Monday Melody/ A Song for Bessie

 

Over the past few years, whenever a hymn is mentioned; I have noticed there are believers who make a face or comment they prefer praise music. This is especially true for those wonderful hymns which have stood the test of time.

When The Roll is Called Up Yonder is often sung on family shows set in in the late 1800′s. The expressions on the faces of the singers do not reflect the significance of this old hymn; however they sing their parts beautifully. Especially the bass on this song. Perhaps they are unaware of the story behind it.

In the book Al Smith’s Treasury of Hymn Histories by Alfred B. Smith.

Mr. Smith tells a precious story of the background for When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder.

(Hearing him tell the story of how Hymns were written was a wonderful experience as he also sang the song. Now he is singing in Heaven with the little girl who inspired this old favorite.)

Sunday School teacher and Epworth League (a young people’s Bible club) James M. Black was walking to the post office in Williamsport PA and decided to take a different route than usual. He walked down an alley and discovered terrible poverty he didn’t know existed in his town.

There was a young girl sweeping the porch. Although she was only fourteen-years-old; she wore the look of poverty and deprivation on her face.

“Do you go to Sunday School?” he asked.

“No sir. I’d like to but I don’t have anything fit to wear; but sir, how I’d love to go,” was her reply.

Mr. Black and his wife made sure she had clothes and everything she needed to make her feel fit to go to Church. Friends even donated clothing for her.

Soon, she was faithful in attendance to both Sunday School and the Epworth League. She was there to respond every time the roll was called until one day when her name was called there was no reply.  Mr. Black became concerned that something was wrong. Perhaps her drunken father had refused to allow her to come or had beaten her again.

After Church, Mr. Black made his way through the alley to her ramshackled house. He found a very sick young lady. He sent for his doctor and the news was not good.  She was diagnosed with an advanced case of pneumonia.

Walking back home, he couldn’t shake the feeling that had come over him when Bessie had failed to show up for roll call that day.  Some day there will be a roll call in Heaven and oh, the sadness there will be for those whose names are not written in the Lambs Book of Life.

He had tried to find a suitable song that morning but couldn’t find one to sing which he could use to impress this truth upon the hearts of the young people.  His heart was heavy and disappointed that there was not a song to sing which would impress upon their hearts the need for The Savior.

He ended the service and in his disappointment he felt this was an opportunity lost. Suddenly, a thought came to mind. Why don’t you write one? He said later, “I put away the thought but as I opened the gate and walked up the path to my house, the same thought came again so strongly that tears filled my eyes. I went into the house and sat down at the piano. Without any effort at all the words seemed to tumble from my mind.”

When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound

and time shall be no more;

And the morning breaks Eternal, bright and fair,

When the saved of earth shall gather over on the other shore,

An the roll is called up yonder I’ll be there.

“After the complete set of words had come, the tune then came in the same manner. I felt that I was only the transcriber – I dared not change a note or word. In a few days I more fully understood why, for our beloved Bessie went home to Heaven to await that glorious day.”

“This song was first sung publicly at her funeral and before singing it, I related the circumstances which led to its writing. Never will I forget the effect it had upon the large audience of friends who had come. The Lord had taken little Bessie home but in her place He had given a song to keep reminding us to be ready for that great roll-call day.”

     When The Roll is Called Up Yonder was first published in the Epworth League songbook in 1892. It may have been overlooked and unpublished if Mr. Black had not written the manuscript in green ink. It stood out to publisher, Mr. Charles Gabriel who was editing the book. He later said, “The composer’s name was not familiar to me, but the green ink had made the song stand out. It was a new thought. I played it over, liked it and published it.” The rest is history. (ABS)

Lets sing along with the Gaither and friends as they sing Bessie’s song.

What if this Sunday School teacher had just passed by that dear child and had not invited her to Sunday School or followed through? She may have never received Christ as her Savior, her faithful attendance would not have been a catalyst to the song that has blessed and encouraged so many.

How about you? Is your name written in the Lambs Book of Life? (Revelation 20:11-15)

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved

Acts 16:31

Happy Birthday America!

