The People Keep A-Comin’, And the Train’s . . .

The people keep a comin’ and the train done gone. Do you remember an old Christmas spiritual called, Mary Had a Baby? Today, I think on this St. Helena Island Spiritual.

It has deep soul and sweet simplicity: Mary had a baby, yes, Lord,
Mary had a baby, yes my Lord,
Mary had a baby, yes Lord,
People keep a-comin’ an’ the train done gone.

There is natural melody, even if the true melody is unknown. But, I can’t stop thinking about the phrase,  People keep a-comin’ an’ the train done gone.

There was a lot going on then. And there’s a lot going on now.This story isn’t only about the past, this story is about today, this very moment. Mary had a baby, yes, Lord.

So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. And Joseph also went up . . . out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to . . . Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, Luke 2:4.

OK, now it makes sense: The people keep a comin, but what about the thought, the train done gone?

The kids sing it so simply: Mary had a baby. Yes, Lord.  The familiar Bible Story, found in Luke 2 and Matthew 1 tells it plain.

What did she name Him? Yes Lord?
What did she name Him, yes my Lord,
What did she name Him, Yes, Lord, …

A virgin shall be with Child and they shall call His name, Immanuel. Matthew 1:23.
 Immanuel, God with us. Mary had a Baby and He is God with us. 

The people keep-a-coming, and the train done gone. Have we missed something. Have we missed the Everything?

The word of God is living. It’s alive. It rings true yesterday, today, and forever: At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. Luke 2:1.

We’re traveling here and there. Days are busy. We are occupied with important things. We are “counting” on many things.

Does this song bring about an urgency? Is there a “train” we might miss?

Do we really have time to seek out this Jesus?

 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”

‘Mary had a baby, Yes Lord…what did she name Him? Yes,  my Lord… ‘She named Him King Jesus, Yes Lord, …the people keep a coming but the train done gone.”

Have we put Jesus in the barn?

Let us wake up to the sounds of angels. The birth announcement is made: Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid, Luke 2:8.

And the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.” 

 A Savior has been born to me and to you.

A Savior has been born to save all the people of the world of sin. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever would believe in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16.

The Immanuel is here.

That Babe left all His glory of heaven to be born in a barn and wrapped in a few rags for me, for you. Today, the story is true.

‘Mary had a baby, Yes Lord. The glory train is here today. Let us choose to get on, right now, for Love has come.

Mary had a baby, Yes lord!
The people keep-a-coming and the train’s all mine. I see it, and I’ve boarded, will you join me this time?

 

 

Advertisements

Who’s God Anyway? Let’s ask Him and see Who’s I Am

I Am that I Am, the Creator, the Provider, the King of all Kings.

I Am in the heavens, the oceans, the grass, and the air. I AM Spirit. Evidence of Me is seen everywhere.

I Am Father. I Am Son. I Am Holy Spirit, Elohim. I Am one God, but three. I Am great mystery.

Do you doubt? Are you confused? I Am greater than any darkness that might surround you. I Am God Almighty. I Am God Most High. Open My Book, that you might be touched by My Light.

Are you cold? Encompassed by darkness and harsh sounds? Or is it  silence that follows you around? I Am the Light of the world. I warm the heart. My love surrounds.

Believe Me now. Is there still delay? My grace is sufficient to be all you need, to bring a new start. I Am Who I say. I Am faithful.

I Am forever the same.

Are you hungry? I Am the Bread of Life. Come to Me and devour My Word. My Word is True. I promise comfort and deliverance. Ask, seek, and knock. I Am the Door, Come to Me. I will open. I will answer you.

You are more than body. I gave you spirit inside. Call my name, “Jesus.” I Am here. I am Immanuel, “God with us,” the Christ Child. I Am a present help in trouble, I Am by your side.

Faith is believing. Faith breaks through this moment of time. I Am able to turn water . . .

to wine.

I Am spiritual Bread. Spiritual Light. Spiritual day to help you endure your night.

I will sustain you, strengthen you, help you and hold. Believe Me?

This moment. Be Still and Behold.

I Am the good Shepherd. I gave my life for my sheep. I can see you. I hear all of your cries. Let deep cry to deep.

Faith believes I AM the Way. I AM the Truth. Faith is experiencing time and time again, that  I Am life. I Am the Resurrection.

