Simida Istrate – ‘Cantarile noastre’ Autor Traian Dorz

Praise sing worship

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Cântările noastre cântate plângând
lua-şi-vor odată aripile-albastre
şi-n soare pluti-vor curate, arzând
de para iubirii, cântările noastre.

Din roua de lacrimi ce-n ele-a rămas
luci-vor pe ceruri ghirlande de stele,
iar îngerii Slavei, cu tremur în glas,
cântând, învăţa-vor să plângă din ele.

Cântările noastre n-au seamăn şi soţ
în nicio simţire şi limbă şi zare;
oricine le-aude se-aprinde şi-n toţi
învie cereasca şi sfânta-ncântare.

Venind din al Tainei Ceresc Nehotar
cu-adânc duh de taină fiinţa-nveşmântă,
purtând mierea dulce lăsată de har,
fac dulce şi duhul, şi gura ce cântă.

Cântările noastre sunt nimb lui Hristos,
sunt ruguri iubirii, sunt jertfa suavă,
sunt tot ce pământul Îi dă mai frumos
Acelui din ceruri mai vrednic de slavă.

(Traian Dorz-Oastea Domnului)

VIDEO by Hojda Alexandra Ligia

Reclame

Cat de mare va fi Noul Ierusalim? O harta ne arata

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In cartea din Biblie, Apocalipsa 21:2, Apostolul Ioan a vazut Noul Ierusalim, coborandu-se din rai de la Dumnezeu, gatit pentru mireasa sa, adica pentru toti rascumparatii Mielului. Domnul Isus Christos, i-a aratat Apostolului toate aceste lucruri care se vor intampla in viitor dupa planul lui Dumnezeu si la timpul cand El va hotari. Pentru noi oamenii este un adevar pe care nu putem sa-l ignoram, pentru ca tot ceea ce a spus Domnul se va implini la vremea potrivita.

Pentru toti aceia care au fost rascumparati prin Jertfa Domnului Isus Christos, bucuriile doar vor incepe. Va fi o mare bucurie si o sarbatoare minunata si sfintii lui Dumnezeu vor locui in aceasta cetate a Noului Ierusalim.

Dupa masuratorile date din Biblie, pe care ingerul lui Dumnezeu a facut-o cu trestia sa, care era de marimea unui cot dupa masuratoarea oamenilor,  zidurile erau de 12 000 de coti in lungime si tot la fel si in latime si inaltime. Aceasta in mile inseamna aproximativ 1500 de mile in lungime, 1500 de mile in latime si 1500 de mile in inaltime.

Alti cercetatori fac o masuratoare mai precisa, lungimea Noului Ierusalim fiind de 1363 de mile in lungime, si la fel si in latime, si 1363 de mile in inaltime.

In kilometri aceasta este echivalentul a 2193,54 de kilometri in lungime, 2193,54 de kilometri in latime si 2193,54 in inaltime. Deci aceeasi dimensiune in lung si in lat si in inaltime. Cei mai multi cercetatori biblici zic ca Noul Ierusalim are o forma cubica, dar unii afirma ca baza este de forma patrata si apoi merge in sus in forma de piramida. Ei spun aceasta dupa felul de constructie al piramidelor din Egipt.

Marimea Noului Ierusalim, ca sa dam un exemplu,daca ar fi asezat peste Statele Unite ar ocupa mai mult de jumatate din suprafata acestei tari, si la fel ar ocupa o mare parte din Orientul Mijlociu.

Acesta va fi locul in care vor locui toti mantuitii Domnului unde nu va fi nevoie de soare, caci este luminata de slava lui Dumnezeu si faclia ei este Mielul!

