Hymn Story – When They Ring Those Golden Bells

When They Ring Those Golden Bells By Bill Dagle, hymnstories.org Do you ever think of Heaven? The song writer penned the words, How Beautiful Heaven Must Be; and I know it must be. Jesus is there, first and foremost; and with each passing year, more of the ones I love are going there. When you think about it, it’s as far from Hell as you will ever be. Yes, how beautiful Heaven must be. Apparently, Daniel A. Marbelle thought so too because, before he went there, he wrote a poem, added his melody, and left a song about a beautiful place he anticipated seeing very soon. Thanks to my mentor, Dr. Al Smith, we have the story. It goes like this. Marbelle was born in France. By 1847, we find him in the American Navy fighting Mexico; in 1862, in the Civil War as a musician with the sixth Michigan infantry regiment; and after the war, touring the country in an opera company. Daniel was involved with the Barnum and Bailey Circus for a time and with Colonel William Cody, better known as “Buffalo Bill,” and his Wild West Show. And if that wasn’t enough, Marbelle was an outstanding public speaker, a poet, a sleight of hand artist, and composer of popular ballads. With all these talents, Daniel Marbelle should have died as a rich and famous man, but this was not the case. His last years were spent depending on others—his home an abandoned schoolhouse, his neighbors providing sustenance; but as Dr. Al reminds us, “Our extremities become God’s opportunities.” Each time Marbelle gave his testimony in the little Methodist Church near Elgin, Illinois, where he sang in the choir, he would say, “For years I was too busy. I didn’t have time for God and so rich I didn’t need Him. God had to slow me down and take my success away so that He could talk to me about the home beyond the river.” With a life of fame and fortune behind him and a promise of a “land beyond the river” before him, Daniel A. Marbelle, a sinner saved by grace, soared far beyond the pull of earth’s ties. With pen in hand, he recorded for us who wait in Christ the word picture of how beautiful Heaven must be: There’s a land beyond the river, That we call the sweet forever, And we only reach that shore by faith’s decree; One by one we’ll gain the portals, There to dwell with the immortals, When they ring those golden bells for you and me. Chorus Don’t you hear the bells now ringing? Don’t you hear the angels singing? Tis the glory hallelujah Jubilee. In that far off sweet forever, Just beyond the shining river, When they ring the golden bells for you and me. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. I Corinthians 2:9


Hymn Story – For God So Loved the World

By  Bill Dagle, https://hymnstories.org/
 I saw Dr. Al Smith for the first time while attending Tomas Road Bible Institute in Lynchburg, Virginia, in 1974.  Previous to that time, I never thought about the stories behind the hymns; but after meeting Dr. Al, I couldn’t stop thinking about it.  Little did I know how that Sunday night service would have such an impact on my life.  Alfred Barney Smith was born November 8, 1916, in Midland Park, New Jersey.  His education included Juilliard School of Music in New York City, Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, and Wheaton College.  While attending Wheaton, Al Smith became good friends with Billy Graham, and for a time, was his first song leader.  In 1941, Al founded Singspiration Publishing; and in 1972, Encore Publishing which resulted in the best hymnal of all times, Living Hymns.  In his lifetime, he would write over 500 gospel songs and choruses including, “Surely Goodness and Mercy” and “For God So Loved the World.”  In 1981, Dr. Al published his Treasury of Hymn Histories which has become my bible for hymn stories.  It’s from that publication that I get the story for “God So Loved.” The year was 1938, and a young Al Smith was visiting George Stebbins, the gospel song composer.  Mr. Stebbins had worked with D. L. Moody, Ira Sankey, P. P. Bliss, and Fanny Crosby, the great evangelists of the 19th century.  For three hours, Al listened to the fascinating stories about these men and women of God—how the gospel songs drew souls to the cross and how these songs were born.  That afternoon, he dedicated his life to the ministry of music.   Due at a meeting in Oneonta that evening, Al had to leave; but he left with a strong desire to write songs as Mr. Stebbins had.  His trip from Catskill gave him time to think and to write.  Arriving at the Townsend home in Oneonta, Al left an uncompleted song on the piano as he rushed off to the meeting.    Looking at the chorus, Frances Townsend noticed a phrase was missing.  Taking a pencil, she inserted, “What glory that will be”; and a song was born:
For God so loved the world He gave His only Son To die on Calvary’s tree, From sin to set me free: Some day He’s coming back, What glory that will be! Wonderful His love to me.
The hymn of the month for May 2019:  For God So Loved the World


Raise a Hallelujah

From: https://bethelmusic.com/videos/raise-a-hallelujah/

RAISE A HALLELUJAH – SONG STORY Jonathan David HelserMelissa HelserVictory Bethel Music CEO Joel Taylor and his wife Janie took their two-year-old son Jaxon to the hospital with what they thought was a normal child’s illness. The Taylors soon discovered that Jaxon’s kidneys were shutting down due to an E-coli virus attacking his organs. Jaxon then began to undergo blood transfusions and go on dialysis, while suffering from seizures and respiratory issues. Soon after, their four-year-old daughter Addie was diagnosed with the same infection. Faced with the possible loss of their son and daughter, the couple cried out to their community for prayer and support. Joel Taylor recorded a video on Instagram asking for prayer from the community that soon went viral, as Christians from all over the world joined in prayer and intercession for the Taylors. Worship leaders and friends of the community Jonathan and Melissa Helser were in constant contact with the Taylors from the beginning of the crisis, and received news one night that the Taylors didn’t think Jaxon would make it through the night. “As soon as I got that text, I felt like this giant of unbelief stood in front of me,” Jonathan Helser said. “I thought, ‘Jaxon’s going to die tonight, we’re not going to see the miracle.’” As the Helsers dove into prayer over Jaxon, a new song came out. “All of a sudden, out of my gut, this song came out in the face of the giant – ‘I raise a hallelujah, in the presence of my enemies. I raise a hallelujah, louder than the unbelief.’” This song became an anthem for the Taylors throughout the rest of the battle over Jaxon’s life. Making worship their weapon, more friends from the community came to the hospital room and sang over Jaxon and Addie. After several weeks in the hospital, numerous treatments and countless prayers, the Taylors were admitted to go home with two healthy children. Joel Taylor recounts his experience, “God’s timing often doesn’t make sense until you look back to see that mountains were climbed and canyons were crossed on no strength of your own. In the battle for Jaxon’s life, the global church community rose up like a mighty army and joined us in prayer and worship all over the world. Our son was miraculously healed and today is perfectly healthy.” I raise a hallelujah, in the presence of my enemies I raise a hallelujah, louder than the unbelief I raise a hallelujah, my weapon is a melody I raise a hallelujah, Heaven comes to fight for me   I’m gonna sing, in the middle of the storm Louder and louder, you’re gonna hear my praises roar Up from the ashes, hope will arise Death is defeated, the King is alive   I raise a hallelujah, with everything inside of me I raise a hallelujah, I will watch the darkness flee I raise a hallelujah, in the middle of the mystery I raise a hallelujah, fear you lost your hold on me   Sing a little louder In the presence of my enemies Sing a little louder

Louder than the unbelief