Book Four Stories

Stories behind the songs in Echoes Of Triumph Book Four

The Story of "Roses Shed Their Sweetest Fragrance"

Stories behind the songs in "Echoes Of Triumph Book Four"

"Roses Shed Their Sweetest Fragrance" is based on a scientific fact. The world's supply of attar of roses comes from the Balken Mountains. In order to reap the greatest amount of perfume, the roses must be gathered in the darkest hours of the night. The pickers start at one o'clock in the night and must stop at two o'clock. Scientific tests have proven that forty per cent of the fragrance of a rose disappears in the light of day. John used this truth in a sermon one Sunday. The next day, as I was out ploughing here on our farm, I was thinking of these roses shedding their sweetest fragrance in the darkest hours of the night, and the tractor seemed to sing this new song to me. When I sang my new song to John, and told him that the tractor sang it to me, he said, "That's strange. The tractor never sings new songs to me!" But he liked the song, which brought out the thought from his sermon, that in the darkest hours of our trials, as we reach out to God, that fragrance of our spirit is precious to God. This song has two arrangements; one for mixed voices and one for male voices.


The Story of "There Are Precious Flowers Blooming"

"There Are Precious Flowers Blooming". It was Sept. 16, 1998. As Margaret was on her way to get the mail she stopped at the garden and picked a bouquet of Gladiolus. Carrying them in her arms, she walked on out the farm lane toward the mail box. An approaching car lost control and crossed the centre line, crossed the far lane, crossed the gravel shoulder of the road, and hit Margaret before she even reached the mail box. She died instantly. She was 16, the only daughter of Orlan and Mary Martin, and only sister of Gerald and Leon. Orlan was a carpenter, and was here at our farm that day, working on our barn. It was a shock for all of us when the police drove in to tell Orlan that his only daughter had been killed. A few weeks later, Margaret's aunt asked me to write a song in her memory, so I asked her to tell me a few more details of her death. When she told me about the bouquet of flowers that she had just gathered, and was holding when she died, I had the start I needed for a song.


The Story of "A Shaft Of Golden Sunlight"

"A Shaft Of Golden Sunlight" was written in memory of Marvin Kropf, youngest son of Jacob and Darlene Kropf, who was killed in a car accident on Feb. 12, 1999, at age 16. On the day of his funeral, it was very cloudy and overcast. As the family was standing by his coffin at the cemetery, a ray of sun burst through the clouds for a brief moment, and shone on his casket as it was being lowered. Then the sun went behind the clouds again. The way this shaft of sunlight shone down on his casket was so precious and meaningful to the family, and gave them much comfort; as a whisper from God, saying, "I am with you." We had visited this family in their home in Arkansas, a few years before, and sang together. Marvin had given us his bedroom to sleep in, while he slept out on the couch. We were not able to attend his funeral, so the day after, John had called Jacob, to express our sympathy. When Jacob told John about the shaft of sunlight that shone on the coffin, I was touched and put it together for a song.