And Can It Be…?

Such a beautiful hymn, set to beautiful scenes of God’s creation, gently spurs me all the more onward to heaven where neither thorn, nor darkness, nor impending death can ever detract from the eternal enjoyment of fellowship as it was meant to be in all its perfection.

Watch and listen: And Can It Be?

And Can It Be?

Text: Charles Wesley, 1707-1788 

Music: Thomas Campbell 

1. And can it be that I should gain 
an interest in the Savior’s blood! 
Died he for me? who caused his pain! 
For me? who him to death pursued? 
Amazing love! How can it be 
that thou, my God, shouldst die for me? 
Amazing love! How can it be 
that thou, my God, shouldst die for me? 

2. ‘Tis mystery all: th’ Immortal dies! 
Who can explore his strange design? 
In vain the firstborn seraph tries 
to sound the depths of love divine. 
‘Tis mercy all! Let earth adore; 
let angel minds inquire no more. 
‘Tis mercy all! Let earth adore; 
let angel minds inquire no more. 

3. He left his Father’s throne above 
(so free, so infinite his grace!), 
emptied himself of all but love, 
and bled for Adam’s helpless race. 
‘Tis mercy all, immense and free, 
for O my God, it found out me! 
‘Tis mercy all, immense and free, 
for O my God, it found out me! 

4. Long my imprisoned spirit lay, 
fast bound in sin and nature’s night; 
thine eye diffused a quickening ray; 
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light; 
my chains fell off, my heart was free, 
I rose, went forth, and followed thee.
My chains fell off, my heart was free, 
I rose, went forth, and followed thee.

5. No condemnation now I dread; 
Jesus, and all in him, is mine; 
alive in him, my living Head, 
and clothed in righteousness divine, 
bold I approach th’ eternal throne, 
and claim the crown, through Christ my own. 
Bold I approach th’ eternal throne, 
and claim the crown, through Christ my own. 

The Lord is Near to The Brokenhearted – Hebrew study

This is from someone else’s writing. I want to park it here for my own reference, but maybe it will be of use to others who find it, too.

http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Meditations/Brokenhearted/brokenhearted.html

I wanted to copy and paste it here, in case in the future the link becomes inoperable, but it won’t let me.

Here is the verse from Scripture, Psalm 34:18:

The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

 

Scared Of It All

Robert Service says it well in his poem “I’m Scared Of It All”. For me, it is not so much a true fear, but it is more of a severe preference for avoiding the physical presence of much people while in this body on earth.

I’m scared of it all, God’s truth! so I am; 
It’s too big and brutal for me. 
My nerve’s on the raw and I don’t give a damn 
For all the “hoorah” that I see. 
I’m pinned between subway and overhead train, 
Where automobillies swoop down: 
Oh, I want to go back to the timber again — 
I’m scared of the terrible town. 

I want to go back to my lean, ashen plains; 
My rivers that flash into foam; 
My ultimate valleys where solitude reigns; 
My trail from Fort Churchill to Nome. 
My forests packed full of mysterious gloom, 
My ice-fields agrind and aglare: 
The city is deadfalled with danger and doom — 
I know that I’m safer up there. 

I watch the wan faces that flash in the street; 
All kinds and all classes I see. 
Yet never a one in the million I meet, 
Has the smile of a comrade for me. 
Just jaded and panting like dogs in a pack; 
Just tensed and intent on the goal: 
O God! but I’m lonesome — I wish I was back, 
Up there in the land of the Pole. 

I wish I was back on the Hunger Plateaus, 
And seeking the lost caribou; 
I wish I was up where the Coppermine flows 
To the kick of my little canoe. 
I’d like to be far on some weariful shore, 
In the Land of the Blizzard and Bear; 
Oh, I wish I was snug in the Arctic once more, 
For I know I am safer up there! 

I prowl in the canyons of dismal unrest; 
I cringe — I’m so weak and so small. 
I can’t get my bearings, I’m crushed and oppressed 
With the haste and the waste of it all. 
The slaves and the madman, the lust and the sweat, 
The fear in the faces I see; 
The getting, the spending, the fever, the fret — 
It’s too bleeding cruel for me. 

I feel it’s all wrong, but I can’t tell you why — 
The palace, the hovel next door; 
The insolent towers that sprawl to the sky, 
The crush and the rush and the roar. 
I’m trapped like a fox and I fear for my pelt; 
I cower in the crash and the glare; 
Oh, I want to be back in the avalanche belt, 
For I know that it’s safer up there! 

