Monday, February 04, 2019

2019 Journey


January 21-28

Just As I Am Without One Plea
Possibly second only to Amazing Grace, thanks to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association; one of the most recognized Christian Hymns of all times.
Written in 1834 by a sweet poet named Charlotte Elliot (1789-1861). Music was added in 1836 by William Bradbury (1816-1868). Inspired by John 6:37 “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” According to Miss Elliot's sister, Charlotte “became deeply conscious of the evil in her own heart, and...she suffered much mental distress under the painful uncertainty whether it were possible she could be saved.” Until she had an encounter with a Dr. Malan of Geneva in May 1822. He observed how she was held back from the Saviour by her own self saving efforts he said, “Charlotte, cut the cable, it will take too long to unloose it; cut it, it is a small loss.” He than bade her to give “one, look silent but continuous at the cross of Jesus.” Verse one came from her heart immediately and permanently. She spent the next 40 years continuing to write and publish Christian spiritual poetry.
Modern day listeners will no doubt remember this hymn as being sung by various choirs at the countless altar calls given by the Rev. Billy Graham at his many crusades.

Verse 1
Just as I am, without one plea But that Thy blood was shed for me.
And that Thous bidst me come to Thee, O Lamb of God, I come! I come!

Verse 2
Just as I am, and waiting not To rid my sould of one dark blot,
To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot,
O Lamb of God, I come! I come!

Verse 3
Just as I am, though tossed about With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fightings and fears within, without,
O Lamb of God, I come! I come!

Verse 4
Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind; Sight riches, healing of the mind,
Yes, all I need, in Thee I find,
O Lamb of God, I come! I come!

Verse 5
Just as I am, Thou wilt receive, Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe
O Lamb of God, I come! I come!


Wednesday, January 23, 2019

2019 Journey



January 14-20
He Giveth More Grace
Written by Annie Johnson Flint (1866-1932) whose life story is similar to Fanny Crosby, another great hymn writer. Annie was 3 years old when her mother died in childbirth, though the baby girl survived. The girls' father, suffering from an incurable disease, gave the two girls up for adoption to the Flint family. Annie came to faith in Jesus at the age of 8 and began writing poetry around that same time. She took a job as a teacher at age 18, but severe arthritis caused her to resign. She was faced with a lifetime as an invalid; in a wheelchair. She turned her energies to writing poetry and her most famous one became a hymn when Hubert Mitchell penned the music. The words to this hymn are drawn from the following scriptures:
2 Corinthians 12:9 “For He has said to me, 'My Grace is sufficient for you; for my strength is perfected in weakness.' Therefore gladly would I boast about my weakness that the power of Christ can rest on me.”
James 4:6 “but He gives more grace. Therefore He says, 'God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.'”
Isaiah 40:29 “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”
From her position of weakness Annie Johnson Flint knew what she was writing about.

He Giveth More Grace
Verse 1
He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater.
He sendeth more strength when the labors increase.
To added affliction, He addeth His mercy
To multiplied trials His multiplied peace.

Verse 2
When we have exhausted our store of endurance;
When our strength is failing 'ere the day is half done;
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father's full giving is only begun.

Chorus
His love has no limit, His grace has no measure
His pow'r has no boundaries known unto men.
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus, He giveth and giveth and giveth again.

Verse 2 is especially meaningful to me as my grandmother Anderson quotes it in a letter she wrote to her nieces during her later years. She writes about the deaths of her husband “my life's partner” and her son, but follows those sad words with the words of hope she sees in verse 2 of He Giveth More Grace.

I found this video of a family choir and its adorable director singing the hymn.



Monday, January 14, 2019

2019 Journey


January 7-13

Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty

Written by Reginald Heber (1783-1826) in 1826. The lyrics were written to be used on Trinity Sunday; a Sunday set aside to celebrate the Triune Nature of God. I don't remember any teachings about Trinity Sunday in any of the churches I attended. That doesn't mean there were no teachings, maybe I wasn't paying attention. Observed on the first Sunday after Pentecost by “Christian churches the world over” according to one of my sources.
I don't know if the lyrics were spoken or sung traditionally, but in 1861 (35 years after Heber penned the words), John Bacchus Dykes (1323-1876) set the words to music, based on a tune then known as NICAEA.

The words are drawn directly from Revelation 4:1-11. Here it is, followed by my own observations:

Verse 1
Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;
Holy, Holy, Holy! Merciful and mighty!
God in three persons, blessed Trinity!

Verse 2
Holy, Holy, Holy! All the saints adore Thee,
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
Cherubim and seraphim, falling down before Thee,
Which wert and art and evermore shall be.

