Today’s Bible Reading & Verse
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. 1 Corinthians 15:58
Today’s Song Story
How Great Thou Art
Carl Boberg was a Swedish lay preacher who, among other things, published a Christian newspaper and served for a dozen years in the Swedish parliament. He wrote the original version of this song in 1886, and entitled it "O Store Gud," which means "O Great God." His inspiration for the song came from the beauty of Swedish meadows and lakes after a thunderstorm. He published his song in his newspaper, but it didn’t seem to catch on.
But then someone translated it into German under the title, "Wie Grosse Bist Du," and it spread further.
Then Rev. Ivan S. Prokhanoff, an evangelical Russian Christian, translated it into Russian. Prokhanoff was an important figure among Russian Christians, so his involvement insured its spread in Russia.
Then Stuart Hine, an English missionary to the Ukraine, heard it, translated it into English, and added one or more verses –– inspired, he said, by the beauty of the "woods and forest glades" of the Carpathian Mountains after a thunderstorm. The last verse, which begins, "When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation, and take me home," was inspired by Eastern European refugees who had fled to England and who asked, "When are we going home?" Hine printed his version of the song in leaflet form, and it was distributed somewhat widely in England.
Then in 1954, at Billy Graham’s London crusade, someone gave George Beverly Shea a copy of the leaflet. Shea, as you might remember, had a beautiful bass voice and was one of Graham’s featured singers at the crusades for many years. Shea stuck the leaflet in his pocket, and didn’t think much more about it at the time. People often gave him copies of music for his consideration.
But later, Shea examined the leaflet more carefully, and was impressed by the power of the words. He introduced it at the Toronto Crusade in 1954, but it was at the New York Crusade in 1957 that he used it extensively for the first time. He sang it ninety-nine times at that crusade –– accompanied by the Crusade Choir.
After that, "How Great Thou Art" became Shea’s signature song, and he sang it wherever he went. He used it often in Billy Graham’s "Hour of Decision" radio broadcasts.
Today’s Worship Songs
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Most High – Hillsong
Doxology – David Crowder Band
You Move Me – Susan Ashton
Here You Stand – Cheri Keaggy
Along the Road – Ashton, Dente & Becker
Father’s Love – Bob Carlisle
My Tribute – Crystal Lewis
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