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.

Psalm 137. By the Rivers of Babylon.

Deep within our mortal minds

We hear her gentle stream

Battles fought ravished by time

Reflect her gentle beams

Starry nights and sun-filled days

Upon her granite poised

Where Prophets prayed upon her banks

O´er shadowed now with noise.

Yet peace she brings with every stone

Where faltering birds do nest

And otters with their children come

To take their peace and rest.

In her divine appointed flow

Good leaves no saddened thoughts

For change is named upon her brow

With no heightened sense of loss.

And by her banks sweet angels flow

Attending to their wards

While we wait, there comes sad moods

With only darker thoughts.

Yet sweet repose and Love are here

For all who hear her song

Far away from bills to pay

And every sense of wrong.

Her gentle flowing higher streams

Do guide us in our thoughts

to a peaceful place of mind

flowing o´er the darker rocks.

Tis good for us to stop and hear

Her gentle peaceful flow

While Angels pass with quieter thoughts

Allowing us to grow.

Joseph McTaggart

The River Clyde

Once a hub of Irish People

Bustling, working on the Clyde

Building ships in ageing dockyards

Lost within long ravished times

And came the gentle touch of Father

With His voice so calm and still

“Trust always the Love of My Son”

“Look always to do his will”.

Powered by Love for food and shelter

To feed displaced families

Faithful tribes of Irish workers

He called to trust with dignity

Deep within the calming waters

Comes new light which shines on man

Of a deeper profound calling

To keep the Faith and take a stand

Now with waters largely silent

Contemplation draws us near

entreating all the generations

To keep our Faith and hold it dear

Blessed Father ever hear us

Protect us just like those gone by

And like our fathers with their calling

Let us ne’er our faith deny.

Joseph McTaggart

The Stoning of Stephen (Book of Acts)

Oh the years without a creed

With stone in hand to hurt and bleed

I thought no Saviour did I need

Twas the same thought aimed at Stephen

Each day began with crowds and fears

Conditioned hatred, screams and tears

With stones in hand I marched up near

Twas the same thought aimed at Stephen

And with fear, in thought and mind,

Other people did I bind

With rage and anger to mankind

Twas the same thought aimed at Stephen

I threw my stones with strength I found

And watched them tumbling to the ground

No power can hurt what God has crowned

Twas the same thought aimed at Stephen

And as I learnt to leave my woes

And trust in God oh sweet repose

Through the Saviour’s blood we know

The example of St Stephen

Joseph McTaggart

Albert W.T Osborn

Albert Orsborn (4 September 1886 – 4 February 1967) was the 6th General of The Salvation Army (1946-1954).

Born Albert William Thomas Orsborn, he became an Officer of The Salvation Army in 1905. Albert served as a Corps Officer and in divisional work in the British Territory of the Army. In 1909, he married his first wife, Captain Evalina Barker.

In 1925, he was sent to serve as Chief Side Officer at the International Training College. In 1933, he was farewelled to New Zealand as Chief Secretary. He then became Territorial Commander of Scotland and Ireland in 1936. In 1940, he became British Commissioner.

Albert Orsborn’s first wife, Captain Evalina Barker, died in 1942. This was a very hard time for him. Two years later, in 1944, he married his second wife, Major Evelyn Berry. They were married for just a year when she died.

In 1946, the High Council of The Salvation Army elected Albert to become the General of The Salvation Army. He married his third wife, Commissioner Mrs Phillis Taylor (a daughter of General Higgins), in 1947.

General Orsborn served as General for eight years. He was the author of The House of My Pilgrimage. He retired on 30 June 1954.

General Albert Orsborn died at the age of 80 years and 5 months.

Throughout the course of his Salvation Army life Albert wrote many wonderful songs and books.

One of the songs he wrote was In the secret of thy presence

Wings of an Angel

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The Saviour’s Love is all embracing,

Give our thoughts to Him above,

His Angels come to lift us higher,

To the Throne of Grace and Love

Gently resting on those feathers,

In the warmth of their embrace,

Rising up our minds from shadows,

To a place of ever Faith.

Like a swan who treads the river,

With her babes not far behind,

A group of Angels soaring upwards,

To raise the thoughts of all mankind.

Yet still within the bliss we protest,

Mistaking pain for downward flight,

Still each thorn it sends us soaring,

Like a child with upward kite

O blessed Angels pointing skyward

Are Life’s tests which come from thee,

Taking us forever higher,

Rising upward by decree.

Without the pain we cannot reach him,

However long? We cannot say,

Long slender fingers promise heaven,

But first our sins must die away.

White robed figures swirl around us,

E’er mistaken for a curse

Rising upward nearing Heaven,

Always better never worse.

When you feel that Life is scourging

Rejoice an Angel does draw near,

Surrender to the journey upwards,

Old beliefs will die with tears.

James McTaggert

Trust in God

Psalm 146 New International Version

Psalm 146

Praise the Lord.[a]

Praise the Lord, my soul.

I will praise the Lord all my life;
    I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
Do not put your trust in princes,
    in human beings, who cannot save.
When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
    on that very day their plans come to nothing.
Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
    whose hope is in the Lord their God.

He is the Maker of heaven and earth,
    the sea, and everything in them—
    he remains faithful forever.
He upholds the cause of the oppressed
    and gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets prisoners free,

    the Lord gives sight to the blind,
the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down,
    the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the foreigner
    and sustains the fatherless and the widow,
    but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.

10 The Lord reigns forever,
    your God, O Zion, for all generations.

Praise the Lord.

Jesus paid the Price

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Jesus not only paid the price for all our wrongdoings on the Cross

He then went to conquer death.

For those whose faith is in Christ,

Death is not just a doorway from the land of the dying to the land of the living.

On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross
The emblem of suffering and shame
And I love that old cross where the Dearest and Best
For a world of lost sinners was slain

So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross
Till my trophies at last I lay down
I will cling to the old rugged cross
And exchange it someday for a crown

. Oh, that old rugged cross, so despised by the world
Has a wondrous attraction for me
For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above
To bear it to dark Calvary

. In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine
A wondrous beauty I see
For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died
To pardon and sanctify me

. To the old rugged cross I will ever be true
Its shame and reproach gladly bear
Then He’ll call me someday to my home far away
Where His glory forever I’ll share

Jesus Holding Hands

Isaiah 42:6  (NIV)

“I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness;
I will take hold of your hand.
I will keep you and will make you
to be a covenant for the people
and a light for the Gentiles,

Hold Thou my hand; so weak I am, and helpless,
I dare not take one step without Thy aid;
Hold Thou my hand; for then, O loving Saviour,
No dread of ill shall make my soul afraid.

Hold Thou my hand, and closer, closer draw me
To Thy dear self-my hope, my joy, my all;
Hold Thou my hand, lest haply I should wander,
And, missing Thee, my trembling feet should fall.See the source image

Hold Thou my hand; the way is dark before me
Without the sunlight of Thy face divine;
But when by faith I catch its radiant glory,
What heights of joy, what rapturous songs are mine!

Hold Thou my hand, that when I reach the margin
Of that lone river Thou didst cross for me,
A heav’nly light may flash along its waters,
And every wave like crystal bright shall be.

I first heard this arrangement as a child when my father bought a salvation army band LP with the arrangement on it. Being a child of about 7yrs old I obviously didn’t know the words or who wrote them.  Now that I’m a lot older and have come to know the words and the composer Fanny Crosby I think it makes the arrangement a lot easier to understand. I also think that this particular arrangement is very fitting to Fanny Crosby’s words.