THE BIRTH OF THE HYMN “PRECIOUS LORD”

This story came to me in a forwarded email.  Its origin was probably someone else’s website; but as it has been circulated without copyright, I am publishing it for my readers because it is the very best internet inspiration I have ever read.  I love the song and I love this story and I want to make sure it is read by as many people as possible. 
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Back in 1932, I was a fairly new husband. My wife, Nettie and I were living in a little apartment on Chicago’s south side. One hot August afternoon I had to go to St. Louis where I was to be the featured soloist at a large revival meeting. I didn’t want to go; Nettie was in the last month ofpregnancy with our first child, but a lot of people were expecting me in St. Louis . I kissed Nettie goodbye, clattered downstairs to our Model A and, in a fresh Lake Michigan breeze,chugged out of Chicago on Route 66.

However, outside the city, I discovered that in my anxiety at leaving, I had forgotten my music case. I wheeled around and headed back. I found Nettie sleeping peacefully. I hesitated by her bed; something was strongly telling me to stay. But eager to get on my way, and not wanting to disturb Nettie, I shrugged off the feeling and quietly slipped out of the room with my music.

The next night, in the steaming St. Louis heat, the crowd called on me to
sing again and again. When I finally sat down, a messenger boy ran up with a Western Union telegram. I ripped open the envelope….Pasted on the yellow sheet were the words: YOUR WIFE JUST DIED.

People were happily singing and clapping around me, but I could hardly keep from crying out. I rushed to a phone and called home. All I could hear on the other end was “Nettie is dead. Nettie is dead.'”

When I got back, I learned that Nettie had given birth to a boy. I swung
between grief and joy. Yet that same night, the baby died. I buried Nettie
and our little boy together, in the same casket. Then I fell apart.

For days I closeted myself. I felt that God had done me an injustice. I
didn’t want to serve Him anymore or write gospel songs I just wanted to go back to that jazz world I once knew so well. But then, as I hunched alone in that dark apartment those first sad days, I thought back to the afternoon I went to St. Louis. Something had kept telling me to stay with Nettie. Was that something God? Oh, if I had paid more attention to Him that day, I would have stayed and been with Nettie when she died.

From that moment on I vowed to listen more closely to Him. But still I was lost in grief. Everyone was kind to me, especially one friend. The
following Saturday evening he took me up to Maloney’s Poro College, a
neighborhood music school. It was quiet; the late evening sun crept through the curtained windows.

I sat down at the piano, and my hands began to browse over the keys.
Something happened to me then. I felt at peace. I felt as though I could
reach out and touch God. I found myself playing a melody.

Once in my head the words just seemed to fall into place: “Precious Lord, take my hand, Lead me on,let me stand, I am tired, I am weak, I am worn, Through the storm, through the night, Lead me on to the light, Take my hand, precious Lord, lead me home.”

The Lord gave me these words and melody, He also healed my spirit. I
learned that when we are in our deepest grief, when we feel farthest from
God, this is when He is closest, and when we are most open to His restoring power.

And so I go on living for God willingly and joyfully, until that day comes when He will take me and gently lead me home.                                     – – – –Tommy Dorsey

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Hope is all…

How do I face another day
Only to suffer another way,
Perhaps to have things get even worse,
Eerily resembling a vicious curse.

I cannot say how I endure
Sorrowfully without a cure;

All I can say is, “God is with me,
Lovingly guiding me through the dark sea.”
Losing is common but hope still remains;
    (There’s always hope for what God fore-ordains).

Betty Killebrew

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Exodus 25, vs. 17-22 with Betty

17 And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof.

18 And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat.

19 And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof.

20 And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be.

21 And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee.

22 And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.

K.J.V. Bible Text 

My Thoughts:

Beginning in Exodus 25 verse 17 the Lord begins to describe the mercy seat that is to be put above the arc and the golden cherubims which are to be upon it and says again that he will give Moses “testimony” to put inside the arc and that at the arc he will meet and commune with him.

Obviously, the children of Israel will have to be very generous with the gold they have because the cherubins and the mercy seat are to be built of pure gold. (Of course, we can recall that when the children of Israel left Egypt, they were able to borrow many items of value from the Egyptians.)  It appears that a lot of gold will need to be melted to provide the material for making the arc, and the mercy seat which will be a spot where communication with the Lord God will take place.

