I Believe


I believe that God the Father
Can be seen in God the Son;
In the gentleness of Jesus
Love for all the world is shown.
Though men crucify their Saviour,
And His tenderness rebuff,
God is love, the cross is saying;
Calvary is proof enough.

I believe in transformation;
God can change the hearts of men,
And refine the evil nature
Till it glows with grace again.
Others may reject the weakling –
I believe He can be strong;
To the family of Jesus
All God’s children may belong.

In a world of shifting values,
There are standards that remain;
I believe that holy living
By God’s grace we may attain.
All would hear the Holy Spirit
If they listen to His voice;
Every Christian may be Christlike
And in liberty rejoice.

All the promises of Jesus
Are unchanged in every way;
In my yesterdays I proved them;
I believe them for today.
Still God gives His willing servant
Full equipment for the task;
Power is found by those who seek it,
Grace is given to those who ask.

Salvationists are familiar with the work of co-writers John Gowans and John Larsson in their many musical plays. These words are by John Gowans, and can be sung to the hymn tune, Bethany . They offer encouragement and affirmation of our faith in today’s troubled world.

Grace is given to those who ask. Click To Tweet

johngowansJohn Gowans was born in Scotland in 1934 to his Salvation Army officer parents. After completing his national service in the Royal Army Educational Corps in Germany, he entered the International Training College from Grangetown in 1954. John had been a somewhat reluctant Salvationist, only donning uniform when he entered Training College. He held several corps (church pastor) appointments, and was also a Divisional Youth Secretary, National Stewardship Secretary, and a Divisional Commander. With his French-speaking wife, Gisele, Gowans was Chief Secretary for France from 1977-81. He was appointed to the USA Western Territory in 1981, where he was Secretary for Program and then Divisional Commander for Southern California. In 1986 he went back to France as Territorial Commander. Subsequently he and Gisele were territorial leaders in Australia and in the United Kingdom. John Gowans became the Salvation Army’s sixteenth General when he was elected to this position in 1999. He retired in 2002. John had a reputation as someone who truly cared for people and who also knew how to set priorities. He had a great capacity for friendship and was considered a “pioneer hugger”, opting to hug people rather than give a formal handshake. John Gowans was Promoted to Glory in December 2012. A moving tribute to him can be viewed, YouTube video below.

God can change the hearts of men Click To Tweet
S.A. SONG BOOK, 2015 EDITION, #34; 1987 EDITION, #324
Video Tribute to General John Gowans - A moving portrait of the man behind the public persona Click To Tweet

Video Tribute to General John Gowans – A moving portrait of the man behind the public persona. – YOUTUBE

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