Verse 3
Holy, Holy, Holy! Though the darkness hide Thee,
Though the eye of sinful man They Glory may not see;
Only Thou art Holy; there is none beside Thee;
Perfect in Pow'r in Love and Purity.

Verse 4
Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!
All Thy works shall praise Thy name in earth and sky and sea;
Holy, Holy, Holy!merciful and mighty;
God in three persons, Blessed Trinity.

Verse 1: opening praise,  Revelation 4:8
Verse 2: This is what's going on in Heaven right now and for all eternity. Revelation 4:9
Verse 3: Perfect description of our perfect God: Perfect in Power= Holy Spirit; Love=God; "It's not what He does, it's who He IS" (Joyce Meyer) Purity=Jesus
Verse 4: Brings to mind Psalm 96:11-12 'Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad: Let the sea roar, and all its fullness: Let the field be joyful, and all that is in it. Then all the trees of the woods will rejoice before the Lord.'

One more thought – it seems more than fitting that this is the first hymn in most of the hymnals I've used.

Here is a link to an arrangement presented by the First Plymouth Church in Lincoln, Nebraska. I appreciate the orchestra, but love the a Capella section. I noticed that they did alter some of the original lyrics. Enjoy!


Wednesday, January 09, 2019

2019 Journey


2019 Journey

I am embarking on a journey this year. A musical journey.
Although I appreciate much of the contemporary praise and worship songs, I find myself missing the Hymns I grew up with in the old Methodist Church and, later Presbyterian. So I am attempting to re visit and relearn, not only the words and music, but have found it fascinating to look into the background of the Hymn's origin; lyricists and composers.

The first week, (January 1-6) I explored and relearned “Great is Thy Faithfulness.”
Lyrics written in 1925 by Thomas Chisholm 1866-1960 and musical accompaniment by William M. Runyan 1870-1957
Based on Lamentations 3:22-24 'Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion ,” says my soul. Therefore I will hope in Him!”'

Chisholm later wrote, “My income has not been large at any time due to impaired health in (my) early years which has followed me until now. Although I mus not fail to record here the unfailing faithfulness of a covenant keeping God and that He has given me many wonderful displays of His providing care for which I am filled with astonishing gratefulness.”

Verse 1: Great is Thy faithfulness, o God my Father.
There is no shadow of turning with Thee.
Thou changes not, Thy compassions they fail not.
As Thou has been, Thou forever ill be.

Verse 2: Summer and winter and springtime and harvest;
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Verse 3: Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thy own dear presence to cheer and to guide.
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow;
Blessings all mine with ten thousand beside.

Chorus:
Great is Thy faithfulness;
Great is Thy faithfulness;
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided.
Great is They faithfulness, Lord unto me!

We didn't have an orchestra and our choir was significantly smaller, but this is a pretty respectable arrangement. Enjoy!

https://youtu.be/EMACCtitfRw


Testing

Have been away for awhile, mainly because I forgot how to log in and my password. Took me awhile to figure it out. I have an idea for 2019. Tune in later - gotta go to my hair appointment.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Messy


I had a small hiking adventure of my own on Tuesday.

Be prepared to laugh at me.

I took Doug the big dog out for our usual morning stroll through a harvested corn field. After we left the house, strolled through the windbreak, crossed the 75 or so yards of empty cow pasture and a small creek, we walked along the west fence line of the corn field until we got to the north fence line, where we turned around and headed home. This gives us about a 1 mile walk.

I headed back toward the house. When I reached the wind break, I turned around and saw Doug running full speed ahead north along the creek, obviously chasing a trail. I yelled for him, but he chose to ignore me. Considering my husband would never forgive me if I let him run off with a pack of coyotes (I never did see what he was tracking, but it might have been a coyote) I had to go get him on the leash.

I headed through the cow pasture, picking my way through the puddles of water and the piles of manure. The farther north I got, the boggier the ground became. At one point, I sank into a puddle up to my ankles. So much for my good Keenes being waterproof! Up ahead, I saw Doug finally stopped and was looking back at me, though he refused to come to me. He was still looking to the north when I finally caught up to him and got him leashed.

Unfortunately, he had decided to stop in the wettest, muddiest area of the pasture. I looked around and thought I could see a way we could pick our way through the puddles back to solid ground. So we set out in a southwesterly direction. It wasn't long before the puddles got deeper and the mud got thicker. Just as I was thinking I might lose my shoes in the muck, my feet stuck fast and I went down face first. Now, I am up to my elbows in water, unable to pull my feet free of the muck.
I was having some very unChristian thoughts at this point.

