Jan 07

Who wrote the hymn ‘Just As I Am?’

 

I love Worship Music.  So I’ve decided to add a category to my Blog about my favorites.  I love the hymn ‘Just As I Am.’  In 1835, 177 years ago, Charlotte Elliot wrote this beloved altar call hymn. She was preparing her heart for a charity bazaar the next morning, which was to raise money for the education of clergymen’s daughters.  Suddenly she was struck with a deep sense of spiritual worthlessness.  It lasted through the next day.  Searching for relief, she sat down to express herself in verse, a common comfort for her.  In one sitting, she poured out the beautiful hymn from a thankful heart for His salvation, just as she was, with imperfection faith and conflicting thoughts.  Her feelings of worth to Him were restored.  Little did she know, the beautiful hymn would become a lasting legacy which continues to bring people to the spiritual place where they meet and accept God’s grace, just as they are.

 

Just as I am – without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidst me come to Thee,
-O Lamb of God, I come!

Just as I am – and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot,
To Thee, whose blood can cleanse each spot,
-O Lamb of God, I come!

Just as I am – though toss’d about
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fightings and fears within, without,
-O Lamb of God, I come!

Just as I am – poor, wretched, blind;
Sight, riches, healing of the mind,
Yea, all I need, in Thee to find,
-O Lamb of God, I come!

Just as I am – Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe,
-O Lamb of God, I come!

Just as I am – Thy love unknown
Has broken every barrier down;
Now to be Thine, yea, Thine alone,
-O Lamb of God, I come!

Just as I am – of that free love
The breadth, length, depth, and height to prove,
Here for a season, then above,
-O Lamb of God, I come![6

Enhanced by Zemanta

Dec 29

Bread Box for the Broken

ebay.com

In John 6: 35 Jesus says “I am the bread of life.  He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”  The phrase ‘I am the bread of life’ was a puzzling concept in Jesus’ day as it is now.  To understand what the Lord is saying we must read His Word, praying for His Wisdom to reveal the meaning.  It will make sense as He opens our eyes to His truth.  Without bread and water we hunger and thirst.  Likewise, with the spiritual food and drink contained in Biblical passages we avoid spiritual starvation in this difficult and dynamic world.  As we partake of this spiritual bread, we will realize our lives are full of blessings.

The Devotional I have written is divided into four sections: Broken Pieces, Bread of Life, Believe in Blessings, and Bow before Him.  Each one starts out with the Psalms, then the scriptures are in Biblical order, i.e., Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, etc.  ‘Broken Pieces’ begins the prayer journey with scriptures addressing needs such as freedom from fear and perseverance through the trials.  ‘Bread of Life’ shows God’s provision and power to save.  Receive encouragement from ‘Believe in Blessings,’ verses that tell of faith, hope and trust. Then recognize our need to ‘Bow before Him’ when reading about His sovereignty and giving your heart to Him in thanksgiving and obedience.

I plan to periodically share an excerpt from the Devotional while I endeavor to get the book published.  Here is the first one of many!

 

PSALM 3:1-6

O Lord, how many are my foes!  How many rise up against me!  Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.”  but you are a shield around me, O Lord; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.  To the Lord I cry aloud, and he answers me from his holy hill.  I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.  I will not fear the tens of thousands drawn up against me on every side.

Dear Lord,

When reality shatters my beloved dreams, it is my own thoughts, my own agony, my own fear of the unknown that becomes my overwhelming foe.  I constantly fight these negative thoughts, which tell me God will not deliver me.  Hear my loud cry for deliverance I pray, and place Your shield about me.  Grant me peaceful rest in body, mind and spirit so that I may lift my head, continuing my life with courage provided in Your Name.

There Goes the Fear

There Goes the Fear (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Dec 19

Living through the pain

Everyone suffers pain, whether it be physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, professional.  It’s part of life.  The way we react to it is what refines our character.  I sometimes wonder, however, why so much is necessary.  I suffer chronic pain from both migraines and permanent neck injury.  They feed off of each other, one can incite the other to act up.  They try to define me rather than refine my character.  They have changed the direction of my career, they make me miss work, they stop me from doing things I used to be able to do or new things I want to do,  they interrupt my plans, some days it seems there is no end to their interference.  I’ve just gone through another couple of days with a dreadful migraine, a very debilitating one, so I get discouraged.  I try not to talk about the constant pain, because I know people get sick of it.  I’m sick of it!  But if I want to blog what is ‘real,’ then I need to share that trusting and believing in God’s goodness is not easy while suffering.

 

Migraine

Migraine (Photo credit: scott1723)

Romans 8:28 says ‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.’

 

 

This familiar scripture lets me know that though I cannot do things I used to do, or what I planned to do with my life, He still has a purpose for me.  I struggled many years, and still struggle in my darkest discouragement, thinking the chronic pain ruined me for God’s purposes.  But that is not true…it has only changed what I thought my purpose was.  When I am suffering the most, I remind myself to trust that He is working all things in my life for my good, even these debilitating painful days.  I may not understand it today, tomorrow, or ever in my life.  But I choose to believe in His goodness.  He gave me beautiful children and grandchildren whom I am very close with; He provides me with a career, though it took a different direction that I originally planned; through it He provides me a home, clothes, food, a vehicle to drive.  And after each of my worst struggle with the horrendous pain, He helps me get back up and back at it rather than give in to the helplessness and hopelessness the pain induces.  There is wonder and beauty all around us courtesy of His hand, there are blessings in every day if we choose to see them.  Every day, I make the decision to see His blessings despite the pain.

 

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Nov 28

Great assembly

Psalm 40:8-10

I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.  I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly; I do not seal my lips, as you know, O Lord.  I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and salvation.  I do not conceal your love and your truth from the great assembly.

English: Peter the Hermit preaches the Crusade...

English: Peter the Hermit preaches the Crusades to the people Česky: Petr Poustevník agitující (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

It is my desire to do God’s will, for my journey to be directed by Him.  Writing is a way for me to ‘not seal’ my lips  about my faith in HIm.  I want to share His goodness and mercy with the great assembly.  For me, the great assembly will be my book and blog audiences (should I be able to build them!)

 

In today’s world it appears  the best way for me to build an audience is to tap into the social media  explosion.    I have taken classes, gone to conferences, read an abundance of the endless literature available about websites, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google’s new algorithm,  etc., etc.  I almost know less now than I did when I started!  I have been dipping my toe in the waters since I set up this blog in March, my first post was not until August, and here I am at the end of November averaging just one blog post per month.

 

Contemplating my progress from March to November, I consider my efforts  have been more in the ‘observing’ rather than in the ‘doing’ realm.  I realize I need to set aside my perfectionistic  tendencies, which are causing my hesitation to just consistently ‘blog’ something for my potential audience without editing it senseless, and trust that the Lord will give me meaningful encouraging words and thoughts  to share in this format.  Meanwhile, I will also continue working on the Devotional’s publication, along with nurturing other writing projects that have swirled in my imagination for too many years; now is the time to get them on paper… or into cyberspace.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Nov 08

My purpose

Psalm 119:10-18

I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.  I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.  Praise be to you, O Lord; teach me your decrees.  With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth.  I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches.  I meditate on your precepts  and consider your ways.  I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your work. Do good to your servant, and I will live; I will obey your word.  Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law. 

 

I believe the Lord has a purpose for each one of us. While striving to discover and fulfill the purpose, we face trials and triumphs, some we understand why and some we do not. The Word of God gives me strength to continue the race when I feel broken by life. It calms my fears, provides refuge to renew my perseverance, shows me the way to salvation and how the Lord provides for me, and I am so thankful. He gives me hope as I place my faith in Him; He teaches me He is Sovereign in His ways and has Everlasting Power in which I can safely place my trust. My desire is to serve Him and live in the healing peace only He can give.  The journey of writing the Devotional proved over and over the Power of His Holy Word.  This BLOG is a continuation of my journey writing for His purpose, and for adventuring out to encourage others  to tap into His Power for their own lives.

Christ teaching in the Temple

Christ teaching in the Temple (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Enhanced by Zemanta

Aug 18

Gifts

I Timothy 4:14-15

‘Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you.  Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them so that everyone may see your progress.  Watch your life and doctrine closely.  Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.’

I have written a 365-Daily Devotional entitled Bread Box for the Broken.  It was inspired over 20 years ago by a gift from my Grandmother. One Thanksgiving she gave all of us a small recipe box with the letters “Blessing Box” glued to the outside lid, Psalm 68:19

Come to Me

Come to Me (Photo credit: Helgi Halldórsson/Freddi)

glued inside the lid, and a supply of 3 x 5 cards to WRITE DOWN YOUR BLESSINGS! (Her emphasis). Thus began the long journey of writing down 365 prayers for 365 Scriptures that spoke to me through the years. Now complete, these scriptural prayers are intended to illustrate how Biblical truths are timeless, applicable to you and I today.

With her gift, she inspired me to write; with His presence, the Lord inspired my humble prayers of devotion; with His Holy Spirit he has impressed upon me to share these gifts of prayer with others.  I will diligently continue writing as He gives me inspiration, and pray it accomplishes His purpose in the readers.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Aug 18

Building the Temple

Hand Study with Bible

 

As I stated in the Beginning, I am stepping out in faith that the Lord will use the literary works He has laid on my heart for His purposes.  I meet God through prayer and Bible Study;  an important question I ask myself as I study His Word is how does this ancient text apply to my life today?

 

I have found the Bible to be immeasurably critical to my survival through the ups and downs of life.  And I admit to feeling more downs that ups…until I open the Scriptures and find it applies to my daily life, that its truths are timeless.  They fill me with hope and thankfulness and perseverance to get back up and continue my mission in life.  My mission to love Him with all my heart, all my soul and all of my mind, and to obey His Word so that others will be drawn to Him.   How can I be successful, though, when I become discouraged and trip over the stumbling blocks put in my way by life situations?  I open the Word:

 

 

 

I Chronicles 28:20

 

David also said to his son Solomon, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work.  Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you.  He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished.”

 

 

 

Since Christ came, there is no longer a temple we have to go to meet Him; He dwells in the temple of our hearts.  With His help I can be strong and courageous, doing the work He has assigned me; simple tasks such as breathing, complex tasks such as raising a family as a single mother while building a successful career as the sole provider.  He and I are not finished working on this temple until the day He calls me to my eternal home.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Aug 18

The Beginning

Deer drinking water

Deer drinking water (Photo credit: Yuxuan.fishy.Wang)

 

Psalm 42:1-2 says ‘As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?’

I have been a Christian from early childhood, and my faith has grown through both struggles and blessings through many years.  I have tried to follow His leading for as long as I can remember; yet there is a prompting from Him I have kept on the back burner because life happens.

I firmly believe God has given me the thirst in my soul to write for Him, a desire I have had all my life.  My love for writing began at an early age with Diaries and Journals, High School Honors English, a correspondence course on writing for children, and earning a minor in English with my BBA in Accounting.   Even throughout my professional career I have included my writing skills wherever I could such as with training documentation.

Yet there remains a thirst within me to do more, to use this love of writing for His glory rather than just personal consumption.  For many years I have been working on a 365-Day Devotional, I have kept a hard cover Journal with collections of other thoughts and themes to write about in the future.  Except that future never comes because life keeps happening and keeping me too busy to act.   Recently I have felt His prompting more than ever that today is the day to get serious about sharing the words that have been swirling in the back of my mind for too many years, unused.

But where do I start, how do I get the Word out there?  I have joined Writer’s Groups and read about how to get published.  It turns out I need to step out into this unknown universe of social networking.  I have no idea what I am doing with this blogging, tweeting and linking; I must learn, however, as I must have a platform upon which to perch as I seek an outlet for what the Lord wants me to do. Its not up to me to have someone to hear me through these efforts, it is my duty to follow His prompting, then He will bring the harvest.  So I am stepping out in faith that He will use the literary worksHe has laid on my heart for His purposes.   Now, the adventure begins…

Enhanced by Zemanta

Bible

Bible (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)