How Sweet the Words

Rick Ritter and the Four Corners church at Stillwell have some of the few sound preachers and churches in Oklahoma.


harry presley

(photograph of Harry Presley)


“How sweet are Thy words unto my taste!  Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth” (Ps. 119:103)

     INTRO.:  A song which declares how God’s words should be sweet unto our taste is “How Sweet the Words.”  The text was written by Harry Presley, who was born on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 27, 1924, near Stilwell, OK, in the home of his parents John M. and Inez Richardson Presley. Growing up in the Stilwell area, he received his schooling from the Stilwell public schools and graduated from high school in 1942. Following his baptism into Christ on Sept. 17, 1950, he served in the U. S. Army in Korea during the Korean War. After his return, he began preaching the gospel in 1956, doing fill-in work for local congregations. On Dec. 17, 1961, he started preaching full-time for the Four Corners church of…

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Do You Love the Lord?

A special teacher, preacher and song leader too.


tom holland

(Tom Holland)


“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matt. 22:37)

     INTRO.: A hymn which encourages us to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind is “Do You Love the Lord?” The text was written by Thomas H. Holland, who was born in 1931 to Ross R. and Elzie Flanagan Holland, graduating from Freed-Hardeman College (now University) in 1951. His further education included a B.A. (David Lipscomb College), an M.A. (Abilene Christian University), and a Ph.D. (Southern Illinois University). His wife’s name is Linda D. Holland.  A well known preacher and lecturer among Churches of Christ, he is the author of numerous books on homiletics and sermon outlines. One website listed the following sermon outline books by Tom Holland: Essential Elements of Expository Preaching, Steps into the…

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This Is Not My Place of Resting

I was in college when I first heard of brother Showalter. In fact the first apartment my husband and I rented after we married was with brother Showalter’s younger brother’s widow.


this is not my place


“For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come” (Hebrews 13:14)

     INTRO.:  A hymn which urges us, since we have no continuing city here on earth, to seek the one that is to come is “This Is Not My Place of Resting.”  The text was written by a Scottish Free Church preacher named Horatius Bonar (1808-1889).  It was published in The Bible Hymn-Book of 1845.  Other well known hymns by Bonar that have appeared in our books include “For Me He Careth,” “Go, Labor On,” “Here, O My Lord, I See Thee,” “I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say,” and “No Shadows Yonder.”  Several tunes have been used with “This Is Not My Place of Resting.”  The traditional one (Vesper Flotow) was composed in 1875 by Friedrich von Flotow.  Another (Talmar), which has also been used with a…

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He Loves Me

It is good to know the background of our hymns.



(photograph of L. O. Sanderson)


“…Christ also hath loved us, and gave Himself for us…” (Eph. 5:2)

     INTRO.:  A hymn which reminds us that Christ has loved us and given Himself for us is “He Loves Me” (#696 in Hymns for Worship Revised; cf. #136 in Sacred Selections for the Church).  The text was written, under the penname of Vana R. Raye, and the tune was arranged both by Lloyd Otis Sanderson, who was born the middle of five children to James P. and Lucy Ann Hunt Sanderson on May 18, 1901, in Craighead County near Jonesboro, AR, in an old log house on the home place that his father, who was a singing teacher, had inherited.  His father belonged to the Methodist church, but his mother was a member of the church of Christ. During his time at home, the family had a…

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For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: 21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself (Phil. 3:20-21).

Some questions to consider as we study:

  • What glory is to be revealed in us?
  • How would it help to look forward to our new body, and the glory that will be revealed in us eternally?
  • What would give us cause to laugh and be comforted in our trials (Rom. 8:17-25)?

And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.  18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.  20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, 21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.  22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.  23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.  24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?  25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. (Rom. 8:17-25).

Notice what our new spiritual body will be like (Phil. 3:20-21; Matt. 22:30)? We see in Philippians 3:20-21that our conversation is in heaven; from where we also look for a Savior who will change our vile body so that it may be made like His glorious body… Then in Matthew 22:30we read that in the resurrection people neither marry nor or given in marriage but are like the angles.

Notice in Exodus 33:19-23that man is flesh and blood, and he cannot see God and live, yet the angels “behold the face of the Father.”

Angels’ bodies must not be flesh and blood (Matt. 18:10). Gabriel stands in the presence of God, so he is not flesh and blood (Luke 1:19). In the account of the woman with seven husbands, we are told that we shall be “as the angels” when we are resurrected with a new body (Matt. 22:30; Mark 12:25; Luke 2:15). Many people have no understanding of the resurrection, our new spiritual bodies or the life we will lead in eternity.

Some might think being like the angels is no big deal, because they are just “people with wings and are dressed in white.” A deeper study of these mighty beings gives us a marvelous picture of God’s messengers (Heb. 1:7; Heb. 1:13-14). An angel’s body is able to “fly” (Rev. 14:6), appear and disappear (Judges 13:16-21), become a flame of fire (Heb. 1:7; Judges 13:20), take on the form of a man (Judges 13:16-21).

Just one spiritual being was all it took to kill every firstborn in Egypt in one night (Exod. 12:23, 29), or destroy 185,000 valiant soldiers in one night (2 Kings 19:35). Prophet after prophet fell on his face or fainted at the sight of one of these mighty spiritual beings (Dan. 9:27).

God’s angels appeared with horses or chariots of fire (2 Kings 6:17; Zech. 6), raiment white as snow (Dan. 7:9-10; Matt. 28:1-4; Mark 9:2-3; Rev. 1:13-15), body like beryl, eyes as lightening (Daniel 10:5-6; Exod. 24:16-17; Rev. 19:11-12), and the list goes on and on. Angels are called God’s messengers (Heb. 1:7; Heb. 1:13-14). Let’s visit each of these accounts one by one.

The list goes on and on. Just how glorious will that new body be? Consider the following scriptures which describe it in some detail: (Phil. 3:20-21; 1 Cor. 15:35-58; Rom. 8:18-25; 2 Cor. 3:7-18; Dan. 10:5-9; Eze. 1:4-28; Psalms 113:4-6).

-Beth Johnson