4 Homeschool Lessons From the Life of Philip Bliss

I know of people who keep a Hymn Book by their Bible and sing from it after their Quiet Time. The best book next to the Bible may be the hymn book because it is filled with riches and truths to bless our hearts. This morning I was singing in my Quiet Time, My Redeemer by Philip Bliss.

The hymn writer, Philip Bliss is the author of many hymns in our hymnals. He wrote well-known hymns, including  Almost Persuaded, Hallelujah, What a Saviour!, Let the Lower Lights Be Burning, Wonderful Words of Life, and the tune for Horatio Spafford’s,  It is Well with My Soul.

I am always curious to find out about the parents of those people who have made an impact for Christ while they lived. Philip Bliss was a person who made a difference. I believe we can look at his parents and learn from them as they spiritually and wisely invested into their son.

  1. Bliss’ Dad encouraged his family to daily pray. Do we encourage our family to pray?
  2. His Dad loved music. He delighted in his son having a passion for singing and helped him develop musically.  What are our children’s’ God-given passion? What are we doing as parents to help them develop their passion?
  3. I love this about Bliss’ mother: Bliss had little formal education and was homeschooled by his mother who used the Bible. The fact that his mother taught her child from the Bible, melts my heart. In our home, do we open the Bible daily to read to our children and to teach our children?
  4. Bliss developed a hard work ethic at a very young age. His family was poor and he had to work to help out the family. Now, I do not advise sending a child out to work at the tender age of eleven, but God worked it out for good in Bliss’ life. Do we give our children a good work ethic? Do we find ways to teach our children the value of money? Barry and I offered financial incentives for doing extra chores. Help children to be creative in earning extra money. One way we decluttered, plus got children involved in earning extra income was with garage sales. When the people arrived, our children set up the lemonade stand, sold homemade cookies and passed out free Gospel tracts.  Help older children build their own budget.

Check out the book by Larry Burkett: Money Matters For Kids

What would you do if the next few days were your last on this earth?  Not realizing it would be his last days on this earth, Philip Bliss spent his last days blessing us all!

trainOn a very cold December 29, 1876, Philip Bliss was traveling to Pennsylvania with his wife to be with some friends. He traveled by train and spent most of the time on the trip writing lyrics for yet unpublished hymns.

As the train was approaching Ashtabula, Ohio, it began to cross a steel and wooden bridge that spanned a several hundred feet deep ravine. The winter weather had shaken the moorings of this bridge, and when the train was halfway across, it gave way. The train immediately plunged into the ravine below. The passenger coaches ignited with fire because of the pot-bellied stoves inside that burst into flames upon impact.

GravestonePhilip Bliss survived the fall by escaping through a window, and crawled from the wreckage.  However, when he could not find his beloved wife, Bliss fought his way back through the passenger coach fire in a vain effort to locate and rescue her.  Sadly, both of them perished in the flames, along with 100 other people.  Philip Bliss, just 38 years old, and his wife were never identified.

It was thought that all of Philip Bliss’ belongings, including the manuscripts for the yet unpublished songs, had all gone up in flames. Fortunately for us, weeks later, a trunk belonging to Bliss was discovered. It had been mistakenly placed on another train during an earlier stop in the journey. Inside the trunk, several manuscripts were found. One of the manuscripts had the words to the song entitled, My Redeemer. The fact that the song was sung after Philip Bliss was in the presence of his Lord and Savior made these words a thousand times more meaningful.

Philip Bliss wrote:

I will sing of my Redeemer and His wondrous love to me;

On the cruel cross He suffered, from the curse to set me free.

I will tell the wondrous story, how my lost estate to save,

In His boundless love and mercy, He the ransom freely gave.

I will praise my dear Redeemer, His triumphant power I’ll tell,

How the victory He giveth over sin, and death, and hell.

I will sing of my Redeemer and His heavenly love to me;

He from death to life hath brought me, the Son of God, with Him to be.

Category: Homeschooling
  • Annette McEndarfer says:

    So many lessons to learn from this man and his family. Thanks Linda.

    January 20, 2014 at 1:14 pm
  • Dina Presley says:

    Wonderful devotional! Thank you for sharing!

    January 20, 2014 at 4:07 pm
  • Katie Bost says:

    Yet another encouraging entry for this Momma, thank you! Especially to my Redemer for just what I needed today! I’m going to purpose to sing a hymn during my quiet time. :)

    January 21, 2014 at 7:20 pm
  • Cecille Finley says:

    Thank you for sharing this! Lots of very good lessons and so encouraging!

    January 22, 2014 at 2:14 pm

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