Sunday, February 28, 2016

Take Time to Be Holy

Take Time to Be Holy
 By: William D. Longstaff

Take time to be holy. Speak oft with thy Lord; Abide in Him always, and feed on His word. Make friends with God's children; Help those who are weak, forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek. 

 Take time to be holy. The world rushes on; Spend much time in secret with Jesus alone. By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be; Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.

Take time to be holy. Let Him be thy guide; And run not before Him, whatever betide. In joy or in sorrow, still follow thy Lord, and looking to Jesus, still trust in His word.

Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul; Each tho't and each motive beneath His control; Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love, thou soon shalt be fitted for service above. 

William Longstaff was born on November 26, 1822 in Sunderland Durham, England. Williams' father was a very wealthy ship owner in England. William inherited his father's fortune, and though he had access to everything money could buy, he had an empty feeling in his heart. One day, he attended church and the sermon was preached by a missionary from China who was on furlough. The missionary preached from 1 Peter 1:16 - Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. After meditating on this verse, William accepted Christ as his Savior and dedicated himself to doing the will of God. He attended church services every Sunday, and when revivals were held in his hometown, he attended those as well. He couldn't get enough of the truth of the gospel, and was dedicated to the service of  winning the lost to Christ. William never let wealth distract him from a life devoted to Christ and His work. William had a chance to meet William Booth, and they became good friends. William Longstaff wrote several poems and hymns to be printed in periodical of the Salvation Army's War Cry. William Longstaff's wealth was used by God as William donated money to support the Salvation Army's causes and also the Rev. Dwight L. Moddy's crusades across England. 
The inspiration for the hymn "Take Time to Be Holy" was the sermon William heard preached by the missionary from China at his home church before he got saved. The music for this hymn was written by George Stebbins, who was born on February 26, 1846 in East Carlton, New York.  

Romans 12:1
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.


I hope you enjoyed reading about this wonderful hymn, and hope you all have a most joyful week in the Lord!
In His grace, mercy, and truth,


Sunday, February 21, 2016

Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus

Turn Your Eye upon Jesus

O soul, are you weary and troubled? No light in the darkness you see? There's light for a look at the Savior, and life more abundant and free! 
Thro' death into life everlasting he passed, and we follow him there; Over us sin no more hath dominion-For more than conq'rors we are! 
His word shall not fail you-he promised; Believe him, and all will be well: Then go to a world that is dying, his perfect salvation to tell!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace. 

When Helen Lemmel was only 12 years old, her family moved to America from England. Her father, who was a Wesleyan Methodist pastor, determined to strike out in a new area of ministry. After a brief time in Mississippi, the family moved to Wisconsin, where they settled. At her young age, Helen showed remarkable musical gifts and her parents saw to it that she received voice lessons from the finest teachers. After finishing school, Helen traveled to Germany for further vocal training and studied there for four years. Helen launched a ministry of her own when she returned to Wisconsin. She gave concerts in auditoriums and churches across the Midwest; She also was a member of a women's quartet that traveled on the Chautauqua Circuit, bringing concerts to small rural towns and villages that would otherwise have no opportunities to hear quality performers.  

Although talented enough to succeed as a professional singer, Helen Lemmel sought fulfillment using her musical gifts as a form of ministry for God. She joined the faculty of Moody Bible Institute where she taught vocal music. In 1918, when she was 54 years old, Helen Lemmel wrote the beautiful hymn "Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus." She had been visiting with a missionary friend who had shared a gospel tract by Lillias Trotter, titled "Focused." The pamphlet included the statement: "So then, turn your eyes upon Him, and look full into His face and you will find that the things of earth will acquire a strange new dimness." Those words seemed to repeat themselves over and over in Helen's mind during the following week. In her memoirs she wrote the following: 

"Suddenly, as if I commanded to stop and listen, I stood still, and singing in my soul and spirit was the chorus, with not one conscious moment of putting word to make rhyme, or note to note to make melody. The verses were written the same week, after the usual manner of composition, but nonetheless dictated by the Holy Spirit."

The song was published in 1922 by the British National Sunday School Union in a book called Glad Songs, which contained 66 other songs by Helen. Two years later, the hymn was first published in the United States. Although she is perhaps best known for having written this favorite hymn, it was only one of the 500 hymns to come from her pen. Mrs. Lemmel is well-known in musical circles for her contributions in the field of children's music. She was a gifted writer and composed and published several works of poetry, and authored a popular book for children entitled Story of the Bible.  It seemed that she made the words of her hymn her personal creed as she continually turned her eyes toward Jesus, serving him faithfully until her death, November 1, 1961, at the age of ninety-six.  

