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 Poetry Friday  *  Celebrate this Week  *  Spiritual Journey.


A poem became a song and is sung around the world.

I have a girlhood memory,
or perhaps I should say a repeated memory,
or maybe it’s really a string of memories that telescope into one,
of my father’s deep voice booming through our home as he sang “How Great Thou Art” along with the recorded voice of gospel singer George Beverly Shea.

The words were first written as a Swedish poem –“O Store Gud“– by Carl Boberg in 1885 when he was inspired by the sound of church bells ringing during a wild thunderstorm. It was put to a melody about three years later. Several translations later as it was shared from Sweden to Poland and Russia to India, it finally made its way to America — nearly 50 years later. The history of this poem / song is amazing.

Oh Lord my God
When I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds
Thy hands have made
I see the stars
I hear the rolling thunder
Thy power throughout
The universe displayed
Then sings my soul
My Savior, God, to Thee
How great thou art
How great thou art
Then sings my soul
My Savior, God, to Thee
How great Thou art
How great Thou art
And when I think of God,
His son not sparing,
Sent Him to die,
I scarce can take it in;
That on the cross, my burden
gladly bearing He bled and died
to take away my sin
When Christ shall come
With shout of acclamation
And take me home
What joy shall fill my heart
Then I shall bow
With humble adoration
And then proclaim My God
How great Thou art


This week I celebrate the life of Evangelist Billy Graham (1918-2018).

It was the summer before I turned eleven. We had driven from Indiana, where we lived in a small rural town, to New Jersey — an annual trek to visit grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins. It was July, and the talk of the day was about Evangelist Billy Graham and the crusade he was holding in Madison Square Garden. It had begun in May and it was now July.

Well, my folks, brothers and I attend several of the meetings. I will never forget the experience. I’d never seen so many people in one place. It was surreal to sit in the midst of thousands singing hymns, listening to a sermon, and then watching hundreds stream from their stadium seats to the arena floor to receive Jesus as Savior. But most of all was the reality that penetrated my being that God loved me and I had a personal relationship with Him through Jesus.

George Beverly Shea singing “How Great Thou Art” in the Madison Square Garden Crusade. He sang it over 100 times during that crusade from May to September.

George and Emily Elliott attend that same NYC crusade.

With Megyn Kelly on Today on Wednesday, Kathy Lee Gifford shared her personal story.


“He who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me … has passed from death into life” (John 5:24 NKJV).


Liz at Elizabeth Steinglass is hosting
this week’s Round-Up.
Poetry Friday Schedule
January – June 2018

Celebrate this Week
with Ruth Ayres

Spiritual Thursday
for March
with Karen Eastlund,
via Irene Latham’s blog