Consecration

Romans 12 New International Version

A Living Sacrifice

12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Frances Havergal (1836-1879) created one of the classic hymns of Christian commitment.  Referred to as the “consecration poet,” Havergal strived to live a life fully dedicated to Christ and to those she saw in any physical or spiritual need. 

We know that Havergal’s spiritual journey began early in her life, memorizing passages in the Bible at age 4 and writing verse by age seven. She was nurtured by her father, an Anglican clergyman, also devoted to Christian hymnody.  Though Havergal’s health was frail and she lived barely 43 years, she learned several modern languages as well as Hebrew and Greek. She was also a singer of some note and known as an accomplished pianist. 

This hymn of total dedication to Christ seems to cover every aspect of submission to him.  Each line begins with the compulsory verb “Take,” giving the sense of a continual prayer of petition. 

1 Take my life and let it be
consecrated, Lord, to thee.
Take my moments and my days;
let them flow in endless praise,
let them flow in endless praise.

2 Take my hands and let them move
at the impulse of thy love.
Take my feet and let them be
swift and beautiful for thee,
swift and beautiful for thee.

3 Take my voice and let me sing
always, only, for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
filled with messages from thee,
filled with messages from thee.

4 Take my silver and my gold;
not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use
every power as thou shalt choose,
every power as thou shalt choose.

5 Take my will and make it thine;
it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart it is thine own;
it shall be thy royal throne,
it shall be thy royal throne.

6 Take my love; my Lord, I pour
at thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be
ever, only, all for thee,
ever, only, all for thee.

In his Name

Colossians 3 New International Version

15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

God has given to us a new, forgiven life in him. We have no need, therefore to be anxious if we Turn our eyes upon Jesus as it says in the song. The past cannot make us afraid, for we know that that our sins are forgiven.

The present need not trouble us, for we know that the whole world is in God’s hands.

“Do everything in the name of Jesus Giving Thanks“. A thankful spirit will triumph over many difficulties, and will save us from many more

Epilepsy and Faith

Mark 9:14-29 The Message

There Are No Ifs

14-16 When they came back down the mountain to the other disciples, they saw a huge crowd around them, and the religion scholars cross-examining them. As soon as the people in the crowd saw Jesus, admiring excitement stirred them. They ran and greeted him. He asked, “What’s going on? What’s all the commotion?”

17-18 A man out of the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought my mute son, made speechless by a demon, to you. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and goes stiff as a board. I told your disciples, hoping they could deliver him, but they couldn’t.”

19-20 Jesus said, “What a generation! No sense of God! How many times do I have to go over these things? How much longer do I have to put up with this? Bring the boy here.” They brought him. When the demon saw Jesus, it threw the boy into a seizure, causing him to writhe on the ground and foam at the mouth.

21-22 He asked the boy’s father, “How long has this been going on?”

“Ever since he was a little boy. Many times it pitches him into fire or the river to do away with him. If you can do anything, do it. Have a heart and help us!”

23 Jesus said, “If? There are no ‘ifs’ among believers. Anything can happen.”

24 No sooner were the words out of his mouth than the father cried, “Then I believe. Help me with my doubts!”

25-27 Seeing that the crowd was forming fast, Jesus gave the vile spirit its marching orders: “Dumb and deaf spirit, I command you—Out of him, and stay out!” Screaming, and with much thrashing about, it left. The boy was pale as a corpse, so people started saying, “He’s dead.” But Jesus, taking his hand, raised him. The boy stood up.

28 After arriving back home, his disciples cornered Jesus and asked, “Why couldn’t we throw the demon out?”

29 He answered, “There is no way to get rid of this kind of demon except by prayer.”

I came across this reading in an Epilepsy blog I was reading the other day and decided It was time I let you know I suffer from the condition.

I won’t telling you to much at the moment as I plan to make a video blog telling you all about my life with Epilepsy later this year (I hope).

What I will tell you at the moment is I wasn’t born with it, I developed it around the ages of 11 – 12yrs old. Apart from my late teens/early twenties I went about seven years without a seizure, as I was driving for four years and in those days you had to be seizure free for three years. Then one day they suddenly returned and naturally I gave up driving though I loved it.

Since that day I have had controlled epileptic seizures by medication.

Occasionally my epilepsy will get me down but I am a positive person, therefore most times when I have a seizure or turn as I call them they generally don’t bother me.