 

“Isabel Greene, if you don’t stand still you will get stuck with a pin,” Mama said as she pinned the blue fabric with straight pins from her mouth.

“But I like to swish!”

“That’s fine,” Mama said as she removed another pin from her mouth and turned the child around to get to the back of the dress. “You may swish all you want – after I finish hemming your dress.”

“Yes Mama,” Isabel said quietly but swished her skirt as Mama bent over to retrieve the pins she had just dropped.

“Baby Maggie didn’t have to stand up to get her dress hemmed,” Isabel said as she looked at her little sister sitting in the high chair nibbling on a piece of crust.

“Baby Maggie doesn’t know how to stand yet. Now carefully step down from the stool and look at your dress in the mirror.”

“Oh Mama, it’s beautiful.” Isabel said as she swished from side to side. Ouch! It bit me!”

“That was just a pin dear. Now turn around slowly,” Mama said as she stood back to get a better view. “Isabel, you will look like a doll on the fourth of July! Just like a little sailor girl.”

Just then the screen door clapped loudly and Mama turned to see Isabel’s two older brothers racing to the ice box. “Just a glass of milk boys, lunch will be ready soon!”

“Mama,” Eugene said as he glanced at Isabel swishing in her new blue dress trimmed in red and white. “Do we hav’ta wear those silly costumes to the parade and picnic tomorrow?”

“Yeah,” five-year-old Curtis chimed in. “Those look too sissy!”

“No, they do not look sissy and yes, you must wear the sailor suits I made for you. It’s perfect for the occasion.”

“The other boys will laugh!” Eugene plopped into the kitchen chair and reached for the cookie jar.”

“If anyone laughs at a sailor suit, they should be ashamed of themselves.” Mama took the cookie jar and placed it into a cupboard. “Besides, your nephews will be wearing the same thing. After all, your half-brother Jim is in the army and Fred is in the navy. You are wearing the suits to honor them. They are fighting for freedom. Don’t ever forget that,” Mama said softly as she placed her sewing notions into her basket and put it away.  “Isabel,” Mama said as she reached for the child. Carefully take off that dress and put your play dress back on. Here, let me help you. We’ll get you changed in your room while the boys finish their milk.”

 

~*~

     The next morning, Isabel awoke to the sound of Papa whistling a new song they had heard on Grandpa’s radio. Over There by Mr. George M. Cohen. “Catchy tune, aint it?” Papa said as Isabel entered the room wearing her new dress. “Well, don’t you look pretty?”

“Thank you, Papa.”

“Oh dear,” Mama said. “It’s too soon to wear your new dress; it will get dirty. We’ll get you all prettied up when it’s almost time to go.”

“Yeah,” Eugene said, “Don’t want to spill milk on it” and stopped short; whispering in Curtis’ ear.”

“Boys,” Mama said sternly, “if you mess up your suits before we go, I will insist that you wear the sailor hat Jim sent you.”

Eugene and Curtis looked at each other and then quickly shoveled oatmeal with their heads bent over the bowl.

“Mama, we could make bows for their hair just like the ones you made for Maggie and me.” Isabel said with a twinkle in her eyes.

“No way!” Curtis shouted and looked at Papa for help.

“Better do as your Mama says boys, I wouldn’t want to see my boys running around with a girls bow in their hair!” Papa looked at Isabel and winked.

~*~

     “Are we there yet?” Isabel asked from the back of the buckboard.

“We’ll be there in three shakes of a lambs tail,” Papa said with an edge of impatience in his voice.

Isabel closed her eyes and imagined a fluffy white lamb shaking it’s little tail three times. “It shook three times. Are we there yet?”

Papa turned to Mama. “She can count?”

“She can count to ten!” Mama said proudly, “By next month, she may be able to…” Music, clapping, chatter and laughter filled the air with excitement.

“Papa, they’re playing the song you were whistling this morning,” Eugene said and began singing along with the music.

“And we’ll all be glad when it’s over-over there!”

“I hope we didn’t miss the parade,” Curtis said as he cast a sidelong look at Mama who, in his estimation, took too much time packing lunch and dressing the girls.

