Humble Thanks, Lord.

For days of joys unrivaled,
For days of furrowed brow,
For the heritage of forebears,
For havens where we bow,
For mem'ries of loved ones in glory,
For the love of those still at home,
For blessings and testings, our Father,
We give you thanks on your throne.

For faithful farmers' harvests,
Their silos bursting with grain,
For orchard trees full laden,
For sunshine and life-giving rain,
For skyways, highways, and oceans,
Their commerce also so blessed,
We give the Lord of Harvests
All thanks for these bequests.

For America's Constitution,
For those who have honored that Writ,
For soldiers who fought for their country,
For those 'specially who died for it,
For our nation's long survival
Through bloody and costly wars;
Thanks, too, for our Four Freedoms
And that flag still "filled with stars."

For the prayers of earnest prayer warriors,
For sermons so blessed by prayer,
For God's Spirit ever watchful,
For the Saviour Who saves from sin's snare,
For God's Word and Christ's sure promise
To rapture His Bride away,
For blessings past, present, and future
Humble Thanks, Lord, this Thanksgiving Day.

John Evans
Jacksonville, FL

 
Jesus Walked My Calvary Road

O my Lord came in love's sweetest story
From great honor, where there is no sin;
Yes, He walked streets of gold there in glory,
But He stepped down to walk among men.

But that Calvary Road was a bitter, bitter road,
And my Jesus was there so oppressed;
But He walked it alone for my sins to atone--
Now I'm freed from those sins--I am blessed!

I am blessed! I am blessed! O thank God, I am blessed,
For my Lord carried there my sin's load.
Then He walked up that hill where His blood for me was spilled--
O thank God Jesus walked my Calv'ry road!

Once again my Lord walks there in glory
With great honor where there is no sin,
But my heart turns again to that story
How He stepped down to walk among men.

But that Calvary Road was a bitter, bitter road,
And my Jesus was there so oppressed;
But He walked it alone for my sins to atone–
Now I'm freed from those sins--I am blessed!

I am blessed! I am blessed! O thank God, I am blessed,
For my Lord carried there my sin's load.
Then He walked up that hill where His blood for me was spilled--
O thank God Jesus walked my Cal'vry road!

John Evans
Jacksonville, FL

 
Together Again

Should you go ahead
And I stay instead
To mourn you,
Walk slowly, my dear,
While I follow here
In the path;
And listen for me
To so eagerly
Call your name.
Then when you turn around
I'll make up the ground
To join you.
Arm in arm then we'll go
Into heaven to know
Jesus' welcome.
There together we'll sing;
Forever we'll bring
Our God praise.

But should I lead the way
Toward that halcyon day
We call heaven,
I'll walk slowly for you
As I asked you to do
Once for me;
And I'll listen with care
For your call as a prayer
From behind me.
Turned, what joy to behold
That girl who of old
Shared all my dreams!
Arm in arm then we'll go
Into heaven to know
Jesus' welcome.
There together we'll sing;
Forever we'll bring
Our God praise.

John Evans
Jacksonville, FL

 
God's Incandescent Three

Shadrach, Meshech, Abednego, shining lights of long ago,
Learned a lesson we from God must learn today:
Persecution we will know, as God's prophets all will show,
If our light we shine for God along our way.

They wouldn't bow, or bend, or learn the king's decrees just can't be spurned,
So that furnace fire was lit without delay!
They couldn't cower, mend, or turn, so their bodies had to burn--
But their bonds alone would burn that happy day!

Shadrach, Meshech, Abednego, to you three we so much owe
For the faith you had to die for Him Adored!
Burning-- yet unburnt-- we see you're God's incandescent three,
And forever you will shine forth for your Lord!

In the fire with them appeared the only One of Whom they feared:
Jehovah Nissi, God Our Banner and Our Stay!
Though he was not to them endeared, the king for the four then cheered
And renounced his heathen gods with feet of clay.

Like Moses' bush that he once saw and stood before in holy awe,
Burning bright they shine as lights along our way.
They never knew or ever saw how from their courage we could draw
On faith to live or die for God also today.

Shadrach, Meshech, Abednego, to you three we so much owe
For the faith you had to die for Him Adored!
Burning--yet unburnt--we see you're God's incandescent three,
And forever you will shine forth for your Lord!

John Evans
Jacksonville, FL

 
For Storms that Loom Large

Have you been filled with fear for the future?
You're care-worn about trials ahead?
You should know such robs life of its fullness
And just leaves you with sickness instead.

So be done with those troubles and sorrows;
Give to Jesus those worries and dread,
And those storms that loom large to the westward -
Won't distress--they'll just bless!--overhead!

Through much care we can mar our tomorrows.
"Learn from the lily and lark," Jesus said;
"They don't spin, neither slave at day labor,
Yet they're clothed and provided with bread."

So be done with those troubles and sorrows;
Give to Jesus those worries and dread,
And those storms that loom large to the westward
Won't distress--they'll just bless!--overhead!

No, our fretting can't change things about us,
So "Cast your troubles on me," Jesus said;
Count your blessings; praise God for His goodness,
And God's peace will surround you instead!

