Couples in the Bible: Adam and Eve

Adam and Eve are the first couple in the Bible. They are included in the creation story. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”  {Genesis 1:27} They walked with God in paradise in the Garden of Eden until the serpent tempted Eve to eat the […]

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Hymn Story: Father Along

The chorus to Farther Along is one that is easy to get stuck in your heart and soul. Much of life we will only understand “farther along”. However, there are a lot of questions and uncertainty about the origins of this song. In 1911, Rev. W. A. Fletcher, an itinerant preacher, was struggling with his calling and family obligations. He […]

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Hymn Story: All People That on Earth Do Dwell

All People That on Earth Do Dwell was written by William Kethe. Kethe was born in Scotland and fled to the continent during Queen Mary’s persecution in the late 1550s. While living in Geneva he traveled to visit other English refugees. It is believed he was one of the translators of the Geneva Bible–which was favored by the Pilgrim fathers. […]

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Hymn Story: Alleluia! Sing to Jesus!

“Lying bedridden with a near fatal illness in 1866, William C. Dix found the hope to pen the words to the joyful hymn of victory, “Alleluia! Sing to Jesus!” Inspired by the words of Revelation to sing a new song, this hymn calls us to lift our voices and praise the ascended Christ, who yet remains with us and intercedes […]

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12 Days of Easter

On the first day of Easter Jesus is betrayed with a kiss from a friend                                                                                                                       {Matthew 26:47-50} On the second day of Easter Jesus is arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane                                                                                                            {Mark 14:32-52} On the third day of Easter Jesus is mocked by the chief priest before being sent to Pilate                                                                                       {Mark 14:53-65} On the fourth […]

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Hymn Story: The Day of Resurrection

 The Day of Resurrection was written by St. John of Damascus, an eighth-century Greek poet. He is known for his writing of six canons for the major festivals of the church year. He lived a life of wealth and honor until he became dissatisfied with his life at age forty. He gave away his possessions, freed his slaves and entered […]

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Eyewitness to Easter: Pilate Guards the Tomb

Pilate has granted permission for Joseph of Arimathea to bury Jesus body but he’s not finished with situation, yet. “The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate  and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’”  {Matthew 27:62-63} Imagine the chief priest […]

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Eyewitness to Easter: Pilate Releases Jesus Body

Our last mention of Jesus in the Bible is releasing the body to Joseph of Arimathea. “Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.”  {Mark 15:43} Going before Pilate wasn’t an easy thing, but Joseph faced his fears […]

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Eyewitness to Easter: Pilate, Crucified Jesus

“So Pilate decided that their demand should be granted.”   {Luke 23:4} Pilate decided to give in to their demand, as a riot was beginning. “So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.”  {Matthew […]

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Hymn Story: All Glory, Laud and Honour

All Glory, Laud and Honour is based on Matthew 21:1-11 and often used for Palm Sunday. The hymn tells of the Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The song is from the Latin hymn “Gloria, laus et honor” which was written by Theodulf of Orléans in 820. Theodulf became the Bishop of Orléans under Charlemagne. After Charlemagne died, Theodulf was removed […]

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Eyewitness to Easter: Pilate, His Wife Warns Him

Besides, while he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, “Have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered much because of him today in a dream.”   {Matthew 27:19} “The tenderness and care of Pilate’s wife, in sending this caution, thereupon, to her husband; Have nothing to do with that just man.”   {Matthew Henry Commentary} Pilate’s […]

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Hymn Story: Go to dark Gethsemane

Go to dark Gethsemane was written by James Montgomery. He was born in 1771 Ayrshire, Scotland. His parents died on the mission field while he was at boarding school. He is said to have a passion for missions, be independent minded and express radical ideas and causes. Montgomery was imprisoned briefly when he printed a song that celebrated the fall […]

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Eyewitness to Easter: Pilate, Found No Guilt

So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?”  Jesus answered, “My […]

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Hymn Story: And can it be that I should gain

And can it be that I should gain was written by Charles Wesley in 1738. He was the eighteenth child born to Samuel and Susanna Wesley on Dec. 18, 1707. It is believed he wrote at least 6500 hymns. He wrote of many personal experiences and feelings through his hymns. And Can It Be is said to have been written […]

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Hymn Story: Alas, and Did My Savior Bleed

Alas, and Did My Savior Bleed was written by Isaac Watts. Watts was born on July 17, 1674 in Southampton, England. In 1702, he became a pastor and accepted a call to Abney Park, where he would make a home the remainder of his life. He wrote over two thousand hymns along with sermons, treatises and poems. Some of his […]

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Eyewitness to Easter: Pilate, Questioned Jesus

We’ve been looking at Easter through the viewpoint of others. This time we are going to take a look from Pilate’s viewpoint. All four of the gospels give an account of Jesus trial before Pilate. I’ll primarily be using the account found in Luke and supplement with the other accounts. Jesus has been arrested and taken before the chief priest […]

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Hymn Story: An Evening Hymn

Thomas Ken was born in 1637 Hertfordshire, England. He studied a Winchester College and became ordained in the Church of England in 1662. He is said to be “a man of conscience and independent mind who did not shirk from confrontations with royalty.” The story is told “when King Charles II came to visit Winchester, he took along his mistress, […]

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