“Nope, the parade doesn’t start until two so that everyone will have time to eat lunch. I would like to catch some of the baseball game. How about I take the boys over to the stands? The game will begin after the band plays a couple of songs.”

“That’s fine,” Mama said, “but don’t buy any hotdogs or peanuts! We have better ways to spend our money.”

Papa made quick work unloading the buckboard and herded the boys towards the baseball stands.

~*~

     “Lizzie! Isabel! Over here!”

Mama placed baby Maggie into the pram and reached for Isabel’s hand as they followed Lindy’s voice.

“Hello little sister,” Lindy said as she picked up Maggie and spun her around. “Why, Isabel! You look like a china doll in that lovely sailor dress.”

“Oh look, little Maggie is wearing one too. Where did you buy them?”

Mama beamed at her two little girls and addressed her step-daughters and daughters-in-law. “I made them. The boys are wearing sailor suits too although it was like pulling teeth to get the boys to wear them!” Laughter filled the air as relatives welcomed them to the Fair Grounds.

“Don’t unpack your food yet,” Aunt Jenny said as she turned and reached for Baby Maggie. Cleo is checking with the vendors to see how much the hot dogs cost. They smell too good to pass up! Oh good. There she is now.”

“I can’t believe it!” Cleo said as she reached the group. “The prices are actually reasonable. You can buy two hotdogs for a nickel or a big hamburger for a nickel. Peanuts are only 2 cents per bag. What do you think? Shall we feed our gang with Fair grounds food?”

Isabel chimed in with the other children. “We want hotdogs, we want hotdogs! Pleassssssssssssssssseeeeee?”

Mama opened her coin purse and smiled. “I think we have enough – this time. What shall we do until lunch time?”

“The swings are free. Why don’t we take the children over there. They can play in the sandbox too.” Lena said as she picked up her baby Grace, soothed her and placed her back into the baby carriage. “We have so much to talk about. The game will be over before you know it!”

     Isabel ran to catch up with her nieces and younger nephews. “Isabel,” Mama’s voice rang loud and clear. “Don’t get your dress dirty!”

Just as Mama finished speaking, Isabel tripped on a tree root and skinned her knee. Tears filled her eyes as she looked down at dirt covering her new dress and a large red spot on her white, torn stockings. “I’m sorry Mama. I’m so sorry,” Isabel repeated as Mama stooped down to assess the damage.

“Oh, you’ve skinned your knee!” Mama reached into her pocket and pulled out a small container of water and her handkerchief. “It will be okay. It’s not a deep cut but it may be sore for a while.”

“But I got my dress dirty.” Isabel’s blue eyes filled with tears as she looked up at Mama’s compassionate face.

     “That’s alright dear. The dirt brushes away and we’ll just slip those stockings off and no one will know the difference. Besides, do you know why we are here today?”

“There’s a parade and a picnic and a-a-fire?”

“Fireworks. Beautiful but loud streams of light fill the sky in a beautiful show!” Mom said as she finished cleaning the scratch and blew a kiss over the spot to make it heal more quickly. “Tender loving care always helps,” Mama said with a smile. “Now about the special day. Did you know that a long time ago our land was owned by a king far, far away? The king had never been to America but he claimed it anyway by sending ships of soldiers to make sure we obeyed his rules and paid high taxes. We sent letters to the king. We sent men to the king to tell him he was being unfair; that we could work something out but the king was selfish. He wanted the land and people to do his will. Well, the reason people came here so long ago was to be free of the king and his unreasonable rules. Did you know that America was the only place people could go in order to worship God and The Lord Jesus Christ without people trying to stop them?”

Isabel shook her head and listen wide-eyed.  “Well,” Mama said as she reached for her grandchildren who gathered around, “people prayed for a solution. They prayed for the king to change his mind.”

“Did he?” a little boy spoke up. Isabel suddenly realized they were surrounded by children she had never seen before and the swings were empty.

“No, sad to say, he didn’t.” Mama said softly. “He made it harder for our people. They had to pay taxes on just about everything. Finally, some men in Boston – up north- had enough. They couldn’t take it anymore. Back then, Americans liked to drink English tea instead of coffee. Fabric from clothes were brought on English ships. Just about everything we needed came from there but we decided we would make our own fabric. We had sheep and goats to sheer and spin the fibers into wool for knitting and weaving. We called it homespun.”