Betty Killebrew

To read more of Betty’s thoughts, click on the link shown below

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In Need of Prayer

This prayer request was posted on September. 29, 2012.  On October 2 our prayers were partially answered.  The attorneys involved finally got together and arranged for this father to see his son for a few hours.  Thank you to all who prayed.  The Lord is indeed merciful and when prayers are joined together He is often willing to work miracles on our behalf. And of course, Dear Lord, we thank you for your grace and mercy.   AMEN
_______________________________________________________

A member of my family is a father who is going through a divorce. His wife has de facto custody of their son because she left town and took the baby with her. The father has not seen or heard anything about his child for two months and is waiting for the court to rule on the custody issue. He recently posted this message on facebook. His words are almost poetic:
Today you are 10 months old. Walking, wobbling, stumbling, and falling. I am missing it, and I am missing you. This has taken far longer than I ever anticipated, and my hope is you will still remember me, when our time finally comes. I love you my son, and miss you more than mere words can express.
Please, all of you who are reading this,  join me in prayer—not just for my family member but for the judge to have wisdom and for the decision to be the best possible for all concerned, especially for this innocent young child.
Thank you.
 Name withheld with respect for the privacy of this situation.

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A Little Fish

 

Once a little fish was swimming in his pond when he saw a juicy worm floating by. The little fish swallowed it at once and also swallowed the hook on which it was fixed.

When the line on the hook tightened, the little fish was quite frightened. He fought valiantly, but soon he found himself lying in the bottom of a boat, gasping for water, his gills straining wildly.

“Poor little fish,” said an old fisherman. He removed the hook and slipped the little fish back in the water. The little fish was relieved and swam happily away.

Many months later, the little fish again saw a juicy worm float by. He opened his mouth and …once again he was at the bottom of the boat, and once again the fisherman shook his head.  “You’re too small,” he said and slipped the fish back in the water.

The little fish lived on and grew to be a big fish, but above him on the surface of the water the fisherman kept on fishing—and one day he caught the fish once more.

“What a nice dinner you’ll make,” said the fisherman…

Is there a moral to this story?  Only this, if you swallow everything—hook, line and sinker—even after you’ve been forewarned, sooner or later you will have to pay for your gullibility. If you have more sense than a pond fish, you ought to learn from your experiences.
O.W.L.
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The Gift

Sharon was rich and lived in a large house. Beth was from a poor family and lived in a little house that had thin walls and bare pine floors. Sharon and Beth went to the same school, were in the same class and one day entered the same contest for reading books and writing reports.  At the end of the contest, both girls had completed the exact same number of reports and both girls had done reports of very high quality. The contest was declared a tie and the two girls were asked to draw straws—short straw to win.

An ecstatic Beth won the prize, a music box of bright blue plastic. When the music played, a tiny screen showed a series of different pictures as the wheel revolved. Beth placed her prize next to the front door of her small house so if there was ever a fire she would be able to rescue it on her way out.

Sharon was very disturbed that she had not won the drawing. After all, she had written just as many good book reports as Beth.  She went home and complained loudly to her parents.  The next day her parents came to school and complained loudly.  Before you know it, the contest judges decided to buy another music box for Sharon.

Sharon was pleased to have gotten her own way, but after playing the music box she was not impressed.  She shoved it on a shelf in her closet with many other forgotten toys.

While it was Beth who worried about fire, it was Sharon who suffered that catastrophe.  Early that winter, a fire caused by a careless maid destroyed Sharon’s home.   The family escaped but all their possessions were destroyed.

When Beth heard about the fire, she was dismayed. At school, it was said that all of Sharon’s many toys had burned except for the pony cart that was in the barn. All her clothes had burned.  Many of the little children were not too kind about Sharon’s hardship.  One little girl even said, “It serves her right for being so hoity-toity all the time.”

Beth, however, was sad for Sharon. On the way home after school, she thought and thought.   She was home only a minute before she rushed back out the door carrying a small bag.  She raced to a large brick house—the home of Sharon’s grandmother where Sharon was now staying.  When the maid brought Sharon to the parlor where Beth was waiting, Beth opened the bag and pulled out her cherished music box.  “I’m sorry about your fire,” she said.  “I want you to have this in place of the one you lost.”

“Thank you,” said Sharon.  “I’m sorry I can’t visit now.  Grandma is taking me shopping to get new clothes.”

A few minutes later, the maid closed the door behind Beth as Sharon raced upstairs to the bedroom she had been given in her grandmother’s home the moment she was born. As she pulled out a warm coat to wear on her shopping trip, she took a moment to shove the music box to the back of a shelf.  “It’s a stupid toy,” she thought.  “No wonder Beth gave it to me.”

Sharon went off shopping with Grandma with no understanding of the great gift she had been given while Beth went home to her little house, watched and guarded all the way by a thousand angels.

B. Killebrew

Read more articles, stories and poems by B. Killebrew at:  www.inspirationalarchive.com

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A Happy Day

As an adult, there have been times when I have said to myself, “This is such a wonderful moment.  I don’t ever want to forget it.”  At those times, I take a mental snapshot of that moment and commit myself to remembering it.  As I write this, several of those moments come to mind; but one of my happiest memories is of at day in my life that happened when I was too young to be introspective. I simply remember it because of the total happiness I felt.