I couldn't get my feet underneath me in order to stand up and when I tried to pushed myself up with my hands, they just sank deeper into the mud. It took all the strength I could muster to get myself into a standing position. I looked around and saw a pickup on the road, slowing down. It stopped and turned around in our driveway, so I'm wondering if he was taping my muddy struggle with his phone so he could post me and my muddy dog on FB. So far, I haven't seen anything.

We finally reached solid ground. Every stitch of clothing I was wearing was either wet or covered with mud and manure. Doug was only muddy on his legs & belly, but I spitefully made him stay on the porch while I got out of my clothes and showered.


So... when it started to rain on Wednesday and Thursday people were saying, “We sure needed the moisture.” I'm thinking... well you don't want to know what I was thinking!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Lyons, Nebraska 1960

It's September Sunday morning
And the sky is blue and fair.
The sun shines bright and warming,
Pealing church bells fill the air.

A beef roasts in the oven
We're all in our Sunday best.
The Preacher teaches about loving
Then we take our day of Rest.

There'll be no shopping done today
(We got that done last night).
All's quiet up and down the way
Main Street's shops are locked up tight.

That's how it looked when I was small
I'm thankful to have known:
Worship and rest for one and all

Sweet September Sundays long ago.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses...” Heb 4:15

Some 16 years ago, our old mother cat, whom we called Patches, disappeared for a few weeks and then one day she came strolling up to the house with a tiny little tortoise shell kitten – an only child. Patches was so named because the right half of her face and her right front leg were patched with golden tabby while the rest of her was calico. The kitten had no such coloring so we called her 'Patchless.'

Although I'm sure she felt it beneath her dignity, when Patches weaned her, Patchless adopted us as as her family and became a house cat.

We entertained each other for many years and kept each other company until a few months ago when we noticed a swelling on her face. We thought it was an infected tooth, but it turned out to be an inoperable tumor in her sinus. Dr. Hartwell, our vet, sent her home with us and we waited. We waited and watched the tumor grow and distort her face. Eventually, the hair around the swelling fell out and she began to get nosebleeds. In late January, we decided she was miserable enough and I made the appointment for her final visit to Dr. Hartwell.

January 29, I sat in the waiting room area with Patchless in her carrier on my lap. I couldn't pet her, so I held my finger through the screen door and she rubbed her face on it – both sides of her face, but more so on the side that wasn't swollen from the tumor. She meowed softly. Brandy, the vet's assistant came in smiling – she really has a beautiful, cheery smile and said, “We're ready.”

Dr. Hartwell welcomed me into the examining room with a gentle smile. “Who do we have here today?” He asked, opening the carrier and coaxing my old calico out. Dr. Hartwell is a tall man, over six feet, with large gentle hands.

“This is Patchless,” I mumbled.

Brandy took her by the scruff and held her still on the examining table. I stood by Brandy and placed my hands on Patchless' back, just wanted her to know I was there. She cried another little soft meow and crouched down. “It's okay, Mama kitty,” Dr. Hartell said as he applied a tourniquet to her right front leg and shaved off a patch of fur in order to locate a vein.


“She's purring,” Brandy said, rubbing her behind an ear.


Finished with his prep work, Dr. Hartwell inserted an IV needle into her leg and then filled a syringe with a clear liquid. He bent over the table and injected the liquid into my little cat.


I said, “Bye, bye sweetie pie.” She visibly relaxed. Brandy let go and quietly left the room. In only a matter of seconds, Patchless collapsed and Dr. Hartwell and I helped her lay down on her side.

Then she was gone. I kept petting her anyway. Dr Hartwell ran his hand down her side. Then he looked up to me and reached across the examining table and wrapped his arms around me, “I know how hard this is for you.” he said and I cried on his shoulder for a short time. It was at that moment, that I came to an understanding of why Jesus referred to the Holy Spirit as The Comforter.

In the ensuing weeks, Dr. Hartwell's phrase seemed to follow me. When confronted with a situation that gave rise to the temptation to respond to cruelty and anger with more cruelty and anger rather than kindness and forgiveness, (Rom 12:21) I felt the Spirit in me whisper, “I know how hard this is for you.”

Forcing myself to go the extra mile when I'd rather quit and rest: “I know how hard this is for you.”

Remaining “joyful in hope” when I'd rather sink into despair; “patient in affliction” when I'd rather cry out in pain; “faithful in prayer” (Rom 12:12) when I feel like no one is listening... “I know how hard this is for you.”

When confronting a weakness that I know in my head God has said His Grace is sufficient, (2 Cor. 12:9) I felt in my heart, “I know how hard this is for you.”

I don't know if Dr. Hartwell is a Believer, but I am pretty sure the words he spoke to me will stay with me for the rest of my life.