“Homespun!” a little girl spoke up. “My grandma made that!”

Mama nodded with a smile and continued. “One night when the supply ship was in Boston harbor, some of the men dressed up like Indians and sneaked aboard the ship and threw all the barrels of tea into the water. To this day, we call it The Boston Tea Party.”

“Wow!” A little boy exclaimed and leaned in closer. “What happened next?”

An older boy stood up. “It started a war didn’t it?”

“Yes it did.” Mama said and took a deep breath. The king was so angry, he sent thousands of soldiers, wearing fancy red coats with lots of guns and swords. They thought our men were not very smart and wouldn’t know how to fight so they expected the war to end quickly. But they were wrong. Oh, we didn’t have fancy uniforms - except for the officers. George Washington led our men. We had “militia” which meant they were farmers, black smiths, wheelwright’s, merchants, regular men who volunteered to protect our land.

Our men fought to protect their wives, their children, their parents and their land. They fought in the fields. They fought behind trees and fought in ways the British soldiers were not used to. Very important, smart men; the Continental Congress worked together in secret so that the kings soldiers wouldn’t know what they were doing. John Adams persuaded a plantation owner  from Virginia named Thomas Jefferson to write a declaration of independence. In fact, that’s just what it is called. The Declaration of Independence. It declared we were free from British rule and were a country now with 13 separate states working together for our freedom.  The Declaration of Independence was signed by some very famous men including John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and John Hancock. Each man who signed represented their state. Isn’t that wonderful?

Isabel watched boys and girls nodding their heads and nodded with them. Another child stood and cleared his voice to get Mama’s attention. “Ma’am we won that war, didn’t we?”

Mama’s smile lit her face. Yes indeed we won that war and became a free nation under God. The Declaration of Independence was accepted by all of the men on July 4, 1776. Today is July 4, 1917. We are celebrating today because today is the birthday of our great nation – The United States of America!

~*~

     Isabel watched in wonder as the band played songs that night and men in the same uniforms her older half-brothers wore marched to the bandstand. One man in each different uniform carried a flag and one held a large red, white and blue flag with white stars in the top corner. Everyone stood. Man raised their hand to their forehead in a salute, other men, women and children stood too. Mama showed Isabel how to place her hand on her heart and whispered in Isabel’s ear, “To honor men who fought for our freedom, to honor men like your brothers who are fighting today for freedom and to show that we love our wonderful country, the beautiful United States of America!”

Suddenly, there were loud blasts causing Isabel to jump and baby Maggie to cry. Papa picked up Isabel and put her on his shoulders. The sky was filled with beautiful colors and shapes. “Fireworks,” Papa said.

“Like birthday candles?”

Papa chuckled. “Well, it’s our country’s birthday so I guess so.”

Little Isabel thought about the story Mama had told her earlier; that men died so that we could live free. “Happy Birthday, America, Happy Birthday!” she shouted.  “Thank you God for giving us a free country – like Mama said!”

 

God Bless America

9b2d8b1789e287a1fe924d38ee1a0ceaPledge to the flag

This was once routine for every classroom in the United States of America.

We stood, faced Old Glory, placed our right hand over our heart as our teacher called us to attention and recited the following words:

America

We learned to love our country,  acknowledged our principles, our laws and our constitution are based on the Word of God.

“One nation under God”

We became  good citizens because of Him.

8d53e0a71bf50339ebfba5aeac5b1e66Little American Flag Poem

Please join me in praying that we will turn back to Him and once again become the Great Nation our men have fought and died for.

Humble ourselves and pray More at http://ibibleverses.com

Thanks to all who have fought and given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom!

Happy Memorial Day

Graphics found on  Pinterest

There is a Fountain

Dear friends,

I have been working on several posts, including two Little Isabel stories, a pictorial demonstration for making soap by my dear friend and a devotional. I was all set to post my Little Isabel story today but my Heavenly Father placed something else on my heart.

