Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Birthday Request - Celebrate something today!

Today is my birthday!
I love birthdays  -  especially mine<3
I awakened this morning to a big, juicy, sparkly kiss from the sweetest little girls in the world - who proceeded to bestow on me all sorts of lovely, birthday-y compliments.  I then put on my favorite pink birthday-y blouse and corduroy riding skirt - for I plan to go riding today.  After which, I ate a whole spoonful of homemade lemon curd, shared chocolates all around, and declared today a national day of reading.
So what do you love to do?
Do me a favor, and help celebrate!  Eat some chocolate, bake a pie, sing a hymn, or go riding in the rain - and don't forget to take time to celebrate the joy of living as a child of the King!
Have a wonderful, joyful day!
Love in Christ,

Monday, February 08, 2010

Sunday Hymn history ~ Be Thou My Vision


I have been writing up some hymn stories that I was researching recently, and decided to share them here.
I am fascinated by the amazing histories behind many of the hymns we know and love.  It is inspiring to know that christians who have gone before have experienced the same trials and difficulties as we undergo today. . . and that God used those times to bring us some of the most uplifting and well-loved hymns in history.

 "Be Thou My Vision" is a hymn derived from an old folk song. It expresses a desire for God’s hand in our lives and a longing to be in His presence. The first words are credited to Dallan Forgaill in a work entitled, in gaelic, Rob tu mo bhoile, a Comdi cride. 
The folk song got its start in Ireland around 433 AD, when St. Patrick lit a fire in defiance of a royal decree. 
It was the eve of Easter and the Spring Equinox. St. Patrick knew that High King Logaire would be at Tara to celebrate  the pagan festival. In direct defiance to the law that no fire should be lit in the vicinity of the sacred festival fire at Tara, St. Patrick lit a bonfire on the Hill of Slane! King Logaire drove his chariot in a towering passion to the Hill of Slane to arrest the rebel, but St. Patrick was so eloquent in his preaching, the King was soon pacified and St. Patrick was allowed to preach Christianity to the entire pagan army. 
The traditional tune setting for this hymn is called Slane, after the hill on which St. Patrick preached.

Only in this century did the text find its English translation, when Mary Byrne rendered it into literal English prose in 1905.  It remained for Eleanor M. Hull, in her 1912 Poem Book of the Gael to offer a metrical, poetic version of Byrne's work in twelve rhymed couplets that have been used by editors since to arrive at versions of the four-stanza hymn so widely loved and treasured today.  
Here is the literal english translation from the original gaelic.
Be thou my vision,
O Lord of my heart.
None other is aught
but the King of the seven heavens.
Be thou my meditation
by day and night;
May it be thou that I behold 
even in my sleep.
Be thou my speech,
be thou my understanding,
Be thou with me, 
be I with thee.
Be thou my father,
be I thy son.
Mayst thou be mine,
may I be thine.
Be thou my battle-shield,
be thou my sword.
Be thou my dignity,
be thou my delight.
Be thou my shelter,
be thou my stronghold.
Mayst thou raise me up
to the company of the angels.
Be thou every good
to my body and soul.
Be thou my kingdom 
in heaven and on earth.
Be thou solely
chief love of my heart.
Let there be none other,
O high King of Heaven.
Till I am able
to pass into thy hands,
My treasure, my beloved,
through the greatness of thy love.
Be thou alone
my noble and wondrous estate.
I seek not men,
nor lifeless wealth.
Be thou the constant guardian
of every possession and every life.
For our corrupt desires are dead
at the mere sight of thee.
Thy love in my soul
and in my heart—
Grant this to me,
O King of the seven heavens.
O King of the seven heavens
grant me this—
Thy love to be in my heart
and in my soul.
With the King of all, with him
after victory won by piety
May I be in the kingdom of heaven
O brightness of the son.
Beloved Father,
hear, hear my lamentations;
Timely is the cry of woe 
of this miserable wretch.
O heart of my heart,
whate'er befall me,
O ruler of all,
be thou my vision.
Gute Nacht, meine Damen!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Remembering Haiti

We live our lives, day by day, each with it's own trials and temptations, fears and regrets, hopes and dreams, each striving to live the life that Christ would have us live.
And all around the world, others just like us are living their lives - striving, hoping, fearing, loving. 
I would like you to take time today to remember the people of Haiti.  
Their homes have been destroyed, their families broken.  It is hard for me to even imagine just how great is the destruction.
I pray that this crisis will be used mightily to draw men closer to the Saviour.
And it is my prayer that those of us who have not experienced such anguish and desolation in our lives will not only remember to thank God for his infinite mercies, but also to thank Him for every trial that crosses our path.  It is by the trials met and overcome that we "become more than conquerors through him that loved us."
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  As it is written, for thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
- Romans 8:35-39
Mr. Doug Phillips from Vision Forum Ministries and a group of men have gone to Haiti to help the many orphans and victims of the recent earthquake. You can read about the journey on Mr. Phillips' blog.  
I am so thankful that there are men who are willing to be used of the Lord in this work.  And while all may not be able to actually go to minister to these people, every one of us can help in the mighty work of bringing the people of Haiti and the work going on there before the throne of God. 
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