Saturday, January 30, 2010

TSMSS: George Beverly Shea - 101 Years Young!

Monday (February 1) is the 101st birthday of George Beverly Shea. He is surely one of the most beloved singers of all time. I remember watching the Billy Graham Crusades on our black & white TV (that was also in the days before remote controls!) when I was a child; I generally went off to play when Billy Graham started preaching, but I always loved watching George Beverly Shea sing just before Mr. Graham's sermon. And one of my sweetest memories from childhood is sitting with my dad by the Christmas tree listening to this Christmas Hymns album.

About twenty years ago, when he was just a "youngster" of 81 or so, he came to our church and gave a concert on a Sunday night. While he was singing and then shaking his hand afterwards, I was awed by his demeanor and his sweet spirit. He absolutely radiated the presence of God. Sometimes I think he's going to be like Enoch - I can see the headlines saying that George Beverly Shea walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.

So many songs can be considered classics of his that it was difficult to choose which to feature today: In the Garden, The Wonder of it All (which he wrote), Singing I Go, In Times Like These and I'd Rather Have Jesus (another song he wrote) are just a few of the songs he is well-known for.

And this one, Until Then speaks of the theme of his life.

My heart can sing when I pause to remember
A heartache here is but a stepping stone
Along a trail that's winding always upward,
This troubled world is not my final home.

But until then my heart will go on singing,
Until then with joy I'll carry on,
Until the day my eyes behold the city,
Until the day God calls me home.

The things of earth will dim and lose their value
If we recall they're borrowed for awhile;
And things of earth that cause the heart to tremble,
Remembered there will only bring a smile.

This weary world with all its toil and struggle
May take its toll of misery and strife;
The soul of man is like a waiting falcon;
When it's released, it's destined for the skies.

He has sung to more than 200 million people in his career, yet you can tell as he sings Acres of Diamonds that fame and wealth are not where he finds his contentment:

Acres of Diamonds, mountains of gold,
Rivers of silver, jewels untold;
All these together, wouldn't buy you or me
Peace when we're sleeping or a conscience that's free.

A heart that's contented, a satisfied mind,
These are the treasures, money can't buy;
If you have Jesus, there's more wealth in your soul,
Than Acres of Diamonds, mountains of gold.

Of course, he's probably most well-known for this beautiful hymn!

Okay, I have to stop! Have a blessed birthday, Mr. Shea, and thank you for blessing us through your music!

Head over to Amy's for more songs!


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15 comments: said...

This was so special! I LOVE Bev Shea. We grew up during those days too. Not too long ago I posted him singing "The love of God", another of my favorites.
Thanks for sharing these...



Peggy said...

Blessings Linda...What a great saint & voice! I couldn't believe that I knew many of his songs! How special your tribute to this great man and you're right...too difficult to choose...
even from just these 3!

I so enJOYed hearing these & his demeanor is just as you said filled with God's glory. Ahhhh...George Beverly Shea & Billy Graham...great men of our times! Thanks for sharing these 3...enJOY TSMSS!

Debbie Petras said...

Linda, thank you for posting George Beverly Shea's songs and videos. Such memories they evoke for me. I was familiar with each song but you cannot know how much the words of the first two touched my heart this morning. How Great Thou Art is one of my favorites to hear him sing.

George Beverly Shea came to my church about 12 years ago. I was so glad that my parents were visiting us in Phoneix at the time so my mom and dad came with me to the concert. I loved it and it brought such reminders of my paternal grandparents who loved his music too. I used to watch him on the Billy Graham Crusades too.

I share the same birthday with George Beverly Shea! I think it's good company. I cannot believe he's going to be 101. Such a man of God.

Thank you especially for today's song choice Linda. You blessed me more than you can know this morning.


sara said...

Happy Birthday Mr Shea!!

what a great tribute! I loved listening to these songs and especially How Great thou Art. that was my Papaw's favorite hymn and it always makes me think of him!!!

Cathy said...

I love that Acres of Diamonds song My cousin was just quoting that on FB a few days ago. Beautiful and so true.

Deborah said...

What a great ministry he continues to have. I'll have to share this with my grandmother who is 97.

Unknown said...

Linda - thanks for stopping by and sharing such blessed songs!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Unknown said...

I had forgotten how old GBS is!! I haven't seen him in a gazillion years so I remember him as a "young" (!) man. So many memories have been dredged up with today's post. Thanks for giving me a smile.

Cathy said...

He is certainly living a long contented life, and has blessed so many with his wonderful voice and music. Thanks for sharing those songs, Linda.

quilly said...

One can see the joy of God shine from his eyes as he sings. I'll echo your happy birthday!

achildoftheking said...

I love Mr Shea! Great singer!

His Unfailing Love said...

I'm sorry for a late visit. I'm blessed by your post.

Robert said...

Thanks for the great tribute to Bev Shea. I'm sure we'll never see his like again. To read my own article about him, and see another video clip, check out my daily blog on hymn history, Wordwise Hymns.

Anonymous said...

Incredible blessing...that is George Bev Shea....what talent God gave him and to know he has given it back to the Lord all these many years...Thank you, George Bev Shea!! and a very Happy 101st birthday to you!!! They announced his birthday on a Sports Radio station here locally in Houston and prefaced by, "Not that anyone is interested in a gospel singers' birthday" but it is his 101st birthday. Well guess what my husband heard it and called me and was upset about the way it was announced so I gave him the phone number and he called the station and I called the program director and spoke to him and let him know that there are alot of people who are interested in this awesome event and then I played him some of his music over the phone and challenged him to pull it up on his own and listen to the words of the songs. You know he said he would and thanked me and I pray he will and God will touch his heart and I hope you will agree with me on this and pray too for this witness...thanks for this wonderful tribute!!! Hugs from Texas!!!

LivingforGod said...

Great stuff! Thanks for sharing these wonderful songs.

Happy Birthday to Mr. Shea! He has been such a blessing to the world.