This morning after John went to work, I went through the usual routine of putting away the breakfast things, ran the dishwasher, scooped out the litter box, scrubbed my hands, put a load of laundry in the wash and finally, picked up my Bible for devotions. (Okay, by the time I had finished all of the above, vertigo reared its ugly head; forcing me to have my Bible time in a reclining position so I didn’t make a lot of journal notes!)

I opened my Bible to Psalms 145 – 147. Each chapter is filled with a wonderful menagerie of praises, promises and proclamations. I look forward to doing a proper Word study but this morning, I was caught up in the praise. It seemed as if each chapter reminded me of a hymn or chorus and of course, had to sing each one.

“Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised…”
“Praise the Lord, O my soul and all that is within me, bless His Holy name.”
“I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever…”

Okay, you get the picture. It was a morning of singing unto the Lord. It didn’t end there. An old song, Jesus is Coming Soon continuously played in my mind and so I sat down at the piano and began to play by ear. I couldn’t even find the lyrics but that’s okay. He knew. Then I went online and listened to a group from the 1960′s sing it just as I had remembered from years ago and then found a YouTube of someone playing the music-the right way! When we got home from dinner, I listened to another Gospel song and another. Then I took my husband’s grandfathers song books he used as the song leader for the Presbyterian Church men’s Sunday School Class in Clifton Forge, Virginia.

It was amazing! I took it to the piano and played so many gems which are quickly becoming obsolete. It makes me sad to know that there will be generations of people who never had the blessing of singing through an old hymnal and knowing the power of God’s Word behind many of the hymns.  I was surprised to see the song, No Never Alone by W.A. Hemphill. I thought it was written in the 1960′s (I was saved in 1968) The copyright was 1900! It has always been a favorite.  Each old Hymn was like an old friend. As I played and (tried to) sing along, the lyrics amazed, convicted, compelled and challenged me to share the Gospel more freely.

Although I have sung this song many times through the years, one phrase from There is a Fountain stood out.

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 “Redeeming love has been my theme and shall be till I die.”

I know this song by heart but always focused on the Gospel passages. What a wonderful way to describe our life as believers?

(His) redeeming love has been my theme.  What about you? What is the theme of your life? Do you know His redeeming love?

He gave His life for you. Won’t you receive Him today?

If you would like to receive Christ as your Savior but don’t know how, please email me at khpurdywrites4Him@hotmail.com

I will be happy to share His plan of salvation with you!

Sisters and brothers in Christ, I challenge you to go through old hymnals and to dwell on the words. This has always been a blessing to me and always cheers me up!

Thank you for letting me share the music that is in my heart tonight.

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                    Copyright 1910

 

Happy singing!

     Kathy

“Little Isabel”

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When I started writing The Vision of a Mother’s Heart, Isabel was almost ten years old. I tried to keep the story as close to the stories my Grandmother Isabel (Nannie) often told me through the years.

I often held a photograph of her sweet mother as I listened and could almost see the scenes enfold before me. However, as the Isabel in the story grew older in the book, I felt sad to leave that childhood stage behind and felt led to write stories about “Little Isabel” in this blog.

My friend, who is a photographer colorized the picture of my grandmother and we played around with covers for an e-book. While I was contemplating the possibilities, my friend was posting pictures of her adorable little granddaughter. She was so cute, I practically squealed, “AAAhhhhhh, so cute!” and with her cute smiles and poses, inspired stories for Isabel when she was little. So, I will try to post a Little Isabel story at least once a month.

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Meet the model for our Little Isabel stories!

Coming soon!

Little Isabel stories!

Pictures used with permission.

He is Risen!

 

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“He is not here, He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”

Matthew 28:6

Why do we celebrate Easter? It’s not about the new clothes, baskets of candy, it’s not about a bunny who hides pretty eggs for children to find. We celebrate Easter because God loved us enough to send His Son to bear our sin on the cross so that we may be saved. (John 3:16- 17) We celebrate Easter because He rose from the dead three days later and in doing so, He conquered death! He arose that we may have everlasting life. He did not stay on the cross. His work on the cross was completed when He said in a loud voice on the cross, “It is Finished!” He arose the third day because He is God! He has power over death. He also has the power to give us new life. Life everlasting through the Lord Jesus Christ and in Him alone.

