If indeed I am Thine… Say, why.

Sitting in the pews on Sunday, my fingers stopped on a page in the hymnal.
His questions still echo in my mind…

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How tedious and tasteless the hours,
When Jesus no longer I see;
Sweet prospects, sweet birds and sweet flowers,
Have all lost their sweetness to me;
The midsummer sun shines but dim,
The fields strive in vain to look gay;
But when I am happy in Him,
December’s as pleasant as May.

His name yields the richest perfume,
And sweeter than music His voice;
His presence disperses my gloom,
And makes all within me rejoice;
I should, were He always thus nigh,
Have nothing to wish or to fear;
No mortal as happy as I,
My summer would last all the year.

Content with beholding His face,
My all to His pleasure resigned,
No changes of season or place,
Would make any change in my mind:
While blessed with a sense of His love,
A palace a toy would appear;
All prisons would palaces prove,
If Jesus would dwell with me there.

Dear Lord, if indeed I am Thine,
If Thou art my sun and my song,
Say, why do I languish and pine,
And why are my winters so long?
O drive these dark clouds from the sky,
Thy soul cheering presence restore;
Or take me to Thee up on high,
Where winter and clouds are no more.

— John Newton

 

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Traveling for Trees.

Why do men travel the world to see things that do not move — to see trees rooted and mountains unmovable? 
Is it to conquer the great?
Or to know that we are small?

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“There’s a man ‘ere out in the corner, he’s been asking me for change
and I could use some…

There’s a hole here in my pocket it reminds me of the ways
I am hungry

Always running, for an open door

On the highway heavy-hearted, humming just to hear a sound

Loneliness it lingers through unfamiliar towns
All of them stunning, but none of them home

And I don’t know if I live like this for peace of mind
Can’t say if I do it for the foolish pride
Maybe it’s all just to prove that I’m alive
I’m alive…

Am I running just to run
Sometimes its seems running is all I’ve ever done…”

For Beauty

Remind me of Your beauty and where I may find You, that I may rest knowing You are here.

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Pied Beauty

Glory be to God for dappled things –
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;
And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise him.

— GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS

Fearless

To be without fear if the world around us crumbles. How?
Because of where we look and what we focus on.

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Had we focused on ourselves — our inner resolve or our outer strength; our power, weapons, and defense — we would be disappointed. But we focus on God. We have a God Who promised to be our refuge and strength, a present help in trouble. 

We are called to be still and know that He is God, and He will be glorified in the nations. 
And because He is in our midst, and our refuge, we have this fearless trust, this unshakable hope. So in all this, be still and know that He is God. 

 

On Psalm 46

1 God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
3 Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah

4 There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God,
The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High.
5 God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved;
God shall help her, just at the break of dawn.
6 The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved;
He uttered His voice, the earth melted.

7 The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

8 Come, behold the works of the Lord,
Who has made desolations in the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariot in the fire.

10 Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!

11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

 

Notes from M. Henry:
“We will suppose the earth to be removed, and thrown into the sea, even the mountains, the strongest and firmest parts of the earth, to lie buried in the unfathomed ocean; we will suppose the sea to roar and rage, and make a dreadful noise, and its foaming billows to insult the shore with so much violence as even to shake the mountains, Ps. 46:3.

Though kingdoms and states be in confusion, embroiled in wars, tossed with tumults, and their governments in continual revolution—though their powers combine against the church and people of God, aim at no less than their ruin, and go very near to gain their point—yet will not we fear, knowing that all these troubles will end well for the church. See Ps. 93:4.

If the earth be removed, those have reason to fear who have laid up their treasures on earth, and set their hearts upon it; but not those who have laid up for themselves treasures in heaven, and who expect to be most happy when the earth and all the works that are therein shall be burnt up. Let those be troubled at the troubling of the waters who build their confidence on such a floating foundation, but not those who are led to the rock that is higher than they, and find firm footing upon that rock.”