—By Father DavidDFO107431/12/78
—Our First in France!
—(Thought you might like to enjoy it with us!—Amen?)
1. THANK YOU LORD FOR BRINGING OUR LOVED ONES HERE & for giving us a home that's sufficient to accommodate us all so we can work together for Thy service. Bless us & keep us, Lord, & keep everyone in health & happiness. Give them a good night's rest tonight, bless this food to our strength for Thy service, sanctify it‚ purify, bless the dear hands that have prepared it & all those who provided it‚ & we ask Thee to help us eat & digest it & have a sweet time of fellowship tonight on this happy New Year's Eve, in Jesus' name! PTL! Thank You Lord for a good year! Amen! (Sings:)
2. WE PRAISE THEE, O GOD‚ FOR THE SON OF THY LOVE,
For Jesus who died & is now up above,
Hallelujah, Thine the glory! Hallelujah, amen.
Hallelujah, Thine the glory! We praise Thee again!
3. WE PRAISE THEE, O GOD, FOR THY SPIRIT OF LIGHT,
Who has shown us our Saviour & scattered our night,
Hallelujah, Thine the glory! Hallelujah, amen.
Hallelujah, Thine the glory! We praise Thee again! Amen!
4. WE'RE A HAPPY PEOPLE, YES WE ARE!
We're a happy people, yes we are!
All day long we sing a song, Jesus will right every wrong,
We're a happy people, yes we are, amen!
I sing a lot of old ones, older than you! I'm afraid I'm not young enough to know all these new songs, I just know the old ones. So if you want to learn the old-timers, I'll teach you! PTL! TYL! (Sings: )
5. O, THE CHILDREN OF THE LORD HAVE A RIGHT TO SHOUT & SING
For the way is growing bright & my soul is on the wing!
I am going by & by to the palace of the King,
Glory to God, hallelujah!
I will praise Him, He's my King!
Of His mercies, I will sing!
I will follow in His paths of light‚
Till I see Him in His glory bright!
Praise the Lord, my soul is filled with glory!
Praise the Lord‚ my soul is filled with glory!
Praise the Lord, I love to tell the story,
Of His grace that keeps & gives me victory,
And I'm shouting glory till I get home!
(Davida: Sing another song!) Okay! I know if I can hold the children's attention we can keep everybody interested! (Sings:)
6. O, THE B-I-B-L–E, YES, THAT'S THE BOOK FOR ME!
I stand alone on the Word of God, the B-I-B-L-E!
The B–L-O-O-D, that Jesus shed for me,
I stand alone on the cornerstone, the B-L-O-O-D!
7. JESUS LOVES THE LITTLE CHILDREN, all the children of the World!
Red & Yellow, Black & White, All are precious in His sight.
Jesus loves the little children of the World!
8. JESUS LOVES ME, THIS I KNOW, FOR THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO!
Little ones to Him belong, they are weak but He is strong!
Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes‚ Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so!
Jesus loves little Indian boy, with his bow & arrow toy,
Jesus loves little brown boy, too!
Jesus loves both me & you!
Yes‚ Jesus loves me, Yes Jesus loves me,
Yes, Jesus loves me, the Bible tells me so!
9. WELL, EVERYBODY'S NOT SERVED YET SO WE'LL SING ANOTHER ONE! Mama & I will sing you a duet, "In the Garden". (Sings "In the Garden.") OK! We've got to eat our soup! (Sings: ) "Soup-ee, soup-ee, soup-ee, without a single bean! Porky, porky, porky, without a bit of lean! Bready, bready‚ bready"... I've forgotten the rest! That's the army mess call! We used to have words to it. Well, TYJ! PTL! (Maria ; You got it thick, Jewel, good for you!) That's wonderful! That's almost as thick as we dare eat it & still be on a liquid diet! (Maria: I told her to thicken it up because you like thick soup.) Ah, we ought to let them have at least a few crackers, huh?—Even though it's Fast Day?