Hope you all have a good and godly week. 
Sincerely yours in the Lord,
Acts 17:27-29  
  That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:
 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Family Valentine's Day Party

Hello friends!
For Valentine's day, our family had a formal party. I wanted to share a few pictures from the special evening with you. 
The Decorations   

The Food
 Beef Strip Steaks
Broccoli Soup
Chocolate Lasagna
Cherry Cream Cheesecake 

We also had potatoes and salad with the candlelight dinner meal. Actually, one light was on so it wasn't completely a candlelit dinner.   (I know the menu has rolls on it, but we didn't have them.) For dessert, Sarah made chocolate lasagna, (it's one of the best bad you all couldn't have tried it ;)  )  and mommy made Cherry Cream Cheesecake, because it's my daddy's favorite. (It's another one of the best desserts.  :) Oh, and since the fair is going on right now, we also had Apple Pie as a side choice of dessert. I entered the apple pie in the fair. We may or may not have indulged ourselves with too many sweets that evening.   ;) But it's was a special occasion. Very special.  :D

Did you have a special Valentine's day? Leave a comment below. I would love to hear what you and your family did! :D 

Your friend and sister in the Lord,
1 John 4:9-11
In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we 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 ought also to love one another.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

A Trip to the Everglades

A happy Tuesday to you, friends!
Last week, on Feb. 10th, we took a field trip to the Everglades. What an amazing time we had! After waiting for about an hour for everyone to arrive, we finally got in line and were able to step into the air boat fairly quickly after that.  Here's a video I took while we were speeding along on the water. 

This is the air boat we rode on.
If you look real closely, you can see an alligator resting on the left side of the bank.
 Here he is. He's appropriately named Scar because one of his front legs is missing.

 These birds are called Purple Gallinules. Our air boat driver called and coaxed him to come over to the boat. He even held one of these birds on his arm. 
These beautiful yellow flowers were easy to pull out of the water. The drive showed us how to make a necklace out of them.  We learned that one of the biggest problems in the Everglades are the pythons. A 6 ft. python can kill a 10 ft. gator. But the gators can be just as dangerous. We heard this true story from someone else who rode in a different air boat. 
There was a man (the grinch who stole Christmas presents lol) who used to steal presents from houses at Christmastime. One night he stole presents and was being chased by the police. He  escaped from them, but ended up running onto the Everglades property and was eaten by a huge mother alligator. The gator was killed after that.

 After the air boat ride, we listened to a presentation about the alligators by a lady who had worked with reptiles about 13 years.

 After the presentation, we had a picnic lunch.  There was a herd of about 6-8 Peacocks under the ramp, and a few of them wandered up the ramp. It was quite interesting to watch the wild Peacocks roam around the picnic tables. One of the Peacocks pecked sunflower seeds out of Deborah's hand.
After a long drive (and being stuck in traffic) we made it home. Mommy made Taco Soup and Sarah made egg rolls. A friend and her daughter, who had gone on the field trip with us, came over for supper and we had a delightful time with them. We set up our tent and the daughter camped out with us. In the early morning, the temperature was 40 something degrees. Last time we camped out it was on one of the coldest days as well.  :) 

So there you have it. Hope you enjoyed hearing about our interesting and informative field trip. Until next time...
Walk with the King!
A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Jesus Paid It All

Jesus Paid It All
By: Elvina Mabel Hall

I hear the Savior say "Thy strength indeed is small, child of weakness, watch and pray, find in me thine all in all."
Jesus paid it all, all to him I owe; sin had left a crimson stain, he wash'd it white as snow.
Lord, now indeed I find thy pow'r, and thine alone, can change the leper's spots and melt the heart of stone. 
Jesus paid it all, all to him I owe; sin had left a crimson stain, he wash'd it white as snow. 
For nothing good have I whereby thy grace to claim; I'll wash my garments white in the blood of Calvary's Lamb.
Jesus paid it all, all to him I owe; sin had left a crimson stain, he wash'd it white as snow.  
And when, before the throne, I stand in him complete, "Jesus died my soul to save," my lips shall still repeat.
Jesus paid it all, all to him I owe; sin had left a crimson stain, he wash'd it white as snow. 
This hymn was the result of some very interesting coincidences that took place in the Monument St. Methodist Church of Baltimore, Maryland, in the spring of 1865. The church's cabinet organ had been moved to the home of the organist, Thomas Grape, while the church was undergoing some remodeling. Thomas Grape spent many hours practicing and composing, since he had access to the organ all the time. He was trying to write a tune for a hymn composted by William Bradbury and finally came up with one that satisfied him. He entitled the melody "All to Christ I Owe" and gave it to the pastor of the Monument St. Church, Rev. George Schrick. Rev. Schrick didn't feel that Grape's music was quite right for Bradbury's poem, so he tucked it away in his files.  
Elvina Mabel Hall was a member of the choir at the same church where Thomas Grape was organist. She and her husband had been faithful members there for many years and she loved being part of the choir and singing the lovely hymns every week. One Sunday morning, Elvina's attention drifted from the sermon Reverend Schrick was preaching. She thought about the pastor's words regarding God's forgiveness and all that Christ has done to provide redemption for mankind, but specifically for her. As she meditated on this, she became filled with gratitude. She felt a compulsion to write her thoughts on paper. Since she was sitting in the choir loft, she had no paper. Then she spied a hymn book, and opening to the blank flyleaf, she began writing the verses of an original poem. 

