Saturday Song: It Is Well

How was your week? Was it long? Busy? How about just plain rough? One of those weeks that seems like its only purpose is to remind a person how many things could go awry.

Sin. Temptations. Bad attitudes.

Sickness. Car trouble. Plumbing trouble. 

Hurt. Relational drama. Forgiveness withheld. Bitterness.

Stress. Expectations. Fear. Anxiety.

In the middle of one of those weeks, I had one word given to me: perspective. That’s what all rough weeks need. Perspective.

That word drove me to Psalms. There I saw that my perspective is all too often on the things going wrong below. I spend so much time looking to the left and right of me, that I forget to look up.

But David did. (And he was having more than a rough week.)

The unfolding of your words gives light: it imparts understanding to the simple. I open my mouth and pant, because I long for your commandments. Turn to me and be gracious to me, as is your way with those who love your name. Keep steady my steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me. Redeem me from man’s oppression, that I may keep your precepts. Make your face to shine upon your servant, and teach me your statutes. Psalm 119: 130-135

Your righteousness is righteous forever, and your law is true. Trouble and anguish have found me out, but your commandments are my delight. Your testimonies are righteous forever; give me understanding that I may live. Psalm 119: 142-144

In the middle of all trouble, big or small, there is…

  • Help from the Maker of Heaven and Earth (Psalm 121)
  • Steadfast love (Psalm 136)
  • Forgiveness and Full Redemption (Psalm 130)

In the middle of great sorrow, the Holy Spirit poured out remembrance of these truths to Horatio G. Spafford, who penned the words to “It is Well”. (Read the story and lyrics here.)

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll:
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to His cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul.

And Lord haste the day, when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

Other lesser known verses:

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!

By God’s grace, arranged and played by Katie

 

 

 

Choose Kind: the perfectly grammatically incorrect imperative

Tonight I started thinking about the phrase “choose kind”. More specifically, the linguistics of the phrase. It’s not grammatically correct. The grammatically correct imperative would be “choose kindness”.

Part of the power, to me at least, is in its ungrammaticality. Using an adjective instead of a noun shakes us gently from grammatical complacency to ask the question, “Kind what?”

Kind words.

Kind smile.

Kind eyes.

Kind actions.

Kind thoughts.

Choose kind.

Saturday Song: When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

This past week was Valentine’s Day.  Hard to miss, with all the pink, red, balloons, flowers, candy, stuffed animals, fancy dinners… and that was just Facebook.  Love was definitely in the air and to be celebrated.

I’ll admit, I did have some awkward moments, a sort of sense of failure really, when I walked past the displays in the stores, realizing that none of the tokens of love would be given to me.

Valentine’s evening, however, brought a greater token of love. I found myself sitting at a table with friends, talking about the meaning of 1 John 4:10:

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”

Atoning — to make reparation or supply satisfaction

Sacrifice — the act of offering to a deity something precious; destruction or surrender of something for the sake of something else

Jesus was the precious offering. He supplied reparation, not for his sins, but mine.

“Your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.” Isaiah 6:7

All else, no matter how great and wonderful, are trifles compared to the love of God for me. That verse, like so many, is a token to imprint on my heart the realization of God’s love.

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all… (Isaac Watts)

In the cross, in the cross,
Be my glory ever;
Till my raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river. (Frances J. Crosby)

By the grace of God, arranged and played by Katie

 

 

Saturday Song: Counting Every Blessing

Count blessings instead of unknowns.

Persistent in thanksgiving instead of complaining.

Remember past grace instead of dwelling in uncertainty.

Rejoice in salvation instead of cultivating bitterness.

Counting Every Blessing by Rend Collective