10. THE WHOLE IDEA OF FASTING IS TO REMIND YOU THAT WE WANT TO BE PRAYERFUL. It's not that you have to go really totally without food‚ but to remind you that we want to make it so simple that it won't be a big job to make meals, & you can spend your time better at prayer & Bible Study & fellowship & whatever the Lord leads, amen? TYL! PTL! But as I say, they can have some crackers, what's soup without crackers, after all? TYL! You can eat them anyway you want to, but I liquify mine! You know how to liquify crackers? You just crumble them up & put them in the soup, & it's liquified! TYL! They knew I had a big mouth, that's why they gave me such a big spoon!
11. I'M HESITANT ABOUT SPECIAL PRIVILEGES—I LIKE THEM BUT I FEEL GUILTY ABOUT THEM! TYL! They were always trying to give me special food at the camp & I always was telling them, "I want to eat whatever the kids are eating! I want to know what they're eating! If it's not good enough for me‚ it's not good enough for them!" TYL! Well, I've almost had my fasting today already with my one cup of coffee & two slices of toast. I had bread & milk, I broke it up in the coffee. Oooh Jewel! This is delicious! (Sings:) "You're the cream in my coffee, & the sugar in my tea!" TYL!
12. EVERYBODY HAPPY? THERE MIGHT EVEN BE ENOUGH FOR SECONDS! Daniel was looking hopefully this way! Pass Daniel whatever's left—he's a hard-working maintenance man! We let the men have seconds‚ OK? Are the women agreed we'll let the men have seconds? Thank you? It wasn't hard to get a vote that time, was it‚ since I voted with the women in favour of the men! TYL! We'll sing you the last verse in closing tonight, Lord willing. That will be one way to close me up!
13. WE SPENT ALL AFTERNOON ON THE WAY DOWN HERE* SINGING ALL THE OLD-TIMERS & duets & everything, & they didn't even have a tape recorder that worked! (Maria: We tried everything! We stopped & got battery after battery, his wouldn't work, mine wouldn't work!) Well‚ we weren't singing for the tape recorder anyhow, we were singing for the Lord! TYL! (Maria: I was so frustrated! You said it was just a practice run, maybe we can redo them.) We can practice on them a little more. (*From Switzerland to France.)
14. I DON'T THINK WE'D BETTER LET JEWEL COOK ON FAST DAYS ANY MORE, IT'S TO GOOD! Well‚ I'm a man, I can eat a little bit more. Oh Jewel, what a cook, oi yoi yoi! Please save her for the days of non-fasting! Whoever's on dishes should go right on into dishes right away—you might miss a little bit, but that way you won't be up late tonight on dishes at 12 o'clock. It's better to do them immediately while they're still washable. Do we get tea? That's liquid! Tea is liquid! You know, pregnant women do not have to abide by the fasting rules, Honey! (Maria was pregnant with Techi!)
15. IT'S NEW YEAR'S EVE, WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A WATCH NIGHT SERVICE—WATCH THE NIGHT GO BY! Maybe we'll have a new kind of New Year's Eve, make a new resolution that everybody should go to bed before midnight! That should be a good way to see the old year out, with a little sleep!—Ha!
16. IT LOOKS SO NICE & CHRISTMASY WITH THOSE THREE CANDLES‚ I'M GETTING THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT!—A little late!—I always was a slow starter! Well, everybody wasn't here, how could we have Christmas without you? Well, PTL! Thank You Lord for bringing our folks here safely. (Sings: "O Little Town of Bethlehem", "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear", "Silent Night" & "Away in a Manager")
17. (DAVIDA: THE CHRISTMAS THREE IS SO DRY!) It's so dry, well, that's what happens if you don't get enough water, see? That's why we're here, to get a little water of the Word tonight‚ another wise we get real dry too! Another one? (Sings: "Noel.") PTL! I don't know why, that just came natural, I sang teaching their sheep instead of keeping their sheep! Ha! Well, that's what we're doing! Another one? (Sing: "O Come All Ye Faithful" & "Joy to the World!")
18. I SEE THESE GOOD BAPTISTS & METHODISTS REALLY KNOW THESE SONGS! And the Catholics aren't doing too bad either! I realise it's a little difficult for you French & Scandinavians & Germans because you know different words, but do you recognise some of the terms? Do they sing some of the same melodies in your countries too? Now we'll all one country, TTL! Amen? We're all citizens of Heaven, PTL! What's that other one you called for Pathway? (Path: "O Little Town of Bethlehem.") Ah, that's a sweet one, that's really one that has a message! (Sings: "O Little Town of Bethlehem.")