Apoi am văzut un cer nou şi un pămînt nou; pentrucă cerul dintîi şi pămîntul dintîi pieriseră, şi marea nu mai era.
2 Şi eu am văzut coborîndu-se din cer dela Dumnezeu, cetatea sfîntă, noul Ierusalim, gătită ca o mireasă împodobită pentru bărbatul ei.
3 Şi am auzit un glas tare, care ieşea din scaunul de domnie, şi zicea: ,,Iată cortul lui Dumnezeu cu oamenii! El va locui cu ei, şi ei vor fi poporul Lui, şi Dumnezeu însuş va fi cu ei. El va fi Dumnezeul lor.
4 El va şterge orice lacrimă din ochii lor. Şi moartea nu va mai fi. Nu va mai fi nici tînguire, nici ţipăt, nici durere, pentrucă lucrurile dintîi au trecut.„
5 Celce şedea pe scaunul de domnie a zis: ,,Iată, Eu fac toate lucrurile noi.„ Şi a adăugat: ,,Scrie, fiindcă aceste cuvinte sînt vrednice de crezut şi adevărate.„
6 Apoi mi -a zis: ,,S’a isprăvit! Eu sînt Alfa şi Omega, Începutul şi Sfîrşitul. Celui ce îi este sete, îi voi da să bea fără plată din izvorul apei vieţii.
7 Cel ce va birui, va moşteni aceste lucruri. Eu voi fi Dumnezeul lui, şi el va fi fiul Meu.
8 Dar cît despre fricoşi, necredincioşi, scîrboşi, ucigaşi, curvari, vrăjitori, închinătorii la idoli, şi toţi mincinoşii, partea lor este în iazul, care arde cu foc şi cu pucioasă, adică moartea a doua.„
9 Apoi unul din cei şapte îngeri, cari ţineau cele şapte potire, pline cu cele din urmă şapte urgii, a venit şi a vorbit cu mine, şi mi -a zis: ,,Vino să-ţi arăt mireasa, nevasta Mielului!„
10 Şi m’a dus, în Duhul, pe un munte mare şi înalt. Şi mi -a arătat cetatea sfîntă, Ierusalimul, care se pogora din cer dela Dumnezeu,
11 avînd slava lui Dumnezeu. Lumina ei era ca o piatră prea scumpă, ca o piatră de iaspis, străvezie ca cristalul.
12 Era înconjurată cu un zid mare şi înalt. Avea douăsprezece porţi, şi la porţi, doisprezece îngeri. Şi pe ele erau scrise nişte nume: numele celor douăsprezece seminţii ale fiilor lui Israel.
13 Spre răsărit erau trei porţi; spre miazănoapte, trei porţi; spre miazăzi, trei porţi; şi spre apus trei porţi.
14 Zidul cetăţii avea douăsprezece temelii, şi pe ele erau cele douăsprezece nume ale celor doisprezece apostoli ai Mielului.
15 Îngerul, care vorbea cu mine, avea ca măsurătoare o trestie de aur, ca să măsoare cetatea, porţile şi zidul ei.

2193 km x 2193 km – click pe poza pt sursa

16 Cetatea era în patru colţuri, şi lungimea ei era cît lărgimea. A măsurat cetatea cu trestia, şi a găsit aproape douăsprezece mii de prăjini. Lungimea, lărgimea şi înalţimea erau deopotrivă.
17 I -a măsurat şi zidul, şi -a găsit o sută patruzeci şi patru de coţi, după măsura oamenilor, căci cu măsura aceasta măsura îngerul.
18 Zidul era zidit de iaspis, şi cetatea era de aur curat, ca sticla curată.
19 Temeliile zidului cetăţii erau împodobite cu pietre scumpe de tot felul: cea dintîi temelie era de iaspis; a doua, de safir; a treia de halchedon; a patra, de smaragd;
20 a cincea de sardonix: a şasea, de sardiu; a şaptea, de hrisolit; a opta, de beril; a noua, de topaz; a zecea, de hrisopraz; a unsprezecea, de iacint; a douăsprezecea, de ametist.
21 Cele douăsprezece porţi erau douăsprezece mărgăritare. Fiecare poartă era dintr’un singur mărgăritar. Uliţa cetăţii era de aur curat, ca sticla străvezie.
22 În cetate n’am văzut niciun Templu; pentrucă Domnul Dumnezeu, Cel Atotputernic, ca şi Mielul, sînt Templul ei.
23 Cetatea n’are trebuinţă nici de soare, nici de lună, ca s’o lumineze; căci o luminează slava lui Dumnezeu, şi făclia ei este Mielul.
24 Neamurile vor umbla în lumina ei, şi împăraţii pămîntului îşi vor aduce slava şi cinstea lor în ea.
25 Porţile ei nu se vor închide ziua, fiindcă în ea nu va mai fi noapte.
26 În ea vor aduce slava şi cinstea Neamurilor.
27 Nimic întinat nu va intra în ea, nimeni care trăieşte în spurcăciune şi în minciună; ci numai cei scrişi în cartea vieţii Mielului.

