Posted by: rcottrill | July 19, 2010

Today in 1884 – Charles Widmeyer Born

American gospel song writer Charles Brenton Widmeyer accepted Christ as his Saviour at the age of 13. He went on to serve as a preacher and seminary professor with the Nazarene denomination, as well as writing over 350 hymns. On one occasion he was preparing to preach a sermon on John Chapter 21, and wrote a song to suit it.

The incident recorded in John occurred after Christ’s resurrection. Some of the disciples had gone out fishing, and worked all night with nothing to show for it. But in the early morning mists, the Lord Jesus appeared on the shore and called them to cast out their nets once more, “on the right side of the boat” (Jn. 21:6). The result was a catch of 153 large fish. Then the Lord, who had breakfast prepared for them, summoned them to “Come and dine” (vs. 12, KJV). Pastor Widmeyer made a spiritual application of this to the nourishment for our souls found in Christ.

Jesus has a table spread
Where the saints of God are fed,
He invites His chosen people, “Come and dine”;
With His manna He doth feed
And supplies our every need:
O ’tis sweet to sup with Jesus all the time!

“Come and dine,” the Master calleth, “Come and dine”;
You may feast at Jesus’ table all the time;
He who fed the multitude, turned the water into wine,
To the hungry calleth now, “Come and dine.”

Here, the Happy Goodman Family present this song in an upbeat Southern Gospel style.

 (2) Today in 1938 – Paul Rader Died
Paul Rader lived a varied and interesting life. Athlete, businessman, pastor, denominational leader, he has also produced hymns that are still in common use.

One day in 1921 he was walking across a busy street in the city of Chicago, with his four-year-old daughter clutching his hand. “Aren’t you afraid to cross the street, Harriet?” he asked her. “No,” she said, not when you’re with me. Why should I be afraid?”

That little incident was the basis for Pastor Rader’s song, Only Believe. It alludes to the promise of the Lord Jesus in Lk. 12:32, “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (The incident regarding the waters of Marah is found in Exod. 15:22-27.) Paul Rader wrote both words and music, dictating them later to his church pianist, Lance Latham, a hymn writer in his own right.

Fear not, little flock, from the cross to the throne,
From death into life He went for His own;
All power in earth, all power above,
Is given to Him for the flock of His love.

Only believe, only believe;
All things are possible, only believe;
Only believe, only believe;
All things are possible, only believe.

Fear not, little flock, He goeth ahead,
Your Shepherd selecteth the path you must tread;
The waters of Marah He’ll sweeten for thee–
He drank all the bitter in Gethsemane.


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