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This is My Father’s House

You will not be afraid of the terror by night, or of the arrow that flies by day; of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.    Psalm 91:5, 6

I scoured the list of verses on fear today, for a very needful, personal touch.  Because, in all actuality, I write for me.  And if anyone else benefits by it, then God truly receives the glory, and the fruit is His.

My fear-battle this week:  What began in our little house as a roof repair, is quickly morphing into a “project.”  A project with lots of hidden, unforeseen costs and damages lying, literally, within the walls of our house.   Talk about “destruction that lays waste at noon!”  And the further we get into it, the more we find!  So, as I stared blankly at my Bible and my computer, the Lord spoke through my husband.   He said, ‘I’ve had this song on my heart all morning, and I think the Lord wants to remind us of something.’  The song:

This is My Father’s World

He elaborated.  This world is His, we are merely pilgrims.  Therefore, this humble house that we call home is His, not ours.  Even with all its damage and flaws.  And more importantly, we are His, with all our imperfections, weaknesses, and hidden flaws.   Everything is His. 

So, now I’m encouraged! I want to write so much about this.  About the Lord building the house.   About Nehemiah and the Lord’s faithfulness and protection as the walls of Jerusalem were restored.  About Him working in our spiritual “houses” both to will and do of His good pleasure.  And about our life, a building, a work in progress by the Lord.  But as this Fearless Friday comes to a close, I’m just going to share the words of the song that the Lord gave my husband–to encourage myself, and perhaps, you.

This is My Father’s World

This is my Father’s world,
and to my listening ears
all nature sings, and round me rings
the music of the spheres. 
This is my Father’s world: 
I rest me in the thought
of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;
his hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father’s world,
the birds their carols raise,
the morning light, the lily white,
declare their maker’s praise. 
This is my Father’s world: 
he shines in all that’s fair;
in the rustling grass I hear him pass;
he speaks to me everywhere.

This is my Father’s world. 
O let me ne’er forget
that though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the ruler yet. 
This is my Father’s world: 
why should my heart be sad? 
The Lord is King; let the heavens ring! 
God reigns; let the earth be glad!

 

Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him. I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.  He will call upon Me, and I will answer him.  I will be with him in trouble;  I will rescue him and honor him. With a long life I will satisfy him, and let him see My salvation.    Psalm 91: 14-16

~~~

Dear Lord, We surrender our ‘houses’ to you–our bodies, our dwellings, and, most importantly, our very lives.  Take our burdens and fears.  You can handle it.  You own the cattle.  You hold all things together.  This is your world.  It’s not perfect.  But You are.  And let us look with great hope to the day when we will dwell with You forever, in the perfect house You’ve prepared just for us.   Because of Jesus, Amen! 

~~~

A beautiful rendition of this song by 2nd Chapter of Acts, from their Hymns II CD, is uploaded in the Music Box!  Enjoy!

 

 

Approach My Soul, the Mercy Seat

I blog hop.  Yeah, it can be a real time waster.  But if I submit my web journey to the Lord, and let Him take the mouse :-), there are little treasures, and pearls of grace and mercy, just waiting to be discovered.

Yesterday, I hopped from Miscellanies, to The Gospel Coalition, to Sojourn Music, where this gem of a song was available as a free MP3 download:  “Approach My Soul, the Mercy Seat.”  The hymn was originally written by John Newton, but updated a bit by singer/writer Jamie Barnes.  It’s quickly become a favourite of mine! You can listen from the Music Box, or go HERE for the free download. 

Approach My Soul, the Mercy Seat

Approach my soul, the mercy seat
Where Holy One and helpless meet
There fall before my Judges’ feet
Thy promise is my only plea, O God

Send wings to lift the clutch of sin
You who dwell between the cherubim
From war without and fear within
Relieve the grief from the shoulders of crumbling men

O God—Pour out your mercy to me
My God, Oh what striking love to bleed.

Fashion my heart in your alchemy
With the brass to front the devil’s perjury
And surefire grace my Jesus speaks
I must. I will. I do believe. O Lord.

O God—Pour out your mercy to me
My God, Oh what striking love to bleed. 

I must.  I will.  I do believe.    Thy promise is my only plea!!

God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen!!

 

I’ve chosen God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen for my Christmas Song and Gift to you!!  Listen to a great version by Mercy Me in the Music Box!

The words of this song are a bit lost in translation for the 21st century.  “Rest” and “Merry” just don’t mean the same thing as they did in the 15th century when it was written.  So, this is not a song about some Merry Gentlemen being commanded to get some rest  🙂 

The phrase, rest you merry loosely means “May God Keep You Merry!”  Additionally, rest, is derived from the Latin meaning, to stand firm, and merry often meant ‘mighty’ (like Robin Hood’s “merry” men). So the song is actually exhorting people to know and proclaim God’s ability to help us Stand Firm and be Mighty for the Lord!   As it says in Romans 16:25:

Now all glory to God, who is able to make you strong, just as my Good News says. This message about Jesus Christ has revealed his plan for you, a plan kept secret from the beginning of time.  (TLB)

 
May you be merry, mighty, assured, and standing firm, knowing that Jesus was born to be your Saviour!   