19. NOW, HERE'S ONE OF MY FAVOURITES! I always used to like this from the time I was a little boy. This was always my favourite Christmas carol‚ because all the big kingly men with deep voices used to sing this. Do you know which one I'm talking about? (Sings: "We Three Kings of Orient Are!") Another verse? (Sings: ) "Myrrh is mine, it's bitter perfume, breathes a sigh of gathering gloom! Sorrowing, sighing‚ bleeding, dying, sealed in a cold stone tomb!" Hallelujah! (Tongues:) Hallelujah! TYJ! "Praise the Lord for Thy kisses of love for Thy children, Lord‚ & for Thy little father!" TYJ! PTL! I never could sing that one without crying. PTL! I used to know all the verses but I think I've forgotten.
20. OH, THAT WAS A DRAMATIC POINT! EVERY CHRISTMAS WE HAD A CHRISTMAS PAGEANT WHEN I WAS SMALL, & people came from miles around to see it. In fact‚ the big Tabernacle we had there in Miami seated about 5,000 people! We had the whole Christmas pageant & it would always be packed! We had the whole Christmas story, from the Anunciation & even Mary's visit to Elisabeth & the Magnificat, then the shepherds sleeping in the fields with their flocks with the angels appearing in the glories of Heaven.
21. WE HAD A BEAUTIFUL CHRISTMAS SCENE ACROSS THE BACK OF THE REAR OF THE STAGE, a huge gigantic thing about twelve feet high & 30 feet long. The Choir loft was quite high us on the platform here, & my mother had the stage built purposely so it could accommodate Bible dramas. Like the old miracle plays of the Middle Ages, we used to act out different Bible stories. The children would have love that, & the children did!—I was one of'm!
22. I WAS ALWAYS A LITTLE SHEPHERD BOY & I came along with my little shepherd robe. I always wore my bathrobe & this thing over my head & carried a little staff. If we had that, David could be a shepherd boy! And as I got a little older when I was about 7, they had me say a little poem. It was about a little shepherd boy who couldn't go to see Jesus but had to stay behind with the sheep, a rather touching sad little poem. He was talking about how he was a poor boy, he had nothing to offer to the Lord but his heart.
23. WELL‚ PTL! IT WAS A BEAUTIFUL THING! While the shepherds were with their flocks in the foreground, all of a sudden all the big spotlights turned on the choir who were robed as angels! We had all the beautiful girls in the church up there, & they were beautiful in nothing but mosquito netting. It was very inexpensive & they used it in Miami in those days to keep out the Mosquitos, very thin material, only they wore a little bit more.
24. IN THOSE DAYS WE WERE A BIT MORE CONSERVATIVE so the girls usually at least wore their slips underneath. But it was quite a thrilling time for us boys because they were rather beautiful‚ & at least you could see their bare arms. It was the simplest thing, they took four yards of mosquito netting, cut a hole in the middle for the girl's head, draped it over, straight in front, straight behind & straight down from her arms like this, & from the floor over her shoulders & to the floor behind. Every time she lifted her arms like this it was just like wings, it was beautiful!
25. AND ALL OF A SUDDEN WHILE THE SHEPHERDS WERE SLEEPING WITH THEIR FLOCKS they'd come marching in singing, & there were different things‚ songs & poems about the night. Let's see if I can remember one of those songs. (Sings:)
"Away, away to Bethlehem, to guard our flocks of sheep.
We faithful watch through the silent night while others calmly sleep.
Shine out, shine out, O stars of the night, with pure & steady glow!
Shine out, shine our, O stars of the night, upon the World below!"
I don't think I've sung that since I was in the pageant!—And the last time I was in that was when I was about seven years old!
26. THEN THEY SAID THEIR PIECES ABOUT THE NIGHT & FLOCKS & the little boy told about being a shepherd boy, & everything grew very still & very calm. The big painting in the rear was a picture of Bethlehem in the distance, & it really looked very realistic, you know‚ at a distance. The painting was just dimly lighted with little lights behind of stars peeking through so it looked very real.
