Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

The History of “Jesus Loves Me, This I Know” Song

by pizzaranchadmin on March 27, 2015

Recently I came across this article explaining the history behind one of my childhood favorites, “Jesus Love Me”.  I had no idea the history of this amazingly beautiful and simple song that is such a great reminder to all of us that we are loved.

The History of “Jesus Loves Me, This I Know” Song

The very first Christian song most children learn is “Jesus Loves Me.” If there were a best-seller hit list among the preschoolers, this very simple but precious song would have to be at the top of the charts. Yet few people know that “Jesus Loves Me” began life not as a song but as a part of one of 1860’s best-selling novels.

Anna Warner was well aware of the coming of the war between the states. She lived with her father and sister on Constitution Island. Their home was practically next door to the United States Military Academy at West Point, and from her front porch she constantly heard the rumors of war. Yet even in the face of uncertain times, every Sunday Anna taught Bible classes to the cadets. She realized that if the southern states made good on their threat to withdraw from the Union many of the boys she knew could be killed or wounded in the war that would follow. While it broke her heart to consider the dismal fate for those too young to have experienced the many blessings of life, she also fully comprehended the importance of leading each of them to Jesus now. With an urgency brought about by a nation on the brink of dividing, sharing Christ’s love became her mission in life.

Besides her teaching, the forty-year-old Anna also wrote. With her sister Susan she had written several novels, using the pseudonym Amy Lothrop. In 1860 the sisters’ Say and Seal became the country’s best-selling work of fiction. Written for the masses and the moment, not fueled by timeless struggles or epic writing, the book would quickly pass from the public’s fancy, lost with thousands of other period pieces of the time. Yet, thanks to one very special scene on but a single page, the essence of the book and of Anna’s faith would live for decades after Say and Seal and Anna herself had been forgotten.

In one chapter a child lay dying. Nothing could be done to ease his pain or give him a second chance at life. As his ultimate fate grew nearer, the novel’s focal character, Mr. Linden, attempted to comfort the small boy.  Looking into the child’s eyes, he slowly recited a poem that began, “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”

The words of the poem made the boy’s last moments of life much easier. These simple lines also moved thousands of readers to tears. Hauntingly beautiful, composed straight from Anna’s faithful heart, “Jesus Loves Me” quickly sprang out of her book’s pages and became one of the most beloved poems of the era. No one can even begin to calculate how many times it was said on the battlefield, in the homes of children whose fathers were engaged in the Civil War, from pulpits and in Sunday school classes, and even at the White House itself. Ringing so clear and true, Anna’s sixteen short sentences had touched the hearts of millions with verses meant only to calm the soul of a dying fictional character.

One of the scores of readers who memorized the poem was William Bradbury. A teacher of voice and organ, in 1854 Bradbury had formed a piano company with Ferdinand Lighte and Henry Newton. Besides heading up his business, the noted musician also continued a practice of setting his faith to music by
composing his own songs. By the beginning of the Civil War, Bradbury had built his own music company to publish and distribute his works. It was during the time when his music business was taking off that he first read and fell in love with “Jesus Loves Me.”

Although an accomplished composer of what many think of as high-church music–he had already lent his talents to such hymns as “Sweet Hour of Prayer, …. He Leadeth Me,” and “On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand”–Bradbury was moved in a much different fashion when he decided to add a melody to Anna Warner’s poem. A lover of children’s voices, as well as a proponent of music education in both school and church, Bradbury allowed the child in his own heart to spring forth when writing the simple musical notes for “Jesus Loves Me.” Then, to fully complete the work, he added the following chorus:

Yes, Jesus loves me, Yes, Jesus loves me, Yes, Jesus loves me, The Bible
tells me so.

The marriage of Warner’s words and Bradbury’s music was one of the most beautiful gospel efforts of all time. Yet the song “Jesus Loves Me” might have been as quickly forgotten as the novel Say and Seal if Bradbury’s music company hadn’t published it. Through the publisher’s established distribution network, the new children’s song quickly worked its way across the North and South. In the face of the most horrible fighting this nation had ever known, both sides were singing about a Savior who died, yet had risen and still watched over everyone with equal love and compassion. It was an ironic message for a very ironic time.

Almost a hundred and forty years after this song was first published, few know of the writings of Anna Warner or recognize the name of William Bradbury. But even though the writer and the composer have been forgotten, everyone knows their song. Children and adults of all races and even millions outside the Christian faith can sing “Jesus Loves Me.” How many millions have clung to this message on lonely nights or rocked babies to sleep while singing this song is unknown. But what can be most assuredly stated is that “Jesus Loves Me” is the foundation on which many children not only first come to know Christian music but also come to know the love and sacrifice of the Lord who inspired it. And this message is what keeps them singing the gospel throughout their lives.

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Jesus Loves Me – Chris Tomlin

by pizzaranchadmin on March 26, 2015

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Stories of Impact – Jamaica

by pizzaranchadmin on March 25, 2015

 Recently a group from Pizza Ranch went on a mission trip to serve in Jamaica.  This is the 2nd trip that Pizza Ranch has helped to host in efforts to help build sustainable and lasting impact  within the Jamaican communities.  While on the trip the Pizza Ranch group had the opportunity to serve and use their gifts in a number of different capacities which included providing support and donations to local churches, schools, hospitals, infirmaries, and even had the opportunity to door to door in the homes of some of the shut ins, secluded, and less fortunate on behalf of a local Jamaican church.  Participants also were able to provide light construction support where it was needed and were able to participate in a local church service.  Perry Krosschell sums up the project by stating, “We really want to continue foster relationships and build a sustainable support system in the Jamaican communities that we are able to serve.  We have partnered with WeServe and Praying Pelicans and believe that with these last 2 trips, we have been able to lay the groundwork for many future trips to come.  Our hope is to continue to be able to support and promote 1-2 mission trips a year where we can continue to provide an opportunity for our Pizza Ranch family to Glorify God and provide legendary impact through service and support to those in Jamaica!”

