Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Little Hymnody

One of K.'s friends, spoke on Hymnody at Oral Defense - what a great word, that urged me to take another look at a recent find. I found a "new" old hymnal last week, and I was amazed that I have never read or heard many of the beautiful hymns included under General hymns. The poetry of these old songs are not only soul-filling but mind-anchoring as well. One more interesting facts is that the songs are not titled.  The musical score is followed by the hymn with the author and date in small lettering at the end.  


Psalm 72 (paraphrased)
Words: James Montgomery, 1822.

1 Hail to the Lord's Anointed;
Great David's greater son!
Hail, in the time appointed,
His reign on earth begun!
He comes to break oppression,
To set the captive free,
To take away transgression,
And rule in equity.

2 He comes, with succour speedy,
To those who suffer wrong;
To help the poor and needy,
And bid the weak be strong:
To give them songs for sighing,
Their darkness turn to light,
Whose souls, condemned and dying,
Were precious in his sight.

3 He shall come down like showers
Upon the fruitful earth:
Love joy and hope like flowers,
Spring in his path to birth:
Before him, on the mountains,
Shall peace the herald go;
And righteousness in fountains,
From hill to valley flow.

4 Arabia's desert ranger
To him shall bow the knee;
The Ethiopian stranger
His glory come to see;
With offerings of devotion
Ships from the isles shall meet,
To pour the wealth of ocean
In tribute at his feet.

5 Kings shall fall down before him,
And gold and incense bring;
All nations shall adore him,
His praise all people sing;
For him shall prayer unceasing
And daily vows ascend;
His kingdom still increasing,
A kingdom without end.

6 O'er every foe victorious,
He on his throne shall rest;
From age to age more glorious,
All-blessing and all-blest.
The tide of time shall never
His covenant remove;
His name shall stand for ever,
His changeless name of Love.

This is lovely and lively sung or (listened to - for those of us who are a little voice challenged) to Ellacome.

 A good place to start.- to find tunes, psalters and hymns.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Battle won!

Praise be to Him!
An epic task is completed!

Non nobis Domine!—
Not unto us, O Lord!
The Praise or Glory be
Of any deed or word;
For in Thy Judgment lies
To crown or bring to nought
All knowledge or device
That Man has reached or wrought.
And we confess our blame—
How all too high we hold
That noise which men call Fame,
That dross which men call Gold.
For these we undergo
Our hot and godless days,
But in our hearts we know
Not unto us the Praise.

O Power by Whom we live—
Creator, Judge, and Friend,
Upholdingly forgive
Nor fail us at the end:
But grant us well to see
In all our piteous ways—
Non nobis Domine!—
Not unto us the Praise!
-Rudyard Kipling
K- I like this clip and this poem;  they are appropriate as a reflection on the finished task of your oral defense on this 27th day of April 2011. This day has been days, months and really, years in the making.  Proud of you! Praise His Name.
Non nobis Domine, sed domine tuo de glorium. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Moment on moment

It seems as though
    there is never enough time
         to do all the things
              we have to do.
Or is there?
When I got to work today,
      I realized
           that my shoes weren't shined.
I bent over to shine them at home this morning,
      but I heard my little son crying
          before I got the lid off the polish.
So I went to him
     and picked him up
           and dried his teears
                  and gave him love.
Then I didn't have time
       to go back and shine my shoes.
I had to leave.
That's okay.
Some day my shoes will be in a scrap heap
      and no one will care
            whether they were ever shined.
But the love I gave my son this morning
    will live on in him
         and those he passes it on to.
No, I'm not embarassed
       that my shoes weren't shined.
They're a sign that I'm learning
        to keep first things first.
The illusion
       that there will be sometime in the future
             when all things will come together for us
                    interferes with our fully living today.
If we aren't living fully now,
       we never will.
The only time ever have
         is the present.

-The intro in John Giles  Keeping First Things First

I picked up this book a few weeks ago, and read through several of the prose and knew it would not be one I sold.  At first I thought it was related to First Things First by Covey- but I don't think it is.  The prose are beautiful and the stories thoughtful.
The lines...
But the love I gave my son this morning
         will live on in him
               and those he passes it on to.
If we aren't living now
      we never will.

Are particularly poignant because all of life is a string of moments - what we live, we become, our children become, what is poured into them and what they live. 

My daughter is preparing for her oral defense of her Senior discertation and she sent us a little invite.  It was sweet and thanked us for our part in her education.  It made me smile and I said, were you required to write that, she response, "Yes, but it's true."  I reflect. Almost 17 years of moments are heaped up, educating her toward towards someone, towards God.  Our attempts and moments were obviously feebly done and imperfectly executed but always and ever under the grace of a loving Lord.  Life doesn't wait for perfect, it happens, as God calls you to Himself -you head, broken and fallen, towards Christ and the journey  is a wonderful, tragic, beautiful, mirery tangle of moments .