I Am the Alpha, the Omega, the beginning the end. I Am gracious,

compassionate, slow to anger, . . .

I no longer call you servant. I now call you, friend.

This, and so much more than you can comprehend, this is,

Who I Am.

“And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you” (Exodus 3:14).

“I am the bread of life.He who comes to Me shall never hunger” (John 6:35).

“I am the light of the world” (John 8:12).

“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”), (Matthew 1:23).

“I am the door” (John 10:9).

“I am the true vine” (John 15:1). 

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep” (John 10:11).

“I am the resurrection and the life”(John 11:25).

“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you,” (John 15:15).

 

Your Faithfulness Reaches to the Clouds, Ps. 36:5

Your mercy, O LORD is in the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds, Psalm 36:5.

This Word makes me look up. Something happens inside, yet outside nothing changes.

I’m stirred, something’s awakened. My heaviness is pushed off,  my soul is lifted to  new heights.

I can believe again.

I can see something not seen. My heart still beats. My lungs still breathe.

I’m restored enough to dream.

By faith, I’m moved from strife and unrest, to hope, and a peace that goes beyond my comprehensiveness.

Your mercy, O LORD is in the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds, Psalm 36:5 proves to resuscitate my being.

Curious, I seek to find, “What is the rest?” Though the dark clouds remain, I ask God, speak now to my brokenness:

I have a message from God in my heart
    concerning the sinfulness of the wicked:
There is no fear of God
    before their eyes.

 In their own eyes they flatter themselves
    too much to detect or hate their sin.
 The words of their mouths are wicked and deceitful;
    they fail to act wisely or do good.
 Even on their beds they plot evil;
    they commit themselves to a sinful course
    and do not reject what is wrong.

 Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens,
    your faithfulness to the skies.
 Your righteousness is like the highest mountains,
    your justice like the great deep.
    You, Lord, preserve both people and animals.
 How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!
    People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
 They feast on the abundance of your house;
    you give them drink from your river of delights.
 For with you is the fountain of life;
    in your light we see light, Psalm 36:1-9.

His unfailing Word speaks deep and  through time.

Faith pours in me. As water fills an empty vessel. I ask of the Lord, “Increase my faith. Help me feel Your healing touch. O God of the heavens, help me look up at the clouds, and in You, fully trust.”

“This is the way, walk in it.”

Moving furiously to draw me away, from You, O God, I cry.

Distractions and needless attractions and vices move to catch my eye.

And what about Fear, who continuously lurks nearby?  And Doubt, his best friend who endlessly tempts me to trust only in me, myself, and I?

What a whirlwind of destruction and deception and such. In circles, ever appearing—giant waves of human-ness!

But God, He’s the same. There is none like Him.

He’s able.

His mercy has no end. He loves not like men. But I forget . . . unless His Word is on my table!

The stories, the history, God’s provision, the songs. God proclaims salvation from the beginning. His heart . . . so longs:

But Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on the cushion. So they woke Him and said, “Teacher, don’t You care that we are perishing?” Then Jesus got up and rebuked the wind and the sea. “Silence! He commanded. “Be still!” And the wind died down, and it was perfectly calm. “Why are you so afraid?” He asked. “Do you still have no faith?”

Mark 4:37-40, tells a story for me, and you? “Do you still have no faith? . . . Why are you so afraid?” 

“Forgive me O God. May I continually seek Your unfailing aid. Give me an ear to hear Your voice in the morning. May I, in awe and wonder, faith-fully  obey.

And may I remember You and Your powerful Word. May I not forget, time and time again, that You are ever with me, that You are,

my Lord.

 Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. 21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it,” Isaiah 30:20,21.

 

 

A Snapshot of God’s Abounding Love

The King of King has proposed to His Bride. He stopped the world from busy-ness for a short time.

He presented His ring and asked,

“Will you be Mine?”

I had to take a snapshot of this heavenly image so the picture would impress daily the Lord’s point of view.

So, as I wake this Thanksgiving morning, knowing He sees and knows all my flaws, . . .

I rise with my heart taking hold of His hand, and my feet hit the floor as I think, “Lord, I do.”

“Lord, I’m amazed by You. How can You love me just as I am?”

“I AM WHO I AM, Jehovah God is My name. I am love. I love everyone. For all eternity I am the same.