  

God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen 

God rest ye merry, gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember, Christ, our Saviour
Was born on Christmas day
To save us all from Satan’s power
When we were gone astray
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

 In Bethlehem, in Israel,
This blessed Babe was born
And laid within a manger
Upon this blessed morn
The which His Mother Mary
Did nothing take in scorn
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

From God our Heavenly Father
A blessed Angel came;
And unto certain Shepherds
Brought tidings of the same:
How that in Bethlehem was born
The Son of God by Name.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

“Fear not then,” said the Angel,
“Let nothing you affright,
This day is born a Saviour
Of a pure Virgin bright,
To free all those who trust in Him
From Satan’s power and might.”
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

The shepherds at those tidings
Rejoiced much in mind,
And left their flocks a-feeding
In tempest, storm and wind:
And went to Bethlehem straightway
The Son of God to find.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

And when they came to Bethlehem
Where our dear Saviour lay,
They found Him in a manger,
Where oxen feed on hay;
His Mother Mary kneeling down,
Unto the Lord did pray.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

Now to the Lord sing praises,
All you within this place,
And with true love and brotherhood
Each other now embrace;
This holy tide of Christmas
All other doth deface.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy!

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!!

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing!

Once upon a time, two missionary brothers, John and Charles Wesley, were introduced to worship by a few German Moravian Christians while crossing the Atlantic Ocean.  The Wesley brothers were impressed with the hymn singing of the Moravians, even while sailing through fierce Atlantic storms.  They realized that hymn singing could be an uplifting, spiritual experience.

Fast forward a few years…Charles Wesley’s hymns was first published in 1739, and brother John followed suit with his own hymnal, which he prefaced with this directive:

Sing lustily and with good courage. Beware of singing as if you were half dead, or half asleep; but lift up your voice with strength. Be no more afraid of your voice now, nor more ashamed of its being heard, then when you sung the songs of Satan.

 Above all sing spiritually. Have an eye to God in every word you sing. Aim at pleasing him more than yourself, or any other creature. [1]

Today’s Christmas carol shares the gospel of grace and calls for hearty singing with good courage!  Let us focus today on Jesus, the newborn King, Prince of Peace, our everlasting Lord, and Son of Righteousness, bringing Light, Life, and healing to us all!! And we will live happily ever after!

 

Hark!  The Herald Angels Sing!
          
 by Charles Wesley

 Hark the herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled
Joyful, all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With the angelic host proclaim:
“Christ is born in Bethlehem”
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”
 
 Christ by highest heav’n adored
Christ the everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold Him come
Offspring of a Virgin’s womb
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see
Hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with man to dwell
Jesus, our Emmanuel
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”
 
 
Hail the heav’n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris’n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
 

 

I uploaded two versions of this song in the music box.  Chris Tomlin’s rendition is from his Christmas CD,  Glory in the Highest.  And I had to include a personal favourite, sung by Johnny Cash.

[1]  from John Wesley’s Select Hymns, 1761

Christmas Carols Grace Notes – 3

Today’s Christmas hymn is little known and rarely never sung.  It was written by John Newton, who also penned “Amazing Grace” and countless other beauties.  In this mediation/song, Newton expresses his wonder and sadness at the human apathy towards the Lord’s incarnation.  He rightly claims that our praises should outshine the angels, for Christ came in OUR image, and for OUR redemption!

 

Flesh of our Flesh   

Jesus, who passed the angles by,
Assumed our flesh, to bleed and die;
And still He makes it His abode;
As a man, He fills the throne of God.

Our next of kin, our Brother now,
Is He to whom the angels bow;
They join with us to praise His Name,
But we the nearest interest claim.

But ah! how faint our praises rise!
Sure ’tis the wonder of the skies,
That we, who share His richest love,
So cold and unconcerned should prove.

Oh glorious hour! it comes with speed
When we from sin and darkness freed,
Shall see the God who died for man,
And praise Him more than angels can.      [1]

 

[1]  C.H. Spurgeon, compiler, Our Own Hymn Book, Reprint and 2nd Ed, Pilgrim Publications, Texas, 2002.  Page 66.

Christmas Carols–Grace Notes

“Long lay the world in sin and error pining,’til He appear’d and the soul felt its worth.”  O Holy Night

To me, Christmas Carols are the best part of the Christmas season.  I talked about it last year, HERE.  Many of the older Christmas songs are simply, yet profoundly, the truth of God’s Word set to music.  They serve as ‘notes’ or reminders, of God’s grace and goodwill toward all mankind, clothed in gentle and lovely music, to share the truth of Jesus Christ in times and places where preaching would never be received. 

So, until the New Year, I will post Christmas carols, some known, some not, to keep us me focused on the One whom angels sing, wise men seek, and shepherds kneel to worship.   One that brings me to my knees almost immediately is “O Holy Night,” written in 1847 by Placide Cappeau, a poet/wine merchant of Roquemaure, France.    [Learn some interesting historical background about this hymn HERE.]

O HOLY NIGHT!

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear Saviour’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Til He appear’d and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! O hear the angels’ voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born;
O night divine, O night, O night Divine.
Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here come the wise men from Orient land.
The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friend.
He knows our need, to our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King, Before Him lowly bend!
Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;
And in His name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever,
His power and glory evermore proclaim.
His power and glory evermore proclaim.

 

 

Sing, worship, listen, and let the Lord minister His compassionate grace to you today.  And you may enjoy Third Day’s contemporary version from their Christmas Offerings CD, just uploaded in the Music Box to the right. [Fyi, if you dig a little deeper into the Box, you’ll find another version by Mercy Me uploaded last year.]

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:14

Hymns 4 MMX

Do you like hymns? You know I do!  The group Page CXVI has just released their third CD of updated hymns.  They are experts at maintaining what I like best about hymns–the lyrics and the music!  After some disappointments from other artists who twist a hymn around so much that I barely recognize it, I offer KUDOS to Page CXVI for individualizing these timeless tunes, without ruining them!  Thank you!! 

Check out their website HERE. 

You can listen to entire songs, and often get a free download HERE before deciding whether to purchase a CD.  Their music is available through download and regular CD purchase.  I’m fairly sure that my (humble in number and gracious) readers will love this group, and be lifted to worship through their talents!