Noul Ierusalim supraimpus peste Orientul Mijlociu:

click pe poza pentru sursa

Cum ar arata suprafata Noului Ierusalim in comparatie cu marimea Statelor Unite? Iata aici, Noul Ierusalim, masurat dupa masuratoarea Bibliei si supraimpus peste harta Americii:

fa click pe poza pentru sursa

In comparatie cu Vestul Americii:

fa click pe poza pt sursa

 

Locul unde va fi zidit al treilea Templu (VIDEO) Temple Mount – and the location of the Third Temple

Photo wikipedia

Filmarea la Muntele Templului incepe la minutul 3:30 Dr David Reagan, fost profesor de Lege Internationala si Politica explica faptul ca al treilea templu se poate construi in curand. In timpul razboiului israelean de 6 zile, Dr. Reagan urmarea cu interes razboiul. La sfarsitul razboiului, el a citit un articol care l-a interesat mult. In articol scria ca atunci cand evreii au reluat vechiul oras Ierusalim, generalii au discutat posibilitatea de a exploda Poarta Frumoasa si sa-i ia pe iordanieni prin surpriza. Un rabin ortodox care era prezent a spus: „Nu, doar peste trupul meu mort veti face asta. Aceia e poarta pe care va reveni Mesia. Traditia spune ca Suleiman Magnificul a sigilat poarta cand un rabin i-a spus ca pe aceasta poarta se va intoarce Mesia, zicand ca daca e sigilata poarta, El nu va putea sa intre in cetate.”