You may be asking where does my faith come into all of this.Well first of all I believe in Jesus ‘The Great Physician’, I also have a very supportive group of family and friends who understand my condition and lastly I have a great Neurologist and Epilepsy Nurse.

I’ll finish off by asking myself the question, “looking at verse 29 have I been praying hard enough?”

Love and Hate

1 John 2 New International Version

Love and Hatred for Fellow Believers

We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God[a] is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.

Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard. Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.

Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister[b] is still in the darkness. 10 Anyone who loves their brother and sister[c] lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. 11 But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.

Wow! what a theme to follow yesterdays blog on Reconciliation, comes right to the point doesn’t it

As the above reading is telling us, ‘As Christians we are supposed to love one another’, turn the other cheek etc.

As humans it is only natural that personalities will clash even if you are Christians in the same church.

Even I have fell out with people in my Church but I don’t like the atmosphere it creates and usually when things have calmed down that is usually when the apologies come

A little on that’s full of innocence
He doesn’t know that something’s out of place
Another one dreams murder all night
He’s been living full of hatred all his life
Well, I guess it’s always been this way
A world that’s full of love and hate
Oh God, but will it stay this way
So much love, so much hate

It goes on and on and on
Around and again
On and on and on
Around and again
It goes on and on and on
Around and again

A mother’s willing to give her life
While another one throws away her child
A son stands and he turns the other cheek
While another one spits in a face while it bleeds
Well, I guess it’s always been this way
A world that’s full of love and hate
Oh God, but will it stay this way
So much love, so much hate

It goes on and on and on
Around and again
On and on and on
Around and again
It goes on and on and on
Around and again

It goes on and on and on
Around and again
On and on and on
Around and again
It goes on and on and on
Around and again

This evil that’s within is hiding in our skin
This evil that’s within is hiding in our skin
What are we
When will we
Why are we still wondering
What are we
When will we
Why are we still wondering
Oh Jesus, I can’t take the hate anymore
Save us from ourselves before
We on and on and on
Around and again

It goes on and on and on
Around and again
On and on and on
Around and again
It goes on and on and on
Around and again

On and on and on
Around and again
It goes on and on and on
Around and again

It goes on and on and on
Around and again
On and on and on
Around and again
It goes on and on and on
Around and again

Reconciliation

2 Corinthians 5 New International Version

The Ministry of Reconciliation

16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin[b] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Most of us will have a difficult family member who basically causes trouble with everyone else in the family, Some of us may get to the point where children fall out with parents or the other way around.

It could be something else like an overpowering mother in law who though she is loved by all immediate family seems to want to take control of literally everything

Making peace

The Important thing to remember is we have to remain patient and wait God’s time in times like these. We have also got to bare in mind that reconciliation works both ways

Clean Water

John 7 New International Version

Photo by Creative Vix on Pexels.com

37 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”[c] 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

I suppose you as well as myself will have noticed the number of appeals that went out from different charities over the Christmas period for different things.

Photo by Jimmy Chan on Pexels.com

The other night I seen this appeal on TV for clean water and it showed the difference it could make to the lives of those in poor countries

The thing that has really stuck in my mind about this advert is the joy on some of the children’s faces when they were drinking ‘Clean tap water’ for the first time

Verse 1
Life is a journey; long is the road,
And when the noontide is high
Souls that are weary faint ‘neath their load,
Long for the waters, and cry:

Chorus
The well is deep and I require
A draught of the water of life,
But none can quench my soul’s desire
For a draught Or the water of life;
Till one draws near who the cry will heed,
Helper of men in their time of need,
And I, believing, find indeed
That Christ is the water of life.

Verse 2
Life is a seeking, life is a quest,
Eager and longing desire;
Unto the true things, unto the best,
Godward our spirits aspire.

Verse 3
Life is a finding; vain wand’rings cease
When from the Saviour we claim
All we have longed for, solace and peace,
And we have life in his name.

Christmas dinner for homeless

1. Matthew 25:34-40

“Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, my Father has blessed you! Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger, and you took me into your home. I needed clothes, and you gave me something to wear. I was sick, and you took care of me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’ “Then the people who have God’s approval will reply to him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you or see you thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you as a stranger and take you into our homes or see you in need of clothes and give you something to wear? When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ “The king will answer them, ‘I can guarantee this truth: Whatever you did for one of my brothers or sisters, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did for me.’

