MY SECRET! BY NIGERIA GOSPEL SINGER SOLA ALLYSON

Behind every successful story there will always be something that is kept or meant to be kept unknown or unseen by others. Top successes aren’t achievable in a night. Every dimension of personalities that is influencing and commanding result is associated with particular doings. Nobody can ever claim an attainment to a greater height without unknown components that facilitates its growth. A secret is therefore an underscore factor that catalysed a progressive life. However, whenever a successful person shares the secret behind the successful life, it gives room to encouragement…

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The Story Behind The Old Rugged Cross

George Bennard was a native of Youngstown, Ohio, but was reared in Iowa. After his conversion in a Salvation Army meeting, he and his wife became brigade leaders before leaving the organization for the Methodist Church. As a Methodist evangelist, Bennard wrote the first verse of “The Old Rugged Cross” in Albion, Michigan, in the fall of 1912 as a response to ridicule that he had received at a revival meeting. Bennard traveled with Ed E. Mieras from Chicago to Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin where they held evangelistic meetings at the Friends Church from December 29, 1912 to January 12, 1913.…

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12 SONGS TO SING DURING A CRISIS

For most of history, the call to love our neighbor has almost always meant drawing near to people . . . until now. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems the most loving thing we can do for our neighbor is keep our distance. But that distance and isolation can breed fear as our churches attempt to navigate an unprecedented season of crisis, anxiety, and even helplessness. Most congregations have been regulated to meeting online or in small community or family groups. During this unfamiliar time, however, God has given…

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History of Hymns: “Nothing but the Blood”

“Nothing but the Blood”Robert LowryThe United Methodist Hymnal, No. 362 “What can wash away my sin?Nothing but the blood of Jesus.What can make me whole again?Nothing but the blood of Jesus.O precious is the flowthat makes me white as snow;no other fount I know;nothing but the blood of Jesus. ” Robert Lowry (1826-1899) has provided us with many of the most venerable nineteenth-century texts and tunes from the United States. The Philadelphia-born author and composer of this hymn was a popular Baptist preacher and educator who served churches in Pennsylvania, New…

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Story Behind the Hymns: ‘My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less’

So ignorant was I that I did not know there was a God. My Sundays were spent on the streets (of London) in play.” Those were the words of Edward Mote, who rose from an unruly childhood to become a great writer and minister. He composed only one song, but a great song it is, indeed. It has been a favorite of people around the world. In his early adult years, Mote attended Tottenham Court Road Chapel where he heard sermons by the noted John Hyatt. He soon learned from…

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THE NUMBER ONE CHANGE YOU NEED TO MAKE

When I was a teenager and newly saved Christian, my soul winner taught me to have a daily devotional time with God. This has become the single most important habit in my life, and I’m convinced no one can grow as a Christian without it. I memorized Proverbs 8:34 when I was just 18: “Blessed is the man who hears me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.” I started getting up early and finding a place to pray in the one room apartment I…

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The Story Behind “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

The Story Behind “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

In March of 1863, 18-year-old Charles Appleton Longfellow walked out of his family’s house on Brattle Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and—unbeknownst to his family—boarded a train bound for Washington, D.C., traveling over 400 miles across the eastern seaboard in order to join President Lincoln’s Union army to fight in the Civil War. Charles (b. June 9, 1844) was the oldest of six children born to Fannie Elizabeth Appleton and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the celebrated literary critic and poet. Charles had five younger siblings: a brother (aged 17) and three sisters (ages…

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How God Uses Divine Appointments

How God Uses Divine Appointments

Recently I attended a women’s retreat whose goal is to support women of color in their communication gifts. Mealtimes were great for supportive conversations and camaraderie. At one lunch I asked a woman what she was working on. She shared a new idea for a book about her grandmother. As she continued to recollect with us, I started envisioning a children’s book. Before I could share my vision, another woman at the table said, “Have you considered writing a children’s book?” I almost jumped out of my seat. I was…

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Story Behind the Song: ‘The Old Rugged Cross’

If someone approached you, asking you to name America’s most popular hymn, no doubt many of you would respond with “The Old Rugged Cross.” It has been the most favored of the approximately 300 songs written by George Bennard. Bennard was born into a very modest family in Youngstown, Ohio, in 1873. His father passed away during George’s teen years, leaving the youth with tremendous family responsibilities. To that end, he became a coal miner, as was his father before him. Later, and for a number of years, he and…

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