What can I give You, Lord?
The very energy I use,
      the very thought processes I use
          to ask that questions
              are a gift from You.
Should I give You all that I am
      I would merely be returning
            what You gave me.
- Giles p.39

For in Him, we live and move and have our being. - Paul quoting Aratus, Greek poet

Monday, April 25, 2011

Like Men on Fire

The resurrection is the reminder that God comes to us in grace. All of time points at the cross and resurrection. "When the disciples grasped the resurrection they were like men on fire, they couldn't stop talking about this new life.  They were connected to the past, they were looking at the present and they had hope for the future."
I woke up and thought, "HE is risen." I call it out to my husband and of course, he responded in turn, "He is risen indeed."  I then felt a little sad that we didn't say that every day - and I remembered reading somewhere that the early Christians greeted eachother with "Rejoice".  Rejoice, that our sins are forgiven, and He has reclaimed us from the dead.
Could not the list to Rejoice, because we have life in his name, go on forever?
That's a list recounting worthy.

Thomas answered him "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me?Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book;  but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. - John 20

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Frazzle Fixed

All the shopping was  finished for this week's Easter tide celebrations yet my mind was headed toward frazzled as I returned home last evening.  As plans swirled around in my head, I  realized I was tired and discombobulated.

Now, there's an oxymoron. Frazzled while celebrating the week of HIS encompassing Grace.

So - I made a command decision to raid E.'s  Easter basket which contained Les Miserables w/ Liam Neeson  - and we three, cozied up and sat entranced.

This plot is so beautiful and screams the themes of sin, bondage, the law, redemption and freedom. We chatted movie thoughts here and there throughout and the discussion  made the digestion of the movie so much better.  So there it was - my frazzle fixed. Choosing to rest and relax in the midst of my work tornado is a struggle for me. While perusing a new poetry book today I found this poem, Two Roads. I thought as I finished it- He not only saved me from death unto life but in the little things as well.  Practicing obedience in "being still and knowing He is God" is practicing, whether it is in the big, or the small, of life.

Two Roads
Two roads lie just before you,
You are at the fork today,
One a downward path to darkness,
One an upward shining way.

Perhaps you've scarcely noticed
The distinction 'twixt the two;
At the start they seem so level
You may be deceived, it's true.

But the further you may travel
After your decision's made,
The greater the distinction,
And the steeper is the grade.

And yet, tho' long you've journeyed
On the low road or the high.
You can still change your direction
If you have the mind to try.

If for years your feet have faltered
A-down the darkening hill,
The change may seem much harder
But you'll make it, if you will.

Or perhaps you may have journeyed
On the upward path of light,
Yet the road is lined with byways,
You may yet go down to night.

Say to yourself each morning,
When preparing for the day,
"I am now, as I am always,
At the fork of life's great way."
-Stillman J. Elwell Windows of Thought

 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. - Paul to the Philippians

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Home is Where There is One to Love Us

Home's not merely four square walls,
Though with pictures hung and guilded;
Home is where affection calls-
Filled with shrines the Hearth has builded!
Home! Go watch the faithful dove,
Sailing 'neath the heaven above us.
Home is where there's one to love!
Home is where there's one to love us.

Home's not merely roof and room,
It needs something to endear it;
Home is where the heart can bloom,
Where there's some kind lip to cheer it.
What is home with none to meet,
None to welcome, none to greet us?
Home is sweet, and only sweet,
Where there's one we love to meet us.
                               -Charles Swain
as published in The Family Book of Best Loved Poems, 1952

I was reading through some encouragements of a wife's calling last night and this poem kept coming back to me.
It is so very true, that home is sweet when there is one to meet us and love us in an intentional way. What a wonderful gift. What a blessed opportunity.

How do the hearts bloom at your home, is it through cupcakes and reading, movie nights or front porch sittin', downy-ed socks or chili sized burgers, how 'bout garden walks or freshly cleaned carpets?

Luke tells us in the Acts of the Apostles: "... He knows the place of our habitation".

This habitation, is a unique place for each to fill, for these good works we were created to do in Christ Jesus which God prepared in advance.

He is sovereign in and through the glorious mess of it all.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Memory Stones are Fun!

This is a post to first give thanks to God for his guidance, blessing and extravagent abudance. It is also a  memory stone. In September, we had prayed and started our serious college search for K. We decided on a college today, she was offered a full scholarship to her first choice. We are all, every one, ever so thankful, gitty with excitement; overwhelmed by joy, and breathing easier knowing the decision is just as it should be.  It is so much fun to recount all the steps (at least the ones we have seen) that brought us here.

Be still and know the I am GOD.
Sweet to trust in those words, sweeter still to reflect on them.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Warmer Weather Wonders

The world will never starve for want of wonders; but only for want of wonder.
- G.K. Chesterton, Tremendous Trifles
  • Bunches of daffodils lining cottaged-housed streets

  • Soldier straight hosta shoots in perfect circles

  • Asian lilies' frazzled hair stocks in unexpected places

  • Blankets and shades of purple on crawling creeping jenny