Friday, October 14, 2011

The Ninety and Nine

One of my favorite hymns is "The Ninety and Nine" - it assures me that my Savior will never abandon me. The author of the words, Eliszabeth Clephane, never lived long enough to hear her words put to music. She wrote it as a poem for children in 1868. It was torn out of a religious paper by Ira D. Sankey and placed in his pocket as an afterthought. In 1874, Ira was in a rivival meeting in Edinburg Schotland with Dwight Moody. Following a powerful sermon Moody asked Ira to sing something appropriate. He thought of the poem in his pocket and pulled it out, placing it on the organ. He sang composing the song as he went - the audience was greatly moved. In fact, Ira related that "Mr. Moody was in tears, and so was I." The hymn remains unchanged to this day.

Friday, September 2, 2011

To My Home

(taken from "To My Home" 1912)
The mother-heart doth yearn at eventide,
And wheresoe'er the straying ones may roam,
When even cometh on they all fare home.
'Neath feathered sheltering the brood doth hide:
In eager flights the birds wing to their nest,
While happy lambs and children miss the sun,
And to the folds do hurtle one by one,
As night doth gather slowly in the west.
All ye who hurry through life's busy day,
Hark to the greeting that the Ages tell,
"The sun doth rise and set, hail and farewell."
But comfort ye your heart where'er ye stray,
for those who through this little day do roam,
When even cometh on shall all fare home.
by Lucy Evangeline Tilley

Friday, August 12, 2011

What is small and round and green and known the world over?

(Taken from "Strange Facts About the Bible" by Webb Garrison)

Olives grow only in comparatively narrow geographical bands. Small variations in temperature and annual rainfall are sufficient to make a region barren of olive trees. As a result, there are only a handful of countries that can produce the olive for commercial purposes. Yet, because of the Scriptures, every person in the world - even those who have never seen an olive tree - knows the significance of an olive branch.

Genesis 8 describes how God flooded the world because of the wickedness of mankind - only saving Noah and his family. When the floods abated, Noah sent out first a raven to see if it was safe to leave the Ark. Then he released a dove who returned to the Ark empty handed at first, but on the second release, the dove brought back an olive leaf. To Noah this symbolized the end of God's wrath and the beginning of peace - it was safe to open the door and view the cleansed world.

So today - the olive branch is universally recognized as the symbol of peace and reconciliation. It has been depicted in countless paintings and described in poems written in every major language of the world.

Gentle Readers - Peace and Hope for you.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Homeward Bound - Full Circle

(From the book "To My Home", poem by Alice Cary 1912)

So many, many roads lie traced

Where wanderers may stray -

Roads twining, weaving, interlaced,

Roads sorrowful and gay.

Running through countryside and town

They climb the mountain steep,

Through storied realms of far renown

Unceasingly they creep.

When silver moonlight floods the nights -

O hark! across the sea,

These roads, the wanderer's delights,

Are calling you and me.

Singing their challenge sweet and clear

For wanderers to roam;

But, all at once, I only hear

The road that leads me home!

Gentle Reader, are you going home?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Alligator Pimples!!

(taken from "Does God Exist" by John Clayton)

The next time you see a picture of an alligator, look closely and you will notice that there are some pimple sized bumps all over the animal's jaws. At first thought, one would think that they are just to make him look even uglier, but no - they are in fact, a highly sensitive system designed to help the animal eat and know what is going on around him!

When scientists studied these bumps, they discovered that the bumps are connected to a nerve called a trigeminal nerve which stimulates the skin and muscles of his face. These nerves travel through holes in the bones of the jaw that bring the nerves up into the the alligator's brain. The "pimples" are actually sensors that detect any changes that happen in the water of the pond where the animal lives. Anything that moves the water will send out ripples that make the nerves in the "pimples" on the alligator's jaw fire up and the animal will come to see what has caused the ripples.

God has designed all living animals with all of the equipment they need to survive, and every time we learn of some new system that animals have we can see the wisdom and designing ability of our Creator.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Show Me The Way

"Show Me The Way"

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox - 1883

Show me the way that leads to the true life.
I do not care what tempests may assail me,
I shall be given courage for the strife,
I know my strength will not desert or fail me;
I know that I shall conquer in the fray;
Show me the way

Show me the way up to a higher plane,
Where body shall be servant to the soul,
I do not care what tides of woe, or pain,
Across my life their angry waves may roll,
If I but reach the end I seek some day;
Show me the way.

Show me the way, and let me bravely climb
Above vain grieving for unworthy treasures;
Above all sorrow that finds balm in time -
Above small triumphs, or belittling pleasures;
Up to those heights where these things seem child's play:
Show me the way.

Show me the way to that calm, perfect peace
Which springs from an inward consciousness of right;
To where all conflicts with the flesh shall cease,
And self shall radiate with the spirit's light.
Though hard the journey and the strife, I pray
Show me the way.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Tie That Binds

Blest Be the Tie That Binds
(taken from the

Dr. John Fawcett was the pastor of a small church at Wainsgate, and was called from there to a larger church in London in 1772. He accepted the call and preached his farewell sermon. The wagons were loaded with his books and furniture, and all was ready for the departure, when his parishioners gathered around him, and with tears in their eyes begged of him to stay. His wife said, “Oh John, John, I cannot bear this.” “Neither can I,” exclaimed the good pastor, “and we will not go. Unload the wagons and put everything as it was before.” His decision was hailed with great joy by his people, and he wrote the words of this hymn in commemoration of the event

Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.

Before our Father’s throne
We pour our ardent prayers;
Our fears, our hopes, our aims are one
Our comforts and our cares.

We share each other’s woes,
Our mutual burdens bear;
And often for each other flows
The sympathizing tear.

When we asunder part,
It gives us inward pain;
But we shall still be joined in heart,
And hope to meet again.