So go pack up those troubles and sorrows!
Give to Jesus all those worries and dread,
And those storms that loom large to the westward
Won't distress--they'll just bless!-- when overhead!

John Evans,
Jacksonville, FL

 
Consolation for Trials Ahead

Our pastor in his midweek sermon
Said of trials we tend to abhor,
That "Each of us either is in one,
Is just out or one knocks at the door."

And, still more, he recalled of the trio
Of brave Hebrews consigned to the pyre,
That much to the king's consternation
A Fourth walked with them there in the fire!

That Presence then made them so carefree
They almost were ready to laugh;
It's reported that one said while "shiv'ring,"
"Hey, I'm getting right cool in this draft!"

Well, honestly, that's just conjecture;
But it's fact that the king called them forth,
And when three men emerged from the furnace,
He must have then asked, "Where's the Fourth?"

Here's the answer to this wond'ring query,
And to yours, should you also enquire:
Christ awaits in the furnace his children
When trial calls them to the fire.

John Evans,
Jacksonville, FL

 
"Diggin' in Dirt on a Sunday!"

The Fords they are very fine farmers,
A trying vocation most days,
And sometimes the spring rains have kept pouring
With big losses for them to defray;

So sometimes the Fords worked on a Sunday-ⴀ
But for church they would be in their place,
On time, all dressed up to praise Jesus,
Who had blessed them and theirs by His grace.

Well, this Lord's Day the Fords early had labored
(As they felt God allowed them to do),
But at ten o'clock sharp they had gathered,
Their heads bowed before God in their pew.

Yes, in church they sought surcease from trial--
But behind them they heard, "God detests
This diggin' in dirt on a Sunday,
Then prayin' to Him like the rest!"

Yes, this barb was for them, and they knew it,
But as singin' had started they tried
To cast upon Jesus this sorrow,
For the Saviour for such had once died.

The preacher soon came to his sermon--
And, believe me, this was his text:
"It's a sin to pass judgment on others;
Forsake that in this world for the next!

Don't let's dig into other folks problems;
Leave the dirt there for their eyes and God's!
He despises the ways of a gossip
And won't bless folks when that road they've trod!"

Well, that preacher he sure had one sermon!
It's gist was in truth "God detests
This diggin' in dirt on a Sunday,
Then prayin' to Him like the rest!"

I'm reminded of Jesus' sure proverb;
In the Gospel of Matthew it's penned:
"By your own words you shall be accepted,
And by your own words you shall be condemned"!

John Evans
Jacksonville, FL

 
The God Who Shows He Answers Prayer

Oh they say that a man's case is hopeless
When no person could possibly care;
Or a woman who's lost all her chances--
Well, these people just don't have a prayer!

But there's hope! We have prayer! See our man Moses,
Pharaoh's hosts and the sea on all sides,
"Just stand still and trust God!" was the challenge--
And God's way opened up through the tide!

Yes, again I contend, we're never hopeless
Just as long as one breath is still there!
If we plead earnestly in Jesus' name now,
Then we'll know the God Who shows He answers prayer!

There is hope; see the three Hebrew martyrs;
Persecution put them to the torch--
But a Fourth walked with them in that furnace,
And their bodies were not even scorched!

Yes, there's hope; Behold Noah at floodtime,
When the torrents said time was no more,
But a watertight ark and God's promise--
Noah floated to new life on God's shore!

Yes, again I contend, we're never hopeless
Just as long as one breath is still there!
If we plead earnestly in Jesus' name now,
Then we'll know the God Who shows He answers prayer!

John Evans
Jacksonville, FL

 
The Preacher's Perfect Squelch

Michael Kelly's a very good preacher;
For the Methodist Church he "holds forth."
He hails from the hills of Virginia,
Though right now he feeds flocks in the North.

Pastor Mike's a bit short of perfection
(Like us all he would tell you he's flawed),
But he sure hates the ways of a gossip,
'Bout as much as he truly loves God.

To give you a quick illustration,
A brother asked him, "Did you know
Brother Joe has a taste for hard liquor
And a love for the lotto also?"

Well, the pastor just paused for a moment,
Then responded that one thing he knew:
"Brother Joe is deserving of honor,
For he only speaks well about you.

And right now let us pray for this brother,
For I'm sure by our prayer he'd be blessed;
And while blessing the life of this other,
Let us lay before God your excess."

Imagine the look on this fellow,
As he searched for a hole to crawl in!
And I'll tell you this squelch from the preacher
Comes to all who would so "share" with him!

John Evans
Jacksonville, FL

 
Correction, Please!

In this world from good sense separated,
Where the wrong is called right, and that daily,
A recent abortionist stated:
"I've aborted just tissue, no baby!"

Yet this one who so blithely takes issue
With good sense would some day hope to say:
"I have birthed from my womb, not dead tissue,
But a precious live baby today!"

I correct all such rationalizing,
With no ifs or yet even a maybe--
If a baby you'd later be prizing,
Know the tissue before was a baby!

There is something to me of great potency
That's recalled from the good olden days:
"I thank God for the gem of consistency!"
And "You just cannot have it both ways!"

John Evans
Jacksonville, FL