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  "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." - Mark 16:15 

 

Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet 

Never failed me yet
Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet
There's one thing I know
For He loves me so
Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet
Never Failed Me Yet
Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet
YouTube Link: Link
MP3 Link: Link
The above recording, Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet, is an unplanned recording of an elderly homeless man singing an unknown hymn, in London, in 1971. (Source: Wikipedia link.)

Film makers Gavin Bryars and Alan Power were making a film about people living rough in the areas around Elephant and Waterloo Station in London.  During filming, some people would break out into drunken song, but there was one man, who did not drink, that sang a hymn, "Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet."

In the words of the film maker Gavin Bryars,
"In 1971, when I lived in London, I was working with a friend, Alan Power, on a film about people living rough in the area around Elephant and Castle and Waterloo Station. In the course of being filmed, some people broke into drunken song – sometimes bits of opera, sometimes sentimental ballads – and one, who in fact did not drink, sang a religious song "Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet". This was not ultimately used in the film and I was given all the unused sections of tape, including this one."
When the film maker played it at home, he realised that the singing was in tune with his piano, and he improvised a simple accompaniment.

Bryars took the recording tape to Leicester, where he was working in the Fine Art Department, and copied the loop onto a continuous reel of tape, thinking about perhaps adding an orchestrated accompaniment to this.

The recording room opened up to a large painting studio.  Bryars left the recording room open while leaving the tape playing and recording.  When he came back from having a coffee, he was perplexed with the reaction.

The Blood of Jesus

The simple hymn of the elderly homeless man had a profound affect on the artists in the painting studio.  Bryars returned to find the mood subdued, people moving more slowly than usual, and a few people were sitting alone, quietly weeping.
"...while I (Bryers) went to have a cup of coffee. When I came back I found the normally lively room unnaturally subdued. People were moving about much more slowly than usual and a few were sitting alone, quietly weeping.

I was puzzled until I realised that the tape was still playing and that they had been overcome by the old man's singing."
The unknown homeless mans simple hymn had a profound affect on the artists who heard it.  Despite his unfortunate condition, homeless, alone, and elderly, with the afflictions that come with old age, the elderly gentleman had something that money can't buy.  He had faith.  Faith in the Lord.

Even for an elderly man, with basically no worldy possessions, with his simple song about the Lord, the power of His blood, affected the young artists and students there.  Who knows how many of them were moved to find the Lord?  There is power in the Blood of the Lord.

The elderly gentleman had nothing much to speak of in terms of worldy possessions, but, just like the rest of us, he was born into the world, and we shall leave the world with nothing,
1 Timothy 6:7, “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.”
Who knows what befell the elderly man, that he lost many things?  He didn't drink, yet, he ended up elderly, homeless.  One would wonder perhaps he had no family to care for him.  However, the elderly man, he had something that we can never lose, he had his faith, that can't be taken from us, the joy in his salvtion, and is now in Heaven, in eternal life.
Hebrews 11:1-2, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report."
As the filmaker stated,
"...This convinced me of the emotional power of the music and of the possibilities offered by adding a simple, though gradually evolving, orchestral accompaniment that respected the homeless man's nobility and simple faith. Although he died before he could hear what I had done with his singing, the piece remains as an eloquent, but understated testimony to his spirit and optimism."

Faith

Many people endure many things in life.  The Bible testifies to the saints throughout history.  Some endured trials and tribulations for their faith, 1 Peter 1:7, “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:”

Those who had plenty in the world, to those who had little, to those martyred, all had trials in life, and they all had one thing in common, that which pleases God, and that is faith,
Hebrews 11:6, But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Even from the beginning, with the children of Adam and Eve, it was the faith of Abel in God (Hebrews 11:4), in the coming sacrifice of the lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, His sacrifice on the cross for our sins, His bodily resurrection.  His shed blood applied onto the Mercy Seat in Heaven.  Faith in the Lord.
Hebrews 9:12, “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”
Faith brings us great joy, the eternal hope, no matter what we have, or don't have, we rejoice that we are only in this world for a short while,
Titus 1:2, “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;”

