This is Bubba Bean, my scaredy cat, yet most affectionate. He sits with me many times in my quiet time with the Lord. In his younger days he was an outdoor/barn cat, but he and his fat little self have since settled down in the house. I remember taking my daughter to go pick him out, as a kitten, at the home of some church friends. He was the prettiest one, but they said, "Oh, he's the crazy one." We took him home anyway. We do love our furry friends and praise Yah for them.
I thought I would share another favorite hymn; "All Things Bright and Beautiful." I was such a fan growing up of the veternarian/author James Herriot and his "All Creatures Great and Small" books and PBS series. This hymn inspired the name of the first book. Here is an excerpt from Then Sings My Soul, Volume 2, 150 Of The World's Greatest Hymn Stories:
All Things Bright And Beautiful, 1848
Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. ~Genesis 1:31
One day, Mrs. Cecil Francis Alexander was working with one of her pupils in Sunday school-- a little boy who happened to be her godson. He was struggling to understand the Apostles' Creed and certain portions of the catechism. Mrs. Alexander began to mull the possibility of converting the Apostles' Creed into songs for children, using simple little hymns to explain phrases and truths of the Christian faith to little ones.
The Apostles' Creed begins:I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. For the phrase: "Maker of heaven and earth..." she wrote this lovely song, "All Things Bright and Beautiful." She based the hymn on Genesis 1:31: "Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good."
The Apostles' Creed goes on to say about Jesus Christ:"...who was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary..." That spurred the writing the writing of "Once in Royal David's City."
The next phrase, "...suffered under Pontius Pilot, was crucufied, died, and was buried," became the basis for Mrs. Alexander's hymn, "There Is a Green Hill Far Away."
According to one account, the imagery Mrs. Alexander used for that hymn came about as she was driving into the city of Derry, Ireland, to do some shopping. Alongside the road near the old city walls was a little grass covered hill. Somehow, this knoll helped her visualize Calvary, and from that came the inspiration for the hymn.
The creed goes on to speak of the Second Coming of Christ, prompting Mrs. Alexander to write a lesser-known but still beautiful hymn entitles, "He Is Coming! He Is Coming!" which contrasts the Lord's First Coming as a babe with His return in power and glory.
These hymns were published in 1848 in Mrs. Alexander's book, Hymns for Little Children. It became one of the most successful hymn-publishing projects in history, going through over one hundred editions.
Cecil Francis Alexander published many other books and hymnals, including: Verses from the Holy Scriptures (1846), Narrative Hymns for Village Schools (1853), Poems on Subjects in the Old Testament (1854), Hymns Descriptive and Devotional (1858), and The Legend of the Golden Prayer (1859). But nothing stood the test of time like the powerful combination of the Apostles ' Creed with her own gift for song.
All Things Bright And Beautiful
(Chorus) All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful, the Lord God made them all.
Each little flower that opens, each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colors, He made their tiny wings.
The purple headed mountains, The river running by,
The sunset and the morning, That brightens up the sky.
The cold wind in the winter, The pleasant summer sun,
The ripe fruits in the garden, He made them every one.
He gave us eyes to see them, and lips that we might tell
How great is God Almighty, who has made all things well.
Here is a link to a sweet version of the song: