Solemn Vow

When I first heard and sang this song I fell in love with it straight away and have loved it ever since. It is a song of dedication and commitment . The words of the song tell a story. Powerful words to an equally wonderful tune.

In verse one we red of the writer’s faith, in verse two we read how the writer see’s Christ. Verse three goes on to tell us the writer has nothing but love and how they wish to have his saving power. Finally in verse four the writer speaks of the suffering cry of him who died for all mankind

My Solemn Vow – Catherine Baird

Eternal Spirit, my unchanging friend,

I come with joy for Thou art ever near;

O bless my eyes with vision, boundless, pure;

My promise hear in realms where truth is clear.

My faith in Thee I boldly own,

Since Jesus led me to Thy Throne.

Spirit of truth attend me now,

While I present my solemn vow:

All that I am I pledge to Thee,

Spirit of love abide in me.

I see Thy splendour in the Holy One,

Thy might revealed in lowliness and grace;

O may I choose a stable or a cross

If He be there to sanctify my place.

O glory of the Christly name,

Be Thou my treasure and my aim!

All I possess, apart from Thee, is naught,

Still would I offer Thee my life, my love;

So shall the desert be a harvest field,

And my whole being Thy abundance prove.

Lord, I would witness every hour

To my Redeemer’s saving power!

O may I hear, in every suff’ring cry,

The call of Him Who died for all mankind;

Help me to share the Shepherd’s lonely watch,

Or climb the steeps His lost to find.

I dedicate my love to Thee,

That love may overflow in me.

The Gift of Time 

Luke 6:37-38 New International Version – UK (NIVUK)

Judging others

37 ‘Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Wisdom bestows well-being

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Proverbs 3 King James Version 

My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:

For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.

Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:

So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.

It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.

Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase:

10 So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

11 My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his correction:

12 For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.

Proverbs 3 V6 Is probably one of the most common verses quoted in the bible. I’ve lost count of the number of bibles or hymn books I have been presented with or given as a present with that verse on the inside cover.

Thinking of Jesus

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Philippians 2:5-11

5 In your lives you must think and act like Christ Jesus. 
6 Christ himself was like God in everything. But he did not think that being equal with God was something to be used for his own benefit. 
7 But he gave up his place with God and made himself nothing. He was born to be a man and became like a servant. 
8And when he was living as a man, he humbled himself and was fully obedient to God, even when that caused his death — death on a cross. 
9 So God raised him to the highest place. God made his name greater than every other name 
10 so that every knee will bow to the name of Jesus — everyone in heaven, on earth, and under the earth. 
11 And everyone will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and bring glory to God the Father.
The first time I sung this song I was a young teen and still ‘XX’ amount of years on the words still have that meaning and power behind them.

Lucy Milward Booth

Commissioner Lucy Milward Booth (April 281868 – July 181953) was the eighth and youngest child of Catherine and William Booth, the Founder of The Salvation Army.

At the age of 16, Lucy and her sister Emma went to India to work with The Salvation Army there. Emma married Frederick Tucker in 1888. The Booth-Tuckers soon moved to London because of Emma’s failing health, and Lucy followed.

On 18 October 1894 Lucy married Colonel Emanuel Daniel Hellberg, a Swedish Officer.[1] As was the custom in the Booth family, the couple added ‘Booth’ to their married name, becoming Booth-Hellberg. They went on to have five children together: Emma, Eva, Lucy, Daniel and Ebba Mary Booth-Hellberg. Their son Daniel died in infancy in 1896.[2] Lucy returned to India with her new husband and they together commanded the Indian Territory, taking on the names Ruhani and Raj-Singh respectively. They were appointed to France and Switzerland in 1896.[1]

Lucy wrote the song Keep On Believing for The Salvation Army. In 1909 her husband died. She went on to become the territorial commander for Denmark, Norway, and South America before she retired in 1934.[1] In 1933 he was admitted to The Salvation Army’s most prestigious award, the Order of the Founder, “for long and exceptional service under peculiarly difficult circumstances, together with her readiness at all times to answer to the call of duty, particularly in the earlier years in India and France, and, latterly, in South America”.[3]

“Commissioner Lucy” died (or was Promoted to Glory) at Bromma in Stockholm on July 18 1953, at the age of 85.

Guest post – Life-Giving Rain

They were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke. —

Acts 6:10

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Today’s Scripture & Insight: Acts 6:1-10

During the August heat of 1891, R. G. Dyrenforth arrived in Midland, Texas, determined to blast rain from the sky. Known as a “concussionist,” he and his team launched and detonated huge balloons filled with explosive gases, fired cannons, and exploded piles of dynamite on the ground—shaking both earth and sky. Some believed he made it rain a little, but most said all he caused was noise. The explosive power was impressive but ineffective.

When the early church needed overseers, they sought people with a different kind of power. They chose “seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom” (Acts 6:3) to manage the daily distribution of food. One of those was Stephen, a man “full of faith and power, [who] did great wonders and signs among the people” (v.8). When disputes arose, those who argued with Stephen “were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke” (v.10).

The Bible makes it clear that Stephen’s spiritual effectiveness came from being filled with the Holy Spirit, who gave him the right balance of faith, wisdom, and power.

God’s Spirit in our lives today replaces the loud noise of self-interest with His gentle, life-giving rain.

Helping Others

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Galatians 6:9-10 (NIV)

9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Sometimes we fail to help people as we would like to, we shouldn’t give up trying, but keep doing good as scripture encourages us to do.

Little things from helping an elderly neighbour by getting shopping for them right through to seeing a stranger in need help.

You can be assured the Lord sees all these acts of kindness and he will see favour in us.

Always There

You’re Always There for Me

When the world comes crashing in
And chaos rules my mind,
I turn my heart to you, Lord,
And pure, sweet peace I find.

You lift me out of trouble
You comfort me in pain;
You nourish, heal and cleanse me,
Like cool, refreshing rain.

In times of joy and bliss,
When things are going right,
You lift me even higher,
And fill me with delight.
You listen to my prayers;
You hear my every plea;
I’m safe because I know
You’re always there for me.
Joanna Fuchs

As the sky breaks into a beautiful sunrise, may God open the windows of heaven to shower you with his blessings.

I pray that happiness be at your door. May it knock early, stay late and leave the gift of God’s peace, love, joy, and good health behind.

Just going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in your garage makes you a car. ~ G.K. Chesterton.

Be Wise

Matthew 7 English Standard Version

Build Your House on the Rock

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24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”

The Authority of Jesus

28 And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, 29 for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.

In this passage of scripture we are obviously reminded of the Sunday school chorus ‘The wise man built his house upon the Rock’

Love is the glue
That holds us together
Faith and believing is the key
This door of forever
Baby, you and I
We’re every reason on earth
Now and again it’s always us
Against the world, against the world

When the rain fell and the flood came
And the wind blew hard like a hammer on these walls
We didn’t crack or break or fall
We built this house on a rock, on a rock
This house on a rock, on a rock

There is a time
To face stormy weather
But we are always standing strong
A lifetime together
Baby, you and I
We don’t regret anything
Now it’s the two of us again
Against the wind, against the wind

When the rain fell and the flood came
And the wind blew hard like a hammer on these walls
We didn’t crack or break or fall
We built this house on a rock, on a rock
This house on a rock, on a rock

Brick by brick we have set it up
Oh man, if these walls could talk
Bit by bit, based it on trust
We gave it all we got

When the rain fell and the flood came
And the wind blew hard like a hammer on these walls
We didn’t crack or break or fall
We built this house on a rock, on a rock
This house on a rock, on a rock

We built this house on a rock, on a rock
We built this house on a rock, on a rock

Jesus the Comforter

John 11 New International Version

Jesus Comforts the Sisters of Lazarus

17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Now Bethany was less than two miles[b] from Jerusalem, 19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.

21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

28 After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.” 29 When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31 When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.

32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked.

“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.

3Jesus wept.

36 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”

37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”

The story of the illness, death, and resurrection of Lazarus (John 11:1-45) provides the context for this hymn for those who are grieving deeply over the death of a loved one. Lazarus’ sisters Martha and Mary had sent word for their friend Jesus to come when Lazarus was ill. But Jesus took his time, finally arriving “too late,” and joining the grieving sisters who said, “If only you had been here…..” Jesus also grieved; he loved all three of them. The text ends with a prayer that the risen Christ still speak to those whose grief is raw and to assure us all “from your empty tomb…that life never dies.” This text is the first of sixteen hymn-like choral pieces in the collection The Last Journey: Songs for the time of grieving (GIA), with texts and music prepared by John Bell of the Iona Community. Each piece is also available separately from GIA. Some texts, like this one, were co-written with Graham Maule. The tunes were composed or arranged by John Bell, usually for organ, and often with a descant instrument. Bell’s original tune published with this text was named PALMER, but a note at the end says that “other tunes, such as ROCKINGHAM, may be used if the text is to be sung by a congregation.” That old beloved tune is well suited to this text, and in Lift Up Your Hearts, there is even a link to a psalm often sung at funerals: ROCKINGHAM is used again with a setting of Psalm 116 that includes the line, “His saints the LORD delights to save; their death is precious in his sight.” 

O Christ, you wept when grief was raw,
and felt for those who mourned a friend;
come close to where we would not be
and hold us numbed by this life’s end


The well-loved voice is silent now
and we have much we meant to say;
collect our lost and wandering words
and keep them till the endless day.


We try to hold what is not here
and fear for what we do not know.
Oh, take our hands in yours, good Lord,
and free us to let our friend go.


In all our loneliness and doubt,
beyond what we can realize,
address us from your empty tomb
and tell us that life never ends.

Perfect Love

1 John 4 New International Version 

God’s Love and Ours

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgement: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

O perfect Love, all human thought transcending,
Lowly we kneel in prayer before Thy throne,
That theirs may be the love that knows no ending,
Whom Thou forevermore dost join in one.

O perfect Life, be Thou their full assurance
Of tender charity and steadfast faith,
Of patient hope, and quiet, brave endurance,
With childlike trust that fears nor pain nor death.

Grant them the joy which brightens earthly sorrow;
Grant them the peace which calms all earthly strife,
And to life’s day the glorious unknown morrow
That dawns upon eternal love and life.

Transformers

Often when I can’t get to church I watch a service online and this service always has a children’s spot.

In the last online service I watched the person doing the children’s spot spoke on ‘Transformers’ and how they could ‘change’ into something different.

We as Christians can be like the Transformers and witness to those who don’t know Christ as their Saviour with the hope and prayers that they ‘Change’ and let him into our hearts.

Perhaps you once knew him but have wandered from the path, you can always invite him back in again if you let him.