  • 4:40 Poarta Frumoasa, care a fost sigilata implinind Cuvantul in Ezechiel 44 care spune ca poarta va fi sigilata pana la revenirea lui Mesia.
  • Muntele Templului a fost doar un deal in timpul lui David- „regele Irod cel Mare a initiat o imensa lucrare de extindere a Muntelui Templului. El a extins artificial platforma muntelui, rezultatul fiind un imens platou.” (wikipedia)
  • 6:00 Muntele Templului este unul si acelas Muntele Moria din 2 Cronici 3:1 Solomon a început zidirea Casei Domnului la Ierusalim, pe muntele Moria, care fusese arătat tatălui său David, în locul pregătit de David în aria lui Ornan, Iebusitul. Muntele Moria este si locul unde Avraam l-a oferit pe Isac ca sacrificiu lui Dumnezeu. Data urmatoare cand auzim despre Muntele Moria, el este in 2 Samuel 24:18-25 – aria lui Aravna. Profetul Gad i-a spus lui David sa cumpere acel loc ca sa fie folosit ca o fundatie a Templului, pe viitor. David a cumparat aria si a facut un altar Domnului. Mai tarziu, fiul lui David, Solomon a ridicat primul Templu. Dupa 400 de ani, Templul a fost distrus de babilonieni, in anul 587 B.C. Templul a fost construit din nou dupa ce ei au scapat de jugul babilonian si dupa alte 600 de ani, pana cand a fost distrus de Romani in anul 70 A.D. 
  • In anul 20 B.C. Irod a inceput renovarea Templului si a largit cu mult platforma Muntelui Templului.
  • 7:20 locul de unde preotul sufla in sofar la inceputul Sabatului sau la inceputul festivalelor evreiesti.
  • 7:50 locul unde a fost excavata o strada din primul secol.
  • 8:50 treptele pe care oamenii intrau in Templu in vremea Domnului Isus
  • 9:20 Portile Hulda pe care se intra in Templu
  • 10:40 Zidul plangerii – Acesta este cel mai apropiat loc de locul original al Templului distrus. Evrei nu au voie sa urce sus pe Muntele Templului, care este propietate Israeleana dar sub administratie musulmana. Iar musulmanii nu tolereaza ca un crestin sau un evreu sa citeasca din Biblie sau sa se roage sus pe Muntele Templului. Musulmanii nici nu dau voie ca sa filmezi cu sunet, sus pe Muntele Templului.
  • 13:40 Moscheea Al Aksa
  • 14:10 Poarta pe care se va intoarce Domnul Isus cand va reveni
  • 14:30 Dome of the Rock – Cupola Stancii – cunoscută și sub numele greșit de Moscheea Omar, este un sanctuar islamic, unul din cele mai cunoscute locuri în Ierusalim. A fost construit între anii 687691 de califulAbd al-Malik, fiind cea mai veche construcție islamică funcțională din lume. În direcția pietrei peste care s-a ridicat domul se stabilise în trecut prima orientare de rugăciune pentru musulmani, (wikipedia) Cupola Stancii a fost construita peste locul unde era Sfanta Sfintelor a Templului si e posibil ca este construit peste locul unde se afla altarul, pentru ca are o sistem de scurgere, potrivit cum ar fi avut altarul, unde se scurgea sangele animalelor inainte de a fi sacrificate pe altar.
  • 14:55 Cupola Spiritului – alti experti (arheologici) cred ca acesta este locul unde era Sfanta Sfintelor. Sub Cupola Spiritului se crede ca e locul unde sedea Chivotul Legamantului. (15:20) Poarta de la Rasarit era in dreptul acestui loc. Sub Cupola Spiritului – „outcropping” se crede a fi locul mentionat in 1 Imparati 8:64 În ziua aceea, împăratul a sfinţit mijlocul curţii, care este înaintea Casei Domnului; căci acolo a adus arderile de tot, darurile de mîncare, şi grăsimile jertfelor de mulţămire, pentrucă altarul de aramă care este înaintea Domnului era prea mic, ca să cuprindă arderile de tot, darurile de mîncare, şi grăsimile jertfelor de mulţămire. Solomon a vrut sa sacrifice atat de multe animale- 22,000 vaci si 120,000 de oi pentru care a construit un altar special pentru sacrificiul acela. 
  • Poarta Frumoasa

    Poarta Frumoasa

    18:00 Din nou la Poarta Frumoasa (sau Rasarita, sau Aurita) Unii spun ca Poarta a fost mutata cand a fost reconstruita de Suleiman Magnificul. Dar, James Fleming, un tanar arheolog a descoperit ca Poarta este exact in locul in care a fost prima Poarta Frumoasa. Fleming cauta sa faca niste poze la Poarta Frumoasa. Cand Fleming a ajuns in fata portii, pamantul era moale pentru ca numai ce plouase 3 zile la rand. Cand s-a urcat pe capacul unui mormant, ca sa poata poza mai bine, el a cazut peste 2 metri, pana in fundul mormantului. Acolo, in intuneric, el a folosit blitul aparatului si s-a intors roata pe intuneric si a facut mai multe poze. Spre surpriza lui, cand a developat pozele, intr-una dintre poze s-a vazut  bolta de la Poarta Frumoasa.

