Friday, 25 May 2007

It is well with my soul

Sometimes it's hard, sometimes I cry
Sometimes my heart wants to know why?
But Your yoke is easy and Your burden is light
And though my heart is aching and there's tears in my eyes

Whatever my lot, You have taught me to know
It is well, it is well with my soul

It's not always easy, I'm not always right
Sometimes I do things that are wrong in Your sight
But I have decided I'm going to follow Jesus
And there's no turning back, there's no turning back

You have reached down to me, You have rescued me
And have shed Your blood for my soul
And I live now knowing that the sky and not the grave will be my goal
And just as in life, also in death this truth will comfort and console
That soon I will see Your face and hear Your voice
and know that it is well

But please hold my hand, Lord, and hold on tight
'Cause the road here is narrow
Yes, the road here is narrow

(Copyright Brenton Brown - 2006)

This song is from Brenton's new album, which I received through the post yesterday (You can hear song samples if you click on the link above). I now know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Lord is 'on my case' and trying to say something through these words as well as those of the hymn I copied here! He is awesome and He knows me!!

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Sing to the Lord a new song...

A new season is opening up for me.

The tablets having kicked in, I feel like the old (new??) me and am bursting with energy and joy again. This is really not of me, as my life circumstances haven't changed that much; the Lord is doing something new in me: in my mind, in my heart, in my whole being, and I praise Him for His grace, as well as for modern medicine...without which I would be a continuous wreck!!

Oh I still feel weary, irritable, impatient at times, angry at other times, short fused all too often, and mostly totally inadequate. So what's changed? God is allowing me to see beyond it, and placing His strength and His joy in me, so I can get through each day and still have hope.

Some of us involved in worship leading at our church started watching a DVD series on songwriting for worship last night. As this is an area that I have been wanting to explore for a long time, I felt I should go along and learn. Believe me, right now I really do not believe that I am a songwriter in any way, shape or form. I love experimenting with different chords on the piano, and I love playing with words, but beyond that, what do I know?? It seems, however, that He is stirring something in me; about 18 months ago a couple of dear friends felt the Lord was going to 'give me some songs'...

And now, my prayer is that He would place on my lips a new song. Or two. Or hundreds! Not so that it might be sung in church, but so that I might discover new ways of praising Him, with my own words...and that He would be pleased with my worship.

I am so inspired by the story of how this famous hymn came into being. This is my desire also, that through pain and sorrow as well as the good times, I should be able to sing "it is well with my soul".

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 blessed assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

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

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

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

Horatio G. Spafford, 1873-
(The words to 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.
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, he was inspired to write these words.)

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

A simple birthday

Friday May 11 was my 33rd birthday.

I have had many wonderful birthday celebrations over the years, but this year was wonderful in its simplicity. In many ways it was just a very ordinary day, yet right throughout I was continually reminded, in small and subtle ways, of how much I am loved and blessed.

I met with some very lovely, close, dear friends in the morning, and one had brought a chocolate cake for us to share (girls have to have their chocolate don't they?! any excuse will do). So we sat chatting for a couple of hours, eating cake, drinking tea, and watching the children play.

It was raining by the time Samuel got back from school. The kids were on fine form and decided they wanted to go outside; they got very wet, and I was surprisingly unphased by it! It was just such fun watching them splashing around and laughing at how soaked they were, and I thought: what better present, than to be given the opportunity to just watch my kids play and enjoy the simple things of life, without feeling like it matters?!!

Mark bought fish and chips for tea and I had made a sumptiously gooey chocolate cake for pudding! Throughout supper Sam kept carefully and enthusiastically wrapping random little objects with plain white paper - and copious amounts of sticky tape - which he then excitedly presented to me, hopefully looking into my face for confirmation that I was pleased with my presents...: a pink pencil, a purple child's toothbrush, a badge with my name on it, and a small teddy with a red ribbon round its neck. I hoped my delight was obvious to him.

...Don't you think kids' gifts to their mamas are among the most precious???

My one and only request was for a kitchen blowtorch, which I received the following day, and I am greatly looking forward to experimenting with it in the very near future
So here you have it: my simple birthday for this year. It was perfect. And today, four days later, I am still floating on cloud nine!!!

Who says it has to be expensive, abundant, and extravagant to be amazing?! I think I will stick with Miriam's quote for the day: "Lord, teach us to live simply, so that others may simply live."