Archive for the ‘lady writer’ Category


Avis Marguerite Burgeson Christiansen died 1/14/1985 in her native Chicago.  She had a grandmother who loved poetry and with her encouragement Avis wrote her first poem at ten.  When on a Lord’s Day at Moody Church she heard Harry Loes sing a new song, she felt God reminded her of her talent and she responded, resulting in two songs.  She married (1917) Ernest C. Christiansen, who later became a vice president at Moody Bible Institute.   She had been born 10/11/1895.  Haldor Lillenas (a foremost Nazarene song writer) wrote the music and Avis wrote the words to:

“It is glory just to walk with Him whose blood has ransomed me;

It is rapture for my soul each day.

It is joy divine to feel Him near where’er my path may be.

Bless the Lord, it’s glory all the way!


“It is glory just to walk with Him, It is glory just to walk with Him,

He will guide my steps aright Through the vale and o’er the height,

It is glory just to walk with Him.”

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Helen Cadbury was born 1/10/1877 in Birmingham, England.  When she was 12 she attended a Lord’s Day evening service with her father, Richard Cadbury (of the famous chocolate makers), and was converted to Christ.  As is normal, she began witnessing to her school friends. As they became believers they sewed pockets on their dresses in which to carry the New Testaments her father supplied for them (they had started carrying Bibles to school but found them too heavy).  Hence the founding of “The Pocket Testament League.”  When Helen married the song leader Charles Alexander, he took the plan around the world.  Helen died 3/1/1969.


“If only we could get people to read the Book for themselves it will surely lead them to Christ.”

– Helen Cadbury

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Jim Elliot, Pete Fleming, Ed McCully, Nate Saint, Roger Youderian (names arranged alphabetically, not for other reasons) were killed 1/8/1956 in the South American country of Ecuador while trying to reach the Auca Indians for Jesus Christ. 

I remember this event – a modern martyrdom along the Curaray River.   Jim’s widow, Elizabeth, wrote Through Gates of Splendor (1957).   


“The happiest day of my life was the day I accepted Jesus Christ as my Saviour

for the remission of my sins, duly repented for…”  – Roger Youderian

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Birdie Harris Bell Winsett died 12/28/1927 at Alton Park (Hamilton County), Tennessee.

Birdie was a primary school teacher in Beulah (later renamed Carter), Oklahoma.  She taught in the Beulah Home of Emmanuel’s Bible School.  While there she met and married Robert Winsett the school’s music teacher (1/15/1908); she bore him three sons and two daughters.  They early-on made their home in Fort Smith, Arkansas, where Robert’s music business was established.  (Robert wrote the 4th stanza to “Living by Faith.”)  She was born 9/8/1876 in Arkansas and wrote “Jesus Understands.”


Bowed beneath your burden, is there none to share? Weary with the journey, is there none to care?

Courage, wayworn traveler, heed your Lord’s commands, There’s a thought to cheer you, Jesus understands.


Yes, He understands, all His ways are best. Hear, He calls to you, Come to Me and rest.

Leave the unknown future in the Master’s hand, Whether sad or joyful, Jesus understands.

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On This Date

Mary Ann Baker was born to Christian parents on 12/27/1831 near Springfield, IL.  Sadly, both of her parents died as victims of a respiratory disease.   Then her brother (who had purposely traveled a 1000 miles from Chicago for health reasons) started losing his battle with the same dreaded ailment.   He could not come to her and was wanting her to come to him but she was also ill.  This trial and his death rocked her.  She was seriously tempted to question that Christ cared – God helped her to see He did.   She wrote:

Master, the tempest is raging!

The billows are tossing high!

The sky is o’ershadowed with blackness.

No shelter or help is nigh.

Carest thou not that we perish?

How canst thou lie asleep

When each moment so madly is threatening

A grave in the angry deep?


The winds and the waves shall obey my will;

Peace, be still! Peace, be still!

Whether the wrath of the storm-tossed sea

Or demons or men or whatever it be,

No waters can swallow the ship where lies

The Master of ocean and earth and skies.

They all shall sweetly obey my will.

Peace, be still! Peace, be still!

They all shall sweetly obey my will.

Peace, peace, be still!

   When President James A Garfield was assassinated in 1881, the hymn was sung at several of the funeral services held in his honor across the country.

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Anna Helena Ölander was born 12/15/1861 in Linköping, Sweden. She was the daughter of a high school tutor.  She moved to Svanshals, Sweden (age 10) when her father became vicar there, then returned to Linköping after his death.  She started writing poems and stories while still a child and continued, editing almost 50 books, including three of poetry.  Anna wrote Christian stories and novels and translated hymns into Swedish from English and German.  She died 10/23/1939 in her native Linköping.

Below is probably her best known – PLEASE read it all. Hear nice tune at http://www.hymntime.com/tch/index.htm

If I gained the world, but lost the Savior,  Were my life worth living for a day? Could my yearning heart find rest and comfort  In the things that soon must pass away? If I gained the world, but lost the Savior,  Would my gain be worth the lifelong strife? Are all earthly pleasures worth comparing  For a moment with a Christ-filled life?

Had I wealth and love in fullest measure,  And a name revered both far and near, Yet no hope beyond, no harbor waiting,  Where my storm-tossed vessel I could steer; If I gained the world, but lost the Savior,  Who endured the cross and died for me, Could then all the world afford a refuge,  Whither, in my anguish, I might flee?

O what emptiness!—without the Savior  ’Mid the sins and sorrows here below! And eternity, how dark without Him!  Only night and tears and endless woe! What, though I might live without the Savior,  When I come to die, how would it be? O to face the valley’s gloom without Him!  And without Him all eternity!

O the joy of having all in Jesus!  What a balm the broken heart to heal! Ne’er a sin so great, but He’ll forgive it,  Nor a sorrow that He does not feel! If I have but Jesus, only Jesus,  Nothing else in all the world beside— O then everything is mine in Jesus;  For my needs and more He will provide.

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Frances Ridley Havergal was born 12/14/1836, at Astley, Worcesterchire, England.   Her father, William Henry Havergal, was a pastor (Saint Nicholas Church 1841-1860) and also a hymn writer.   She could read at four and began writing verse for publication at seven.   She went to good schools and although in frail health most of life, was able to travel, particularly enjoying Switzerland.   She was a supporter of the Church Missionary Society.  Havergale died 6/3/1879 at Caswall Bay, near Swansea, Wales.       


She wrote

“Take My Life and Let It Be” “I Gave My Life for Thee” “I Am Trusting Thee, Lord Jesus”

“Lord, Speak to Me, That I May Speak” “Like a River Glorious” “True-Hearted, Whole-Hearted” and scores of other poems.


Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee. Take my moments and my days; let them flow in ceaseless praise. Take my hands, and let them move at the impulse of Thy love. Take my feet, and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee.

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