I AM The LORD, merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. 

There is no Love greater. I AM the LORD. Faithful and True is My name.

But to all who receive Me and believe on Me, I give right to welcome into My family.

Will you be Mine? Today, and for all eternity? It doesn’t matter how you feel. My love is above all Love, I will betroth you to Me.”

Hosea 2:20, Exodus 3:14, 1 John 4:7-12, and John 1:12, This is My Word. I love you, still.

With each step you take, on this day forward, will you be . . .”

“Yes Lord, I will!

You wore a crown of thorns so I can someday wear a crown of gold. I worship You with a thankful heart. I am Yours.

Here is my hand, I receive Your Love. I am thankful forever that You promise to keep me and hold, . . .

To keep me and hold. You, my Love have promised to never, ever,

let go.”

(And this is my Thanksgiving prayer, that I show off my “ring” in every remaining song I sing. Who will say, “Amen, and pray to join me?!)

Happy, Happy, Thanksgiving!

Exodus 3:14, God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.”

1John 4:7-12, Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.  Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

John 1:12, But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.

Revelation 19:11-21, Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war.  His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself.  He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God.  And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses.  From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.  On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.

Romans 11:33, Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

 

 

Snapshots of Thankfulness to God through my doubts and confusion

I am thankful. Thankful to God, because He hears our cries for mercy.

But first, I must confess a snapshot of yesterday morning.

One of disappointment, confusion, stress, and unrest. Yes, ultimately, I wasn’t disappointed about circumstances or people, (but, consciously, I might of thought myself to be), but because I truly believe the Lord is in control and that everything that happens is “filtered through the Father’s fingers,” I need to be flat out honest here, in all reality, my anger and disappointment was toward God.

I believe in God. But yesterday morning, every ounce of my being was in warfare. I was fighting a battle in my mind, and my heart, I suppose, as I woke to face a challenging day.

Just do the next thing, words I remembered from Elisabeth Elliot came to mind, so I opened God’s Word,  in Psalm 34 in my rough state of being.

I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
 My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; . . .

I couldn’t find a song. It’s as if it were lost. I felt I was dangling in an ocean’s depths with seaweed around my neck.

In this snapshot of  my moments of confusion and doubt, I felt as if trying to believe His word, but as in a dream, unable to reach the destination. Trying to find some solid foundation,  but the seaweed of confusion had me sunk below the surface.

I sought the LORD, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears, . . .” 

More like, ” I fought the LORD, and doubt had silenced my cry.”

I read on in Psalm 34, but I was unable to grasp anything to bring rest and peace to my heart.

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints!
There is no want to those who fear Him.
 The young lions lack and suffer hunger;
But those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.

Because of circumstance, I was sinking in unbelief. I later sent texts for prayer.

I called a family member who knows me—the good, the bad, and the ugly. Prayers to our God were given.

The next snapshot of the day, is the struggle to breathe in and out through activity and interaction, minute by minute, hour after hour.  And, all the while, fighting inside to find the air of Peace, and Truth, and Comfort, and Joy.

Just do the next thing . . . this thought, my only motivation.

But, in hectic and schedule, I walked through a door. His hand picked me up. His arms took hold of my weak flesh. He turned my lack into abundance.

God did.

The very One whom I was disappointed in before.

God reached out and touched my sinking heart by hands from . . . the Church. 

The Snapshot: People pooled together in energy ignited by the Lord, (because He did hear my cries. God does hear our voice.)  Out of the ocean’s depths of sorrow, I was picked up in an instant.

Immediately, lifted from heaviness to light was I.

So, this morning I write. “Thank you God for Your faithful love and grace. And Thank you Lord for Your hands touching me through the Church. Dear Lord, help us remember and believe past our unbelief:

The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their cry . . .
 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles.

 The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the Lord delivers him out of them all,

I believe You dear Lord, and I thank You for Your Word, and the loving hands of Your  Church.

I sought the Lord, and He heard me,
And delivered me from all my fears.
They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces were not ashamed. 

To Psalm 34, the Lord’s faithfulness, and the Love of the Church, I say this new morning, Amen.”

The Snapshot: Joy.

 

 

 

 

Yes, I make mention of the enemy of mankind. His days are numbered. We must keep that in mind . . .

We believer’s in God are instructed to “pray in Jesus’ name.” And we do to bind the work of the enemy  each and every day.

