Blessed Hour of Prayer

I rarely write multiple posts in one day. Sometimes I will feel like writing a lot and will have a spell of two posts a day, but rarely – perhaps even never – three.
Well, here’s my third post for the day.
I have been praying much about sharing another, but felt very impressed in my spirit to do so.
Again on the subject of prayer – or rather, on talking to The Lord Jesus; keeping up a communion with Him through out the day.
The Lord is truly impressing on my spirit how important to the Christian’s daily life a constant communion with Him is. It’s like feeding our own natural bodies. We would never starve ourselves, but so often we starve our spirits by not feeding ourselves on our Heavenly Bread, the Life of Jesus.

Fanny J. Crosby’s beautiful hymn, written so many years ago, speak my feelings so perfectly. It’s one of my favorite songs.

’Tis the blessèd hour of prayer, when our hearts lowly bend,
And we gather to Jesus, our Savior and Friend;
If we come to Him in faith, His protection to share,
What a balm for the weary, O how sweet to be there!

’Tis the blessèd hour of prayer, when the Savior draws near,
With a tender compassion His children to hear;
When He tells us we may cast at His feet every care,
What a balm for the weary, O how sweet to be there!

’Tis the blessèd hour of prayer, when the tempted and tried
To the Savior Who loves them their sorrow confide;
With a sympathizing heart He removes every care;
What a balm for the weary, O how sweet to be there!

At the blessèd hour of prayer, trusting Him, we believe
That the blessing we’re needing we’ll surely receive;
In the fullness of the trust we shall lose every care;
What a balm for the weary, O how sweet to be there.

Refrain

Blessèd hour of prayer, blessèd hour of prayer,
What a balm for the weary, O how sweet to be there!

To be in constant communion with Jesus is not an unnatural feat. It’s something that should come very easily to even the youngest of believers.

To know Him, talk to Him, rely on Him – as the source of our lives, happiness, safety, and future day by day enables us, as believers, to live above the trials and troubles – no matter how big or how small – that He places in our circumstances.

Such as the trouble that came our family’s way tonight.
It wasn’t huge or harmful, though it could have been very easily.

Lordwilling, I’ll share that little story tomorrow.
I think I’ve written enough today. 🙂

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A Song from Sunday

I have heard this song many times over the course of my romance with the family music tradition of bluegrass gospel. I had no idea it was in our hymnal all that time!
I played it at least three times and sang it yesterday, and also played it for our evening worship service.
Oh that Jesus would grant us stars in our crowns!

***

I am thinking today of that beautiful land
I shall reach when the sun goeth down;
When through wonderful grace by my Savior I stand,
Will there be any stars in my crown?

In the strength of the Lord let me labor and pray,
Let me watch as a winner of souls,
That bright stars may be mine in the glorious day,
When His praise like the sea billow rolls.

O what joy it will be when His face I behold,
Living gems at his feet to lay down!
It would sweeten my bliss in the city of gold,
Should there be any stars in my crown.

Refrain

Will there be any stars, any stars in my crown
When at evening the sun goeth down?
When I wake with the blest in the mansions of rest
Will there be any stars in my crown?

Elizabeth E. Hewitt 1897

Jesus in Mine

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Fade, fade each earthly joy;
Jesus is mine.
Break every tender tie;
Jesus is mine.
Dark is the wilderness,
Earth has no resting place,
Jesus alone can bless;
Jesus is mine.

Tempt not my soul away;
Jesus is mine.
Here would I ever stay;
Jesus is mine.
Perishing things of clay,
Born but for one brief day,
Pass from my heart away;
Jesus is mine.

Farewell, ye dreams of night;
Jesus is mine.
Lost in this dawning bright;
Jesus is mine.
All that my soul has tried
Left but a dismal void;
Jesus has satisfied;
Jesus is mine.

Farewell, mortality;
Jesus is mine.
Welcome, eternity;
Jesus is mine.
Welcome, O Loved and Blest,
Welcome, sweet scenes of rest,
Welcome, my Savior’s breast;
Jesus is mine.

Charlotte Elliot

My Prayer Tonight

Behold, the morning sun
Begins his glorious way;
His beams through all the nations run,
And life and light convey.
But where the Gospel comes
It spreads diviner light;
It calls dead sinners from their tombs,
And gives the blind their sight.
How perfect is Thy Word!
And all Thy judgments just!
For ever sure Thy promise, Lord,
And men securely trust.
My gracious God, how plain
Are Thy directions giv’n!
O may I never read in vain,
But find the path to Heav’n!
I hear Thy word with love,
And I would fain obey:
Send Thy good Spirit from above
To guide me, lest I stray.
O who can ever find
The errors of his ways?
Yet with a bold, presumptuous mind
I would not dare transgress.
Warn me of every sin,
Forgive my secret faults,
And cleanse this guilty soul of mine,
Whose crimes exceed my thoughts.
While with my heart and tongue
I spread Thy praise abroad,
Accept the worship and the song,
My Savior and my God.
Isaac Watts

