Children of the Heavenly Father

This hymn is lettered in the Bookhand style, with the title done in the Fraktur style. My son Daniel drew the bird and I drew the Dogwood branches with the blooms. I John 3:1a is written under the title.

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This was ordered recently by a wife for her husband on Father's Day. They recently had a miscarriage and she wanted to minister to her husband in this time of pain and loss with this hymn. The hymn history is a follows: Lina Sandell, the author of this hymn, was a Lutheran pastors daughter in Froderyd, Sweden. She was a "daddy's girl" -- very close to her father. As a child, she enjoyed playing quietly in her fathers study as he worked. Lina began writing hymns at an early age. Then, when she was 26 years old, tragedy struck. She and her father were passengers in a boat crossing Lake Vattern when the boat lurched and her father fell overboard. As Lina watched in horror, her father drowned before anyone could mount a rescue effort. When tragedy strikes, some people allow it to destroy them, but Linas faith saw her through the tragedy. Her grief gave her music a new depth and sensitivity. During her lifetime, Lina wrote 650 hymns. Children of the Heavenly Father is the one that is most familiar to English-speaking congregations. Many people will also recognize the hymn that begins with the words, "Day by day and with each passing moment, Strength I find to meet my trials here" - - a hymn of quiet assurance. The hymn, Children of the Heavenly Father, offers that same kind of quiet assurance. It speaks of resting safely in the fathers bosom, of the Father tending and nourishing his children and protecting them from evil. Listen to this verse, and imagine Lina thinking of her fathers death as she wrote it. Neither life nor death shall ever/ From the Lord His children sever;/ Unto them His grace He showeth,/ And their sorrows all He knoweth. Copyright 2007, Richard Niell Donovan

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