Available for order now! American Awakening: 8 Principles to Restore the Soul of America.     

the blind poet

In 1869 the blind, prolific “writer” of hymns, Fanny Crosby, “wrote” the hymn “Jesus, keep me near the cross.” The fact is, Crosby never learned to write, but composed her hymns in her mind and then had someone transcribe them. Thousands of them. Many of which you probably know.

Here was a woman who was never truly appreciated or compensated for her work during her lifetime and even “hidden” by powerful men who used fake names of males when publishing her hymns rather than letting it be known the author was a woman. Yet her impact on the lives of so many is unmistakable, including on my own life. 

The power of words and song are indisputable, and we should remember that. We should remember it when we speak – that our words matter. But we should also remember this story when we feel that our impact may be under-appreciated, un-noticed or un-welcome. We may not all be prolific hymn writers, but we all have words that can carry life. Let’s carry them.

And as we do, let us, with Fanny, stay near the cross of Jesus, whose healing stream is free to all.

“Jesus, keep me near the cross,

There a precious fountain;

Free to all, a healing stream,

Flows from Calv’ry’s mountain. 

In the cross, in the cross

Be my glory ever,

Till my ransomed soul shall find

Rest beyond the river.”

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Joel

Joel Searby

A healthy and united America is truly possible… and it starts with us. John Kingston draws on wisdom from history, science, faith and culture, along with his own experiences, to offer eight principles for discovering purpose, meaning and true community.

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