In the greater scheme of things, that day was not that special.  It was our second grade class picnic day.  I recall that we wore play clothes.  That would mean pants for little girls when in those days we were required to wear dresses on regular school days.  We each took a sack lunch and we were taken by bus to a local park where we played. On the way home, I got off the bus at a corner a block from my home and a few blocks before the bus reached the school. Nobody was home when I got there, so I decided to clean up the living room to surprise my mommy.  Those are the unremarkable details of that memorable day.

So why do I remember that day so much better and more fondly than the many other days of my childhood? When I think about it now as an adult, I can be introspective about it and understand some reasons why it was so special to me.

First, on that day I overcame fear and truly enjoyed playing at the park.  Before the day was out, I was confident about climbing to the heights of the sliding board and soaring down and about swinging high on the huge swings—two things I had always been timid about before. Because of my new confidence and my ability to do what the other children were doing, I had acceptance from them. When my teacher told the bus driver to let me off near my home I experienced the respect of her knowing I was self-reliant enough to go home alone. When I got home, I made myself useful by cleaning the living room and consequently received something all children covet, my mother’s praise.

Those were the simple elements that made me happy on that bright day sixty years ago.  I believe those are pretty much the same things that make me happy today.

Betty Killebrew

Read Similar articles, stories and poems at:  www.inspirationalarchive.com

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Exodus 25, vs. 1-16 with Betty

1 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

2 Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering.

3 And this is the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass,

4 And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats’ hair,

5 And rams’ skins dyed red, and badgers’ skins, and shittim wood,

6 Oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense,

7 Onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate.

8 And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.

9 According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.

10 And they shall make an ark of shittim wood: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof.

11 And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, within and without shalt thou overlay it, and shalt make upon it a crown of gold round about.

12 And thou shalt cast four rings of gold for it, and put them in the four corners thereof; and two rings shall be in the one side of it, and two rings in the other side of it.

13 And thou shalt make staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold.

14 And thou shalt put the staves into the rings by the sides of the ark, that the ark may be borne with them.

15 The staves shall be in the rings of the ark: they shall not be taken from it.

16 And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee.

K.J.V. Bible Text

My thoughts:

Exodus 25 is the beginning of instructions that the Lord gave to Moses on the mount.  The Lord told Moses to ask that those of the people who would give willingly give various gifts to him. From previous readings of Exodus, I know that all the items the Lord requests the people to give as gifts are for the arc of the covenant and other parts of the temple that he wants them to build as a dwelling place for Him among them.

The Lord begins the instructions for building the arc.  Even today, the secret of the arc is not known.  That is lost in antiquity, but here where the Lord describes the staves to be placed in rings, we know that he was describing a way to carry the arc while not touching it.  The arc was a dangerous thing to enemies but not to the chosen people who were instructed by the Lord how to use it safely.

The Lord told Moses that he should put into the ark the testimony which he would give him.

Personally, I wonder what that testimony could have been.  Was it perhaps a written record of the laws given to Moses?  Was the arc to be a home for the tablets of the Ten Commandments?  Not being a bible scholar, I cannot answer that but I do know the arc was very important and the Lord wanted it built exactly as he commanded.

Betty Killebrew

To read more of Betty’s thoughts, click on the link shown below

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A Candle

I am a dim and tiny candle
In a sea of darkness shining,
But I will keep on spreading light
With the message I’m defining.

Perhaps one person may spy the glow,
Seeping dimly from my flame,
And spread it to another
Because to it he came. 

So though my light be soft and dim
And my message written small,
The hope that even one may learn
Makes me give it my all. 

Elizabeth Ruth

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Exodus 24, vs. 12-18 with Betty

12 And the Lord said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them.

13 And Moses rose up, and his minister Joshua: and Moses went up into the mount of God.

14 And he said unto the elders, Tarry ye here for us, until we come again unto you: and, behold, Aaron and Hur are with you: if any man have any matters to do, let him come unto them.

15 And Moses went up into the mount, and a cloud covered the mount.

16 And the glory of the Lord abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud.

17 And the sight of the glory of the Lord was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel.

18 And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights.

K.J.V. Bible Text 

My Thoughts:

The Lord told Moses to come up to the mount and he would give him tables of stone of the law and commandments. Moses took Joshua with him and left Aaron and Hur to watch over the children of Israel.

The mount of God, here also called Mount Sinai, was covered by a cloud as the glory of God abode there for 6 days before the Lord called Moses from within the cloud.

The children of Israel saw the presence of God like a “devouring fire on the top of the mount.”

On the sixth day, when the Lord called to Moses, he went into the midst of the cloud. Moses remained on the mount for forty days and forty nights.

When I note that Moses was on that mountain all that time, I realize that had I been one of those children of Israel looking at the “devouring fire” on top of the mount, I would have doubted his return.  Surely it was a good thing that Aaron and Hur were present as his representatives to prevent the people from dispersing into the surrounding country during the long absence of Moses.

Betty Killebrew

To read more of Betty’s thoughts, click on the link shown below.

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