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

Image result for Wisdom bestows well-being

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.

Loving Shepherd of thy Sheep

Written by Leeson, Jane E.. The earliest work by Miss Leeson with which we are acquainted is her Infant Hymnings. Then followed Hymns and Scenes of Childhood, or A Sponsor’s Gift (London, James Burns; Nottingham, Dearden), 1842, in which the Infant Hymning’s were incorporated. Concerning Pt. ii. of the Hymns and Scenes, &c, Miss Leeson says, “For the best of the Poems in the second part, the Writer is indebted to a friend.” In the Rev. Henry Formby’s Catholic Hymns arranged in order for the principal Festivals, Feasts of Saints, and other occasions of Devotion throughout the Year, London, Burns and Lambert, N.D. [1851], “Imprimatur, N. Cardinalis Wiseman, May 3rd, 1853,” her translation of Victimae Paschali (“Christ the Lord is risen to-day”),

Psalm 23

The Divine Shepherd

A Psalm of David.

1

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

2

He makes me lie down in green pastures;

The Narrow Gate

13 “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. 14For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

Loving Shepherd of Thy sheep. Jane E. Leeson. [The Good Shepherd.] Published in her Hymns and Scenes of Childhood, 1842, No. 17, in 3 stanzas of 8 lines, and headed with the text “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me,” &c. In its original form it is not often found in modern hymn-books. In Hymns Ancient & Modern, 1875, and most other collections, lines 4-8 of stanza i. are omitted, thus forming a hymn of 5 stanzas of 4 lines. The omitted lines are:—

“Bought with blood, and bought for Thee,
Thine, and only Thine, I’d be,
Holy, harmless, humble, mild,
Jesus Christ’s obedient child.”

CANDLE OF HOPE

Romans 15:13

Image result for House decorated for Christmas

13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Today is the first Sunday in advent ‘The Candle of Hope’

Isn’t it strange how at the lead up to Christmas you start to see adverts for donations to several charities whilst at the other end of the spectrum you see a house decorated like the one above.

Though having said that there used to be a person who lived in a nearby village to me decorated his house at Christmas to raise money for a ward in the local hospital.

At the name of Jesus

Whilst sat watching Pointless (a quiz show in the UK). One of the questions
recently was about ‘Greats’ and the clue was the ruler of Judea from 37-4BCE. I was so busy
puzzling what BCE meant I never got round to answering the questions. Thanks to google I found it
means Before Common Era. What???? Apparently, BCE has now replaced BC to avoid any
reference to Christianity and, in particular, to avoid naming Christ as Lord. For me that is the last
straw. We are turning into a heathen country where we cannot mention the name of Jesus, unless
it is to take his name in vain. A day I fear I will never see, I fear my children and my grandchildren
will never see, when…


At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow,
Every tongue confess him, King of glory now.
‘‘Tis the fathers pleasure we should call him Lord,
Who from the beginning was the mighty word

The Story Behind And Can It Be

Romans 5 New International Version

Peace and Hope

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we[b] boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we[c] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

According to the editor of The Oxford Edition of the Works of John Wesley, “And Can It Be” was written immediately following Charles Wesley’s conversion to Christianity on May 21, 1738. Wesley had known his Bible well before this time but had not yet experienced affirmation of new birth or the wholeness of grace in his life.

Wesley starts the first stanza by expressing admiration over the love shown by Jesus dying for him and wonders how we who “pursued” his death are now graced by it.

In the second stanza, Wesley calls for appreciation of God’s love and mercy in this sacrifice.  In the third stanza, Wesley conveys the unending grace and mercy of Christ’s love and humility in the incarnation, death, and finding of lost sinners.  In the fourth stanza, Wesley harkens to the “imprisonment” of his own sin and the freedom he found in Christ.

Finally, he reviews the results of Christ’s loving and merciful work: there is no condemnation for those made alive in Christ and clothed in his righteousness; rather, there is open access to the throne as we have the right to claim the divine crown.

Feel Free to leave a comment, in the reply box.I would love to hear from my followers and anyone else that read this. thanks!

Why Worry

Matthew 6 New International Version

Do Not Worry

Photo by Nathan Cowley on Pexels.com

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Story behind Silently now I wait for thee,

Clara H. Scott (1841-1897) provides us with a hymn of consecration that has been sung for over 100 years. A Midwesterner, she was born in Illinois and died in Iowa.

In 1856, Scott attended the first Music Institute held by C.M. Cady in Chicago, Ill. By 1859, she was teaching music at the Ladies’ Seminary, Lyons, Iowa. She married Henry Clay Scott in 1861, and published in 1882 the Royal Anthem Book, the first volume of choir anthems published by a woman.

Horatio R. Palmer, an influential church musician in Chicago and later New York City, was a source of encouragement for Scott, and helped her publish many of her songs. Three collections were issued before her untimely death, when a runaway horse caused a buggy accident in Dubuque, Iowa.

