3/25/10

It Is Well With My Soul

This hymn was writ­ten af­ter two ma­jor trau­mas in Spaf­ford’s life. The first was the great Chi­ca­go Fire of Oc­to­ber 1871, which ru­ined him fi­nan­cial­ly (he had been a weal­thy bus­i­ness­man)and the death of his four year old son, Horatio Jr., to scarlet fever. Short­ly af­ter, while cross­ing the At­lan­tic, all four of Spaf­ford’s daugh­ters died in a col­li­sion with an­o­ther ship. Spaf­ford’s wife Anna sur­vived and sent him the now fa­mous tel­e­gram, “Saved alone.” Sev­er­al weeks lat­er, as Spaf­ford’s own ship passed near the spot where his daugh­ters died, the Ho­ly Spir­it in­spired these words. They speak to the eter­nal hope that all be­liev­ers have, no mat­ter what pain and grief be­fall them on earth.

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

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has 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 the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

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!
Blessèd hope, blessèd rest of 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.

Cyber Hymnal

1/18/10

Early Morning Conviction.....For Me!!!

The older I get, the more I try and be slow to form opinions. I especially try and be slow to form opinions about people. No matter what information you have, and no matter how you get that information, you do not really know the full story of that person's life causing them to act the way they do. I have even caught myself making character assessments about people based off of one or two short encounters with that person.

The truth of the matter is that there is no way one or two situational encounters should ever be allowed to type-cast any individual. However, we do it to people all the time. What if that person was simply having a bad day? What if that person was having a bad year, or was under a ton of stress in their marriage, and thus was negatively out of character for that season of life? I would never know that sort of information - which would make all the difference in how I viewed them. All I would know is that at while at work, this person seems to be difficult to deal with most of the time.

The greatest New Testament preacher ever was Peter. Nobody, not even Paul, could get the "results" Peter could get when preaching to large crowds. The funny thing is, if you ask most Christians to tell you (1) thing about Peter, you will most always get a response that brings up his denial of Christ.

Peter had one bad day.
A servant girl saw him (Peter) seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, "This man was with Him." But he denied it. - Luke 22


Yes, it was a really bad day, but how would you like it if people were still talking about your one bad day ... to this day?? Peter had one bad day, but after that one day, he had hundreds of great days living for the Lord Jesus.

My mind freezes with panic when I think about the fact that people have no doubt made assessments about my character based off of one conversation or a few short encounters with me.
The Man minute

1/15/10

What Is a Wife?


A wife is someone more special than words.
She's love mixed with friendship, and marriage
bonded with hope, thanks, and joy. A wife is
beauty and lasting togetherness, and there
is no one more precious in the world.
A wife is one who inspires some of the most
special moments two people have ever shared.
A wife is a treasured perspective on the past,
a reassuring part of the present, and a million
wishes for all the days that lie ahead.

A wife is a reminder of the blessings that come
from closeness. Sharing everything. Disclosing
dreams. Learning about life together. She's a
hand within your hand. She's so often the only
one who understands. A wife is understanding
and trust enfolded with love. She is a helper and
a guide, and she is a feeling, deep inside, that
makes you realize, each and every day of your life

... that there is no one who could ever be loved
in the way a husband... loves his wife.
-Poem by C. Martin

With Love From Your Husband

1/14/10

The Earthquake in Haiti

Scriptural Basis:

“So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him.” Matthew 24:44

Here is another earthquake that really grabs our attention. It must bring to mind for Christians the words of our Lord as he answered His disciples question about His return and the end of the age. “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.” (Mt. 24:6-8) Yet from our knowledge of history there have always been wars, famines and earthquakes, not just today. So did our Lord mean an intensification of these things as a sign that “the end” has begun? What should we learn when we see these things happen from a “safe” distance or even experience them first-hand?

Pat Robertson right after hearing the quake news spoke of “a pact that Haiti had made with the devil” to gain freedom from French rule and from slavery several centuries ago. He then went on to speak about the poverty, persistent troubles, and “destined” failure of Haiti as a nation because of this “pact;” especially in comparison to the Dominican Republic’s greater success though they share the same island. It is true that Haiti is a very poor country that has suffered under the oppression of one corrupt leader after another, even a former priest, who, when elected President, proved to be as corrupt as any former leader. I have seen and experienced Haiti. It could certainly be described as a “cursed nation,” but this “pact with the devil” is very questionable history. The Bible teaches that the whole world is under a curse; the curse of sin and Satan. He is called the prince of this world. Our own country has had its share of earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, and wars. And earthquakes, at least from man’s perspective, appear to strike indiscriminately around the world, wherever the fault lines exist.

I think C. S Lewis captures well the lesson we ought to learn from these “markers” when he writes about war; though you could just as accurately substitute earthquakes or famines for war. “War creates no absolutely new situation; it simply aggravates the permanent human situation so that we can no longer ignore it. Human life has always been lived on the edge of a precipice. Human culture has always had to live under the shadow of something infinitely more important than itself. If men had postponed the search for knowledge and beauty until they were secure, the search would never have begun. We are mistaken when we compare war [or earthquakes] with “normal life.” Life has never been normal.”

But then we ask what about the great increase of death in earthquakes, or wars? Lewis answers, “What does war [or earthquakes] do to death? It certainly does not make it more frequent: 100 percent of us die, and the percentage cannot be increased….Does it increase our chances of painful death? I doubt it….Does it decrease our chances of dying at peace with God? I cannot believe it. If active service does not persuade a man to prepare for death, what conceivable concatenation of circumstances would?”

You could sum up the Lord’s two chapter answer (Matthew 24 and 25) to His disciples (and all who claim to follow Him) in one word: readiness! Earthquakes and their sudden destruction only emphasize and trumpet what ought to be clear no matter the circumstance: The coming of the Lord is near, either in your death or His return. You have no idea when either will occur. What then is the condition of my spiritual readiness right now; and what am I doing about it? Yes, the earthquake in Haiti should get our intense attention.

Encouragement:
“See the Judge, our nature wearing, clothed in majesty divine; you who long for His appearing then shall say this God is mine! Gracious Savior, own me in that day as Thine.

At his call the dead awaken, rise to life from earth and sea; all the powers of nature, shaken by His looks, prepare to flee. Careless sinner, what shall then become of thee?

But to those who have confessed, loved and served the Lord below, He will say, Come near, ye blessed, see the kingdom I bestow; You forever shall my love and glory know.”

Strength for the Day