The beginning of something new

At a loss for blog posts the other day, I posted to Fb and asked if any of my friends had any thoughts.
I got several responses, and this one in particular from a sister in the Lord.
She asked if I couldn’t do a post on modest dress/purity etc. 
I thought it was a wonderful idea, but I must confess I’m a little doubtful whether I can tackle it!
I’ve been praying though, and I do feel I should address this subject more often.
It is met with so much repulsion and I’ve experienced so much hurt from speaking/writing of it in the past,
I suppose I’ve shunned it like the plague for a couple years. 
But running away from pain will not make the pain go away – nor the ailment causing the pain.
Things should be talked about, whether they hurt us or not, and so…I’m planning this and other posts
later as the Lord leads on this very controversial subject concerning modesty and purity in women.

Jesus calls us, o’er the tumult
Of our life’s wild, restless sea;
Day by day His sweet voice soundeth
Saying, “Christian, follow Me;”

As of old, apostles heard it
By the Galilean lake,
Turned from home and toil and kindred,
Leaving all for His dear sake.

Jesus calls us from the worship
Of the vain world’s golden store;
From each idol that would keep us,
Saying, “Christian, love Me more.”

In our joys and in our sorrows,
Days of toil and hours of ease,
Still He calls, in cares and pleasures,
“Christian, love Me more than these.”

Jesus calls us: by Thy mercies,
Saviour, may we hear Thy call,
Give our hearts to Thy obedience,
Serve and love Thee best of all.
Cecil F. Alexander

Praying last night during our Wednesday evening prayer meeting together, I was called upon to
accompany everyone’s singing by playing this hymn on the piano.
Its an old, old song – old by right, but also to me. I’ve played/sang this song for years.
But last night, baffled over how to address this post, the Lord Jesus blessed me with this song.
Singing/reading this hymn with modesty in mind is such a rich blessing I had never known before!
The tumult of life, the troubled seas could symbolize the world we live in today; all the rush and scurry,
all the pressure to be like everyone else.
{I pray I’m not the only one who feels this!}
The song repeats Jesus’ calling us – from our home, and toil, and kindred; everything we’ve ever known,
and everything the world today expects of us.
From each idol that would keep us.
Oh, sisters!
I know I am not alone in this one.
I truly love myself; I love my body, my face, my hair, my skin tone….
And I would love that others could see it and enjoy it – and brag on me – just as much as I do myself.
{Alright…I don’t actually brag…ahem….}
For women – and for men – our bodies can become one of the greatest idols.
We become obsessed with looking good, with feeling good, with appealing to others; making them like us.


Jesus calls us from the worship
Of the vain world’s golden store;
From each idol that would keep us,
Saying, “Christian, love Me more.”

But just as much as anything else, our pre-occupation with ourselves can take away – and so much so –
from our relationship with our Lord Jesus.
Another song comes to mind.

Nothing between, like worldly pleasure; 
habits of life, though harmless they seem, 
must not my heart from Him ever sever; 
He is my all, there’s nothing between. 

How easy it is for us to allow ourselves to get between us and our Jesus!
Harmless though it may seem, an obsession with one’s appearance can be just as crippling to one’s
spiritual life as an obsession with lying, or an addiction to drugs/alcohol.

{This is not to say we should wear rags.}

{Dressing appropriately and dressing obsessively, or to attract attention, are two different things.}

Anything that takes us away from our Lord Jesus should be thoroughly thought through, examined,
and then dealt with.

I think dress is just such a thing.
Especially as women, it is something that needs to be a main subject of concern.
Not only are we the objects of our brothers-in-Christ’s natural affections and desires
(and thereby can also be their temptation into sin or lust)
but we are also a great crutch to ourselves in that we know the beauty the Lord has endowed us with.

The Lord Jesus created women to be beautiful creatures.
And it is one of those little blessings He gives to His children here on this earth.
But it can also be a temptation, a snare, and a trap.

All things should be brought in prayer before the Lord.
Our own opinion of our appearance, our own feelings about our bodies/dress should not be neglected.
These things can become that ‘something between’ us and our Savior.
This is not something to be taken lightly!

This is a very deep subject!
But I think I see a little in what direction the Lord Jesus wants me to go with this.
And that includes breaking it up into multiple posts. 
And that brings us to the something new part of the title of this post.
I haven’t quite grasped the whole thing yet, but there will be more heard of this!
So…
until the next time….
I pray you all have a wonderful Friday 
{hooray for the weekend’s eve!}
and may we all think more seriously through this day about those things that can lead us away from 
Him.

Tedious and Tasteless

“In Thee, O Lord, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion.”
Psalm 71:1
How tedious and tasteless the hours
When Jesus I no longer see;
Sweet prospects, sweet birds and sweet flowers,
Have all lost their sweetness to me;
The midsummer sun shines but dim,
The fields strive in vain to look gay.
But when I am happy in Him,
December’s as pleasant as May.
His Name yields the richest perfume,
And sweeter than music His voice;
His presence disperses my gloom,
And makes all within me rejoice.
I should, were He always thus nigh,
Have nothing to wish or to fear;
No mortal as happy as I,
My summer would last all the year.
Content with beholding His face,
My all to His pleasure resigned,
No changes of season or place
Would make any change in my mind:
While blessed with a sense of His love,
A palace a toy would appear;
All prisons would palaces prove,
If Jesus would dwell with me there.
Dear Lord, if indeed I am Thine,
If Thou art my sun and my song,
Say, why do I languish and pine?
And why are my winters so long?
O drive these dark clouds from the sky,
Thy soul cheering presence restore;
Or take me to Thee up on high,
Where winter and clouds are no more.
John Newton 1782


This is one of my favorite hymns. May Jesus be near each of us always.
How have you enjoyed your Lord’s Day?

The Broad Road is Doomed to Fail

One of my favorite hymns….
Broad is the road that leads to death,
And thousands walk together there;
But wisdom shows a narrower path,
With here and there a traveler.
“Deny thyself, and take thy cross,”
Is the Redeemer’s great command;
Nature must count her gold but dross,
If she would gain this heav’nly land.
The fearful soul that tires and faints,
And walks the ways of God no more,
Is but esteemed almost a saint,
And makes his own destruction sure.
Lord, let not all my hopes be vain
Create my heart entirely new;
Which hypocrites could ne’er attain,
Which false apostates never knew.
Isaac Watts 1707-09

O Jesus….

O Jesus I have promised to serve Thee to the end;
Be Thou forever near me, my Master and my Friend:
I shall not fear the battle if Thou art by my side,
Nor wander from the pathway if Thou wilt be my guide.

O let me feel Thee near me the world is ever near;
I see the sights that dazzle the tempting sounds I hear:
My foes are ever near me around me and within;
But Jesus draw Thou nearer and shield my soul from sin.

O Jesus Thou hast promised to all who follow Thee
That where Thou art in glory there shalt Thy servant be
And Jesus I have promised to serve Thee to end
O be my Grace to follow my Master and my Friend.

John E. Bode

I asked myself….

I wonder….

“Memories, however, are not dangerous unless one is a coward and allows them to be. I should have faced my past and been the man I was…or thought I was.” 
Sullivan ~ An Unlikely Love
Anyone who has been reading this blog for a while,
or knows me a little (but not in person)
will probably know that I love to write. 
And will probably know that I love to write historical fiction – 
always with deeply spiritual backgrounds.
Anyone who knows this, will probably know too that I pray much 
as I write…and that my goal in writing is to serve the Lord Jesus, and to bring honor 
and glory to His Name – and perhaps lead others through my writing
into His Salvation, or into a deeper Knowledge of Himself.
These are my reasons for writing.
“Everyone has a chance at life, sir. Some people are given their chance much more easily than others – and some of those people choose to throw their chance away as if life were all the better without it. Everyone has a chance – and he deserves the opportunity to make use of his!”
The nun ~ An Unlikely Love
I thank Jesus for the gift of writing. 
I began writing when I was about 10 or 11 years old. 
I thank Jesus that I’ve always had some sort of story going since then…
and through each story He’s taught me, molding my hand and my mind to follow Him more fully.
After a great battle within myself and my spirit,
I consecrated my writing to Him at 15.
From then until now writing has taken on a new meaning to me…
a new depth…and I have learned many, many things which would have been impossible
to learn if I had not chosen to rely on Him for the words to put on my pages.
“I’m scared….really….I’m scared…I don’t want to do this….”
Alice ~ An Unlikely Love
I love to write.
I love the feeling of putting a picture into words…
and knowing the characters…like I would know someone in real life…or even better
than I would know someone in real life….
To be completely honest, I am closer to the characters in my stories 
than I am to 99.99% of real people in my life.
I love to sit and watch as things come together…events manage to fit together –
where I didn’t expect them to…characters begin to develop…in a way I hadn’t expected….
Scenes begin to come to life…I can feel them, touch them, see them, smell them, taste them….
I don’t know how else to express it other than
that I love it.
I love to write. 
“They saida’ they was still born – but Jelisa, young girl there been ‘elpin’ ‘em labor, tolda Forbes the truth – them girlsa jus wana’ rida’ ’em youngins – an’ theys don’ta’ care how.”
Ravelli ~ An Unlikely Love

I know why I write…
and I love writing….
for the reasons I do it – and because I love writing…
not for itself, but because of what it is to me.
But there are still moments…
days…
weeks…
when I asked myself that awful question.
Why?