The text of “Open My Eyes” was written in 1895 shortly before Scott’s death. Each stanza reveals an increasing receptiveness to the “Spirit divine.” Open eyes lead to “glimpses of truth.” Open ears lead to “voices of truth.” An open mouth leads to sharing the “warm truth everywhere.” An open heart leads to sharing “love to thy children.”

The image of open eyes is common in the Bible. In some cases, this is a sign of Christ’s healing power, as when Jesus gave sight to the blind man at the pool of Siloam in John 9. Closed eyes, on the other hand, could be a metaphor for avoiding the truth as in the case of John 12:40, a passage following the triumphal entry of Christ into Jerusalem and beginning his journey to the cross: “He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.”

The image of open ears is also significant in the biblical witness. Matthew often reprises the theme “Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.” Closed ears become a metaphor for a lack of understanding: “For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them” (Matthew 13:15).

While the eyes and the ears are receptive organs, the mouth has the capacity to project. The mouth may project “cursing and deceit and fraud” (Psalm 10:7), or it may be an organ that projects praise, as Psalm 51:15 exhorts us: “O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth thy praise.”

The heart is the only organ included in this hymn that is not visible. It may harbor deceit. Jesus asks in Matthew 9:4, “Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?” But Jesus also realized that the heart has the capacity for purity: “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8).

Scott has given us not only a list of organs through which we may receive and project truth and love, but also provides the method in her refrain:

Silently now I wait for thee,
ready my God, thy will to see.
Open my eyes, ears, and heart,
illumine me, Spirit divine!

Learning to use these organs requires patience and reflection. The gentle 6/8 meter of Scott’s music provides a subtle sense of dancing in tune with the Spirit as we learn to see, hear and speak the truth from our hearts.

Rest

Matthew 11:28

28″Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Having returned from holiday I thought I’d use the topic of rest as my blog for today

I can’t say our holiday got of to a good start as the cottage my wife and I booked had a cat in it when we arrived, not only that I broke the leg of my glasses and the leg slid under one of the chairs and when we pulled it out to retrieve the leg there was a lot of dirt on the floor so we had to send for the cleaner. All this was just on the day of arrival.

As we were at our favourite place Windermere in the lake district (UK) despite the upset on the day of arrival we did enjoy ourselves visiting our favourite places & resting at night in front of the telly.

You could also look out onto lake Windermere from the cottage where the water was calm and watch the steamers go up and down. It also reminded of the story of Jesus walking on water.

When Jesus looked o’er Galilee,
So blue and calm and fair,
Upon her bosom, could He see
A cross reflected there?

When sunrise dyed the lovely deeps
And sparkled in His hair,
O did the light rays seem to say:
A crown of thorns He’ll wear?

When in the hush of eventide
Cool waters touched His feet,
Was it a hymn of Calvary’s road
He heard the waves repeat?

But when the winds triumphantly
Swept from the open plain,
The Master surely heard the song:
The Lord shall live again!

Triumph of Peace

A blog with a difference today As we listen to Lt Col Ray Steadman Allen talks about ‘The Triumph of Peace’ written by Eric Ball for Brass Bands.

Peace in our time, O Lord,
To all the peoples – peace!
Peace surely based upon Thy will
And built in righteousness.
Thy power alone can break
The fetters that enchain
The sorely stricken soul of life
And make it live again.

Too long mistrust and fear
Have held our souls in thrall;
Sweep through the earth, keen Breath of Heav’n
And sound a nobler call!
Come, as Thou didst of old,
In love so great that men
Shall cast aside all other gods
And turn to Thee again.

Peace in our time, O Lord,
To all the peoples – peace!
Peace that shall build a glad new world,
And make for life’s increase.
O living Christ, Who still
Dost all our burdens share,
Come now and dwell within the hearts
Of all men everywhere.

Remembrance Sunday

Psalm 90 New International Version (NIV)

Psalm 90

A prayer of Moses the man of God.

Lord, you have been our dwelling place
    throughout all generations.
Before the mountains were born
    or you brought forth the whole world,
    from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

You turn people back to dust,
    saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.”
A thousand years in your sight
    are like a day that has just gone by,
    or like a watch in the night.
Yet you sweep people away in the sleep of death—
    they are like the new grass of the morning:
In the morning it springs up new,
    but by evening it is dry and withered.

We are consumed by your anger
    and terrified by your indignation.
You have set our iniquities before you,
    our secret sins in the light of your presence.
All our days pass away under your wrath;
    we finish our years with a moan.
10 Our days may come to seventy years,
    or eighty, if our strength endures;
yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow,
    for they quickly pass, and we fly away.
11 If only we knew the power of your anger!
    Your wrath is as great as the fear that is your due.
12 Teach us to number our days,
    that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

13 Relent, Lord! How long will it be?
    Have compassion on your servants.
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
    that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
    for as many years as we have seen trouble.
16 May your deeds be shown to your servants,
    your splendor to their children.

17 May the favor[a] of the Lord our God rest on us;
    establish the work of our hands for us—
    yes, establish the work of our hands.