  • Prin aceasta descoperire, arheologii isi dau seama ca Templul este cu 3/4 km mai departe decat credeau ei, si nu ar fi in cale la musulmani, daca si-ar construi Templu din nou.
  • 24:00 Al treilea templu (care va fi construit in timpul Necazului cel Mare) va fi distrus la venirea Domnului Isus intr-un cutremur. Isaia 40:3-5

    Un glas strigă: ,,Pregătiţi în pustie calea Domnului, neteziţi în locurile uscate un drum pentru Dumnezeul nostru!Orice vale să fie înălţată, orice munte şi orice deal să fie plecate, coastele să se prefacă în cîmpii, şi strîmtorile în vîlcele! Atunci se va descoperi slava Domnului, şi în clipa aceea orice făptură o va vedea; căci gura Domnului a vorbit. Isaia 2:2  Se va întîmpla în scurgerea vremurilor, că muntele Casei Domnului va fi întemeiat ca cel mai înalt munte; se va înălţa deasupra dealurilor, şi toate neamurile se vor îngrămădi spre el. Aici se va construi Templul mileniului de unde Domnul Isus va domni peste pamant.

  • Mica 4:1 În vremile de pe urmă, muntele Casei Domnului va fi întemeiat tare ca cel mai înalt munte, se va înălţa deasupra dealurilor, şi popoarele vor veni grămadă la el. Neamurile se vor duce cu grămada la el, şi vor zice: ,,Veniţi, haidem să ne suim la muntele Domnului, la Casa Dumnezeului lui Iacov, ca să ne înveţe căile Lui, şi să umblăm pe cărările Lui! Căci din Sion va ieşi Legea, şi din Ierusalim Cuvîntul Domnului. El va judeca între multe popoare, va hotărî între neamuri puternice, depărtate. Din săbiile lor îşi vor făuri fiare de plug, şi din suliţele lor cosoare; niciun neam nu va mai trage sabia împotriva altuia, şi nu vor mai învăţa să facă război;

Dr. David Reagan – VIDEO by ChristInProphecy

Dr. John Piper – TIU Chapel: What is the Joy of All Your Joys?

Dr. John Piper addresses the Trinity Community about where the Christian’s joy should be found on April 23, 2014.

VIDEO by Trinity International University 

It is well with my soul – the tempestuous story behind the powerful hymn

Photo credit Wikipedia

STORY from the Christian Post

If you have ever wondered what sequence of events inspired the lyrics of the timeless Christian hymn „It is Well” by writer Horatio Spafford, theologian John Piper unveils the tempestuous story behind it during a hauntingly beautiful rendition of the song on Jimmy Needham’s new album „The Hymn Sessions.”

In a video performance of the song posted on Vimeo, Piper reveals the devastating tragedy that inspired the powerful song in the late-1800s.

„In 1871 the great Chicago fire virtually ruined Horatio Spafford. It was almost the biggest trial of his life but not the biggest,” began Piper at the 3-minute mark in the video.

„Two years later, 1873, he puts his wife and his four daughters on a ship to sail for England and the ship runs into another ship and sinks very quickly, and all four girls died and his wife barely escapes. He hears about the accident and he receives a telegram from his wife: ‘Saved. Alone,'” he noted.

„He (Spafford) gets on a ship and heads to be with his grieving wife and as he passes over the part of the ocean where the girls went down and were at the bottom, he wrote, ‘when peace like a river attendeth my way or sorrows like sea billows roll,'” continued Piper.

He then explained why Spafford was able to say it was still well with his soul even after enduring such a tragedy.

„And you can hear the point ‘where sorrows like sea billows roll whatever my lot you have taught me to say it is well, it is well with my soul.’ So the question is how could it be well?” asked Piper.

„He knew Christ loved him. He saw it in the cross. And when he gets to the end, he has Christ coming back with a great triumph not to judge him but to save him and to raise his daughters from the dead so ‘it is well with my soul,'” said Piper.

„No song quite gets it in terms of its cadence, its tune and especially its words. It doesn’t get any better than sorrowful yet always rejoicing through ‘it is well, it is well’ with my soul,” he ended.

John Piper starts to narrate at the 3:00 minute mark-

Horatio Spafford

via Wikipedia

Horatio Gates Spafford (October 20, 1828, Troy, New York – October 16, 1888, Jerusalem) was a prominent Americanlawyer, best known for penning the Christian hymn It Is Well With My Soul, following a family tragedy in which four of his daughters died. 