Why do I write?
Why do I spend hours…days…weeks…months…even years…
bent over a story…
my mind always occupied – consciously or subconsciously – 
with some form or facet of it?
Why do I labor…why do I write – even when I’d rather just lay down and sleep…
or spend time doing other more enjoyable things –
why do I do this?
Its not all fun.
Most of writing is hard work – truly hard work.
Studying out facts…writing the mundane…editing…filling in parts you’ve read a million times…reading and re-reading…trying to make things work when you know its hopeless…going back and 
re-writing…or completely tossing your whole week’s worth of work because it is not good enough….
Writing is beautiful…the outcome is beautiful…the characters are beautiful…
but more often than not writing is a job; a burden.
So why do I do it?
“I have seen some acts of cruelty in my time, lass, but this surpasses them all.”
Sullivan ~ An Unlikely Love

Sometimes I wonder if ever I will see these long hours of work…worry…fatigue…
ever come to the point where others have read it…
and been truly blessed and encouraged by the experience. 
Years of work have so far proved nothing more than stacks of paper piled in my
closet…characters lying lifeless, morbid…encased in dust and time.
So why do I keep adding to this?
Why do I keep adding to this pile of useless paper?
Why do I keep tormenting myself over something that gives so little return?
Why?
“I bent close to her…my hand cupping her delicate chin…the silken, hazel curls around her neck swept softly by the ocean winds brushed my arm…I could see the glow of the evening sun in those dark eyes…and I claimed her lips with my own….”
Sullivan ~ An Unlikely Love

I never have the answer to these questions…
I never see the end of this long tunnel I am going through…there is never any glimmer of light to
ban the darkness I seem to be surrounded with.
There is only comfort…a degree of comfort…
comfort….but still pain. 
The comfort is in and only in my Jesus.
My trust in Him.
My trust in Him to keep me…keep my soul…and direct my words.
“Give thy heart’s love and labor, and that which grieves thee most,
Into His faithful keeping Who guides the heavenly host;
He Who to cloud and tempest a great highroad doth show
Will find for thee a footpath, a way thy steps may go.

Trust God if thou desirest that it go well with thee, 
And on His doing ponder if firm thy work shall be.
The sorrow thou dost treasure, thy pain close cherished,
Leave Him no room to enter: Oh thou must pray instead!

Through all our ways Thou takes Thy way, all means are Thine;
Thy hand moves but in blessing and all Thy footprints shine.
Thy children’s need Thou knowest, and what doth best befit,
Unhindered and unresting, Thou shalt accomplish it.

Let Him dispose and govern, He is a Ruler wise
And will unfold His wisdom to Thy astonished eyes,
When He, in wonderous manner, with foresight and with care,
That work of thine shall finish of which thou didst despair.”
Paul Gerhardt 
I would not love writing if not for my Jesus Who is my Talent, 
and I would not love writing if not for my Jesus Who is my Life….
I could abide myself…
writing on my merry way without Him…
because writing then would be very empty…
a very empty and desolate world indeed.
It is because of Him that I can not but write…
though my flesh indeed is weak; though my eyes indeed are dim.
I cannot see what He has planned for me…
I cannot discern what His will through all this is…
sometimes I just want to give up…because my flesh sees no profit in all this struggle and pain…
I just want to give up.
Be a normal person….
“Then I said, I will not make mention of Him, nor speak any more in His Name. 
But His Word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.”
Jeremiah 20:9
This is why I cannot but write…
I cannot contain all the things He gives me to put down on paper.
I cannot bear holding them all inside….
It has to be written.
“Its tiny, blood-stained limbs flailed and beat the air weakly…its tiny hands were still crumpled into distorted fists and its toes and feet were bent and misshapen from the long months it had spent inside its mother’s womb…tiny strands of jet black hair were pasted wetly onto its tiny head…and its little face was wrinkled in unhappy wailing. Completely lost, I held it close to me…felt its cries against my chest….”
Sullivan ~ An Unlikely Love

Fierce was the wild billow….

Fierce was the wild billow, dark was the night,
Oars labored heavily, foam glimmered white;
Trembled the mariners, Peril was nigh;
Then said the God of God:
“Peace, it is I!” “Peace, it is I!”
Ridge of the mountain-wave, Lower thy crest!
Wail of the western wind, Be thou at rest!
Sorrow can never be, Darkness must fly,
Where saith the Light of Light: 
“Peace, it is I!” “Peace, it is I!”
Jesus, Deliverer, Come Thou to me;
Soothe Thou my voyaging over life’s sea;
Then, when the storm of death roars, sweeping by,
Whisper, Thou Truth of Truth:
“Peace, it is I!” Peace, it is I!”
Anatolius of Consantanople, 7th Century