27. THEN JUST AS THE SHEPHERDS SETTLED DOWN QUIETLY IN THE SEMIDARKNESS ON THE PLATFORM‚ suddenly there was a blaze of light on these angels who had been sitting in darkness in the loft. They suddenly stood up & stretched out their wings & all this white & all these spotlights & everything focused on them & they really did look beautiful! They were almost as beautiful as you girls! I think you've got them beat, I don't think we had any girls as beautiful as you! I remember Marylou was the star angel, she was the one in the center & the most beautiful, one of my old girl friends.
28. THEY SANG THESE BEAUTIFUL ANGELIC SONGS THAT THE ANGELS WOULD BE SINGING TO MANKIND BELOW: "Peace on Earth, good will toward men!" It made a very beautiful scene. Then after this they had the manager scene. The lights would be turned out so they could change a little bit, & while everything was being changed, they drew a little curtain & put Mary & the baby & Joseph & a few animals on.
29. THEN THEY DREW THE CURTAIN & THE SPOTLIGHT CAME ON MARY while she sat there & sang a beautiful song. Oh my, I wish I could remember all those songs now, they were really very beautiful! She was singing about the babe in her arms, & how she never expected such a blessing as this & so on, really beautiful, & Joseph sang. They tried using a real baby several Christmases, & once in awhile the baby sang too!—Ha!
30. THEN WALKED IN THREE BIG TALL MEN, one was my father & then there was Mr. Plumber, a great big husky fellow. They picked the biggest men they could find to walk in dressed as kings. They came walking in singing "We Three Kings of Orient Are" all the way through. As they presented their gift‚ each one would kneel down & sing another verse that fit that particular gift: Gold, frankincense & myrrh.
31. AND THEN THE GREAT GRAND FINALE, ALL THE SHEPHERDS CAME IN THEN‚ & the angels were up there & the babe in the manager, & Joseph & Mary & the kings & everybody, & we used to sing a song, the grand finale! I don't remember the verses‚ but I remember the big thing & everybody sang for all they were worth: "Jesus is King! Jesus is King! For the manger of Bethlehem cradles a King!" That was the grand finale & it was really beautiful!
32. THESE WERE THE DAYS WHEN CHURCH IN A WAY WAS STILL SHOW BUSINESS & it was still one of the primary forms of entertainment‚ before the days of television & radio, & even movies were still new. So people still flocked to church for good music & dramas & Bible plays & things like that, it was still good entertainment. People enjoyed going to church & even the so-called "sinners" came because it was a good show. And I don't think it was a bad idea, I mean, as long as they would come & hear the Gospel!
33. DURING THE DEPRESSION YEARS WHEN MANY CHURCHES WERE CLOSING & when lots of theaters even closed because of lack of business, my mother got inspired to just go on the road with a regular road show team of our little family with some of our staff & some of our best actors. There were 14 actors plus the orchestra & musicians of about a half-a-dozen‚ & one huge big truck loaded with scenery & costumes!
34. WE WOULD GO INTO THESE TOWNS, MANY CITIES THROUGHOUT THE SOUTH where there was some big theatre that had closed down, gone broke in the Depression, & just ask for the use of the theatre, & usually they'd give it to us free to put on these Bible dramas. And people would pour in! I mean, they really came! There was nothing else much to do, they could hardly even afford to go to the movies, what little there were‚ & there was no television & little or no radio, so people came out!
35. WE GAVE A DIFFERENT BIBLE DRAMA EVERY NIGHT FOR TWO WEEKS. We had a repertoire of about 14 dramas and there were some very interesting ones too. My mother wrote most of them, & of course they were just taken straight from the Bible stories & mostly Scripture, which is very good. And we had good fruit! At the end there was always a Gospel message, a definite call to service or to salvation, to receive Jesus.
36. MOTHER ALWAYS STEPPED OUT AT THE END & GAVE WHAT THEY CALL AN "ALTAR CALL" inviting people to come down, step forward, sort of like Billy Graham used to do, to give their hearts to the Lord. And it was amazing, scores of people would come down to receive the Lord!—Because it was attracting the people who normally wouldn't even go to church, because most churches were not quite that interesting or dramatic & didn't put on that good a show.