Son of Gazetteer author Horatio Gates Spafford and Elizabeth Clark Hewitt Spafford, he married Anna Larsen of Stavanger, Norway on September 5, 1861, in Chicago. The Spaffords were well known in 1860s Chicago. He was a prominent lawyer, a senior partner in a large and thriving law firm.He and his wife were also prominent supporters and close friends of evangelist Dwight L. Moody. A series of family tragedies began in 1870 when their only son died from scarlet fever at the age of four.

Spafford invested in real estate north of an expanding Chicago in the spring of 1871. When the Great Fire of Chicago reduced the city to ashes in October of that same year, it also destroyed most of Spafford’s sizable investment.

Photo credit blog.praisesong.net

The wreck of the Ville Du Havre

Two years later, in 1873, Spafford decided his family should take a holiday somewhere in Europe, and chose England knowing that his friend D. L. Moody would be preaching there in the fall. He was delayed because of business, so he sent his family ahead: his wife and their four children, daughters eleven-year-old Anna “Annie”, nine-year-old Margaret Lee, five-year-old Elizabeth “Bessie”, and two-year-old Tanetta.

On November 22, 1873, while crossing the Atlantic on the steamship Ville du Havre, their ship was struck by an iron sailing vessel and 226 people lost their lives, including all four of Spafford’s daughters. Anna Spafford survived the tragedy. Upon arriving in England, she sent a telegram to Spafford beginning „Saved alone.”[6] Spafford then sailed to England, going over the location of his daughters’ deaths. According to Bertha Spafford Vester, a daughter born after the tragedy, Spafford wrote „It Is Well with My Soul” on this journey.

A slideshow of Stafford’s life and trials set to his song

It Is Well with My Soul lyrics

The original manuscript has only four verses, but Spafford’s daughter states how later another verse (the fourth in order below) was added and the last line of the original was slightly modified. The music, written by Philip Bliss, was named after the ship on which Spafford’s daughters died, Ville du Havre.

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

(Refrain:) It is well (it is well),
with my soul (with my soul),
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
(Refrain)

My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to His cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
(Refrain)

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pain shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
(Refrain)

And Lord haste the day, when the faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.
(Refrain)

Later years

Following the sinking of the Ville du Havre, Anna gave birth to three more children. On February 11, 1880, their son, Horatio Goertner Spafford, died at the age of four, of scarlet fever. Their daughters were Bertha Hedges Spafford (born March 24, 1878) and Grace Spafford (born January 18, 1881). Their Presbyterian church regarded their tragedy as divine punishment. In response, the Spaffords formed their own Messianic sect, dubbed „the Overcomers” by American press. In August 1881, the Spaffords set out for Jerusalem as a party of thirteen adults and three children and set up the American Colony. Colony members, later joined by Swedish Christians, engaged in philanthropic work amongst the people of Jerusalem regardless of their religious affiliation and withoutproselytizing motives—thereby gaining the trust of the local Muslim, Jewish, and Christian communities. During and immediately after World War I, the American Colony played a critical role in supporting these communities through the great suffering and deprivations of the eastern front by running soup kitchens, hospitals,orphanages and other charitable ventures.

Four days shy of his 60th birthday, Spafford died on October 16, 1888, of malaria, and was buried in Mount Zion Cemetery, Jerusalem.

The telegram Stafford’s wife, Ana, sent to inform him of the death by drowning of their 4 daughters on a ship bound for England. Photo credit www.ideafountain.ca

Here is a more detailed biography, from Yahoo voices:

Horatio G. Spafford:
The Story Behind the Hymn „It is Well with My Soul”

In the late 1860s life was good for Horatio G. Spafford and his wife Anna. They were living in a north side suburb of Chicago with their five children, Annie, Maggie, Bessie, Tanetta and Horatio, Jr. He had a successful law practice in Chicago. The doors of the Spaffords’ home were always open as a place for activists to meet during the reform movements of the time. Horatio G. Spafford was quite active in the abolitionist movement. Frances E. Willard, president of the National Women’s Christian Temperance Union as well as evangelical leaders like Dwight L. Moody were often guests in their home. Spafford was a Presbyterian church elder and a dedicated Christian.