I’m scared of it all: Oh, afar I can hear 
The voice of my solitudes call! 
We’re nothing but brute with a little veneer, 
And nature is best after all. 
There’s tumult and terror abroad in the street; 
There’s menace and doom in the air; 
I’ve got to get back to my thousand-mile beat; 
The trail where the cougar and silver-tip meet; 
The snows and the camp-fire, with wolves at my feet;
Good-bye, for it’s safer up there. 

To be forming good habits up there; 
To be starving on rabbits up there; 
In your hunger and woe, 
Though it’s sixty below, 
Oh, I know that it’s safer up there!

by Robert William Service

http://m.poemhunter.com/poem/i-m-scared-of-it-all/

Frustration With Facebook

One of the most frustrating things about Facebook is the way so many people on my contact list go to it for a quick read and a quick click of the “like” button, but very few offer any written feedback and there is little to no communication.

When I deactivate my Facebook account, the absence of its accessibility is refreshing. I am then not tempted to click to open it and see if anyone is initiating conversation. I can’t be disappointed if it’s not there for people to ignore.

I am better off writing here in WordPress, where it is already expected, at least for me, that there will be little to no communication.

Scrawling About God

Sometimes I feel like going out to my incomplete writing shed, taking a pen and notebook, and writing in big scrawling letters about how much I love God, obliterating the thoughts about how frustrated I am with everything else in the world.

Yes, focusing on my love for Him, and what I know from His Word about His love for me, throwing in some imagination and inferences about how heaven is going to be, is what I need to do, and perhaps I will find that for those few moments, nothing else will matter.

If I could do it in crayon on large sheets of newsprint, all the better.

But then…

“Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.” *

*Taken from Frederick M. Lehman’s “The Love Of God”
(Of note, “scrawling” is not considered a proper word. Right now, I do not care.)

Sun, Rain, and God

​I was trying to find the Bible passage that talks about the sun shining and the rain falling on the just and the unjust, when suddenly I heard rain out my open bedroom door, while the sun continued to shine. How fitting. (See the little video clip I made.)

I can’t state for sure that it is any of these things, but it felt to me like a gentle hug from God, a hint of His interest in me, a reminder of how real He is, and a foretaste of the communication I will enjoy with Him when in His visible presence I will see His face and hear His voice.

I found the verse, in Matthew 5:45.

“That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”

Not Made for This World

CS Lewis wrote in “Mere Christianity” about the desires we have that cannot be satisfied, which led him to conclude we are not made for this world.

How science has discovered that our brains only function on a small percentage of their full capacity is a mystery to me, but if that science is correct, I wonder if the remaining potential is symbolic of something new and far superior that will be formed after we are dust scattered throughout more dust, becoming nothing so we may be recreated from scratch as a new home for the spirit that has experienced so much frustration and imperfection, and because of that experience, we will rejoice endlessly in that which is perfect.

I believe the Bible. Science, via the brains of man, has proven in various ways what was written millennia ago in it – things that were once mocked have now become evident by studies, as progress has permitted. The world is truly round, after all.

Oh, to have all the answers in plain view, wherein I can look and see that all my heartaches, doubts, and questions have full and satisfying solutions.

Meanwhile, until I see plainly and not through a glass darkly, platitudes, guesses, and excuses will be poured upon me. Sometimes they burn, sometimes they soothe, but never do they consume nor fulfill.

Acclaim, accomplishments, riches, plans, material, dreams, losses, condolences – none of it matters. If you find something that makes you happy, if it is in this world, it will end. It will die, just as you will.

“Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.”

All is vanity, but only without God is there no hope.

Love lasts forever. And it is to note that the Bible tells us God is love. That which exists in God is that which is not vain.

What I see in this life is meaningless compared to that which I will see in the presence of my Lord, when everything is viewed in the literal light of His love. To see His face and be with those who love Him as I do, for that, I now breathe.

If not for the pain that too often overwhelms me, I might have no desire for that better place.

Still, I do not want the pain.

I was not made for this world.

Hearing About God

I love hearing about God from others who love Him. Sure, some “know” Him, but it is different hearing words from those who love Him.

It is more than Theology I seek. It is all of God – not just studying Him, but I crave an immersion in Him. His Word, I read it, devour it, and ruminate on it. I discover things I want to unravel. I query others who might have nuggets about certain passages. Right now I am rereading in Ecclesiastes. I need to know more about the author, the setting, the culture at the time, and what all else, I do not even know.

I am dying to be with Jesus. (Worded that way very much on purpose.)

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