37. BUT MY MOTHER BELIEVED IN MAKING THE GOSPEL ATTRACTIVE & INTERESTING & DRAMATIC! She was quite an actress herself & usually played some of the leading parts. In the famous drama of Pilate & Procla she played the part of Pilate's wife, Procla, & different parts like that which brought out the story. There were certain scenes, of course, which you couldn't portray very well, like the crucifixion, but they would relate what had happened & always with great meaning. And many people received the Lord‚ came & accepted Christ at that time & it was very fruitful. We did the same thing at our Tabernacle in Miami.
38. DAVID‚ DADDY'S TELLING SOME STORIES THAT WOULD BE INTERESTING TO YOU IF YOU WOULD LISTEN. Now, if you're not going to listen then the best thing to do is to go to bed, right? This is not a time to play, it is a time to listen. (To Davida:) Well, you're pretty young yet so we can understand that you don't know much yet but to play, but David's old enough to listen. And if you don't want to listen, then you can go to bed if you like. I'm telling some very interesting stories about when Daddy was a little boy & he used to travel with his show group, & we put on plays & I would act parts in the plays too, like the little shepherd boy & things like that.
39. WELL, ONE OF THE MOST INTERESTING THINGS ABOUT OUR CHRISTMAS PLAY WAS THE STORY OF THE INNKEEPER. The whole drama began with the scene at the door of the Inn. Mary & Joseph came in weary from their trip & knocked on the door & the innkeeper comes out very irritated to be bothered on a busy night & said, "No no, I have no room! No room in the Inn!"—The picture of Mr. Worldly Moneywise who's not interested in the poor or helping or anything, he turns them away. But his doorkeeper or gatekeeper is sorry for them, so he takes them to the stable & lets them stay there where Jesus was born & put in the manager.
40. AFTERWARD AT THE VERY END THEN AFTER THE GRAND FINALE & everything else you thought the whole thing was over. After this great glorious "Jesus is King"‚ suddenly the lights all went out & you wondered what was happening next. After this all of a sudden the lights came back on & while it was dark they'd changed & there was the Inn door again & the Innkeeper is pacing up & down the stage back & forth & talking about, "If I had only known! If I had only known Who it was! I would have made a room in the Inn!" etc., & he was being sorry that he had turned away the Messiah & the King & he didn't realise‚ etc., the picture of the typical sinner who doesn't realise until too late what he's done. I couldn't tell you it all, but it had a very great powerful impact!
41. AND THEY SANG THEN A SONG CALLED "NO ROOM IN THE INN"‚ a very sad song & it was very touching. (Sings: )
"No sweet little cradle, no soft cradle bed,
No room in the Inn, no place for His head‚
No place for Jesus, no room in the Inn.
No place for Jesus, no room in the Inn!"
—While the innkeeper's pacing up & down & sorrowing, the choir sings this sweet sad song, "No Room In the Inn".
42. AND THEN THE LAST VERSE IS SOMETHING ABOUT, "HAVE YOU MADE ROOM FOR JESUS? DOES HE HAVE ROOM IN YOUR INN?"—a real message to it! And of course then my mother would come out & give a real Gospel message & appeal to those who wanted to come & give their hearts to the Lord. In other words‚ don't be like the Innkeeper who turned Jesus away, & nearly every Christmas hundreds of people would come down & receive the Lord.
43. WELL, WE DIDN'T PREPARE A CANDLE-LIGHTING SERVICE FOR YOU TONIGHT, BUT WE HAVE SOME CANDLES. I did want to be with you a little bit tonight, at least, as we see the Old Year out, & bring a New Year in. But to me as a little boy like David & the children, I really enjoyed those Bible plays & they made a great deep impression. They were very dramatic & very easy for a child to understand, so I believe they were truly worthwhile. If they had had television in those days I'm sure they would have had the cameras out taking pictures because it was very beautiful, considered the best in the city!
44. OF COURSE, WE HAD THE BIGGEST CHURCH IN TOWN, FOR ONE REASON‚ so we had the best talent in those days, 5,000 people in a church is quite a crowd! So that was the kind of a church I was raised in. Maybe it's not quite like the one you were raised in, although I think the Catholics are pretty good at drama too, every service is a drama in a way‚ & it always used to impress me as a child.
