Turns out, it is not just the imagination.  In fact, one study of cloud cover of major cities ranked Cleveland fifth in the nation with over 200 days of heavy clouds covering at least 75 percent of the sky. We long for blue skies and sunny days!
I can recall going on a mountain hike in the Adirondack Mountains in Northern New York.  The Adirondack range, which is separate from the Appalachians, is sometimes called “Adirondack High Peaks” for the  number mountains in excess of 4,000 feet.  Our goal was to climb the 17th highest, Mount Saddleback, which is 4,515 feet high.  It was overcast that day.  I had worked out at the gym in preparation for this hike; however, I wish I would have had more time to prepare better.  I was physically exhausted when I reached the peak, and I had to climb back down the mountain before night fall.  I recall that our hiking party became divided into two parties. The seasoned group went on ahead of the group that I was in.  When I finally reached the peak of Mount Saddleback, the seasoned group was heading out to return to the base.  We decided we were going to eat our lunch even though it was cold, cloudy, and sprinkling.  The seasoned group bid us good luck and began the descent.  Then!  All of a sudden!  A burst of warm sunshine!  We sat on the top of that rocky platform and ate our lunch in the warmth of the sunshine!  What a wonderful feeling that was!
God provides for all mankind on this earth, as Jesus said:  “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:44-45, NKJV.)  Christians receive physical blessings and are not exempt from pain and suffering either.  But on another level, there are certainly providential and spiritual blessings God bestows upon those who are His.   Christians both walk in the light and are to be lights to others to find their way to the Father.  Being a child of God provides us comfort in the knowledge that even when clouds gather here on this earth, we have sunshine in our walk with Christ.  As the storm clouds gather, the skies darken, the lightning flashes, and the thunder crashes, we can look with the eye of faith past the immediate threats to a clear blue sky and sunshine that gives us confidence that the storms of this life, no matter how severe these may be, will eventually give way to the sunshine of God’s love.


George C. Finely, Editor, 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.
V. E. Howard, Editor, and Broadus E. Smith, Associate Editor, Church Gospel Songs & Hymns, Texarkana, TX:  Central Printers & Publishers, 1983.
Bonnie Miller and Pearl Howarth, Columbia Christian College: A Comprehensive History A Collaborative Work of Love, Portland, OR:  Cascade College, 2009.
Liz Osborn, “Cloudiest Cities in America,” Current Results – Weather and Science Facts,, Accessed 26 March 2016.

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