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Perry and Sherri posing with some students of the from the school they were working with. The students are displaying the bracelets that were brought by the PR team. These bracelets were made by children of the PR Inc. team members to give as a gift.
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PR Serves Mission Group and the class of students they helped serve with in Jamaica.

 

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Jesus Loves Me

by pizzaranchadmin on March 24, 2015

“Jesus Loves Me” –lyrics by William Bradbury

“Jesus loves me! This I know,
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong;
They are weak, but He is strong.

Chorus:

“Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.

“Jesus loves me! This I know,
As He loved so long ago,
Taking children on His knee,
Saying, ‘Let them come to Me.’

Chorus

“Jesus loves me still today,
Walking with me on my way,
Wanting as a friend to give
Light and love to all who live.

Chorus

“Jesus loves me! He who died
Heaven’s gate to open wide;
He will wash away my sin,
Let His little child come in.

Chorus

“Jesus loves me! He will stay
Close beside me all the way;
Thou hast bled and died for me,
I will henceforth live for Thee.

Chorus

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Do you know how much you are loved by God?

by pizzaranchadmin on March 23, 2015

Do you know how much you are loved by God?

Isaiah 49:16 says He loves you so much that He engraved your name on the palm of His hand.
Matthew 10:30 says He loves you so much that He knows how many hairs are on your head.
Psalm 56:8 says He loves you so much that He saves your tears in a bottle.
Jeremiah 31:3 says He loves you with an everlasting love

God’s love is very personal toward you. It doesn’t matter where you’ve been, it doesn’t matter what you’ve done, it doesn’t matter what you’ve experienced — God loves you. It doesn’t matter what you have thought about yourself or what other people may have said about you —God loves you. This is what God says about you! You are honored, you are precious in His eyes (Isaiah 43:4). Isn’t that an amazing thing?

Most often when the Bible attempts to express God’s love, it makes a beeline for the cross of Jesus Christ. The cross is God’s statement of just how much He loves you. When you think of the immensity of God’s love, the first thing the Bible often asks us to do is to consider the price that was paid.

This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 John 4:10)

What makes this love so amazing is that it is highlighted against the backdrop of a debt that each one of us owes. At the core of God’s being is His holiness. In order for us to have any kind of relationship with Him, we have to find a way for our sins to be forgiven. Problem is, there’s nothing we can do to accomplish that — it’s too big of a debt. We can’t buy God’s favor, we can’t work for it, we can’t ever be good enough to earn it. God’s holiness demanded that sin be paid for, and then God’s love found a way. I proclaim this great love to you today. God loves you with an everlasting love that words fail to describe. —James MacDonald

This week be challenged to think about the many ways in which you are loved by God and find some way to share it with at least one person you know.

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God is Faithful

by pizzaranchadmin on March 20, 2015

There’s been lots of talk in the news lately about Israel.  We’ve even had some discussions here at the Pizza Ranch Support Center about it.  Our discussions have been about the Israelites of the Bible, and how frustrating it was to see their continual fails in Scripture.  It seemed like they could never get it right.  And yet God was continually faithful to them.  As frustrating as it can be to read and hear the stories of their disobedience, we can’t help but think of our own failures as well.  I know I fail.

What did God require of Israel?  What does God require of us now?  Deuteronomy 10: 12-13 says “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?”

In one sense, Gods requirements of us can be seen as incredibly daunting….fear Him, love Him, serve Him, and obey Him. Where do we begin?

In another sense, some would say that God’s requirements of us could be summed up as quite simply.  That God has shown through the ages that He is consistently committed to His people in every way.  That He loves us.  And that He actually wants what’s best for us. No matter how much we mess up.  Just keep going to Him.

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Hungry – Kathryn Scott

by pizzaranchadmin on March 19, 2015

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Stories of Impact – Harvey, ND

by pizzaranchadmin on March 18, 2015

The Harvey Pizza Ranch helps local fire victims.

http://www.kxnet.com/story/28277201/helping-harvey-fire-victims

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What are you hungry for?

by pizzaranchadmin on March 17, 2015

What should we hunger and thirst for?   There are so many “good” things we could hunger for, but what is the “best” thing that we could hunger for?   Matthew 5:6 says that we should, “hunger and thirst for righteousness”.  But righteousness isn’t something that you can actually eat or drink.  So why did Jesus talk like this?   Jesus used the terms “hunger and thirst” because hungering and thirsting describe strong desires.   Why do you hunger for food?  Why does your mouth begin to water when you see your favorite food?   Jesus wants us to think of righteousness in the same way – we are to have a strong desire for it and enjoy being filled with it.   And the promise from Jesus, is that if we hunger and thirst for righteousness, we will be satisfied.

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Hunger and Thirst

by pizzaranchadmin on March 16, 2015

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.   Matthew 5:6

hungerthirst

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