Until now Horatio and Anna Spafford had led a charmed life. They had everything going their way. However, in 1870 their faith was tested by tragedy. Their four year old son, Horatio, Jr., died of scarlet fever. The Spaffords were devastated. In October of 1871 when the Great Chicago Fire broke out Horatio faced another test of his faith. A few months before the Great Chicago Fire, Spafford being a wealthy man, had invested much of his wealth in real estate by the shore of Lake Michigan. Not only did the Great Chicago Fire destroy most of Chicago but most of Spafford’s holdings were destroyed. 250 people died in the Great Chicago Fire and 90,000 were left homeless.

The Spaffords did not despair. Their home had been spared and they had their family. God had been good. Even though their finances were mostly depleted, Anna and Horatio used what resources they had left to feed the hungry, help the homeless, care for the sick and injured and comfort their grief stricken neighbors. The Great Chicago Fire was a great American tragedy; the Spaffords used it to show the love of the Christ to those in need.

In 1873 Anna Spafford’s health was failing and hoping to put behind the tragic loss of their son and the fire and to benefit Anna’s health, the Spaffords planned a trip to Europe. They would sail on the French steamer Ville du Havre to Europe with their four daughters. Spafford not only wanted to visit Europe but he wanted to assist Evangelists Dwight L. Moody and Ira D. Sankey in a revival they were conducting in England.

Moody and Sankey had met at a convention of the Young Men’s Christian Association in Indianapolis in 1870. After hearing Sankey sing, Moody at once invited him to come to Chicago and assist him in his evangelist work there. Ira D. Sankey considered Moody’s invitation and after much thought and prayer, decided to accept. Six months later he joined Moody in Chicago.

Dwight L. Moody and Ira Sankey were in the middle of a revival meeting when the Great Chicago Fire broke out in 1871. Moody and Sankey barely escaped Chicago with their lives. It is said that Sankey was on a row boat a long distance out in Lake Michigan where he watched as Chicago burned. With most of Chicago having been destroyed, Moody and Sankey decided to accept an invitation to visit England. In 1873 Moody and Sankey started a work in England. Moody and Sankey made such a profound impression in England their names became household words all over Europe.

The Spaffords planed to leave in November on their voyage to Europe. As sometimes happens, God had other plans for Horatio G. Spafford. The day they were to sail for Europe Spafford had a business emergency and could not leave. Not wanting to disappoint his wife Anna and their daughters he sent them on ahead and planned to follow on another ship in a few days. Accompanying Anna Spafford were her French governess, Emma Lorriaux, several friends and several ministers.

On November 22, 1873 the steamer Ville du Havre was struck by a British iron sailing ship, the Lockhearn. The steamer Ville du Havre, with Anna Spafford and her daughters aboard, sank within twelve minutes in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Only 81 of the 307 passengers and crew members survived this tragic shipwreck.

Even though the Lockhearn was in danger of sinking the unconscious Anna Spafford was picked up from floating debris by the crew of the Lockhearn. An American cargo sailing vessel, the Trimountain, arrived in time to save the survivors of the Ville du Havre and the Lockhearn. Anna Spafford was taken to Cardiff, Wales where she telegraphed her husband Horatio. Anna’s cable was brief and heartbreaking, „Saved alone. What shall I do…” Horatio and Anna’s four daughters had drowned. As soon as he received Anna’s telegram, Horatio left Chicago without delay to bring his wife home. Sailing across the Atlantic Ocean the captain of the ship called Horatio to the bridge. He informed Horatio that „A careful reckoning has been made and I believe we are now passing the place where the Ville du Havre was wrecked. The water is three miles deep.” That night, alone in his cabin Horatio G. Spafford penned the words to his famous hymn, „It Is Well With My Soul.” Horatio’s faith in God never faltered. He later wrote Anna’s half-sister, „On Thursday last we passed over the spot where she went down, in mid-ocean, the waters three miles deep. But I do not think of our dear ones there. They are safe, folded, the dear lambs.”

