Posts in Category: Gratitude

We Have Not Known Thee

Our church does a modern setting of this old hymn text. I’ve sung it many times without really noticing the words. This week at rehearsal I finally paid attention and have been thinking about them since.

We have not known Thee as we ought, nor learned Thy wisdom, grace and power.
The things of earth have filled our thought, and trifles of the passing hour.
Lord, give us light Thy truth to see, and make us wise in knowing Thee.

We have not feared Thee as we ought, nor bowed beneath Thine awesome eye,
Nor guarded deed and word and thought, remembering that God was nigh.
Lord, give us faith to know Thee near, and grant the grace of holy fear.

We have not loved Thee as we ought, nor cared that we are loved by Thee.
Thy presence we have coldly sought, and feebly longed Thy face to see.
Lord, give a pure and loving heart to feel and know the love Thou art.

We have not served Thee as we ought, alas, the duties left undone,
The work with little fervor wrought, the battles lost or scarcely won.
Lord, give the zeal and give the might for Thee to toil, for Thee to fight.

When shall we know Thee as we ought, and fear and love and serve aright?
When shall we, out of trial brought, be perfect in the land of light?
Lord, maybe we day by day prepare to see Thy face and serve Thee there.

–Thomas B. Pollock (1889)

The third verse especially speaks to me. I certainly have been guilty of seeking after God coldly and feebly. Lord, give a pure and loving heart to feel and know the love Thou art.

 

You have redeemed my soul

Mardi Gras. Fat Tuesday. Paczki day. Shrove Tuesday. No matter what you call it, it means Lent is nearly here.

As a child, I attended a liturgical church. This meant that every year as Ash Wednesday approached, I was told to think about what to give up for Lent. I usually gave up chocolate or something along those lines, at least for a few days. We left that church when I was around 13, and I didn’t give Lent a whole lot of thought for the next 25 years or so.

We now attend a church that encourages us to observe Lent. I’ve been thinking over the last few days about why to make a sacrifice for Lent, what it means, and what God is asking me to do. I have some ideas mulling around in my head which I’m not going to articulate here… at least, not yet. But I’m hoping that with God’s help I’ll be able to make a small personal sacrifice that will let me spend more time focused on him and his sacrifice for me.

In the meantime, here’s a song that’s been going through my head since I woke up this morning. You can listen to it on the player below–it’s track 6. Originally by Waterdeep, this recording is my Page CXVI, my favorite band at the moment.

You have redeemed my soul
From the pit of emptiness
You have redeemed my soul
From death

I was a hungry child
A dried up river
I was a burned out forest
And no one could do anything for me
But You put food in my body
Water in my dry bed
And to my blackened branches,
You brought the springtime
Green of a new life

And nothing is impossible
For You

Now, You have redeemed my soul
From the pit of emptiness
You have redeemed my soul
From death

Ready to be challenged?

This showed up in my blog feed this morning. Talk about challenging. I did a little Googling and found this version of the list that has one more question included.

These are 22 questions the members of John Wesley’s Holy Club asked themselves every day in their private devotions over 200 years ago.

1. Am I consciously or unconsciously creating the impression that I am better than I really am? In other words, am I a hypocrite?

2. Am I honest in all my acts and words, or do I exaggerate?

3. Do I confidentially pass on to another what was told to me in confidence?

4. Can I be trusted?

5. Am I a slave to dress, friends, work, or habits?

6. Am I self-conscious, self-pitying, or self-justifying?

7. Did the Bible live in me today?

8. Do I give it time to speak to me everyday?

9. Am I enjoying prayer?

10. When did I last speak to someone else about my faith?

11. Do I pray about the money I spend?

12. Do I get to bed on time and get up on time?

13. Do I disobey God in anything?

14. Do I insist upon doing something about which my conscience is uneasy?

15. Am I defeated in any part of my life?

16. Am I jealous, impure, critical, irritable, touchy, or distrustful?

17. How do I spend my spare time?

18. Am I proud?

19. Do I thank God that I am not as other people, especially as the Pharisees who despised the publican?

20. Is there anyone whom I fear, dislike, disown, criticize, hold a resentment toward or disregard? If so, what am I doing about it?

21. Do I grumble or complain constantly?

22. Is Christ real to me?

On some of those questions I can easily give the right answer. But on others… not so much. How about you? With some fear and trepidation, I’m planning to go over this list regularly. I don’t know if that will end up being daily or at some other interval, but I definitely think these are things worth pondering and praying about.

New Year’s Day

At the risk of sounding like I’m gloating, I am truly thankful that we live where we do and have the opportunities to see and do things I never dreamed of when I was growing up.

New Year’s Day, Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

Gratitude

Nativity Hymns, Hymn 17, by Charles Wesley

Where is the holy, heaven-born child?
Heir of the everlasting throne?
Who heaven and earth hath reconciled,
And God and man rejoined in one?

Shall we of earthly kings inquire?
To courts or palaces repair?
The nation’s hope, the world’s desire,
Alas! we cannot find him there.

Shall learning show the sinner’s friend,
Or scribes a sight of Christ afford?
Us to his natal place they send
But never go to seek the Lord.

We search the outward church in vain,
They cannot him we seek declare,
They have not found the Son of man,
Or known the sacred name they bear.

Then let us turn no more aside,
But use the light himself imparts,
His Spirit is our surest guide,
His Spirit glimmering in our hearts.

Drawn by his grace we come from far,
And fix on heaven our wishful eyes,
That ray divine, that orient star,
Directs us where the infant lies.

See there; the new-born Saviour see,
By faith discern the great I AM;
‘Tis he! the eternal God; ’tis he
That bears the mild Immanuel’s name.

The Prince of Peace on earth is found,
The child is born, the Son is given,
Tell it to all the nations round,
Jehovah is come down from heaven.

Jehovah is come down to raise
His dying creatures from their fall,
And all may now receive the grace
Which brings eternal life to all.

Lord, we receive thy grace, and thee
With joy unspeakable receive,
And rise thine open face to see,
And one with God for ever live.

So much to be thankful for.