The people of this country never cease to amaze me, when I seen the news on ITV on Christmas Day I heard about the idea that a couple of railway workers had which resulted in London’s Euston train station being filled with the homeless for a Christmas Dinner I thought this was brilliant. They also said that this may be a thing that may be repeated each year, let’s hope so. Let’s also pray that it may catch on in our major cities throughout the country as well.

Image result for Euston Station on Christmas day

Questions For You and Me

By Jacob Folger

Stuffed and overflowing stockings hanging by the fireside

Pretty plastic candlelights glowing in the night

Sticky candy canes hanging from pine tree boughs

This all presents questions, I will in this poem pose.

When a little kid with Christmas time coming round

The joyful music, it seemed was the only sound

But really, I wonder now what it all means to me

Is it all about that perfectly shaped and lighted Christmas tree?

Little, sweet baby Jesus sleeping in some straw

It seems to me that someone might notice a little flaw

What is the difference between that dirty man without a home

And the King of Kings that almost all of us must have known?

And tell me what was that message that He gave to you and me

Before His life was ended on that old and lonely tree?

Was it all about just taking care of little, selfish me?

Or is there more here, more for all of us to see?

I asked a lot of questions in this poem this Christmas Eve

I guess this time of year, the cold, and the suffering that I see

Fills my head and heart with old and sad memories

I am hoping that maybe from it all we will not always flee.

Little, sweet baby Jesus sleeping in some straw

It seems to me that someone might notice a little flaw

What is the difference between that dirty man without a home

And the King of Kings that almost all of us must have known?

Why suffer as a Christian?

1 Peter 4 New International Version

Suffering for Being a Christian

12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. 16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And,

“If it is hard for the righteous to be saved,
    what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”[a]

19 So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.

Isaac Watts 

Watts was born in Southampton, England in 1674 and was brought up in the home of a committed religious Nonconformist; his father, also Isaac Watts, had been incarcerated twice for his views. Watts had a classical education at King Edward VI School, learning Latin, Greek, and Hebrew.Watts displayed a propensity for rhyme from an early age. He was once asked why he had his eyes open during prayers, to which he responded:A little mouse for want of stairs-ran up a rope to say its prayers.He received corporal punishment for this, to which he cried:O father, father, pity take And I will no more verses make.[1][2]Watts could not attend Oxford or Cambridge because he was a nonconformist and these universities were restricted to Anglicans—as were government positions at the time. He went to the Dissenting Academy at Stoke Newington in 1690. Much of the remainder of his life centred on that village, which is now part of Inner London.Following his education, Watts was called as pastor of a large independent chapel in London, Mark Lane Congregational Chapel, where he helped train preachers, despite his poor health. He held religious opinions that were more nondenominational or ecumenical than was common for a nonconformist Congregationalist.Image result for when i survey the wondrous cross He had a greater interest in promoting education and scholarship than preaching for any particular sect. Watts took work as a private tutor and lived with the Nonconformist Hartopp family at Fleetwood House on Church Street in Stoke Newington. Through them, he became acquainted with their immediate neighbours Sir Thomas Abney and Lady Mary. He eventually lived for a total of 36 years in the Abney household, most of the time at Abney House, their second residence. (Lady Mary had inherited the manor of Stoke Newington in 1701 from her late brother Thomas Gunston.)On the death of Sir Thomas Abney in 1722, his widow Lady Mary and her unmarried daughter Elizabeth moved all her household to Abney House from Hertfordshire, and she invited Watts to continue with them. He particularly enjoyed the grounds at Abney Park, which Lady Mary planted with two elm walks leading down to an island heronry in the Hackney Brook, and he often sought inspiration there for the many books and hymns that he wrote.Watts lived at Abney Hall in Stoke Newington until his death in 1748; he was buried in Bunhill Fields. He left an extensive legacy of hymns, treatises, educational works, and essays. His work was influential amongst Nonconformist independents and religious revivalists of the 18th century, such as Philip Doddridge, who dedicated his best-known work to Watts.

One of Issac watts well known hymns is the following;

  1. When I survey the wondrous cross
    On which the Prince of glory died,
    My richest gain I count but loss,
    And pour contempt on all my pride.
  2. Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
    Save in the death of Christ my God!
    All the vain things that charm me most,
    I sacrifice them to His blood.
  3. See from His head, His hands, His feet,
    Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
    Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
    Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
  4. Were the whole realm of nature mine,
    That were a present far too small;
    Love so amazing, so divine,
    Demands my soul, my life, my all.

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.