We pray for God who is greatest to bind this enemy—the deceiver, the lier, the father of lies, the hater, the stealer, the destroyer of mankind.

Lucifer by name, was cast out of heaven. This story is not made up in some fairy-tale book. It’s found in Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Chapter 12 in the Revelation’s Book. Ask, seek, and knock as you search . . .

and look.

He was cast out by God and sent to earth. He is on earth twisting words, bringing pain, destroying. In lives, deceptions . . .

he births.

He wants everyone to believe he doesn’t exist. His name can’t even be mentioned. He’s deceived the world that God is to blame for all of this!

But God so loved the word that He sent down His Son. Jesus told us in this world we would have tribulation. Satan is working to deceive the whole world, . . .

but Jesus came.

The very Word.

To lay down His life.

Whoever believes—receives . . . eternal life. He is Lord.

Heaven is the place we will call home.

We are simply passing through. Created by God in this broken world to do one great thing—and that . . . to proclaim His name.

So, the deceiver, the hater of all of mankind has done his job to make sure the Book is closed. He paints his pictures throughout the earth with pointing fingers, brining guilt, or prideful poses.

But God is not anxious. God does not pace. From the Beginning in Genesis to the End in His Word, God’s Rescue Plan is proclaimed. Yes, Satan will bruise the heal of the Lord, . . .

But God has crushed the serpent’s head, and his numbered days have been told.

Warning, warning! The alarm must no longer be on snooze. ARISE, the Gospel message was sent. We need this Good News.

Everyone on this earth is loved by God. Get your eyes up, and your heart humbled, and soft. Stop pointing fingers. Let your focus be Him.

Read His word. Satan’s days are about to come to an end.

Satan is cast out of heaven. Sent down to earth to deceive. But God is on the throne. His arms are opened wide. He gives wisdom, and healing, and power, to all who receive.

Read God’s Word. It is time to stop weeping. It is time to . . . Believe:

“A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads. Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that it might devour her child the moment he was born. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who “will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.”[a] And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. The woman fled into the wilderness to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.

Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.

10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:

“Now have come the salvation and the power
    and the kingdom of our God,
    and the authority of his Messiah.
For the accuser of our brothers and sisters,
    who accuses them before our God day and night,
    has been hurled down.
11 They triumphed over him
    by the blood of the Lamb
    and by the word of their testimony;
they did not love their lives so much
    as to shrink from death.
12 Therefore rejoice, you heavens
    and you who dwell in them!
But woe to the earth and the sea,
    because the devil has gone down to you!
He is filled with fury,
    because he knows that his time is short.”

13 When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14 The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach. 15 Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. 16 But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17 Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus,” Revelation 12:1-17.

 Where can we find the fall of Satan?

Isaiah 14:12-14. Ezekiel 28:14-18. Luke 10:18. Revelation 12:3-4. Revelation 12:9.

Read. Read God’s Word—that you might have ability to see and understand. Pray without ceasing at this time, in our dark day.

The Light is coming. Our King is on His way.

 

 

 

After great storm, a house on a rock stands firm.

Thanksgiving comes, with gatherings and planning. But for many, it’s a time where memories bring pain. Loss has occurred and the year has brought rain. Rains that came down hard, loss that has brought bleeding-heart pain.

An old story comes to mind about a house built on the rock. Who told the story? Why is it coming to mind?  Because the Holy Spirit lives in me, and He cares, and He’s kind. His job is to point me to Jesus, and . . .

remind.

So I looked it up in Google, for a quick concordance: “the story of the man who built his house on the rock.” And it gave me the Passage in Matthew Chapter 7.

The story is told by Jesus, Himself. From the Book that is worthy to pulled daily from the shelf:

 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 

 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 

 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 

 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew 7:24-27. 

Now that the rains have hit heavily on “this house,” this old story has richness and  great hope in it’s meaning. But then I think, “what are these words of mine, that Jesus taught? So, hunger is there to read the entire Chapter Seven.

Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

 Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Jesus’ words spoken so long ago. How they have meaning and instruction for me, today, as I go. Matthew Chapter 7, is building material for us, that we might make the choice. Will it be sand, or the Rock?

All I know, building on the Rock is a daily choice. Not some little decision I made way back when with my strong, confident voice.