45. MY FOLKS TOOK ME TO ALL CHURCHES, they thought we ought to have a good broad education to see what everybody was like, & we were fascinated by both the Catholic & the Episcopal churches—the drama & the pageantry & the beautiful costumes & churches & statuary & stained glass windows & ceremonies, it's very impressive for a young child! It's dramatic, it's pageantry, it's colourful!—Especially if they can be taught the meaning of it, that it has some real meaning or something that really carries a message, which is no doubt where all of this originated. But it has become such a form & a ceremony & seem to have almost forgotten the meaning.
46. IT'S LIKE PEOPLE GOING TO CHURCH, FELLOWSHIP IS WONDERFUL & being fed the pure water of the Word & being fed the things that you need to know is fine‚ but if they forget what that's all about & it's nothing but form, ceremony, tradition & they forget the meaning‚ then it's not worth very much, just a little Sunday morning choir. Sara wouldn't know what I'm talking about, she's a Baptists—or she was! Well, I'm sure she's been to Catholic or Episcopal church sometime.
47. ONE THING I LOVED ABOUT THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH, THE ENGLISH CHURCH‚ IS THAT THEY REALLY READ A LOT OF SCRIPTURE. They read almost the whole New Testament through in one year. They read several selected chapters usually at every Sunday-morning service going through their missal or their liturgy, whatever it is that whoever decides they're to read. But they read a lot of Scripture, & that used to really awe me as a little boy to hear all that beautiful Scripture read in beautiful old English, classical English, as we have in the King James Bible. So that's one thing at least the Episcopalians & the English Church get, they get a lot of Scripture. That's one thing that's kept England Christian, if not in actual spirit, at least in culture.
48. OF COURSE THE GERMANS, I'M SURE‚ HAVE INHERITED A LOT FROM MARTIN LUTHER & HIS WONDERFUL EXAMPLE. I'm not so familiar with the Lutheran church, my father was a Lutheran in the Evangelical Lutheran Church, but there's some formal display of the beauty of worship. As my father used to say, "Well, if you're going to have churches, church buildings & churchy services, you really can't beat the Catholics or the Episcopalians!"—Because they have all that pageantry & all that costume‚ all the beauties of it all, the altar & the accessories to the show, & it really is beautiful.
49. IF THEY WERE REALLY TAUGHT TO UNDERSTAND THE MEANING OF IT ALL, IT PERHAPS WOULD HAVE GREATER DEPTH TO IT & BE A GREATER BLESSING. I think Tim has testified that it really awed him, didn't you say as a child, & you felt really definitely close to God & a feeling of genuine awe & respect & worship & love through all of that, although he didn't always have the same feeling toward his teachers & priests, but he was taught a real respect for God & Jesus & so on.
50. WELL, I CAN'T PUT ON A DRAMA HERE FOR YOU TONIGHT, although I do have lots of pretty angels here, but it would have been of more interest to the children if we could, & sometimes our groups are very good at skits. It's been a long time since I've done a skit so I'm a little bit rusty. But PTL!
51. LISTEN TO HOW THE WORLD CELEBRATES THE INCOMING OF A NEW YEAR.—with noise & force & violence, the sound of war! They would celebrate those saints' fiestas in Spain & in Malta with the most horrible racket you ever heard, the sound of war! Some of those poor saints were men & women of peace. I mean, it must horrify them to see how the church is celebrating their birthdays & their saint's days today! What does this World want for the New Year? Listen to them!—Shouts‚ cries, violence, debauchery & the sound of war!—Fireworks, firecrackers, explosions, gunfire! Whew! It's terrible! God spare us from all that! God give us another year without war!
52. (P.S. 1981: —AND HE HAS, TTL!—SEVERAL YEARS WITHOUT WAR! May God give us at least one more to get you all out of the Nuclear North into the Safer South!—Amen?—Amen!—In Jesus' name, amen! PTL! GBY!—Another Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year to you all! GBAKYAMYAB all year! TYJ for another wonderful year!—In Jesus' name‚ amen!)