Saturday, July 31, 2010

No Shortcuts

"Years ago I read of the construction of a city hall and fire station in a small Pennsylvania community. The citizens were so proud of their new red brick structure -- a long awaited dream come true. Not too many weeks after moving in, however, strange things began to happen. Several doors failed to shut completely and a few windows wouldn't slide open very easily. As time passed, ominous cracks began to appear in the walls. Within a few months, the front door couldn't be locked . . .and the roof began to leak. By and by, the little building that was once the source of great pride had to be condemned. An intense investigation revealed that deep mining blasts several miles away caused underground shock waves that subsequently weakened the earth beneath the building foundation, resulting in its virtual self-destruction.

So it is with compromise in a life. Slowly, almost imperceptible, one rationalization leads to another, which triggers a series of equally damaging alterations in a life that was once stable, strong, and reliable."

(Charles Swindoll from "Living Beyond the Daily Grind")

"Blessed s the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked . . . but his delight is in the law of the Lord." Psalm 1:1-3

Saturday, July 24, 2010


At the center of Creation lies a spot of

ceaseless rest,

Where the silent spirit broodeth like a

dove upon its nest:

Round it runs the deep horizon in its golden

quiet curled,
Round it at the wheel of Motion spins the

fashion of the world.

Noiselessly thy gates swing open for their

bars are made of light,

Swinging on the raven darkness from the

outer-wall of night;

Crystal city of the Silent, built beyond

the sounds of sin,

Lift afar your swarming gateways, let the

silent myriads in.
(from the poem "Silence" by S. Miller Hageman, 1876)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Take My Hand, Precious Lord

"Precious Lord, take my hand, lead me on, let me stand,
I am tired, I am weak, I am worn; Thru the storm, thru the night,
Lead me on to the light; Take my hand, precious Lord, Lead me home"
(from the hymn by Thomas Dorsey)

Thomas Dorsey was born just outside of Atlanta, Georgia in 1899. He grew up singing the blues and jazz and by the 1920's became nationally recognized as a leader in this new style of music.
Thomas related the following story - "In 1932, I was 32 years old and living with my wife Nettie in Chicago's south side. One August afternoon I had to go to St. Louis for a revival. Nettie was in the last month of pregnancy with our first child. I didn't want to go, something was strongly telling me to stay, but people were expecting me and I went. The next night, the crowd called on me to sing again and again. When I finally sat down, a messenger ran up with a Western Union telegram. I ripped it open and saw the words "Your wife is dead". I rushed to a phone and called home. All I could hear was "Nettie is dead". When I got back, I learned that Nettie had given birth to a boy. Yet that night, the baby had also died. I buried them both, then fell apart. For days I closeted myself. I felt that God had done me an injustice. I didn't want to serve him anymore. I was lost in grief.
A friend took me to a neighborhood music school one day and left me alone in a room with a piano. It was quiet and the late afternoon sun shined through the window. I sat at the piano and began to browse over the keys. Something happened to me. I felt at peace. I found myself playing a melody, one I've never heard or played before and words came into my head. As the word and music came to me, it seemed that my heart was also healed. I learned from that tragic experience that when we are in our deepest grief, when we feel farthest from God, this is when He is closest."
(taken from "Sing With Feeling by Robert Jay Taylor,Jr.)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Safe in the Arms of Jesus

(taken from "Sing With Feeling" by Robert Jay Taylor, Jr.

"One afternoon in 1868, William Doane, a song leader, stopped to visit Fanny Crosby. Fanny had been blinded as a small child by a quack doctor but she had a wonderful gift for poetry and song lyrics. William had a new tune to present to Fanny and he needed lyrics that would "capture the hearts" of children. He only had 40 minutes before he had to rush and catch a train, so he quickly played the tune for Fanny on her piano. Fanny took a pen and paper from her desk and wrote down several lines. William was in such a hurry, that he folded the paper and put it in his pocket and ran to catch his train. Once on board, he unfolded the paper and read:

"Safe in the arms of Jesus, Safe on His gentle breast:
There by His love o'ershaded, Sweetly my soul shall rest.
Hark! Tis the voice of angels, Borne on a song to me -
Over the fields of glory, Over the Jasper sea"

Fanny Crosby, never let the circumstances of her life affect her disposition and this hymn became one of her favorites. Life is what you make it. The difference between a life of usefulness and uselessness, is attitude.
Safety and security is one of the most sought after feelings in life today. We hear horror stories about people working years for a company, only to loose all their pension just short of retirement. No longer can we leave our homes unlocked, or walk down the streets of our large cities without feeling uneasy or insecure. The only true safety and security is in the arms of God."

Deuteronomy 33:27 - "The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms."