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   Do you know the story behind the well-known song, “I have decided to follow Jesus?” The lyrics come from the last words of Nokseng, a man from the Garo tribe in Assam. It is today, the song of the Garo people and an Anthem for Persecution.

   About 150 years ago, there was a great revival in Wales. As a result of this, many missionaries came to north-east India to spread the Gospel. The region known as Assam was comprised of hundreds of tribes who were primitive and aggressive head-hunters

   Into these hostile and aggressive communities, came a group of missionaries from the American Baptist Missions spreading the message of love, peace and hope in Jesus Christ. Naturally, they were not welcomed. One missionary succeeded in converting a man, his wife, and two children. This man’s faith proved contagious and many villagers began to accept Christianity.

   Angry, the village chief summoned all the villagers. He then called the family who had first converted to renounce their faith in public or face execution. Moved by the Holy Spirit, the man sang theses words in reply: “I have decided to follow Jesus. I have decided to follow Jesus. I have decided to follow Jesus. No turning back, no turning back.”

   Enraged at the refusal of the man, the chief ordered his archers to arrow down the two children. As both boys lay twitching on the floor, the chief asked, “Will you deny your faith? You have lost both your children. You will lose your wife too.”

   But the man sang these words in reply: Tho' none go with me, I still will follow, No turning back, no turning back.” His wife was killed, and he was executed while singing, “The world behind me, the cross before me. No turning back, no turning back.

   The death of this family. triggered a mass revival in the village – beginning with the chief! The chief was extremely disturbed by the faith of this man. He could not understand why Nokseng, his wife, and two children gave up their life for a man who lived some 2,000 years ago in some other continent.

   The Holy Spirit touched the chief and he spontaneously confessed, “I too belong to Jesus Christ!” When the gathered villagers heard their chief confessing his faith in Jesus Christ, the whole village accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior.

   The formation of these words into a hymn is attributed to the Indian missionary Sadhu Sundar Singh. The melody is also Indian and with the title “Assam” after the region where the text originated. An American hymn editor, William Jensen Reynolds, composed an arrangement that was included in the 1959 Assembly Songbook.  (from the renewal journal)

If you love this song before knowing its story, you will love it even more because you know what it really means.

Reflection:  Jesus help me each day to decide to follow you no matter what. May I have the courage to lay down my life for you, Jesus.  “The world behind me the cross before me, no turning back, no turning back. Amen  Click on the link below and watch this beautiful little girl skating and the little children singing "I have decided to follow Jesus." 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjr9tVRnDaY

 

 

“The people who walk in darkness will see a great Light; Those who live in a dark land, the Light will shine on them.”   Isaiah 9:2

This morning I was sitting at my kitchen table just before daylight, I was watching every so slowly the morning light piercing through the dark of the night. I took this picture from my window. The Light of the World has pierced through our darkness today. “Glory to God in the highest…”

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”   Isaiah 9:6

“I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”   John 8:12

When the darkness and sadness try to enter our hearts in these sometimes most difficult days, remember Jesus is walking with us as a beacon of Light for us to follow. “The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.   John 1:5

May the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ, fill you with His grace, peace, hope and love this day.

 

December 23   O Emmanuel

 

O Emmanuel, king and lawgiver, desire of the nations, Savior of all people: Come and set us free, Lord our God. O Emmanuel, our King, and Giver of Law: come to save us, Lord our God! O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel, that mourns in lonely exile here until the Son of God appear.

December 22   King of all the nations  

 

O King of all the nations, the only joy of every human heart; O Keystone of the mighty arch of man: Come and save the creature you fashioned from the dust. O King of all nations and keystone of the Church: come and save man, whom you formed from the dust! O Come, Desire of the nations, bind in one the hearts of all mankind; bid every strife and quarrel cease and fill the world with heaven's peace.

  December 21  O Radiant Dawn

 

O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice: Come, shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death. O Come, Thou Dayspring from on high, and cheer us by thy drawing nigh; disperse the gloomy clouds of night and death's dark shadow put to flight.

Latest comments

17.01 | 10:04

GREAT STORY. HOPE I DIDN'T CLICK THE WRONG BUTTON AND CANCCEL I'M LEARNING TO USE MY LEFT HAND TO TYPE RESULT OF A FALL AND A BROKEN RIGHT ARM KEEP UP THE GO

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26.12 | 07:34

Beautiful.

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26.11 | 15:47

Yes -- Thanksgiving --to be thankful for all given to us -- count our blessings and make lemonade out of lemons.

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31.10 | 06:36

Well said and lived.

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