By the time Rev. Schrick finished his sermon, Elvina Hall had completed all four verses of the hymn-poem. Elvina waited until everyone had left at the end of the service, and then approached her pastor. She handed him the hymnal with her poem written on the flyleaf and explained why she had written it. After Reverend Schrick read Mrs. Hall's poem, he quickly located the paper with Thomas Grape's melody on it and found the words and the music matched beautifully! Three years later, in 1868, Rev. Schrick had the hymn published in a collection entitled Sabbath Chords. Since that time, "Jesus Paid It All" has been included in gospel songbooks and hymnals around the world. It's really interesting that God could move in the heart of an amateur church organists to write a melody for a hymn not yet composed. Then, He inspired an unsuspecting choir member to scribble in the flyleaf of her hymnal the words that would match that melody perfectly. And finally, He would lead both the author and composer to give their work to their pastor, who would bring the two together to produce a beautiful musical tribute to God's redemptive work. It is fitting that the chorus reminds the singer of the true author by affirming, "All to Him I owe."

I hope you all enjoyed learning about this hymn. Have a joyous week, friends.
Happy Valentine's Day! 
Joyfully in the Lord,
 Titus 3:5-7
 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

I Need Thee Every Hour

"I Need Thee Every Hour"
By: Annie S. Hawks

I need thee ev'ry hour, most gracious Lord;
No tender voice like thine can peace afford. 
I need thee ev'ry hour, stay thou near by;
Temptations lose their pow'r when thou art nigh. 
 I need thee ev'ry hour, in joy or pain;
Come quickly and abide, or life is vain.
 I need thee ev'ry hour, teach me thy will;
Thy promises so rich in me fulfill.
I need thee ev'ry hour, most Holy One;
O make me thine indeed, thou blessed Son. 
I need thee, O I need thee;
Ev'ry hour I need thee!
O bless me now, my Savior, I come to thee. 
The author of this deeply personal hymn of hope was a thirty-seven year old mother and homemaker. She didn't hold any place of great responsibility in her church, yet her simple and heartfelt verses have been a blessing to countless Christians over the past century. 
Annie Sherwood Hawks was born in Hoosick, New York on May 28th, 1835. She loved poetry and began writing original verses when she was still in grammar school. She was successful in getting her poems published and had become a regular contributor to several newspapers by the time she was fourteen years old. Annie married Charles Hawks at the age of twenty-four, and they moved to Brooklyn, New York, where they raised three children. While she was with the children at home,  the words of her famous prayer-poem, "I Need Thee Every Hour" came to her. In her writings, she recalls it this way.

 "One day as a young wife and mother of 
thirty-seven years of age, I was busy with my regular
 household tasks during a bright June morning in 1872.
Suddenly, I became filled with a sense of nearness
to the Master, and I began to wonder how anyone
 could ever live without Him, either in joy or pain.  
Then, the words were ushered into my mind and 
these thoughts took possession of me- 'I need Thee every hour.'"  
Annie seated herself at a desk beside an open window as the words flowed into her mind. With the bright June sunshine streaming through the window, and the early summer breezes fluttering the curtains, she wrote the lines of this poem. She hadn't thought of them as a hymn, but as a poetic prayer. One day, however, she decided to show her composition to her pastor, Dr. Robert Lowry. Besides being the pastor at the Baptist church in Brooklyn, Lowry was an accomplished gospel hymn writer and had composed such gospel favorites as: "Shall We Gather at the River" and "Marching to Zion." When he read Annie Haws' poem, he saw in it the makings of another gospel hymn. Dr. Lowry added the refrain and wrote a simple melody. 
The hymn was first published that same year in a pamphlet of hymns used at the National Baptist Sunday School Convention held in Cincinnati, Ohio. It was was well-received by the delegates to the convention, and the hymn was printed in a new song book by Lowry and William Doane entitled The Royal Diadem. A few years later, when Ira Sankey and Dwight Moody held their huge evangelistic campaigns across the United States and in Great Britain, "I Need Thee Every Hour" became a popular favorite on both sides of the Atlantic. In 1888, Annie's husband Charles died, and she described the time of sorrow as a "shadow of great loss". In this dark hour her own hymn ministered to her and she wrote: "I understood something of the comforting power in the words, which I had been permitted to give out to others in my hour of sweet serenity and peace."
Some parts taken from Hymns of Faith & Inspiration by Pamela Kennedy.
I hope you all enjoyed learning about Annie, and I hope your Lord's day was wonderful. 
May you rest in God's grace and promises this week. 
Yours warmly, His redemptively,
1 Peter 5:7
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.