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“Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.”

I Corinthians 15:3-4

Just imagine, every knee should bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Every time I read this passage, my heart bows to Him, with the realization of who He is and how significant I am and yet He gave His life for me and for you.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13 KJV
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11)
Have a Blessed Resurrection Day!
1604442_552440884874398_674899506_nMadison Easter Egg Hunt Kathie Trent Kingrey
As your little ones gather eggs and treats after Church tomorrow, remember the greatest gift hung on a tree for you and me.
But He didn’t stay there, oh, no! He arose from the dead, folded his napkin and left the grave clothes where His body lay.
So that we could see that He is alive today and He loves you! His gift of salvation is the sweetest gift ever.
Photo used with permission.

Peter’s Forgiveness: A Rhyme for Preschoolers

 

My friend who has been working with four-year-olds shared this in her newsletter yesterday and has given me permission to share it with you. Children that age love rhyme and as you know, some jingles continue to come to mind years after we learned it. Praying it is so with this song/rhyme!

I don’t know about you but I can emphasize with Peter. So often we speak before we think, we act on emotions and we want to be so close to the Lord that we desire to walk on water with Him. And then in a moment of distress, we forget all He has done and say or try to do something in our own strength and we fail. The good news is that through the Lord Jesus Christ, our sins are forgiven and cast into the sea – as far as the east is from the west. Peter denied He knew Jesus; just as Jesus had said. When the cock crowed, he had denied Jesus three times. At that very moment, he looked up and Jesus was looking at him. Looking into the Lord’s eyes, Peter realized what he had done, then went out and wept bitterly. I love reading Mark 16:7 “But go your way, tell His disciples and Peter, that He goeth before you into Galilee, there ye shall see Him, as He said unto you.” Jesus was specific that Peter should know that He had risen from the dead and in including him, Peter knew that he was forgiven.  kp

~*~7cfbe1d425fbb5b5c61bd4f52393610aMusical instruments for kids

Okay, time to take a break and have some fun! Grab some four-year olds and let’s go!

First you’ll need to give some very detailed instructions, of course. Then give each of them either a set of lummi sticks or a triangle. (We’re talking musical instruments here.) No need to fret if they don’t get the instrument they want, they will be taking turns with them.

Now you need to learn the beat. Since you probably don’t have sticks and a triangle handy at the moment, you can use your hands. Slap your palms on the table (or on your thighs) twice to represent the lummi sticks, then snap your fingers once to represent the triangle. Ready? Let’s go! Slap, slap, snap. Slap, slap, snap. Slap, slap, snap. Slap, slap, snap.

Got it?

Good.

Now we need to add some words. Don’t sing them, say them. The more expressive, the better. Slap, slap, snap 3 or 4 times in between the verses. Here we go! Get your beat going first and . . .

Listen to the story of a man named Peter
Whom one day God called to be a great leader

Jesus found him fishing out at the lake
“Come with me, Peter, we’ve a journey to take!”

A journey of faith was what was in store
It would take much longer than a 3 hour tour

They walked and they talked along the dusty roads
Sometimes they were noisy, sometimes quiet as the toads

Peter saw Jesus heal the sick and lame
He saw Jesus help everyone who came

The blind, the deaf, and those who couldn’t speak
The poor, the needy, the lowly, and the meek

Jesus loved them all and helped them everyone
And then Peter knew the Son of God had come

Peter made a promise to never run awayd429105d0de563a7fe6f780ebd6b5d05
No matter what happened, with Jesus he would stay

But then the crowds and soldiers gave him such a fright
That Peter lost his courage and ran out in the night

Peter was so sorry for the words he’d spoken
He cried and felt so sad, his heart was almost broken

Peter wanted to see Jesus, look him in the eyes
To tell Him that he loved Him and to apologize

After Jesus died and came to life again
Peter was relieved Jesus forgave him of his sin

Peter knew that Jesus knows all things
Peter told others of the joy Jesus brings!

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