A Simpler Time

Although not a hymn in the traditional sense, I recall as a child, my Dad would listen to country music.  This song came to mind recently.  There was a time when life WAS simpler, and it was in the not too distant past, even just a few decades.  24 TV did not exist.  24 hour 'lifestyles' did not exist.  Most people worked standard daytime hours.  Unless you were part of the emergency services, most people did not work weekends, or work different shifts each day.  In the UK, there were three TV stations, and NONE of them ran in the evening.  Life has become faster, more complex, more 'options', ways to spend our finances, interests, thoughts and lives, but have we become happier?

Here is the song,

You Tube Link: Link
MP3 Link: Link

It's True, People over 30 are Less Happy Than Previous Generations!

How could this be?  With increasing choice, increasing 24 hour 'lifestyles', increasing technology, media, and advertising, people are being more and more sold the idea that anything in life is possible, that we can achieve all worldly things, we are more talented/luckier than almost everyone else, and, that all this would make us happy!

From this article,
"Older adults are no longer happier than young adults. Teens and young adults were happier in the 2010s than they were in previous decades, but adults over age 30 were less happy recently (based on analyses of surveys of 1.3 million Americans ages 13 to 96 between 1972 and 2014.....)

Why has this happened? A prime suspect is our modern belief system that everyone should follow their dreams. New media makes fame seem like just one viral video away. Reality shows lift ordinary people from obscurity and into the limelight. Nearly 60 percent of high school students — twice as many as in the 1970s — expect to earn a graduate or professional degree, even though the number who actually will has remained stuck at 10 percent. Seventy-eight percent of college students believe that their drive to achieve is above average. Yet they study fewer hours than previous generations, and their SAT scores are lower. As other research has shown, positive thinking doesn’t automatically produce success."
People today have higher expectations - that they'll get a college degree, that their drive is above average (78% of people believe their drive is above average - clearly at least 28% of these people are incorrect!).  The reality is that, instead of being happy with the simple things in life, people are more likely to chase big dreams, have high expectations.  These things sound good when we are young, but the reality is, most of us are just ordinary people.  There is a lot to be said with being content with the things that we have.

Society is playing the game of sin.  Enticing people with big dreams, encouraging unrealistic expectations of what the world will give them, unrealistic expectations of themselves, fueling narcissism and then failed dreams and disapointment.  As the Bible says, sin appears pleasurable for a season, but it soon loses it's appeal (in this case, 30 years old and afterwards),
Hebrews 11:25, “Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;”
The sin of pride, lack of humility, expecting big things and special treatment in life, can work fine when we are young, but how long does it last for?  As the statistics show, even once a person reaches the age of 30, the reality of life can start to confuse them, leading to disappointment and dissatisfaction.  Society is as much to blame as people, as we are victims of Satans campaign to steal the happiness of individuals and society by giving false promises and misleading dreams, Satan really does come to kill, steal, and destroy! (John 10:10).

People Rushing at Busy Train Station

How to Live?

The Bible tells us to be content with the simple things in life, with food and clothing, 1 Timothy 6:9, “And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” and to have humility, James 4:6b, ”God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

The Wisdom of Being Content

There is a lot to be said for being content with the simple things in life.  There is great wisdom in being content with the simple things in life, the things that we have, rather than place the unfair burdens on ourselves of unrealistic expectations.  Truthfully, even if one were to obtain great fame, wealth, prestige, does that guarantee happiness?  One can have a great day with very little, and a bad day with very much.

As the simple song says, if we can wake up with a smile, work through the day with love, and go to bed thanking the Lord, having the simple things in life, food, clothing, the Lord as our Saviour, we are very blessed indeed.
“And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” 1 Timothy 6:8
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33


 




































9th May 2018

 

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