The following account is taken from the Christian History Institute.

„Anna Spafford later spoke of being sucked violently downward. Baby Tanetta was torn from her arms by a collision with some heavy debris, with a blow so violent that Anna’s arm was severely bruised. She flailed at the water trying to catch her baby. Anna caught Tanetta’s gown for just a moment before another smashing blow tore the little girl out of her arms forever. Reaching out again, all she could find was a man’s leg in corduroy trousers. Anna, barely conscious, was then swirled about in a whirlpool before surfacing near the Loch Earn. She instinctively clung on to a small plank and the next thing she recalled was the splash of an oar as she lay at the bottom of a small boat. Bruised and sick, her long hair was matted with salt and her dressing gown shredded. But the pain in her body was nothing compared to the pain in her heart as she realized that her four daughters had been lost in the disaster. A young male passenger, afloat on a piece of wood, came upon Maggie and Annie, the two oldest Spafford children. At his direction, each girl grasped one of his side pockets as he tried to find a board large enough to support all three of them. After about 30 or 40 minutes in the water, he found a piece of wreckage and struggled to help the two young girls climb atop the board. But as he watched, their weary arms weakened, and he saw their eyes close. Their lifeless forms floated away from his own fatigue-paralyzed arms. No clues ever surfaced about the fate of little Bessie.”

After Anna was rescued, Pastor Nathaniel Weiss, one of the ministers traveling with Anna and Horatio’s group remembered hearing Anna say, „God gave me four daughters. Now they have been taken from me. Someday I will understand why.” Anna was utterly devastated. Many of the survivors watched Anna closely, fearing she may try to take her life. In her grief and despair, Anna heard a soft voice speaking to her, „You were saved for a purpose!” It was then Anna remembered something a friend had once said, „It’s easy to be grateful and good when you have so much, but take care that you are not a fair-weather friend to God.”

Following their reunion in Europe, Horatio and Anna returned to Chicago to begin their lives again. God blessed Anna and Horatio with three children. They had a son in 1876, again called „Horatio.” Not so much for his father but for their lost son. In 1878 their daughter Bertha was born. Tragically, when little Horatio reached the age of 4 just as his brother before him, he died from scarlet fever. In 1880 Anna and Horatio had another daughter they called Grace. After the loss of little Horatio, the Spaffords decided to leave their home in America and settle in Jerusalem. In September of 1881 the Spaffords and a few of their friends left America for Israel.

The group settled in the old part of Jerusalem and started a work which later became known as the „American Colony.” There they served the needy, helped the poor, cared for the sick and took in homeless children. Their only cause was to show those living about them the love of Jesus. Swedish novelist Selma Ottiliana Lovisa Lagerlõf wrote of this colony of Christians in her two volume Nobel Prize winning work „Jerusalem.”

A Christian historian wrote of Anna and Horatio: „Moved by a series of profound tragic losses, Chicago natives Anna and Horatio Spafford led a small American contingent in 1881 to Jerusalem to form a Christian utopian society known as the ‘American Colony.'”

Bertha Spafford Vester, wrote the following in her book „Our Jerusalem.”

„In Chicago, Father searched his life for explanation. Until now, it had flowed gently as a river. Spiritual peace and worldly security had sustained his early years, his family life and his home……. All around him people were asking the unvoiced question; ‘What guilt had brought this sweeping tragedy to Anna and Hoaratio Spafford?’…. Father became convinced that God was kind and that he would see his children again in heaven. This thought calmed his heart, but it was to bring Father into open conflict with what was then the Christian world…. To Father, this was a passing through the „valley of the shadow of death,” but his faith came through triumphant and strong. On the high seas, near the place where his children perished, he wrote the hymn that was to give comfort to so many:”

The Story of Horatio Spafford –
It is Well With My Soul

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