So, I read on, carefully, slow and steady, with a new understanding that the choice to build on the Rock is hard and heavy:

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?  If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

I’m reminded today, of the Golden Rule. I didn’t know that building my house on the Rock includes this!

“Oh God, bless me, that I might hear and not make for myself excuses!”

Jesus speaks on instructing in Chapter Seven, that we might have good understanding of what is a Rock Foundation:

 Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

There is more. A rock foundation is important,  Jesus warns:

Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.  A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.”

We can inspect fruit. Yes, this is not judging, per-se. We may recognize fruit and the lack of it. This is important today.

 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  Many will say to me on that day,‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’  Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

Whoever builds their house on these words will go through rains, and storms and all. But God is a Foundation, steadfast and sure, and He will deliver us through it all. His Word is true. I will pray, and you?

I need You Jesus. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. We trust in your Word. Lord make us ready. Today, tomorrow, every waking day, to not make the choice to build our house on the sand, but to do “hard things,” and hear You, and build our house on the Rock that will stand.”

Amen, and amen.

 

The Ninety and Nine, a hymn for today

There were nine-ty and nine that safe-ly lay In the shelter of the fold, But one was out on the hills a-way, Far off from the gates of gold,

A-way on the mountains wild and bare, A-way from the tender Shepherd’s care,

A-way from the tender Shepherd’s care.

Lord, Thou hast here Thy nine-ty and nine; Are they not enough for Thee? But the Shepherd made an-swer: “This of mine has wan-dered a-way from Me, And al-though the road be rough and steep, I go to  the des-ert to find My sheep,

I go to the des-ert to find My sheep.”

But none of the ran-somed ev-er knew How deep were the wa-ters crossed; Nor how dark was the night That the Lord passed thro’

Ere He found His sheep that was lost. Out in the des-ert he heard its cry Sick and help-less, and read-y to die, 

Sick and help-less, and read-y to die.

Lord, whence are those blood drops all the way, That mark out the moun-tain’s track? They were shed for one who had gone a-stray Ere the Shep-herd could bring Him back. Lord whence are Thy hands so rent and torn? They’re pierced to-night by many a thorn, 

They’re pierced to-night by man-y a thorn.

But all thro’ the mount-tains, thun-der riv’n, And up from the rock-y steep, There a-rose a glad cry to the gate of heav”n;

“Rejoice! I have found my sheep!”

And the an-gels echoed a-round the throne, Rejoice for the Lord brings back His own, 

Rejoice for the Lord brings back His own.

Elizabeth C. Clephane had written a poem that found it’s way in 1874 in a penny newspaper of those days. Ira D. Sankey, a song leader for Evangelist D.L. Moody, cut it out and put it in his music notebook. At a meeting in which Moody gave a sermon on the Good Shepherd,  he asked Sankey, “Do you have an appropriate solo in which to close?”

It is told that Ira Sankey prayed a quick prayer and turned to the poem in his notebook, and, on-the-spot, wrote its melody!

Today, so many years later, melody known or not, the words comfort, touch, and move us to hope deeper and believe greater in our dear Good Shepherd’s love. We must read it aloud and rejoice in our hearts that our Good Shepherd never tires to seek and to save the lost.

The old hymns, they remind us that He loves most. 

And His good Word reminds us that His love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13).

 

 

 

a prayer for the morning

Today, Lord God, give me a teachable heart. Let my mind bend and not be fixed and stubborn.

Give me willingness, that I might listen.

Teach me honor. What it means to honor You, my Father in heaven. What is honor to mother and father and family, or those who most closely watch over me?

Your Book is not all honey, it brings light to my faults. May I make changes toward harmony. Search me and show me where to start.

Take the critical and bitterness out. Season the words from my mouth . . . with salt.

Teach me to put other’s interests and ideas above my own. Minute by minute, I can’t do this alone.

Make me to lie down, and discover Your pastures, they are sufficient for me. To Be still and know “true love.” Give me sight that I might “see”

that perhaps, I need to make things right. To turn around in my ways and consider Your broken heart. Today. Today, let me walk in a new light.

Create in me a clean heart, O God.

Mold me into a vessel for Your glory and not mine. As well watered clay, transform me . . . by Your love.

Help me live this day, as if it were my last day in earthly time . . .

In Jesus name, Amen. Hear my morning prayer, again, and again.