Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Word - Amazing Grace

My dear Friends,
It is another day here in LA, another day full of new things I will learn.
The Chief Executive of the United Nation's Radio sits next to me through the entire two weeks. On Tuesday morning we were having breakfast and we were talking about what do we do when we have free time. He asked me if I go to night clubs etc..I told him that I spent time with more books because I am getting ready with God's word and he looked at me and asked me if I was a Christian I told him that most definitely and he told me "good for you!, I am too". And we began to share Christ. He told me that Christ was in high places into the UN, that his children are really answering the call to serve him and honor him wherever He places them. And I rejoiced!

The story of "How great Thou are", has two authors and 50 years of events that inspired the completion of the hymn.
In 1885 a Swedish Pastor Carl Gustav Boberg was coming back from a hike when he was surprised by a storm. He took refuge in an abandoned farm and watched in wonder the powerful act of nature orchestrated by God. When he returned home, he penned all he had seen during the storm and now everything was calm, the river was like a mirror and all of nature was quite, while he was reflecting on all this, the bells of the church sounded in the distance. He wrote this poem and read it to his congregation and later published it in the newspapers(this is the English translation of course):

O 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 Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art.

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.

Later in 1907 it was translated in German, it was the favorite hymn among young people and they liked to sing it specially when they went hiking. 20 years later in a Ukrainian village an English Pastor Stuart K. Hine translated the hymn into English. The people seemed to appreciate the Lord's word but not fully understood yet what was the gift that God had given humankind. One day a lady from church read the passage of Christ crucifixion and people began to cry and fell on their knees in humbleness of the love God had with us that he did not spare his son. Stuart added to the existing hymn:

And when I think, that 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.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art.

1939 due to the breaking of WWII Stuart returned to England and ministered to the people from all over Europe who were taking temporaraly to seek refuge in Brittain. Among the refugees a lady stood up and asked " when are we going home?". It was then that Stuart added the final words to complete this beautiful hymn of all times:

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And then proclaim: "My God, how great Thou art!"

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art.

In 1957 "How great thou are" was introduced to America in Madison Square Garden during a Billy Graham crusade. It was so that this hymn was completed and embraced in many languages, denominations and cultures.

God bless you and your family abundantly!

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