Discouragement

Psalm 34:18-20 Good News Translation

18 The Lord is near to those who are discouraged;
    he saves those who have lost all hope.

19 Good people suffer many troubles,
    but the Lord saves them from them all;
20 the Lord preserves them completely;
    not one of their bones is broken.

Who am I, that the lord of all the earth
Would care to know my name
Would care to feel my hurt?
Who am I, that the bright and morning star
Would choose to light the way
For my ever wandering heart?
Not because of who I am
But because of what you’ve doneImage result for Discouraged
Not because of what I’ve done
But because of who you are
I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
A vapour in the wind
Still you hear me when I’m calling
Lord, you catch me when I’m falling
And you’ve told me who I am
I am yours
Who am I, that the eyes that see my sin
Would look on me with love
And watch me rise again?
Who am I, that the voice that calmed the sea
Would call out through the rain
And calm the storm in me?
Not because of who I am
But because of what you’ve done
Not because of what I’ve done
But because of who you are
I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
A vapour in the wind
Still you hear me when I’m calling
Lord, you catch me when I’m falling
And you’ve told me who I am
I am yours
Not because of who I am
But because of what you’ve done
Not because of what I’ve done
But because of who you are
I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
A vapour in the wind
Still you hear me when I’m calling
Lord, you catch me when I’m falling
And you’ve told me who I am
I am yours
I am yours
I am yours
Whom shall I fear, whom shall I fear?
‘Cause I am yours
I am yours

The Lord Holds our Hand

Isaiah 42 New International Version 

The Servant of the Lord

42 “Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
    my chosen one in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him,
    and he will bring justice to the nations.
He will not shout or cry out,
    or raise his voice in the streets.
A bruised reed he will not break,
    and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out.
In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
    he will not falter or be discouraged
till he establishes justice on earth.
    In his teaching the islands will put their hope.”

This is what God the Lord says—
the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out,
    who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it,Image result for Holding hands with the Lord
    who gives breath to its people,
    and life to those who walk on it:
“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,
to open eyes that are blind,
    to free captives from prison
    and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.

“I am the Lord; that is my name!
I will not yield my glory to another
or my praise to idols.
See, the former things have taken place,
and new things I declare;
before they spring into being
I announce them to you.”

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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.

Covid-19 – Mental Health and your Faith

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Lamentations 3 New International Version 

16 He has broken my teeth with gravel;
    he has trampled me in the dust.
17 I have been deprived of peace;
    I have forgotten what prosperity is.
18 So I say, “My splendour is gone
    and all that I had hoped from the Lord.”

19 I remember my affliction and my wandering,
    the bitterness and the gall.

20 I well remember them,
    and my soul is downcast within me.
21 Yet this I call to mind
    and therefore I have hope:

This week in the UK marks mental health week and as some of you may know I suffer from Epilepsy which is controlled by medication.

I would be lying if I said Covid-19 hasn’t affected my mental health because it has because I still although on medication I am not completely free of seizures. there has been a slight increase during lockdown.

I also feel that my seizures have a phycological feeling to them as I feel as if I am not worried about anything.

There are many hymns and music help me with my faith, I have selected this one for what it says in verse three

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.

[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 Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

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.

[Chorus]

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

[Chorus]

God’s Patience

Numbers 14:18

‘The LORD is slow to anger and abundant in loving kindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generations.’

‘Patience is a virtue’ as they say. Nature has it that some people are more patient than others. I invite you to listen to this audio video on The Patience of God by John MacDuff.Image result for poems on God's Patience

Image result for poems on God's Patience

Hope and Trust

Psalm 71 New International Version – UK

Psalm 71

In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;
    let me never be put to shame.
In your righteousness, rescue me and deliver me;
    turn your ear to me and save me.
Be my rock of refuge,
    to which I can always go;
give the command to save me,
    for you are my rock and my fortress.
Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked,
    from the grasp of those who are evil and cruel.

For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord,
    my confidence since my youth.

From my birth I have relied on you;
    you brought me forth from my mother’s womb.
    I will ever praise you.
I have become a sign to many;
    you are my strong refuge.
My mouth is filled with your praise,
    declaring your splendour all day long.

Have Thine Own Way, Lord

Jeremiah 18:3-6 New International Version

So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.

Then the word of the Lord came to me. He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel.

The hymn was inspired in 1902 by a simple prayer of an elderly woman at a prayer meeting: “It really doesn’t matter what you do with us, Lord — just have your way with our lives . . ..”

The author, Adelaide A. Pollard (1862-1934) was born in Iowa. Hymnologist Kenneth Osbeck provides a detailed description of her life. He notes that following her education in elocution and physical culture, she moved to Chicago where she became a teacher in girls’ schools. In addition, she developed a fine reputation as an itinerant Bible study teacher. Later, she worked with two evangelists, one who developed a healing ministry, and the other who focused on the imminent return of Christ.

