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Favorite hymns tell story

Musings and Memories

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I love to think of faraway places.  

Those beautiful lands that I have visited over and over again come to my mind first it seems; places like the Rocky Mountains, or the Smokies, the Gulf Coast, and the Caribbean. I have gazed into the depths of the Grand Canyon so many times over the years, but that view is so different every time I look into that vast expanse. I saw what looked like a streak of a green stream at the bottom. That green streak is the Colorado River, the waters which geologists say formed that grandest of canyons.  

Lynn, my precious wife, and I have had the privilege of touring the amazing Holy Lands of Israel. But, there’s still one very Far Away Place I long to see.  

We sing about it all the time. Hymn writer, E. M. Bartlett, also thought about this Far Away Place and he wrote about it so many times in so many of his songs.  

Like this one: There’s a happy land of promise over in the great beyond Where the saved of earth shall soon the glory share; Where the souls of men shall enter and live on forever more Everybody will be happy over there.  

(Everybody will be happy, will be happy over there) Everybody will be happy, will be happy over there. (We will shout and sing His praises through the never-ending ages) We will shout and sing His praises, everybody will be happy over there!  

There the ransomed of all ages will be singing ‘round the throne In that land where no one ever knows a care, And the Christians of all nations will join in the triumph song. Everybody will be happy over there… \Bartlett thought about that place and he wrote about Heaven a whole lot. He traveled throughout the American South singing at Gospel Music Conventions and in church services; and he published numerous hymnbooks and Southern Gospel music books. Many of those books contained Bartlett’s songs.  

In 1939 Bartlett suffered a stroke, which left him partially paralyzed and unable to sing any longer. Bartlett’s traveling days were over. He continued to encourage himself in the Word of God, studying the Bible every day. 

Bartlett continued meditating on that place where “everybody will be happy,” and alone in his room he thought about the Gospel and the Lord Jesus and Divine Healing and his Heavenly Home…and he penned the words to one of his most endearing hymns.  

It’s called “Victory in Jesus!”  

That hymn is my all-time favorite. 

I heard an old, old story, How a Savior came from Glory, How He gave His life on Calvary To save a wretch like me; I heard about His groaning, Of His precious blood’s atoning, Then I repented of my sins, And won the victory. O victory in Jesus, My Savior, forever.  

He sought me and bought me With His redeeming blood; He loved me ere I knew Him And all my love is due Him, He plunged me to victory, Beneath the cleansing flood. I heard about His healing, Of His cleansing pow’r revealing. How He made the lame to walk again And caused the blind to see; And then I cried, ‘Dear Jesus, Come and heal my broken spirit,’ And somehow Jesus came and bro’t To me the victory. I heard about a mansion He has built for me in Glory. And I heard about the streets of gold Beyond the crystal sea; About the angels singing, And the old redemption story, And some sweet day I’ll sing up there The song of victory. 

O victory in Jesus, My Savior, forever. He sought me and bought me With His redeeming blood; He loved me ere I knew Him And all my love is due Him, He plunged me to victory, Beneath the cleansing flood. I love that Old Gospel Song… The song that tells the whole story of salvation and how Jesus brought it to all who would believe.  

This favorite hymn of mine reminds us that Jesus is our Healer as well as our Savior from sin. And this song reminds us that Jesus has prepared a place for us in Heaven. E. M. Bartlett wrote this important Gospel Song while paralyzed from a stroke; and it was the last hymn that Bartlett ever wrote. He died in 1941.  

He has moved on to that Place he loved to sing about, where everybody will be happy. I long to join him one day.  

The Apostle John wrote about a conversation that the Lord Jesus had with His disciples; and John wrote these words from Jesus and Thomas:  

The Lord Jesus said: “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. 

I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”  

Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” Jesus said to Thomas, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  

The only way that any of us can get to that place where “everybody will be happy,” that place that Jesus has prepared for us, that glorious place we know as Heaven; that place where the Heavenly Father is seated on His Throne; that place where all the saints have gathered to worship the Savior of the World; the only Way there is through Jesus Christ.  

He said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one come to the Father except through Me.” I believe that.  

And I pray that you will too. I hope to see you one day in that Glorious Place Called Heaven.

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