Pollard had a strong desire to be a missionary in Africa. When this plan was not fulfilled, she taught at a Missionary Training School at Nyack-on-the-Hudson. She finally made it to Africa for a brief period before World War I, but she spent the war years in Scotland. After returning to the United States, she continued her ministry even though she was in poor health.

“Have Thine Own Way, Lord” was composed during a time when Miss Pollard was trying to raise funds to make a trip to Africa. Her unsuccessful attempt to do this left her experiencing a “distress of soul.” This crisis of the soul and the simple prayer of an elderly lady provided a setting for personal reflection on the will of God for her life. After the prayer meeting, she returned home and wrote the hymn as we sing it today.

The text with its tune ADELAIDE was included in the Northfield Hymnal with Alexander’s Supplement (1907). Two changes were made for The United Methodist Hymnal: In stanza two, “Master” was changed to “Savior” and “whiter than snow” was changed to “wash me just now.” This change offers insight into the process of editing a hymnal.

The Rev. Carlton R. Young, editor of The United Methodist Hymnal, noted in his Companion to the United Methodist Hymnal: “The Hymnal Revision Committee debate on the latter change was intense and sustained. Those proposing the change stated that one does not have to be white, a North European, or Anglo Caucasian to be perceived as spiritually pure and socially acceptable. An African American member said, ‘You can wash me as much as you wish, but after you’ve finished, I’ll be just as black, which is beautiful.’ Those who wished to retain the original argue that the reference to washing was not about the pigmentation of human skin, but to the soul as in Psalm 51:7, ‘Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.'”

The third stanza perhaps is autobiographical, reflecting the struggle of Miss Pollard to discern God’s will for her life: “Wounded and weary, help me I pray!” This stanza also summons the “power” of Christ to “Touch me and heal me.” The final stanza invokes the Spirit to “fill” the singer, “till all shall see/Christ only, always,/living in me! The Rev. Young notes that, “In her last years she was attracted to extreme texts, living the life of a mystic.”

Seeking The Lord’s presence

Psalm 27 New International Version

Psalm 27

Of David.

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
    of whom shall I be afraid?

When the wicked advance against me
    to devour[a] me,
it is my enemies and my foes
    who will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me,
    my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
    even then I will be confident.

One thing I ask from the Lord,
    this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
    and to seek him in his temple.
For in the day of trouble
    he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
    and set me high upon a rock.

Then my head will be exalted
    above the enemies who surround me;
at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy;
    I will sing and make music to the Lord.

A song that has become more popular over the years

Please feel free to like or comment on my blogs

Fear of disaster

Proverbs 3:25-26 New International Version

Photo by Sangeet Rao on Pexels.com

25 Have no fear of sudden disaster
    or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,
26 for the Lord will be at your side
    and will keep your foot from being snared.

When I read this proverb and think of all the natural disasters that happen in the world, earthquakes, landslides, plane crashes, Tornado’s etc.

Wickedness seems to over take in cases like these, for example a plane that crashes through terrorism is just wicked. As is stealing from homes that have been damaged as a result of a disaster.

Verse 26 tells us we need not fear because ‘The Lord’ is at our side to keep us from being caught by the evil one.

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Doubting Faith

Lamentations 3 New International Version

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassion’s never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.

24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
    therefore I will wait for him.”

25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
    to the one who seeks him;
26 it is good to wait quietly
    for the salvation of the Lord.
27 It is good for a man to bear the yoke
    while he is young.

No doubt you like I have had many times where we have had cause to doubt our faith and this can sometimes make us feel quite down.

What we have to remember in situations like these is that the Lord is with us ‘though we may not think or feel his presence at the time’ guiding us.

If we loose faith in God especially, in order to get it back we have to come to him in prayer, because our God is a faithful God. This is only one of the hymns I turn to at times like these as I think the words are just beautiful.

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 hast been, Thou forever will be

Great is Thy faithfulness
Great is Thy faithfulness
Morning by morning new mercies I see
And all I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me

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.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
And Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow
Blessings all amine, with ten thousand beside

Great is Thy Faithfulness
Great is Thy Faithfulness
Morning by morning new mercies I see
And all I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me

A Quiet time

Philippians 4 New International Version

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Final Exhortations

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Do you ever get those days where all you long for is a bit of ‘Me time or Quiet time’. I know I do.

In my case, on Saturday night we had my daughter, her husband and 2yr old granddaughter round for tea, and let me tell you granddaughter takes after her mum. (A real live wire).

Sunday we attended our local Salvation Army in the morning but managed to grab a bit of ‘ Me time or Quiet time’ before heading to mother in law’s for tea that night

Please listen to The International Staff Songsters and follow the words of In this Quiet moment

In this quiet moment, still, before your throne,
Conscious of your presence, knowing I am known,
In this quiet moment, set my spirit free,
In this quiet moment, make a better me.